Episode-1010- Saving Money with Couponing with Corey Pie’ — 38 Comments

  1. Jack,
    The saying goes…
    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee – I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee – that says, fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can’t get fooled again.”- George W. Bush

    Just picking!

    Great show. Keep it up!

    • How about making your own cat/dog food and not getting the stuff from china that might have plastic in it.

      Best, Duncan

      Great show Jack.

  2. Jack,
    The idea of prepping and spreading the message with nieighbors AND still help others is Rock Solid(feel free to insert your favorite explictive here for emphasis, Only if you are Jack. :))

    Preps and Neighbors with Preps are Always a good idea. Period.
    Keep on focus, Keep on mission.

    Happy Halloween,


    • Last week, we found a fun deal on Home Depot’s facebook page. It goes until November 6th according to the page. They have a “Zombie Mulch” video game on the facebook page. You can play the game, and mulch zombie’s with your truck. If you mulch enough zombies, you earn a $5, a $10, and a $15 coupon to be used on anything in the Lawn and Garden Center at Home Depot. You could use those to buy $30 worth of work gloves if they’re in the Lawn and Garden Center, or stock up on any other supplies. The game adds up your score from round to round, so you don’t have to be good at video games to earn the coupons. My wife and I each won $30 worth of coupons, and we had a fun little shopping spree building up our gardening preps.

  3. Today we went to a Halloween Party where they wanted each kid to donate a package of food to the local food bank. A week or two ago we were able to get a ton of food for free at the grocery store. So, at the party today, I got to bring in some huge boxes of food for the food bank, and it didn’t cost me a penny. So, it doesn’t just have to help you.

  4. An eye doctor is either an Optometrist, or an Opthamologist. It is incredible how little most vision insurances reimburse for eye exams and materials. Imagine investing $150,000 (on the low end) and 8-10 years of schooling alone, only to have insurance companies decide what your services are worth. Many eye doctors are struggling to survive in what has become and increasingly corporate world. Now, the major players are corporations that offer their own insurance, frame suppliers, and pretty little storefronts and employ doctors, influencinghow these professionals practice medicine.
    Please support your local private eyecare professionals. Companies like Zinni are a joke. Being able to walk in to Walmart on a Sunday afternoon and see the doctor without an appointment is enough of a slap in the face. Buying your eyeglasses from a lab online? Find a new doctor when your eyes are bothering you next time. You’re helping to put the last one out of business.

    • @Lee it is called the FREE MARKET! Instead of bitching and whining address the situation. Don’t expect people to pay you 350 dollars for a 15 dollar pair of glasses just to “support you”. My view after years of dealing with eye doctors is they charge a fair price for services and rip you the hell off for product.

      I would also state that the 150K for the education is far more a problem then the free market is. There is just no reason for basic eye care knowledge to require that level of education. Eye specialists yes, basic exams, vision assessment, etc. NO WAY.

      It was also one of those “mall eye doctors” who was the only one to accurately explain my particular eye problem and suggest some very helpful things about the level of correction my weak eye actually required. That included military doctors, specialists, etc.

      How is Zinni a joke, they sell me what I want at a great price? Perhaps if my Doc was selling the set of glasses I get there for 60 dollars for say a hundred I would not have gone to them, instead the last set I bought cost me well over three hundred dollars, to me sir, that is a joke.

  5. One thing I forgot to mention on the show was a list of stuff you shouldn’t have to pay for. The following items we’ve seen for free multiple times over the past 9 months, so you should be able to stock up for free, and never buy them again, if you’re not too brand loyal:
    Dental floss
    Dr Shull’s shoe inserts
    room fresheners
    Shampoo (usually Suave)
    cereal (between free and 50 cents)
    Reams of paper
    pencil boxes

  6. We got our last printer for $15. We used our store credits from returning ink cartridges and paper purchases, turned in our old non-functioning printer (they had a deal that week to take an additional $75 off with trade-in of any printer), and got the printer that was on sale. We ended up getting a very nice $250 printer/scanner/copier with wi-fi for around $15 with tax. Even the cashier was amazed.

    Now if only we could figure out a way to coupon a deal on a used car…

  7. Great show!!! My wife does most of our couponing, but I keep my eyes out also. It has been instrumental in her getting on board with prepping because now she has a mission. She has stockpiled 6 months of toilet paper, 5 months of food, ( in addition to the 2 months I had stockpiled),2 years of Advil, and over a years worth of hygiene items like soap, lotion, shampoo and razors. A lot of this was free but all was done with out going over our $50 a week regular grocery budget.

