Drug Store Shopping 101: Rite Aid

Rite Aid has a very detailed coupon policy.  A quick overview of the policy:

You may use a Rite Aid coupon starting with a #48 and a Rite Aid Coupon staring with a #49 and a manufacturer coupon per item.

Rite Aid features a program called  Single Check Rebates, commonly referred to as SCR or SCR’s. In addition, they have a rewards program (similar to the CVS Extra Care Bucks Program) called + Up Rewards.

The SCR Program

Like traditional rebates, Rite Aid has a rebate for each individual item. Instead of sending separate checks for $1.00, $2.00 etc, the Single Check Rebate  program is designed to allow you to shop at Rite Aid during a predefined cycle and get one single check for the entire amount back. There are no UPCs to cut, shoppers card or rebate forms to keep track of. You need to save your receipt from your qualified purchases.  You will join the SCR program online here and enter your receipts each month.

Rite Aid issues a SCR book  with each offer in it for that cycle . You can also find the shopping list for the products online here. This book will list dates that the rebate is valid. Note: Rebates are not necessarily valid during the entire rebate cycle. Most rebates are only available for one week. You must check the rebate dates.

Most items will require a single item purchase:


To qualify for single item purchase SCR:

  • Purchase one item listed during the rebate period
  • Coupons can be used and will not be deducted from the rebate amount

There are rebate offers that require multiply purchases of the same product line

rite aid scr

To qualify for offers that require a purchase of multiple products :

  • You can make purchases during the entire valid period
  • Purchase do not have to be on one receipt
  • List of products that qualify for the SCR will be shown
  • You may be able to earn multiple levels of rebates
  • Coupons can be used and will not be deducted from the rebate amount

There are rebate offers that are for multiple product purchases in the rebate cycle.

rebate 23

To qualify for offers that require a purchase of multiple products :

  • You can make purchases during the entire valid period
  • Purchase do not have to be on one receipt
  • List of products that qualify for the SCR will be shown
  • You may be able to earn multiple levels of rebates
  • Coupons can be used and will not be deducted from the rebate amount

There are rebate offers  that will span more than one monthly SCR cycle:

rebate 1

These offers will list dates that the offer is valid, as in the example from purchases 09/27/09 – 12/26/09.

For offers that span more than one cycle:

  • You can make purchases during the entire valid period
  • Purchase do not have to be on one receipt
  • List of products that qualify for the SCR will be shown
  • Coupons can be used and will not be deducted from the rebate amount

You can also view the rebates available here.

Each rebate will have a rebate #, valid date and the amount of the rebate.

It will also include a description and the rebate limit.

online rebate

Once you have made your purchase you will need to keep your receipt.

rite aid receipt

The key information from your reciepts is as follows:

  • Store #.
  • Register #.
  • Transaction Code
  • Date of Purchase

You will then enter your receipt into the computer system.
enter receipts

When you enter a receipt, the status of the receipt is “Waiting for Purchase Information to Confirm Your Rebate”, it means that the receipt information you entered has not yet downloaded into Rite Aid’s system. If you entered your receipt on the same day that you made the purchase please allow up to 2 to 5 business days from the purchase date for the data to show on your account.  If you have waited more than 2 to 5 business days from your purchase date and the information is not showing on your account, please review the following information carefully on your account.

Once your receipts are entered, you can confirm your rebates. Once each receipt is entered, you will see a list of the rebates you qualified for:

rebate status

If you made an error entering your reciept:

If the rebate program submission  has not passed, reenter the receipt.

If the rebate program submission or sign up date has already passed, resubmit your receipt information to Special Services for manual processing by fax at  800-457-2243.

At the end of the period, you can request your check once all the receipts are entered.

request check

You will receive a check in about 2-3 weeks after you submit your request.

If the store is out of stock, you can still participate in the SCR program.

Rainchecks will be honored for all rebate offers during any promotional rebate period. Rainchecks must be used within 30 days of issuance to purchase the product on rebate and qualify for the rebate.  Your receipt must state “Raincheck” under the participating rebate product item to qualify for rebate.

• If you purchased the item on raincheck within the valid rebate dates then the rebate item will show on your account.

