Target Basics

Target is one of my favorite places to coupon because there are so many different savings offers that you can stack! For every item purchased, Target allows guests to combine:

  1. One manufacturer coupon (paper or Cartwheel digital);
  2. One Target coupon; and
  3. One Cartwheel offer.

You can save even more by using their REDcard, earning gift cards, and by using reusable bags!

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Cash Back Apps!

To make some coupon deals even sweeter, there are several apps that you can download that will give you cash back for certain items that you purchase. Most require you to upload a photo of your receipt, or link your store card (like Rite Aid’s Plenti Card), to take advantage of the rebate offers. With most of these apps you can cash out to your PayPal account, or opt to receive a Gift Card to select stores (like Starbucks, Amazon, or Best Buy). These are a few of my favorites:


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How does it work?
Prior to purchasing your items, choose items from the app’s offers and add them to your account. When you’re ready to get cash back for your purchase, hit the “Redeem” button, and upload a photo of your receipt.
When do I get paid? The best part about this app is that you won’t have to wait to cash out – it’ll be deposited into your PayPal account almost instantly!


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How does it work? Again, prior to purchasing items, you need to activate offers you want to redeem. Only a certain number of offers are available to all SavingStar users, so activate offers you’re very likely to use. Sometimes, the offers will disappear if the limit has been reached. After you’ve made your purchase, scan the product’s barcode to ensure that it qualifies for the offer. Upload your receipt and your savings will post to your account in a few days.
When do I get paid? You can cash out after you’ve redeemed $5 worth of offers.

Tip: I’ve come to realize that a lot of the RedPlum coupons align with SavingStar offers. Technically  you can’t redeem a SavingStar offer that you’ve used a coupon on, but I have yet to encounter a problem with double dipping. Shhh!

SavingStar is so unique, because for a limited time, they offer 100% cash back on certain items! For example, York Peppermint Patties were the 100% cash back offer… meaning I scored one COMPLETELY FREE!


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How does it work? Much like SavingStar, you select the rebate offers you’d like to redeem prior to making purchases. You’ll also have to scan the product’s barcode and upload a photo of the receipt. You’ll get cash back almost instantly, or within 24 hours.
When do I get paid? With Ibotta, you have to wait until you’ve redeemed $20 worth of offers, before you can cash out.

What’s cool about Ibotta is that you can join teams, and earn bonuses for completing different activities. Connect your Facebook account to your Ibotta account for the teammate bonuses!


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How does it work? This app is very similar to MobiSave, in that you don’t have to scan the product’s barcode to get credit for making a purchase. Simply star (or activate) the offers you want to redeem, and upload your receipt. New Checkout 51 offers appear every Thursday at 12:00 AM, and expire the following Wednesday at 11:59 PM.
When do I get paid? After you’ve reached $20 in redeemed offers, you can cash out.

 

The BEST way to organize coupons

After retiring my coupon binder, I decided not to get weekly inserts anymore. Now I only get inserts when I know a great deal is coming up, or a high value coupon is set to come out. My go-to nowadays are Internet Printable coupons (IPs). The only downfall I’ve come across with IPs is that they aren’t as high valued as weekly inserts; but sometimes an IP is released that wasn’t in an insert!

How I organize my IPs:

  • Print as needed. I’ve come to realize that clipping every available coupon is a waste. It is a waste of paper, time, and space. I only print the coupons I know I will most definitely use. Typically, you can print two of the same coupon per device – laptop, cell phone, iPad, etc.
  • Use a mini file folder. It’s so small and compact, that I can keep this in my purse at all times. Unlike the binder, it’s easier to maneuver a mini file folder while shopping and checking out.
  • Divide by store. With my deal already in mind, I’ll print however many coupons my deal scenario calls for. If my deal is at CVS, I’ll put all of the coupons for the deal in my CVS divider slot. I also keep store coupons in their respective divider too.

How I organize my weekly inserts:

  • Use a large file folder. I use a larger version file folder to store and organize my whole inserts. I can still carry this with me in a reusable grocery bag, and it is still much simpler than the bulky binder.
  • Divide by insert type and date. On the spine of all inserts, in very small print, will be the date of the insert. I’ll keep my SS 3/13 insert separate from my RP 3/13 inserts. If there are two of the same type of inserts in a week, I’ll number those #1 or #2.
  • Keep inserts whole. Only clip coupons from weekly inserts, as needed. If I find a deal on a deal match-up site, like Free Stuff Finder, I don’t have to flip through my binder to find where “x” coupon is. Most often, the weekly insert is mentioned in the deal, so I can go right to that insert and find what I need.

How do you store and organize your coupons? Do you think this method would work for you? Let me know in a comment below!

The Binder

Last year when I really started getting into couponing, I thought having a coupon binder was essential. After about three months of clipping coupons and maintaining my binder, I decided to stop.

What is the binder?

The coupon binder is simply a large 3-ring binder with dividers and baseball card sheets, used to sort coupons. I divided my binder into various categories in order to keep everything as organized as possible.

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Tips for Beginners

Be realistic. Yes, Extreme Couponing encouraged me to start clipping coupons, but that show is unrealistic! There is no possible way that you will checkout with a total before coupons over $500, and walk out of the store paying absolutely nothing.

Start your coupon journey by focusing on one or two stores. To make things easier, Coupons Over Cash focuses on CVS, Safeway, and Target deals, as I think these are the easiest for beginners. Each store is unique and provides different incentives, which helps make your Out of Pocket (OOP) less!

Know the store’s coupon policy. There have been multiple times when I’ve checked out at a store and the cashier didn’t know the store’s coupon policy. In these situations, it’s best to keep a printed copy in your coupon binder, or bookmark it on your phone.

Know the difference between “per transaction” and “per purchase.” At the bottom of most coupons, it will mention limit one per purchase or one per transactionOne per purchase refers to the purchase of an individual item. For example, you plan to purchase four tubes of Colgate toothpaste. If the Colgate coupon said limit one per purchase, you could use four coupons because you are purchasing four of the same item. One per transaction refers to the entirety of what you’re buying. Similarly, if you were buying four tubes of Colgate toothpaste, and the Colgate coupon said limit one per transaction, you could only use one coupon. An entire transaction consists of multiple purchases.

Keep your coupons organized. I have arranged my coupons MULTIPLE different ways. I started with the binder method, then switched to a “clip as needed” policy. Find what works best for you.

Buy only what the coupon states. If a coupon is for $2 off Lysol toilet bowl cleaner, don’t try to use it on Lysol disinfectant spray. Some dishonest couponers will try to do this and assume that because the coupon didn’t *beep* at the register, then it is okay. This is actually considered coupon misuse. What would be acceptable is if the coupon said $2 off ANY Lysol product.

Don’t be afraid to try new brands. I’ll admit, I used to be loyal to specific brands. I’m talking to you Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper. If an item is free (or extremely cheap), don’t be afraid to branch out. I mean, all brands of toilet paper do do the same thing, pun intended.

If you can’t use it or donate it, don’t buy it. All too often, some couponers will do a deal only because they have the coupons for that item, and never use what they bought. If you cannot use it, or donate it, it’ll just clutter your home.

Invest in a paper cutter. If you’re going to use a coupon binder, save yourself some time (and hand cramps) and get a paper cutter. You’ll thank me later.

Do you have any additional tips for beginners? If so, leave a comment below!