    • Rock on! Getting a great deal on preps really has a big effect on getting your family on board. Do you have any advice on where to store the toilet paper and paper towells? We have a ton of them that we got a great deal on, but they’re not the easiest things to store, without taking up a whole room for themselves. 🙂

  8. Really great ideas, but don’t forget to only stock pile to get a couple of years of products, and food to keep you going until you can put into place a more sustainable solution. The sustainable solution is really the winner in disaster planning. So while you are collecting shampoo, look into how to make shampoo (for example, if you have a fire place, you just need the ashes to make lye for the soap) At this point, just learn what you need and how to do it, then the stock piling will hold out until you can successfully learn how to make each product.

  9. Jane,
    Yes, couponing is clearly only a pre-crash survival skillset. But, it may save you enough money to buy other sustainable needs: land, solar panels, training, etc.

  10. Hey Jack, you have a great really great show and I love what your doing. I started listening to you about 2 weeks ago. You mentioned if somebody has any suggestions of where to donate money for the Hurricane Sandy Relief. Well I have heard that this is a great Organization to go through and I have donated time and money through them.
    I know they were a huge part of the relief in New Orleans.
    Check them out.

  11. I use coupons and I also watch seasonal clearance sales. Not only do I stock my pantry, linen closet, and other preps but I save a lot of money on gifts. Presents are often bought in advance for pennies on the dollar. I also will put together gift baskets for fundraisers with deals that I find.

    One over looked prep item is sewing notions and thread.
    Needles, buttons, zippers, zipper pulls, hooks and eyes, elastic, sew on velcro, patches, snaps, pins, and other hardware to repair clothing and items made of fabric.

  12. Yes. I think it is a brilliant pre-crash idea. The best part is that you can easily set it up as a game to get kids and other “prep-resistant” family members involved. I’m definitely going to share this with others. Thanks guys!

  13. Bitching and Whining? Really?

    I might not be the best person to speak up for these professionals (no, I’m not one either). I do however hope that the little bit of information I can give you would make you think about the choices you are making.

    As far as questioning the doctors working in the corporate world… I do not question the job they do. They attend the same schools and pass the same medical boards to be able to practice. There are great doctors working in locations like Walmart, and there are unethical and careless doctors that own their own practices. My problem is when a place comes in to town advertising a *free eye exam* if you buy their glasses. Be sure that you are actually getting an eye exam, and not just a refraction (all you need for prescription of spectacles). These are doctors are practicing in a way influenced by a company. I want my doctor to call the shots, not a company whose sole purpose is to make money.

    Yes I want to be able to see, but I also want to know if there’s anything else going on with my health. I know and eye doctor practicing at a Walmart who referred a patient to for a neuro consult when they weren’t experiencing any difficulties. No lie… 2 weeks later he was having a brain tumor removed. It saved his life. I don’t question what these professionals sacrifice in money or time to be able to practice. I do question those that think “it’s just and eye exam” or “anyone could do it.” Anyone CAN do most of the tests they preform. But are they trained to interpret what it all means? There are so many things you can see in the back of the eye. It’s not all about vision.

    I’m not an economist either, but with only a few major players (insurance companies) today controlling the reimbursements for exams, eyeglasses, contacts, etc… I’m not sure how I feel about the whole “free market.” In order to even make a profit with some insurance companies, independent optometrists are forced to charge approximately two and a half times their cost on glasses. What sounds like a ridiculous markup, is cut to a reimbursement that averages 15-20% over their cost for these customers with insurance. It would be insurance fraud if they charge people without insurance any less. Since the overwhelming majority of the patients seen have insurance, those without end up paying more at the at the time of service. Another great slap in the face for the doctors is that some insurance companies don’t reimburse for glasses. They own the lab that manufactures the frames and lenses, and in order to see their patients, you must use their labs (which send a heftier bill than most).

    I still know a number of independent eye doctors in the area selling affordable glasses (single vision for about $75 and bifocals for $100). If there is a problem with the product, they can address the situation with a professional, not a lens lab. If I had a pacemaker and experienced problems, I want the cardiologist, not the manufacturer looking out for me.

    Is it worth the extra money? That’s for you to decide. It costs a little more to to be able to provide proper equipment, adequate staffing, and a location with plenty of bills for all this to happen.

    Somewhat related, I’ll be purchasing a pair of L.L. Bean boots this year. I don’t feel like they’re the best product out there. What I like is that they stand behind a product that is made in America. I could buy cheaper… I could buy better… but YOU VOTE WITH YOUR MONEY!!!

    -Love TSP, listen almost everyday, thank you, and God bless!

