Dollar Tree Set to Accept Coupons Beginning August 26th

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This one’s been in the works for quite some time, and now we finally have a date!  Starting August 26th, most Dollar Tree stores will begin accepting coupons.  There’s not yet a public policy, but I can tell you that coupons will be accepted at face value and they are accepting printables.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more information.  We published this story there yesterday afternoon!

Coupon and Stockpile Swap + Ultimate Couponing I Refresher Deal

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Before the Ultimate Couponing I workshop on May 16th, we will be holding a coupon and stockpile swap.  Bring in your extra coupons and items you won’t use (must be new and non-expired) and trade them for ones you will!

The swap will be held from 5:00-5:45 at the McAlister’s on West Battlefield.  Please email classes@thesensiblefamily.com if you plan to attend.

If you intend to stay for the Ultimate Couponing workshop, you must register hereUpcoming Workshops

The Ultimate Couponing workshops changes frequently.  If your couponing is struggling or you’d like to learn the newest information on saving with AND without coupons, sign up today!  If you’ve previously taken a Gateway to Saving Ultimate Couponing workshop, you can refresh for just $4 with the coupon code REFRESH.  (You must have taken Ultimate Couponing I offered by Gateway to Saving to use the coupon code.  All registrants will be verified.  No admittance will be allowed for misuse of coupon code, and no refunds or credit will be given)

New Workshops Scheduled | Sensible Earnings and Ultimate Couponing I

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May is such a hard time to schedule workshops around graduation, end of school activities, and spring sports.  I will only be offering two public workshops in May, and seating is very limited in each. 

The summer is the best time for many to begin working from home, and it’s also when some of the best coupons come out!

We’ve done over 700 workshops in the past 5 years, along with many large conferences.  You’ll learn more in these three hour classes than most 2-day conferences. 

Sensible Earnings

Registration is required. Registration fees are non-refundable or transferable. If you cannot attend a workshop, you may elect to give your ticket to another person within 48 hours of the workshop. You MAY NOT use the ticket for any other workshop. Please contact classes@thesensiblefamily.com to do so. Due to limited seating and the educational atmosphere of this event, no children will be allowed without prior written consent.

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
6:00-9:00 p.m.
Panera Bread Meeting Room, North Kansas Expressway (adjacent to Library Station)
Springfield, Missouri
Cost: $18 in advance, $30 at the door (if seating is available)

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Ultimate Couponing I

Bring 3 Friends, Get In Free!

To take advantage of this offer, simply email classes@thesensiblefamily.com with the names of your friends after they have registered online. This must be done by March 16th in order to qualify for the promotion. (Each registration may only be applied to one promotion.) DO NOT REGISTER YOURSELF USING THIS LINK- we’ll take care of it via email.

Take a class somewhere else and feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, or confused? Get in for half price when you bring your receipt (or other form of verification). Email classes@thesensiblefamily.com for details. We want you to save- not spend!

Registration is required. Registration fees are non-refundable or transferable. If you cannot attend a workshop, you may elect to give your ticket to another person within 48 hours of the workshop. You MAY NOT use the ticket for any other workshop. Please contact classes@thesensiblefamily.com to do so. Due to limited seating and the educational atmosphere of this event, no children will be allowed without prior written consent.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
6:00-9:00 p.m.
McAlister’s Deli  
1711 W Battlefield St., Springfield, Missouri
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door (if seating is available)

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Reminder | Ultimate Couponing Workshop on Thursday in Springfield

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Ultimate Couponing I

Bring 3 Friends, Get In Free!

To take advantage of this offer, simply email classes@thesensiblefamily.com with the names of your friends after they have registered online. This must be done by December 14th in order to qualify for the promotion.

Take a class somewhere else and feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, or confused? Get in for half price when you bring your receipt (or other form of verification). Email classes@thesensiblefamily.com for details. We want you to save- not spend!

Registration is required. Registration fees are non-refundable or transferable. If you cannot attend a workshop, you may elect to give your ticket to another person within 48 hours of the workshop. You MAY NOT use the ticket for any other workshop. Please contact classes@thesensiblefamily.com to do so. Due to limited seating and the educational atmosphere of this event, no children will be allowed without prior written consent.

Thursday, December 15th
6:00-9:00 p.m.
Panera Bread Meeting Room, North Kansas Expressway (adjacent to Library Station)
Springfield, Missouri
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door (if seating is available)

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Alicia’s Coupon Corner | When is the Best Time to Visit the Store?

Q:  When is the best time to do my shopping? 

A:  Most large stores do their stocking in the overnight hours, so early morning is your best bet.  If you have a smaller grocer that restocks during business hours, you are probably better off to go in the evening.

On the hunt for markdowns?  Ask at the meat and produce departments when markdowns are made so that you can plan your shopping accordingly.

