How to Prepare for Black Friday

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Oh it’s coming — that day of crazy bargains and even crazier shopping: Black Friday is just over a month away! After the turkey and trimmings have been put away, it’s time to grab your running shoes and put your shopping strategies in place to grab those deals as you start the holiday shopping season. Check out these tips for preparing for Black Friday.

Make a Plan

Don’t go into your Black Friday shopping frenzy without a plan. Most stores will offer their sale ads online days before Thanksgiving, and we will be posting Black Friday ads as soon as they come available here on Addicted to Saving. We also have a Black Friday Category and a Black Friday Page that we will be updating as the ads/deals come available, so bookmark the page in your browser for easy access.  Of course, you can grab a newspaper and plan your strategy after your Thanksgiving meal if you prefer. Either way, you need a plan.  Saving money doesn’t just magically happen!  Decide which bargains you want to go for then make a plan to make it happen. You will need to decide which stores you want to shop at and make a list of the items you want to buy at each store. Decide in which order you will go to which store.

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Write it Down (or print a list)

Don’t rely upon your memory — Black Friday will be stressful, confusing, and very busy. Write down your list of items at each store, or print the deals you really want from the Black Friday Ads in the a Black Friday Page.

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Set Your Budget

I can’t tell you have important this is. While I will find you plenty of wonderful Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, you shouldn’t buy something just because it’s a deal!  Make a budget for how much you want to spend during your Black Friday excursion and stick to it. Will you be paying cash, writing checks, or using debit and credit cards? Decide ahead of time how much money you want to spend and how you want to spend it. I discourage credit card shopping as much as possible, unless you are in a financial position where you are 100% comfortable that you will pay it off in full the next billing cycle.  As you make your shopping list, note how many you need of each item. Keep in mind that some stores may only allow you to purchase one or two of certain items.

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Enlist Help

To make your Black Friday shopping a success, you may need to call in the troops. Enlist fellow savers in your shopping spree master-schedule. Will you be taking the whole family? Will you be shopping with friends? Put your heads together as you plan your strategy. If there are five shoppers in your group and five stores that you all want to shop at, make out your lists then split them up. Instead of each of you having your list of items from five different stores, send one person to one store with everyone’s list for that particular stores.

Use Your Cell Phones

If you are shopping with a group, be sure to make use of your cell phones to communicate while you are shopping. Keep each other posted about your whereabouts and what items you have managed to snag so there are not unnecessary duplicates.

Shop Online

Since I’m online all the time anyhow trying to find deals for you all (and myself!), I’m more of an online kind of Black Friday shopper. Join my Holiday Deals group on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and set up your Twitter account to get a text every time I post a deal. Then turn it off once the Holiday Shopping season is over (or keep it on to get year round deals!)  ;)  See my post HERE about how to turn on Text Alerts on your twitter account.  Both of these ways are excellent ways to stay on top of the latest deals.

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Whatever you do, don’t approach your Black Friday shopping haphazardly or without a plan in place. In order to survive the throng of frenzied shoppers and snag the bargains you are after, you will need to work out a good plan ahead of time. Decide which stores you want to visit, strategize with your buds, and keep in touch during your shopping so your Black Friday bargain hunting will be a success.

  • Make sure you check out the Holiday Gift Ideas for Less on Addicted to Saving as your bargain-hunting this holiday shopping season. 

What is Snap by Groupon & How Does it Work?

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You may have seen on Facebook’s “trending” topics that Groupon has come out with an app called “Snap.”   This Groupon Snap Ap is much like Ibotta in that you can scan your receipt after your grocery purchase to redeem offers and get paid cash for your purchase.

How it Works

1) Download the Snap app for iPhone or Android, or use the Snap website

2) Browse the offers before you shop

3) Purchase promoted products in your account at any store

4) Snap a photo of your receipt and voila!, money in your account

Just like Ibotta, you can get $1.00 for each friend you referral with a special referral link (go to My Account and scroll to the bottom to see it), once they redeem their first offer.

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Currently I have 31 offers in my account, including high value Huggies Diapers and Wipes offers, Milk, and more!

Go HERE to sign up with an email address or your Facebook account.

FAQ

Where can I redeem Snap offers?
At any store! To get your cash back, simply use the ‘Snap Receipt’ feature to upload your receipt. We don’t care where you shop – we just need proof that you purchased one or more promoted products so that we can add cash to your account.

[Read more...]

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Tips on Saving: Save Time Using the “Item Search” Feature

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Did you know you can literally search for any item or brand on Addicted to Saving? Whether you’re looking for generic terms like “milk” or “carpet cleaner,” or specific brands like Huggies or DiGiornos, you can see where your search term is on sale this week, see if there are any coupons to match, and you never have to leave Addicted to Saving to do it. As long as it’s a store I feature here on Addicted to Saving, then you’re in good shape.

