Friday, December 31, 2010

Oh My, Majority of All my Coupons are Expiring. One Last Deal in 2010.

Note: Its still time left for the last free items in 2010.
Happy Couponing.

Coupons @ Kroger

Free: V8 Fusion with Coupon

Reminder: Houston Celebrating The New Year

Received the free $30 Gift Card from Office Depot for Playing Their Game.

Earn Your 60 Swagbucks Today for Signing up. Wow! Playa: Living as a Mom Won $340 giftcards this year.

Search & Win
click the image 

Used code JoinIn2010 for all new members to get your first 60 Swagbucks. 

Note: I earned $85 in giftcards this year. I used the search engine three times a day and take the daily poll. So thats pretty good for about 3 minutes a day.

Mail Call from Playa: The Magic of Coupons

Playa: The Magic of Coupon$

Note* Too tired to open the mail. I ran into some Playa-Hataz today.  ex. I went to HEB to use my last 4 Sierra Mist coupons. This guy that was in front of the sodas said he was one of the manages.??? He told me he could go to the back to get some Sierra Mist for me but I couldn't use my $1 coupon because I would be getting it free and you just can't get things free with coupons he said to me in a sincere look. Then he told me that he would to be a favorite and let me used the $1 coupon on the regular price $1.69 instead of the sale price $.87. He said I would be paying only $.69 for it. No thank you, I respond but we will be having this conversation again in future. I was just to tried for a coupon lesson today. (lol) All I wanted to know  from the cashier was "were there any Sierra Mist in the back so I can used my coupon" He asked to see my coupon and took it the manager. Well you know the rest (lol)

Another example, I went to McDonald to used their coupons. When I went to pay for the orders, I gave the guy at window my 2 coupons (3 people in the car) he informed me there is a limit of one coupon per car. So I said we will come inside to pay. He said the inside lobby in closed it was 9:45pm. Ok he just saved me $8.

Just one of those days.

Happy Couponing.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Coupon Redemptionon by Playa: Southern Savers

 Coupon Redemptionon

 I get a lot of comments and questions every week asking if the stores are going to get reimbursed for a certain coupon or if they will lose money on a deal. It is also becoming a peeve of mine to see people say that we should not get free items because we are going make them stop issuing coupons. So, I decided to give us all a crash course in how coupons are redeemed by the store.

The Life Cycle of a coupon:

1. The manufacturer decides to run a coupon program and sends the coupon to a design agency that handles coupons.

2. You acquire the coupon through the paper etc.

3. You use the coupon, the store takes the coupon

4. The cashier adds up her coupons and cash to make sure the drawer balance.

5. The coupons are then bagged by the store and sent to the corporate office where all the coupons from all the stores are put into a bigger bag and sent to a big clearing house. Publix and Kroger use one overseas… (note some stores do this in house)

6. The clearing house puts all the coupons that are in good condition on a big conveyor belt and they are scanned, then an automated process sorts them by manufacturer and prepares an invoice for the manufacturer.

7. They are mailed from the clearing house to the manufacturer for reimbursement.

8. The manufacturer receives the coupons and an invoice stating how many are there (think thousands). They then pay the bill. Some will recount to check for clearing house fraud and then pay the bill.

**The stores have on average 6 months past the expiration date to submit a coupon to the manufacturer – while you should not plan to use expired coupons unless allowed do not fret, they will still get their money**

How the stores get their money:

They can be paid directly by the clearing house – then the clearing house gets reimbursed from the manufacturer

They can pay a handling fee to the clearinghouse and they get a check from the manufacturer

Reimbursement also includes .08¢ per coupon to cover handling fees and the manufacturer’s reimburse postage costs!

Now for the details we care about:

If the coupon scans in the store odds are it will also scan in the big clearing house’s automated machine – thus the store should get reimbursed.

If the coupon doesn’t scan, is damaged etc. it is labeled “hard to handle” and is hand processed. If it is the coupons fault (poor design, bad barcode etc.) the grocer can then charge the manufacturer a higher handling fee!

