Tag Archives: Saving Money

Saving money with smart phone coupons.

I’ve recently gotten into using seed beads to make art projects. When we were in Sibundoy, Colombia I learned how to make bead bracelets and we were using Preciosa seed beads from the Czech Republic. The Preciosa seed beads are a very good quality bead at a very reasonable price. The cheapest seed beads are made in China and have very inconsistent quality and sizes. The best and most consistent, quality and sized, seed beads are made in Japan and are a bit more expensive than the Preciosa beads. One day we want into Michael’s which is an arts, crafts, hobby and decorating store.  We went into the store just to see what kind of seed beads they had for sale.  They did not have the Preciosa beads that I was looking for but only had cheap Chinese seed beads and expensive Toho brand seed beads from Japan.  We looked at the  Michales.com coupon page and saw that they offered a 40% off coupon for one item.  When you check out they simply scan the coupon bar code displayed on your smart phone screen.  Michael’s is selling the beads for $2.99 and with the 40% coupon brought down the price to $1.794, with the total is $1.96. I bought one package of beads, handed my phone to my wife who also bought one package of beads. We also got my mom to use her phone to get the coupon and buy one package of beads.

We thought we were doing pretty good getting 40% off.  You can’t even buy the Toho seed beads for that price on-line. So it seems to be a good deal.  However when the receipt printed we each got a 50% off coupon for one item good for the next week.

At 50% off the seed beads are an even better deal.  The next time we were near Michael’s we stopped in we both bought one package of seed beads using our 50% off one item coupon. The 50% off price is $1.49 and with taxes the total came to $1.63. That’s $.33 less than what we paid at the 40% off price.  It’s not a huge savings but $.33 adds up.

At checkout we received a 50% off coupon for one item for the next week. After using the 50% off coupon a 40% coupon had much less appeal. I was curious and looked online to see what coupon Michael’s had for that week. The current coupon was 50% off of one item.

The closest Michael’s is 13 miles away and driving that far to save $1.49 ($2.99 on 2 ) does not make economic sense. It would more than that in gasoline to drive there and back.

We were still at the store and were wondering how we could used the on-line coupon to save 50%. Both the printed and on-line coupons say “Limit one coupon per person per day”.  We had just used out paper 50% off coupon and if the cashier was strict with the coupon rules we would be out of luck. Fortunately for us the cashier that we had went on break and another cashier opened up another register. That cashier didn’t know that we had already made a purchase. So we each bought a package of beads using the 50% coupon on our phone.  While we were checking out the line for the cashier got long and they temporarily opened up another register.  Seeing another opportunity walked out the exit door and then went back into the store to buy more beads at with the new cashier, again using our 50% off coupon on our phone.

This was a rare circumstance that there were three different cashiers but we used it to our advantage and were able to buy 6 packages of Toho seed beads at 50% off. Plus we received 6 50% off coupons for the next week.

The next week we are in Michael’s again and both use our 50% off coupon. Unfortunately it is not busy so no more registers open and the cashier does not go on break. We left with 4 valid 50% off coupons in our pockets. We did some other shopping and returned to the store about an hour later. Luck was on our side and there was a new cashier. Again we were new customers to her and we both bought our one package of beads at 50% off. As we were leaving someone just opened up the service desk so back into the store we head and checkout with the service desk person.

Now we have 6 packages of beads in our pockets and 6 40% off coupons which are good the next week.   We won’t even use the 40% off coupons now, especially since we know that 50% off coupons exist.  Now we only stop in if there is a 50% off coupon AND we are in the area.

So far we’ve picked up 25 packages of beads for $38.26 and saved 37.98 using 3 40% off coupons and 22 50% off coupons.

Even today we were in the area and bought some beads. We ran some errands then returned to a new cashier and bought a couple more packages using this weeks 50% off coupon.  It works when you have more time than money.

It’s nice being able to make a purchase and save 50%. What I don’t like is the fact that if you are not using a coupon or buying things on sale you are getting ripped off and overpaying for something which the company is happily overcharging you for.  Michael’s made $176 million in profits on $4.2 Billion in sales in 2011 so I don’t mind going back through the line to save myself $1.49 each trip.  When the coupons stop so does my shopping.

That’s my idea. You can apply this concept for purchasing items other than beads, that’s just what I’m into at the moment.

Good luck!



Extreme Savings at Lowes

This article was too good to not share.   I also wanted to save this article for myself if I ever need to make a large purchase at Lowes. Since there are some abbreviations and steps that I might forget about later I just wanted to write them down because I will ultimately forget them in the future.

The article that you need to read is located here:


Comment #23 describes how Sam was able to save at least 50% on appliances

Large discounts are usually for appliances. Let’s say a $1,000 fridge. HHGregg runs F&F promotions at about 30% off. On a $1K fridge, 110% PM at Lowes is ~$630. If you stack TCB + CP purchases on giftcards, you should get at least 10% off. If you can stack a mover’s coupon, that’s another 10%. Final price = ~$510 or about 49% off.

Lot of negotiating but if you’re patient it’s a good savings. If you can wait for clearance season and/or stack rebates for multiple appliances, that’s even better.

The explanation:

Lowes will do a 110% price match if someone is selling at item for less. You’ll get 100% of the difference and they will beat the price by 10%.

Wait until a competitor has a huge sale on the same item.

In the example above the $1000 refrigerator was on sale, at HHGreg for 30% off.

Head over to Lowes with the Ad from HHGreg and get them to do a Price Match and you’ve just saved an additional 10% off of the HHGreg sale price.

Your $1000 fridge is now just $630.

But it gets better…

Before you head to Lowes you should buy some Lowes Gift Cards.

Using a website like TopCashBack or BigCrumbs, where you get 4%-7% or more in cash back, to buy Lowes Gift Cards.

as of 3/4/2014 you are you only get 2% Cash Back for buying Gift Cards on Lowes

So if go through TopCashBack (TCB) to buy $700 of Lowes Gift Cards you will get $14 Cash Back. You’ve paid just $686 for $700 worth of  Lowes Gift Cards.

For additional savings head to the post office and get a Movers Package and you will get a 10% coupon valid at lowes.

Using this coupon may or may not work on your previously price matched refrigerator but you won’t know if you don’t try.

What was described in the article was to go and get your item price matched and have them put the item on hold so that you can think about your purchase.  Walk around the store a bit pondering your decision to make the purchase.  When you get ready to make your purchase head up to the cashier and have them bring up the price matched order.  Once they bring that up tell them you have a 10% off coupon.  You may need someone that can apply a coupon like the head cashier.  if someone has to call over the manager you may not get to apply the extra 10% moving coupon.

Here is the breakdown of discounts for buying the $1000 refrigerator

$1000      original price

-$300       30% off from competitors sale

$700         sale price

-$ 70         Extra 10% off from Price Match

$630      Total Price without extra 10% moving coupon

-$ 14     Extra 2% from buying $700 in LowesGift Cards through                      TopCash Back

 $616     Pay fyour purchase with the gift cards you previously                           purchased through Top Cash Back

38.4% Savings

-$63       Possible extra 10% by using moving coupon.

$567  Total price if you get lucky using the 10% moving coupon

-$ 14     Extra 2% from buying $700 in LowesGift Cards through                      TopCash Back

 $553     Pay fyour purchase with the gift cards you previously                           purchased through Top Cash Back

44.7% Savings