Entries in Coupons (16)


Your Ad Here: Toilet Paper Features Coupons

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ever get the urge for to read something while you’re “conducting business” in the bathroom stall? Well, a couple of brothers from Rye Brook, N.Y., have just the answer -- and it’s literally at your fingertips.

Jordan and Bryan Silverman concocted two-ply toilet paper that features coupons redeemable through their company’s website, Star Toilet Paper.  It can be done by either scanning the sheet with a cellphone or downloading the coupon from the website.

The marketing plan allows potential clients to advertise on environmentally safe paper with print made from soybean-based ink.  What’s more, venues that select Star Toilet Paper get their rolls free of charge.

At the moment, 50 advertisers are on board, including nationally known companies ranging from Ben and Jerry’s to local businesses. 

Jordan, the older of the brothers who came up with the idea while he was a student at University of Michigan, is thinking about doing the same thing with paper towels, also in the bathroom.

If the coupon idea takes off, the Silvermans would like to see their toilet paper in the lavatories of bars, movie theaters and other places where traffic is brisk.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Groupon Fires Back at Shuttered Waffle Business

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Groupon is once again defending its business model after a shuttered waffle vendor blasted the deals service online as “money-hungry” and bad for small businesses.

Three months ago, Craig Nelsen, 52, erstwhile owner of Back Alley Waffles on Blagden Alley in Washington, D.C., opened the business to draw attention to his three-year old art gallery, which sells his mosaic artwork.

“We opened [Back Alley Waffles] with no money because the art gallery was struggling financially,” Nelsen said.

He said offering a two-for-one waffle deal through Groupon “broke our back,” causing the waffle business to close two weeks ago.  In particular, Nelsen takes issue with Groupon’s practice of distributing revenue to vendors in three payments over a 60-day period.

“It’s a bad model. I blame myself for getting into it. It’s a warning to any other small business that is trying to start up to stay clear of these guys,” he said.

Groupon spokeswoman Julie Mossler said a partnership with Groupon is not intended to give businesses a quick infusion of cash and that Nelsen was made aware that he would receive an initial payment through postal mail, then two payments after 30 and 60 days.

However, Nelsen, who received his second payment after the business closed, claimed the amount of money that would be distributed was not “clear” when he agreed to the contract.

In a statement, Groupon said: “Mr. Nelsen initially approached Groupon and our merchant advisors structured a deal to best encourage overspend and help his business grow. We also required Back Alley to cap the number of Groupons sold to ensure the feature was in the best interest of both consumers and the merchant. We scheduled his feature on his terms, on a date he selected, under a contract he reviewed and signed. According to our records, only 132 Groupons, or 18 percent sold, have been redeemed since Back Alley ran two months ago, and Mr. Nelsen has received 2/3 of his share of the revenue to date.

“We always hate to hear that a local business has decided to close, but the math does not point to Groupon as the cause.”

Mossler also pointed out that Nelsen made multiple agreements with LivingSocial and Scoutmob while offering the Groupon deal, which Groupon does not recommend.

“The 18 percent represents $2,600 worth of waffles is not much to $1.6 billion corporation like Groupon, but for someone trying to open a restaurant with no money is a huge overhang up front,” Nelsen said.

Nelsen’s art gallery is still operating because it does not require additional staff, he said. Though the waffle business failed, it seemed to reach his initial goal of drawing attention to his art.

“I got my first commission in the last week,” Nelsen said. “That was really encouraging.”

Groupon, for its part, has struggled since going public, with its shares falling 72 percent since its Nov. 7 debut to $7.31 each.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Best Memorial Day Weekend Sales

Anderson Ross/Brand X Pictures(NEW YORK) -- If you are on the hunt for the best Memorial Day weekend shopping deals, you might want to start sooner rather than later, said Tamra Feldman, vice president of marketing for the personalized shopping deals site, Shop It To Me.

After analyzing over 693,000 online deals through 2011 and over 8,000 from Memorial Day weekend last year, Shop It To Me, which provides users with personalized updates of items in their sizes with their preferred brands, found that the best markdowns come Friday and Saturday. The discounts then tapered off on Sunday and Monday.

"The good stuff is going to go quickly," Feldman said, adding that the sale items are mostly summer wear and products.

