Savings 101

This weeks Price Chopper coupon matchups can be found HERE.

Welcome to The Saratoga Saver!

My website will help you save money through the use of:
  • Price Chopper Coupon Matchups (matching up coupons to weekly store sales)
  • Printable Coupons including Retail and Restaurant
  • Online Deals
  • Freebies
  • Local Deals
  • Money Saving Tips

I think a common misconception regarding couponing is that an enormous coupon binder and hours upon hours of cutting coupons each week are needed in order to save money. This isn't true! 


While it's great if you use a coupon binder I don't use one but still manage to save over 50% off my bill (sometimes much more!) at Price Chopper and get all my toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. FREE at Rite Aid & CVS. I simply read the store matchups each week and decide what I want to buy. Since I have coupons from the Sunday paper and print coupons off online all I have to do is cut out the ones I need and bring them to the store. 

When you utilize my store match ups and read my posts all the work of finding the deal has already been done for you so all you need to do is go out and get the deal!

So where to get the coupons?

Coupons can be found just about anywhere! They can be printed from this site and found in the inserts from Sundays newspaper. Some newspapers offer more coupons then others. It is best to look at the top right hand corner of the paper to see which advertise the greatest savings. In my region the Times Union is the best. It's a good idea to skim through the newspaper before you buy it to ensure that all the inserts are in there.

You'll want to check your local Dollar Store for Sunday Papers priced at $1. These can be purchased on either Saturday (weekend edition) or Sunday. Some other places to get coupons include:

  • print off online
  • coffee shops, McDonald's, etc. on Sunday
  • work, family, friends
  • online clipping services (must pay)
  • tearpads or hangtags found in-store
  • coupon booklets found in-store

You want to have at least 2-3 copies of the inserts. Basically, the more inserts you have the more items you will get cheap-free.


Printing Coupons

Lately I've noticed that most of the coupons I've been using have been printables. Printable coupons can sometimes be of a higher value then coupons from the inserts and more companies are putting coupons on their facebook page because it's more cost efficient for them then featuring them in the inserts and it will get them "likes". Usually high value printable coupons will go fast so it's a good idea to print them as soon as you see them if they are ones you want. There are always deals for free printer paper at stores like Staples and occasional deals on ink so the cost of printing coupons is not really an issue.

Most printable coupons will let you print off two copies by clicking the back button after the first coupon has printed or re-clicking on the original link. If you have an additional computer or laptop you can hook it to your printer to print 2 more coupons per computer/laptop. I always print in black and white, using the rough draft setting to save ink. If you use a Mac the best browser for printing coupons is Safari.


So why coupon?

  • To save money! With prices on just about everything on the rise it's a great time to learn how to cut down on your grocery bill.
  • With an uncertain economy it's a good idea to use the money you save from using coupons to pay down debt or put towards savings.
  • To feel good about yourself. Saving money through the use of coupons can be very empowering. (And fun!)
  • To give to others. Many couponers get so many things free or very cheap that they are able to donate to others. 
                           
Couponing Myths

1) Doesn't this take a long time to do? 

Answer: No, the most time consuming thing is actually flipping though the insert and cutting out the coupon! Sales will already be matched up for you so you just need to decide what you want to purchase and cut out the coupons you need. Coupon organization is important so it is easy to find the specific insert that you are looking for and so that none get misplaced. I organize mine like this:





These folders can be found at Walmart.  I put one or two weeks worth of coupons in each folder, depending on how many inserts there were that week. I always label the folder so I can quickly find the ones I need.





I also label the date on the front so they don't get mixed up. If you're not sure of the date of your insert it's printed in small lettering on the insert's spine.


2) Isn't couponing just for people who don't have enough money to pay full price for things?

Answer: No, couponing is for people who are smart enough not to pay full price! I think it's great that people can take control over what they are paying for items that they need.

3) So if you're getting all this stuff free or so cheap, isn't it like you are stealing from the stores?

Answer: No, stores get reimbursed for manufacturer coupons at face value plus an 8 cent handling fee. So they are making money when people use coupons! But really, we aren't getting these items for free, we are paying for them with coupons.

4) Aren't there only coupons for "junk food" available?

Answer: Definitely not, there are many coupons available for healthy foods such as vegetables, fruit and organic and all natural foods.

Types of Coupons

  • Manufacturer - can be found in the Sunday inserts or printed online
  • Store Coupons - usually printed online, can be combined with a manufacturer coupon for additional savings
  • SavingStar ecoupons - paperless coupons that can be combined w/ manufacturer or store coupons for additional savings. You can load them onto your store loyalty card HERE.
  • UP's (or UPR's):  Up Reward, specific to Rite Aid - A coupon (think of it as store credit) that will print at the bottom of your receipt when you buy certain advertised items and that you can use as cash on your next purchase.
  • ECBs: ExtraCare Bucks, specific to CVS, same idea as UP's.

Inserts

There are 4 main inserts that may be in the Sunday paper:

SS=Smart Source
RP=Red Plum
GM=General Mills
P&G=Proctor & Gamble

If a match up says:

Pantene Shampoo - $3
use $2 off from 1/30 RP
= $1

This means the shampoo is on sale for $3 and to use the $2 off coupon found in the 1/30 RP (January 30th, 2011) Red Plum (RP) insert that was in the Sunday paper on January 30th, 2011. The final cost would be $1.


Coupon Terminology:

BOGO/B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
MIR = Mail in Rebate
OOP = Out of Pocket
PEELIE = Coupon you peel off package
STACKING = Many stores allow multiple use of coupons on the same item – manufacturer’s & store coupons and/or a combination of other store promotions.
TEAR PAD = A pad of coupons or MIR near a product or on display
WYB = When You Buy
OVERAGE: when your coupon or total savings is worth more than the items costs, store policies vary on whether or not you get to “keep” your overage. Walmart allows overage.
CATALINA = A coupon printed at the register for buying a certain  qualifying items. Catalinas are store coupons that can be used on your next order (of anything) in the store.
ECBs: ExtraCare Bucks; CVS's rewards program
UP's (or UPR's):  A coupon (think of it as store credit) that will print at the bottom of your receipt when you buy certain advertised items and that you can use as cash on your next purchase.
SCR: Single Check Rebate; Rite Aid's monthly rebate program, it is $ you get in a check each month for buying certain advertised SCR items (like UP's but it is a check they send you)
VV: Short 15-30 second videos you can watch on the Rite Rid website to earn additional store coupons
Q: Coupon
PC: Price Chopper