How to write to companies!

People always ask me how I get my coupons and tell me that they can’t find it. I have the same problem, there aren’t that many coupons online, at least not if you live in the U.K. like I do. That’s why you’ve got to be proactive when it comes to couponing and use every strategy possible to get them on a fairly regular basis. One way is to write letters to your favourite, and not so favourite, companies. Which is what I’ll be covering in this blog post.

  1. Pick out your favourite brands that you use on a regular basis and have a look at the back of their pack – there should be an address there where you can send letters and queries. Write down these addresses along with the names of the companies, so you don’t get them mixed up. This is where you’ll be sending your letters.
  2. Make sure that each letter is personalized to each company and don’t clip in sentences from other letters to the current one (if you’re using the computer to write your letters), since this can backfire completely. If you manage to get a comment like “my dog loves it” in a letter to a chocolate company, then that shows that you either abuse your dog by giving it chocolate or that you’re reusing parts of the letter from a previous one to a dogfood manufacturer. This isn’t a problem, really when you write by hand, but make sure that you know who you’re writing to so you don’t write the wrong company name by mistake.
  3. Write your letter by hand, unless your handwriting is very hard to read. If you have severe problems with spelling, for example due to dyslexia, then I recommend that you either have someone help you write out the letter or use a computer with a spell check. Then you can write your letter, print it and then sign your name at the bottom. It should look proper and be easy to read to strangers. Also, if you use a pen – make sure that you don’t have too many crossed over words, rewrite the letter if you need to just to make it look nice and proper.
  4. In your letter, compliment the company in a nice and honest way. Don’t overdo it, lie or use grandeur – they can smell those sorts of things from a mile away and it’s very off putting to try and suck up to them. Be honest and natural in your praise.
  5. Tell them why you like their products and be sure to specify exactly what products it is that you often buy and use. This helps them to know why a certain product sells and can ensure that they keep making it.
  6. If you have any suggestions for improvements on a product you use, tell them in a nice way. Companies also likes it when their customers give them suggestions of new flavour combinations or fragrances that you’d like them to start making, so be sure to suggest it to them.
  7. If you’re writing to a pet food company then include a photo of your pet(s) to them and make sure that it’s a cute photo. Write the name(s) in your letter and on the backside of the photograph and tell them what products that they really like the most. If you can’t get a photo, then have the pet leave an inked paw print at the end of the letter.
  8. Your kids can be a part of writing to a company too, if you have them. Have them write a thank-you card and/or make a drawing to their favourite food or toy brands. Be creative!
  9. Don’t ask for coupons or vouchers, as it can be of putting to most companies. You’re not a beggar, so keep some class when you write the letter. I know that this may seem like a contradiction, but your whole letter might come across as a bit fake if at first you compliment them and in the end you ask for/demand coupons – see what I’m getting at?
  10. Don’t forget to put your home address in the letter, just to make sure that they know where to send their reply and always sign with your first and last name in a clear fashion – they should know who sent it and where they can send a reply.
  11. Remember that most companies will just send out a standard thank-you letter, don’t expect everyone to send you a lot of coupons or freebies. Some will, but certainly not every company does this. I’ve had more standardized thank-you letters without anything in them than I’ve had letters containing coupons.
  12. When it comes to complains – don’t complain unless you’ve got a genuine complain. If you have a complaint it’s usually easier to go on to their website and fill in a form. Again, remember to add your home address so that they can send a reimbursement to your home.
  13. Don’t write too often! They’ll start recognizing you and can become less prone to sending you coupons and freebies. But do send them cards for the holidays – Christmas, Channukka, Eid etc.
  14. Finally – always be polite and nice in your letters! This is the most important thing of them all.
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ICELAND Coupon policy

