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May 30: Your Money Matters - Joanie Demer, The Krazy Coupon Lady

Joanie Demer

To purchase a copy of the book:

Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey: Save Big Money & Make the Grocery Aisle your Catwalk (Lakeland Fellranger)

Tips on saving on ALL everyday purchases:
Use Skype instead of a landline.

Look for credit cards that pay you.

Don't dine out without a coupon. From sites like restaurant.com to your local entertainment book, there is no reason to pay full price no matter how expensive your taste.

Comparison shop, especially online! Vow to spend at least 2-3 minutes comparison shopping before you swipe your card or click the submit button on any purchase! Use sites like retailmenot.com to look for a quick coupon or discount code to save on everyday purchases!

Nomorerack.com is a unique website that offers great deals on products of all kinds. Each day at exactly 12 pm eastern 8 items go on sale, often discounted at over 80% off the retail price. The popular items sell out within minutes so it's important to jump on the site first thing. A similar websites called whiskeymilitia.com operates in a slightly different way by offering one deal at a time until it sells out, after which a new item becomes live. By visiting these websites daily you can get your hands on some amazing products at a fraction of the cost.

Citydeals.com is a widely popular way to score great deals on entertainment. They offer a plethora of discounts on places to eat, play, and relax. If you're looking for show tickets, a day at the spa, or a great new restaurant, this is the site to visit.

thekrazycouponlady.com is a website devoted to helping you slash your grocery budget by 75%. The great thing about this site is they do all of the work for you. All you have to do is jump on and follow directions. They post the deals, tell you what store to go to and exactly where to find the coupons. They even do the math! Along with grocery deals they highlight deals from retail stores, restaurants, and other dot-coms.

Swagbucks.com is a great network to belong to if you want to score free money for completing simple tasks. Users are given virtual money called 'swag bucks' for doing things like searching the web, playing games, completing surveys, and referring friends. This money can then be cashed in for amazing rewards. It's like shopping with someone else's money!

A great application to use if you're constantly on the web searching for deals is RSS feed. It enables you to have access to several sites at the same time, saving you from having to visit each one individually. For any true deal seeker this is a must. You'll never miss a deal with this application.

Tips on saving when buying groceries:

Create a separate email account just for couponing. You can access hundreds of coupons by signing up for different companies' websites, but it also means lots of junkmail. Create a separate email account, and you're in the clear!

Stack coupons! Many people don't know that you can actually stack 2 coupons for one product to save even more! You can use one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon on any item. Manufacturer coupons come in the paper or online and store coupons may be printed from store websites or distributed in store circulars.

Stockpile!! Buying multiples when your favorite products go on sale is vital if you want to save! If you get a free tube of toothpaste, good for you! What are you going to do next month when the tub runs out? You're going to go pay full price. The secret is to anticipate what products and shelf-stable foods your family will use in the next 3-6 months and when you find those items for at least 75% off retail, after coupon, don't just buy one! Stock-up!

Learn sale cycles! You can become a coupon-psychic! Everyone knows that produce is seasonal. Well, did you know that all the food at the grocery store has its season, too? A savvy shopper waits until a product is in season and stocks up! Examples: January brings diet food sales, Memorial day brings barbecue sales, Holidays bring baking sales.

BOGO! If you thought BOGO was hot, listen to this! Did you know that you can "stack" a 'buy one, get one free' coupon with a 'buy one, get one free' sale? Guess what happens? You get both items for free! If your drugstore is having a BOGO sale on cosmetics, and you have a BOGO coupon from the Sunday paper, you will pay nothing but sales tax. How does this work? Well the manufacturer reimburses the store for the full value of one of the products, just as if you had paid in cash! The other product is free to the customer as advertised in the store promotion!

Catch the digital coupon wave! Digital/printable coupon growth is outpacing newspaper coupon growth 10 to 1! In the more than hundred years since Coca Cola and Post Grape Nuts issued the very first coupons, the face of the industry and of the coupon shopper have transformed. From print-at-home coupons to electronic coupons that you load to your store loyalty card to mobile coupons that send a barcode image to your cell phone, the coupon industry is changing. Think outside the Sunday newspaper box when it comes to coupons!

