Ann Haney

Savings Spotter

Ann Haney of Bedford County is a coupon workshop instructor and motivational speaker, wife of over 20 years, mother of 6, writer and author of numerous products. You can view Ann's products and contact her at her website: www.livinginabundancecouponing.com

The bargain behind the blinkie

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I am sure you have seen that eye catching little black box with the blinking red or green light that summons all your attention as you make your way down the grocery store aisle. We call this the "Blinkie Machine."

Before I really understood the "Bargain Behind the Blinkie," my trip to the store would go something like this:

"Come on, kids, hurry up and get in the car, we have to run to the store and get something for supper, are you all buckled? Everybody out, watch the cars, 'Mommy can we ride in the blue car cart?' You mean the one that was outside in the rain?'"

Okay, now I have dried it with all the tissues from my purse and we are successfully heading down the aisle on our mission. As I am about to grab my item from the shelf while in motion, I hear "Stop!" My child jumps out entranced by the blinking machine which promises a paper trail for all to follow throughout the store. "Put those back," I reply, "and save those for someone who needs them." And we go on!

I have been enlightened! The "blinkie machine" is now my friend. Now our story goes, "Grab that blinkie!" Stationing my kids in twos, I round the aisle to shop for my other items, because I have learned that my friend, the "blinkie," spits 2 out every 25 seconds. Time-saving skills at their best!

The "blinkie" is a Smart Source Manufacturer Coupon!

But, even better than that, the blinkie promises a great deal on an item that will probably soon be on sale. Blinkie machines are owned by Smart Source and used by manufacturers to increase their sales by appealing to consumers' "buy it now" tendencies. As a matter of fact, it influences consumers more effectively than all other types of media the manufacturer puts out. The "blinkie" has a remarkable success rate of 18-34% in increased sales. Why? Most consumers will grab that blinkie to get a minimal discount on an item they would like to try. Wise couponers will learn, "grab the blinkie but wait for the sale."

The blinkie is one way manufacturers offer their best deals!

Most of the time, however, the item is not on sale right then, but will appear on sale at a later date or might be on sale at another store. Websites like www.southersavers.com and time2saveworkshops.com will tell you what stores have items on sale that the "beloved blinkie" can be used with. I have actually only found two times when I was able to use the blinkie right then for a great deal. I used the blinkie to receive free butter and another time I used the blinkie to purchase Horizon Organic Milk for $.10.

A blinkie in hand doesn't ALWAYS mean a bargain in the bag!

Shop wisely! If it is a great deal, then go ahead and buy it. If it is not a great deal, save it. Know your deal and don't act quickly. Blinkie Machines have a sale cycle they follow when bringing us these great bargain opportunities. Most of them will be placed in the stores for approximately 1 month and they are often refilled by Smart Source employees when they become empty.

All "blinkie machine" coupons can usually be used at most stores accepting coupons, because they are indeed manufacturer coupons. What about doubling, you might wonder? Some do state, "coupon not subject to doubling". Generally, if the barcode starts with a 5, it will double (unless the store suppresses this). If the barcode starts with a 9 the coupon will generally not double.

So as for myself if the flashing light is green, it means "go get that blinkie", if it is red, it means "stop and grab that blinkie." Either way the blinkies are now my friend. Just think of all the blinkies I would have had if I had let my children build their blinkie collection.

Until next time, go get those blinkies. Be sure and grab the Sunday paper for the sale ads, however there will be no coupon inserts in this weekend's paper due to President's Day.

-- Ann Haney is a coupon workshop instructor and motivational speaker, wife of over 20 years, mother of six, writer and author of numerous products. You can view Ann's products and contact her at her website: www.livinginabundancecouponing.com.

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