  1. These terms and conditions (“Terms”) set out how Iceland money off, discount and instant rewards (whether in the form of vouchers coupons, till receipts, electronic or otherwise) (“Coupons”) can be used and the rules that apply to their use. Please read these Terms and the terms and conditions printed on the Coupon carefully as your use of the Coupon means that you accept and agree to these Terms and those on the Coupon.
  2. The amount of money off, discount or other promotion, the dates the Coupon can be used and all other information required to use the Coupon (including any restrictions) are set out on each individual Coupon. If the Coupon says anything additional to these Terms then the Coupon terms will apply. If there are any contradicting points on the Coupons to these Terms, then these Terms shall apply.
  3. Unless the Coupon says otherwise, Coupons cannot be redeemed online.
  4. Only the original printed Coupon is valid. Iceland will not accept amended, damaged or photocopied Coupons. Iceland reserves the right to refuse to accept any Coupons with incorrect codes or which Iceland reasonably believes to be copies. Iceland does not accept any liability for any lost or damaged Coupons – once you have the Coupon it is your responsibility, so keep it safe.
  5. When using the Coupon in store, the Coupon will need to be handed over to the cashier for him or her to swipe at the till.
  6. If you want to use multiple Coupons, not all offers may be redeemed within the same transaction. You should read the terms on each Coupon carefully.
  7. Coupons are not transferable, cannot be used more than once and have no cash value. Unless the Coupon states otherwise each Coupon can only be redeemed against one item. The Coupons cannot be used for the purchase of carrier bags or putting any electronic savings on your Bonus Card. Where a minimum spend is required in order to obtain or use a Coupon, then purchases of carrier bags or putting electronic savings on your Bonus Card will not count towards that minimum spend.
  8. Coupons cannot be used for alcohol purchases in Scotland.
  9. Iceland does not accept any responsibility for any computer or equipment failure resulting in a transaction failing to register or any Coupon failing to be generated or printed.
  10. Our product descriptions, pricing and specifications are accurate at the time we print our Coupons and marketing materials, however we reserve the right to withdraw or substitute items at our discretion.
  11. All of our products are subject to availability, whilst stocks last, and may be available in selected stores only.
  12. Iceland reserves the right to modify, withdraw, terminate or temporarily suspend any promotion or Coupon in whole or part at any time.
  13. All Iceland promotions, including Coupons, are governed by the laws of England and Wales and are subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  14. Iceland may amend these Terms at any time. All changes to these Terms will appear on our website on this page (www.iceland.co.uk/details). Please check our website regularly for changes. We recommend you check these Terms when you are thinking of using a Coupon.
  15. The Promoter is Iceland Foods Limited, Second Avenue, Deeside Industrial Park, Deeside, Flintshire, CH5 2NW.
  16. If you have any queries about these Terms or any Coupons, please call our Customer Helpline on 0800 328 0800 Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat 8am-8pm and Sun 8am-6pm (opening hours subject to change and calls may be recorded).
  17. Offers sent to Bonus Card holders: Only the person named in any offer communication can earn or use Coupons sent to them by swiping their Bonus Card, with the Bonus Card number stated in the offer communication, at the till when making a purchase in any participating Iceland store.
  18. Offers sent to Bonus Card holders: When that customer shops and their Bonus Card is swiped at the till, during the dates of the relevant promotion, the applicable Coupon will either be automatically printed at the till or the Coupon redeemed immediately.
  19. Offers and Coupons (Non-Bonus Card): If an offer is promoted in our stores, online or in any other communication, provided that all of the qualifying conditions of that offer (if any) are met during the dates of the promotion, the Coupon will either be automatically printed at the till or the Coupon redeemed immediately.

Couponing 101 – now available on Fiverr

I’ve just joined the site Fiverr. If you’re not familiar with the site, it provides a ton of different services for 5$ and up and it’s everything from having someone draw a birthday card for you to someone tucking you in at night and singing you to sleep with songs.

https://www.fiverr.com/poor_mans_guide (my profile)

 

I’ve just started offering a course in couponing for beginners and it has 3 different tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold – each with its own exclusive material! You can even have me coming with you to the shops for a personalised experience (T&C applies)! So, if you’re interested in learning what exactly couponing is and the foundations of it: click the link and reserve a package for you or your friends today!

 

MORE PACKAGES WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE NEAR FUTURE! Please send a message or write a comment if there’s something you’d like me to sell on Fiverr.

How to save on holiday foods!

What you serve at your Christmas dinner depends on where you live, as well as when you celebrate it – on the 24th or the 25th of December. You might nog even celebrate Christmas, you might have Chanukka or some other holiday. But there will be food and it can often cost a lot of money to buy. How many of us doesn’t curse at the expenses of food during regular weeks? Imagine the costs during a major holiday. If you want to save, like I do, or can’t really afford the food – but still want to give your family a nice meal – then planning, coupons and the weekly ad will take you a long way. I’m going to give some general tips and then post some links to coupon sites.

I’m using Christmas as an example since I celebrate it, but the tips and tricks can be applied to any holiday.

