Custom Search
Teaching A Refunding Class

  • Attention-Getting Introductions

  • Core Concepts

  • Sample Class Curriculum (Mindy Cosner)

Attention-Getting Introductions

"Start tearing up one-dollar bills (actually just a very good look-alike) and toss them toward the students. When they all look at me like I'm a crazy woman- I'll say, ‘If you don't use are essentially doing this (toss more money up).’" Janet Pare, NH

"I loved doing this when I taught couponing/refunding classes. I brought a huge garbage bag with me to class, and before I started I dumped the contents on the floor. I had "garbage" with refund forms taped to each box or package, showing how much the refund was on that particular item. The audience loved seeing that the bag of garbage was worth $20, plus free coupons or t-shirts, etc. It was a very good visual aid." Mary Kenyon, IA

"I think I would do a Price Is Right kind of exhibit -- display products that you have gotten for free or just pennies on a table. Ask the class members what an average retail price would be for that item. Then, tell them what you paid. I think some kind of flip chart would work nicely, so that you can cover up the prices and then show them when you want." Susan Jensen, AZ

"I would start off with a short skit showing two people making purchases at a store. They could purchase the exact same items, but one person uses coupons and the other doesn't. The couponer saves a lot and spends just a little. The other person pays full price. Then the teacher could ask the "class" the question, "Which shopper would you rather be?" At this point you should have their attention!" Robin Miller, TN

"I have taught several classes over the past couple of years. I always shop the day of or right before and bring all my free items with me. I use the current Eckerd and Walgreen freebies and then get the current sales flyers for the grocery stores. I start by telling them that they can leave the class and go get all these free items just like I did. It's a great visual." Tricia Cliff, NC

"I would have some $$ bills in my hand and toss them into the waste basket. This action would literally show what they do when they toss coupons out." Harold, WI

"I would have a huge display of products that I have gotten free, some refund checks, free products , coupons for free food .. whatever you have gotten free. Then hang a big sign up: ALL THIS CAN BE YOURS FREE." Nancye Jameson, TN

"Oh, you would haaaavvvvveeee to bring in a whole load of items you had gotten completely for free and just mound them on a table. For more drama, you could even set up 3 tables - one labeled free items, one labeled items purchased between .01 and .15 and another labeled items purchased between .16 and .25 (or whatever values would work for your stash). And then give the students an opportunity to rummage through and actually touch the items which is a powerful teaching tool - using all three methods of teaching, visual, auditory and kinesthetic. It would be a hassle to haul the stuff in, but it would serve two purposes - it would interest your current students and create interest among future students, b/c word of "creative stunts" in college classrooms usually spreads quicker than you would think. This would hopefully garnish some student interest for offering the class again for another semester." Gina, FL

"First of all, I would go in wearing a green outfit signifying $$$$$ :) Then I would go around the money passing out monopoly money or the like and say .. "Hi, I am Donna Staton and I am here to tell you what saving your money on coupons is really about. It is about putting extra money in your pocket, and I do not mean this fake money, I am talking about the real deal. Greenbacks! Pay close attention and I will take you on a journey with tips on how to save at the grocery stores, department stores, discount stores and every other place that I know of!

I would show them 6 foot register tapes as proof that saving what most people throw away (that being coupons) can be a substantial way to put back money in their pockets. And point out that if you use only one coupon and save that 25 cents or any amount, is better than NO amount. Most people say."Oh it is not worth the trouble because I do not use most of those coupons in the paper."Well, um hello, even if you are using one or two, isn't any saving better than none at all. That one quarter that you may save on a product that you use often, could result in $13.00 a year if you had it to use each week. I could go on and on and on..... Keep saving, that is what it is all about!" Donna Staton, VA

"To get the attention of the group, when I start my presentation I would throw out a handful of coins and tell them any coins they picked up off the floor were theirs to keep. After the scrambling was over with I would say---Refunding/couponing is like free money but it is not found on the ground. I would then proceed with my class." Dolores Sambol, WV