    • @ Lee – regarding your statement of ” optometrists are forced to charge approximately two and a half times their cost”. If Zenni can charge let’s say $23.95 (and still make a profit!) that’s obviously not their cost. But let’s say it was and that for your optometrist x 2.5, that’s still only $60. so where does the other $240 go? Overhead – facilities, marketing etc that Zenni has manged to find a solution to – working smarter>cutting costs. I like that in a company!
      You also stated (re the Bean boots) – “What I like is that they stand behind a product that is made in America.” From their “Contatct Us” page –
      Zenni Optical, Inc. … Novato, CA 🙂 Looks to me like an American company paying American corporate tax on their profits.

      Also I feel that your pacemeaker argument is inappropriate to the discussion – apples & oranges. One is not going to die if their glasses were made wrong. And if the pacemaker does have some unexpected glitch, I’m pretty sure that the cardiologist IS going to be in contact with the manufacturer.

      This in no way dismisses the knowledge & experience of eyecare professionals that someone like my ophthalmic specialist has in treating my eye situation and I’m willing to pay him a fair price for that service. What I’m not going to continue to do, is continue to pay his lens lab, Walmart, Costco, Eyemasters or anywhere else 12 times what I can get it for from Zenni in these economic times and I greatly appreciate Jack’s effort bringing this to my/our attention. $1200 for 4 pairs vs around $100. Hmmm, let me think reeeaallly hard about that one! 🙂

      Yes, we DO vote with our wallets but like TSP/new media and the MSM, the times they are a changin’. We do have a choice & I’m glad you exercise yours as you see best.So will we. Take care

      • @Brian W,

        Let me add to your great points a few more.

        1. No one seems to get all bent that a person who wears contacts take their prescription to or to any other place to get it filled, how is it different from doing it with glasses? What am I paying 240 dollars for a tech at my eye doc to fit my frames, if I can manage to fit my sun glasses I can fit my eye glasses. Sorry you don’t need a degree to bend temples.

        2. How is it different if I go to my eye doc, get an exam, get a prescription, PAY FOR it and take it to any place to be filled vs. going to a regular M.D., get a diagnosis then take his prescription to a WalMart pharmacy and pay 4 dollars for the medicine? Eye doctors are eye doctors, some are also “glasses salesman” but those are two different markets. We pay Doctors for their medical expertize, that I am fine with.

        3. How is it different then say this concept. I pay a consultant a design fee to design a network for my office. I tell them what I want, they deliver a set of prints, product specs, etc. Now if they company also does installations am I some how wrong to put the job out to bid and choose the most cost effective installer. Am I some how obligated to give them the installation work just because I gave them the design work.

        Seriously this is the most ridiculous line of thinking I have heard in a while!

        How the hell can anyone make the case that once you pay for a prescription and the exam that goes with it that using that information you paid for to make a decision of who to buy something else from is some how doing harm to the person you PAID for the information?

  14. The cycle that corey was talking about for the sales and best times to use the coupons is approximately 6 weeks. So for newer preppers you can start off getting enough to last til the next cycle until you get to the point where you’ve saved enough to buy more than 6 weeks worth of supplies to deepen your supply backup.

    • Not every sale is a 6 week cycle. Some things go on the best sales once or twice a year. Between now and Christmas canned goods, turkey, and baking supplies will go on sale. Come January health and beauty supplies, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies go on sale. Christmas clearance is a great time to pick up string lights, candles, chocolate, and gifts for the following year are marked down. March winter stuff like hand warmers, shovels, and ice scrapers go on clearance. If you can stock up at the right time of you can save a lot of money prepping.

    • @Alan, Corey tried to answer your question but I deleted his answer, we are not going to be repeating links that are already in the show notes above. An entire list of such sites was provided already in the notes at the top of this page.

  15. @ Corey, Where are you getting the ink for your printer so cheap? I’m paying $35 for black ink “for a dell v525w” from the dell website. All the other websites I have checked are about the same price. Where can I find these generic inks?

    • Nicholas,
      The key is to shop for the ink first, then buy a printer that uses that type of ink. Not all ink is that cheap. The ink I use is Brother LC61. It’s a very low-tech cartridge, so it’s easy for a 3rd party to make them cheap. I just checked Amazon for LC61 ink, and there’s a 10-pack of Ink for $7.48 with free shipping. That’s under $1 each, and you get $2 in store credit from Staples for each one after it’s empty. You can also investigate LC71 or LC75 Ink. It looks like a lot of Brother printers use those now. I don’t use them, but they look similar to LC61 in price and shape. I know that means buying a new printer, but you’ll pay for that in ink costs in no time. As far as I can tell, the brother printers are just as good quality as the HP and Lexmark printers I’ve had in the past. On Amazon right now, LC71 ink is 10 for $6.26, and the printer MFCJ425W appears to use these and costs $94.45 with free shipping. It looks like a fine printer to me, but please do your own research before buying.

