5 Important & Quick Tips About Clipping Coupons

1. Cut, Don’t Rip Out Coupons

Store associates prefer clean cut coupons with clear expiration dates.

Store associates prefer clean cut coupons with clear expiration dates.

I know I’ve done this a million times — I’ve ripped out coupons and tore off the expiration date which rendered the coupon totally useless.

2. Look in Store Sales Circulars

Most shoppers (so I hear from retailers…) don’t open up grocery store sales circulars where there are sometimes…coupons! Valuable ones! For example, at our ShopRite, we can find coupons for organic fruits/veggies and meats in the back of the circular (not always, but most of the time).

3. Don’t Toss Old Coupon Circulars

It’s the end of January, and I just found a valuable coupon for Krusteaz Pancake Mix in an October coupon circular–you just never know! Luckily I kept a few of those circulars, so I was able to get a good deal on mix for a few months (I put the boxes in the freezer so they wouldn’t go bad.)

4. Don’t Clip Every Coupon

That’s totally unnecessary. However…newbie couponers tend to do that (I know, I used to do it). Just cut the ones you know you will use, and the ones you think you may use. But if you see a coupon for a product you absolutely couldn’t care less about, don’t bother with it!

5. Printable Coupons May Have Better Savings

A recent printable shows you can double this to $1.40 for one box of cereal.

A recent printable shows you can double this to $1.40 for one box of cereal.

Newspaper circular coupons tend to require you to buy more than one product to get the deal (ie: save $1 on two boxes of XYZ Cereal); Printables from Coupons.com, for example, typically require you to buy one product to get the savings (ie: save $1 on one box of XYZ Cereal). Sometimes, it’s a much better deal, especially if you can double a printable coupon that’s under .99 cents!

Happy Shopping!

~Marilyn/TFF

The Tightwad’s Notebook: Lesson #17–Take Advantage of Spray Paint for Dated Items

The Tightwad’s Notebook: Lesson #17–Take Advantage of Spray Paint for Dated Items

spray painted mirror

We freshened up an old mirror frame by spray painting it black to match our console table. The original frame (over two decades old), was drab natural oak. But, since I wasn’t willing to part with over $200 for the black glass mosaic mirror I really wanted, updating this mirror with inexpensive left-over spray paint was the best option for now (but it’s been over a year since we’ve had this mirror up over our console table).

I keep forgetting about this tip! Even for non-DIYers, spray paint is the way to go to update interior and exterior home items such as frames, outdoor furniture, indoor light fixtures (who knew?), etc. (Take a look at this great article on the subject from This Old House.) We often forget about that half-empty can of spray paint in the garage we used long ago, but there are also great new looks like oil rubbed bronze spray paints (see links to Krylon brand above–but take care to look for any recalls–there was a recent recall on Krylon’s clear acrylic spray paint product).

Last year, we took advantage of a can of black spray paint by updating a framed mirror for our entryway. The really old mirror (I’m talking over two decades) was in fine shape, but the frame was a dated natural oak. Blech. The mirror I really, really wanted was over $200 (black glass mosaic, stunning, gorgeous, at Pier 1 Imports–it was a want, not a need). So, my husband spray painted the old frame and it now matches our little half-console table. It looks striking when you walk through the front door! Plus, I saved $200 bucks. If I was ambitious, I’d make my own mosaic frame! Ha! Not likely.

One day, if I can find it again, I’ll get that lovely black glass mosaic mirror when the time is right (well, there is that red glass mosaic mirror on clearance now for $60! I have other priorities, however. Sometimes, it’s tough being frugal–LOL!)

red mosaic mirror

This is the red glass mosaic mirror on clearance that I could get to replace my spray-painted mirror. But, I’m a tightwad, so….hmmmm…..do I want to part with $60 for a mirror?

~Marilyn, TFF