Reader Question and Answer

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on October 31, 2008

Good morning all! A quick Q & A is in order, as I’ve received some good questions this week. In order for everyone to hear the responses, I’ll do them all in one post! Bare with me!

1. Can you tell me about Cellfire. If you don’t want calls to your cell phone can you still sign up for the coupons? I do not have internet or text message on my cell.

I am brand new to Cellfire.com so I’ll tell you about my experience. If anyone else has more information or tips, please leave a comment and let us know!
I signed up for Cellfire in less than 5 minutes. It is a free service. You type in your cell phone number and it texts you a confirmation code. So, YES, you do need to have text message services on your phone. You type the confirmation code back in on Cellfire.com and you can then go to the “ecoupon” page. You have to type in your Kroger card number. You can then load the coupons onto your card.
I did not explore the other options, but it seemed like it was possible to get coupon codes sent to your cell phone via text message to be used at many different vendors. I did not sign up for that program. I got a free box of Oatmeal for my husband! Love that free stuff!
I have received no other text messages from them, or phone calls!

2. How often should I check the sites to get new coupons? I’ve checked every day for the last few, but haven’t seen anything new. Is it one day of the week, or month?

First, “ecoupon” sites. Shortcuts.com adds a few new coupons every week (it seems). P & G esaver is on a 8-12 week program. Their current offers expire December 31, 2008. There will be new ones to load after that. Cellfire.com ecoupons that I just loaded expire TODAY, so I imagine you will be able to reload next week. Upromise is a program you can sign up for and get “ecoupons” that go into a college savings fund for your child. It’s easy and free!
Next, printable coupons. I still don’t have this one figured out! I check them every other week or so. I also check deals blogs (see list in my Blogroll) as they will post the link in their deals posts. Many of the deals blogs will have coupon bars in the side bar that you can print from! “Deals mamas”, please chime in on this one!
Last, check out sites like Coupon Loop and Hot Coupon World, as they have coupon databases that you can search for specific printable coupons (Thanks Mommy Snacks for this tip!)

3. Is it more frugal to buy boullion or soup base, or is it better to shop ready-made broth specials? I buy the Toni’s chicken soup base at Sam’s, but I actually don’t hear much about Sam’s or Costco being used in frugal shopping much??

I believe it would be most frugal to use boullion cubes over ready made broth. I have not done a price comparison, but think this is right. The BEST and FREE way to do it is to make it yourself. I do this in two ways. I will strain off the juices from a pork or beef roast and then freeze the juices. When I need a beef or pork broth for a soup, then I thaw the juices and mix in some water. Free! A great way to make chicken broth is to boil the bones, let the broth cool and then freeze it! After roasting a chicken in the crock pot, pick off all the meat and then boil the bones. You can buy the cheaper variety “bone in split breasts” and cut off the breast portions (for your boneless chicken breast), and then boil the bones to make a stock. I freeze the stock in Ziploc baggies!
As for Sams, I am no longer a member. I have found that it’s cheaper to match coupons with sales at regular grocery stores. I used to just buy diapers there, but believe I have found a cheaper way.
I do diapers 2 ways. I am very much a “Huggies snob”, so here’s what I do!
1. At CVS or Walgreens, I buy the “Jumbo packs” when they are on sale and have a Extra Care Bucks or Register Rewards bonus. I also use a paper coupon. I then submit my receipt to Caregiver’s Marketplace (CM). CM is a free program for caregivers. If you have child who is younger than 5, then you qualify for the program. They have a LONG list of products that you can get money back by submitting your ORIGINAL receipt. Huggies Jumbo packs are on that list. They will send you $1 for each package you buy. I have received $14 back from them since I started doing this. My best deal so far was at Walgreens several weeks ago. Package was on sale for $9.99 and I got $2 back as a Register Reward (like cash on your next purchase). I used a $2 off coupon and then submitted my receipt. So I got a package of Huggies Jumbo for $4.99! I got more than one package for my “stockpile”.
2. At Kroger, I use both the Huggies “ecoupon” from Shortcuts.com and paper coupon as well. When the Jumbo packs go on sale for $9.99, the final cost is $6.99 for a package after the coupon, ecoupon and CM rebate. Not as good as CVS or Walgreens, but still better than $11 for a package!