The store does not have to submit any information about what you purchased with the coupon. Therefore if you use a Prego coupon on Pepperidge Farm Toast (because the cashier told you too) the manufacturer will only care/notice if Publix submitted more Prego coupons than the amount of Prego they purchased. Since Publix purchases thousands of jars of Prego per year the odds they would have more coupons than product are pretty slim.

When does the store “lose” money?

Some Manufacturers have poor practices with redemption that has nothing to do with the consumer, claiming falsely that coupons are not eligible for one reason or another.

Copies/fraudulent coupons- After a coupon goes through the clearing house and is sent to the manufacturer the manufacturer can still deny the coupon. Internet printables that have unique numbers (coupons.com or smartsource) make it easy for the manufacturer to spot fraud. If a coupon does not have a unique number or security code then the manufacturer will usually accept the coupon (within reason – bad copies even a cashier should catch). Why? Because the store’s corporate office has a chance to challenge any denial and if the manufacturer cannot prove fraudulent use then the store will win the challenge.

Again remember you are talking about thousands of coupons from each store. Don’t think they are sitting around analyzing them (unless they are one of the bad companies which will falsely deny them anyway).

Store coupons:

These are processed in house. First, most people assume these coupons are the store being nice and just giving you money off an item… let’s think about that. This is a business guys, it’s not about being nice.

Stores are reimbursed for “store coupons” through various options:

The manufacturer can pay an advertising fee to place their product or coupon in the store flyer

The manufacturer can work out a discounted deal for X product, the store then decides instead of making the product the discounted price for everyone, to require customers to submit a coupon to get that price. This is the best plan overall, most shoppers would not care or know about the coupon so they only have to sell the product at the discounted price to a small percentage of shoppers. Therefore they make money on the other shoppers.

Fake Example (profit widely inflated): Fresh Express Bagged Salad gives Publix a discounted rate of $1 per bag for 500 bags. Publix decides to sell the bag for $3 and to put a coupon in the flyer for $2 off.

100 customers buy the salad with a coupon

400 customers buy the salad without a coupon ($2 profit per bag for Publix)

In the end: Publix gave 100 customers the salad without making any profit, however overall they made $800 off the deal.

Lastly the store can have a special reimbursement policy with the manufacturer for the store coupons. So they are handled like actual manufacturer coupons above.

The only time they are not getting reimbursed for these coupons in some way is if it is for a house brand item. Keep in mind those are the items they make the most money on so they still aren’t out anything.

In closing: I hope that gives you some idea of how coupons are handled. The intention of this post is not to encourage improper use of coupons only to make some realize that the use of coupons puts money back in the pockets of grocery store. We are not taking these stores to the cleaners. They are doing just fine. About 10% of American’s shop with coupons (effectively), they get their money back from us through reimbursement programs. 90% of Americans pay through the nose for groceries and they keep the profit always growing for these stores. While profit numbers for 2008 are not out yet, for 2007 Kroger had net profit of $1.18 billion up 15% from 2006, and Publix had a net profit of $1.2 billion for 2007 up 7.9% from 2006.

$107.41 saved paid (oop) $.45 from Playa: Saving A Bundle

What is a Playa?
Playa: Saving a Bundle
oop $.45

Who uses coupons most and least, and why by Tom Barlow - Don't let the disregard of a clerk cheat you out of the savings.

Who uses coupons? You might think that the most cash-strapped among us would use them most, but studies have shown that upper-income whites make far greater use of them than members of minorities of all income levels. A recent study published in the Journal of Retailing provides some interesting answers as to why the most needy are not the most frequent users.

One surprising finding of the study conducted by Anne M. Brumbaugh of the College of Charleston and and Jose Antonio Rosa of the University of Wyoming was the degree to which the attitude of the checkout clerk can determine our willingness to use coupons.

A clerk's conscious or subconscious negative cues (deep sighs, rolled eyes, terse movements) are enough to discourage all but the most confident from using coupons.