For example, let’s say you’re running low on diapers and you want to see the best deal right now. There are a couple of different ways to get to the Item Search Feature.

The first way is to simply place your cursor over the STORES category and select the Item Search option:

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You’ll then be taken to the Search Page where you can enter your Item or Brand (in this case, diapers).

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You can also find the Item Search feature on the right hand side of the page, just under the fold, as noted here:

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The saves you a little time because you can type in your Search Query right here versus being sent to a separate page.  Note that the arrow above indicates a Search by Brand or Item Query of just the current ads, whereas the Search Addicted to Saving Query will search all of Addicted to Saving. You want to use the Search by Brand or Item query. Below you can see the direct query search item. Note that when you type in your item, it will remember your past searches and suggest them (in blue):

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Once you type in your Search Item or Brand, then simply hit ENTER and you will get a list of your search item or brand result from every store where it’s currently on sale.  In some cases, if the upcoming ad is ready, you will get the results for this week and the following week.

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Since I installed this feature, I save myself a TON of time every week. Quite frankly, when a new coupon comes out and I want to see if there’s a matchup available, this is exactly what I do.  So if you see a great coupon but aren’t sure where to match it, this is the feature you should use!  I’ve had it up for a while but am just not getting around to highlighting it.

Hope this helps and Happy Saving!

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Downton Abbey Seasons 1, 2 & 3 on sale $44.99

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If you haven’t already, join Holiday Deals with Addicted to Saving on Facebook! Every deal related to the holidays (gifts, decor, cards, travel, etc) will be posted in this group!

If you are looking for a deal on Downton Abbey, this is a good one! Amazon has Downton Abbey Seasons 1, 2 & 3 Deluxe Limited Edition (Amazon Exclusive Season 4 Bonus Features) [Blu-ray] marked down 55% to $44.99! (This is regularly priced at $99.99.) Go HERE to view this set. **Remember, prices on Amazon are subject to change.

Go HERE to see all Amazon Deals on Addicted to Saving

Go HERE to see all Holiday Gift Deals on Addicted to Saving

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Extra ECB’s? Sign Up to Be a CVS Advisor & Earn Extra ECB’s!

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CVS shoppers, you might want to take a special look at your email to see if you received an email from them to participate in a survey that will score you extra Extra Care Bucks!   If you’re signed up to be a CVS Advisor, then you just may have received one.

What’s a CVS Advisor?  You can sign up to be on the CVS Advisor Panel, which allows you makes suggestions on how CVS can improve. Throughout the year, they will send you invitations to participate in online surveys about CVS products and services. If you choose to participate in our surveys, they will thank you by giving you personalized ECB’s immediately after completing the survey!

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Best part? It’s totally free, and you’re eligible to receive Extra Care Bucks for surveys that are completed right after you sign up.

Go HERE to sign up today.

Thanks hip2save!

  • Check out all of the latest CVS Deals while you’re on Addicted to Saving. 

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How to Prepare for Your Shopping Trip in 6 Easy Steps

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how-to-prepare-shopping-tripIf I had a dollar for every time someone told me that they don’t have the time to shop with coupons or that it is too confusing to shop with coupons, I would have at least a couple thousand dollars in the bank. :) However, I was able to put a couple of thousand dollars into savings by the money I saved using coupons. And using coupons is not difficult! It takes me between 30-45 minutes each week to get my shopping list and coupons together. (It does take me longer if my son is awake so I make sure to wait until naptime to get my list together. ;) )

I wanted to give you the steps to show you just how quickly and easily you can get your shopping list together. Before we get to the steps, please don’t overthink couponing! You don’t have to buy items you won’t use. You don’t have to buy huge quantities of groceries (if there are awesome deals, I will buy 4 – 6 of the item). You don’t have to have lots Sunday coupon inserts because many coupons are available to print online. You do have to have the motivation to spend a little time putting together your list and then cutting your coupons. If you think of any questions while reading my steps, please leave a comment with your questions and I will answer them.

Step One: Turn your computer on.

I give the Weekly Ad & Coupon Matchups for 20+ stores and each of these stores have printable grocery list. Go through the list and click on the item(s) you want to purchase so that they are added to the grocery list.
shopping-preparationStep Two: Print your printable coupons.

As you go through the weekly ad & coupon matchups, you will be given the direct links to the printable coupons. As you see deals that you want to take advantage of, print the coupons that you need. Tips – most coupons you can print twice per computer. Also, I always print my coupons in black ink. Don’t waste your color ink on coupons!

Step Three: Print your grocery list.

You can see from the picture above, I will often write notes on my list as I think of additional items I need to purchase.

