* This article is: Random useful information about saving money. Quick, simple bulleted lists. Easy for kids to read.
* This article is not: Lengthy. Long-winded. Technical.
* Related Articles here on RoyceBarber.Com: Stock Market Tips n Lingo. Buy Gold/Silver. Real Estate Lingo (do i have this?). Clothing Shopping Guide. Royce's Inventory/Expenses. Fresno CA Stores. Royce's Wants VS Needs.
Basic Uses for Couponing
* Everything you can think of.
* Hardware Store Tools.
* Restaurant Meals.
* Samples, Trials, Extended Trials.
* Anything a store carries!
Kinds of Coupons, Deals, Discounts, and Rebates
* Instant Rebate: No action necessary, your checkout price is reduced.
* Mail In Rebate: You must cut numerous parts off the product box, then very carefully fill out a possibly complex form, mail it in, and wait for a check to come in the mail.
* Activation Code: This is not a coupon. This is a code you pay for to activate or renew software.
* Coupon Code: This is a number you can copy from many coupon websites, and paste the number into your Internet shopping cart, reducing your checkout price. Many sites don't allow coupon codes. Often only one or two codes can be used.
* Email Coupon: Visit any website of a retail chain, and they'll have a free Email Subscription you can sign up for. Edit your preferences to only receive special deals. These email coupons are often better than any coupon you'll see on their website or in fliers.
* Website Coupon: Generally small deals or coupons for any particular day. Sometimes you can print off a coupon, or browse the stores weekly flier.
* Physical Store Flyer: A mini newspaper in many retail outlets which tells you about their weekly deals. Often having coupons you can cut out.
* Special Rates: Military Discount. Student Discount (often requires a university email address). Educator Discount. Senior Citizen Discount. Contractor Discount (many hardware stores have special low prices for contractors). Bulk Discount (if you buy hundreds of an item).
* Holiday Event Sales: The biggest savings happen during holidays such as Black Friday (around Thanksgiving), Christmas, New Years, Easter, Independence Day, and Memorial Day. Some physical store locations are closed on holidays.
* Normal Price Reduction “Sales”: When an item price is permanently reduced by the manufacturer due to product age or becoming obsolete, this is not a sale. Often stores lie about their sales.
* Store Brand Discount: Many retail chains have their own brand of lower-cost merchandise. Costco has Kirkland.
* Store Club Card Discount: Some stores allow you to swipe a Store branded club card. Some stores simply hole punch a sand-witch card, so you get a free item after so many sandwiches.
* Credit Card: Some cards give you cash back, when you buy a certain kind of product at the right time. Some stores have promotion deals with Banks to give extra savings at that store.
* Yard/Garage Sales, Block Sale, School Sale, or Church Sale: Generally open just one or two days, people sale off old items at extremely low prices. Often worn or not of much value. Can be good for restoring or repairing.
* Swap Meet and Craft Fair: Large community yard sales. Often one seller will be in charge of the items of numerous families. Sometimes stores show up with extra low rates or local handyman deals. Sometimes spreading multiple acres of land.
* Home Show: Local businesses have large booths, displaying their products and promotional Home Show offers. Handing out candy and free pens. This is a good place to spend time learning about a product first hand.
* Estate Sales:
* Home Auctions:
* Forclosed (Bank Owned) Home Auctions:
* GoodWill and Salvation Army:
* Food Stamps: Low income families are often given stamps that can be redeemed as consumable food.
* Scholarship: Students can sign up to be rewarded free education money from the state, government, and other programs. Sometimes these prizes can be quite large. Often students overlook scholarships, thinking they wont get it. If you sign up enough times, often you have a good chance. Signing up just once may not do it.
* Dollar Tree, Dollar Store, 99 Cents Store: Exceptionally low cost retail chains charging just $1.00 USD.
* Tax discounts for families with adopted children:
* Tax discounts for families with children:
* Money for single parents: (I'm not very familiar with this one). The parent who does not have custody (guardian-ship), must pay a fee to the parent with custody who takes care of the child.
* Amazon Prime Membership Sharing: It's $79.00 for a year, but you can easily share it with four people. So you can split the cost with them, or let them use it free. Amazon Prime Membership gives you free two-day shipping on a lot of Amazon.Com's merchandise. Click on “Your Account”, Settings, Manage, then enter email addresses of up to 4 willing friends anywhere in the US (or further..?) If you rarely use Amazon, don't bother.
* Amazon Prime Student: Many college students have reported they get Prime shipping for free. There are all kinds of student discounts out there.
Danger and Safe Paranoia
* Fake Sales: Some sales are simply permanent price markdowns.
* Expired Items: Food expires. Coupons expire. Old electronics can expire. Old software can expire.
* Software Scams: Some software is illegally pirated. Some has used or expired activation codes.