"Right now I suppose I would look through all my cupboards and closets and pick out a few of my more spendy items that I got for a few pennies or free and set them out at the class adorned with a post it note as to what the price was for a show and tell type deal. And maybe have some of my free product coupons for everyone to look at to show what I can get on my next shopping trip. I suppose I could even show my coupon box and rebate box too." Carrie Paris, OR

"I would probably make a display of the latest/current FAR and area good deal items and say something along the lines of, "These items I got free or next to free this past week (month, whatever) and I am here to teach you how you can do it, too!" I would then launch into the Walgreens/Eckerd (both in my town) FAR and other rebate items information present a current sales flyer and group of coupons to each student and have them try to find some good deals. Maybe spend 10-15 minutes on it in small groups." Lara Muse, MO

"I would present each participant with a goodie bag of free items...(Things obtained with coupons, rebates or offers.) Should be easy to do just by dipping into my stockpiles! I don't think some people realize how many free or almost free itmes can be obtained." Jo, KS

"I would bring a HUGE box of FAR items, and other items gotten for free or pennies. I'd display them, and make sure I know the full retail price to really get their attention. Make sure they are items that people use every single day, such as toothpaste, shampoo, etc.!!" Jada Grayson, GA

"I would bring a basket filled with items that I got free or close to free. I would then have the class guess the average retail value of the basket of goodies and then I would have them guess how much I actually paid. I would have this be a door prize at the end of my class." Vicky Neale, ME

"I have given a speech about 2 years ago at my local playgroup. I showed long receipts with before totals and after coupon totals highlighted. This got everyone’s attention because they did not believe it was possible to save so much money and they never have seen such a long receipt. Another suggestion might be to bring in a bag of free groceries with the matching receipt." Georgia Pease, NJ

"If you saw a dollar bill on the sidewalk you would pick it up, right? Imagine that every time you see a coupon you see a dollar bill! I clip all those "dollar bills" and make big bucks-- tax free!" Carole Walsh, AZ

"I have in the past pulled out my longest and cheapest shopping spree. It gives them the fresh idea that they can do it if I can." Cindee Stulz, MN

"I would wear all my premiums at one time. IE...hats, shirts, sweat shirts, jackets, ties, etc. Or, use the stock piles to set a full course of food and surprise everyone that is cost $0.00. Lastly, ask everyone to hand you a dollar at a time until they reach the amount you made last month on refunding. Hold the wad up...but do remember to give it back at the end of the class. I hope this helps. I am thinking of having my own class and can use some ideas." Christine Gates, KY

"I take one of my receipts that shows coupon savings of over $100. My last one showed that I had saved $120 in coupons. That is usually quite impressive to people and makes them wonder how they can do that too." Sharon Folts, MD

"I would tell them about my 1st free spree in which I got $63.19 in groceries for free & that it only took me about 45 minutes organization!" Barbara Crane, TX

"I would take a few receipts with me to a copy shop and make a collage type poster of the important parts of the receipts. I would explain to them that the nearly $1000 I saved at one store last year is just at one of four stores I shop regularly. I would also tell them how I save about 40-60% on an average shopping trip, and 70% is not unusual. After a dramatic pause, I would add that I have only been couponing for a couple years (which they pretty much have to believe, since I'm only 20!). This would show them how little time it can take to become a real Deal Diva!" Betsi, MA

"If I were teaching a class and I wanted the class's attention I would begin by showing copies of the $75 Mastercard and the $50 American Express check and other premiums that I have received from test drives!!! Even though these aren't really "couponing/refunding", these large cash amounts will get their adrenaline going to clip coupons, match the coupons they have to items on sale and send in the upc's for cash or merchandise rebates. In today's economy, most people want to see instant and significant rewards so dangling the "carrot" of test drives should get them going!! It would me if I had never couponed, rebated or test drove before!!!" Kaye Hasenour, IN

"I would start by displaying several products. I would play a game similar to one seen on Price is Right where they would have to match actual price (printed on cards) to the product. Of course I'd include a FREE product and one where I earned money. These products would be given away to the person who matches the most products correctly." Frances Robinson, LA

