Posts filed under ‘coupons’

Stop! I Want Off!

Vitamins

Over the past two and a half years I dramatically cut back on clipping coupons and scouring drugstores in search of freebies. My primary reason was a desire to save time. It was a royal pain in the you know what to drag my infant son around from store to store, pull him out of the car seat, find a way to occupy him while I shopped, distract him while we waited in long lines and strap him back into the car.

I haven’t played the drugstore games for quite a long time, but when I found myself walking out of Rite Aid two weeks ago with $15 worth of +UP Rewards I could feel the urge to restart the coupon clipping madness. You can’t use +UP Rewards on the same day you receive them, which is of course Rite Aid’s tricky way of forcing you to return to the store to buy more items, so I knew I’d be back another day.

I typically purchase vitamins through Amazon’s subscribe and save program.  The combination of already low prices plus a 20% discount makes the final cost difficult to beat. For some reason I marked my frequency of shipments as every two months rather than every month and by the time I ran out it would have taken too long to receive the next bottle, so I dragged myself to the drugstore one Sunday afternoon and paid way more than necessary for vitamins. As a result of that purchase I earned $15 worth of +UP Rewards.

The following Sunday I was back in the store buying other products I needed. This time I spent a mere $1.68 out of pocket and received another $8 worth of +UP Rewards, thereby continuing the cycle. A few days later I was determined to use that coupon and end this madness but couldn’t pass up another deal resulting in a $6 coupon. Each time I walked into the store I spent less than $3, but I still had to plan my purchase, get to the store, wait in line and drive back home. This all resulted in much more time than I wanted to spend. I saved a good deal of money with those last two purchases, but when I accounted for my time it just wasn’t worth it.

What’s worse I found that a combination of sales, coupons and +UP Rewards often isn’t that much cheaper than buying the same products at BJ’s or Costco. So why go to the hassle of driving to the store every week, keeping track of just how much of a product I have on hand, reading through store circulars and clipping coupons when I can stock up on a product at a warehouse store and not need to shop again for three to four months.

I save a lot of time by shopping at warehouse stores three or four times a year. I also think my year end spending is pretty close to the prices I pay at drugstores without all of the work. I certainly spend less on unplanned items. While in the grocery store I was tempted to buy everything from cereal to large bouncy balls. I didn’t need any of those products despite the big signs alerting me to their sale prices.

Needless to say I wanted to end the Rite Aid +UP Rewards cycle and purchased one last item to use my last coupon. Wouldn’t you know the Rite Aid register had something else in mind. It printed out a coupon for $15 off $30 to be used on any purchase. Ugh!

Photo Credit

July 7, 2014 at 9:47 PM Leave a comment

Sears $20 Voucher for $1 (After Cash Back)

Sears

Right now new TopCashBack members can buy a $20 Sears voucher for $1 after cash back!

Here are the details:

  • Sign up for TopCashBack.
  • Search for Groupon (after signing up and logging in.)
  • Purchase the $20 Sears Voucher for $10 by clicking on the Get CashBack button. It looks like this:

Cashback Button

  • Within 7 days the $9 cashback will post to your TopCashBack account.
  • The $20 Sears voucher will be emailed to you by Groupon just like normal and is valid in stores only.

Within 12 weeks, the $9 cashback can be credited  to your checking or PayPal account. Or if you chose to be paid in an Amazon Gift Card, you will get $9.45 back instead!

This offer is for new TopCashBack customers only and ends 6/17 or whenever Groupon ends the deal.

June 13, 2014 at 4:25 PM Leave a comment

Free $20 Groupon to the Body Shop

Body Shop

Right now you can receive a free $20 in-store credit voucher for the Body Shop via Groupon and TopCashBack. Here are the details:

  • Groupon is selling a $20 voucher for The Body Shop for $10.
  • TopCashback is giving $10 cash back on the deal, which means you’ll earn back the $10 you spent on the Groupon.

