Worth Reading: e-Coupon Etiquette

ecouponsThe recent popularity and availability of e-Coupons has revolutionized couponing as we know it.  But it has also created confusion and questions about how they are to be used, ethically speaking.

If you have ever wondered about the actual policy and proper use of e-Coupons, head on over to Happy Couponing to read an excellent post on that subject. Even I have unknowingly used them improperly in the past {blushing}.

I believe that services such as Cellfire, Shortcuts and P&G eSaver provide a valuable time-saving alternative for those who do not wish to clip and file paper coupons. Just be sure to follow the rules, to make couponing easier for consumers and retailers alike.

Related posts of interest:

Honest Couponing?

Worth Reading: The Ethics of Coupons

Save With e-Coupons: No Clipping and No Forgetting!

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Coupon Myths: Busted {Part 3}

As much as coupons are becoming a popular recession-fighting tool, there are still skeptics to be found. Often when I meet someone new, my couponing ways manage to work themselves into the conversation. Imagine that!

The typical responses I get range from “oh, teach me how to do that” to (see Part 1 and Part 2)… but the most common myth of all that I hear over and over again:

“Oh, coupons just aren’t worth the extra time for me, I am much too busy…”

Sound familiar? I typically smile politely and cringe a little inside. Because for me, I don’t have time NOT to use coupons in my daily household budget. They play a huge factor in our lifestyle, the amount we are able to give, and the fact that our credit card debt is now gone!

If you are of the belief that coupons can only save you a few bucks here and there, then I understand why you might think they are a waste of time.  But what if I told you that coupons could save you literally hundreds of dollars a month, or thousands per year?  Does that get your attention?

Imagine what you do could do with an extra $200 or so every month. Pay down debt? Give more? Invest in your children’s college fund? The possibilities are endless.

But really, a skeptic will not believe what they cannot see.  So allow me to show you the power of coupons.  Or rather, allow several hundred of my fellow bloggers to show you… every Saturday!

Fellow frugal blogger Crystal Paine, aka Money Saving Mom, hosts a fabulous weekend meme known as “Super Savings Saturday”. She shares her weekly purchases and how much she spent on groceries and household items. Then other bloggers leave links to their fabulous deals, photos included.

I encourage you to visit some of those links to see for yourself how savvy shoppers save big time. Now keep in mind that these are typically serious couponers who do invest extra time to clip, organize and match their coupons. But clearly, it is well worth their time.

Perhaps it seems impossible to carve out some extra time of your already busy life to work on a coupon strategy.  I get that, really, I do. With four busy kiddos, a husband, pets, a home, and a blog to manage, I struggle to balance it all.

Here are a few time management tips for those wanting to start couponing:

  • Set aside a block of time in your week to work on clipping and organizing.
  • Older kids are happy to help with cutting inserts – which is also a valuable life lesson.
  • Use some of your evening TV time to clip coupons- during commercials!
  • Or, don’t clip them, use a file system for your inserts by date.
  • Start small. Don’t chase every deal or every coupon.
  • Learn to use e-Coupons, no clipping required!
  • Utilize blogs or services such as The Grocery Game to make matching coupons and sales a breeze!

Do you have any time saving tips for those learning to coupon? Share them here in comments.

In the next installment of my coupon myths series, I will address the belief that buying generic or buying in bulk is cheaper than using coupons.

alyssa6

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ALL YOU Magazine Subscription: 1-yr for $13.68!

all youI am always on the lookout for a great deal on ALL YOU Magazine.

Not that I am much of a magazine reader. Really, I just don’t have the spare time or desire to flip through glossy pages of ads or celebrities.

But I do actually subscribe to and read ALL YOU. Not only is it truly a great resource for frugal tips, recipes, and more, it is chock full of one of my favorite things- COUPONS!

Now, you know that I’m not one to advocate actually spending your hard-earned money on a magazine subscription, but I think this one warrants an exception. Consistently month after month it’s full of great coupons that you won’t find anywhere else. Better yet, often there’s at least one coupon that’s for a free item.

Where do I purchase ALL YOU magazine?

ALL YOU magazine can only be purchased at Walmart ($2.24 per issue) or through a subscription ($21.24 per year).

How do I subscribe?

You can purchase a subscription online through Amazon.com, and now also through Magazines.com!

But, to get the $13.68 price for one year (currently the best deal out there), you will want to shop through Big Crumbs.

Big Crumbs, like Ebates, is a great way to shop online to earn cash back on all your purchases. I recommend checking both sites before making an online purchase to see who has the best deal.

Ordering Instructions for ALL YOU (please read carefully):

1. Become a member of Big Crumbs if you are not already.  There are different membership types, but you will want to be a “CrumbSaver” to get the highest rebate amount possible when shopping.

2. Confirm your Big Crumbs membership via email, and log in to your account.

3. Type “Magazines” in the search box at the top of the page.  Click on Magazines.com in the search results, and a new window will open.

4. Search for “ALL YOU” on Magazines.com.  You will see an option for 12 issues for $19.97, add it to your cart.

5. Complete the secure check out process – there is no tax or shipping.  You can even pay via Pay Pal or Google Checkout!

6. Wait 6-8 weeks for your magazine to arrive. Magazines.com has a 100% guarantee for all magazine subscriptions. You can cancel at any time, for any reason.

7. In 2-3 days, you will receive your 31.5% rebate in your Big Crumbs account ($6.29). You must have a Pay Pal account to receive your refund (paid monthly on the 15th).  There is no minimum payment threshold.

So, once you receive the refund, your final cost is only $13.68, or $1.14 per issue. While it may seem a bit complicated, I assure you, the coupons are well worth it!

I am not sure how long this promotion will last, so if you are considering an ALL YOU subscription, don’t delay! The offer is also good for renewals, or would make a great gift for a fellow couponista.

Thanks, Deal Seeking Mom, for the heads up on this deal!

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Worth Reading: The Ethics of Couponing

coupons-banner-150x50

Perhaps you are new to the whole crazy world of couponing, and you have never given much thought to the ethics involved in using coupons.  This is a subject near and dear to my heart, and one that has been discussed before on my blog.

Bloggy pal Carrie, whom I met last week at the General Mills event, has an excellent post up regarding ethical couponing.  I encourage you to go read it and join the conversation!

Here at Keeping the Kingdom First, I strive to post only legitimate coupons. Using coupons the way they were intended by manufacturers is a win-win situation for consumers and stores. There are still many fantastic deals and freebies to be had by using coupons in an honest fashion.

As the economy has worsened, more and more families are turning to coupons and realizing that are truly worth your time! I think this is a fantastic trend, and one that will hopefully continue. As long as we all play by the rules, companies will continue to be generous with coupons.  And that helps us all… save more, and give more.

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