* Slave labor: Many companies mistreat their employees, and some abuse them.
* as always, LOCK your car doors, at ALL times. ZERO EXCEPTION. People will steal your wallet in a heart beat by ANY means possible. stolen wallet means you get dinged on your credit score. use common sense.
* Fraud and ID Theft: Check your online bank site frequently for scams and double charges. your bank lets you see it all online. Report All Fraud Immediately: Some services, such as Turbo Tax online, can have tricky or misleading advertisements, costing you much more than it claimed. Report these to the BBB Website.
* Donation Fraud: Some charities and organizations aren't who they say they are. Even those who are, may have misleading practices. Donating is good, but be aware who you're donating to. Even big organizations have donated to the wrong place. Churches do this too.
* Junk Mail: Every online store you sign up for, will send you junk mail. Disable as much of this as you can from the store website. Only enable special deals (coupons).
Couponing in the Media
* Most major news networks give standard Black Friday Buying Tips. This is the day after Thanksgiving.
* Watch Extreme Couponing. It's a TV show about stockpiling food for nearly free. It's not reality based, but it's fun.
* Royce's Favorite Coupon Sites:
* Secondary Coupon Sites:
* Coupon Services: I've heard there are companies that allow you to buy bulk newspapers, or just the coupon section of the papers.
* Buy Coupons: Sometimes you can buy a coupon which saves you more than the cost of the coupon. Sometimes you can buy a pack of coupons.
* Email Subscriptions often have better coupons than just looking at the website. Michael's Art store has great email coupons.
* Long term: Buy at 50% off.
* Coupons CAN be stacked (combined) at most stores. ASK. this is why the coupons are created, so you'll take FULL advantage of them. don't take no for an answer.
Shopping at Physical Store Locations
* Be careful of opened boxes. Look inside it.
* CALL before going in. just be quick on the phone and very articulate. their time is valuable as is yours.
* Money Savings Monster Books: Communities can sign up to be included in a mega coupon book. For one low price, you'll instantly get hundreds of long-lasting small-coupons for your local businesses. Large towns have multiple monster savings books.
General Buying Tips (mainly unsorted)
* Guessing is bad: When in Doubt: Don't buy. Don't impulse buy. Research carefully online. Ask around. Ask mentors.
* Shoe sizes vary, so buying online might not fit. Same with pants.
* Mail-In-Rebates can be tricky, and must be followed perfectly, and often still will NOT show up. Each system has different perverse elements to it.
* Reviews: Find ten reviews or more, which agree with each other, discussing the product in question. Look up the sellers ratings and number of sold items.
* Be Practical and Functional: Buy what can be used, rather than wasting and spending sprees. This greatly reduces our land fills.
* Buying for others: Discuss with everyone what they could really use. Spend according to need. Random guesses at Christmas presents only cause stress. Surprising people alarms them, making them non-receptive.
* Many More Sales: Any sale you find now, you can most likely see a similar sale on all the other holidays, like thanksgiving/new year/Christmas.
* Used: Most items are perfectly fine used. Craigslist, ebay, overstock, and in-person bulletin boards.
* Industrial: Buy what will last ten years.
* Local Economy: Items made in your town, county, state, and country, will support your friends and loved ones.
* if you're going to burn money on a computer, PLEASE ask me FIRST. most computers are GARBAGE. ensure it has windows7 Home Premium, 4gb ram, at least 400gb hard drive, with a REAL (not shared) graphics card, a 15inch screen, GREAT warranty, and from a trusted company like dell or HP. personally i only buy laptops from dell, and printers from HP.
* dont believe what you read. ask at least three people who know what they are talking about.
* many sales are over quickly, but new ones pop up the next day.
* Bens bargains is rambling something about, “Recycle your Printer at an OfficeMax store, and save up to $50 on a new Printer.” Personally, the printers shouldn't have to cost you over $60.00 for an amazing one. it's the Ink that will kill you, so get it refilled at COSTCO for seven bucks, every day of the year if you like. use a friends costco card, if it's even needed.
* often holiday online sales take a few hours to get into full motion. staying up until 1am like i do is not a good idea. get up at like 4am earliest.
* holiday sales are not everywhere. some stores are CLOSED on holidays. sometimes their website may mention that.
* the TV show Extreme Couponing, is cool, but i have doubts about how realistic it is. you're NOT going to make 400 bucks by buying 4,000 boxes of cereal. if you do, the store may be very upset with you.
* for those with no credit card, get one, for the one reason of managing your credit score. just don't misuse it. don't use it all, other than for huge purchases, and then hide it away, or shred that sucker if you can get away with that. i just use a debit card. some say credit cards are safer for online purchases, though, because of more credit insurance. i'll look into that.
* over 70% of things people buy, get thrown out within five years. i forget who told me that. i think it was jeannette actually, or maybe cindy.
