Friday, June 3, 2011

Get Ready - New Bar Codes - Coming Soon

There are 2 main type of bar-code couponing - store and manufacturer. One of the main differences is the number of bar codes.  Store coupons had 1 bar code (and sometimes no bar codes) while manufacturer coupons had 2 bar codes:

There is a problem with the bar codes on manufacturer coupons. The traditional bar code looked like a UPC symbol.  It can only be link directly to general products or a compay, not an individual product.

For instance, I had a coupon for Raid Ant and Roach products. I bought Raid Ant traps, which techincally should not allow the coupon to work. I handed the coupon to the cashier, and the register was able to process the coupon with no problems.

Manufacturers and stores have a problem at this point because coupons are being used outside of their intention.  The manufacturer will not pay the store back for the product if the coupon is being used incorrectly, causing stores to potentially loose money.

The Solution -
If you pay close attention to your coupons you may have noticed a new kind of bar code.
The new bar code allows the coupon to be linked directly to the individual product. It will also allow details to be coded to the coupon, such as expiration dates and product sizes.

This will greatly decrease the amount of coupon fraud. Currently the old and the new bar code are both on manufacturer coupons to allow stores a period to update their scanning systems.  However starting in July, the industry is officially moving to honor the new bar code.

This means the appearance of your manufacturer coupons will change.  You’ll start seeing only the new bar code on them. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Coupon Wording and Acronyms

Hi Sassy Spenders!
Just wanted to do a quick post of some useful verbage used when couponing! When you are using different couponing websites you may come across some of these terms, so now you know what they mean.

SS: SmartSource Insert
RP: RedPlum Insert
P&G: Procter & Gamble insert
Mfg: Manufacture coupon
psa: Prices Start At
B1G1/BOGO: Buy1, Get 1 Free
BOGO 50%: Buy 1 Get 1 50% off
WYB: When you buy
MIR: Mail in rebate
OOP: Out of pocket
$1/2: $1 off of 2 items
ECB: Extra Care Bucks from CVS
PP: Price plus from ShopRite
Wags: Walgreens
RR: Register rewards (wags)
CAT: Catalina
IP: Internet printed coupon
MM: Moneymaker
OYNO: On your next order
SCR: Single check rebate (RiteAid)
UPC: Universal Product Code
DND: Do Not Double

Catalina: They are coupons that print out at the register after your sale is complete. It is a separate machine that is just for printing out coupons or dollars off.
Blinkie: Red Smart Source machines found in most stores
Tearpad: Coupon pads located in stores to promote products

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pathmark Haul

Here are the results from my Pathmark Triple Coupon haul this weekend:

It took 2-3 hours of planning before we went to the store, figuring out what was worth it to buy. We 4 trips to the store, and rang 7 different transactions as the rule was only 10 coupons per transaction.
  • 8 Smart Ones frozen meals
  • 1 box Jose Ole Taquitos
  • 1 box Ortega Hard Shell and 1 box Soft Shell taco kits
  • 1 16oz bag Pistachios
  • 1 Icy Hot Vapor
  • 2 bags Marcal Napkins
  • 2 French's Mustard
  • 1 Franks Red Hot
  • 3 Toothrbushes
  • 1 can Raid
  • 1 roll Tin Foil
  • 1 box Foil Sheets
  • 3 3-pack Yeast
  • 4 cans Shaving Cream
  • 2 Icy-Hot's
  • 2 Deodorant's
  • 2 Clinical Strength Deodorant's
  • 1 Anti-Bacterial Hand Wash
  • 3 Shampoos
  • 1 bottle Pepto-Bismol
  • 1 50-count Aleve bottle
  • 1 tube Neosporin
  • 1 Eye Shadow
  • 1 bottle Body Lotion
  • 1 2-pack C Batteries
  • 2 boxes Floss
  • 1 8-pack Mini Pepsi Cans
  • 2 Face Wash
  • 4 Toilet Bowl Cleaners
  • 1 box Bandaid's
  • 2 small and 3 large Dish Detergent
  • 2 Magic Erasers
  • 2 bottles Mouth Wash
  • 1 Raid Bug Barrier refill
  • 2 bags Tortilla Chips
  • 1 Frozen Pizza
Total before sales coupons and savings: $313.18
Total spent: $118.73
% Savings: 62%

Thursday, April 28, 2011




Anyone in central-ish jersey - This means you Jackie and Keith!!!

