Monday, February 9, 2009

Using "Free Product" Coupons Wisely

At any given time I have around 3 or 4 coupons for free products in my coupon binder. I know most people's first reaction when they receive a coupon for a free product is to pick it up the very next time they go to the store. But those coupons can actually be even more valuable than just the value of the free item. Here are some reasons I like to hang on to those coupons until just the right moment:

-Bringing the total up at grocery stores with coupon policies that only let you double when you have a certain amount on your order. For example, one of my stores only lets you double 3 coupons for every $10 on your order. The $10 is calculated before coupons, though. So if there is a really good deal I could get with a doubled coupon, but I don't quite have $10 worth of stuff in my order, I can use a free product coupon to bring my total up.

-$/$$ ($4 off $20, etc.) coupons at CVS or grocery stores. Periodically CVS will email coupons for $4 off a $20 purchase or different grocery stores will have them in their flyers. Those totals are usually calculated before coupons. So, lets say you have $15 worth of groceries in your cart and you have a $4 off $20 coupon to use. You can "buy" a free product worth $5 and then be eligible to use your $/$$ coupon. Your total before coupons would be $20, then subtract $4 from the $/$$, and subtract $5 from your free product coupon, and your total is now $11 (minus any other coupons for anything else in your cart.)

-Other store promotions. For example, we periodaclly get coupons for free glucose monitors in the paper. If you're diabetic and need one, that's a great deal. But it's an even better deal when you wait for CVS to offer $5 Extrabucks when you purchase one. Use your free product coupon to "purchase" a monitor, and you'll get $5 worth of Extrabucks to boot.

For those reasons, I hang onto my free product coupons until one of those moments I listed above or unil it is about to expire. If a coupon is ready to expire and I still haven't needed it for one of the occasions, I will go ahead and use the coupon. If the product is for something I don't need, though, I usually don't even bother getting it because I'd rather not pay the sales tax on something I don't need.

You may be wondering where I obtain products for free coupons. Here are some sources where everyone can obtain free coupons:

-The newspaper coupon inserts. Every so often there will be a coupon for a completely free item. For example, some that we have had recently were: various glucose monitors, Marcal paper towels, Frank's Red Hot Sauce and French's Worcestershire sauce.

-Word-of-Mouth marketing companies like Vocalpoint, SheSpeaks, Pssst, and Kraft First Taste by General Mills These word-of-mouth marketing companies desire ladies to try products and advertise them by word-of-mouth. Because of that, they often send out samples and coupons (including coupons for free products) for you to try out various products.

-Request coupons by mail. Some free coupons that are currently available are: Country Bob's All-Purpose Sauce, Home Made Simple Coupon Booklet (includes a coupon for free Cascade Rinse Agent), 2 Free Boxes of Glucerna Cereal, Free Diet Dr. Pepper.

-Compliments or complaints. On several occassions I have emailed companies just to compliment them on their products and have been pleasantly surprised by free product coupons showing up in my mailbox. One time I emailed Beech-Nut because I had bought some juice that was not sealed inside. They didn't just send me a coupon to replace the product, they sent me a coupon for $5 worth of Beech-Nut food!

1 comment:

  1. included in my best of february 2009


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