Here’s how to take advantage of this deal:

  • Visit the Body Shop Deal on TopCashBack.
  • Click the orange button that says $10.00.
  • Purchase The Body Shop’s $20 in-store voucher priced at $10.
  • Within 7 days you should receive $10 in cash back to your TopCashBack account

This will make the $20 voucher free after cash back. After 60 to 90 days the TopCashBack credit can be paid to your checking or PayPal account.

Please note: The purchase should only contain the $20 Body Shop voucher priced at $10 and there is a limit of 1 $20 Body Shop voucher per TopCashBack account/member.

Also – You will need to create an account if you have not already done so.

If you like the Body Shop this is a great deal!

November 18, 2013 at 3:17 PM Leave a comment

Nasty Store Managers: Another Reason I Gave Up on Couponing

my coupons

Yesterday I decided to take advantage of super double coupons at Harris Teeter. For a few days each year the store doubles coupons up to $2.00. With a couple of $2.00 coupons in hand you can quickly save $4.00. I don’t subscribe to the newspaper anymore so I only receive coupons from the circular when my dad or mother-in-law choose to pass them along.

I actually like this model. I found myself clipping and sorting a bunch of coupons I never used and never having the patience to stop at three or four different stores with a two year old in tow. So I gave up couponing and didn’t give it another thought until I saw the sign at Harris Teeter the day before.

I was curious if any good deals existed and after a five minute search on the good old internet I found a bunch of items with printable coupons that made items free or close to free after coupon. I needed to stop into town the next day anyway, so I printed out fourteen coupons and went on my merry way.

I shopped for everything I needed and found the shelves well stocked when I got there. I had no problems grabbing each desired item and reached the checkout counter in record time. It helped that my son was munching on one of the free cookies you find in the store’s entryway.

When I reached the cashier I made certain to tell her that my son had eaten a banana shortly after entering the store and asked her to weigh the largest banana left in the bunch so I could pay for it. She actually laughed at the idea and told me it cost a whole 24 cents. “It doesn’t matter,” I told her, “I don’t like my karma to take a hit for things like that.”

The first coupon beeped and deducted money off my total, but the second one failed. She set it aside and ran a few more coupons through before the system complained again. Ten of the fourteen coupons succeeded so I wasn’t worried when she asked a store manager or assistant manager over for assistance.

As soon as the woman walked up to the counter she accused me of going to another Harris Teeter before shopping at this one. She asked in a very derogatory tone if I “tried to use my card earlier in the day or at another store.” She didn’t look me in the eyes when she asked this but just kept staring at the coupons.

I told her I knew the policy. That I had fewer than 20 coupons, (Harris Teeter only doubles the first 20), and that I did not visit any other stores that day. Even after the cashier informed her that the second coupon failed, but others after had succeeded the manager acted as though she didn’t believe her.

I’m not a fan of that accusatory tone. I know the manager wasn’t there when I offered to pay for a banana, but a girl who pays for a banana is not about to try to stiff the store over a few dollars worth of coupons. It put a sour taste in my mouth and reminded me why I gave up on the idea of couponing a few weeks ago.

It’s just not worth the hassle. The coupons don’t work. The store managers are nasty and I still paid over $50 for all of the other products that never have coupons like organic produce and free range chicken. I think this last experience officially ended my desire to coupon.

November 6, 2013 at 3:58 PM Leave a comment

Cozy Wall Art: 20% Discount on Wall Decals

Wall Decal

Before my son was born I decorated his nursery with two sets of wall decals. The first contained a series of baby jungle animals including monkeys, elephants, lions, alligators, frogs and giraffes. The second was an elegant tree with soft blue leaves and three tiny song birds.

The room looked incomplete after my husband painted the walls a soft shade of yellow. Those wall decals filled the blank space with warm colors and friendly animal faces. Whenever a friend or family visits my son’s room they comment on those wall decals and ask where I bought them.

Wall decals are such an easy way to spruce up an otherwise bare room. They are typically easy to apply and just as easy to remove whenever you tire of them. Ever since I decorated my son’s room I’ve considered purchasing more. I really wanted to place one above the headboard in my room, but really couldn’t decide on a design I loved.