• If you purchased the item on raincheck outside the valid rebate dates then you will need to resubmit your receipt information to Special Services for manual processing.

Valid rebate date refers to the date the rebate item should have been purchased such as the entire program month or a limited time only rebate. If you have purchased the rebate item on raincheck outside of the specific dates on the website or in the directory of the rebate program then you will have to resubmit your receipt information for manual processing.

The + Up Rewards Program

To be eligible for the +UP Rewards, you must have a Rite Aid Wellness card. Without this card, you will not receive the +UP rewards.

1. +UP Rewards are Rite Aid’s Cash Register Receipt Rewards program.  See photo above. (I will refer to them as UPR from here on.)

2. UPR’s are earned when you purchase a specific item that is advertised. There will be a tag that says +UP Rewards.  In the photo above, you would get a $2.00 UPR when you buy Colgate for $2.99. You will see signs in the store like the one below telling you how much of a reward you will get.

3. As of now, UPR are unable to roll. (note – this is per the policy – sometimes they do end up rolling but I would go on the assumption that they may not) This means if you buy a Colgate for $2.99, receive a $2.00 UPR , you cannot use it to purchase another Colgate at $2.99 and still get a new $2.00 UPR.

4. You are limited to one like UPR per transaction. If you purchase 10 toothpaste, you will only get (1) $2.00 UPR. (note – this is per policy, sometimes multiple ups print – no official limits are published — so you presume it is 1 — I often provide a list of UPR limits each week)

5. You may use multiple UPR to pay for a transaction. If you have 10 UPR you can use them as long as it is more than your total (minus tax).

6. Your total must be over the amount of the UPR before tax.  For example, if your UPR is $2.00, your total cannot be $1.99 plus tax. It must be $2.00 and then tax.

7. UPR will not be adjusted if the price is lower. (this is the official policy and your store may choose to do it differently, but I would presume that they will not adjust it)

8. There are some restrictions on usage – no prescriptions, tobacco, prepaid cards, or any other items excluded by law.

9. Do not confuse the UPR with the Wellness Coupons that print on the bottom of the receipt. They are $1.00/$10.00 purchases- the same rules do not apply.

There are also UPR that require you to purchase  $x Dollars of select products to earn UPR.

1. The required purchases are pre-coupon prices.

2. There doesn’t seem to be a set standard of whether they can be purchased in multiple transactions – some work and others don’t.

Video Values

Video Value Coupons are Rite Aid store coupons that you earn by watching videos online. To get the video values coupons – you must register for an account using Ad Perk. You can sign up for an account here. The video values can be watched each month and the coupons are good thru the following month.  You may only use one coupon per person per wellness account. The coupons are all individually coded – so you may not use them twice.

Video Values Coupons can be combined with manufacturer coupons.  You can check out the video values program here.

Here are some tips to help you save with SCR:

1) You can print a shopping list on the Rite Aid site. This is helpful to remind you which items you need to purchase. In addition, to monthly rebates, there are also rebates that run outside of this period. In addition to cash rebates, there are also special gifts and gift card rebates. Many times these programs will run for multiple months or outside of the rebate periods.

2) When shopping, you may use coupons in conjunction with your rebates to maximize your savings. There are frequently free after rebate programs that become profitable when you combine with coupons. Once you have made your purchases you will be required to enter your receipt information into the online rebate system. Everything you need you will find at the top of your receipt.

3) I suggest that you enter your receipt immediately after you shop. If you decide to enter your receipt the same day you shop, there will be a day or two waiting period before your items show up. DO NOT request your check at this time. Once you request a check, you are no longer qualified for any other SCR during that rebate period. The only exception to this is if there is a rebate that is offered for a multiple month period. This will show up under a separate area of the rebates and you can select it without selecting your monthly check. If you are unsure, it is better to not request the rebate until the end of the period.

4) The check will not be in an envelope when it arrives. They are pink and mailed out of Exton, PA. Be sure to not accidentally throw it away, it does resemble junk mail. It can be cashed at your bank or used towards other Rite Aid purchases. Some Rite Aids will allow you to get cash back while others will not. So, check with your local Rite Aid to see what their policy is. I put the check amount on a gift card and use it to make purchases for the next month SCRs.