"Each person think for a moment of a "treat" for yourself that you would like to buy but think you can't afford: an electronic gadget like a cd player, Playstation or Xbox; a small kitchen appliance (maybe a food processor) to make your life easier; a special outfit; maybe a vacation trip. Now what if I told you that it's not beyond your reach to have this, that by learning and implementing a few savvy shopping tips employing coupons, sale shopping, rebates or refunds when making your usual purchases you will be able to save enough money for the "toy" of your fantasy? Listen up in this class and in a short time you can be enjoying the "treat" that you've only imagined a moment ago." Linda, VT

"Imagine a beautiful banquet table lined up with gourmet looking entrees, candles, lovely centerpieces. Showcase a feast to feed a large family gathering like Christmas or Thanksgiving. (Have pictures of this done at home). It looks so elegant, sooo expensive. Can you believe that this was accomplished with $25?? (Or whatever the real cost is for the food, accessories, etc) A master couponer/refunder can save money and still live richly using their creativity and shopping savvy! ----I think something like this would catch my attention because generally when people think of coupons and frugal living they don't equate it with elegance. If a banquet is too much, perhaps showcase a cheap date scenario. Get more romance for your buck! I'd stay tuned." Jody White, NE

"When I gave a speech on this subject for a college class, I made 2 colorful 8 1/2 x 11" collages - one of high value coupons and one of refund forms (ones that were stickers from SMP's were particularly eye-catching). I had each collage made into a color overhead (they cost about $1.50 at my local copy store). I put these on the overhead projectors, and as the class came in they saw this huge bright display of TRY ME FREE and SAVE $3.00 etc. These were people that were in my speech class because they had to be, and even they were intrigued about the savings to be had." Ellen Griffith, MT

"Props, props, props! What better way to have an introduction than having a table full of products (shop the day before!) Use a big poster board showing the ACTUAL PRICE (before deductions) MINUS the coupons and MINUS the refunds. Use a BIG poster to show a blow up of the cash register tape. Including refund forms attached to this poster! With another poster show a picture of yourself and/or family on vacation. TITLE: WE SAVED FOR A DREAM VACATION!!" Leah Bentley, KY

"I would put together slides or nice 8x10 pictures of me on vacation in Grand Caymen...followed by pictures of me with my stash (stockpiles of used items) and I would then ask the class what they thought these two things had in common.....that should get their attention!" Joanne Kibbe, IL

"I think walking up to the front of the class and then fanning out a big bunch of dollar bills and waving them and asking "Who would like free money?" would be a GREAT way to start as everyone would happily raise their hands. Then you could start in with, "Well, I am going to teach you how to get money JUST LIKE THIS by using coupons, doing rebates and much, much more! And soon YOU will be happily waving YOUR money and laughing all the way to the bank!" How's THAT for a catchy beginning? I definitely think you would have their attention right from the start!" Jeanette, MN

"I would borrow a grocery cart from a local store and fill it full of free or near free items. I would then ask the class if they would like a cart full of free groceries with no strings attached!!!" Nancy Roeder, OH

"I would have 2 bags of groceries filled with the same name brand items and have a "price tag" on the front of the bag. One would read the price with the words "Used Coupons" and the other reading "Did Not Use Coupons". That way the class would see the difference in price paid for the same exact groceries." Cheryl Bunk

"I would hand each person in class a candy bar I had gotten for free or a free candy bar coupon." Cindy Tenneson, MA

"Here are some suggestions: (A) Blow up a copy of one of your receipts where you have saved a ton of money. If you have access to an overhead projector, you could use it there. Otherwise, hang it up somewhere. (B) Put a bunch of store receipts into a container of some sort. When each person comes in, have them pick one. Then start by asking everyone to see how much was saved on their receipt. The person who has the receipt with the most saved can get a door prize (something you have received for free). (C) Put a bunch of products on a table that you got for free or very cheap (or even made money off of). Put a piece of paper in front of the item. Ask each person to guess how much you paid for that item. The person who comes the closest gets to keep the item. (D) Put store ads onto a posterboard. Circle items that you have coupons for and mark the price after coupons." Rita, IL

