Shopping Tip: A Legal Way To Get Around Costco Coupon Limits

I’ve posted in the past about Costco coupons, and how they track and combat people trying to skirt the limits that they impose on their monthly coupons.  Many products have a quantity limit, usually the better the deal, the lower the limit you can buy at the discounted price.

One thing I’ve found is that there’s a completely legal way to get around this policy and take advantage of the savings: Call on your friends and family for help.

Since Costco tracks purchases on your account, you can’t simply exchange coupons.  Instead, if you want extra coupon savings, you have to call on those you know to purchase items for you, then collect the items and pay them back.

This assumes, of course, that the person you’re exchanging with would have no need for the coupons themselves, and there’s always the matter of having to go through the hassle of exchanging the product and the money, but sometimes the deals are so good, it’s worth it.

And the best part is that Costco can’t punish you for exceeding your coupon limit, because they never know!

My parents drink Taster’s Choice instant coffee.  We never do, so whenever the coupon comes around, we usually purchase it for them and then exchange the money and coffee when we see them (which is regularly).

We’ve also done this exchange with my parents getting stuff for us, as well as a recipricol exchange with our in-laws.  In the end, this has helped us all save a great deal of money.

Many products have such a high limit that this doesn’t come into play, but on those items where the limit is one or two, and you can benefit from saving more, doing such an exchange can be a very saving savvy move.

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Are Internet Coupons The Future Or On Their Way Out?

A local supermarket chain (and I use that term loosely since they only have a few stores) recently instituted a policy that they will no longer accept coupons from the Internet.  This means coupons from Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, Redplum.com or other sites that offer legitimate manufacturers coupons will no longer be accepted.

I’ve heard for a long time that Internet coupons will eventually take more and more market share from the traditional Sunday paper inserts.

Our household uses both.  We clip coupons, and I also go onto the coupon sites once a week and print out offers from there.  We print all of our coupons from one computer so we don’t game the system by over-printing or copying coupons.

This, apparently, was what led the grocery store chain in question to prohibit these coupons, as they said some customers were using them in ways that they shouldn’t, so they decided to stop accepting them altogether.

Only one time have we ever had a problem with Internet coupons.  At a Meijer store, a rather difficult cashier wouldn’t accept one of the coupons, claiming it was a fraud.  This was odd because she accepted other printed coupons in the same order.  A manager later apologized after we complained.  Other than that, we’ve had no problems.  But this concerns me a bit.

Just a bit, though, for now.

The chain in question has never been one of my favorites.  As I said before, they only have a few stores so their influence is not all that great.  I’ve never been impressed with their stores, layout, or pricing, but apparently they do well enough to stay in business for decades.

Still, when you see something like this, you wonder if they’re bucking the trend or if other stores will take notice.

Personally, I think internet coupons are great, but I can see where stores or manufacturers might get burned if customers start using them improperly.

Have any of you used Internet coupons regularly?  Have you had any times where they’ve not been accepted or heard of policies where they might not be accepted?  I’m curious what experiences others have had.

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Do You Ever Leave Coupons Behind?

Sales and savings are things that you want to share all the time.  However, I think it would be very odd if I were to talk up to random people in the store and try to promote sale items or say “Did you know there was a coupon for that in Sunday’s paper?”

People can make their own decisions and decide how much they want to save.

One thing I have done, though, is to leave coupons behind that I know I won’t use.  Now, we don’t clip every coupon in the inserts and take them around to the store.  While that would be generous, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

However, there are times where it makes sense:

  • If the sale never happened – Sometimes, we clip a coupon with the intention of buying the item only if to goes on sale, so that we can ‘stack’ the coupon with the sale.  If the store never puts the item on sale, the coupon will go unused.
  • If you clipped it as a maybe item – Some coupons never go unused in our house, but some items you clip as a maybe item, depending on what meals you might or might not make, and whether you’re unsure as to what ingredients you don’t have
  • You clipped a bunch and used a few – We buy pouches of kitty treats, and there are always coupons for these.  We usually clip them all out and then stock up when there are sales to get the maximum discount (often close to free).  By the time we buy them, we usually have a dozen coupons, which gives us many options.  We don’t need them all, so I’ll leave the rest behind since I know that the coupon will most likely expire before our next round of buying.

I know that others have done this from time to time, because sometimes I’ll see a random coupon sitting on a store shelf.

Have you ever left a coupon behind in hopes that you can save somebody else some money?  Have you ever picked up and used a coupon in that situation?

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9 Ways to Slash Your Spending Now

This is guest post written by Mindy Claribel.  Mindy runs MyCCFinder, an online coupons blog that updates at least 4-8 deals a day at your favorite retailers both online, as well as offline!
Everyone has monthly bills and unless you’re still living in your parent’s basement, I wanted to give you some killer tips that you can honestly implement today.  I’m going to take the basic bills that most people today use and what you can do in order to cut them in half.
#1 Your cable TV bill – Most of us today have a cable TV bill and if you’re paying more than $50 for your bill, you’re already paying way too much!  Simply call up your cable company and ask for a reduction.  If they refuse, tell them that you’re going to change services.  Call up competitors and see if they can match.  I know it’s a hassle, but it can be done.  You will find that most of the times they will give you a discount just for asking.
#2 Start using coupons for groceries – You grocery shop and I know you do.  Did you know that there are coupon related sites out there that will help you save on your grocery bill?   Websites such as CouponMom and AFullCup can both help you find printable coupons, as well as show you what coupons you can use on top of the sale price to save a ton of money.
#3 Use coupons on everything – Not only do you want to use coupons on groceries, you will also want to use them on everything else.  From shopping at a hardware store, to eating out at a restaurant, to getting your favorite shoes, you can get what you want and keep money in your pocket.
#4 Buy clothing at a cheap rate – You don’t have to go to the mall to get your favorite clothes.  Outlet stores, as well as thrift stores such as Goodwill and others can save you 80% easily when you want to buy clothing.  Yes, you can find a lot of name brands here!
#5 Analyze your health insurance – I switched over to a higher deductible health insurance account.  Since I’m self employed, I used to pay over $500 for my policy with a $250 deductible.  Today, I have a $3,000 deductible and I only pay $64 a month.  If you’re a healthy person, heavily consider this one.
#6 Look at other insurance – Your car, home, and other types of insurance should be checked up on annually.  See what kind of deals that you can get from other places.  If you can find it cheaper, see if your current insurer will match it.  Most places will give you a discount just for combining all of your insurance.  Check into this as well.
#7 Watch your utilities – It’s not too hard to save on your heating / electric bill.  Invest into a programmable thermostat and even set your temperature down to 62 or so at night when you’re sleeping.  By doing this, you can cut your bill back by at least 30%.
#8 Your phone bill – There’s no reason to pay $100 a month for a simple telephone.  If you do a lot of calling from your home, consider services like MagicJack that can save you $100s over the year.  If you don’t use your cell phone that often, you may want to consider a prepaid plan.
#9 Always compare prices – It sounds easy enough but no matter what you do, make it a habit to get at least 3 different responses.  Whether you want to get something painted, or maybe you want to buy a TV.  NEVER buy from the first place.
As you can see, it’s not really that hard to save.  It looks good on paper, but make a promise to implement it yourself.  By doing so, you can save 100s, if not 1000s per month!
Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.