Q&A with Jennifer and Rachel

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1.What made you begin couponing?

Jen:
I began couponing when I was out of work and because its FUN….the most logical thing to do in a failing economy is save as much money as possible. Couponing in my opinion is a form of what my bio twin referred to as “retail therapy”…. lol its relaxing and keeps your mind busy. I also enjoy the adrenaline rush you get when you get a really good deal!

Rachel:
I began couponing because I really love saving money. It is that simple.

2.How long have you been couponing?

Jen:
I have only been couponing for about 9 or 10 months, I had made several attempts at beginning to coupon, all to which were epic failures but my bio twin pointed me in the right direction to get me started, sometimes I have a hard time telling whether or not a deal is good or not but with every haul I feel like I improved more and more

Rachel:
I started using coupons on a regular basis in January of 2011. My mom mentioned watching a segament on Ellen. Ellen interviewed a lady who considered herself a crazy coupon lady. I googled her and from that I found a wealth of information on couponing. The rest is history.

3.What is your favorite money saving app?

Jen:
I actually have two favorite money saving apps..
1. I like ibotta   because you make actual cash and it pays out directly to your PayPal account.
2. I like shopkicks because it’s a fun app and I like that you run around the store looking for specific products to scan, people usually look at me like I’m crazy and I also like gift cards!

Rachel:
My favorite money saving app is Shopkicks. You basically get rewarded for going into specific stores and can use points that you receive to redeem for gift cards. There are also other fun ways to earn points like scanning products. It is like a mini scavenger hunt. My currrent goal is to earn enough points to redeem them for a $300 coach gift card. I figure it will take me 3 years to complete this goal! LOL

4. What is your favorite type of product to coupon for?

Jen:
I like to coupon for personal products, such as razors, bodywash, lotions, etc etc…

Rachel:
AHH, this is a tough question. In general, I like buying food items. I get the most satisfaction out of saving money on items I would typically have to replace in a short amount of time. But specifically, I am going to have to think about that one.

5. Would you do couponing as a full time job?

Jen:
It seems to be kinda like a full time job already!

Rachel:
Haha, I already feel like I do couponing as a full time job. I have one evening a week that I dedicate to going out and shopping for deals. But besides that, I am constantly signing up for giveaways and freebies. Yes, I am a closet freebie junkie!

6. Are there any particular stores that you like to coupon at? If yes why?

Jen:
I seem to lean toward CVS for most of my hauls… I guess it depends on the area, I have couponed at a few different CVS stores and at one store the people looked at me like I was a loser because I was using coupons and the manager lady was rude and didn’t want to honor the ECB deal that was advertised in the weekly AD. CVS seems to always have some pretty awesome deals

Rachel:
My favorite store to do a coupon haul in would be Giant Eagle. I love saving money on groceries because let’s face it, there is no way to get around not buying food. So when I can save money on the items my family needs the most, I really get excited. I especially like Giant Eagle because they double coupons up to .99 and accept competitor coupons. That is a double plus in my book.

7. Have you had a horrible experience while couponing and did it make you NOT want to return to that store?

Jen:
Not really except for attitude from workers and people in line behind me getting all huffy puffy with me because I’m doing separate transactions.

Rachel:
Yes, I stopped couponing at a specific retailer for about 3 months after a mobile coupon would not scan from my phone. I didn’t take issue with that but just in how the cashier and manager handled the situation. I felt that they were overly defensive with circumstances that did not warrant that kind of attitude. It didn’t make me want to stop couponing elsewhere, though. 😉

8. What is the best freebie you have received?

Jen:
The best freebie I have received would have to be the summer beauty bag from target

Rachel:
The best freebie I have ever received would be an Oral-B electric toothbrush. I received it a few weeks ago from entering a Dr. O.z. giveaway. The best part is I didn’t know that I had won it so when I opened the package I was shocked to say the least.