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Step Four: Gather your coupons.

Gather all of your coupons off your printer, gather your Sunday inserts and store fliers.

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(Coming soon – I will show you how I file my coupon inserts.)

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Step Five: Cut Your Coupons

Since you printed out the printable grocery list, you will know where to find each and every coupon needed to take advantage of the deals. Follow your list. Tip – if you purchase additional items that are not on sale, make sure you check Addicted to Saving’s Coupon Database to see if there is a printable coupon or insert coupon you can use on that item!

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Step Six: Go Shopping!

I carry my cut coupons, shopping list and a pen in a simple white envelope that I saved from junk mail I received. Some people carry coupon binders as they shop. For me, I find it is easiest to carry an envelope of coupons that correspond to my grocery list.  As I shop, I will cross of items on my list that I’ve added to my grocery cart.

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Lastly, admire your savings! The receipt pictured above was not one of my most stellar shopping trips. BUT, I saved $17.00 using store coupons and $8.10 using manufacturer coupons. When I combine my coupon savings with the savings from store sales, I saved $38.41. It took me 45 minutes to get ready for this shopping trip and I saved $38.41. Was it worth the time? You tell me! ;)
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Publix Coupon Policy Changes Coming October 1st???

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Update – I wanted to repost this today since this post was so popular yesterday with all of the Publix shoppers out there. I would love to hear your thoughts on the changes – leave a comment and let me know what you think!

I just got word from my blogger friend Amy that Publix will be changing their coupon policy starting in October.  While Publix allows each store a lot of leeway in interpreting the company policy on coupons, we can expect that all stores will be affected by this change at some point.   Please note that this is *NOT* official yet, and we will all need to wait until the official announcement comes to get 100% certainty.

However, until then, here are some of the changes you can expect to see.  The new policy will supposedly be implemented on 10/1, with a grace period given until 10/18 to allow for shoppers to be educated on the changes.

If I can be honest with you, most of these changes will not even affect me. They are limited dollar off coupons (like our $5/$40 Publix or $5/$50 Winn Dixie coupons) to one per household per day, and that will be my biggest adjustment. Otherwise, I think it’s good that they are limiting us to 8 of the same coupons per day. This will drastically reduce shelf-clearing when there are free items to be had, and that’s a good thing imho.

Let me what you think about the new policy after you’ve had a chance to read over it below!

New Publix Coupon Policy includes:

  • We only accept coupons on identical items we sell.
  • We accept a manufacturer and either a Publix store coupon or competitor coupon on the same item. Maximum 2 coupons per item.
  • Manufacturer digital offers cannot be combined with manufacturer paper coupons on the purchase of the same item.
  • We do not accept percentage off items or percentage off total order coupons.
  • We do not accept coupons that Publix determines to be printed incorrectly.  For example, a coupon missing a size requirement or other standard coupon details.
  • We do not accept coupons presented via a mobile phone or device.
  • We do not accept coupons that appear to be copied.  All coupons must be originals.
  • For BOGO offers, each item is considered a separate purchase.
  • We limit coupon redemption to eight of the same coupons per day per household.
  • Managers approval is needed for individual coupons above $5.
  • Dollar off coupons will be limited to one Publix coupon per day per household.  The total order before coupon must be equal to or greater than combined purchase requirement indicated on the coupons presented.  We consider competitor coupons for a dollar off groups of items to be dollar off total order coupons and will only allow one per day per household.
  • Money due back to the customer at the end of the transaction involving coupons will only be provided on a Publix gift card.

New  Rain Check Policy:

  • We will only issue one rain check per day per household for an item.
  • We will not issue rain checks for Publix, manufacturer or competitor coupons

Go HERE to see the current and upcoming Publix Weekly Ad & Coupon Matchups

Thanks who said nothing in life is free!

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What Is Walmart’s Savings Catcher App?

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Have you heard about the new Savings Catcher tool from Walmart? In an effort to make sure that they stand by their commitment to have “unbeatable” prices, they are trying to prove it in a pretty unique way.

Walmart’s Savings Catcher is designed to get you the lowest price possible on any item that’s featured in a local competitor’s ad. If Savings Catcher finds a lower advertised price, then Walmart will actually give you an eGift Card for the difference. Wow. You have to do it within 7 days of the purchase, so keep that in mind.

Here’s how it will work.

1) Go to your smart phone’s app center and search SAVINGSCATCHER, then download the app.
OR
Go to Walmart.com and Create an Account.

2) Enter your your receipt number online or scan the barcode by downloading the Walmart SAVINGSCATCHER App.

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3) The app will search for the price of any local competitor’s printed ad for an identical product. If Savings Catcher finds a lower advertised price, you get the difference via a Walmart eGift Card!

