Monday, August 15, 2011

Extreme Couponing Lite, Part V: Coupons, Coupons, and More Coupons!

So I realize that the lag between part IV and part V of my Extreme Couponing Series is about 2 months long, but I’ve been so busy posting amazing deals and recipes that I haven’t had much time to add on to the series! 
I’d love to share with you some new and different ways to find and use coupons.  Warning: some of these tips may be unconventional, a little out there, or even plain old silly.  Here’s the thing, though: I would never endorse something I haven’t tried, and, for better or worse, I’ve tried all of these ideas, with varying levels of success. 
1. Coupon Swap -- Coupon swapping is one of my favorite ways to score deals and find high-value coupons.  The idea is the same as bartering, except you are exchanging coupons, either coupon codes which can be sent by email or actual coupons sent by mail. In the past I’ve done all my swapping on TheBump, which is an online family forum. In the past I’ve swapped formula checks and printable coupons (like this one) for Silk Soy milk coupons, Kashi coupons, and even $5 Amazon gift cards! The best part is, it’s absolutely free to participate, and you are getting coupons and discounts by getting rid of coupons you won’t use! Another swapping site is AFullCup.com, which I have visited but haven’t used yet. 

2. Recyclebank -- Recyclebank is a website that awards user points in exchange for taking quizzes, playing games, and completing different recycling tasks.  When you’ve earned enough points, you turn them in for high-value coupons on various items -- my favorite so far has been the $2/1 Kashi coupon, but you can also qualify for 1 FREE Happy Baby product as well.  It’s super-easy to get points. To sign up for Recyclebank, go here.  

All You (1-year auto-renewal)3. All You Magazine -- I just ordered All You Magazine, and I can’t believe I waited so long to subscribe.  As a magazine, it’s fairly typical, with recipes, health and beauty tips, and articles about family.   The best part about All You, though, is the amazing high-value coupons that are in every single issue. All these coupons can, of course, be combined with store coupons and sales to get the lowest prices possible. All You costs $1.66 an issue (or $19.99/year), which is more than I usually spend for a magazine, but the coupon savings in just one issue MORE than make up for the cost.  I got my August All You about 2 weeks ago, and these are a few of the coupons I found inside:
$2 off Nivea Body Wash
$.50 off Nature’s Path Cereal
$1 off Sally Hansen Salon Effects
$1 off Dove Hair Care
$3 off Sally Hansen Beauty Tool purchase of $5 or more
$2 off Neutrogena Cosmetics

4. Write to the Company -- This is a little more time-consuming, but usually extremely effective in obtaining high value coupons and samples of your favorite products.  I’ve posted before how I emailed Dr. Bronner’s and obtained several samples and coupons for their products.

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