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How do you plan your shopping trips?

When it’s time to head to the grocery store, how do you plan your shopping trips? Do you go through your store’s circulars? Do you go online to look for coupons for items you plan to buy? Or do you rely on someone else to help plan your shopping trip?

12 hours ago

Rebranding the stockpile

“Stockpiling” is the term couponers have long used for shopping ahead of sales cycles, then storing groceries and supplies until the next sale. It’s a great strategy for shelf-stable, non-perishable or freezer-stable items because prices fluctuate. Buying at a low sale price, with coupons, e…

May 19, 2013 12:00 am

Readers save to win

Dear Jill,

May 12, 2013 12:00 am

Meaty savings

A recent column about saving money on meat struck a chord with many readers. Admittedly, getting coupon deals on meats is a little more difficult, as meat coupons aren’t always easy to find. If you’re purchasing brand-name meats, such as Hormel, Perdue or Butterball, you’ll find coupons avai…

April 21, 2013 12:00 am

Dig these digital savings tools

Dear Jill,

March 31, 2013 12:00 am

Getting credit for all of your coupons

Hi Jill,

March 24, 2013 12:00 am

Come shopping with me

Hi Jill,

March 15, 2013 12:00 am

Tales from the rebate front

Readers continue to weigh in on the pitfalls of mail-in rebates. The anti-rebate emails I receive far outnumber those singing their praises. Here’s a sampling.

March 10, 2013 12:00 am

Whatever becomes of a coupon?

You recently wrote about stores getting reimbursed by the manufacturer. As a long-time couponer, it's interesting to learn about couponing from the store and manufacturer's ends. I am very interested in how this reimbursement works. Do the stores hire people to submit coupons to each manufac…

March 03, 2013 12:00 am

Help! My groceries are shrinking!

Has this happened to you? You’re walking down an aisle at the supermarket and you pick up a product you’ve purchased many times before. Dish detergent, deodorant, a cake mix – it looks the same as it always has, but something just isn’t right.

February 21, 2013 12:00 am

A senior discount moment

Are senior discounts a right or a privilege? This week, readers share their concerns about shrinking, changing and vanishing discounts. Also, a creative reader offers her save-smart tip for cheaper meats. Take a peek inside my email inbox.

February 17, 2013 12:00 am

Save money, no scissors required

Jill Cataldo saves hundreds by making the most of the common coupon. You can, too. Here’s how.

February 07, 2013 12:00 am

A walk on couponing’s wild side

Judging by my inbox, there are far more coupon complaints than coupon cheer from shoppers these days. I always aim to promote couponing best practices in my column, my blog and my couponing classes. It’s clear, though, that the ill-advised actions of a few shoppers have an outsized impact on…

February 03, 2013 12:00 am

Give and take in the grocery aisle

I receive a lot of testy email from readers reporting on coupon usage and shopping habits of fellow shoppers. One topic that continues to burn up my inbox involves people perceived to take more than “their share” of coupons.

January 27, 2013 12:00 am

How good is your good deal?

One of the questions I hear most often is, How do I know I’m getting the best price? Here’s my standard. Whether I buy a bottle of barbecue sauce or a winter coat, my goal is always to cut the price by half or more. While I love to get “crazy” deals (such as matching a $1 coupon to that barb…

January 20, 2013 12:00 am

Many unhappy returns

Oh, the woe of the shopper who must return a purchase. Most of the time it goes smoothly, but occasionally some of my readers hit snags when returning an item they decided they didn’t want or need.

January 11, 2013 12:00 am

You be the judge: Fraud or unethical?

Have you ever seen another shopper using a coupon in a questionable manner? Decide for yourself: Are the scenarios below fraud, or simply unethical?

December 28, 2012 12:00 am

Couponers weigh in on ‘battle of the brands’

Last week, readers frustrated with the increasing number of low-value coupons shared their views. One said that if a coupon doesn’t make a large enough dent in the price of a national name-brand item, she doesn’t use it. She buys the retailer’s store brand instead. Will this emerging “boycot…

December 23, 2012 12:00 am

Readers rant: Are coupon values going down?

Last week, I featured an email from a reader who felt there weren’t enough coupons for fresh meat and produce. He also had a comment on coupons’ values:

December 16, 2012 12:00 am

Couponer asks 'Where's the beef?'

Dear Jill,

December 09, 2012 12:00 am

Readers ponder taxing coupon conundrum

Last week, I featured an assortment of emails from readers who shared some of their coupon frustrations. There’s more where that came from! Claudia has a question on coupons and sales tax.

November 25, 2012 12:00 am

Readers share coupon complaints

My readers continue to share many coupon tips, stories and complaints via email. Here’s a sampling of what has landed in my inbox lately. First, Rick offers a strategy for dealing with coupons that a cashier incorrectly refuses to honor at the register:

November 18, 2012 12:00 am

Is that 'free' sample really free?

