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The Mrs. Micah Not Intense But Money Saving Couponing Method

I’ve never been much of a couponer. I don’t do a lot of shopping, I guess, except for food. I’ve rarely found coupons for things like brown rice, vegetables, meats, or beans (which comprise a great deal of our diet). I do comparison shop between brands (and a few local stores) and take advantage of in-store sales, but most of the coupons are for processed or household items.

The one coupon I’ve been using for years comes from Joann fabrics. I never shop there without the 40% off coupon that comes each month in the mail (though I don’t shop there every month).

But in the last year I’ve started practicing a related form of couponing which works very well: Coupon Codes.

Coupon codes are primarily used online and help you save money with your order. They’re pretty easy to find, easy to use, and more common than you would think. It doesn’t require buying a newspaper or clipping and saving, it just requires remembering to look!

After I’ve decided to buy an item, I start hunting online for where the best price. I may compare prices at different sites or it may be something only available in one place. I used to stop there, my system was: find the best price -> buy.

Now, once I’ve figured out the best place to buy it, I visit a few couponing sites and run a Google Search with the brand or store name and “coupon code.”

The money saving sites where I start are Rather Be Shopping, Fat Wallet, and Retail Me Not. If they don’t have anything, Google may turn up something.

If I’m buying an item that’s available from more than one retailer, I also look for coupon codes from other places which had higher prices. If I can save $10 with a coupon code, the place that charged $7 more turns into the best deal.

What I like about this method is that it doesn’t take too much time but it pays off. I’m very grateful to the people who run and participate in these sites. They make it so easy to do.

When I haven’t already made up my mind to buy something, I don’t spend much time looking at couponing sites and formus. I don’t want to end up spending more just because I can spend less of it. I know that I miss out on sales for items that I’d rejected as too expensive, but I can live with that. If I wasn’t actively looking for deals, I probably don’t need it.

One thing I need to work on: using Price Protectr to inform me of price drops on larger items within the refund eligibility period.

So there you go, that’s the Mrs. Micah not-intense-but-money-saving couponing method. To give credit, here are the people who first introduced me to coupon codes and who’ve kept me informed of some useful sales:

Kyle of Rather Be Shopping (first place I read about it), Kacie at Sense to Save (who had awesome amounts of CVSness going on and has branches out now), Alyssa/Kingdom First Mom, and Mommy Gets Paid (disappeared in May, so her site isn’t up-to-date but she has some good old articles about saving money), GreenStew. If you’re interested in getting more involved in sales and coupon codes, I encourage you to subscribe to all of their sites.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam September 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I use this method as well! I love finding a great deal online and then finding a coupon to make it even better. I was not aware of the price protector site. I will have to give it a try as making sure I received the best deal makes me extremely paranoid!

Megan September 8, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Have you tried ebates.com as well? I frequently shop by clicking through Ebates to specific stores. They offer coupon codes, but more importantly, they offer cash back in varying percentages. No scam here – I’ve received two PayPal deposits by shopping through them. And you can always use your coupon codes along with this method to save extra.

Kyle September 8, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Thanks for the mention…you just made my Monday! Funny that you mentioned the Joann coupon, my wife always has one of those in her purse, hard to beat 40% off.

mrsmicah September 8, 2008 at 9:41 pm

@Megan, I couldn’t remember if eBates did coupons. I know I’ve used them a few times but never found what I was looking for. No reason to give up, though.

mrsmicah September 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm

@Kyle, glad to hear I made your Monday! :) I think Joann is really onto something with those coupons. Must bring in a lot of people every month. But if you play things right with other sales, you can get everything else on sale and it works out nicely. Or if you’re an irrepressible crafter, you just save some money.

Alyssa @ Keeping the Kingdom First September 8, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Thank you so much for the mention!

I totally agree with Megan. Ebates rocks. You can also refer your readers and receive bonuses, which is a nice perk!

As far as couponing, you are right, there are rarely coupons for the food essentials you mentioned. I have had great success finding coupons for organic products. Cereal and yogurt are 2 that I can think of off the top of my head.

I do save a ton of money by shopping at CVS with coupons for all of my household goods, personal hygiene products, and even diapers! I actually can’t remember the last time I paid for toothpaste!

Zhu September 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm

This is smart, thanks for the tips!

I’m not a couponer either, mostly because, as you said, I don’t have coupons for items I use.

I’ll try the online thing though.

Dawn September 10, 2008 at 1:23 pm

I just used a coupon code yesterday. I was making a purchase online and got to the checkout and saw the “Coupon code” box and remembered to go look for one. Sure enough, a code from Retail Me Not saved me $5.

Faye September 14, 2008 at 8:37 am

I use online coupons a lot. I usually use them when I buy books from Nolo.com and Betterworld.com. It either gives me a 15% discount or $10 off, and it’s such a great deal.

Usually, you can just use it once. But the thing I do is that I use my parent’s credit card sometimes so that I can get the discount again. Of course, I pay them back. :)

sammiekat February 22, 2009 at 9:32 pm

RetailMeNot is a good site but I like Dealio better. They have only current coupon codes and I can compare prices on specific products. I like that I can post and vote on my favorite deals as well. Here’s the link if you want to check it out-

http://www.dealio.com/

Helen February 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I find the finding current coupons is tough. Dealio has a voting system so that you can see which ones are valid. I also like scoping out the freebies such as this coupon for a free Quiznos sandwich (yum)

http://www.dealio.com/coupons-deals/Quiznos-Free-Sub-Printable-Coupon/121194/

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