Jan 252015
 

I’ve received several questions over the last few weeks, and a couple brought up interesting and important points I’d like to discuss.

Q:  I want to build up my stockpile immediately, but I feel like I’m spending more money than I normally spend to do so.  Is that normal?

A:  One of the biggest mistakes someone new to couponing makes is to use coupons just because they have them instead of buying products they will use for themselves or to donate.  If you are spending money on things you wouldn’t normally purchase, this would account for the increase in funds being spent.  If you take a good look at what you use on a regular basis and only buy those items, you will see that your budget will stay consistent as you look for deals that are worth stockpiling.

Q:  How much time will couponing take me, and how long before I’m a pro?

A:  The amount of time you spend on using coupons is going to vary significantly based on several things.  How many people are you shopping for?  Are you buying for only two people in your household, or are you buying for eight, plus extended family?  Or, are you buying to fill your entire church pantry?  How organized are you?  If you are spending a lot of time trying to find coupons, you are going to spend more time than someone who has a system that works well for them.  The more organized you are, the less time this lifestyle will take.

Couponing isn’t as simple as it seems.  You will also have to spend some time learning how to utilize coupons to their full benefit.  Just ask someone who has attended our workshop, and they’ll tell you how much information is shared!  There is a learning curve to account for, and you’ll need to practice.  The more great deals you get, the better you will become at future deals.

Once individuals have a system in place that works for them, they often are able to shop multiple stores in less time than they were spending at one, and within six months, many of our event attendees are spending approximately 50% less than what they were spending before using coupons on a regular basis!

If you have questions you’d like me to address, please feel free to email me at kimberly@encouragehope.org, and maybe they’ll be in our next newsletter!

Jan 192015
 

Have you heard of JustGoGirl?  This company was founded by women for women to ensure women feel good when working out.  Empowering women through products, while inspiring women to consistently reach new goals, is the backbone of their mission.

From JustGoGirl.Com: “If you have ever run or jumped and leaked, we’ve designed a pad for you.  The patent pending design of the JustGo Pad™ concentrates protection in the front, where you need it, and tapers in the back so it is invisible from behind.  Our pad will get you through your longest run or hardest workout with comfort and confidence.  Once you try the JustGo Pad™, you will never go back to bulky incontinence pads or sanitary napkins.”

JustGoGirl has completely changed their image, and you’ll enjoy the vibrant, welcoming design and colors on both their website and their retail packaging.Retail Box

Now through January 31, 2015, you can order a free sample which includes TEN pads.  Normally, free samples are limited to just two, so take advantage now.  You’ll need to pay for shipping, but consider the cost an investment as you enjoy more confidence!

Visit http://justgogirl.com/ to request your samples, and sign up for their newsletter!

Still not sure?  Here are just a few of the amazing testimonies that have been shared:

“Thank you!! Just Go Girl gave me the security to get through my first half marathon! It really is a distinct improvement over similar feminine products you would find at the drugstore or grocery, based on the unique shape and ‘holding’ capacity. On to training for my next half marathon and Just Go Girl will be right there with me.” -Mary Ellen

“I just started using your product and I LOVE it!  As an older (57) powerlifter, I had been struggling for quite awhile before I heard about you.   Now I’m telling everyone. Thanks!” -Karen S.

“THANK YOU for your product!!!  It changed my world this past year.  I have spread the word to friends, family, and health care professionals.” -Laura P.

Go ahead!  Visit http://justgogirl.com, and request your samples, sign up for their newsletter, learn about their ambassador program, and be inspired as you read about their Kasiisi Project.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jan 182015
 

My generation is considered “connected” using technology to its full potential, including internet sits, social media, and even smart phones!  Part of the technology has increased the use of internet coupons, special offers, and great deals!  And, Encourage Hope’s website is no exception to these amazing finds!

I started at http://encouragehope.org/coupons, and browsed through 15 pages of internet printable manufacturer coupons!  I printed a coupon for 40¢ off one pouch of Betty Crocker cookie mix.  These often go on sale for $1, so with this coupon doubled, the cost will only be 20¢!  For many of us, we are responsible for buying valentine’s cards for our children’s classes, and there was a $1.50 coupon for a Nestle Fun Size Valentine Exchange Pack!  You get the cards and the candy in one sweet bundle!  I also printed a $1 off coupon on any Weight Watchers sweet bakery item!  There aren’t often good value coupons on these bakery items, so finding a $1 off 1 coupon is exciting!

But, the best coupons I found were on general mills cereal!  There was a $1/2 coupon, as well as coupons for specific types of cereal for .75/1 and .55/1!  Recently at Schnucks, there was a Catalina offer on cereal. If you bought $20 worth of cereal, you’d earn a $5 coupon, to use like cash, on your next transaction!  The cereal is already a great price at $1.77, so combining coupons, and then earning an additional $5 is just icing on the cake!

If you’re not a huge fan of online printables, almost all of our stores now offer digital coupons, too. Meijer and Kroger have websites where you may select the coupons, and redeem them at the register.  Target not only has digital coupons, but also traditional paper store coupons, and a program called Cartwheel for even more savings.

Add in phone apps such as Groupon, Ibotta, and Checkout 51, you’ll be on your way to tremendous savings using your computer, tablet, printer and phone!

Jan 112015
 

As I write this, I’m grateful our winter weather has been so warm! But, as I read emails I’ve received, and view facebook posts about out how people are less stressed, and more prepared, because they have been stockpiling before winter, I feel truly honored to be a part of their lives in our unique way!  (And, since this won’t be published for a month, I hope I don’t eat my words, and we’re in the middle of a blizzard!)

One of my subscribers wrote in with the following comments, and it’s very eye opening to realize how prepared she was without even being aware of it!  “When I heard people talking about running to the store to stock up on food, I realized I hadn’t even thought about it. I always have a stockpile in my basement, thanks to all of my couponing!  We could easily go a few weeks without grocery shopping.”

Our mission has allowed individuals and families to have necessities on hand, so they don’t fall into a panic mode when a potential crisis occurs.  I’m grateful to all of you for listening, and hearing my story, and allowing me to share the knowledge I’ve learned to assist your families.  Thank you.

If you aren’t a couponer now, check out these facts!  According to NHC, a Valassis company, shoppers saved $3.7 billion dollars with coupons in 2010!!  This was a 5.7% increase, as compared with 2009, with consumers saving an additional $200 million!

Coupons increased with an average of $1.46 face value, and a bit more than a quarter of those required the purchase of two or more items to obtain the savings.  And, as many have noted, our expiration dates have decreased by almost a week and a half giving consumers approximately only nine weeks to redeem each coupon.

And, in 2010, the distribution amount from marketers was the largest single year amount every recorded! Suzie Brown, Chief Marketing Officer for Valassis, stated “Marketers are distributing more coupons in the marketplace to reach today’s value-centric consumer.  For years, we have heard that the consumer is kind and this rings so true today.  Shopping and savings go hand in hand.”

By shopping and utilizing coupons for savings, it presents itself as the perfect opportunity to stock up for potential weather hazards, to share with friends and family members who may be struggling, and to purchase specifically to donate to organizations who help others in our community!