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Discussion Starter #1
I did a search and didn't find a thread dedicated to couponing for preps so I thought I'd start one.

My personal experience is that a year ago I was spending $150-200 per week to feed my family (without food storage prepping) and now I spend $50 max per week plus $200 per quarter and have amassed probably 6-8 months of reserves.

I owe it completely to the use of coupons. Thought it would be nice to share deals with others.

As an example ShopRite this week (not sure where those are located, but I do know where there not - here) has a deal this week that if you buy 3 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats @ $1.88 each and submit $1 off 1 q (x3) you pay $2.64 and get a $2 Catalina. Essentially it costs you .21 cents per box....ummm ya. That's a smoking deal!

So wish I lived in a ShopRite area that's my favorite cereal and I would pick up 40 boxes for sure for a grand total of $8.40!!!

Run, don't walk to your local ShopRite!!!
 

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I'm glad that you started this thread because I am curious about how this activity works and I'm completely in the dark.

Could some kind soul take me by the hand and explain in the simplest terms how these fantastic savings can be achieved.
 

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I'll answer any questions you may have...this has become a passion of mine. First off, what are your local stores? I'll walk you thru it step by step if you're serious :wink
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The just of it is you buy products when they're on sale, you hand over coupons (from newspapers or online printables) and you reap the rewards!!

Stores have different policies so it's important to know how your local stores operate and then I personally follow blogs that do the work for me since I don't have much time on my hands.

My favorite site is www.thekrazycouponlady.com
You can search by store and they breakdown the best deals of the week using a symbol at the end of the post with either 3 dots (3 month stock up price) or 6 dots (6 month stock up price). They don't prep per say so I relate them as 6 month and 12 month.

I would start there....and I will be happy to answer any lingering questions :)
 

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Can you buy things like rice, sugar, salt, coffee, cocoa, icing sugar, yeast, batteries, etc, in other words, items that are hard to grow/develop on your own land.

What I don't have a crushing need for is cereal, canned ravioli, frozen pizza, Wonder Bread, cans of Coke, etc - items that I can grow/produce for myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Coffee, all the time. Rice, sometimes but when the deal hits you have to run, jump and flip. It's about twice a year...last time I picked up 240 lbs for free - yup free!! Batteries, I stocked up last Christmas when they were free at Blockbusters (of all places) haven't needed to get anymore since, even with toddlers in the house. Sugar, I've gotten great deals but only by shopping deals not couponing. A couple of weeks ago I picked up 5 gallons of vinegar for free. Salt.... Not exactly, but I got 5 cases of soy sauce (liquid salt) about 4 weeks ago and the store paid me to take it out with 21 pounds of hamburger meat for free :)

There are definitely, what I call ingredient sales but you have to keep an eagle eye out. I think it's worth it tho. I have gotten to the point now where I only buy 1 maybe 2 good deals per week along with our fruits and veggies.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oops I missed icing sugar... Not sure what that is..? As for yeast, you can pick up the packages in the winter for free-.25 but I personally prefer to spend the $3 at honeyville for a pound and just supplement with the other deals. But then again I bake everyday
 

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Coffee, all the time. Rice, sometimes but when the deal hits you have to run, jump and flip. It's about twice a year...last time I picked up 240 lbs for free - yup free!! Batteries, I stocked up last Christmas when they were free at Blockbusters (of all places) haven't needed to get anymore since, even with toddlers in the house. Sugar, I've gotten great deals but only by shopping deals not couponing. A couple of weeks ago I picked up 5 gallons of vinegar for free. Salt.... Not exactly, but I got 5 cases of soy sauce (liquid salt) about 4 weeks ago and the store paid me to take it out with 21 pounds of hamburger meat for free :)

There are definitely, what I call ingredient sales but you have to keep an eagle eye out. I think it's worth it tho. I have gotten to the point now where I only buy 1 maybe 2 good deals per week along with our fruits and veggies.
This has really piqued my curiosity!! Especially the bolded parts. Could you walk me through the details of how you did that?

