Friday, November 6, 2015

'Value' Brands at the Commissary!

Have you been noticing more orange "VALUE" tags on product shelves at your local Commissary? Wondering what they are all about? Well I have an answer for you! According to the Deca website, the Commissary has "identified name brand products that provide consistent value, based on an average lower price than the equivalent store, private label item." I think it is great they are making it even easier to save money! Here is a list of the VALUE brands for the rest of 2015: click here!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How I organize my Commissary coupons...

Coupon Organization Tips

There are a variety of ways to successfully organize your coupons. 
I've heard of using accordion files, the binder method, envelopes, and more. There really is not a "one-size-fits-all" method when it comes to coupon organization as we all have different personal preferences, lifestyles, time constraints, budgets, etc. However, I would encourage you to figure out what method works best for you.

If you don't keep your coupons organized than more than likely you won't use them. I wanted to share with you a few things that have really helped me keep my coupons organized over the years: 

I am partial to the 'binder method' for my coupon organization. I have used the same Five-Star zippered binder for about 5 years now, talk about durability! I love my coupon binder, it is awesome! I love the zipper feature that helps keep all my coupons inside in case any decide to shift about. It has a 6-pocket file section that is accessible from the front and inside. I like to keep my copies of the Commissary and AAFES coupon policies in the front file section for quick reference. I can also easily add in any additional coupons or coupon flyer booklets that I find at the store into it. The flapped and zippered pouches can hold all of my office supplies: pens, pencils, paper clips, calculator, and scissors. But lets get to the best part--the main section can hold up to 380 sheets not to mention the file section which can hold 550 sheets! Wow! If you are looking for a binder for coupon purposes at least consider this one! Buy it here!

Now let's talk about where to put your coupons in the binder. There are a variety of options here. You can keep whole/uncut inserts in the file section or store them in plastic sheets in the main compartment if you like. Although it can be more work, I prefer my coupons individually cut (and being stationed overseas they are usually mailed to me that way). For storing cut coupons, I would really recommend using a variety of plastic pocket pages. Traditionally these were used for baseball card collectors, but as couponing has become more popular, brands are now catering the pocket dimensions to more standard newspaper insert coupon sizes. I like that the pocket pages allow me to see multiple coupons at one time and with them I find searching for a specific coupon much easier. If you print out a lot of coupons from home I would recommend looking at also purchasing the currency sized holders. No more folding coupons to make them fit into the pockets--yay! Check out brands like UltraPro and BCW on Amazon. I know they offer some good coupon starter variety packs located HERE.  

Alright, so another common question surrounding coupon organization is how to sort them? I prefer to sort them by categories and subcategories. I used to organize them by store aisle. However, when PCSing ('permanent change of station' or essentially moving for those non-military) every few years, I just didn't find that to be the most practical. If you are wanting to organize by store aisle, my tip would be to go to Click on 'locations' and find your local Commissary store name. Next click on 'floor plan' and it will bring up a list of general products and which aisles they are located at in your Commissary. So convenient! Here is a link for an example: click here to see an example commissary floor plan list!

But I digress, so back to organizing your coupons by category. I use the Avery big tab two pocket dividers for my coupon binder and really like them! The colors are nice and the tabs are large enough that you can write more than one word categories on them. My favorite thing about these though are the pockets! Having built in pockets are always convenient for loose coupons or whole inserts, or any other random papers that you might have. If you are interested in the dividers, check the link RIGHT HERE.


These are the categories I currently use in my coupon binder to keep them organized:
1. FREE products 
2. Health & Beauty (further subdivided in to Soap, Lotion, Face Cleanser, Shaving, Deodorant, Hair, Meds & Vitamins, Eyes/Contacts, Makeup/Nails).
3. Oral Hygiene (further subdivided into mouthwash, floss, toothbrush/toothpaste) Feminine Hygiene, Baby Items
4. Paper products (tissues, paper towels, napkins, toilet paper)
5. Laundry/Cleaning Supplies
6. Pet Items & Misc. (air fresh, batteries, etc.)
7. Crackers/cookies, desserts 
8. Cereal/breakfast
9. Coffee/tea, Rice & Asian foods
10. Pasta & Mexican foods
11. Canned foods
12. Baking Supplies/Seasonings
13. Bread, PB&J, Condiments/Dressings
14. Produce/Meat
15. Dairy/Refrigerated/Frozen Items

I used to religiously lug my entire coupon binder to the store with me, however, that was before I had three children, so that rarely happens anymore. After making my grocery store list, I prefer to then pull whatever coupons I plan to use from my organized binder at home and put them into a small, simple accordion style coupon holder that I then keep in my purse at the store. Although I might miss out on random deals, this makes for less weight to carry and less general 'searching' for coupons as I already have what I need. Then before checkout, I just pull out all the coupons that I will be presenting at the register. Here is a link to a similar, simple coupon holder: Click Here!

I hope that sharing how I organize my commissary coupons has helped you in some manner. If you have any tips to share about organizing your coupons, I would love to hear them! 

***Affiliate links were used in the making of this post***

Monday, June 15, 2015

Reverse Couponing at the Commissary!

Coupon Apps That Will Save You $$$ At The Commissary!

Within the traditional coupon schemata a person places an item in their cart at a store, presents a coupon at the checkout, and thus reduces the cost of the item with the coupon before or at the time of purchase. 

'Reverse couponing' is essentially using coupons or saving money on items after you purchase them. It is as simple as submitting a photo of your store receipt to verify your purchase and voila money goes back into your pocket (not quite literally of course ;) but almost).

