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Aahhhhhh, friendship Friday. I love Friday’s. I asked the amazing and precious Tonya to guest post for us today. And I think you’re going to love it. So without any further ado, meet Tonya…

Many would call me an Extreme Couponer, but by the show’s standards, I don’t measure up. How do people get 276 boxes of Meow Mix? Well, there’s a group of people called Coupon Clippers. They get as many coupons inserts as they can, mostly from newspapers, clip the coupons and sell them to others. This is illegal, by the way.

 I get the most I can with the resources God has given me. How? Well, after three years of, let’s call it Committed Couponing, and a savings of over three mortgage payments, here are some of the things I do.

 Coupons

    • Most coupons will be found in the Sunday newspaper. I get three of them. I also have lots of awesome friends who give me their coupons.
    • I’m a wife, mother of two, a full-time Children’s Minister. I’m busy and don’t have time to search through the sale ads and match up coupons for the best deals. CouponSense.com does all that for me. Each week is assigned a letter, and each coupon has a letter. They post the deals on their website, I pick the items I want, and they tell me where to find the coupons.
    • Couponsurfer.com, Coupons.com, and Redplum.com are some great websites. Company websites and Facebook are other great ways to find coupons.
    • Stack manufacturers coupons with store coupons. Walgreens, Target, and CVS are just a few of the stores that offer store coupons. These coupons can be “stacked” with manufacturer’s coupons to multiply your savings. For example, let’s say Walgreen’s has Swanson’s Broth on sale for 60 cents and you have a 25 cent manufacturer’s coupon. You can stack the two and get broth for 35 cents. If you have multiple manufacturers coupons, you can get more!
    • Build a stockpile to lower your price point. A lot of people don’t understand the wisdom behind this, so let me explain. Let’s use toothbrushes as an example. Let’s say Fry’s/Kroger has Oral B toothbrushes on sale for $1.00. You have $1.00 coupon, making them free. Typically, without a stockpile, you would get one free toothbrush. When it’s time to replace it, how much will you pay? $3.00, give or take. However, if you had three $1.00 off coupons when toothbrushes were on sale for $1.00, you would have one to use immediately and two for your stockpile. When you need another toothbrush, how much will you pay? Nothing because you have a stockpile of two that you got for free. I can’t remember the last time I paid for toothbrushes or toothpaste. I will warn you that if you’re consistent with this plan, you’ll run out of room for them. At that point, I donate them to Operation Christmas Child or local charities.
  • MyPoints.com
    • Making an online purchase? Go through Mypoints.com and earn points toward free gift cards. I’ve earned enough points to get gifts cards for dining and fuel, but they also have gifts cards for retail stores, travel, Amazon, etc. Mypoints.com also offers promotions and club memberships. This is where the big points come in. They are currently offering 2000 points when you sign up for Netflix. That’s enough to earn a $10 gift card that can be used for Macaroni Grill, On the Border or Maggiano’s. If that doesn’t interest you, you can earn a $25 gift card to Amazon when you earn another 1950 points.
    • Earn more points by completing surveys and participating in campaigns through Bzzagent.com. When you initially sign up, they’ll ask you to complete surveys so they understand your interests. Then, they send you more surveys that fit your lifestyle. They also invite you to join campaigns which involve trying a product for free, sharing it with others, and “buzzing” back to them about your experience and the feedback received from others. These do require commitment. I epically failed at a cookie campaign, but I excelled at an anti-aging cream campaign. In one of my surveys, I shared that I have neck issues. Through Bzzagent, a company asked me to try out a Mediflow Waterbase Pillow. All I had to do was use the pillow for 30 days, and mail a questionnaire back to them. I got to keep the pillow. It’s $34.95 on Amazon right now, but I would pay $100 for it. J
  •  Freeze produce when it’s in season to get the best deal all year long! Frozen fruit is great for smoothies. Flash freeze veggies to use all year in salsa, casseroles, hummus, or just warmed up and seasoned. FaithfulProvisions.com has instructions for flash freezing as well as recipes.
  • Speaking of Faithful Provisions, Kelly Hancock, the founder, wrote a book called Saving Savvy (there’s another book called Savvy Savings – don’t confuse them). She has many suggestions for making nutritious meals on a budget. Her motto is Save Money. Live Generously. I like that.

How many of you read this post and decided to run out and buy 3 newspapers? And check out every website. And you’re pretty convinced you’ll never pay a dime for groceries again. Because I did. Make sure you click on all the links to the websites, they all have fabulous resources and tips to get you started on your couponing journey. I’m off to sign up for mypoints.com…

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