9. Couponing vs extreme couponing?

Jen:
I think extreme couponing is just that… EXTREME… I’m not against it really but having respect for other customers and fellow couponers is a MUST.. I have gone into stores with like 6 coupons for the same item but only used 2 or 3 because there weren’t many of that product on the shelf! If there was a really good deal on say rice packets and I had an obsessive amount of coupons, I would call ahead and order the product instead of cleaning off the shelves.

Rachel:
I think extreme couponing gives other more reserved couponers a bad name. Lately, it seems people tend to think of extreme couponers when they think of couponing. (Maybe this is due to a particular television show that comes on TLC. Hmmm, what could it be? LOL.) I get asked if I am an extreme couponer a lot when I am out in the field. I think it is lovely to build a nice stock pile for yourself, family and friends. It is even a bigger blessing when you can shop for and donate items to local charities. I have no problem with excessive couponing if it is going to help out others but if someone is buying items in excess and not doing anything with them then it becomes a problem.

10. Do you keep track of your coupon savings by saving your receipts?
What do you find is the easiest way to do so?

Jen:
yes, I attempt to keep track of my coupon savings but I haven’t really figured out the easiest way to keep track

Rachel:
I did in the beginning but I quickly lost interest with saving my receipts. But I did just recently start saving my receipts for another reason. I think I will talk about that in a future post. 😉

11. What is your favorite blog site to refer to about couponing and freebies?

Jen:
My favorite blog site is probably hip2save

Rachel:
My go-to coupon blog site is http://www.hip2save.com.  Collin has such an upbeat personality and her goofy you tube videos are what drew me in. She keeps her readers up-to-date with the latest deals and steals all day long.

12. Are there any helpful tips and tricks you would like to share with your readers?

Jen:
Do your research and NEVER leave the house without your binder because you never know when a deal is going to pop up!

Rachel:
If you are interested in receiving freebies, I would sign up and get a facebook profile. If you are leery of doing this, you can go by an alias and remain anmonyous. Once you have established a profile, you can subscribe to your favorite blogging sites and be alerted of their most current posts. Instead of frequenting every site individually, you can stay abreast of what is going on by scrolling though your newsfeed on facebook. If you have an unlimited text messaging plan, I would also sign up for text alerts from your favorite bloggers. It is just another way of being in the “know” when a deal pops up.

13. What is your opinion about “shelf cleaners”? Do you think a limit should be put on specific items that could be deemed as awesome deals?

Jen:
I’m not going to comment on “shelf cleaners”  and yes, I think that there should be a limits on certain products that could be deemed as a good deal, maybe not really a limit but like I said before calling ahead and placing an order is a little more respectful toward other couponers and customers!

Rachel:
In my opinion, I think if you want to purchase a significant amount that would be equivilent to clearing a shelf, there are other ways to go about it. A person can get in contact with a manager at the store and ask him/her to order what he/she would like to purchase. Some stores do implement limits on merchandise and others do not. I think it is hard to pin point what an “awesome deal” would be because depending on a person’s needs, one item might be really hot to you but to someone else it might be worthless.

14. Why do you like couponing?

Jen:
I like couponing because I like saving money, I LOVE shopping, and when I’m sad, upset, and down… Couponing makes me feel better!

Rachel:
I don’t just like couponing, I LOVE it! I come from a long line of coupon-ers and people who live with a frugal mentality. The need to save money is almost an obession of mine. I get a natural high just knowing I saved money or received an item for FREE!

15.What do you do when your not couponing?

Jen:
well, I have a full time job so I’m usually working but even when I’m at work I’m usually checking the blog sites working on my next haul and sending away for freebies! When I’m not working or couponing I’m usually at home BORED or at the beach working on my tan… Lol

Rachel:
When I am not planning my next couponing trip, I like to spend time with my family. I can’t forget to mention that I love to thrift store shop. Also, anything to do with the outdoors like hiking, camping and geocaching are favorites of mine.

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