 On the other hand, a clerk who implies that the customer is shrewd and admirably frugal can inspire the customer to use coupons more often.

 (Here I have to admit that in the past I've been one of those discouraging factors, frowning and tapping my foot when the person ahead of me in the checkout line pulls out a wad of unsorted coupons.)

I recently took a $1 off of New York Style Bagel Crisps coupon to my local grocer to get a read on the clerk's reaction. My checkout person took and scanned it without giving off any cues one way or the other about how he felt about my using coupons. Was the study wrong? Of course, I'm a white middle-class boomer male, the least likely group to receive a scowl because we're most likely to be a golfing buddy of the store manager. Also, one coupon is not as burdensome as a fistful of them, especially if the customer has to dig them out of his/her coupon wallet while other customers wait in line.

The study also investigated the reason behind previous study findings that even more affluent members of racial minorities don't often use coupons. They cited a study that found "the consistently higher levels of poor service experienced by high socioeconomic status black and high acculturation Latino consumers reduced coupon use by both decreasing their confidence and increasing their embarrassment over coupon use." More affluent white stay-at-home moms and dads, on the other hand, "have incorporated the judicious use of coupons into the image of what stay-at-home spouses should do."

The key finding? Well-to-do white shoppers are confident enough in their affluence that they are not threatened by the attitude of clerks. Those who struggle to keep their financial footing, on the other hand, are very sensitive to the criticism they often receive at the checkout counter, and therefore unwilling to use the coupons they see as symbols of their financial plight.

Coupons are a time-tested strategy for building business, but this study suggests that a store that prints coupons but does not train its staff to treat users as valued, admired customers is shooting itself in the foot. The next time a clerk looks down his/her nose at you when you pull out a coupon, recognize them for the fool they are, and keep on clipping. Don't let the disregard of a clerk cheat you out of the savings.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Gift to All my Readers. Thanks and Have A Happy Happy Holiday.

Christmas Ideals - for the Pizza Lover

Sneak Preview - TLC's EXTREME COUPONING: - Obssesive Compulsive Disorder - I THINK NOT

Note* I didn't appreciate the negative remarks made about couponers. When does saving money to be able to feed and clothe your family in a recession constitute as a obssesive compulsive disorder.

Unless you coupon, you would not know the accomplishment of acquiring 3000 rolls of toilet paper.

TLC's Extreme Couponing: Meeting the Playaz

Meet the Playaz of TLC's EXTREME COUPONING:

Nathan Engels - Villa Hills, KY - Cartographer
Nathan started clipping coupons four years ago when he and his wife took a closer look at their finances. Now, debt free with more than 10,000 items stockpiled in his garage, Nathan is preparing for the biggest haul of his life. On his latest visit to the supermarket, Nathan is leaving with over 2,000 items - his most massive checkout to date. With 1,100 boxes of cereal, 300 toothbrushes and 60 bottles of hand soap, Nathan is looking forward to topping himself and saving thousands of dollars in the process!
Retail value: $5,743.00 Nathan's cost after utilizing his coupons: $241.00 - 95% savings!

Joanie Demer - McKinleyville, CA - Stay at home mom
For Joanie, clipping coupons started out as a hobby three years ago. But just three months in, she quickly discovered the financial gratitude associated with smart shopping. Now, Joanie is known as "The Krazy Coupon Lady" and to satisfy her daily coupon cravings this stay-at-home mom collects more than 500 coupons each week by doing something most women won't do - she jumps in dumpsters! During her latest trip to the supermarket, she fills four carts full of 250 items including 40 boxes of pasta and 20 liters of soda.
Retail value: $638.64. Joanie's cost after utilizing her coupons: $2.64 - 98% savings!

Joyce House - Philadelphia, PA - Retired Nurse
Through careful planning and smart shopping, Joyce hasn't paid for a toothbrush, toothpaste or deodorant in 34 years. The savvy saver has been on her own since the age of 12 and at 15, was a single mother using coupons out of necessity. On her latest trip to the supermarket, Joyce brings along her daughter to teach her the basics of extreme couponing and ends up walking out of the store with hundreds of dollars in savings.
Retail value: $230.38. Joyce's cost after utilizing her coupons: $6.32.

