the simple saver

coupon savings made easy Review December 13, 2009

Filed under: Getting Started — thesimplesaver @ 1:19 am

So…life in the Hilliard home has been quite busy the past few weeks!  You may have noticed from my lack of blogging as of late!  Hours before traveling home for Thanksgiving, we were presented with the opportunity to upgrade from a 2-bed, 1-bath apartment to a 3-bed, 2-bath for only $110 more than what we were currently paying.  We had already cut our budget way back in order to get our credit card paid off so it was a no-brainer decision to move!  We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving with family, returned home on Saturday, “did” church on Sunday morning (My husband is an Associate Pastor & over the worship band.), and started moving Sunday night!  We are finally getting completely settled in.  I am so enjoying our extra space!  And best of all, I have a large pantry for my stockpile!

Because of the many shuffles in scheduling lately, I completely forgot to buy papers this past Sunday.  This gave me the perfect opportunity to try The Coupon Clippers!  I have read about other bloggers and couponers using The Coupon Clippers but had not tried it myself.  I am so impressed!  You can visit and find multiples of many great coupons.  Choose the coupons you want, pay a small handling fee, and have them mailed to your door!  It’s that simple!  I purchased over $30 worth of coupons for about $4!  Not bad at all!  This site is a great resource if you do not have access to a major newspaper, would like multiples of coupons that you already have, or don’t like the idea of cutting coupons yourself.  My order was handled very professionally and shipped quickly.  I will definitely be using The Coupon Clippers again in the future!



Getting Started at CVS June 27, 2009

Filed under: CVS,Getting Started — thesimplesaver @ 11:18 am


CVS is my favorite drugstore for getting GREAT deals! Here’s some info to get you started…

CVS has a customer loyalty program called Extra Care. Before you begin shopping at CVS, you will need to sign up for the Extra Care program at your local CVS or online at It is free and you will be given a card to scan with every CVS purchase. Your card works much like a Kroger Plus card or a Food Lion MVP card.

In the weekly ad for CVS, you will see many deals that say “$5 Extra Care Bucks”, “FREE after Extra Care Bucks”, “Spend $10 and receive $2 ECB”, etc. First of all, Extra Care Bucks (or ECB’s) are “CVS money”. If you purchase a product that gives you ECB’s, there will be a coupon at the bottom of your receipt for money off your next purchase.  The goal is to “roll” your ECB’s so that you can get free stuff again and again and again with very little money out of pocket!  Here’s is an example…

Let’s say that your CVS ad has Listerine mouthwash on sale for $4.99 and you receive $4.99 ECB’s.  In order to get this deal, have the cashier scan your Extra Care card and purchase the Listerine for $4.99 + tax.  At the bottom of your reciept, you will see a coupon that says you have earned $4.99 ECB’s.  These ECB’s can be used on another transaction right away or saved for another week.  ECB’s do expire so be sure to keep a check on the dates.

Let’s say that the next week CVS has deodorant for $2.99 with $1 ECB’s and razors for $3.99 with $3 ECB’s.  Here’s what your transaction would look like:

Buy deodorant for $2.99

Buy razors for $3.99

Use $.50 coupon for deodorant

Total:  $6.48

Use your $4.99 ECB from the previous week.  (Works just like cash!)

Pay $1.49 + tax

Receive $4 ECB’s off your next purchase!

As seen in the previous example, you can use coupons on items that give you ECB’s.  This is the best way to maximize your savings!  I will have CVS coupon matchups available in the near future!  One more thing you need to know when using ECB’s…You cannot get change back if your puchase is for less than your ECB’s.  If your purchase was $4.35 and you paid with $5 ECB’s, you would not get $.65 back.  When this happens, I always throw in a piece of candy or gum to make the purchase price more.


Using Coupon Mom… June 14, 2009

Filed under: Getting Started — thesimplesaver @ 8:34 pm
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An excellent source that I use to find alot of great deals is Coupon Mom.  Coupon Mom is a website that provides coupon matchups for items at your favorite store.  She does all of the hard work for you!  Because this is an online database, it is super easy to click on the deals you like, cut out the coupons you need, and go save lots of money.  All you need in order to access to all of Coupon Mom’s information is a username and password.  It is completely free to sign up and you can visit the site as often as you like!  Read below to get the scoop on how the site works…

After signing up, log in to your account.  On the lefthand side of the screen, you will see Grocery Deals by State.  When you access this page, you can choose from many different stores.  Walmart, Kroger, Target, Publix, Riteaid, CVS, Walgreens, etc!  When you click on your favorite store, you will see a page of entries that look something like this:

6/14 SS          Schick Quatro Razor          4.00          1          7.99          3.99          50%

What does this mean, you say?