I can understand why food manufacturers of branded products would push coupons - they're trying to build brand loyalty and a branded product usually sells for more than a commodity product, hence increased brand sales and loyalty eventually benefit the bottom line. What I have trouble understanding is why and how you can get 21 pounds of hamburger meat for free. That stupifies me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Totally get that they're out to get brand loyalty, but it's just a game. My only brand loyalty item is TP and it's bitten me in the a** :) Back in February I spent $10 on my favorite brand and I'm freaking out about when the next sale hits cuz I'm down to about a month left..maybe time to get over it. Who knows

As for the soy sauce here's the breakdown... It was on sale for $1.49 each (small bottle), I had .55 off 1 coupons (that doubled up to a dollar at that store, Safeway), the store was also running a Catalina offer for $1 back if you buy 3....so here's the breakdown....$1.49 x 3= $4.47 - $3 worth of coupons = $1.47 - $1 Catalina back = .47 out of pocket PLUS I also had another coupon for $2 off any beef product when you buy 3 kikkoman soy sauces so for 47 cents I got 3 soy sauces and $2.00 in hamburger meat.

Now I didn't buy all these newspapers, instead I shopped on eBay and purchased all these coupons for $4....either way you look at it - it was free! It just takes keeping your eyes open and jumping when the time is right.
 

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Yup :) I used to buy 5 papers per week, now I get 2 sections donated to me for incidentals and I just purchase the coupons I need for stocking up from eBay and apply that money to the food budget. I was super happy when I learned that little trick. Hope it helps you and yours on your journey.
 

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Ebay is great for coupons, but you have to weight the cost per coupon + shipping, to the actual savings, etc. Sometimes, it's just not worth it on high demand coupons because you end up negating your savings that way. But if you can find a great deal, grab them!
 

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Let's clarify a few things:

Is It Illegal to Buy or Sell Coupons?
Most all manufacturers' coupons clearly state that buying and selling coupons voids the value of the coupons, so essentially there is no legitimate way to sell coupons. However, there are websites all over the Internet that seem to offer coupons for sale or up for auction.

Technically what the websites that distribute coupons promote is that they are not actually selling the coupons, but rather covering their cost for clipping, grouping, managing and mailing the coupons. They claim they are selling a service and not the actual coupons. The costs can be from under a dollar to monthly subscription rates.

There is no type of legislation that I know of that says this kind of service is illegal. What the FTC says is, "Selling or transferring coupons to a third party violates most manufacturers' coupon redemption policies - and usually voids the coupon." Therefore, selling the service or buying from the service does not appear to be illegal, but here is the catch:

The coupons, based on the usage policy, are void and should not be used. Technically by using the coupons you are getting money from the store on something that you know no longer has value, which is fraud.

Obviously not many people using the coupon-clipping services are going to not use the coupons that they get from the service they just paid for, and it is doubtful that anyone will know if a coupon was clipped at home or bought through an online service. But if you are concerned with what is technically morally right, there is your answer.

Although a manufacturing company that distributes coupons may not like online clipping services, there is most likely nothing they can do to stop the process.

THAT being said, people selling coupons on eBay are NOT permitted to sell the labor it takes to auction off a coupon. Under eBay rules, the coupons themselves are the items being sold. Although eBay does not seem to patrol coupon auctions, it does ask that, "if a coupon has a policy stating it cannot be resold, that that coupon not be put up for auction"... yeah, THAT policy has seems to be working. :rolleyes: They also post a warning to buyers that retailers may refuse to accept coupons that have been obtained, "in a way that violates the terms of the coupon."

This means that there is really no legitimate way that anyone should be auctioning most of the coupons available on eBay and by getting a coupon through sites like eBay you are going against the policies stated on the coupons which really means you are using a voided coupon, so again, fraud because a voided coupon has NO value, yet the store is giving you back money for the coupon.

There are an abundance of coupons that you can find that are free and do not test the terms of the manufacturers' policies. This isn't to say that I don't understand how tempting it would be to order a dozen coupons for my favorite products, but for now, I seem to find substantial savings the old-fashioned way -- clipping, printing and sharing -- for free.
 