Drug Store Shopping 101: Walgreens

Besides just the normal store sale, Walgreens has two different types of deals to take advantage of:

1.  Coupon “Stacking”  The weekly store fliers often include a number of store coupons which are good all week. Since these are store coupons, they can be “stacked” with manufacturer’s coupons, meaning you can use them in conjunction with a manufacturer’s coupon. So, in this case, you can use both a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon on one item. Often, you’ll be able to get a really great deal by stacking a store coupon, a manufacturer’s coupon, and a store sale.

2. Register Rewards  Similar to the CVS Extra Care Bucks Program, the Register Rewards program rewards you for buying certain items each week. When you buy the item or items which are advertised as producing a Register Reward, you will get a printed coupon after you checkout called “Register Rewards” which you can use like cash on your next purchase.

They usually have a few of these items per week–some which are completely free after Register Rewards. By using a store coupon and/or a manufacturer’s coupon when buying a Register Reward item, you are often able to get the item for more-than-free, free, or almost free after the Register Rewards.

Unlike CVS, the Register Rewards (RR) are not tied to a store card. Instead, they just print out for everyone who buys that particular item or items that week. Because of this, there is no limit on how many of one deal you can do. That said, they have recently tightened their system so that you usually cannot roll the same RR over and over again on the same deal.

For instance, not too long ago, they were running a Proctor and Gamble Buy $25, Get $10 in RR promotion and they were also running a Unilever Buy $20, Get $10. With store coupons, manufacturer’s coupons, and the Register Rewards, I was getting most of these items for almost free. However, I couldn’t do the P&G deal over and over using the $10 RR to pay for my transaction after coupons, since the computer is programmed to not print out another $10 RR on P&G products if I paid for with the $10 RR I got from purchasing them last time. Make sense?

So, you can either just do the deals once, or you can do the deals multiple times and pay out of pocket and then save the RR’s you collect each time and use them on groceries or other items later. Or, your best option is to do what I did: Do multiple transactions and alternate between the P&G deal and the Unilever deal. This way, you can keep rolling the RR’s over and over and paying very little out of pocket.

Helpful Hints

From what I’ve found, the Walgreen’s cash register system is set up a lot differently than CVS. So for those who are used to shopping at CVS and always paying less than a $1 for a few bags of groceries, you might find yourself frustrated at first. I’ve spent some time figuring out what works best and here are my tips:

  • You must have as many items as you have coupons.

Most of the registers appear to be programmed not to accept any more coupons than you have items. So, make sure and tally up your items and coupons before you check out. The Register Rewards count as a coupon as do any of the store coupons, so count those, too.

If you have more items than coupons, add on a few cheap items so that you have the same number of items as coupons. I always play it safe and try to have at least one more item than coupons. This just guarantees the register doesn’t have issues.

  • In order to get your total down to the lowest amount possible and for the register to accept all of your coupons, the order you give your coupons in is very important.

So far, I’ve never met a Walgreen’s cashier who knew how to manually push a coupon through. So if you’re coupon won’t go through, it won’t go through. That’s why it’s important that you have as many items as coupons and that you hand your coupons over in the correct order.

After lots of trial and error, here’s the best coupon order I’ve come up with:

-Register Rewards first
-Then manufacturer’s coupons
-Then store coupons

Doing it in any other order than this seems to cost me at least a few dollars more or it causes the system to jam and not allow my coupons through and means I either have to add on some extra items or it means that I pay extra money out of pocket.

I give my coupons to the cashier in batches split up in the groups mentioned above. This keeps things simple and ever since I started doing it this way, I’ve never had a problem with the register jamming or a coupon not going through.

  • If for some reason the cashier cannot get a coupon to go through, request that they void the item right then off of your order.

It’s much easier to just void it off right then and not pay for it, then to try and mess with it later. And voiding it off is a very simple process.

Drug Store Shopping 101: CVS Pharmacy

1. Find your local CVS Store.  In order to take advantage of any of the deals at CVS, you need to have a CVS store nearby. Click here to locate a store close to you.