Because some sales began this year as early as Wednesday, the best deals may be flying off shelves earlier than expected, Feldman said.

For those who prefer to honor the nation's veterans this holiday weekend away from shopping crowds, many online retailers offer free shipping and returns, such as Nordstrom, Zappos and Piperlime.

Here are some of the best shopping deals pulled together from Shop It To Me and ABC News:

Ann Taylor:  Shoppers get an extra 40 percent off women's clothing styles during Ann Taylor's Summer Kick-off Sale. Ends Monday.

Black  In time for wedding season, online custom suit tailor, Black Lapel, offers men's wear with free shipping and a "Flawless Fit Promise." Black Lapel's custom-tailored Solid Navy suit, at $449, is sold at less than half the price of Brooks Brothers' off-the-rack 1818 Madison line which starts at $998. Both are made of the same 100 percent wool fabric.

Bloomingdale's:  Take an extra 20 percent off select sale and clearance items with code SALE20 online at department store Bloomingdale's Big Brown Bag Sale. Exclusions apply, see site for details. Ends Monday.

Club Monaco:  Free shipping over $175 on all online orders for men and women. Ends Tuesday.  Deals site features Memorial Day weekend deals, including $59 for four pounds of large shrimp, including taxes and shipping from Nature's Prime Organics, normally $145. The site also features a $25 deal for two AMC movie tickets plus a $50 gift card, a $50 value.

Endless by Amazon:  Get up to 50 percent off select styles, including Frye, Sperry Top-Sider, Seychelles and other brands at Endless, Amazon's independent shoes and accessories online store which launched in 2007. Ends Monday.

Gap:  Shop the Memorial Day Sale at and save up to 40 percent off select styles. Ends Monday.  Get 30 percent off and free shipping with code WEEKEND at Histoire, an online retailer of socially conscious goods, which means "story" in French. Sale items include hand-woven Linen Square Pillows for 65 percent off, an antique glass candle stick for $9.80 and a T-light holder for $6.30. Ends Tuesday.

Home Depot:  Home improvement retailer, Home Depot, launched its Memorial Day weekend sale on Thursday. Its national advertisement features sales on everything from paint ($5 off a gallon and $20 off five gallons), barbecue grills ($199 for a $399 Nexgrill gas grill), briquettes ($5.88 for Kingsford 2-pack ), drill kits ($99 Ryobi One+ Lithium-Ion) and more.

J.Crew:  Get an extra 30 percent off spring sale items with code LOVEIT at for men, women and children. Ends Monday.

LOFT (Ann Taylor):  Ann Taylor's LOFT is featuring an "Everything under the sun $29 and under" event for women. Ends Monday.

Lucky:  Lucky brand is offering an extra 30 percent off sale jeans, no code needed. Ends Monday.

Macy's:  Retailer Macy's is offering buy one get one free pillows, dresses for 25 to 50 percent off, men's suits for 50 percent off and more. Online shoppers can use MEMDAY for further discounts. Macy's Memorial Day sale kicked off Thursday and ends Monday in store and online.

Madewell:  Get an extra 20 percent off sale, plus free shipping on all orders with code WEEKENDER. Some exclusions apply. Ends Monday.

Maidenform:  Get 25 percent off site wide at the women's intimates retailer's online store. Discount applied at checkout. Ends Monday.

Nordstrom:  Nordstrom's biggest sale of the season, its Half-Yearly Sale for women and kids, is online and in stores. Ends Sunday.

Ralph Lauren:  Enjoy 25 percent off select men's & women's styles, plus free shipping with code MAYFS12. Ends Tuesday.

Rugby by Ralph Lauren:  Get 25 percent off polos, shorts and swimwear, plus an extra 25 percent off already-reduced styles, no code needed. Ends Tuesday.

Saks Fifth Avenue:  Receive $50 off your $250 sunglasses purchase with code SUN2012 (valid for all women's sunglasses). Ends Saturday.

Steve Madden: 
Spend $75 and get 20 percent off with code STOCK20. Spend $100 and get 25 percent off with code STOCK25. Ends Tuesday.