 

Tips:

  • Like when you’re buying the holiday gifts, planning is everything. If you haven’t planned anything then you’re going to end up overspending, miscalculating dishes for the amount of people present, multiple and unnecessary trips to the shops.
  • Start planning any dinners/lunches where your extended family will attend at least 3-4 weeks in advance. Plan what dishes you will be serving, what the ingredients are and how much you need to make of each dish.
  • Remember to plan for the side dishes, condiments, snacks, sweets and drinks! It’s easy to remember mustard when you sit there at the dinner table and want some.
  • Lists are everything! Make lists of what you need to buy and group the ingredients after what type of food they are, for example:
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Condiments
    • Baking goods
    • Meats
  • When you make the lists, make sure to separate them buy shop chain as well! Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Walmart, ICA, COOP, you name it!
  • Will anyone be staying be staying with you, other than your closest family (spouse and children)? They need food too!
  • Will it be a buffet, formal dinner or a regular meal? Each have their own advantage, but I’d recommend some type of buffet.
  • If you choose to have a buffet, first decide on what dishes you’re going to be serving or assign a dish to each guest (if you’re having them). If guests are bringing some of the dishes, you all save on food!
  • Shops usually start marketing their Christmas food at least 6 weeks before Christmas. Take advantage of this and start buying what you know you need. Some things we always have at Christmas, every single year, so why not buy them now and tick them off your list?
  • Always check the weekly ads in the shops closest to you! More often or not they have one or two Christmas foods on sale every week leading up to Christmas, make sure you buy them and always buy the full allowance. For example: you have a baked ham on your Christmas table and one week your shop allows you to buy 2 good sized hams for 10€. It’s one purchase per household. Buy those two hams, even if you know that you’ll only eat one. You can cook the other one too and have dinners and lunches for a rather long time after, if you freeze it.
  • Remember that manufacturers often put out a lot of coupons for their products during the holidays, since they want you to buy their products. Take a few coupons and save them. You should of course use some of them for the items that you need at the moment, if it gives you a good price, but after Christmas the shops often drops their prices to make room for new products. That means that you can score some incredible deals, and even freebies or money makers, if you took a couple of extra coupons when there were some.
  • If your shop allows overage – use it to buy the things that you can’t get coupons for
  • READ YOUR WEEKLY ADS LIKE IT’S THE BIBLE, PEOPLE!
  • Take a couple of hours to surf around for coupons and discounts and print as many coupons as you’re allowed.
  • Your shops usually have some kind of loyalty card. Make sure to sign up for that. That way you get instore coupons, deals and rebates. The instore coupons can be combined with a manufacturer’s coupon and make a product free, close to free or a money maker.

 

Links:

Coupons.com (US): https://www.coupons.com/

Grocery Coupon Network (US): https://www.grocerycouponnetwork.com/

Be frugal (US): http://www.befrugal.com/printable/restaurant/

Retail me not (US): https://www.retailmenot.com/coupons/fastfood

Coupon Mama (UK): https://couponmamauk.co.uk/

Money Saving Experts (UK): http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/supermarket-coupons

Extreme Couponing (UK): http://www.extremecouponing.co.uk/

Extreme Couponing & Deals (UK): https://excoupuk.com/

Super Savvy me (UK): https://www.supersavvyme.co.uk/offers/coupon

Hot UK deals (UK): http://www.hotukdeals.com/groceries

Hip2Save (US): http://hip2save.com/

Southern Savers (US): http://www.southernsavers.com/

Deal shopping holiday gifts

The holiday season for me, and millions of other people, can be very stressful and puts a strain on a lot of peoples’ economy – unnecessarily. Whatever holiday you celebrate in December, gifts and good food are big parts of them. Studies show that we argue, fight and feel emotionally worse during the Christmas and Chanukka seasons, for loads of reasons. But, with good planning, and a few easy tips and tricks, you can avoid a lot of tears and sleepless nights. There are good and easy ways to save money and don’t go into debt or ruin to have a nice holiday.

First I’m going to discuss how to get nice gifts for you family and friends, tips & tricks and then put out some useful links to different discount websites, price comparing sites etc. I’ll get to food in my next blog post, since I suspect that this will be a rather long post.

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Gifts

For me, buying gifts is the most stressful of all! I celebrate Christmas and I’ve already started asking my friends and family what they want for Christmas, just so I won’t be stressed the week leading up to it. There are a million things to be done anyway and spreading out your shopping is a smart move. Let me give you a few tips that you can use:

