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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Swagcode Extravaganza

Calling all Swagbucks followers! Are you ready?!?! Do you know what there is to be ready about?! Today is Swagcode Extravaganza! (Okay, I'll stop with the exclamation points now.)

What are swagcodes?
  • Almost every day, Swagbucks gives out codes that are worth varying amounts of swagbucks. Sometimes it's as little as 3, but then there are times when it's around 40! These swagcodes are released randomly. There is a site that I follow, though, that lets me know when there is a swagcode out and where to go to find it. 
  • Note: Each swagcode usually has a time limit to redeem them. Try to redeem them before the time is out.
How to redeem the code:
  1. Go to the special site.
  2. Copy the code listed. (Skip step 3 and go to step 4.)
  3. If the code isn't listed, there should be a phrase that says CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR CODE. Once you click on the phrase that's in all caps, it will take you to a new page. Look for something that is a mix of letters and numbers, upper and lower case. Copy the whole code.
  4. Go to your Swagbucks home page. 
  5. On the right hand side you will see a box titled Swag Code. Paste your code into the box and click on the Gimme button.
  6. The box should now read something along the lines of "You've won "x" amount of swagbucks. 
Swagcode Extravaganza
  • Usually Swagbucks releases ONE swagcode per day, but the Swagcode Extravaganza is where you can get a ton of swagbucks because MULTIPLE codes will be released throughout the day. This could bring you closer to getting that gift card that you've had your eye on!
If you want to read more about today's Swagcode Extravaganza, go to this link. Today they are going to be releasing enough codes for you to get up to 65 swagbucks if you're online at the right time. It's going to be a fabulous day.

Any questions? Don't be afraid to ask!

Disclosure: This post contains referral links. If you sign up for Swagbucks through my links, I will receive an incentive (when you earn swagbucks, I will earn that same amount).

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Your spouse just lost his/her job. You have a small amount of money in your savings account, but you don't know if it's enough to get you to point Z (when your spouse is employed again). What do you do? This is where stockpiles come in. It is basically being prepared in case of an emergency situation.

My husband and I graduated from BYU-I in 2011. Our son was born near the end of the summer and we were running out of funds. We sold all of our furniture. The things that we didn't sell were donated. We filled our little Honda Civic with what we could, along with a baby carseat, and drove all the way to Arizona. We stayed with parents until we were able to get back on our feet. It was there that I decided to start on the coupon journey. It's so exhilarating to spend little to no money. Once my husband got a job, we got an apartment, and started to rebuild all that we had lost in Idaho.

Being so poor has really inspired me to save money WHILE we have it. When you don't have money, it's pretty dang difficult to save it, don'tcha think? Anyway, that's why I've been stockpiling like crazy! I want to be prepared in case we're in another situation like that.

Here's how my stockpile is looking:

Year's supply: toothpaste, toothbrushes, Hefty storage bags, Hefty trash bags

6 month supply: tampons and pads, toilet paper, razors, dish soap, body wash, cereal, cake mix (which you can use to make cookies and other things with)

3 month supply: paper towels, Campbell's cream of soup, oatmeal

This isn't the whole list, but it's all I can think of right now. Stockpiling does NOT need to be hard. When something hits a super low price, you buy more than you would in a typical shopping trip. Here's an example: My grocery store had pasta on sale for 19 CENTS (without coupons!). I ended up buying about 20 packs of pasta that day. You can do so much with pasta.

I'm sure many of you have heard of the Krazy Coupon Lady. Well, she came up with an amazing stock up price list. She has it separated by 3 months and 6 months. If the price is listed under 3 months, then it means you could buy 3 month's worth of that item at the listed price. It also means that you will probably see the item listed at that price 3 months later (which is why you only need to buy 3 month's worth.) If the item is listed under the 6 month column, buy enough to last 6 months because you might not see that price for another 6 months. If the price is a lot cheaper than the 6 month price, then you can by more than 6 month's worth. (Another example: One of local grocery stores had apples on sale for 25 CENTS (the 6 month stock up price is .50 per pound) so I bought a ton of apples and one of my friends taught me how to can! I made my own applesauce and apple butter! (They was super yummy, too.)

It may take a little while to really build up your stockpile, but you can do it! By beginning to save money, you'll keep saving money. Just make sure that you're buying things that you know your family will eat/need. It's not saving money if you won't be able to use the stuff. If it's free or super cheap, though, and your family won't use it, you could always donate it (which we will talk about in a later post). Once I get my house clean enough (my 18 month old says "HAHA!" to that), I'll take a picture of my stockpile and post it for all to see. Go have fun!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Coupons 101 Lesson 4: Coupon Etiquette

Before "Hitting the Stores," I think there's something else that needs to be addressed first. And that's coupon etiquette.
  1. Pay close attention to your coupons. If you look at your coupon, you may see tiny print on it. It may say, "One coupon per person," "one coupon per shopping trip," "only 4 like coupons," among other things. The manufacturer's have these phrases written on coupons in an effort to allow others to be able to get good deals. If a coupon limits a person to be able to buy only one of an item, there means that there will be items leftover for others to get. 

