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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Money-Saving Terms: Peelies & Blinkies

If you've been reading many money-saving posts around the blogosphere, you may have encountered the words PEELIE and BLINKIE. To me, these words sound like a skin treatment and a child's pacifier. But in the coupon world, they are pretty valuable - often unexpected - surprises.

A peelie is simply a coupon that is attached to a product package at the store. You peel off the coupon and use it when you buy the product. Don't count on the cashier noticing and peeling these off for you. In fact, I don't even count on ME remembering to peel them off at the checkout! I peel them off immediately and put them with the other coupons that I have for that shopping trip.

Etiquette Note: I've often seen blog posts boasting about the peelies that someone had picked up at the grocery store. The problem is, they didn't buy the products that the peelies were attached to. This is not what these coupons were intended for, and it's actually taking someone else's money. If you aren't going to buy the product, don't swipe the peelie..... I'm coming down from my soapbox now to move on to blinkies.......

Blinkies are coupons that are found in the little coupon dispensers in the grocery store aisles. The dispensers usually have small blinking lights built into them (wonder where they got the name blinkies?). These are placed in store aisles by coupon companies, usually SmartSource. The coupons that are dispensed are manufacturer's coupons, so don't plan on stacking these with coupons you already have. You'll be able to use a blinkie or the coupon you brought with you, not both.

Blinkies are there for the taking. Feel free to grab a few if you find them for an item you want to purchase now or in the future. Blinkies do not have to be used at the store where you found them. They can be used at any store that accepts manufacturers' coupons.

There are a couple of blinkie rules of etiquette that you might want to consider. If you pull a coupon from the machine and decide that you don't want it, place it in the slot or container at the top of the machine. Don't just lay it on the shelf. (Your mother does not work at the store and will not be cleaning up after you!) You should also not take 20 coupons from the machine unless you're truly going to buy 20 of the item. Take what you think you'll realistically use, and leave the rest for someone else.

I'm always on the lookout for peelies and blinkies. You never know when you can get something free or almost free with a peelie, and you can always use the blinkies later! If you shop with your husband or older children, you might even ask them to be watching for peelies and blinkies. Sometimes you can be so focused on the items on your list that you might miss them. Make it a team effort!