      • Just purchased the above listed printer and cartridges. We’ll review them and post our findings on the forum. Fingers crossed for saving money!

  16. Jack,

    You asked for the most under rated and/or cheapest preps. Well for “bang for your buck” preps, I will give you my top three.

    1) Calcium hypochlorite (pool shock)-ensure you get the kind with no additives (fragrance, algaecides, etc.) with at least 70% concentration for water purification. A one pound bag costs about $4 and can disinfect over 10,000 gallons of water (potentially). Some estimates state that it takes 40 pounds of wood to boil one gallon of water on an open campfire.

    2) Pantyhose-They cost a couple bucks and weigh less than an ounce. They are useful to filter particulates out of water (that you may treat with the above prep), or can be used for lashing, as a protectant for food from insects, and to hang food at campsites. However, they are also used by the infantry (pay attention for this old timer trick) to save your feet on long marches (like bugging out). Put on knee high pantyhose, then put your socks on. The hose protects your skin from the sock rub and allows you to walk for MILES without blisters. What do they say about an ounce of prevention……? You can also wear it to rob a bank. That’s illegal, so don’t do it. If you do, I hope you use the pair you just walked thirty miles in…..and then get caught.

    3) Solar blankets-useful for reflective heat of all kinds. The more heat you reflect for your purposes, the less you have to generate. Probably has over 101 uses and weighs about 1 1/2 ounces. They cost between $2-4.

    For less than $10, and under 2 pounds in weight, the bang for your buck is TREMENDOUS.

  17. Jack,

    As for not-so-common preps to have, one thing I was surprised not to hear about on this podcast was toilet paper. This very common hygiene supply was overlooked by yours truly when I actually ran out one day. I had to by full priced toilet paper to resupply the bathroom before my wife got home. No dice!

    Toilet paper is always “on sale”, but the deep discounts are on Charmin, and Target is usually the place to go. Using P&G coupons that come in Duracell batteries, or in the sunday paper will give you at least $2 off, then Target usually gives $5 store cards when you buy 2. This works on paper towels too (Bounty). You can even ask the checkout clerk to apply the $5 discount to your TP purchase, adding to the savings.

    The same can be done for cat litter and diapers. Ziploc bags and garbage bags are essential too, and its always good to have other paper products available.

    We have a special closet in the house with all our extra paper products. When something runs out…it can be replaced.

    One last tip. Tally up for one month how much of each product you use. I was surprised to find that for a household of 2, we use almost one roll of toilet paper a day, and 2 rolls of paper towels a week. Using this, you can figure out how big a 30-90 day supply needs to be.

    • @Brian W, PD is not that critical it is just the distance between your pupils in millimeters. It is just to be sure you are picking a set of frames right for the size of your head. Just have someone measure your PD (pupil distance) with a tape measure. Look strait at them and have them measure the distance. If you are off by a millimeter or two it won’t matter.

  18. @ All – Just for the sake of honest disclosure – I e-mailed Zenni about their prices – “I’m amazed by your low prices. I see that your contact listing is in Novato CA but is that where the lens are processed?”
    and got this response. – “11.04.12 Dear customer, We are able to produce and offer glasses at this price because of several reasons. We have our own production lab in China. We do not have retail locations, and therefore, aren’t subject to such things as commercial rental rates, landlord register overages, utilities, etc. We also don’t have to spend extended periods of time interacting with the customers, as retail establishments are required to do, all of which allows us to offer eyeglasses at greatly reduced rates.”

    So IF one wants their lenses made by Americans, Zenni is not the place for you.
    You decide what matters most to you.
    All the best and stay safe.

  19. Thanks for this show topic. Couponing is actually how we got into prepping. We started a budget, then started couponing in order to reach our lower grocery bill. After a few months, Our new pantry in the basement was starting to get full, and it got me looking around on the Internet, and in a certain frame of mind, and voila…. the rest is history.

    Sales come and go. I’ve noticed on average about a 3 month cycle on prices at our stores. What this means is that if you can buy at least 3 months worth of Item X when it’s on sale (and matches coupons), you can coast on your stockpile during the next 3 months when prices go back to being too expensive. Then by the time you’re out, you’re ready to stock up again. After about 6 months, you’ll find out that you’re stocked up on just about everything. That meant that we only needed to buy sale items each time we went to the store. This is when you really start to save money, spend MUCH less time trying to match deals & coupons, and enjoy life again.

    Our go-to coupon matching site is Operation 40K.