    •  Along the lines of being respectful to the cashier, also be respectful to other couponers. We are all trying to save our families a buck. If you go into a grocery store, try not to clear a shelf. (If there are only 5 items left on the shelf, I don't deem it clearing a shelf if you take the remaining items. If the store recently stocked, the shelf is full, and you take ALL of the items....then I consider that to be clearing a shelf.) I usually only buy enough items for my family's needs. Over time, though, I will go back to the store and buy more of that same item. I like to give others a chance to partake of the deals, too. It's so discouraging to go into the store and see that shelf cleared. REMEMBER, though, if you do come across a cleared shelf for an advertised item, you can always get a raincheck.

  2. Keep it legal. Photocopying or creating/buying fraudulent coupons in illegal. You may notice that most times you can only print two coupons per computer. This is again so that everyone will be able to get the good deals that are out there. 

  3. Be respectful. When you get to the checkout, strike up a friendly conversation with the cashier or simply say "Good Morning! How is your day going?" This can make checkout so much easier. If there are people waiting in line behind you and your transaction is taking a while, recognize and apologize.

  4. Only use one MF coupon per item. The only time you can use two coupons on one item is if one is a Manufacturer's coupon and the other is a store coupon. There may be times when you can use THREE or more coupons; It's not very likely, though.

  5. Donate. Each coupon has an expiration date. (If it doesn't have one, then it's most likely fraudulent or super old!) If your insert coupons expire, you can recycle them or donate them to military families overseas because they can use them for 6 months past their expiration date. One of my favorite blogs has a page that explains more about how and where to donate your expired coupons.

  6. Find balance. Remember that you don't have to get every deal that's out there. It's okay to pass it up. Other deals (and sometimes better deals) will come around. I usually do my couponing when my little guy is taking a nap and at night when my husband is having his "I need a break from work and time to watch some sports!" time. I make sure to spend time with the ones I love because saving money means nothing if I don't have my sweethearts to share it with.

  7. Have fun. Couponing can be stressful at times. You may spend an hour or so planning your shopping trip, getting all of your coupons together and organized, and then an hour or so at the store. It's so nerve wracking to get to the cash register, watching as your order total goes higher and higher. And then when you hand your coupons to the cashier you get to watch as your total goes down! Saving money is tons of fun! If you feel too stressed, find a coupon buddy. You can get together with your coupon buddy to plan shopping trips and/or go shopping together. You can help to take the load off of one another.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Write to Companies

"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Not true...if you do it constructively. There's a blog that I follow called The Cents'Able Shoppin. Since I've been following her (Sheryl is the name of the woman who runs the blog), I have learned to write to companies. They really like to know what consumers think! And this is another way that you can get coupons. Here are a few scenarios for you.

A few months back, I bought a box of Huggies diapers for our little guy. Usually we buy Luvs, but since I found a good price on Huggies I decided to give them a try. The diapers fit pretty well and didn't leak. The one downside is that once the diapers were thrown into the trash, the smell just built up and it was horrible. I NEVER had this problems with Luvs. I would throw the Luvs diapers in the trash and forget that they were there. So what did I do? I emailed Huggies and told them about the problem that I had. Do you know what they did? They sent me a $25 debit card and coupons to use on any Huggies products. I was able to give the diapers another chance (and I'm glad that I did) and Huggies had a happy consumer! I still buy their diapers because they showed me that they cared about my feelings. 

My little boy had a pretty messy diaper. I thought that I had all of the right distractions, but kids just do not want to sit still for long. While his diaper was unfastened, I had to wrestle with the Pampers wipes container. The wipes would not come out of the package. It was so frustrating (I laugh about it now) because at the end of it, poop was pretty much everywhere...all because of the way the wipes were arranged. I emailed Pampers and told them about my experience. I was nice, but expressed my frustrations. I told them that the wipes should have slid right out of the container, especially since the Pampers company preloaded them. Do you know what Pampers did? They sent me two coupons for free packages of wipes!

I have emailed companies to let them know that I love their products. I have emailed companies to ask them for coupons so that I can try out their product. (The worst they can do is say "no.") And there are those times when I have emailed companies to let them know that I'm not satisfied. They want to know how you feel! They really do! They want to know if their product is causing you to get poop everywhere. They want to know that their product isn't getting your dishes clean. Companies take this information and use it to improve. Chances are, if you are having a good (bad) experience, then someone else is, too.

Here are some things that I've been able to get for free because I wrote to companies:
WhoNu Cookies (They are so delicious, by the way)
Cascade dishwasher detergent
Pampers wipes
Huggies coupons
Burger King (I had to wait 15 minutes behind ONE car in the drive-thru. And I couldn't back up because there was only one way out and the way I had come was at an awkward angle. Once I got my product, I got home to realize that they had given me the wrong thing.)