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performing monkey
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If the words that you see in small print on many manufacturers' coupons, "Coupon may be void if copied, transferred, reproduced, sold or exchanged..." has you worried that you shouldn't give your dog food coupons to your friend with a dog, you can relax. The disclaimers and redemption rules about transferring coupons is a manufacturers way to protect themselves if they find the need to discontinue honoring a coupon. It's a cushion, or protection, for the manufacturer to void the coupon offer if they find that it is being distributed in a fraudulent manner. Many manufacturers promote the idea of consumers sharing their coupons with friends, but it is the way that the "sharing" is done that the manufacturers want to keep control on. Handing coupons to friends, leaving unused or unwanted coupons at the grocery store, giving coupons as presents, or having a coupon exchange club is legal and ethical.

The type of trading that manufacturers want to prevent involves the act of duplication and coupon distribution.

Let's look at it from a manufacturer's point of view:

With any kind of promotion a company has to set parameters of how much can be spent on the promotion and where the promotional efforts should be focused.

For example, let's say that XYZ Soup decides to circulate a coupon in the north east in October when it is getting chilly outside to help promote their product with the concept of eating soup on cold days will warm you up.

First, they have to figure out how much they want to spend on the promotion. Then how to get the biggest bang for their buck by planning on what areas in the country to promote the coupon. Hot soup in October in Florida may not be the most prudent place to place for the coupon, however hot soup in Maine in October makes sense.

They then decide what medium they should use to promote the coupon. Should they display the coupon in newspapers, magazines, or maybe an in-store promotion?

Once these decisions have been made the company then decides how long the promotion will run, the design of the coupon and then they schedule the coupon for distribution.

All of this takes a lot of planning and a lot of paychecks to complete. If they go way over budget, they may have to possibly cut out future promotions, such as, distributing a coupon in the southern states in November. If they come within budget, future promotions have a better chance of being activated.

So, let's say I see a coupon in my Sunday paper that I decide to scan into my computer and post online for anyone landing on my site to print and use. I have gone against the usage policy all manufacturers have on their coupons by copying the coupon and transferring the distribution to my website. The company has now lost control of where the coupon offer is distributed. Or maybe I decide I want to print multiple copies of the coupon I have posted on my site so that I can use them a bunch of times at the store plus share them with my friends. Again, doing so goes against the coupon usage policy of duplication and exchanging the coupon and the company has now lost control of how many coupons are distributed. And finally, let's say I have so many that I printed that I decide to sell the coupons. Again, it clearly states on the coupon that I cannot sell the coupon and doing so voids the value of the coupon. By selling the coupon, I am selling something that has no value.

As a consumer I do NOT have the right to take over the distribution of a coupon. However, passing along my unused coupon that I received from my paper does not fall under this criteria because:
1) The coupon was distributed in my area.
2) I am giving away the original coupon, not a duplicated copy.
3) The coupon has not been redeemed. At no point has the manufacturer lost control of the coupon.

Sooo... ... ...

Keep on swapping your clipped coupons the right way and avoid accumulating coupons in a manner that clearly goes against the manufactures' policies. By doing what we know is right it will mean we will all keep seeing more coupons arriving in our circulars and that is a win-win situation.
 

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Homeschoolmama is way more knowledgeable on this than I am but here's some ideas you may find helpful.

At the krazycouponlady link above there's a section where you can look up individual coupons, so say your local grocery store has Blue Bunny ice cream bars on sale 2/$4, you look the bars up on the above link & see that there's also a $1 off coupon, you use 2 of them, making your price $1 a box. While ice cream bars are not prep
food, the savings can be used to buy preps.

When you are first starting to print coupons from the internet, it's a pain in the a$$. You have to download the free software & register at sites in order to get the coupons. Once you have all of this done, you can just go print the coupons. So far I haven't had any spam & sometimes get good deals via e-mail, just read carefully when you're setting up your preferences for each company.

Another helpful trick is to take advantage of ad-matching policies. Some stores, like Walmart, will match their competitors advertised price on items. So I go on-line & print off deals & loss leaders from Target, CVS, Walgreens, etc., go to krazylady & look for coupons on those items, then buy it all in one trip to Walmart. When you go to check-out, definately keep the ad-match stuff separate & tell the cashier before she rings it up.