"I brought many items and had them guess how much I paid. I then showed the regular price, sale price and price I actually paid. It was fun and non coupon users could not believe it. The assignment for the next week was to bring in all the coupons that they could find that they did not plan to use. I also brought lots of coupons so everyone could get a start on a coupon wallet." Charmayne Schultz, IL

"I would have a nice basket of free items I received from rebates or refunding. I would make sure everyone had a coupon as they entered the room and then I would pick one winner at the end of the session. The dove bathrobe would be a great choice for the basket." Robyne, PA

"I would start with a table of many items that were bought with great deals and have everyone write their guesses of how much it all cost. Then the one or two who were closest would get to take all or some of the items home with them." Receca M, NY

"A visual aid is always effective. So, I would bring in a few grocery items that total approximately $10 at full price. I would say…….""This is what $10 would normally buy you at the grocery store."" Now, with successful coupon use, that same $10 would buy you this…….""and pull out your bag(s) of groceries that only cost $10 after coupons." Chrysa Duran, NJ

"I did this at classes I have taught. I give out freebies (toss them) to the crowd. Careful how you toss it, I had a problem w/ a toothpaste box. I tell them everything I am giving out was free, then throughout the class, I toss out another freebie or two." Jollen Gibbs, CA

"Have a display of items (maybe stacked in a pyramid style, etc.) that you got for free. Pass out cards to everyone attending and ask them to calculate in their heads approximately how much they think the items in the display cost and write that number down on the card. Have them hand in the cards. Tell them the one closest to the correct price gets a door prize. Obviously the price that is the lowest will win as the items were free. Then proceed to tell them the REAL cost. Hand out prize to the winner, then start your introduction to how you achieved this." Laurie Bernhard, CA

"I wood put play money in a jar, showing the amount I saved in one month. Then I would list some things they could do with that amount. Such as a weekend trip, stock their cupboards, savings, ake a class at local night school. The list goes on." Sondra, OH

"I would bring in the box of freebie I have set aside and display them in an attractive manner. Next to it I would display in a basket all the free samples I have received and haven't used yet. I would then pop some of the free act II popcorn from the coupon printed after winning the instant win game, put out cups of the free coffee from Stella Dora rebate, put some of the free soda in cups from the free coupon printed on the internet. I would put on a board in large bright letters how much I have coming back in rebates for the month (216.00 so far for February). I would put a couple of gallon size baggie of garbage which would include things like candy bar wrappers, BTFE labels, UPC's, used store cards, etc around the room. Lastly I would bring in my Shaws and victory supermarket cash register tapes and decorate the room with the LONG tapes full of doubled coupons. When they arrived I would ask them to each fill out a paper with what they think the number on the board stands for. This will go into a drawing if it has the correct answer. I would then have them play a game, copied from an internet instant game. The winner receiving a free coupon holder and good pair of paper scissors. I would lastly have them all guess how much I spent on the pile of items (made up of freebie). The winner will receive a small stack of paid for post cards and a list of companies to write. By now they should be really interested in finding out HOW I did it. At the end of class I would have them each add up, from a rct decorating the room, how much I saved by using my coupons. Finally I would pull a name from the drawing and give the winner a bag of free samples from my basket to take home and enjoy. Before leaving, I would give each one a pot luck envie, and a list of refunding sites to begin their new hobby." Sandy O’Sullivan, NH

"Have you ever bought seven boxes of Lean Cuisine and received $96 back just for trying it out? or What do you usually pay for a bottle of Thermasilk shampoo or conditioner? I paid 18 cents for this one and can show you how to do the same." Jan Sietsema, MN

"Don't SAY anything. Simply, start putting out a huge assortment of "freebies" and very low-cost items until you fill the table completely. Then say something like, "I would NEVER pay more than ($??) for these items! And after this, you won't either!" Cindi Crumbo, TX

Core Concepts

Now that you’ve got their attention, here are the most important concepts to teach. The thing to remember is to show examples of idea. Don’t just talk – show examples.