2.  Apply for a CVS card.  This is a free, frequent shopper card exclusive to CVS.  You can apply either online or in-store. If you do it in-store, you can begin using your card right away, so this is the best option.

Always have the cashier scan your card before they start ringing up your transaction. All of the deals are tied to your card account number, so if they don’t scan your card, you won’t be able to take advantage of any of the store sales or Extra Care Buck Deals.

3.  Now, You’re ready for your first shopping trip!  Once you have signed up and received your CVS card, you are ready to do your first CVS transaction. I recommend you start off with only one or two items. Keep it very simple so that you can learn the ropes and gradually branch out into doing more complicated deals.

Almost every week, there are one or two items which are advertised as completely free after ECBs. What this means is that you will buy the item–paying out of pocket for it–and then you will receive a “coupon” at the end of your receipt which will be for the amount of the item purchased. This coupon is called an “Extra Care Buck” (or ECB as we refer to them online). You can use this coupon on your next purchase just like cash, with only a few exceptions (i.e. you can’t buy stamps or gift cards with them–the fine print on the ECB explains a little more in detail).

So to start out, you would check your local ad or head over to How I Saved every Saturday and find out what product you needed to buy that week which would generate an ECB that was the purchase price you paid. Once you bought the item, you would receive an ECB at the bottom of your receipt which you could use like cash on your next transaction, thus making that item in essence, “free.”

It is not entirely free in that you paid for it out of pocket, however, once you have paid for the item out of pocket and earned an ECB, you can then use that ECB you earned to pay for the next transaction. You want to keep rolling your ECBs over and over and over, so your goal should always be to use the ECBs you earned from your last transaction, to buy something in the next transaction which will earn you the same amount or more ECBs than you spent.

My goal is to spend as little money out of pocket as possible and to roll over my ECBs to be the same amount or more as the ECBs I spent. By doing this, I usually will get $15-$50 worth of groceries and household items normally paying less than $1 out of pocket and earning enough ECBs to go back and do it again the next week.

In some instance, the item you are buying is actually less expensive than the ECB it will generate and thus you will “make money” by buying it. For instance, one week recently, the Adidas deodrant was on sale for $2.49 and generated a $3 ECB. So, even after tax, you “made money” buying it since you got more back in ECBs than you spent out of pocket in the first place. And if you have any coupons (there were $1/1 coupons for this particular deodorant out recently), you will “make even more money.”

In this case, you could go in and buy 1 Adidas deodorant that was part of this promotion for $2.49, use a $1/1 coupon, pay only $1.49 out of pocket, and you’d get $3 ECBs back to use on your next purchase! This is what we refer to in coupon-world as a “money-maker”.

(Please note: You will not be actually “making money” in that the store will be paying you cash for shopping there, but you will be “making money” in that you will be spending less out of pocket than you get back in ECBs.)

Most of the time, there is a limit on how many of an item you can buy per card which will generate ECBs. Usually it is somewhere between 1-5 and will be stated in small lettering underneath the deal in your ad.

Once you have started figuring out the weekly free-after-ECB deals, you can start moving up to more complicated deals and this is when the fun really begins! Your goal should be to not only roll your ECBs over and over week after week after week, but to “grow” them so you have “overage” to use towards other groceries you need.

4.  Increase your savings potential.  How do you “grow” your ECBs? Well, the easiest way is by stacking a manufacturer’s coupon with the free-after-ECB deals.

For instance, if the Adidas deodorant deal mentioned above were going on this week, you could do the deal a total of five times, since that is the limit. You could go in and spend $1.49 out of pocket to get $3 ECBs.

Then, take that $3 ECBs and buy two more deodorants (using 2 $1/1 coupons) so after the coupons, your total would be $3. Use the $3 ECB you just earned on your first transaction to pay for your second transaction, and you’d pay only tax and then have $6 ECBs.

Take the $6 ECBs you just earned and buy 3 more deodorants (using 3 more $1/1 coupons, if you have them), add on another $1.50 item from CVS you can use (toilet paper, etc.), and then pay for your items with the $6 ECB, again only paying tax out of pocket.