Pathmark is having a MONSTER deal.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday THIS WEEKEND

TRIPLE COUPONS on all Manufacturer Coupons valued up to $1!!!!
I called my local Pathmark to get clarification to make sure we all get the best deals...
It means, if you have a coupon that is $1 off a product, it will be tripled up to $3, as long as the cost of the product is over $3. If the cost of the product is less then $3, the coupon will be tripled up to the cost of the product, making it FREE!!!!!


My circular is valid at NJ Pathmarks in Middlesex, Garwood, Hazlet, Ramsey, Howell, Brick, Old Bridge, Toms River, Edgewater Commons, East Brunswick and Edison. I am not sure if other Pathmark's are running this same deal.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mail In Rebates

I'm Back! Sorry it has been a while, but  I am back to writing.

This weeks post is all about Mail-In Rebates. Coupons are not the only way to save money when purchasing everyday items, and when Mail-in Rebates and coupons are combined, you can actually be paid to use the product.

The Wikipedia definition of a rebate "is an amount paid by way of reduction, return, or refund on what has already been paid or contributed. A Mail-in Rebate entitles the buyer to mail in a coupon, receipt and barcode in order to receive a check for a particular amount."

Companies like Staples use "Easy Rebates" all the time to give away many products for free in a given week. You must buy their items on certain days of the week, usually Sunday or Monday, and must submit for the rebate within 30-days of purchase. Once you do that, they will send you individual checks for each product. The nice thing about Staples is that they promote these rebates in their circular.

Alcohol and wine also use the mail-in rebates quite a bit. You can find these rebates in the coupons in the newspaper. They will offer multiple amounts back based on how much you purchase. If you purchase a case of a certain type of wine, you can mail in the rebate and get $25 back. Plus, most liquor stores give you a discount for buying a case. This is a win-win for the liquor store and the manufacturer.

The following is a great blog I found that posts some of the biggest rebates that you might not have known about. Check the blog often to find new rebates.

One final tip: keep a log of your rebates. Make sure you are getting everything back that you are supposed to. If you haven't seen the check within 2 months, call the company and find out what is going on. Don't leave money sitting on the table, every $1 is another $1 in your pocket.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

March Sale Cycles

If you are looking to stockpile certain items, it is helpful to know when these items will be on sale ahead of time so you can stock up on the coupons you need to get the best deals. 

March Sales and Deals

St. Patrick's Day
Mardi Gras
National Frozen Food Month
National Nutrition Month
National Peanut Month
National Red Cross Month
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
National Craft Month
Poison Prevention Awareness Month
National Pancake Week (March 2-8th)
Dr. Seuss Birthday Read Across America Programs
National Quilting Day
National Sleep Awareness Week
Frozen Food Month
Frozen Vegetables (Bag, Box, Steam)
Frozen Fruits
Frozen Dinners/Meals
Ice Cream
Fill-a-bag or Multiple-item deals
Easter Seal Theme for Insert Coupons and Promotions (Easter and Passover)
Some Jewish/Passover items
St. Patrick's Day
Corned Beef
"Irish" Foods
Gardening Items
Clearance Items
Winter items
Popsicles, Ice Cream, Frozen Novelties (this is the time when "last year's flavors" are cleared out, packaging redesigned, etc to make room for the new products in April)

Produce in Season - will be cheapest or on sale when in season
Avocado, Haas
MushroomsOnions, Spring

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Penn State THON!

Just wanted to give a shout out to all the Penn Staters that participated and donated to THON this year.

Some THON info for those that are not familiar:
THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world! The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, affectionately referred to as THON, is a yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. Since 1977, THON has raised more than $78 million for The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. Dancers in the dance marathon are on the dance floor for 48 hours, "No Sitting, No Sleeping, No Kidding."

This year's donation: $9,563,016.09!!! Nearly $2 million more then last year

Staples President's Day Sale - SUNDAY/MONDAY ONLY - 6 FREE Items

Staples is having a great President’s Day Sale – Sunday/Monday ONLY – with several items totally FREE after Staples Easy Rebate! After the rebates, the only thing you will pay is for Tax  
NOTE: From my understanding, if you use Staples “Rewards” to pay for an item that would’ve ordinarily produced a new reward, it WILL NOT do so. However, if you use them to pay for an Easy Rebate item, it will not affect the rebate at all.