You can also find coupons on the facebook page, as well as the official websites, of different companies. By going to those pages, I have gotten coupons for Indian pasta sauce, Italian sausage, Head and Shoulders shampoo, Ghiradelli chocolate, Planters peanut butter, waffles, and other things. Take 5 minutes out of your day and go write to one company. (Be sure to leave your name and address so that they know where to send coupons to!) If you ask for coupons and they say, "no," that's okay! Don't be discouraged. At least the company knows how you feel!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Swagbucking the New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Whoo hoo, it's 2013! Time seems to have flown by. Since it's a New Year, I decided to start afresh with Swagbucks. I cashed out the rest of my swagbucks, so now I'm sitting on $30 in Amazon gift cards. I also decided to get a $10 and a $5 Papa Johns gift card. Starting the new year with some free food! I can't say no to that! In 2012, I earned over 11,000 swagbucks and now I am here with 57 swagbucks in my account. I'm hoping to build it back up pretty fast. Here's my plan for the new year.

1. Daily Poll and NOSO: 3 swagbucks per day for 365 days = 1095 (If you've been doing the daily poll and NOSO since I've started blogging, you would have 102 swagbucks already!)

2. Swagbucks TV: Try to earn 3 swagbucks each week for 42 weeks = 126

3. Search: Try to earn at least 6 swagbucks each day = 2190

My hope is to earn at least 3,400 swagbucks for 2013! Who's with me? That's about $35 in Amazon gift cards or a $25 Applebee's, TGI Fridays, or Chili's gift card. It should be pretty easy to do. More free food!

Other ways to get you more swagbucks (and this is my husband's secret) is by meeting their daily goal. Here's what you need to do:
  • Go to the Swagbucks homepage.
  • On the right hand side of the page, you will see a box with a green outline. The box should be titled "My Daily Goal." If you meet the goal then you will get bonus swagbucks  Underneath the daily goal, it tells how you can get even more swagbucks by meeting the goal for 7, 14, 21 or 1 month straight. The bonus swagbucks are typically awarded on the following month. On some days the goal can be as low as 30. Other days it can be as high as 130.
How would you like to get swagbucks just for telling companies what you think of their product? It's a win-win for everyone. The way you get to the surveys is by going through the EARN tab and then clicking on TRUSTED SURVEYS. Sometimes you'll get disqualified for the survey, but you'll still get 1 swagbucks. The surveys vary in length and swagbuck amounts. Some of the surveys can be really fun! Others can be pretty dull and make you want to pull your hair out. It just depends!

There are so many options for earning money with Swagbucks. You just have to figure out which route you want to take. It can be a light load or it can be a heavy load. It's up to you. Right now, as a stay at home mom, I opt for moderation. I spend maybe an hour per week on it. I don't want to overwhelm myself, considering I'm also taking on other things (which I am so excited to tell you all about in the future). This experience is definitely what you make of it. And don't be afraid to go out and make that money! Whoo!

Disclosure: This post contains referral links. If you sign up for Swagbucks through my links, I will receive an incentive (when you earn swagbucks, I will earn that same amount).

Coupons 101 Lesson 3: Organization

Have you bought that Sunday paper yet? If you have, you might be wondering how in the world you'll keep all of those coupons organized. There are a few ways to do it.

Option 1: Cut out all the coupons that you think you will use. You can then divide them into categories (such as Hygiene, Baby, Canned Foods, etc), put the coupons into baseball card page protectors, and store in a binder. The page protectors look like this. The baseball card protectors will allow you to see what coupons you have in each insert.

Option 2 (This is the method that I use): When you purchase your newspapers, take the inserts out of them and write the date that the insert came out on the front cover. For example, this coupon insert on top came from the 9/29 newspaper, so I wrote 9/29 on the front cover of the insert. The reason this is so helpful is that many blogs list the coupon insert date and name when referring to the location for coupon. The blogger may say, "$5 off one Oral B coupon 9/29 P&G." This means that you will find that coupon in the 9/29 P&G.

I simply store all of my inserts in a container with the newest insert on top. I picked up this container for about $3 at Walmart. You could also use a box. It really doesn't have to be anything complex. After about 3 months, I recycle the coupon inserts that are at the bottom of bin (if the coupons are expired).

I also have an expanding check file that I use to store any loose coupons, such as ones that I print from online. I separate my coupons into categories: Personal Care, Baby, Meds, Cleaning, Paper Products, Beverages, Canned, Snacks, Frozen, Refrigerated, Boxed, and Other. Your categories could be totally different!

I have a smaller file that I use to sort my coupons by store. This makes my shopping easier. I can simply cut my coupons from the inserts and place in the tab for the store where I plan to use the coupon.

Option 3: Find something that works for you! The above methods aren't the only ones out there. They are just the one that I'm most familiar with. What may be easy for one person to do isn't necessarily the one true method for everyone.

Couponing is sooo much fun! It will seem a little overwhelming at first because it's a new way of doing things. Being a mom/dad/insert other job titles aren't easy, either, but you get out there and do it everyday. And sometimes with the couponing job, you get paid to save money! How awesome is that?!

Again, if you have ANY questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'm here to help make couponing an enjoyable experience for you!

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