* Lowes hardware store has nice coupons they email you if you sign up. not so much home depot.
* use cash if you're at store which could be shady. don't give them your credit card nor pin.
* Write Lists: Usual Shopping Items. Home pantry/kitchen/garage inventory. Subscriptions and reoccurring expenses. Budget. Wants vs Needs. Long term investing in industrial items. Money investments.
* Subscriptions & Reoccurring Expenses (Be it annually or monthly): Cell phones. Groceries. Satellite/Cable TV. Internet. Netflix Internet TV. Car Gas. Unexpected fees and bills. Car oil/fluids change. Car registration and smogging. Taxes.
* When you get a product in the mail, fully test it, so you have time to return defects.
* Make a quadruple batch of a casserole. With different flavors, if you're creative. Cram it in the deep-freeze.
* Plan your meals around your grocery store’s flyer. Knowing not all item sales work out.
* Cancel all unused club memberships. Never pay for what you don't need.
* Buy cards and gifts months in advance, and keep it simple, so you have no time crunch.
* Generic store brands are almost always cheapest.
* The Dollar Tree has most the cleaning and office supplies, and holiday decorations, I could ever want. I buy there in bulk.
* Keep track of free community events, write them on your Office Depot poster calendar. Find your community calendars on Facebook groups for your town, Google, and community newsletters inside local businesses.
* Cerial for breakfast may not be glamorous, but it's logical. I keep a box of granola cereal by my bed, munching as I read the morning news.
* Consolidate your student loans.
* Buy almost everything used, when it makes sense. Some GoodWill locations are amazing.
* Learn about ALL perks/benefits of your company, school, AAA card, credit card, and more.
* Make sure all your electrical devices are on a surge protector. Vastly prolonging the internal components. Protecting from power spikes, bad electricity, and storms.
* Ditch your satellite TV. You don't need it.
* Keep track of your online banking, making sure you aren't double charged.
* Bring lunch to work. Eat before eating out.
* Never ever, for any reason, miss a credit card payment. This is an extreme, concrete, fact of life.
* Use a medium to low data plan on your smartphone. Very few people use over 5GB of data per month.
* Pay off items quickly or all at once. Save money before buying the car. Payment interest adds up fast.
* A car newer than 2 years old, will be expensive. Over 10 years old, means the parts are all 3rd party, and the car breaks down easily.
Michael's Craft Store, Coupon Rules
* You may combine three coupons (maybe more?) of different kinds.
* Your coupons must have the same date, or have overlapping dates.
* Places to get coupons: 1.) Email Mailing List. 2.) Michaels Website. 3.) Sunday Newspaper. 4.) Top of many Michaels Reciepts.
* Michaels and JoAnne's coupons are interchangeable.
* Sometimes an employee will let you use coupons in non-official ways, like two of the same coupon, but this is rare.
* The store prints coupons to promote business. They desire you to use the coupons. Don't be shy to combine them.
Shopping Major Chain Stores, Outlets: (There are many online lists at RetailMeNot, Coupons.Com, bargainez.com, etc).
Car Purchasing: See Automobiles Section
Barns & Nobles
Computer & Gadget Manufacturers:
itunes audio store
Online Shopping Tools & Helpers:
Online Clothing Shopping:
Shopping Coupons, Rebates, & Discounts:
Deal Site 1: cheapstingybargains
Deal Site 2: bens bargains
Deal Site 3: edealinfo
Deal Site 4: craigslist
Deal Site 5: half.ebay
Deal Site 6: newegg
Deal Site 7: zipzoomfly
Deal Site 8: monoprice
Price Watcher Site 1: pricewatch
Price Watcher Site 2: merchanthound
Price Watcher Site 3: priceprotectr
Price Watcher Site 4:
Price Watcher Site 5:
Price Watcher Site 6:
Price Watcher Site 7:
Price Watcher Site 8: Google Product Search
Google life/money tips:
Money tips: http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/starting/archive/2009/st0722.htm
Free Wifi Finder: WiFiFreeSpot.com
Free Items: Freecycle
Retail Chain: DollarStore
Retail Chain: 99 Cent Store
Retail Chain: GoodWill
Free Google Services: http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/
bargainez.com Printable Coupons & Codes
http://www.cheapstingybargains.com/ (i go here daily, along with bens bargains).
http://www.goodwillbooks.com (look up a cool book on amazon, then buy it here. and PLEASE send them your good books for free. these are good people.)
http://www.bargainez.com/printable-coupons/ (this is a new one to me).
Harbor Freight Tools
* Extreme Couponing TV show.
* Holiday Coupon Tracking websites.
Notes to Sort
* Honey, Amazon Price Checker, and other extensions for Google Chrome which automatically provide online coupon codes.