Getting Started Tips

Read these 31 Getting Started Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Thrifty tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What are some good ideas for penny-pinching fatigue?

Article - 5 Ways to Beat Penny-Pinching Fatigue

Go to to read an article called '5 ways to beat penny-pinching fatigue.'

Where can I get some printable checklists?

Printable Checklists

Go to for FREE printable checklists for just about everything! There's about 250 checklists available, and most of them have more than one version! So check it out today!

How can I get organized to save time and money?

List Organizer

GO to where you can get numerous grocery, household and other helpful lists to keep you organized.

What should I do when I feel deprived about cutting back on expenses?

Don't Feel Deprived

A lot of times, we feel deprived when we are trying to cut back on expenses. In order to avoid feeling this way, be sure to treat yourself on a regular basis. Make a list of five things that you like to do that don't cost any money. Tape this on your bathroom mirror and do one of these things every week (or every day if you can).

Does bartering really work?

Barter Whenever You Can

Do you have a product or a skill that someone else might need/want? Have you ever thought of bartering? This way, both parties get what they want/need without having to pay for it. It's a win-win situation.

What is a CRT?


OK, so you've heard someone say that they need a CRT for a refund. What is a CRT, you might be wondering. A CRT is a Cash Register Tape (a.k.a. receipt). This is just a fancy term that is used in the industry.

How can I make a birthday date list?

Birthday Dates List

Here's a form to start a birthday date list of family and friends.

Where can I get a to do list?

Things To Do Today List

Go to this link to get a one-page list of things to do today.

What does B1G1F mean?


Buy one, get one free is abbreviated B1G1F in circulars, flyers and refund forms. Sometimes a similar abbreviation is used for similar meanings. For instance B2G1F means buy 2 get 1 free, and so on and so forth.

Where can I get some good refunding information?

Refunding 101

Go to for some great tips on refunding.

Should I try a work-at-home job?

Work-at-Home Schemes

For free information on work-at-home schemes, call 1-877-382-4357, or write to Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580. Some information you will receive include what types of fraudulent schemes are out there, questions to ask and where to complain.

What is a qualifier?


Qualifiers are also known as UPC codes, but can also be many other things, which are required for refunds. Some companies require that you send in different things (qualifiers) than the UPC code. These can be box tops, packaging, special seals or symbols, etc. that the manufacturer wants you to send in as proof of purchase.

What is a POP?


POP is a Proof of Purchase, which is also known as a UPC. Each company calls it something different, even though they usually mean the same thing. Although, it sometimes means other things too. For instance, a while back, Pop Secret was doing this huge promotion for free boxes of their popcorn with POP. The POP wasn't the UPC this time, instead it was called a Kernel Point, and it was located on one of the smaller flaps that you use to close the box. Usually manufacturers do this for their big promotions, and they don't want people using the UPCs that they've been saving, but going out and buying the product new, with the POP on it.

How can I learn to spend less money?

Psychology of Spending

Studies show that you will spend less if you pay by cash, because it hurts to see those $20 bills leaving your hand.

how can I find out what coupons will be in the Sunday paper?

List of Coupons from Sunday's Paper

The best way to get ready for a shopping trip is to have your list, your coupons, and your sale items match. Everyone knows in advance what they need at the store, as well as what's going to be on sale next week (from the sale flyers). The only thing that you don't know is what coupons are going to be available for that same shopping trip. Well, now you can! Sign up for the weekly SundaySneakPeekers e-mail update to get that information delivered right to your e-mail box. Send an e-mail to to sign up for this!

What are Yahoo! Groups?

Yahoo! Groups

Go to and find a great group to join. They have their own search engine that will locate groups in any topic that you enter in the search box. For instance, there are many groups on coupons and refunds and being thrifty. Give it a try.


Refunding Message Board

Go to for a great refunding message board. Here is where people post information on refunding. It's a great place to get some good advice on specific questions too!!!

What are BC points?>

BC points

BC points are Betty Crocker Points, also seen abbreviated as BC pts. These points are saved up to use on products in the Betty Crocker catalog. You can substitute BC points for some money, so you're not paying as much for your order.

How can I make a telephone and address list?

Telephone and Address Form

Make a telephone and address list with the help of this handy form.

What is an SMP?


What is an SMP? It is a Specially Marked Package of a particular product. For instance, someone might tell you that there is a freebie on SMPs of Kellogg's cereal boxes. Go to the store and you'll see that the boxes are different - not all of them have the freebie, just the ones that have it noted on the box.

What are BT4E?


BT4E are Boxtops for Education, which is a promotion that GM does to help raise money for schools. The BT4E are worth money or points and then turned in to GM to be redeemed for different school supplies/equipment. You can usually find a BT4E where ever you find Betty Crocker points.

What should I know before I start shopping for freebies?

Before You Start Ordering Freebies

Before you start odering freebies, you may want to set up another e-mail account just for this purpose. A lot of times, these companies are giving away freebies just to get your e-mail address. If you have AOL, you can set up a FREE screen name (e-mail address) to your account just for freebies. You can also use free e-mail services such as to get another e-mail address.

What is an envie?


Envie is a shorter version of envelope. Envie is used frequently in coupon and refund groups. An example would be, "I sent Amy an envie full of coupons last week."

What does DND mean?


In couponing, DND means do not double. Some manufacturer's don't want their coupons doubled, so they may put DND on the top of the coupon.

What is a UPC?


A UPC is a Universal Product Code. The UPC is the bar code that is scanned into the register to ring up the product. UPCs are used in refunds to show proof of purchase.

How can I keep track of my URLs?

Printable URL Address List

Go here to print out a one-page form to help you create your own URL address list. This is a good idea for all of your important URLs, because if you have a computer malfunction and lose information, at least you'll have these URLs on paper so they're not completely lost.

What is an M5M?


An M5M is a Marlboro 5-mile UPC. Marlboro (the cigarette company) has their UPCs marked as 5 miles. These miles are collected to get stuff for free (you need to pay shipping and handling). You can find their catalogs just about anywhere you would find their cigarettes, but most commonly in convenience/liquor stores. You can get free things from t-shirts, hats, and coats to telescopes and pool tables.

What does C/O mean?


C/O doesn't mean in care of when being referred to in couponing. C/O means either cents-offs or cash-offs. That means that the person means $.75 off XYZ or $2.00 off ABC versus B1G1F and the like.

What is a TMF offer?


What is a TMF offer? Well, TMF means Try Me Free. Usually these offers are available for new products, so that the manufacturer can attempt to get people to try a new product. Then, if you don't like the product, you can fill out the form that's provided, enclose the UPC code and/or the CRT, and mail it to the manufacturer for a refund (less any coupons or other discounts).

What does GM stand for?


GM stands for General Mills cereals. GM is used a lot in couponing and refunding.

What are DB points?

DB points

DB points/DB pts. are Pillsbury Doughboy points. These points are redeemed in Pillsbury Doughboy catalogs for merchandise. There is normally a fee involved, as well as the DB pts.

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