You have probably already noticed that certain items are really cheap only once a year (like school supplies right now & cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving), while others go on sale more frequently (like Cokes & toilet paper). The trick is to buy enough of it to last at least until the next sale. Right now school/office supplies can be had for nothing or next to nothing so watch the sales, gather your coupons, & stock up on paper, pens, pencils, glue, tape, notebooks, backpacks, socks, underwear, etc. There's lots of freebies & nearly free items to be had.

Another great source of coupons is on the products themselves so as you're going through the store keep an eye out for them. I bought hubby new undies last week when they were on sale for $5 a pack of 6 then noticed some, but not all, of the packs had $2 off coupons on them. I bought 30 pair of undies for $15, any other time of year & those same undies are $2 each.

Some stores have store coupons you can print off their website that can be used in addition to a manufacturer's coupon. Target is a good example. Store coupon + manufacturer's coupon + sale = mega savings!
 

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I did a search and didn't find a thread dedicated to couponing for preps so I thought I'd start one.

My personal experience is that a year ago I was spending $150-200 per week to feed my family (without food storage prepping) and now I spend $50 max per week plus $200 per quarter and have amassed probably 6-8 months of reserves.

I owe it completely to the use of coupons. Thought it would be nice to share deals with others.

As an example ShopRite this week (not sure where those are located, but I do know where there not - here) has a deal this week that if you buy 3 boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats @ $1.88 each and submit $1 off 1 q (x3) you pay $2.64 and get a $2 Catalina. Essentially it costs you .21 cents per box....ummm ya. That's a smoking deal!

So wish I lived in a ShopRite area that's my favorite cereal and I would pick up 40 boxes for sure for a grand total of $8.40!!!

Run, don't walk to your local ShopRite!!!
ShopRite is in New Jersey, PA, and MD.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If your conscience is bothered by using eBay coupons then by all means don't use them. However, mine is not and here's why...

I believe that if BIG manufacturers wanted to stop the process then they would. It would be instantaneous with all the relationships they have amassed over the years. Also, if it was illegal eBay would have no part in it. Have you seen all the restrictions they have for sellers? They have to have protection against possible lawsuits.

Also, I spoke to the regional manager of Safeway about 5 months ago right before I started using coupon clipping services about this exact topic since I in no way wish to screw over the stores, I'm only wanting to receive the benefits of the manufacturers offers. He told me that if there's a deal and I do the work to find them then go ahead and get as many coupons as I can gather (referencing eBay). I was told that if the coupon states only 4 'like items' per transaction then I would have to do multiple transactions (but that's fine with me). He also said that he has not seen any issues for reimbursements from the manufacturers (or received any info from corporate) other than a couple instances with fake/reproduced Internet printable coupons.

I personally have chosen not to use clipping services for printables because of this since I may not know if fraud has been committed. I only purchase newspaper coupons that I have already researched thru manufacturer databases so I know how much saving they 'should' have, also checking expiration dates. My other must-have is a picture of the coupon so if the need arises (which it hasn't) I can always contact eBay if someone's claim does not match what I receive.

According to the FTC, they estimates that 3,000 companies distribute nearly 330 billion coupons each year (not including store promotional coupons). Apparently some 77 percent of American households use only about 8 billion of those 330 billion coupons, the rest end up at the dump. If 77% of American families are using such a small percentage (even with coupon clipping services) why do these manufacturers continue printing so many? Why don't they save their printing budget and stop these people that are committing the 'fraud'?

Its because it's all about marketing and they really don't care since they're putting out billion of dollars worth of profit decreasing coupons that are never used yet their brand and images are everywhere. They know there will be a percentage of people (me included) that will not become brand loyal, but it's just a game!

I also support the little guys who work their tails off to make an extra couple hundred dollars from their venture. It's definitely not some high paying job but it may be just what's needed to make sure there's dinner on the table, plus I dont have the time anymore.

I guess my overall thing is that if the manufacturers didn't like it then they would stop it. So for me personally I'm ok with it, but I would never advocate someone doing something that makes them uncomfortable.

Also, I whole heartedly believe in placing special orders thru the stores so that other people in my community can benefit from the great sales too.
 
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