If you are using an unconventional means of payment, such as coupons or WIC, please make all attempts avoid shopping during rush times, such as after school, 5:00-6:00 p.m., noon on Sundays, just before a blizzard.. hopefully you get the drift.  We’ve all been on both sides- the side where you don’t think you should have to shop at certain times just because you’re going to require more time at checkout, and the side I found myself on last week.  You know- the side where you stop in to grab a gallon of milk and wait for over 30 minutes in a non-moving line.  There were three checkouts open, in one was a wanna-be extreme couponer, who had absolutely NO idea what she was doing, in the lane with the cashier slower than my dead turtle was a family using WIC vouchers, and in the other lane was a man trying to buy a deer tag. 

Now there’s  nothing wrong with any of that, but a little bit of hustle on the cashier’s part and courtesy on the customer’s would have made the 40+ people in line that were just trying to grab basics and get home much happier. 

I’m sure that my readers and Ultimate Couponing alumni already knew this information, but there’s nothing like getting home with spoiled milk to make me reiterate something!

Oozing Jack o’Lantern + Fleischman’s Yeast Coupon

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I’m chairing my daughter’s Halloween party on Monday with my usual Mad Scientist big and I have been looking for an experiment to do.  This oozing jack o’lantern looks so fun and easy! 

It uses household ingredients, including Fleischman’s yeast, and there is now a $1/2 printable coupon for it available!

To see the full experiment, click here:  Oozing Pumpkin

Alicia’s Coupon Corner |How NOT to Use a Coupon

Since the Extreme Couponing craze began, my inbox has been bombarded with questions on how to redeem coupons.  Sadly, many of them start with “I know you told me not to do this, but my friend said that it works…”

This should be common sense, but here goes nothing:

IF YOU INCORRECTLY USE A COUPON, THE STORE WILL NOT GET REIMBURSED.  Do you know what this is?  STEALING! Plain and simple, no questions asked.  Because the store isn’t getting paid for that item, you might as well just stick it in your purse and walk out the door.  (Which is wrong, too- in case you are still morally and ethically confused.)

What?  How are coupons used incorrectly, you ask?  I’ll be glad to tell you (and remember, coupon fraud is a felony crime punishable by law).

1.  You must buy the product STATED on the coupon and nothing else.  If the manufacturer intended for you to use that toothpaste coupon to purchase diapers, don’t you think they would have said ‘valid on the purchase of toothpaste or diapers’?  If the store didn’t sell you the product, they cannot get reimbursed for your coupon. 

For those of you honest readers that are staring at your screen in disbelief, yes, this happens.  There are sometimes glitches in their computer system that will allow it, or some devious deal seekers prey on naïve cashiers that are a little too over-ride happy.

Common reasoning behind this:

“My best friend does it, and it works for her”

“That’s how they do it on Extreme Couponing”

“I took a class offered by a mom at my  church and this is what they told me to do”

“But it scanned and they took it!”

And for those most deceitful: “That store has overcharged me for years, I’m just recouping my losses.”

2.  You cannot purchase a size that is excluded or not stated on the coupon.  If a coupon says ‘Excluding Travel Sizes’, you CANNOT buy a travel sized item, even if you decide to call it a trial sized item.  If it says you must buy 12 ounces or larger, it has to be 12 ounces or larger.  Not 11, not 11.5, but 12.

Still confused?  Refer to #1.

3. You cannot photocopy coupons.  Photocopying coupons is illegal and PLAINLY stated on each coupon.  And when I say that you can’t photocopy, guess what?  You can’t scan it to your computer and reprint it either.

What if your printer hiccups and only allows you to print one of a coupons.com or like coupon, when you know the limit is two?  You still cannot photocopy the first one, as each one will print with a unique number that allows tracking of duplicates.

4.  Snipping off the expiration date voids the coupon.  If you’ve got an expired coupon laying around and you really want to use it, ‘accidentally’ snipping off the expiration date won’t get you anywhere.  Even if you fool a cashier, I’m pretty sure the company that issued the coupon knows when they did it and will not reimburse the store for stragglers.  Coupons without a date are deemed VOID.

Now, for those of you who are thinking to yourselves, “I know I coupon correctly, it’s none of my business what everyone else does because it doesn’t affect me in any way.” might want to reevaluate that.  Stores don’t take these losses lightly.  They have to recoup their costs, and they do so by raising prices.  This affects you.  They also have begun to tighten coupon policies to help combat the extremists.  Guess what?  This affects you, too.

Do you have any questions you’d like to see answered in Alicia’s Coupon Corner?  Send an email to alicia@thesensiblefamily.com

Minor Changes to Dillons Coupon Policy

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Calm down, it’s nothing major!  Dillons has decided to discontinue the credit for bringing your own reusable bags.   The following letter was sent out explaining the decision:

Dear Valued Customer:

We appreciate our customers’ continued efforts to help us lessen our impact on the environment, and particularly your interest in helping us reduce the amount of plastic and paper bags used to carry groceries. Your choice of switching to reusable canvas bags and/or reusing plastic shopping bags is commendable, as we work together to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our landfills.