(show your file and Sunday inserts)

1) Collect Coupons

a) Buy the Sunday paper

b) Collect coupons from friends and family

c) See if you have a recycle center near you

d) Order quantities of coupons from coupon resellers

e) Clip all coupons on items you use, paying no attention to brands. For example, if you use laundry detergent, clip coupons on all brands of detergent.

2) Organize Coupons

a) Choose a container or binder

b) Keep up with filing. File each Sunday.

c) Organize by categories or by grocery store aisles.

d) Make extra dividers with tag board. Customize categories to your needs.

Reader Comments:

) Buy an extra circular or two if you can so you can have coupons to trade with others. Or ask your neighbors for their inserts if they don’t use them.

) Find or buy 10 to 15 Sunday papers every week.

) Be as organized as possible with your coupons.

) Always bring your coupons with you. Not having them at all will cause you to miss out on a lot of great saving opportunities.

) Buy a sturdy plastic box that snaps shut. Make sure it has a secure snap. The Rubbermaid box that Michele sells is perfect. Make a small investment in the container because your investment will pay for itself in no time.

) As soon as you get your new coupon box, make some sturdy dividers out of cardboard. Decide on the filing system you will use to file your coupons. Are you going to file them alphabetically or by food or HBA catagories in the grocery store? I file alphabetically and then I have a few special dividers for Pillsbury, Baby and Cereal coupons. You may also want another special divider for coupons that you want to use at the double coupon stores.

) Cut your coupons and file them on Sunday as soon as you get your Sunday paper. We have church twice on Sundays and I still make time to cut my coupons from two newspapers. When Monday rolls around, you will be ready to catch the weekly bargains.

) Get the word out that you love coupons and ask friends to save them for you. I have a few older ladies at church that bring me their coupons since they don't buy much food and don't use many coupons.

) Keep that coupon file cleaned out! During the last week of each month, sit down and take an hour or so to clean out all the expired coupons. Save one of the mailers that one of your free premiums came in, and put all the expired coupons in it. Go to the RMC website and find the address of someone that wants expired coupons. Make an extra effort to go to the post office and mail them. This will cost you a couple of dollars a month but it is money well spent. The people overseas are very grateful that you do this.

) Make sure you put your name and address outside and inside your coupon box.

) Always look for peel off coupons or store forms when browsing stores.


(Show specific examples of each of the main points.)

1) Score Double Plays

a) Read grocery ads and match your coupons to sale prices.

Memorize: Sale price + coupon!

b) When you save twice on the same product, it’s a double play. If you save three times, it’s a triple play.

c) Combine sale prices with coupons, double coupons, refunds, etc.

2) Forget Brand Loyalty.

a) Be willing to switch brands constantly so you can match a coupon to a sale price.

b) Buy whichever brand is the best deal.


3) Stockpile.

a) If you have multiple coupons, use them all when a great deal comes along. Don’t be shy. Stock up when you can get it for pennies. Buy as many as you can, even dozens.

4) Get Rainchecks.

a) Always ask for rainchecks on good sale prices if the store runs out of stock. Then you’ll have more time to collect coupons on the product.

5) Shop at Double Coupon stores

a) Learn the policies of all stores in your area that double coupons.

b) If you have double coupon stores, they will be your first shopping choice. Always read their ads.

6) Make shopping lists.

a) As you read the grocery ads, make store-specific lists.

7) Develop an eagle eye in stores. Look for specially marked packages, unadvertised specials, Buy One Get One frees, blinky machines, refund offers, peel off coupons, end of aisle displays, demo people giving out coupons, etc.

8) Use both a store coupon and manufacturer coupon on the same product.

a) explain how to tell them apart.

b) Show the store coupons in a Walgreen’s Easy Saver Catalog along with a manufacturer coupon.

Reader Comments:

•"Use the store ads to scope out what is on sale. Pay special attention to those items that are on sale and for which you have a coupon (double play). If you find a product that is on sale, for which you have a coupon AND a refund/rebate form, you have made a triple play. Also, be sure you know your store's policies (matching competitors' prices, doubling coupons, etc.) so that you can always get the best deal."

