Monday, 20 May 2013

Coupons 101 - Maximizing Value

I started this blog to promote my ebook but that seems to have taken second place to the fact that I really enjoy blogging. This is an ongoing learning experience and anyone who has followed my blog since the beginning will have noticed that it keeps changing, which is exactly what makes it fun, interesting and challenging.

This week I've added two new items: Smart Source Coupons and Richter's Herbs. In this post I'll discuss the different ways I use coupons in order to maximize their value. I love getting a product for next to nothing just by using coupons at the right time and in the right way. I'm not an extreme couponer by any means, but I do use coupons on my own terms and manage to save a fair bit by doing so. The following are some of the ways I've used, or will use, actual coupons I have (or had) available.

COUPON: Save $2.00 off any Colgate Mouthwash. Expires Dec.31/13.
Maximizing Value: This coupon doesn't specify size or state 'not applicable on trial size, travel size or value pack'  so I will check out those sizes first. If not available in those sizes, then I just move up to the next smallest, least expensive one.
To illustrate the difference in savings, $2.00 off an item valued at $4.00 means a discount of 50% while $2.00 off $5.00 means a discount off only 40%. The greater the price, the smaller the discount percentage.

COUPON: Save $2.00 when you purchase ANY one Dial, Dial for Men, Dial Kids Body Wash (354ml or larger), 8-pack Dial Bar Soap, Dial Lotion, or 1.18L liquid hand wash refill pouch. Expires June 23/13.
Maximizing Value:  The coupon wording is pretty specific as to which products are included. Using this coupon to purchase a sale product will make a big difference when it comes to maximizing the savings.
Example: This past week an out-of-the-way store had the Dial 8-pack Bar Soap on sale for $2.97, regular price $4.47. Since I needed to pick up some things at Walmart anyway, I used their AdMatch feature together with the coupon to get the product for $0.97, saving an extra $1.50 on top of the $2.00 coupon value.
I have another one of these coupons and since I have six weeks before expiry date, I'm watching for Dial for Men or the liquid hand wash refill pouch to come on sale to use it.

COUPON: FREE TRIAL of one Vileda Dish Scrunge. The amount to be filled in by dealer. Expires May 30/13.
Maximizing Value: This coupon also clearly states what product is eligible.With this type of coupon I try and use it someplace where I can get something extra, like reward points at Shoppers or AirMiles at Rexall.
I was out of luck at Shoppers since our local store doesn't carry Vileda products. I'll be driving by a Rexall sometime this week so I'll check there. If they don't sell Vileda then I'll just pick it up when I do my big shopping at the end of the month. This is not a product I would normally buy, but since its free, I'll try it - who knows, I may like it.

COUPON: (BOGO) FREE when you buy any one PANTENE product, get any one PANTENE product of lesser or equal value FREE up to $11.99. Cashier to fill in selling price. Expires May 31/13.
Maximizing Value: With this coupon it pays to buy a needed item as close to $11.99 to get the best value.  Since the coupon doesn't state the items have to be identical, the FREE item can be any other PANTENE product, but again, since this will be the free one it pays to choose a product as close to $11.99 as possible. The FREE product will always be the one with the lesser value.
I used this coupon this past Saturday when Shopper's offerered a bit of a promotion. I purchased the largest size Pantene shampoo for $10.99 (something we use all the time anyway) and received a Silver Expressions Shampoo worth $9.99 for free. I also received a bonus card with 8,000 points plus both products (including the retail value of the free one) qualified for points. In this case, my purchase of the lower priced $9.99 product was justified simply because I love this shampoo -its great for grey hair- and Shopper's is one of the few places to carry it. 

COUPON: Save $3.00 when you buy any Tide AND Downy Product. Not applicable on trial size, travel size, value pack, gift pack and bonus packs or Tide PODS. Expires May 31/13.
Maximizing Value: Both products as described need to be purchased to redeem this coupon, so buying the smallest sizes (excluding the ones listed above) provides the greatest value. Keeping an eye on the sales may show up even more opportunities to save.
This is a coupon I know I won't use. I like Tide but never use Downy. Since this coupon  is worth $3.00, I'll ask around to see if someone else can use it. Won't buy something just because I have a coupon, but I also hate to waste a good coupon.

COUPON: Save $2.00 on any two lady Speed Stick or Speed Stick Power 45-85g, Expires Oct.6/13, (Manufacturer's Coupon) and,
COUPON: Save $2.00 on any two lady Speed Stick or Speed Stick Power 45-85g, Expires June 17/13, (Target coupon printed from Internet). 
Maximizing Value: These coupons specify both the product and eligible size. Since Target allows coupon stacking - One Manufacturer's coupon along with one Internet coupon - that's the best place to use these coupons. Two products need to be purchased to redeem these coupons so you could buy one of each, if desired, and be eligible for $2.00 off each product. Buying the products on sale would increase the savings even more.

Because regular use of coupons can save money, I'm thrilled to have added Smart Source coupons to my blog. Just click on "GetCoupons" and this will take you to the coupon site where you can choose from a large variety of coupons. When done, hit Print Coupons. The first time you do this you may have to install the coupon printer, which is easy and only takes a minute. Have fun, save money.

Next week I'll discuss the other addition - Richter's herbs.

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I want this blog to be interesting, informative and current. Your comments let me know if I'm on track, so comments are greatly appreciated.
Thanks - Lenie