You’ll leave the store with 5 deodorants, another $1.50 item, and $9 in ECBs to use on your next trip. All for less then $2 out of pocket!

5.  Add some store coupons into the mix.  The next step into more complicated transactions is to start stacking CVS coupons (or store coupons) and manufacturer’s coupons along with the ECB deals. Once you have shopped at CVS using your card for 4-8 weeks, your receipt will automatically begin printing other CVS coupons. You’ll want to save all of these until they expire and check them against the deals for each week. Since these are store coupons, not manufacturer’s coupons, you can “stack them” (i.e. use them in conjunction with), a manufacturer’s coupon.

To take the example of the Adidas deodorant above: Let’s say my receipt had printed off a coupon for $1 off any Adidas deodorant last week. I could use that on one Adidas deodorant along with a $1/1 manufacturer’s coupon. This would mean that I’m only paying $0.49 for the deodorant (using ECBs I’ve rolled over, of course!) and getting $3 ECB back.

6.  More “free money”… Another way to make your ECBs grow more, is to use $3/$15 or $4/$20 coupons in conjunction with the other deals you are doing. The $3/$15 or $4/20 are coupons which often print at the bottom of your receipt. They are also sometimes available in your newspaper–especially if you live in an area where there is a lot of drug store competition or online at the CVS website.

For those not familiar with these coupons, a $3/$15 is a coupon which is just that–you get $3 off of a $15 or more purchase. I look at these as “free money”, meaning, if I’m going to already be spending $15.50 and after coupons and ECBs be paying basically $0.00 out of pocket in order to generate the same amount of ECBs that I spent, if I stack on a $3/$15 coupon, I can get $3 more worth of groceries without paying anything extra. So, I’ll use this extra “money” to buy something that is around $3 and generates more ECB, or I’ll use it to pay for something we need that week–say toilet paper or milk, etc. That way, it is lowering my normal grocery bill, without costing me any more.

Provided you have over $15 or $20 worth of products (before coupons, not after coupons), you can stack these coupons on top of any of the previously mentioned deals, too. You will want to make sure and use these coupons first, though, before you give your other coupons to the cashier. Otherwise, the register could have trouble inputting them.

By the way, if you’ve not done so already, you can also go here and sign up for email offers and you’ll instantly get a $4/$20 coupon. Plus, when you sign up for email offers, they often email you coupons, too!

7.  Now you’re playing the drugstore savings game.  Oftentimes, there are weekly deals which generate ECBs, but which are not free after ECBs. These can still be good, so don’t overlook them. Paired with a manufacturer’s coupon, or CVS coupon, or a $3/$15 coupon, or a mixture of all three, you can often get the item for free or close to free. I don’t do this as often as I do the free-after-ECB items, but now that I have a stash of ECBs accumulated, I will often look at these deals and see if I can work one into my weekly shopping trip.

8. Checking out.  When you are checking out and doing a more complicated transaction, you will want to make sure and have your coupons in good order so that your transaction goes smoothly. The best way I have found to do this, is to always give $3/$15 (etc.) coupons first. Then give any other CVS coupons, then your manufacturer’s coupons. And lastly, give your ECBs.
If you have an ECB that is for more than what your total is, they can either manually reduce it down and just take off the amount for your total (and thus you lose the rest of your ECB), or you can add on another small item to make up the difference.

I always bring my calculator and tally up the total after coupons to try and make sure I throw in an extra item or two if I need to. It’s best to go up to the register with a very good idea of how much you are going to be spending anyway, so calculating it up ahead of time is highly recommended.

Frugal Friday: My 5 Rules For Being Frugal

Happy Frugal Friday!  Beginning today, and continuing every week to come, I will be posting a new article on My Frugal Ways- how I personally increase my savings and decrease my spending.  Let’s start with my top rules on spending and saving, whether it be my weekly store spending, eating out, or online spending.

