Sunday, July 29, 2012

Use Coupons Wisely

12 cents a bottle after coupon

Recently, Heinz issued some coupons for $1.00 off one bottle of vinegar, any size or variety.  These are the kind of coupons I like! Why?

Most people would be tempted to use this coupon off the largest bottle of vinegar, right? After all, haven't we always been taught that volume equals value? The actual answer is not always and in this case, definitely not! 

One thing I learned working in the legal field is always pay attention to the wording contained in documents (and coupons). This particular coupon doesn't indicate you must purchase a particular size or variety in order to redeem the coupon. So, for the best deal, look for the smallest, least expensive size.

I noticed most stores in Topeka had Heinz vinegar for around $1.65-$1.85 for the smallest bottle. With coupon, this would have brought the price to 65-85 cents a bottle, which is OK but not great. Then I discovered Wal-Mart on Wanamaker sold small bottles of Heinz for $1.12.  After coupon, I ended up paying 12 cents a bottle. I had around 6 coupons so purchased 6 bottles for 72 cents. 

Vinegar has many wonderful uses beyond being the base for salad dressing.  For example, vinegar makes an excellent cleaner. For glass, stainless steel, and plastic laminate surfaces, fill your spray bottle with 2 parts water, 1 part distilled white vinegar, and a couple of drops of dish washing liquid. For cleaning walls and other painted surfaces, mix up 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 gallon (3.7 liters) water and pour some into a spray bottle. Spritz it on spots and stains whenever needed and wipe off with a clean towel.

Here are some other great ways to use white distilled vinegar:
  • Add 1/2 cup to laundry rinse cycle to brighten clothes (it helps dissolve soap residue)
  • Add 2 Tablespoons to water when boiling eggs to help prevent cracking
  • Freshen wilted vegetables by soaking in cold water with a couple of spoons of vinegar
  • Add a spoonful to the water in which you cook rice or  pasta to prevent stickiness (reduces the starch content)
  • Dab insect stings with while vinegar to prevent itching
  • Spray plants with vinegar to prevent pets from eating them
These and many more uses for vinegar can be found at

The most interesting use for vinegar I have found is: add vinegar to your chicken's water to prevent pecking.  Hmmmm....I've worked a couple of places where adding some vinegar to the water cooler could have perhaps made for a much pleasanter working environment!

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