Sounds pretty cool, right?   Now I tried to do it on my latest Walmart run, but as you can see from the screenshot of my phone, it was 8 days ago.

Of course I have a ton of FAQ’s myself on this program, but here are some of the more common ones.  To see the FAQ’s, go to Walmart.com and Create an Account and you’ll see the full list.  Below is taken directly from Walmart.com as of 8/4/14. If this is incorrect, please let me know and I will update.

Is there a minimum purchase required?

No. There is no minimum purchase requirement. Simply submit your receipt to get started.

How many receipts can I submit?

You can submit up to 7 receipts per week to Savings Catcher.

What types of promotions does Savings Catcher include?

Savings Catcher compares eligible items on your receipt to items found in the print and digital weekly ads of top retailers in your area. The ads must be valid at the time you made your Walmart purchase and include a specific item price.

Does Savings Catcher compare all items on my receipt?

Savings Catcher applies to many items sold at Walmart stores. This includes:

  • Most groceries such as cereal, rice and most fruits and vegetables except for: store brand items, deli, bakery and weighed items like meat.
  • Consumable items such as paper towels, bleach and trash bags.
  • Health and beauty items such as shampoo and makeup.
  • Select general merchandise items.

Savings Catcher does not currently apply to:

  • Store brands, deli, bakery and weighed items like meat.
  • General merchandise items, (including, but not limited to, electronics, media and gaming, toys, sporting goods, housewares, small appliances, home décor, bedding, books and magazines, apparel and shoes, jewelry, furniture, office supplies and seasonal products).
  • Non-branded items.
  • Tobacco, firearms, gasoline, tires, prescription drugs, optical and photo products and services, or products that require a service agreement such as wireless, automotive or financial products.

Which retailers’ advertised prices do you compare to Walmart’s prices?

We compare advertised prices from the top retailers located nearby the Walmart store where you shopped.  When you submit your receipt using our app, you will see the number of top competitors near the Walmart store where you shopped. The name of each competitor will then move across the screen.

What types of promotions does Savings Catcher not include?

Savings Catcher does not compare the following types of offers:

  • Items that require a separate purchase to get the advertised price (example: “Buy oatmeal to get cereal for $1.”)
  • Items with no actual price that require a purchase to get a free product (example: “Buy both oatmeal & cereal to get milk for free.”)
  • Items that require a purchase to get a gift card (example: “Buy a 12 pack of paper towels to get a $5 gift card.”)
  • Buy one get one free (BOGO) deals where no item price is listed (example: Peter Pan Peanut Butter, buy one, get one free. Save up to $2.50.”)
  • Going out of business or closeout prices.
  • Percentage off (example: “All mascara, 40% off.)

Does Savings Catcher apply to my online purchases?

No. Savings Catcher applies to your in-store purchases only.

Do my savings accumulate?

That’s entirely up to you. You have the option to accumulate your Rewards Dollars and build your balance in Savings Catcher or transfer it onto a Walmart Rewards eGift Card whenever and as often as you choose. If you haven’t redeemed your Rewards Dollars at the end of the calendar year, Walmart will automatically transfer them onto a Walmart Rewards eGift Card and notify you.

What happens if I use coupons?

No problem, you can still use Savings Catcher. If you use a coupon, Savings Catcher will compare the original Walmart price of the item, before the coupon was applied, to other stores’ advertised prices for the same item. For example: You bought cookies at Walmart. The shelf price was $3 and you used a coupon for $0.25, so you paid $2.75. If Savings Catcher finds that a competitor advertised those same cookies for $2.00, Savings Catcher will still credit you $1.00, even though you paid only $2.75 at Walmart.

Can I submit old receipts?

Your receipt needs to be 7 days old or less. For example, if you shopped on Tuesday, you have until the following Monday to submit your receipt.

What if I lost my receipt before I had the chance to submit it?

For Savings Catcher to work, we need to have the TC number and date from your receipt. We cannot process your receipt without it.

Why is my receipt invalid?

There are a few reasons why you me be receiving an “invalid” message when you try to enter your receipt:

  • The TC number and purchase date may have been entered incorrectly. Check the numbers carefully and try again.
  • Your receipt may be older than 7 days. For example, if you bought your items on Tuesday this week, you have until Monday of next week to enter it into Savings Catcher.
  • The Walmart store where you shopped is not eligible for Savings Catcher.

When will I get my results back?

Savings Catcher will send you your results within 72 hours of receipt submission. As soon as your results are ready, we will let you know by email or through the Walmart app. If for some reason your results are not ready within 72 hours, feel free to contact us using the “Contact Us” button in the Savings Catcher section on our full site and the “Give Feedback” option in the main menu on our app.

For more answers to your FAQ’s, download the app or go to Walmart.com HERE and sign up!

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