  1. Always check a store’s policies.  The coupon, return and exchange policies vary by each store.  Before considering using your coupons or returning an item, make sure to check with a store team member or on the store’s website for their policies.  For example, one store may accept only one coupon (store or manufacturer) per item.  This could mean a difference of paying half price for an item or paying absolutely nothing.  I recently discovered that Target would accept a coupon on a previous purchase if you brought the receipt back to the original store of purchase on the same business day!  This was a difference of $6 in savings for me when I purchased 2 maternity clothing items but left my store coupons at the house.
  2. Never settle for full price.  It may seem a little extreme to some of you, but I refuse to buy anything (with exception of rule #5 below) that isn’t either on sale or that I have a coupon for.  And since I began following this rule, I have done so without fail.  When it comes to our weekly grocery shopping, I start off with looking at the store’s advertisements.  What meats are on sale?  What fruits and vegetables are on sale?  Which snack items do I have a coupon for this week?  And my meals are planned based on those items.  If chicken thighs are on deep discount this week, but I have a week of meals lined up already, I’ll buy them anyways and freeze them for the following week.  The same goes for retail shopping and online shopping.  When buying retail, never pay full price.  Countless times I have purchased a household item or a new outfit, only to find the following weekend it goes on sale.  Going along with the rule to know each store’s policy, the store you made the purchase from may be able to do a price adjustment and refund you the difference of the sale price within a set amount of days.  When shopping online, check out sites such as Coupon Cabin or Retail Me Not for coupon codes, % off coupons, and free/discounted shipping offers.
  3. Set a budget.  For my family of 3 (soon to be 4!), I budget $60 every week for grocery and drugstore spending.  This includes all items I may need for meals for the week, toiletries, household items, snacks and little something extras.  Setting a budget allows you to make a limit for yourself and plan within your means.  Now, $60 a week obviously may not work for every family size or lifestyle.  In our household, I always try to make homemade meals, and have plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks in the house.  A budget should fit your family’s dietary needs, family size and schedule.  Prior to going shopping I write down my shopping list, sort through my coupons in addition to tallying up my total mentally while I am in the store.  That way I know if that extra snack item sets me over budget, I will usually leave it on the shelf instead of putting it in the cart.
  4. Plan your meals ahead.  Planning our week of breakfast, lunch and dinners ahead of time greatly helps me plan out my shopping trips and my savings before I even step foot into a store.  I begin by taking inventory of what I already have in the kitchen.  I write down the meats, vegetables,  and pantry items (such as pastas, rices, side dishes) we already have and I start there.  If I have a box of pasta and a frozen package of Italian sausage, I’ll look back onto my inventory list and see if there is a salad or package of frozen garlic bread I can pair up with it to make a meal.  I’ll add the missing ingredients to my shopping list, and then match those items up with coupons or store sales.
  5. Make an exception to forget all of the rules.  In a perfect world, I would love to plan every meal, have a coupon for every item, and walk into a store to find that without fail, the new toaster oven we need is on clearance!  Unfortunately, life happens and it doesn’t always work out as we planned.  At the last minute, we may run out of toilet tissue and there are no sales going on, nor a coupon in site.  I obviously am not going to wait on buying the item.  If something isn’t on sale, don’t fret.  My idea of being frugal means that the savings I take advantage of on a daily basis, allow me a slip-up to buy a full price item once in a while or treat my family to a night out that didn’t involve a Buy One, Get One Free entree.  Although- those are always nice.

Save Money on Your Newspaper Delivery Subscription

This morning I was paying my monthly bills and glanced at the latest statement for our Orange County Register newspaper subscription.  $44.82 for 8-weeks of Monday-Sunday Delivery.  Hmmm…I did the math.  $5.60 per week.  This seems a bit pricey.  There are always sales representatives phoning me and standing inside the grocery store with promotions that seem to be less than this.

I logged onto the Register’s website to see how much I would pay for the same subscription if I was signing up right now.  To my surprise, an 8-week subscription of Monday-Sunday Delivery was being advertised for only $29.31, or $3.66/week online!  I picked up the phone and called their customer service department, and within 5 minutes, they matched the online subscription price to the $3.66/week that was advertised on their website.  That is the easiest $15.51 I made in less than 5 minutes.