When the kind folks at Cozy Wall Art offered to send me a sample I couldn’t resist the offer. One of the best perks of writing this blog is definitely the offers to try new products and I jumped at the chance to try one of their decals.

I spent hours looking over the options before selecting one that I really loved. I actually went back and forth on a number of different designs. They have a couple of really sweet wall quotes I considered buying for my beach house and two or three fish related wall decals.

I ultimately chose the Cherry Blossom wall decal, which is reminiscent of the tree decal on my son’s room. I haven’t had time to install it above my headboard yet, (I just got back from the beach on Thursday), but I plan to wash down the walls and install it tomorrow. I can’t wait to see how it looks against the purple paint in our bedroom. (Yes my husband agreed to purple paint in the bedroom.)

If you’ve been looking for something new to decorate your walls I definitely suggest checking out the decals at Cozy Wall Art. All readers of One Frugal Girl will receive a 20% discount on products when you enter the coupon code OneFrugalGirl20 at checkout. As an added bonus you’ll also receive free shipping on all orders of $50 or more (after the discount) and and all orders under $50 will ship for a flat rate of $5.95 via US Priority Mail.

Note: I received a free wall decal for writing about Cozy Wall Art, but the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

September 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM Leave a comment

Goodbye Sunday Subscription

my coupons

A month ago I considered giving my newspaper subscription the boot. I called the Washington Post to cancel, but was quickly convinced to remain a subscriber for a significantly reduced price.

I spent the next three Sundays reluctantly picking up the paper on Sunday morning. The coupon inserts would sit on top of our dining room table for days and when I finally took the time to sort and organize them I found very few worth clipping.

Then we went on vacation and I realized that I really didn’t want to deal with clipping coupons when I returned. I can cancel the paper for two weeks, but I won’t receive a refund or extension and that my friends is simply money down the tubes.

There are so many coupons available from the Internet these days that I rarely find a need to clip the ones I find in the paper. In fact, many of the Internet coupons are better than the ones you can find in print.

So I finally called the Washington Post and cancelled. They tried to persuade me to remain a subscriber, but this time around I held my ground. Goodbye Sunday paper! Goodbye big coupon binder!

September 4, 2013 at 3:43 PM 1 comment

$10 Gift Card with Any Chipotle Purchase

Plink Offer

I am a huge fan of Chipotle. In fact, I met a friend there for lunch yesterday afternoon. If you love Chipotle and haven’t tried Plink yet, this might be your best opportunity to do so. If you register at Plink and make ANY purchase at Chipotle by Sunday August 18th at 11:59 EST you will earn 1,000 Plink Points, which is enough to redeem for a $10 gift card of your choice at a ton of different stores and restaurants including Amazon.com.

What is Plink? The Plink program enables you to earn points for shopping at your favorite stores and dining at your favorite restaurants. It’s designed so you don’t have to carry around an additional card or clip coupons before going out. When you dine or shop you simply pay with the card you register with Plink and your rewards will automatically be credited to your account.

Fine Print

  • New Plink members only, one sign-up bonus per person.
  • Plink Member must link a credit or debit card and make a purchase at Chipotle by Sunday, 8/18 11:59 EST.
  • Purchase is necessary (after the member links a credit/debit card to their Plink account) to qualify for the bonus 1,000 Plink Points by Sunday, 8/18 11:59 EST.
  • Bonus 1,000 Plink Points will be awarded within 7 business days of the transaction posting date.
  • Chipotle purchases that occur on 8/19 or later will not qualify for the bonus.

So what are you waiting for? Click HERE to get started.

August 7, 2013 at 1:56 PM Leave a comment

Do You Still Clip Coupons?

Coupons

I’ve considering dropping my Sunday subscription to the Washington Post for over a year. I always thought that I would be the kind of girl to clip coupons no matter how much money I had in the bank. A million dollars, two million dollars, it doesn’t matter, I thought it just made sense to save money any way possible.

