Nearly every day, I get questions from readers, which I love, by the way. You folks keep me on my toes.
I try to answer each phone call and email as quickly as I can, and I make every effort to post replies to comments on the blog. But I know some questions fall through the cracks.
I've also realized that if one person is taking the time to pick up the phone to call me, compose an email or leave a comment, there must be many others among you who have the same questions.
So starting today, and continuing on an occasional basis, I'll be writing a Question & Answer post.
If you have a question for a future Q&A, leave a comment at the end of this post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask me anything about coupons, rebates, saving money and living the frugal life.
Q: What does ETS stand for in your listing of coupons?
A: ETS stand for "excludes trial size." I recently started using that shorthand in the coupon database to simplify that arduous task. I type in each and every coupon we get in the Triangle each week, which oftentimes numbers in the hundreds. I noticed many of the national coupon databases were using that terminology and in the interests of saving time, I adopted it.
Q: If you could only shop one drugstore for deals, which one would it be?
A: I'm partial to CVS, though I do some deals at Walgreens and Rite Aid. Among the reasons I prefer CVS: the longer expiration dates on the Extra Bucks, the ability to "roll the deals" without exclusions, and the CVS in-store coupon machine. I also like the CVS BOGO policy, allowing you to get two free items with a BOGO sale and a BOGO coupon.
Q: I'm not sure you have addressed this, but how do you keep your coupons organized? Do you have a set time/day that you clip coupons each week? I keep getting behind & need to be re-motivated!
A: I can definitely identify with this reader! I think we all have those weeks (or months) when we get hopelessly behind.
I don't have a set time or day on the calendar, but I do try to look for opportunities throughout the week when I can multi-task. So I frequently will clip and file coupons while watching TV with my family, sitting in the carpool line, waiting at the auto repair shop and during my daughter's sports practices.
In a perfect world, I clip them on Sunday, sorting into two piles: food and non-food. If I don't have time to file them right away, I'll paper clip each pile together and store them in my coupon binder until I can find some of those multi-tasking opportunities.
I use the binder method to organize my coupons and unless I'm working on my coupons, I keep it in the car at all times. That way, if I happen upon a deal, I'm ready to pounce on it.
Do you have a question about coupons, freebies, saving money or living a frugal lifestyle? Leave your question at the end of this post or email it to email@example.com.