In the past, we have offered an incentive of 5-cents per bag for each plastic, paper or canvas bag you have returned to reuse in our stores. This program started in the 1980’s as our initial efforts began to reduce the number of paper bags used, and therefore lessen the impact to trees being harvested from our forests. Today our closed loop recycling program saves 22 million pounds of plastic from entering landfills each year.

Together, the great success of our plastic bag recycling efforts has made our 5-cent bag refund program a relatively ineffective way for us to positively impact the environment. We are writing to make you aware of an important change to this program.

Effective January 1st, we will no longer offer this incentive. Instead, the money that has been used to fund the program will be redirected into other recycling, energy conservation, and composting efforts that will serve a more positive benefit to our environment, our customers and to the communities we serve.

Sincerely,

Joe Grieshaber

President, Dillon Stores

Electronic Coupons

I’d also like to use this post to remind everyone of the issues with stacking manufacturer and electronic coupons.  While a few e-coupons will still allow you to stack it with a manufacturer coupon, I have absolutely no way of telling until I use them- which isn’t very often! 

Some electronic coupons are manufacturer coupons while others are store coupons.  I’ve noticed less issues with stacking when using the coupons loaded directly from the Dillons (or Kroger) sites. 

If you’d like, I can keep a spot open on the site where you can submit which coupons did or did not work for you- might save everyone some confusion in the long run. 

**UPDATE** PLEASE READ Walmart Coupon Policy Update!!!

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Now it deserves this: $!@% 13@#%@ #!%!#

Somehow, Walmart erroneously printed this on their ad- and are refusing to honor it.  I’m sure this isn’t the end of it, as I’ve not yet received official word that it was a mistake, but I’m sure it was.  I normally wouldn’t have even posted it, but since it was plastered on the inside and out, I figured it was safe.  Of course, it’s Walmart- so I should have known better. 

I’ll keep you updated, but I highly doubt it’s going to matter. 

Yes, this deserves exclamation points.  Look at the picture of this week’s ad above.  Do you see the dark print in the upper right hand corner?  This just states that they match other store’s prices (well, duh!) and… that they are now accepting competitor’s coupons!!!  Not only are they accepting them, but they are STACKING them with manufacturer’s coupons!!!  This means that you can use.. say.. (1) Walgreens coupon and (1) manufacturer coupon at Walmart!

Remember, that even though they say this, that this is Walmart, and you’re likely to get a manager that has no clue this exists.  Make sure you grab a copy of this ad at the front of the store before doing your shopping!

I’m (not so) Patiently Waiting…

First thing’s first:  Kudos to the United States Postal Service.  You have successfully caused me more anxiety issues today than I’ve had in the past year.  I understand that the time of mail delivery may vary due to conditions that are out of your control, but this is a LITTLE extreme.

If you ‘like’ (I still really despise that term) Gateway to Saving on Facebook, you’ve been given a heads up that there is a HUGE Mega Sale at Dillons, Gerbes, and Kroger (yes, and all other affiliates) this week.  If you don’t ‘like’ us on Facebook and missed this early notification, you ought to get ‘yer rump on over there and ‘like’ us.  There is going to be a LOT of free and cheap stuff with this sale.  I mean a LOT.  Definite stock up time.

While I’ve had a full listing of the items featured in this week’s sale for nearly 2 weeks now, I’ve been waiting for my ad to get here to confirm the prices of these items.  In Southwest Missouri, we really don’t fall into any of the other ‘ad regions’ and seem to have higher prices than other areas.  Sometimes these prices are nearly triple, so I want to be careful of what deals I post and what coupons I order.

I get the ads mailed to me, and usually receive them on Mondays- around 10:30 a.m.  There was some severe flooding around here last night, so I sat on pins and needles while I waited for my mailman to arrive.  The kids were getting really tired from hopping up every 10 minutes to check the mail.  When he finally got here around 1:30, I threw everything else down (including my Kraft cheese coupons and my free Soap Opera Digest- and I am dying  to know what’s going on with Sami and Rafe) and ripped the Dillon’s ad out.  I ran to my office and turned the computer on while scrambling to get the ad open.  Wait- Kraft Singles are $1.79?  I thought they were part of the mega sale.  As I looked further down the ad, this is what I found:

CIMG0058 Notice the dates?  (and my freshly painted toenail?)  Yup- it’s LAST week’s ad.  Talk about an immense letdown!

So, since I don’t have an ad, I am going to give you a small listing of the Mega Sale items.  Order coupons at your own risk.  Some of this stuff is free in other locations, but it might still be pretty high here.  I’m only listing items that I’m purchasing coupons for myself.

  • Kraft Shredded Cheese
  • Sargentos Cheese
  • Kraft Singles
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Amp Energy Drinks
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Keebler Cookies
  • Keebler Crackers
  • Nabisco Crackers
  • Pepsi
  • Spaghettios
  • Scotch Brite Sponges

I’m holding off on posting prices and ordering other coupons UNTIL I get confirmation of the ad! 

Buying more now will save you later!  Order more coupons from Coupons by Dede or The Coupon Clippers.