Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to Get FREE Cereal & Other FANTASTIC Tips on Saving from Guest Blogger Kim @ Two Kids and a Coupon

One of my resolutions is to save even more money in 2011 and to add quality content to my blog - I thought that I could combine the two resolutions by writing a few posts on how I an saving this year and how I spent 90% less on holiday gifts in 2010.

2 Kids and a Coupon
 My first post though is a FANTASTIC article from Kim at Two Kids and a Coupon. She has a great new series on saving in 2011 and gave me permission to share some tips with my readers. Be sure to visit her site and follow daily for giveaways, great deals and coupons. If you think the article below is great, then check out Tips for Saving in the New Year With Coupons Part 1 and Part 2!

Want to know how you can start getting cereal for free?
Here's how!

Step 1: Watch for a sale! Don't ever pay the $3.50 - $4 a box or more for cereal unless you absolutely have to. My pre-coupon/promotion price for cereal is usually $1.50 a box or lower. 

Step 2: Combine with a promotion. To drop the price even more, combine the sale price with one or more of the below money saving techniques.
  • Use Coupons: Uh, yeah, duh. Probably seems over obvious considering the name of my site, huh? But many people don't know that you can combine a sale WITH coupons for even more savings. I recently got over 350 bags of cereal for free at Hy-Vee (midwest grocery store chain). They had Malt-O-Meal cereal on sale for 2/$1 (50 cents each). I had a bunch of $0.50 off coupons that made them totally free after coupons. Price before coupons each $0.50. Price after coupons -- FREE!

  • Stack Coupons: Did you know that many stores will let you use both a manufacturer AND a store coupon on the same item? Last week I got 2 boxes of Kashi cereal for free by stacking coupons at Target. I used 2 $3/1 manufacturer coupons from Vocalpoint and also used a Target Kashi printable coupon from here. Price before coupons $3.49 each. Price after coupons -- FREE!
  • Price Match: If store A has a killer price on cereal, but you have coupons only for store B -- don't be afraid to price match. That way you get the best of both deals! Most major retailers including Walmart and Target will price match. So for example, say Walmart has a brand of cereal you like for $1.50 a box in their ad, and you have Target coupons for that cereal. Take the ad to Target and price match the ad. You'll get the cereal for $1.50  a box AND be able to use your coupons! For more details on how to price match, see my article here.

  • Catalinas: Ever bought something at the store, and the cashier hands you a coupon with your receipt good for your next purchase? That coupon is called a catalina. These are promotions brands run (usually when you buy multiple quantities of an item) where you get a coupon good for a certain amount of $$$ off your next purchase. These coupons are as good as cash in most cases and helpt you save on future purchases.Combine this with a sale and coupons and you'll often get huge savings, free cereal, and sometimes even make a profit! Watch coupon blogs like this one for the best way to work these deals.

  • Rebates: Kellogg's and sometimes other brands frequently have rebates that can help you score free cereal if you're willing (and able) to pay for the cereal and get a rebate. I was recently able to get tons of Kellogg's cereal and Eggo waffles for free after rebate by watching for a sale, using coupons AND submitting the rebates. You do have to submit the paperwork and save the recipts -- but it's very worth it!
Step 3: When you can get it for free- stock up! If you do indeed want to get cereal by the case, you will need to stock up on coupons, and as long as you're watching what you spend on the coupons -- it is OK to buy them. Some people buy multiple papers, order coupons from Ebay, or from a clipping service. Do whatever works for you. You'll also want to buy as much as you can when you get it for free and stock up until you can get it for free again. If you have coupons to get 25 boxes for free, using these techniques -- buy all 25! That way you have plenty on hand and can wait to purchase it again until the next deal. Save some for your family, and if it's way too much for you to use by expiration -- share the wealth! One of our favorite parts about smart shopping and using coupons is sharing all of our freebies with our family, friends and donating to charity. It’s fun, feels great and helps others-- a great thing all around.