Shop for Free

Local bargain blogger Melea Politis has made a career out of coupons. She agreed to share some of her “big saving” secrets.

She is a self-taught Coupon Queen. When bargain blogger Melea Politis said she could teach anyone to “shop for free,” Studio 5 jumped at the chance to learn.

“I think people really honestly don’t believe it,” she said. “They think there is no way I can get that deal or I can get that item for free. But it’s really easy and the savings are huge.”

Our “free shopping” adventure began on Target isle W9, where Melea applied a strategy she calls “Double Price Off.”

“This is where you combine coupons,” she explained. “So you get a dollar off an item with an in-store coupon and a dollar off with a manufacturer coupon, so instead of getting one dollar off, you get two dollars off and sometimes that adds up to a free item.”

Melea advises to apply those “Double Price Off” savings on items that are already on sale, for maximum savings.

Melea regularly signs up for company samples, an easy way, she says, to get free product. Simply send a business your e-mail address and get free stuff in return.

Melea is always on the lookout for coupons. She even pays for five weekly newspaper subscriptions.

“It’s more than worth it,” Melea said, “That way I can cash in on five times the savings and stock up on sale items.”

One more great tip: make sure and look for bonus offers – in-store extras that perk up a purchase.

Target will regularly offer gift cards with certain product purchase. If you separate your transactions at the register, you can apply that gift card immediately.

While checking out, Melea said it helps to have the store coupon policy printed out and on-hand, just in case the cashier is confused on what is allowed and what isn’t.

“That way there is never any confusion,” she explains. “And keep in mind, the store is not losing money. They not only get reimbursed by the manufactures, they often get a handling fee on top of that. So it’s a win-win, on both sides of the sale!”

For weekly deals and more money-saving tips, visit Melea’s website:

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