Staples 96 Bright Multipurpose paper (500 sheets) $5.99
Pay $5.99 ~ Submit for an Easy Rebate of $5.99
(makes it FREE!)
Staples Photo plus 4×6 paper, gloss $9.99
Pay $9.99 ~ Submit for an Easy Rebate of $9.99
(makes it FREE!)
Avery 8160 Inkjet mailing labels $11.99
Use the $2.00 Instant Savings
Pay $9.99 ~ Submit for an Easy Rebate of $9.99
(makes it FREE!)
Staples Stickies $5.29
Use the $1.29 Instant savings
Pay $4 ~ Submit for an Easy Rebate of $4
(makes it FREE!)
Pentel R.S.V.P. ballpoint pens $3.79
Pay $3.79 ~ Submit for an Easy Rebate of $3.79
(makes it FREE!)
Sage Peachtree Pro Accounting 2011 $199
Get $35 instant savings
Pay $164.99 ~ Submit for $164 Easy Rebate
(makes it FREE)

Other Deals:

HP DVD-R 50-count Bundle $28.99
Pay $9.99 ~ Submit for an Easy Rebate of $5
(makes it $4.99!)

Sharpie Permanent Markers, Fine Tip, Black, 5-pack $4.79
Sale Price: $1.00

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sale Cycles - February

If you are looking to stockpile certain items, it is helpful to know when these items will be on sale ahead of time so you can stock up on the coupons you need to get the best deals. 

February Sales and Deals

Feb 1 - Women's Heart Health Day
Feb 2 - Groundhog Day
Feb 14 - Valentines Day
Feb 14 - 21 - Condom Week
President's Day
National African American Heritage Month
Chinese New Year
Susan B Anthony Day
Canned Food Month
Great American Pies Month
National Cherry Month
National Children's Dental Health Month
National Fiber Focus Month
National Grapefruit Month
National Hot Breakfast Month
National Snack Food Month

National Canned Food Month
Canned Vegetables
Canned Fruits
Canned Tuna
Canned Beans
Cherry Pie Filling

National Hot Breakfast Month
Kellogg's, General Mills, Post, Quaker, etc.
Hot Cereal
Syrup, etc...

Heart and Heart-Healthy Month
Supplements, Vitamins
Low Cholesterol Oils and Spreads

Westminster Dog Show February Promotions
Dog Food

Valentine's Day Promotions
Valentine's Candy
KY, Monistat, etc...

Chinese New Year Promotions
Soy Sauce
Canned Water Chestnuts, Bamboo Shoots
Crunchy Noodles
Stir Fry

Clearance Items
Valentine's Candy
Candy, Chocolate

Produce in Season - will be cheapest or on sale when in season
Avocado, Haas
Celeriac/Celery Root
Navel Oranges
Red Potatoes
Russet Potatoes

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's Haul - Huge Sale on Vitamins

Today's Haul - Huge Sale on Vitamins 

This weeks big sale is on vitamins! RiteAid is having a huge "Buy One Get One Free" sale on Nature Made, Nature Bounty and Sundown vitamins. All varieties are on sale. This week in the sunday circulars are $1 off coupons on Nature Made vitamins. Use 1 coupone on each bottle of vitamins you buy, including the free bottle.
Other tips for shopping at RiteAid with this sale:
-Make sure you are a RiteAid member, some of the BOGO sales are strictly for member cards
-RiteAid has Video Values. Watch Videos, earn coupons. Some coupons are on specifics products; with these coupons you can double and use a manufacturers coupon on top of it. Some coupons are for $1 or $2 off your bill, and some require watching multiple videos to get $4 off $20. Click Here to get started with Video Values. If you love RiteAid, make sure to take advantage, its like getting free money!

Here is how we took advantage of these deals. It took 1 hour of planning before we went to the store, figuring out what we were going to buy, and comparing all of the circulars. This week we shopped in 2 store for 1.5 hours.

