Perfectly Positive: The Coupon Life Cycle!

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Good morning, savvy savers! For this weeks Perfectly Positive post, I want to discuss the life cycle of coupons! A question recently had posed to me was, where your redeemed coupons go? This was a question I thought other readers may want to know as well!

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Here is the coupon life cycle:

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1) The cashier scans the coupons when you pay and generally places them under the cash drawer. Most cashiers are responsible for balancing the money in their till at the end of each shift, and they usually are responsible for counting the value of the coupons in addition to the cash.

2) Store manager will collect the week’s manufacturer coupons and then mail them either to the store’s headquarters or straight to a coupon clearinghouse. Clearinghouses, for those who do not know, are huge centers where coupon values are scanned and totaled so that stores may receive reimbursement checks from the manufacturer; 90% of clearinghouses are located in Mexico. At the clearinghouse, coupons will first be sorted by manufacturer or coupon’s value.

3) Manufacturers ask stores to provide “proof of purchase” for nearly all types of coupons. Manufacturers require stores to submit supplier information, product purchase receipts, and product movement reports.

4) Manufacturer coupons provide a handling fee, usually around $0.08, which is simply an additional fee the grocer receives for the trouble of accepting a coupon.

5) If a store uses a clearinghouse as addressed above, the clearinghouse cost is covered by the handling fee, and the store is reimbursed for the coupon’s face value.

6) Some larger grocery stores still get a portion of the handling fee back from the clearinghouse.

7) The cycle is repeated.

Wednesday Ways To Save: Prolong Ink Cartridge Life With Electrical Tape!

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Calling all my savvy-savers! As couponers, we tend to blow through ink cartridges on the regular, but no longer! I recently came up with a trick to help prolong ink cartridge life, black electrical tape! All you need to do is place a piece of electrical tape over the ending of the ink cartridges that connects to the printer. This will trick the printers internal sensors that the ink is full, and a new product! This also allows me to turn the cartridge over and shake the ink, if needed, without mess!

Here’s to saving!

Ways To Stretch A Dollar: Homemade Wall Putty!

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Attention savvy savers! As Spring has sprung, as has the itech to clean and remodel our homes and spaces! Today I have a great way to do just that, homemade wall putty! This is my go-to, non-toxic, pulled right from the cupboard recipe:

1) Mix 2 tbsp. of table salt and 2 tbsp. of cornstarch in a small bowl.

2 Add 5 tbsp. of cold tap water, a tablespoon at a time. Stir as you add the water until the mixture is a thick paste. If the mixture is runny, add 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of cornstarch and stir until the mixture has thickened without bubbles.

3 Use the paste to fill small holes in a wall. Apply it to the holes with a putty knife. Use the knife to smooth the homemade spackle so it is level with the wall. Allow the spackle to dry for one hour.

4 Sand the spackled area lightly with 100-grit sandpaper.

5 Paint the wall if desired, including the area that has been spackled.

Frugal Living Tip: Inexpensive Livingroom Centerpiece Idea!

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Calling all frugal decorating divas! I thought I would post a picture of my current livingroom coffee table centerpiece idea. I love that this idea utilizes just a round dish or bowl, pine cones, a glass candle holder filled with epson salts, and a candle! What’s cool about this idea, in my opinion, is that I had everything on hand in my home, and was even able to sent the pinecones myself, with essential cinnamon oil I had on hand. Obviously, this idea can be customized in endless ways, and is super simple to change on a whim!

If anyone has any other ideas, or tweaks to this idea, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

Weekly Menu!

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Hello, my fellow menu-planning pals! I wanted to share with you all my proposed menu for next week; I am excited to share the first of each weeks menu ideas. This week, I have everything I need on hand to prepare these meals, and this is prove to be a great ease to this weeks budget! Let me all know what you think! Next week, I will be couponing and shopping at my local Dollar Tree, Sam’s Club, Winn-Dixie, and Walmart and will share my new finds, as they come available for the following weeks menu. As well, for future weeks, when I try new recipes, I will post them in my recipes section above! In addition to my menu, I am excited to be trying out my individual crock pots, for serving lunch, which I purchased 75% off after the holidays from CVS! Most of menus desserts are Dollar Tree freebies and that rocks as well! Please note, by planning your menu, taking lunch from home, and using what you have on hand you will save nearly seventy percent off of what it would cost to eat out; each week I can cook for four for around forty-fifty dollars, with funds leftover!

Please enjoy!

Sunday:

Waffles with warm syrup and fresh fruit for breakfast, chopped chef salads for lunch, and for dinner, bbq crock pot chicken, corn-on-the-cob, green beans, rice pilaf, corn muffins, and eclair cake trifle.

Monday:

Cereal for breakfast, burritos and granola bars for lunch, and napa cabbage, potatoes, and ham with corn muffins for dinner; we will leftover dessert from last night.

Tuesday:

Cereal for breakfast, ham and cheese sandwiches with salad and fruit cup for lunch, and chili dogs with coleslaw and brownies for dinner.

Wednesday:

Oatmeal and berries for breakfast, soup of choice and crackers, and fresh fruit cup for lunch, and rotisserie chicken with macaroni and cheese, with peas for dinner.

Thursday:

Cereal bars and smoothies for breakfast, egg salad sandwiches with chips and fruit cup for lunch, and meatball marinara subs, topped with provolone, salad, and chocolate chip cookies for dinner.

Friday:

Cereal for breakfast, leftovers (sub or salad, or both) for lunch, and self-serve cold cut sandwich platter, with chips and pudding cups for dinner.

Saturday:

Waffles topped with fresh fruit for breakfast, grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, and mushroom and swiss turkey burgers, with sweet potato fries for dinner.

Frugal Living Tip: Keep Veggies Crisper With A Sponge!

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Hello, savvy savers! While many of my readers will be spending their weekends entertaining with friends and family, some of you will be joining me in planning weekly meal and menus for the week ahead. If you are planning on using fresh fruits and veggies in your cooking, as I am, be sure to try this simple trick. Use a clean, unused kitchen sponge, in the bottom of your refrigerator crisper bins, or in small container crispers, and you will be able to extend the life of your produce up to an extra week! The sponge will absorb moisture, allowing a stop on growing mold, mildew, and wilting! When your produce if eaten, simply rinse your sponge out using filtered water, microwave thirty second, and let cool on a trivet; I store my sponges in ziplock bags, labeled for produce absorption. Sea sponges and loofah can work as well. Enjoy your produce and veggie shopping!

An Affordable Way To Clean Your Whole House Series: Nylon Lint Removers!

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As a child, I spend hours while attending morning parochial school churching services, picking the endless lint balls from my navy blue nylons and tights. The lint balls never seemed to end! As an adult I can now appreciate this scenarios, as it has led me to one of my favorite cleaning tips, and another entry for my affordable cleaning series, as nylons are great, affordable lint catchers! You can replace costly lint pads, rollers, and buzzers with inexpensive $0.25 knee-highs, or using torn nylons at home. Simply place your hand under the nylon and start attacking all of your linty surfaces and clothing needs; this trick also works well on microsuede furniture, to remove pet hair, and works great as a car crumb catcher as well!

Happy cleaning!