How you can save on your current subscription:

1.  Check the online rates of your local newspaper:

  • The Orange County (CA) Register was advertised at $1.51 per week for Sunday only delivery, $2.48 per week for Thursday-Sunday  delivery, and $3.66 per week for Monday-Sunday delivery.
  • The Los Angeles Times was advertised at $1 per week for Sunday only delivery, $1.50 per week for Thursday-Sunday delivery, and $2.99 per week for Monday-Sunday delivery.
  • The New York Times was advertised at $3.90 per week for Sunday only delivery, $5.40 per week for Friday-Sunday delivery, $3.85 per week for Monday-Friday delivery, and $7.70 per week for Monday-Sunday delivery.

2.  If you have an e-reader, computer, or mobile device, consider subscribing to only the E-Edition of the newspaper.  Reading the news online or on your iPad rather than subscribing to home delivery could save you up to 50% off of the home delivery rate, and can be conveniently purchased from iTunes, Amazon, or an app directly from your device.

3.  Cut down on the number of days you subscribe.  If you currently receive a 7-day subscription, but find you are only looking through the paper on the weekends, a Thursday-Sunday delivery may be a better fit for you.  If you are subscribing solely for the coupon circulars, consider a Sunday only delivery.

4.  If there are numerous local newspapers available for delivery in your area, consider subscribing to the one with a lower rate.  For example, in the Southern California area, it could mean a difference of up to a $1 per week.

If you currently subscribe to a newspaper delivery service, take a look at your next statement.  Have you been paying the same amount continuously every 8 or 16 weeks?  The rates featured online may be lower and with a quick phone call, I am sure any company would be more than happy to match the rate, rather than lose a customer.

Coming This Week…

Here are a few things to look forward to in coming weeks on How I Saved:

Monday Menus: Join me on Mondays when I plan our meals for the week based on weekly deals and featured coupons.

Tuesday Giveaways: Each Tuesday morning I’ll be featuring gift cards, free samples, and full sized products that you can enter to win!

Frugal Fridays:  A new article each Friday on frugal living and how you can simply increase your savings and decrease your spending.

Saturday & Sunday Store Deals:  Each Saturday you’ll find store deals for the top retailers- one day earlier than the circulars are released with your Sunday paper- allowing you to plan your attack for Sunday morning.

Daily printable coupons & online coupon codes you can use to save big!

Daily free samples that some of my favorite companies are offering and that you can easily sign up to receive in your mailbox.

Welcome to How I Saved!

Welcome to How I Saved- your new online, money-saving resource.

As a teenager, I would babysit my Aunt’s two children.  Going on family vacations with them, weekend stays, and spending my summers off of school at their house.  My income as a babysitter was pretty substantial, considering I had no expenses and well- was a 12-year old with no relevant experience helping out a family member.  Despite how much I made, I was always able to save a good portion of that paycheck.  My top purchases were clothing, accessories, shoes, CD’s and movie passes.  Though- the amount that I was able to save on sales items and local deals allowed me to buy that much more.  My Aunt would joke “You should write a book on how you saved a Million Dollars!”

Fast forward 15 years later.  My income is considerably higher now working as an Accounting Manager for an IT Firm.  I am grateful for my work flexibility which allows me to work from home and focus on things outside of the daily 9-5, like my fiancee’, my soon-to-be 3-year old step-daughter, and our new baby on the way, expected June 13th 2012.  A few other things have changed since my summers of changing my nephew’s diapers.  I also have those adult responsibilities- like rent, a car payment, grocery shopping lists, and utility bills. By moving a little further away from the city my fiancee’ works, we were able to save on our monthly rent.  And though we do spend slightly more on gas each month with the commute, I downgraded to a more economical car, and a lower car payment.  Now I’m focusing on everything else.  The everyday items that may seem small, but they add up to a lot!

Using the same savings savvy I did as a teenager, I am able to save hundreds each month on our grocery bill, in addition to freebies that fill my mailbox daily, local deals, deep discounts on online retailers, and free gift cards, electronics, and more that I earn online in just a few minutes each day.  Stay updated with me by visiting How I Saved, or subscribe to email updates, follow me on Twitter, or Facebook to get in on the savings yourself!

I look forward to having you all here.