  • 1 Dawn Dish Soap
  • 1 hair brush
  • 2 bottles of Tums
  • 2 packages of Dixie Plates
  • 2 Colgate Toothpastes
  • 1 bottle Vitamin D
  • 1 bottle Vitamin B complex
  • 2 bottles Multi-Vitamins
  • 2 bottles Iron
  • 2 gallons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cooking Oil Spray
  • 5 cans Tomato Paste
  • 8 cans Chunk Light Tuna
  • 12 bottles of McCormick herbs/spices
  • 6 boxes of Popsecret microwave popcorn
  • 6 boxes of Scotties tissues
  • 3 Pillsbury Grands Biscuits

Total before sales coupons and savings: $202.83
Total spent: $72.33
% Savings: 64.3%

Based on actual prices before sales, we purchased 2 bottles multi-vitamins, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, 2 bottles of iron and 1 toothpaste. The rest of the items were free.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today's Haul

This weeks big sale for your freezer is on beef and pork loins. Shoprite is running 40% off beef roasts which are great for stews and chili's, and large pork loins for $1.49/pound. The pork loins can be cut into smaller roasting loins or sliced into chops. Also at A&P, T-bone steaks, Porterhouses and Shell Steaks are 50% off.

Here is how we took advantage of these deals. It took 1 hour of planning before we went to the store, figuring out what we were going to buy, and comparing all of the circulars. This week we only shopped in 1 store for 45 minutes.

  • 2 bottles Ajax Laundry detergent
  • 2 boxes 100-calorie packs Pop Secret kettle corn
  • 1 box Reynolds Slow Cooker bags
  • 1 jar Salsa
  • 1 jar Queso
  • 4.5 pound beef roast
  • 11 pound pork loin
  • 1.5 pound yucca
  • 2 Pyrex glass baking dishes
  • 1 ceramic pie baking dish
Total before sales coupons and savings: $95.42
Total spent: $48.24
% Savings: 49.5%

Based on actual prices before sales, we purchased 11-pound pork loin and 4.5-pound beef roast. The rest of the items were free.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Sale Cycles - January

If you are looking to stockpile certain items, it is helpful to know when these items will be on sale ahead of time so you can stock up on the coupons you need to get the best deals.

January Sales and Deals

Jan 1 - New Year's Day
Jan 1-7 - National Lose Weight/Feel Great Week
Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
Super Bowl Sunday (January or February)
Bread Machine Baking Month
National Candy Month
National Egg Month
National Hot Tea Month
National Meat Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Slow Cooker Month
National Soup Month
National Wheat Bread Month
Prune Breakfast Month

New Years Resolutions
Diet Foods and Products
New Year, New You type promos
Healthy Choices
100 Calorie Packs

Winter Health
Cold Medicines
Pain Relief
Health Products

National Oatmeal Month
Quaker Brand Products

Super Bowl Party Foods
Chips and Dips
Cheese and Crackers
Sandwich and Snack items

Special Promos for New Product Lines, especially:
Hair Color
Make Up and Beauty Products
Bath Products

Clearance Items - Stock up now for next year, usually 50% to 90% off
Calendars, planners, any dated items
Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years Party Supplies
Wrapping Paper, Ribbons, Bows
Ornaments, Candles
Winter clothing, Gloves, Hat, etc.
Seasonal Items

Produce in Season - will be cheapest or on sale when in season
Anjou Pears
Blood Orange
Brussels Sprouts
Celery Root
Haas Avocados
Napa Cabbage

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Coupon Organization Tips

The first thing you need when starting to clip coupons is a place to keep them, so when you go to the store, you have easy access to find the ones you need. You can do this with envelopes, an accordion wallet or a binder.

Once you decide on which method to use, which I will explain the difference next, you need to decide how to divide your coupons. You can divide by products, categories such as personal care or freezer items, or by store aisle. If you generally shop at more then 1 store, it would be best to divide by product or category, this way you can search under general sections. If you only shop in 1 store, then you can divide by aisle, which makes it easy for your shopping trips.

Within these divisions, you can then organize your coupons by alphabetically, product or expiration date.

Use individual envelopes for each category. Then you put the coupons in each envelope.

Accordion Wallet
Use each pocket in the accordion wallet to separate each category. You can then organize your coupons in each pocket based on product or expiration date.

Look for an accordion wallet that has tabs on top, that way you can mark the category or product for each pocket.

Keep the front pocket of the wallet free. You can use this pocket to place the coupons you are going to use on your next shopping trip. And during your trip you can store the blinkies and tear-offs that you may have obtained in the store, but have not organized yet.