But over the past two years I’ve found my passion for coupons dwindling greatly. I don’t hit the drug stores on Sunday mornings anymore and I have little to no interest in clipping, organizing and remembering to drag those pesky little pieces of paper to the store with me. I’ve considered kicking coupons to the curb a hundred times, but every Sunday morning that paper is back on my doorstep.

As I bent down to pick up the paper today I decided I’d had enough. I walked back inside the house and called the Washington Post to cancel my weekend subscription. I was all ready to kiss that coupon binder goodbye.

I was asked all sorts of questions about why I wanted to stop my service, why I didn’t love receiving the paper anymore, blah, blah, blah. I kindly answered the questions I was asked and then reiterated the fact that I wanted to end my subscription.

“How about if we reduce the price,” the customer service representative asked. “No thanks,” I answered. “Okay, how about if we reduce the price a bit more,” he asked. “No thanks,” I answered, “I’m really no longer interested in clipping coupons and I read Washington Post content online.” “Oh I see,” he said, “but how about if I reduce the price to less than 80 cents per week?”

I hesitated. I wanted to say “no thanks,” but I couldn’t resist the idea. If I use just one coupon from the paper each week I’ll break even. But what about clipping, and organizing and dragging them to the store? Ugh, I probably should’ve said no thank you, but I let him convince me to keep the paper for another 8 weeks.

I realized after hanging up the phone that it’s not really about the money. It just doesn’t seem worth the hassle. I only use coupons on non-food items and I don’t buy household items much anymore.

Do I feel this way because we’ve built up our savings and are paying down our debts? When we had less in the bank I was much more careful about saving those pennies. These days I’m just not sure it’s worth the inconvenience and hassle. It seems my image may be all wrong. I won’t be clipping coupons as a millionaire, but I do have at least another 8 weeks of Sunday circulars coming to my door.

August 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM 2 comments

Groupon: $40 eGift Card to Staples For $25

Staples

I haven’t posted a Groupon deal in quite awhile, but this one was too good to resist. Right now you can purchase a $40 eGift Card to Staples for only $25.

I am a huge fan of Staples for two reasons. First, it is conveniently located to my home. Second, you can get a ton of free stuff there. I load up on printer paper, pens, pencils and even toilet paper and paper towels for next to nothing after Staples rewards and easy rebates.

If you haven’t taken advantage of this offer yet, you might want to do so now. A lot of times these deals end early, (there is a limited quantity available), and there are already over 25,000 sold!

June 20, 2013 at 2:57 PM Leave a comment

Oh Groupon, How You Torture Me So!

Groupon

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased a Groupon and nearly let it expire. I find a great deal for a nearby restaurant, but never seem to set a date and time to eat there. I buy a discounted Groupon to the Body Shop 0r Toys-R-Us, (you know the ones for $40 worth of merchandise for only $20), but never seem to go shopping. I set the date on my calendar, to make sure I don’t let it go to waste, and panic when Google calendar alerts me of it’s pending expiration. Inevitably I find myself rushing to the store on the very last day the Groupon is valid.

This past week I repeated my procrastination scenario. I purchased two Groupons for photo albums on June 19th of last year and then waited until nearly midnight on March 20th of this year to use them. I chose the photographs I wanted to include in the albums a few days in advance, but I waited until the very night the Groupon expired to design the books. I wasn’t feeling well that night. I laid in bed, suffering from an unrelenting headache, holding my head in one hand and selecting photos for the books with the other. I was so upset with myself for procrastinating, but I was determined to use those coupons. This frugal girl wasn’t about to let $160 worth of credit expire.

I’m not quite ready to give up on Groupon. I’ve ordered a few toys through the Groupon Goods portion of their website. I’ve also ordered a few coupons without expiration dates and even bought a deal for a Starbucks gift card this morning.

Am I the only person who waits until the last minute to use their Groupons? Does anyone else take advantage of these bargains and then find it difficult to use them before they expire?

March 22, 2013 at 8:40 AM 5 comments

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