• "Know your store policy and who doubles or triples coupons."

• "Combine savings -- whenever possible, try to combine two or three kinds of savings: sales, coupons, rebates. Many people are unaware that you can combine CVS or Eckard coupons with manufacture's coupons for additional savings."

• "When you find something you have a coupon for, get 10 of them."

• "Don't be can be used on clearance and discounted merchandise-they can also be used in combination with most store coupons."

• "Look for specially marked packages. They may offer ‘25% more free’, may have coupons either on the outside of the package or tucked away inside, or they may offer a mail-in rebate."

• "Know the coupon policies of the store. Get a written copy if at all possible, and if you have a problem, you can always contact the store later in writing, or the corporate offices and explain the situation you had a problem with and ask for clarification. Note any particular info including the date, time, check out line number/clerk name."

• "If a product that is on sale is sold out, ask for a raincheck. This can be used to your advantage. If it is a product you normally buy anyway, it will give you time to stock up on more coupons. Request the rain check for as many as you think they will let you buy! Some rain checks never expire and some are only good for 30 days, but this will give you time to collect more coupons."

• "When you get an exceptional deal on something, stock up; even if you're trying a new product, if it turns out your family isn't thrilled with it the rest of it can go to family, friends, or a local charity."

• "Remember FREE is best, stock up on those. Even if you have to go back again and again."

• "Do not be brand loyal. If you have a coupon for a different brand, and it is on sale, try it! You might like it even more than your tried and true brand, or you might not. It's worth a try though at least once. Have an open mind when it comes to trying new products. You may actually like the less expensive one better and save money with coupons."

•"Shop with a list and have coupons attached to list."

• "Always check the back endcaps at places like Wal-Mart and Target for clearance items."

• "A store coupon is just a limited sale price. I doesn't mean you can't use a manufacturer's coupon."


1) Look for refund forms in the newspaper, on tear pads, and on specially marked packages.

a) refunds offer cash, movie tickets, free item coupons, gifts, t-shirts, toys, etc. (Show some of your checks, free movie tickets, and premiums).

2) Keep all receipts because most refunds ask for them.

3) Mail for your refunds in a timely manner – the same day you buy the product is best.

4) Do all free-after-rebates.

a) Some stores like CVS, Eckerds, Walgreens, RiteAid and ShopKo offer rebate booklets occasionally or monthly, with refunds and items that are free after rebate. If possible, use a coupon at the same time and make a profit.

b) Watch for "Try Me Free" refund offers in the newspaper and in the grocery store on tear pads.

c) New products often offer "Try Me Free" when they debut.

5) Collect proofs of purchase.

a) All refunds ask for proofs of purchase, usually the UPC.

B) Save your proofs of purchase from refundable purchases, like health and beauty aids, candy bars, cigarettes, processed foods.

5) Trade refund forms to get a better variety.

A) You can trade through a refund magazine or on-line.

Reader Comments:

"Find as many forms as you can. You can find them in the Sunday paper, in stores, on packaging, or trade for them."

"Organize your rebates in a way that works for you, so that you always know when they expire. If you forget to submit your rebate, you lose money."

" Check out all rebates and premiums. I can't tell you how much fun it has been going to the movies FREE. Don't think that you can't get enough UPC's to do a rebate or get a premium. Trade, Trade, Trade."

"Don't forget those great Free After Rebate programs at Rite Aid and Walgreens. I only have a Rite Aid here but have gotten great FAR's and then some. I try to match the rebate items with a coupon for even better savings. I have even taught a clerk there about the great deals."

"Collect Q's. Before you throw away any packaging, cut off the UPC and make sure that it is identified. Organize them in a way that works for you, so that you can easily find them when a form comes out that only requires the Q's. Pay special attention to products that have points or other frequent buyer type products. This way you have them on hand for trading or sending in for your own rebate."

"Keep a small crate with all refunding material fully stocked."

"Subscribe to Refunding Makes Cents."

ONLINE Refunding/ Couponing

1) There is a whole world of refunders on line. They share information and trade materials.