This is the method I use. Getting this method starting takes a little more time, but keeps everything in one place and makes it easy to see each coupon. I bring this with me on every shopping trip

To make a binder you will need:
-Standard 3-ring binder
-Vinyl baseball card organizer sleeves (these come in 9-pocket varieties, you can also find other plastic sleeves with different number of pockets; pick which ever style fits your needs)

Use the dividers in between the vinyl sleeves in the binder to section off each category. On each divider you can write what can be found in the following vinyl sleeve. Using this method, I divide my sleeves by the following categories: Cleaning Products, Personal Care Products, Canned and Boxed Goods, Breakfast and Baking, Sauces and Seasonings, Refrigerator Products and Freezer Products. Within each category, I use the pockets to split it by products, so under personal care 1 pocket is used for all body washes, 1 is used for toothpaste, etc. Then within each pocket the coupons are arranged by expiration date.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Today's Haul

Make sure to take advantage of this weeks Can Can sale at Shoprite. Also, stock up on soda at CVS this week. Cases of Pepsi products are 6 cases for $20, plus get a $10 coupon back for your next purchase. This coupon can be used in the same day, so if you have other things you need to buy at CVS split your purchase into 2 transactions.

Here is how we took advantage of these deals. It took 1 hour of planning before we went to the stores, figuring out what we were going to buy, checking all of the circulars, and making sure we had the approprite coupons. We shopped in 3 stores over a 2 hour period.

CVS Purchases:
  • 6 12-packs of soda
  • 2 Nivea lip balms
  • 1 clinical strength Deoderant
  • 20 count Finish dishwasher Gel Packs
  • 3 cans tuna
A&P Purchases:
  • 3 3-liter jugs Poland Spring
  • 10 cans Progressive Soup
  • 2# Sweet Potates
  • 1# Baby Carrots
  • 8oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Old El Paso Taco Dinner kit
  • 1.6# Ground Beef
Shoprite Purchases:
  • 10 cans assorted vegetables and beans
  • 4 cans tuna
  • 12 cans crushed and plum tomatoes
  • 15 boxes of pasta
  • 3 boxes Zatarans Rice mixes
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 1 box 100-cal nut packs
  • 4 boxes cereal
  • 2 boxes microwave popcorn
  • 5 12-packs of soda
  • 2 yogurt cups
  • 1 dozen eggs
Total before sales coupons and savings: $233.87
Total spent: $87.03
% Savings: 63%

Based on actual prices before sales, we purchased 11 12-packs of soda, 1 clincial strength deoderant and 5 cans of soup. The rest of the items were free.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

More then just Newspaper Coupons...

Ok, so this is my first real entry to help you save money! Most people think the only way to get coupons is through the news papers. There are plenty more ways to get coupons, and many different types as well.

Lets start with the easiest and most common
  • Newspaper Coupons
    • More then $350 billion of packaged goods coupons are offered annually
    • Almost 90% of all coupons are issued in the Sunday Newspaper inserts
    • Spending 20 minutes per week clipping and organizing coupons can save up to $1000 per year
  • Blinkies
    • Coupons distributed in stores by little machines next or near the product
    • "Blinkie" refers to blinking light designed to attract your attention
    • May be used at any store that accepts manufacturers coupons
  • Tear Pads
    • Pads of coupons, like a pad of paper found near the product
    • Often found on freezer doors or near batteries
  • Peelies
    • Coupons stuck on the product
    • Can be used immediately, when you purchase the product
    • Make sure to peel them and hand them to the cashier, most cashiers will not look for them
  • Catalina Coupons
    • Coupons that print out at the register because certain products or groups of products have been purchased
    • Also known as "Check Out Coupons"
    • Generally they are manufacturer's coupons, but can be store specific as well
  • Internet Coupons
    • Can be manufacturers or store specific
    • Coupons printed from the internet
    • Found in a variety of sources such as manufuctures websites, store websites or coupon clipping websites such as
  • Electronic Coupons
    • Coupon codes to be used when making purchases on-line

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sharing My Saving Knowledge

Hi! My name is Kim, and I am the Sassy Spender. I never used a coupon or shopped a sale until I met my husband's mother. She bought an entire cart of groceries at Walgreens for $.32 one day, and I was amazed. In the year that I lived at their house, she passed down her knowledge of saving money, shopping sales and using coupons to me, and I would like to pass this knowledge on to others!

I will be posting as often as possible, hopefully once a week to start off. I will post tips, tricks and ways to find the best deals online and in stores. I would love to hold a class, either one-on-one or as a group, for people who would like to learn more about organizing and using coupons on a daily basis. Please let me know if you may be interested in attending a class, and I will pull something together!

Thanks for reading, and please be patient, as I am fairly new to this world of blogging!