Target:  The Shops at Target includes five design partnerships for men, women and girls which launched May 6. The collections aren't having Memorial Day sales but shoppers can snag deals like on the clothing boutique collection by The Webster. Actress Jessica Alba's daughter, Honor, was spotted on Thursday wearing The Webster at Target girl's tie smocked dress in palm print which is $16.99.

  Enjoy $50 off any purchase of $250 or more with code SUMMER50. Ends Monday.

Trina Turk:  Shop the Trina Turk Memorial Day Sale and get up to 60 percent off. Ends Monday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How to Save Money at the Grocery Store

George Doyle/Stockbyte(NEW YORK) -- Saving used to be simpler. Now, thanks to rising food prices and shows like Extreme Couponing, cutting and clipping has become an art form.

Teri Gault is the founder and CEO of The Grocery Game, a website that provides consumers with weekly lists of the lowest-priced products at their local grocery stores. Gault says her site helps people save up to hundreds of dollars per month. Here is a list of her top tips:

Stacking Sales -- or, combining coupons with in-store deals.

"Investing" -- buy in bulk when things go on sale, Gault says, so you won't have to pay full price later. In other words, don't wait until you run out.

"You don't even have to cut coupons to cut it [your monthly grocery bill] in half," says Gault. "You just invest. "But adding a coupon saves you about 67 percent on the average."

Timing -- Many people don't realize you don't have to redeem your coupons the same week they come in the paper. Coupons usually expire in three months, so you can play your coupons like a card shark.

Final Note: You can donate expired coupons to military families overseas, who may use them for up to six months past the expiration date. One place to do so is this Facebook page. donates all of their expired coupons to their local American Legion Auxiliary. Coupons must be clipped and bundled with rubber bands.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Holiday Gift Return Policies at Nation’s Biggest Retailers

Rayes/Photodisc(NEW YORK) -- Christmas has come and gone, but holiday shopping has not. The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday gift returns will total a record $46.3 billion this year, up 4 percent from last year and 10 percent from two years ago.

Read and click below to see the return and price-matching policies of the nation’s biggest retailers to save time, money and headaches when returning your holiday gifts.

Return Policies:

Price-Matching Policies:

Wal-Mart’s temporary, holiday price-matching policy will give customers a store gift card for the difference of any eligible product purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 25 that is found at another store for a lower price.

Staples:  “If you find a lower price anywhere else on a new identical item, just show us the lower price when you buy the item at Staples and we will match the price, or within 14 days of your Staples purchase and we will give you the difference,” according to the website.

Target:  Customers have within seven days of purchase to make a claim., the online entity of the company, is excluded from price matching.

“If you find an item in a competitor’s printed ad that is priced lower than it is at your Target store, we will match the price. The competitor’s ad must be local and current, and the product must be the identical item, brand name, quantity and model number,” according to the company’s website.

Sears:  “If you find a lower price on an identical branded item with the same features (in Consumer Electronics identical brand and model number) currently available for sale at another local competitor retail store, Sears will match that price plus, give you 10% of the difference. Just bring in the original advertisement to a sales associate at the time of, or within 14 days after, your purchase,” according to

Best Buy:  “Best Buy will match the price if you find a lower price on an identical available product at a local retail competitor’s store, a local Best Buy retail store or Simply let us know when you are making your purchase or during the return and exchange period. Perfect Match Promise products have an extended 60-day price match period,” according to the company’s website.

Amazon:  “With the exception of TVs, doesn’t price-match with other retailers (including those who sell their items on our website). We do, however, consistently work toward maintaining competitive prices on everything we carry,” according to

Home Depot:  “If you find a current lower price on an identical, in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and beat it by 10%. Excludes special orders, bid pricing, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, labor and installation, sales tax, rebate and free offers, typographical errors and online purchases,” according to the company’s website.

Lowe’s:  If you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retail competitor, just bring us the competitor’s current ad and we’ll beat their price by 10%. If a competitor is offering a percent off discount, we’ll reduce our current price by the same percentage discount that the competitor is offering,” according to the Lowe’s Website.

**Make sure to check the company’s website to read the fine print and review other requirements for price matching. Price matching varies for in-store purchases and online purchases.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Five of the Best After-Christmas Sales

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Want to exchange those bad Christmas gifts for something better, or just treat yourself to something new on this “Mega Monday?” Here are five of the best deals shoppers will find as they return to the stores and malls the day after Christmas.

