Presenting: The Poor Man’s guide to Coupons – season 1!

It is done! I can now proudly present season 1 of my upcoming blog series: The Poor Man’s Guide to Coupons – season 1 

It will be a beginners guide to using coupons as a person with limited means and not like all the middle class people you see on YouTube! The first season will be dedicated to the basic principals of couponing. I can also announce that there WILL a second season with even more basics and busting a couple of the most common myths about Couponing and extreme Couponing.

I can also give you an “Episode Guide” or a “Chapter List” of this season.

Episode Guide / Chapter List

  1. What are coupons (and rebates) and why should you be using them?
  2. Different types of rebates, coupons and deductions and how to combine them
  3. The store’s own rebate-, loyalty-, and club card. Why you SHOULD use them!
  4. Where do I get coupons?
  5. How to read coupons to avoid doing it wrong
  6. The shops’ sell cycles and own rebates in combination with your coupons.
  7. Different store chains = different coupon policies. Learn to read them and memorize the most important parts.
  8. Store your coupons correctly and keep them up to date
  9. Couponers Anonymous 
  10. Practical tips before, during and after a haul!

The first episode will be out in March!

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Cheap ways to entertain yourself PART 1

When you’re like me and don’t have much money in the bank, it’s difficult to find things to do outside the house or apartment. This is why I’m always trying to find different & new, free if possible, attractions and amusements. Things that’ll get me outside instead of just sitting inside the house all day on my bum and be lazy. This is part one, and there will be more parts as I find things that you can do, and please leave a comment if you have tips and suggestions for me!

  • Check the posters at your library for concerts, lectures, art shows etc that are cheap or even better – free!
  • Sometimes your local food market/shop has special events to celebrate a new opening, a holiday or the chain’s birthday! When they do, there’s usually free food, happenings, deals and things for kids to do. Be sure to take full adtof this and make it a half or whole day’s outing. There are ofte good discounts on these days!
  • Many libraries have CDs and films of different sorts, go and see if they have anything good and check them out! 
  • Learn a new craft or get a new hobby by borrowing a few books from the library – why not teach yourself how to mend you own clothes or learn a new language?
  • Get an allotment close by and start growing things!
  • Once again, check at your library what kinds of local societies and clubs there are in your town or village. See if anything takes your fancy and join it.
  • Join a study circle, or start one yourself if you can’t find what you’re looking for. Chances are that you’ll get a full group very fast as other people have looked for the same kind of group, but have been too lazy to start a study circle about the subject. Why not start a circle about self-sufficiency or a group where you can trade coupons with others?
  • Go to flea markets and check them out – it doesn’t cost you anything unless you buy something.
  • If you live close to the sea, pack a pick nick basket and go down to the beach for a day of sun, sand and swimming in the ocean.
  • A lot of museums are free, almost free or have one day each week/month that’s admission free. Use this and pack a lunch box if it’s a bit far away.
  • Host a Dutch-treat at your house for your friends or family. Cheap and a great way to meet up and is even more fun if you pick a theme for it.
  • Download a film or documentary and watch it.
  • Go to local markets and traveling carnivals. 

As I said, this is part 1 and remember to leave a comment with suggestions of things you can do on a budget or upcoming topics that you’d like to see!

How to score free soap at hotels

Free tastes good and in this case – smells lovely! I travel a lot in my work, I’m a musician, and ergo: I stay in hotels ALL THE TIME that is either payed for by whoever is employing me, my business (for auditions and is deductible when you do your taxes as travel expenses), or by me (if I’m on holiday). I always take these stays as a way to save money on hygiene essentials that I need at home like: shampoo, body wash and hand soap. Sometimes the hotel put out complimentary teabags, coffee pods, sugar, a cookie and hot chocolate. These things are money makers for me and they are paid for by the price I’ve (or employer) paid to stay at the hotel. So it’s NOT like you’re stealing anything from them.

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In a lot of hotels they put complimentary soaps, little shampoo & body wash bottles and amenity kits in the bathroom and I always take them and put them in my vanity bag on the first day of my stay. I always make sure to bring a large bag and take out stuff like my normal shampoo, body wash, toothbrush and toothpaste and put them in their places. This creates more room in the vanity bag for the free stuff you’re going to get during your stay – this is especially important if you’re staying at the same place for a week or more. If you don’t make room then the things you’ve taken and put there will overflow the vanity bag which the housekeeper will see and stop giving you those daily amenities. One more reason to bring a large enough bag to not run into that problem, plus all your other things must fit in it at the end of your stay.

I usually put the free little things in one of those IKEA bags with Ziploc, and I always separate soap bars and the small bottles of shampoo just in case one of them brakes when I’m travelling home. If I hadn’t done that then all the hard soaps would be ruined, but if I separate them then I just have to clean the other bottles under the tap and throw away the one that broke. No big deal, it’s just a cheap insurance against any mishaps.

The same thing goes for teabags, free cookies, coffee and hot chocolate that some hotel gives you. I put them in a Ziploc bag of its own just so it won’t be contaminated by the soaps. For this one you must try and restrain yourself a bit. The housekeeper won’t believe that you’ve drank four teas, five coffees and two hot chocolates every single day – it’s just not credible – and they’ll stop giving you those things after two days. I’d recommend that you take two or three drinks per day and on the last day you take everything. Otherwise you’re just a cheapskate and not a savvy saver.

 

 

What do I use the soaps, shampoos and body washes for then?

The hand soaps I use in my everyday life in my bathroom, they might not last me long but I’ve got a few months’ worth of soaps – I usually use them when I’ve run out of other soaps and can’t find a good deal and coupons on the soap I usually buy at the shop. The same thing goes with the little bottles. Those I take with me when I travel and have them in my Emergency Bag. There will be a separate post about what an Emergency Bag is at a later date. Sometimes I have guests and I always tell them that they don’t need to bring shampoo and body wash if they don’t want to, I’ll provide it, or they forget to bring those things. That’s when it comes in handy to have all those extra bottles from the hotels. You can just give the guest a couple of bottles and then show where they can get more as they need them.

 

I thought that this would be a short post, but it turned out to be quite long anyway. These tips are just the basics of how I get some of my stash of free stuff, feel free to use them and to expand them with your own insights.

 

If you like you can leave a comment with any questions, your own tips and tricks, topics you’d like me to write about and products to review.

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