2) Check the RMC web site ( every day so that you are up on bargains to be found online, as well as sweepstakes, new forms, etc. etc.


Reader Comments:

"Don't just read chit-chat, look at Michele’s Updates, and the Main Menu also on the website. It will answer many of your questions, and you could miss out on many great deals by only reading chit-chat."


Miscellaneous Tips


+ "Set goals."

+ "Do test drives."

+ "Don't get discouraged. It takes time to build up a stockpile. Now I have a full pantry but it has taken a while. In fact my DH says we have too much food!!"

+ "Don't expect to get things for free right away. It takes a while to get in the groove of what to look for, etc. Watch for things on sale, & see if you have a coupon for it. Like I said, if you can't use it, SOMEONE can."

+ "DON"T give up when every thing seems over whelming at first."

+ "Stock up on expensive treats like candy after a major holiday. A $10 box of candy will be $2 after Valentines day."

+ "Don't buy impulse items that you don't need--even if they're are sale."

+ "Be creative when buying gifts.For example, if you're buying baby clothes for someone, check the baby clearance section a week after Valentines day or Easter. You can find great stuff at up to 90% off!"

+ "Learn to be patient. You are going to find people/clerks/Manager/ salesmen and even relatives who would look at you like you are out of this planet."

+ "Plan dinner menus around sale items."

+ "Build a Gift Closet: Save freebies for gift giving - gift cards, free items, test drive offers, making themed gift baskets with free items, etc."

+ "Be embarrassment proof -- Some people have an attitude about coupons -- whaddya gonna do?? Forgo thousands in savings? Instead, understand coupons and store policies well and don't be afraid to ask for management if you encounter a cashier who doesn't think you can use coupons on a sale item (you can!!) or who doesn't understand their employers' policies. It doesn't pay to argue, very often their ignorance is the result of poor training. Stores do have very real issues with people trying to defraud them -- their cashier training is often pushing those issues, and not emphasizing the policies that save you money!! Don't get mad -- talk to someone who DOES know."


Be sure each class member leaves with a single page handout, which lists the main points of the class and a tear-off sign-up slip for Refunding Makes Cents. Be sure your name and zip are on the slip as the "referred by" person. Other possible handouts include an RC Beginner’s Bonanza or a copy of RMC. Both these are available as follows:

Beginner’s Bonanzas. Must buy in multiples of 5, for $2.50 each.

5 = $12.50





RMC sample issues. These are available for $2 each and must be ordered in groups of 5. They are recent back issues.

5 = $10


15= $20


Please order well ahead of your class as they are sent via parcel postage. Give the date of your class when you order. Order at:

Bulk Issues


Box 969

Bountiful, UT 84011

You might use one of the Attention-Getters as a finale. Remember to have fun with your class. This is an exciting topic – it’s easy to be enthusiastic. Good luck!


Contributors: Kris Parkinson, Shirley Smith, Susan Jensen, Janee, Betty Jones, Nancye Jameson, Jody Whit, Christine Gates, Amber Kuehn, Vicky Neale, Susan Bradshaw, Susan Robison, Sandra Bantley, Betsi, Nicole Graves, Evelyn Powers, Laura Nygaard Deborah Morris, Tami Anderson, Amanda, Grace Basham, Vicki Breslin, Heather Patterson, Stephanie McMurry, Sonja F., Joan Rasmussen, Helen Sieber, Elaine Schroeder, Barbara Manley, Stacey, Coreen Hart, Traci Best, Jada, Barbara L. Gallicano, Cathleen Robinson, Kim Tevis, Debby, Linda, Nancy Elliott, Vanessa, Linda Dawe, Linda Jones, Sheryl Lippert, Carrie Paris, Shelly Roughton, Angel Rushing, Melody Ravet, Darrylynn Brady, Sheila Owens, Susan, Marianna, Kelly Byrley, Karen Flora, Renee Mayo, Lori Starr, Kelly, Susan Burdgick, Judith Hord, Kristie Hall, Jennifer, Jeanne Hobbs, Lisa, Barb Longshore, Mindy Weschler