Amanda Ostrowski - Cincinnati, OH - Storage Facility Manager
Amanda is a full-time Storage Facility Manger in Cincinnati, OH who spends up to 70 hours a week researching in-store promotions, clipping coupons and surfing the internet for the latest and greatest deals. She already has a stockpile of products from previous couponing ventures worth up to $15,000. But this extreme saver is most proud of her collection of toilet paper - over 3,000 rolls - enough to last the average couple about 40 years! Now, with the help of her husband, Amanda is preparing for her largest checkout ever consisting of nine baskets of food, beauty and pet products including 218 boxes of pasta, 268 containers of noodles, 100 bottles of sport drink and 150 candy bars.
Retail value: $1,175.33. Amanda's cost after utilizing her coupons: $51.67.

EXTREME COUPONING is produced for TLC by Sharp Entertainment, LLC.

TLC's Extreme Couponer Playa: MrCoupon (We Use Coupons)

TLC's Extreme Couponer Playa: TheKrazyCouponLady ( Heather Wheeler, Joanie Demer are brains behind it)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas



Friday, December 24, 2010

Free: Binoculars @ J C Penney

This is what I got free with the coupon a non-couponer left.
Thanks, for leaving the coupon.

Paid (oop) $2.03 @ Krogers from Playa: Stockpiling Moms

What is a Playa?
Playa: Stockpiling Moms
oop $2.03

Walgreens: SNEAK PEEK of our Next Weekly Ad. Look forward to saving!

Coupon @ HEB

3 Swag Bucks down 2 to go for the 50

$21.65 paid (oop) $0 @ Walmart

What is a Playa?
view transaction
Playa: The Magic of Coupon$
oop $0

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Win 50 Swag Bucks - Holiday-themed Collector's Bills

The time has come: Holiday-themed Collector's Bills are here! There are 5 different designs of collector's bills, and you can win them all randomly through search.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Whataburger 12 Days - Free Whataburger

Christmas Idea for the Gamer/Entertainer - Nintendo Wii

FYI: Coupon Playaz Watch Your Receipt Very Carefully at Gerland's

Note: Five times in a row Gerland's has over charged me between $3 - $5.  Also, the shelf price and the price that ring up are different. Yesterday, I took my paper and pen with me to make sure I knew what the total was suppose to be when I check out. And again I was over charged. It took 30 minutes for them to figure out that they had missed coupons, one item was priced $2 over the shelf price and another was $.49  over the shelf price. This is happening too often.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Free Crackers @ Randalls $15 paid (oop) $0 free

What is a Playa?
view transaction
Playa: The Magic of Coupon$
oop $0

Wow!!! Just Won 21 Swagbucks

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Ideal for the Gift Basket Lover @ Sam's Club

This basket is $99 at Sam's Club. I tried to buy all the items and make a basket this size cheaper but I couldn't. The cavier alone in the basket is $26. I couldn't find a basket this size cheaper than $15. So I just purchased this one. It comes out to about $1.25 per item excluding the basket, bow, and wrapping and its already beautifully made.

Lego Gift Cards @ Target

Note* If you purchase these gift cards may sure you let the child know its a gift card. I don't know why they made the container of the legos the gift card. I think I'm going to use this lego  box card to purchase another gift card and just use the legos as a stocking stuffer gift.

Rite Aid Shopping 12/18 – $6.33 Profit From Playa: I'm a Money Magnet

What is a Playa?
Playa: I'm a Money Magnet
oop -$6.33

Coffeemate $.46 w/coupon @ Target

Whataburger 12 Days - Free Shake

It Doesn't Matter how Hot the Fries Are - If they are cooked in old Grease. Even if They Are Free. They are AWFUL!!!!

Note: Whataburger should have cleaned the gease before the Free French Fries special not after so the fries would  tasted good.