Deal #1 -- Gaming Console:  Kinect and XBox 4GB: Buy it at Target for $299 and you get a $75 Target gift card (regularly selling for $375).  Plus, games are on sale:  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is $39 (regularly $59) at Best Buy, Target and Amazon.

Deal #2 -- Laptop:
  Acer Aspire Core i5 17″ screen $425 (regularly $560) at Walmart.

Deal #3 -- Tech Accessories: 
HP glossy photo paper just $2 (regularly $8) at Best Buy  and an iPad2 case with Bluetooth keyboard is $49 (regularly $69) at Radio Shack.

Deal #4 -- Tech Basics: 
Get an iTunes gift card for 15 percent off at Best Buy.

Deal #5 -- Clothing Basics: 
Women’s tights and stockings and men’s underwear are 25 percent off at Macy’s. Also at Macy’s, kids Levi’s for $22 (regularly $38). Plus, get an extra 15 percent off if you have the weekend ad from the paper, or text “CPN” to Macy’s (that’s 62297).

Some retailers are offering storewide discounts:

Eddie Bauer is offering 50 percent off entire store. The Home Depot is taking 10 percent off appliances, and offering free delivery. JC Penney has a coupon online for $10 off all purchases of $25 or more. And you’ll find 30 to 50 percent off all clothing at Abercrombie & Fitch — just not on fragrances.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Groupon Files for Discounted IPO

Scott Olson/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Coupon site Groupon Inc. filed on Friday to sell $540 million in an initial share offer -- far less than it had earlier anticipated after a series of stumbles and questions about its business model.

The largest online coupon site would have been valued at $11.4 billion, down from the $25 billion the Chicago-based company had discussed with its bankers earlier this year, before the markets swooned because of the European debt crisis.

In a regulatory filing, Groupon said it will offer 30 million Class A shares at $16 to $18 each.  In June, a filing showed it was planning to raise $750 million.

Investors might not be so keen to buy the shares, however.  Although Groupon had sales of $430 million in the third quarter, those sales grew at 9.6 percent -- a third of the rate of the previous quarter.  Its losses fell to $10.6 million from a loss of $101.2 million in the prior quarter.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Five Ways to Save on Back to School Shopping

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- School is starting soon, and you know it costs money for children to be prepared with books, clothes, supplies and the just the right backpack. The National Federation of Retailers expects that parents will spend about $600 to get their children ready for school -- nothing to sneeze at in this economy.

ABC News financial contributor Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, offers these tips to help you save money as you shop for back to school. Of course, you should always shop with a list -- and stick to it -- and look for rebates when you can. Here are five other tips from Mellody:

1. Shop Without the Kids: 
Shopping this way will decrease the urge to impulse shop. Every parent has been guilty of buying children toys they didn't need because they cried or begged, only to have them lose interest in it shortly after. Of course, the kids have to be there when you're shopping for clothes.

A special message for moms: don't let your husbands go back to school shopping unsupervised. A recent survey found that fathers planned to spend $39 more on average than their wives did.

2. Compare Prices in Newspapers: 
Back to school is worth $69 billion to retailers, and to them, the season is second only to the holidays in terms of making money -- so they're competing for your cash, and you can really save if you shop around. The easiest, low-tech way to do this is to look at the advertisements section of your newspaper and compare prices. The Internet, though, is where comparison shopping really pays off. Sites such as, and all can help you comparison shop with a few clicks of your mouse, and they also give you user ratings on products.

But before you click the "purchase" button, however, consider calling local retailers to ask about price matching. You might be surprised at the number of local stores that would love to have your business. Don't forget to look for free shipping offers when you're shopping online. If you're shopping for your college-aged kids, have the item shipped to their campus address so they don't have to pay extra to ship it from home to their dorm rooms.

3. Use Your Smartphones:  Nearly 75 million Americans now have smartphones. Retailers understand the importance of these devices, and are specifically targeting shoppers who use them. The Google Shopper app allows people to scan a product's bar code, and shows the prices for that same product at various stores in your area. Retailers also have their own apps. When you download the Best Buy Shopkick app, you will be notified of discounts of 10 to 15 percent off certain items when you enter a store.