4. I was wondering if you have to give the cashier the coupon after each product or if you can just hand her all the coupons after everything is rung up? I have avoided coupons like the plague because when I was growing up I thought it showed that our family was poor. Now I realize it is smart to be saving money.

Coupons are definitely not to be avoided and they are definitely not just for the poor! Only the really smart girls and guys are using them! I do believe coupons will be “COOL” again, especially in today’s economy! My attitude about coupons has greatly changed in recent months. We are a one income family living in a two income world! I have now taken it upon myself that my way to “contribute to the family’s income” is to SAVE. My “job” is to spend a few minutes each week making money by saving money!

I always have a STACK of coupons when I’m shopping, and yes, I hand them to the cashier at the end. I pay close attention to the “rules” on the coupon and to make sure I am getting the right product. I don’t like to get “beeps” at the register (where the computer doesn’t recognize the coupon and it’s trying to reject it), and I want to keep a good reputation at “my stores”. I have only run into 1 unhappy cashier. They are usually impressed with my savvy shopping! My favorite thing to do…call me cheesy, I don’t care…I love to give them my Kroger card after they finish ringing up my transaction. I see the total before savings amount, and then watch the number PLUMMET! After all the store savings and then coupon savings, my total is usually close to or more than half of the original price! I’m a BIG money saving NERD!…a smart nerd that is!

Thanks for these great questions! Now get on out there and save yourself some money!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

iheartbowheads.blogspot.com October 31, 2008 at 9:02 am

You inspire me to work on my coupons!!!!!

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Erin October 31, 2008 at 9:17 am

I am so with you on the giving the Kroger card at the end, it is like watching a slot machine! I love it!!!

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two_blue_one_pink October 31, 2008 at 10:04 am

I also wait till the end to give them my grocery card, then the coupons. I like to see that before total on the register and then watch it drop :)

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savvysuzie October 31, 2008 at 11:11 am

You’ve been boo’ed! See my site for details :)
Happy Halloween!

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momstheword October 31, 2008 at 11:37 am

You can also take the broth and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then put the frozen broth cubes in a freezer bag. Then you can take out as much as you need to thaw.

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beansntatersmama October 31, 2008 at 12:16 pm

I know what you mean about the end of a sale it kind of makes you want to shout BINGO!!!! Ofcourse that may just be me because the grocery store is one of the few places I actually get out of the house for. Keep up the great work and God Bless. angie

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Mrs. Querido October 31, 2008 at 1:33 pm

Couponing is addicting! :) I, like you $5 Dinner Mom, have made it my “job” to save our family as much money so that we can survive, yea thrive on one income. And I too love the thrill of the price plummeting when I hand them my store card…lol. What a rush!

Yes, I am a coupon geek too. I freely admit it…

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Louanne October 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm

I also see my couponing and CVS shopping as contributing to our family income. My DH tells me all the time “thanks for my coupon work” to contribute to our families stash.

And it makes me sad when people say that it’s for the poor, but I have heard it. I see it as FREE money being handed to you by the manufacturers.

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britt's girl October 31, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for the fabulous heads up on the CM site. I hadn’t heard of them. Hooray!!!

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britt's girl October 31, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for the fabulous heads up on the CM site. I hadn’t heard of them. Hooray!!!

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Stacey October 31, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Now I really wish I was American!! At least for the grocery coupons :)

Just a thought… cloth diapers will save you a ton too :)

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Lisa B. November 2, 2008 at 10:46 am

Coupons are free money! Who doesnt love free money? They make my dinners more frugal and I’m able to provide my family with a wider variety because of utilizing coupons. Great Post! thanks for sharing.

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Anonymous November 16, 2008 at 11:50 am

As a cashier, I don’t mind when people hand me coupons at the end, EXCEPT coupons for free items. If I have them in the beginning, I can write the price of the item on the coupon as I ring them up, and don’t have to waste time going thru the entire grocery order on the screen looking for the price.

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