Refunding/Couponing Class Curriculum
by Mindy Cosner 

1.                  Course Information 

A.                 Course resources: Internet, Refunding Makes Cents magazine, Tightwad Gazette 

B.        Visual aids:    MS Powerpoint, handouts, Internet 

C.        Special equipment and supplies for students: Paper and pen 

D.                Special equipment and supplies for instructor: Powerpoint projector, copier, Internet access 

2.                  Course Outline 

A.                 Suggested length – 1 3-hour class, 2 2-hour classes (preferable) 

B.                 Suggested paragraph for mailing: 

Refund Your Way to Free Things – title 

“Why pay for anything when you can get it for free? Join us as we explore the world of refunding and couponing.  This class will focus on techniques to stretch your dollar using the Internet, coupons, and refunds.  You’ll never shop the same way again!”

3.                  Course Outline


Refunding Course Outline


Section 1- Coupons

1 hour

·        Collecting and organizing


·        Using coupons on clearance items


·        How to get coupons in non-traditional methods


·        Making the most of your coupons


·        Triple coupons


·        Trading coupons


·        Coupons to always cut out


·        Store cards


Section 2 - Rebating

1 hour

·        How to refund


·        Where to find rebate forms


·        Shopping combining coupons and refunds


·        Where to refund in Lancaster


·        Double/triple plays


·        UPCs to save


·        Internet


·        Ongoing refund programs


Section 3 – Free stuff/Miscellaneous

1 hour

·        Managing lifestyles to get free things


·        Internet


·        Sweepstakes


·        Using coupons to get free stuff


·        Test drives


·        Point programs


·        Company comments


Couponing/Rebating Resources

1 hour

·        RMC


·        Tightwad Gazette


·        Refunding web sites


·        Coupon web sites


·        Coupon/refunding clubs


·        Entertainment Book


Suggestions from Traci Best:
Start at the beginning and work forward.  Tell them about your experiences, good and bad.  Tell them about different methods of filing their coupons. to obtain extra coupons.  Teach them about using coupons WITH sales and Rebates to get stuff cheap or free.  (MANY people have sat in my class and gone..."OH...I get it!  Duh!  That makes sense!" )  Give them lots of info about RMC.  Make a list of supplies to give them so that they can put together a coupon binder (if you use one and believe in it's ability to save BIG BUCKS! :) and maybe demo other methods.  Teach them about the RULES of couponing...and make sure they understand what coupon/rebate fraud is...and that it is a federal crime. 
Do you use a price comparison book?  Tell them about it!  Take pictures of your stockpiles to inspire them!  Discuss whether or not rebates are worth their time and which ones are the best.  (Walgreen's or Rite Aid Easy Saver/One check rebates.)
Bring them your extra coupons, rebates and other offers you find to get them started!  Teach them about how to start using RMC and RMC Traders.  I think trading is a valuable skill,..especially if you do not have a local coupon club to share with!  Give them a list of couponing/rebating abbreviations.  Give them a suggested reading list of good money saving books.
Explore the possibilities of chains...and freezer cooking!  What else can you think of that I haven't?? :)  You might want to put together a 'survey' of any info that you think will help you teach your next class.  Ask for their email address so that you can put together your own area's "Good Deals Loop".  From this class I have spun off other coupon classes in the community (that I teach for free) and a coupon club!  We have an absolute BALL at our coupon club!  I suspect that soon I will be spinning off another coupon club at another local church too! 
I was just recently was interviewed by a local paper for an article on my class and coupon club.  We are expecting to see that published next Friday!   That is very exciting because I believe it will bring many more into the program from the surrounding community!   I am currently writing an article about this experience that I am submitting to Michele for the magazine.  Oh..and Michele gives me a 75¢ credit for every person who subscribes from my classes, coupon club, and the article publicity!  I may end up with a life time subscription! :)  I highly recommend trying to get a coupon club together in your community or on your block!  I love teaching this Life Skill...and I hope you will too!  If you have any questions feel free to ask!