In my opinion, one the the greatest advantages to reverse couponing is that it can be used IN CONJUNCTION with traditional couponing. This is very helpful when it comes to maximizing your savings at stores such as the military commissary that does not allow 'coupon stacking'. For an example of just how to do this keep reading. :)

For now, let us discuss some reverse couponing phone apps that can be used at the military commissary:

1. Ibotta 
Ibotta is perhaps one of the most well known money saving apps out there. I like that it offers money back on a variety of produce and 'any brand' grocery items (i.e. any eggs, any bread, any shampoo). One important thing to know about this app is that you must 'lock in' the coupons on the app before you purchase them & are required to scan the barcodes of items claimed. In order to 'lock in' to various offers you are required to watch short videos, or answer questions. You can submit a receipt only once, but can claim multiple offers on the receipt. 
Bonus Offerings: A large variety of bonuses are available.
Cash out minimum: $10.
Cash out options: Cash via Paypal or Venmo, or opt for gift cards such as Amazon, Best Buy, & Starbucks.
2. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 doesn't have nearly as many offers as other apps such as Ibotta, however, you can select your offers after you make your purchase which makes it quite convenient. No scanning of barcodes needed. I like that it consistently offers money back for various produce items. Offers run from Thursday through Wednesday but are in limited quantities. Some offers can be claimed multiple times. A receipt can only be used once, but you can claim multiple offers off of the same receipt. 
Bonus Offerings: Any grocery trip totaling at least $60 can enter a monthly contest to win $500.
Cash out minimum: $20.
Cash out options: Check via mail only.

3. Snap 
Snap was created by the makers of GroupOn. This app works similarly to the Checkout 51 app in that you claim your offers after purchase and no scanning of barcodes is needed. A benefit to this app is that many offers can be claimed multiple times on the same receipt. 
Bonus offerings: 'Refer a friend' program.
Cash out minimum: $20.
Cash out options: Check only. 

4. Mobisave
Mobisave is similar to Ibotta in that you must select your offers before checkout. In order to 'claim' your offers all you are required to do is to select it. Because of this I find it easier to use when compared to Ibotta. The less hoops I have to jump through when using an app the better in my opinion.
Cash Out minimum: There is no minimum which means no waiting for your $! It is conveniently delivered straight into your paypal account after receipt submission and approval. 
Cash Out options: Paypal only.

Okay, so I promised an example scenario. Here is a real life example of how to 'stack' coupons at the military commissary:


Product: Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent (100 fl oz) (~$9.99 original cost)
Commissary Rewards Card Coupon (or a clipped manufacturer coupon): -$2.00
Ibotta App Rebate: -$3.00
Cost: $4.99

Product: Seventh Generation Dish Soap (28 floz.) (~$2.89 original cost)
Commissary Rewards Card Coupon (or a clipped manufacturer coupon): -$1.00
Ibotta App Rebate: -$1.00
Cost: $.89 

*** BONUS Ibotta was also offering a bonus to earn an extra $1 off when you redeem two or more Seventh Generation rebates. So by purchasing these two items I also received an additional $1.00 back.

Original cost total for both products: ~$12.88
Total cost after use of the Commissary Rewards Coupon (or a paper coupon): $9.88
Total cost after inclusion of Ibotta App Rebates: $4.88!!!!!!!!

$4.88 total for both Seventh Generation products (laundry detergent and dish detergent). What a deal, right?! 

What are your favorite coupon rebate apps to use at your local military commissary? Leave me a note, I would love to hear from you! :)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Stationed in Germany?

Here are some useful links to printable coupons that can be used at stores on the german economy (off base stores). 

Store-specific coupons:

For Südwest/Southwest Germany Locations-
E-Center Store coupons: Coupons link!
EDEKA, E Aktiv, & Neukauf stores: Coupons link!
Edema Nah & Gut Markt: Coupons link!

Ikea: (register for Ikea 'family' for special mailed offers, free coffee, etc.)

Takko Fashion (register for VIP, coupons are emailed):

Manufacturer Coupons:

Henkel Lifetimes (i.e. Somat, Vernel, Persil, Pril):

Proctor & Gamble:

Various (Milka chocolate, Philadelphia cream cheese, Regina toilet paper and more)-

Nestle Baby (register):

Pampers (register):

Other ways to save money on the German economy:

Sign up for the Deutschland Card here:  You earn points for purchases at stores like Edeka & Netto or with online purchases from stores such as Otto or Tchibo. Redeem your points for gift cards or a variety of goods. 

Commissary Coupon Policy Quick Guide

Here is a useful quick guide to the rules surrounding coupon usage at the Commissary: DeCa coupon policy

The quick guide was published by DeCA in April, 2013.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

ConAgra Sales for Commy-Sept.

ConAgra foods on sale for the month of September at your local commissary can be viewed at the link: HERE.

Coleson's Sales Products-Sept.

Coleson's Foods monthly promotions for the Commissary can be viewed at the link HERE!

Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade Commy Sales-Sept.

Check out the link HERE to view Gatorade/Quaker/Tropicana brand sales at your local Commissary for the month of September!

Money Saver Commissary Sales-Sept.

September's Money Saver Sales Ad can be viewed at the link: here. This is the CONUS version.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ibotta App

Did you know that you can use the Ibotta App while being a Commissary shopper? Here is how it the Ibotta app on your smartphone. There will be offers/coupons for various products. Buy your chosen products at the Commissary. Scan the receipt and the product barcodes into your phone to verify your purchases. Ibotta then credits your paypal account once you hit the $5 minimum. But here is the best can use regular coupons in conjunction with the Ibotta app! This frequently makes for FREE or super cheap products. Be aware however that offers come and go quickly. For more information check out the link:

Happy Couponing!