Sunday, August 31, 2014

Save Money Using Coupons!

There are various methods available to reduce your expenses. In this economy, saving money is crucial. We’re not going to discuss creating a budget. A budget is definitely beneficial in spend reduction. However, I’d like to touch base on one particular area.

First area of discussion? COUPONS! That’s right, coupons can reduce your grocery spending by several hundred dollars per year. I know what you might be thinking! “Oh, you’re one of those people….” I’m not saying that extreme couponing wasn’t a goal at one time. However, I know that couponing has changed. So no, I’m not “one of those people”. Doesn’t mean that I don’t try!

I’ve heard all the excuses from those who don’t (won’t) use coupons. This is just a partial example of the excuses given.–

“I don’t have the time.”

“You don’t save enough money.”

“I only buy healthy foods and organic products.”

“I don’t know where to find the coupons.”

“Coupons are too much trouble to use.”

“They don’t double coupons anymore.”

Does any of these sound familiar? I want to knock out the second excuse. “You don’t save enough money.” I don’t know about you, but any savings is worth the effort to me. It doesn’t matter if the coupon is .50 or $500. The amount on said coupon is less money coming out of my pocket.

“I don’t know where to find the coupons.” Not a problem! Coupons are everywhere! Magazines, Newspapers (Also known as Sunday inserts), Printable from Websites, mailers, trading, digital, on receipts, neighbors, friends, etc.

Coupons are not just in the form of paper. Many stores now offer the ability to download digital coupons to your shopping card. Be sure to check the coupon policy for each individual store. Some stores allow you to “stack” a paper coupon with a digital coupon, others may not.

Did you know that some stores offer occasional free products? Currently, Kroger offers “Friday Freebies”! Just sign into your account, browse the digital coupons, and download to your card. It’s that easy! The coupon should come off the total when you purchase the item. Be sure to read the coupon correctly to ensure the right product is being purchased.

Coupons are available to print on various websites. You can generally find some type of offer directly on a company website. They might require you to create an account with them. If this happens, you can create an email just for this purpose. It should help reduce email clutter in your personal inbox. I always uncheck the newsletter box. However, this doesn’t always prevent the company from sending an email from time to time.

I’ve learned that reaching out to a company can sometimes result in finding coupons in your mailbox. Those are always a nice surprise! A coupon directly from the manufacture can be higher value. At times, even a freebie is received! Don’t come right out and ask for coupons. They are interested in product feedback. If you love a product, tell them about it! Be specific in your emails. Likewise if you dislike a product. Be completely honest with them. They appreciate honesty! Where would they be without loyal consumers?

Coupons can be printed from various resource websites. Generally 2 identical coupons can be printed via each printer. Here are a few examples:

Be careful when printing coupons from these websites. Only “clip” and print the coupons you will actually use before expiration. I’m guilty of printing several wasted coupons on a regular basis. My intentions were to use them on time.  I either forgot about the coupon, couldn’t find the deal I was hoping for, or financial restraints prevented me from using them.

Printing unused coupons is a waste of ink. The cost of ink is not cheap! Let’s not forget paper waste. Remember: You cannot use both a printed coupon in combination of another coupon. There are exceptions to this rule! Some stores will allow you to use a cents off coupon with a “Buy one, Get one free” coupon. Again, check the coupon policy for that particular establishment.

Sales and/or clearance items are one of the best ways to maximize your coupon savings.

Don’t discount the Dollar Tree as “cheap”! There are hundreds of name brand items sold at the Dollar Tree. Nothing is over $1.00. Did you know that coupons are now accepted at the Dollar Tree?! Potentially free or deeply reduced products are waiting for you!

Remember, be sure to print the coupon policy for each store that you plan on using coupons! Use the coupon policy as a guide, and to show a cashier if needed.
This is one of my favorite coupon forums. The forum is free of cost. Members post deals, tips, suggestions, coupon match-ups, and much more! The forum is not limited to just couponing. There are other discussions as well. Stop by and say, "Hello"!

Enjoy your savings!

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

I survived my first week of college!

Dear friends,

It's been awhile since I've posted a general "chit chat".  How about a short intro before I begin? I do have some new readers that may not know much about me. Thank you for reading my blog! I may update more often about my college journey as time goes on.

My name is Michele. I relocated to Mississippi from California in 2006. I'm a married mother of two wonderful teenagers. My children are the light of my life. It's quite different living in the country VS. living in a largely populated city. The adjustment was easier than we all had imagined. I'm glad that we chose to raise our children here.

I decided to enroll in college. I've always desired to obtain a college degree, but circumstances and excuses got in the way. Not anymore! I'm officially a 36 year old, college freshmen! My major is in Social Work as I have a deep passion in helping others. This journey will not be easy, but I will give it my all. A brighter future is within reach!

This was the first week of my new journey. I'm proud to say that I survived! All of my assignments were submitted on time. Several of them were submitted early. I was surprised with how many assignments there would be the first week. I'll be honest, it was extremely overwhelming in the first few days. I know it's about to become tougher.

I need to learn how to balance my time between my children, husband, daily duties, school, church, and other various activities we are involved in. My time was managed a little better towards the end of the week. I'll have to invest in a planner and set limits.

My classes this semester are:
Introduction to Sociology
Biology 1
Biology Lab
American History
English Composition 1 (Perfect for blogging!)

I decided not to begin a math course this semester as I need to take remedial math courses. I would be ashamed, but let's face's been 20 years since I've taken math classes! I don't understand Algebra and must start over. I'm not going to feel ashamed to admit that I'll need the extra help. I plan to take my first (0f 4) math courses next semester. Would prefer to complete my math on campus rather than online.

I'm a bit nervous about attending college. Definitely need to brush up on my education. I think my Biology courses will be the toughest this semester. I could use all the luck I can get! I'm hoping for at least a "C", but striving for much higher.

My advice to older individuals who wish to return to school, but worried about your age? Follow your dreams to success! You are never too "old" to learn something new. Definitely discover your support system. You will need all of the support and encouragement as you can to get through it.
I was surprised to see as many older adults as I have this week. It was interesting to read all of the introduction discussions. Inspiring really. I love that I'm not alone on this journey!

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Friday, August 29, 2014

FREE 6 month Amazon Prime Membership! (Valid .edu email required)

Do you have a valid .edu email address? Amazon is offering a FREE six month membership to Amazon Prime for students! You can continue receiving Amazon student for 50% off once your membership expires. You don't have to open a new Amazon account for this offer. Amazon will have a box to validate your .edu address. The entire process is simple! They will send an email to your .edu email address. Just click the link within that email for validation.

"College has its perks. This is one of them. As part of your membership, you'll get exclusive offers from Amazon on essentials like music, video games, and textbooks.
You'll also get six months of FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items. And after six months, you'll be eligible for 50% off an annual Prime membership, including Prime Instant Video and access to the Kindle lending library in addition to the FREE Two-Day Shipping you're currently receiving. If you'd rather not wait to get unlimited Prime Instant Video, you can upgrade to discounted Student Prime at any time as long as you remain an Amazon Student member."

**Link above contains my personal referral link. I will receive a $10 student referral credit for anyone who signs up under my link. I'd appreciate any referrals as I'll be saving any credits towards my college textbooks. However, if you don't wish to sign up through my link, you can find the information through your Amazon account directly.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

FREE: Poise Pad Sample

Poise is offering your choice of one free Poise Pad sample.
*Not a paid or sponsored post*

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FREE: Nivea Lotion Sample

Nivea is offering a free lotion sample. Must "Like" on Facebook to choose your sample.
*Not a sponsored or paid post*

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