Dear Jill,

November 11, 2012 12:00 am

E-asy does it: The E-coupon debate revisited

Recently, I shared an email from a reader who believes there is a conspiracy going on with electronic coupons. My reader feels that companies offering coupons online and via phone apps are deliberately excluding discounts from the people who need them the most. I offered some budget-friendly…

November 04, 2012 12:00 am

Coupons: Knowing right from wrong

Last week, I shared an email from a couponer anxious to determine if it was OK to photocopy coupons. It isn’t. Photocopying coupons violates the “Coupon may not be reproduced” clause in coupon redemption policies. It’s also the most common form of coupon fraud. The reader said she learned th…

October 21, 2012 12:00 am

Attention shoppers: Stop bending the rules

I’d like to believe that the vast majority of shoppers are ethical and that they follow the rules and terms stated plainly on coupons.

October 14, 2012 12:00 am

Couponing success stories

Dear Jill,

October 07, 2012 12:00 am

Stores wary of printable coupons

Dear Jill,

September 30, 2012 12:00 am

The case of the phantom coupon

Dear Jill,

September 23, 2012 12:00 am

When pictures on coupons pose a problem

When a coupon carries a declaration that it’s good on any variety of a product, you’d think that explanation would be sufficient.

September 16, 2012 12:00 am

Getting a deal at the world's biggest store

I receive more questions by far about coupon policies at Wal-Mart than I do for any other store. So, last week and in today’s column, I set aside my “no names” policy to answer the most-asked questions about the big retailer.

September 09, 2012 12:00 am

Couponing at the world's biggest grocer

Since I began writing “Super-Couponing Tips,” I have avoided naming names. My column runs nationally, and my readers patronize many different stores, from Piggly Wiggly in Alabama to Price Chopper in Massachusetts, from Red Apple on the West Coast to Giant Eagle in the East.

September 02, 2012 12:00 am

E-e-e coupons: What shoppers need to know

Shoppers face an array of coupons in electronic form these days: print-at-home coupons, e-coupons that can be loaded to a store’s loyalty card and coupon apps for smartphones and tablets. Technology can make it easy to access discounts. But some shoppers feel that the rise of digital couponi…

August 26, 2012 12:00 am

SUPER COUPONING: Saving on ‘Back To School’

It’s back-to-school time again. Each year around this time I like to share some of my favorite tips for saving on school supplies. This year, the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend more than $688 per child on back-to-school supplies, up more than 10 percent from last year…

August 19, 2012 12:00 am

Sale shopping without coupons

I’ve seen this phenomenon many times: New coupon shoppers are gung-ho about getting started and saving money. But a few weeks into their coupon adventure, they start trying to use coupons for every purchase, and I receive emails like these:

July 29, 2012 12:00 am

Counterfeit coupons in the news

A big counterfeit coupon bust grabbed headlines last week, and authorities have called it the largest counterfeit ring to operate in the United States.

July 22, 2012 12:00 am

Rebate redux

My recent column on rebates generated a lot of email! Listen to these readers who wrote in to complain, ask more questions and defend mail-in rebate offers.

July 15, 2012 12:00 am

When rebates go awry

Do you enjoy rebates? My inbox is constantly filling up with stories of rebates gone wrong. Let’s continue the rebate discussion from a few weeks ago, and see why many shoppers – including me – are wary of them.

July 08, 2012 12:00 am

Reader feedback: Coupon tips and comments

I love receiving email from my readers, and they often write in with great coupon tips of their own! Here’s a sampling:

July 01, 2012 12:00 am

The ABCs of considerate couponing

Dear Jill,

June 24, 2012 12:00 am

Counterfeit coupons: Accidentally on purpose

Dear Jill,

June 17, 2012 12:00 am

Talking about safe stowaways

Dear Jill,

June 10, 2012 12:00 am

Extreme couponing: What you don't see

The TLC show, “Extreme Couponing,” is back for another season. And when the show starts up, the emails pour in.

June 03, 2012 12:00 am

The great rebate debate

 People assume that because I am an enthusiastic couponer, I also enjoy rebates. Many products offer mail-in rebates that provide significant savings or free products when the rebate check or gift card comes back in the mail.

May 27, 2012 12:00 am

Not so loyal to your loyalty card?

Dear Jill,

May 20, 2012 12:00 am

Eek! E-Coupons!

Most shoppers use traditional paper coupons found in the newspaper when they shop for groceries and other consumer packaged goods.

May 13, 2012 12:00 am

Free products, not free money

If you've ever used a free or Buy one, get one free coupon, you've probably noticed a box at the top of the coupon. That box is where the cashier enters the selling price of your free item.

May 06, 2012 12:00 am

Readers weigh in with couponing feedback, questions

Every week, I receive tons of reader feedback, from questions about coupons to suggestions for other readers. This week's column is a grab bag of that feedback

April 29, 2012 12:00 am

Counterfeit coupons: What you must know

In last week's column, we discussed why it's never a good idea to purchase coupons online. The terms on many state that they are void if sold, so manufacturers may refuse to reimburse a store that accepts a sold coupon. But there's another reason: coupons purchased online are considered coun…

April 15, 2012 12:00 am
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