  • Start planning NOW! Sit down with your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/children (if you have either one) and plan the holiday. Let you kids be part of the plans from an early age, they’ll love it!
  • Spread out you gift shopping – you don’t have to do everything at once. Do a few every week and always bring a list with you to cross check and cross off what you’ve bought. That way you won’t buy the same thing twice. The same thing goes for food.
  • WRITE lists of what everyone wants – you WON’T remember what your family and friends want.
  • Start asking the ones you plan on buying presents for what they want already, it pays to be early. Again, if you ask late then you’ll have to stress buy everything at once and that’s not good.
  • Order of the internet or try finding what you want on clearance. That saves huge amounts of money. Take some time to surf around and compare prices at different websites. Also, many websites give you free shipping if you order over a certain amount, so if you can – collect a few presents from the same site to get over that amount, providing that all the gifts are at a relatively good price.
    • There are more often than not codes for free shipping. Hunt one down!
  • DO NOT use the deal: “Buy now – pay in 3 months”. That costs extra money and could set you into debt. Only shop with money you have NOW, or don’t buy it.
  • If you have a stockpile at home, then you can make cheap gift baskets from that. Put together a basket and wrap it in a festive crepe paper and some beautiful satin bands, and give it away to relatives, recently married friends etc.
  • A gift basket from your stockpile can contain so many combinations, for example
    • Diapers, pacifiers, baby wipes, baby clothes that were on sale, laundry detergent, baby food and a little stuffed toy for the new parents, or parents-to-be.
    • Laundry detergent, washing up liquid, soap, shampoo, cleaning supplies etc. and other household items to the friend or relative who’s just bought a home or moved away to go to college and might be a little strapped for cash.
    • Pasta, marinara sauce, baked beans, tins, gift cards to food shops, travel sized shampoos and soap, coupons and other things to the person who’s just started studying at college or the university.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. Say: “This year our budget for presents is going to be X. How can I/we stick to it?”
  • Have savings account for holiday expenses just like you have one for vacation, emergencies and pension. Put a little sum in every week/month, depending on how often you get paid, and you’ll have a good start. This account can be used for other holidays as well and not just the ones in December. Just remember to always have money there!
  • Homemade food is always appreciated. If you have a garden full of various fruits, berries and vegetables, then do something with them and give away jams, juices, pickles etc.
  • Decide on how many gifts each person is going to have, for example: each of my children will have 4 each, my spouse 3, I’m getting 3 from myself and every other relative will get 1 gift each. That limits it somewhat.
  • I like to leave a gift for the mailman and the guys who empty my garbage every week. Usually I buy a couple of nice chocolate boxes, wrap them and write a card. Then I go out when I see them and wish them a happy holiday.
  • Hunt for coupons, rebates and discount codes. There are a million of them during the holidays.
  • Be aware that some shops actually mark up their prices a lot before the 25th of December and then dump them for the sales.

 

Useful links:

Pricerunner (UK): http://www.pricerunner.co.uk/

Pricerunner (US): http://www.pricegrabber.com/

Pricerunner (SWE): http://www.pricerunner.se/

Deal Extreme: http://www.dx.com/?Utm_rid=16341893&Utm_source=affiliate

Amazon (UK); https://www.amazon.co.uk/

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/

Voucher codes (UK): https://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/

My Voucher Codes (UK): https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/

Missguided Voucher Codes (UK): https://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/missguided.co.uk

Official Coupon Code (US): https://www.officialcouponcode.com/

Voucher Cloud (US): https://www.vouchercloud.net/

Groupon (US): https://www.groupon.com/

Groupon (UK): https://www.groupon.co.uk/

Coupons (US): https://www.coupons.com/coupon-codes/

Ashley’s money saver (UK): https://ashleighmoneysaver.co.uk/coupon-detective/

Extreme Couponing (UK): http://www.extremecouponing.co.uk/

Supermarket Coupons (UK): http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/supermarket-coupons

Just a short post today

I haven’t really got the time to sit down and write a long, proper post today so I’m going to post a short update on what’s to come.

  • How do you shop on a budget and what should you do before even entering the shop?
  • Lasagna Boats recipe 
  • Couponing
  • Writing to companies of products that you love and how to get something from them in return for loyalty.
  • Useful tips & tricks at the grocery shop
  • What is a good price on your favourite products?
  • How to organize your coupons
  • Building a stockpile and maintaining it.
  • Chicken tikka masala recipe
  • How to stretch your money in the kitchen.
  • More easy, cheap recipes
  • Reviews of products 

If you want me to write about something that’s not included on the list then feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll see what I can do!

Just a quick post before work!

I just thought I’d write something really quick before going of to work.

 

I created this blog almost two months ago and then forgot about it up until a few days ago, when I decided to start it again – seriously. I’ve been setting up an Instagram account, a Twitter account and a Youtube channel, and I’m planning my next few blog posts so bear with me.

I’d also like to point out that English is my second language, so if there’re any grammar errors, spelling errors etc. – that’s why, but please let me know and I’ll correct them. I won’t be offended if you tell me in a nice way.

My goal is to get a nice camera and start recording videos as well of my weekly shopping, but for Instagram I’m just going to use my iPhone.

If you look down to the right you’ll see links to my Instagram, Twitter and Youtube channel, so feel free to follow and subscribe.

 

Thanks for today and I’ll be back later this week with a proper blog post.

Instagram: thepoormansguidetothegalaxy

Twitter:@Poor_mans_guide