6/14: The date of the circular where the coupon can be found.  Hence the reason for filing your coupons by date.

SS:  The name of the circular.  Smart Source, Red Plum…etc.

Schick Quatro:  Product name.

4.00:  Coupon value.

1:  Quantity.  The number of products you have to buy in order to use the coupon.

7.99:  The sale price (or original price)

3.99:  The OOP price.  Out of pocket, that is.

50%:  The percent of your savings…the most fun number!

Another great thing about the database is that you can organize the entries by using the up and down arrows beside each category.  Since saving the most money is my main goal, I always click the arrow beside the percentage saved to organize the list that way.

Now go down the list, click on all your favorite deals, and print your list.  Cut out the appropriate coupons and go shop!  How simple!!  Coupon Mom also has a Grocery Coupon Database where you can search for specific products.  Need some paper towels?  Go to the Database and search for coupons.

Go check it out!


Understanding the Lingo June 9, 2009

Filed under: Getting Started — thesimplesaver @ 2:57 pm
Tags: , , ,

Here’s a short glossary of abbreviations that will be helpful when couponing. I’m sure I will think of more but this will get us started.

BOGO – Buy one get one free

IP – Internet printed coupon

MFG – Manufacturer’s coupon (Can be used at any store.  Most newspaper coupons are MFG)

OOP – out of pocket

P&G – Proctor and Gamble (a type of coupon insert found in newspapers)

Q – Coupon

RP – Red Plum (a type of coupon insert found in newspapers)

SS – Smart Source (a type of coupon insert found in newspapers)


Getting Started with Coupons #2

Filed under: Getting Started — thesimplesaver @ 10:38 am
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Ok, so here’s how to get started…a few basics…

#1:  Buy a paper…or 4. I usually buy 4 copies of the Sunday paper each week.  Papers are sold in most large retail stores and gas stations.  At stores like Publix, Kroger, or Walmart, you can find 2 papers bundled for $2.50.  In the Acworth/Kennesaw (GA) area, there are individuals who sell the Sunday paper for $1.00 each.  You can usually find these sellers near large shopping centers along Hwy 41.  This is the cheapest method that I’ve found for purchasing my papers.

#2:  File your coupon inserts. Each week when I buy papers, I remove all of the coupon inserts and discard the rest of the paper (or you can recycle it).  The types of inserts vary by week but look for Smart Source, Red Plum, and Proctor and Gamble.  These are the most common insert types.  I write the date on the top right hand corner of each insert.

To file my coupon inserts, I have a simple file box that you can purchase at Walmart, Target, or Office Depot.  Each week has a hanging file folder that is labeled with the date.  I drop my inserts into the appropriate week’s folder and I am done filing!

I DO NOT cut all of the coupons out and file them by coupon type!  Filing the entire insert by date is much more time efficient!

#3:  The best time to buy. The best time to use a coupon on an item is when the item is at its lowest price.  Sample scenario:

Special K cereal is normally priced at $4.00 a box at Publix.  If I used a $1 off coupon at full price, I would get the cereal for $3.00 a box.  However, Publix is about to run a Buy One Get One free sale on Special K cereal.  With this BOGO sale, the price is $2.00 per box.  I use the coupon during the sale and can get Special K cereal for $1.00 A BOX!  If I have 4 coupons, then I can get 4 boxes for the price of 1 at regular retail!  And that’s just the beginning…

The great news is that you do NOT have to know what’s going on sale and spend hours searching for good deals!  There are many bloggers who do all of the research for you….but more on that later.

#4:  Stockpiling is the way to go. You should shop based on what’s on sale.  If you have a spare bottle of ketchup in your pantry and you can get ketchup for $.20 a bottle this week, go ahead and stock up even though you’re not completely out of your supply!

#5:  Try to avoid brand loyalty. Don’t be afraid to try brands that you don’t normally purchase.  Aquafresh is not my toothpaste of choice but it was free last week so I stocked up (and got 30 tubes…all for free)!  If we use it and decide that we do not like it, we’ll pass it on to someone else.  Free is free!


Getting Started with Coupons

Filed under: Getting Started — thesimplesaver @ 5:33 am
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So, you may have heard of people saving ridiculous amounts of money using tiny pieces of paper…yes, coupons.  Ever wondered how they do it?  Think it’s impossible?  Well, I have been “one of those people” for quite a while now, and I can assure you that you CAN save lots of money.  Lots and lots of money.  And get lots of items free.  Items you need like toothpaste, razors, bbq sauce, candles, crackers, seasonings…and the list goes on!  In my next few “getting started” blogs, I am going to try my best to explain the couponing process in an easy-to-understand manner so that you can learn how to help your family save money and stockpile your pantries.  Stay tuned!