And if you text JCP365, you will receive JCPenney's mobile back to school coupons.

4. Don't Forget About Facebook: 
People spend 700 billion minutes per month on the global social networking site, and retailers realize that, so they are running promotions on the site. Target has launched a back to school college promotion called "1,000 Likes," in which, through August 31, it will feature deals on its Facebook site. The first 1,000 people to "like" the promotion will get an online coupon for 40 to 50 percent off the item.

5. Take Advantage of Tax-Free Holidays:  Even though states are hurting for tax dollars, 17 states are offering tax-free holidays this year. Most tax-free holidays have already passed. You're still in luck, though, if you live in the following states:

  • Connecticut: save 6.35 percent, Aug. 21 to 27;  Maryland, save 6 percent, August 14 to 20;  Texas, save 6.25 percent, August 19 to 21.
  • If you live in New York, you're even luckier. The state will not be collecting state taxes (4 percent) on any clothing or shoe items costing less than $55, through March 31, 2012.

Bear in mind that the holiday applies only to the state's sales tax, so city and/or country sales taxes may still apply. Details vary by state, so check with your state's department of revenue website.

If your state doesn't offer a sales tax holiday, consider crossing the border to one that does, or think about going to one of the five states -- Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon -- that have no sales tax year-round. The saving may make the trip worthwhile.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Newspaper Thefts on the Rise, Couponers to Blame

Glowimages/Getty Images(MOULTRIE, Ga.) -- Newspaper thefts are on the rise, thanks to extreme savers who want more coupons.

Moultrie, Ga., has seen a dramatic increase in thefts, especially of the Sunday edition that typically has more coupons than the weekday papers.

"There is like a coupon ring that they're doing. They want the coupons and get very obsessive with them," said newspaper carrier Michaelyn Blackwell who believes popular TV shows such as Extreme Couponing are to blame for the recent thefts.

Some thieves, she says, have started taking the entire newspaper vending machines that can each weigh as much as 100 pounds. Blackwell says she now chains the machines together to make them tougher to steal.

The report of rising newspaper thefts follows the arrest of an Arkansas woman on August 7, who stole approximately 185 newspapers, worth $231.25, to feed her coupon habit. Jamie VanSickler was charged with misdemeanor theft. She told officers she is part of a coupon club and that she did not know she was doing anything illegal, according to her statement on August 5. She claimed she was just trying to save money.

Extreme couponers behind the thefts who are preoccupied with price may want to consider the hefty cost of the crime. If caught stealing a newspaper, violators can face fines up to $1,000 over a paper that might have cost them 50 cents.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coupons Usage on the Rise Amid Financial Unrest

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After years of decline, coupon usage rose markedly in 2008, coinciding with the U.S. financial crisis. Today, as the U.S. faces more bad economic news, coupon enthusiasts -- defined by Nielsen research as households who purchased 104 or more items using manufacturers' coupons -- can teach you how to stretch your dollars further.

Coupon newbies might consider coupon clipping arduous and overwhelming, but the savviest shoppers say it's a game that can be easily learned.

"It's a lot like chess," says Nathan Engels, founder of the website We Use Coupons. "If you know how to play the game, it's going to be a fun game, all the time."

Engels says he used to spend approximately $120 a week on groceries but says he's trimmed that figure to $50 since he started using coupons.

Newspaper inserts are still the primary method of coupon distribution, but the Internet offers more deals and time-saving tools. However, there are multiple sources such as We Use Coupons, Savings Angel and Coupon Mom that provide printable coupons and easy-to-use searches to match coupons with great store sales.

Engels says he has 32 toothpastes at his house because his family uses 15 toothpastes a year. He found a deal in which the toothpastes were on sale for $1, and he had a 50-cent-off coupon that doubled. Toothpaste has a long shelf life, and Engels is confident his family will use all the tubes.

Engels says since stores modify their coupon policies all the time, it's best to understand the policies. If there is a grocery store your family frequents, understand its policy. "Sometimes it's good to even bring a copy of the policy," says Engels. "Sometimes even the store managers are unaware of coupon policies."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio