Tips from DealPros and a look at the coupon industry

Finding new ways to save money on everyday activities is one of our favorite things to do at WalletPop, so much so that we recently compiled 20 rules to live by for cheapskates -- but that's not enough. When we learned that had gone on a search for the best deal hunters around, we had to find out what tips these DealPros had to help WalletPop readers save money.

These DealPros will meet up in November at the Second Annual Save Up conference to brainstorm better ways to help readers save money online and off. Five of the 30 Deal Pros took time out of their blogging schedules to email WalletPop the following tips to help you save on everything from shampoo and containers to TV and eating out.

Mixed in with the tips you'll find clips from's Coupon Industry Infographic which gives a breakdown of coupon use in the U.S.

Use a One-Two Coupon Combo to Rack Up Savings:
Mindi Cherry of Moms Need to Know says that you should vow to never pay for toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors or shampoo/conditioner again. CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid always have great sales -- combine their loyalty program with coupons to get all of these for free and buy cold medicine, vitamins and diapers for one-third the cost of warehouse stores. The coupons found in 1-3 Sunday papers per week allows you to get a $6 on a bottle of shampoo for free!

Use Glass Jars to Keep Food Fresher Longer:
Now that the truth of chemicals and BPAs found in plastics has come out, Crystal Collins of The Thrifty Mama says that you can not only save money by not buying plastic bags and other disposable plastic products but also make your foods stay fresh longer. Start saving all your glass jars to store anything from oatmeal to mixed nuts, plus you won't fill up a landfill with more and more plastics.

Use Your Video game Console instead of buying an AppleTV or GoogleTV:
In the midst of all the talk of AppleTV, GoogleTV, Roku and others, Larry Behrens of Poor Dad Tech encourages us to check out PlayOn.TV. If you've got a PC, wi-fi and a video game system, you can get all the entertainment provided by those others for about $3 per month for the first year and $1.64 thereafter. Hulu, Netflix, ESPN, Amazon and CNN are just a few of the options offered at PlayOn.

Intrigued by the prospect of doing more with the gadgets you already own? Check out WalletPop's PlayOn.TV review and learn how it can also help you cut the cable.

Score Birthday Deals for Discounted Dinners:
Erin Chase of $5 Dinners tells us that there are tons of freebies to be had on your birthday. You'll find surprise gifts and perks at Chili's (free dessert), Sephora (free gift), Starbucks (free drink), Toys R Us (surprise gift) and hundreds of other national stores and restaurants. Jennie Sanford of Bargain Blessings recommends signing up for the newsletters and birthday clubs of your favorite places to stay on top of the latest birthday treats.

For more birthday meal deals check out this roundup by WalletPop's Bargain Babe Julia Scott.

You can view the full coupon industry infographic, with more data on coupon usage and how coupons work, by clicking here.

Infographic data sources include,, Coupons, Inc, EMarketers, NHC Coupon Report, Consumer Products Good Monitor, IFC.

Corrected on December 7, 2010. A previous version of this story included a promotion from Disney offering visitors free admission to its theme parks on their birthday. That promotion had expired at the time of this story's publication. We regret the error.
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