Cashier profile! Finding a younger male cashier is just plain good for coupon-business! You've got to avoid the elderly or anyone who's going to struggle with the coupon fine-print. The middle aged often seem to believe that reasonably, you shouldn't be able to get groceries this cheaply no matter what the coupons. And the young guys are quick and happy to take your coupons. Please perform your own case study, then come back.

Don't use a coupon just because you have it! One of the most common criticisms of coupon users is "those people end up buying things they don't/won't use". Though that may be an easy pitfall to step into, a savvy coupon lady ONLY uses a coupon when an item she uses is on sale!

Separate your transactions. Here's how you can beat the system at your store! When cereal is on sale for Buy 5, Receive $5 off your next order, if you buy 10 boxes in one transaction, you'll save $5.00. But, if you buy 5 boxes, make payment, take your $5 coupon and then buy another 5 boxes you can not only save an additional $5, but you can use the coupon that printed from the previous transaction to pay for this one!

Save $1,000 on Diapers alone: If you plan to use disposable diapers, plan on spending between $1,500-$2,000 by the time your baby is potty-trained. Expect your baby to go through at least 5-8 diapers a day on average and spending at least $50 a month on diapers alone. A Krazy Coupon Lady can diaper a baby from birth through potty training for under $500. A basic package of name brand diapers, such as Pampers Swaddlers, is approximately $10-11.00 regular price. We never pay over $5 per pack and we like to stock-up when the price falls below $3.00 per package!

Stop running to the grocery store for last minute ingredients! Create a Stockpile comprised solely of products purchased at 70% off or more! Wait until an item reaches a rock bottom price and then we buy enough to last us 3-6 months or more! Reduce the need to make last minute purchases out of necessity and gain the control to dictate your own prices!

Save all the coupons! If you want to save over 70% on your grocery bill you must be willing to purchase different brands and even some different products than you normally do! But don't worry, if you purchase a product you won't use, you can donate it!

Coupon with pride! Stores are reimbursed for every penny of every manufacturer coupon (plus an extra $0.08 handling fee on every coupon, just for the trouble)! No store should treat you any differently than any other credit-card-touting shopper, and if they do, well we know you're not going to stand for it! Hold your heads high, flaunt those coupons and strut down the grocery aisles proudly: coupons in hand and money-in-the-bank!

Tips on saving when buying clothes

Find retail coupons! Resolve to never pay full price again! When you're shopping online, do a quick Google search or checkout retailmenot.com for a coupon code before you checkout. Average savings of at least $10! When you're shopping at the craft store, checkout the Sunday circular for 50% off one-item coupons. Instead of rushing out the door, take 5 minutes or less to look for a coupon. The savings add up!

Tips on saving when buying gas:

Visit FuelEconomy.com before you head to the gas station! It's easy to research gas prices in your area and save several cents per gallon.

Make sure your car is running efficiently! Pick up a tire gauge and check the pressure every other month!

Ditch your roof racks and luggage carriers if you're just driving around town. No sense in sacrificing fuel economy because of the terrible aerodynamics.

If you're shopping for a new vehicle, consider Diesel. Diesel engines often give you much better gas mileage than hybrids, which is why they're so popular in Europe.

If you want even more bang for your buck, fill your tank in the morning or at night. Gas expands with heat, so you actually get less gas when you fill your tank during the day, because of the expansion!

Pay attention to the cycles of fuel prices. You will usually pay less per gallon during the week and a little more during and around the weekend. Annually speaking, holidays bring higher fuel prices and spring/early summer brings the highest prices of all!

Watch for a grocery store with a fuel rewards program. Many grocery stores operate their own gas stations and provide a cents-off per gallon discount based on your spending in their store!

For more ideas:

www.TheKrazyCouponLady.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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