‘FAQs’ Articles

Cox Internet Data Usage Cap ~ Lower Cox Bill by Understanding Options

This is written by Mr. Bargain Believer, who has a clue, not Mrs. Bargain Believer.  Don’t worry Mrs. just wrote that line, so no need to be offended for me.  :) ~ Juli (and Shawn)

With the recent news that Cox is implementing a new cap on data use, we were asked if we had any recommendation for saving money with the situation.

Most of us don’t have to worry, so keep that in mind and don’t panic.  Make sure you monitor your usage.  If you feel close, that’s when you can explore your options.

Previously, Cox was not enforcing any sort of data limiting or overage charges.  That policy is changing.  We’re currently in a grace period, but they will begin charging extra October 8, 2017.

They describe it this way:

You are currently in a grace period and will automatically receive a credit if you exceed your data plan. Beginning with bills dated October 8, 2017 and later, grace period credits will no longer be applied. For more information on data usage, click here.

Cox provides an article explaining data usage and how it works.

The different Cox internet packages are explained in a different article.  The highest level package currently (as of this post) has a 2 TB limit, while the rest have a 1 TB limit.  Every 50 GB over will be charged at $10 per block.

In our current household, with three teenagers and lots of streaming music and video content (along with other heavy computer usage), we have been using around 400-600 GB of data per month.  You should definitely check your own data usage with them and see where you fall.

Options to consider if you find yourself approaching the limit:

  • Limiting data usage (Difficult, I know, but we once survived on much less data usage)
    •  Make sure your internet is password protected, so you’re the only one using it.
    • Video and music are the biggest culprits, so consider ways to save:
      • Download the music you listen to most, instead of always streaming it
      • Listen to the local radio instead of the streaming radio
      • Get DVDs and music from the library
  • Downgrade the speed package and apply the saving to the data overage
    • If you find you need that much data usage (e.g., binge watching shows on Netflix), then one option is to pay less for your service.  With the money you save, apply it to pay for the extra data.
    • This may be an option if you don’t have many people on at the same time soaking up bandwidth.
  • Upgrade the speed package to the one that offers 2 TB of data usage
    • At $10 per 50 GB, it will cost you $200 for the extra 1 TB of data, so it may be better to upgrade to the premium service to raise your limit.
    • You will also get the faster service with it.
  • Shop around with other internet service providers
    • Try checking out broadbandnow.com
    • Competition is fierce so it pays to shop around at least on an annual basis to see if there is a better deal.  Start with calling Cox!  They will often lower your rate, if they know you’re shopping around.
  • Offload data usage onto your mobile device network
    • Some mobile networks offer special packages of streaming content that do not count against your monthly data usage
    • This doesn’t mean that you need to huddle around the phone to view the content.  Most phones and apps allow casting content to larger screens (e.g., Chromecast, Apple TV)
    • Generally, you will want to offload data usage onto your home internet, but if your mobile provider offers it for free, take advantage.
      • It might be a pain to remember to turn on/off wireless or to otherwise make sure you are using the data from the right provider but it could save you gigabytes of data.

The good news is that the competition and technology is always improving, so I would expect that the cost per GB of data usage should continue to go down.

Any other helpful information you’ve found or know about?

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Why? Help! ~ Note from Juli


There are times I wonder what I’m doing, running this website.  Not only do I feel inadequate sometimes, but my life is full … of the good stuff, the bad stuff, and the busy stuff.  Yes, I make some money by doing this, but I could make more if I used my time and energy to invest in something else.  But, it’s not about money.  My husband makes enough money to keep us happy.  So, I always come back to:  Why do I want to add stress to my life?

There are three reasons I can’t escape, no matter how hard I try to convince myself that I’d prefer extra time in my life, to pursue other things . . .

  1.  All of you ~ especially those who email your story, comment, share posts, tag a friend on Facebook, etc.  By doing that, you’re telling me you value what we’re doing.  You become “real” and not just a click on my stat page.  I can quit on clicks, but it’s hard to quit on people who find value in what we’re doing.  Some of you have even shared how much you saved and what it has led to . . . . amazing stories that have made me shed a couple tears, the good kind.  It’s hard to walk away from impacted lives.
  2. Gina ~ super duper assistant who does most everything and makes me wonder what I do sometimes, but something sucks up my time!?!?  I stumbled on this email Gina sent me awhile back, prompting me to do this post.  Seriously, how can I not press on, when I doubt myself?!?“… Our vacations simply would not happen if it weren’t for you and the job you’ve given me.  There wouldn’t be extra money for that, and I love making those memories with my kids and taking them new places and exposing them to new experiences. I love that I can be here every day with my kids when they get home from school.  I love that I can take care of them when they are sick and still work.  I’m grateful that when company comes or my best friend, I can work around my work and enjoy life and them. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.  I truly thank you. You are a blessing to me and my family.
  3.  Me! ~ I really like interacting with you and I gain something from that.  It’s not a one-way thing.  I love bargains and keeping them to myself isn’t as fun.  I love having an outlet, when time and ambition line up at the same time.  :)

More honesty … my income has been decreasing, mostly due to reduced Google ad revenue and coupon printing revenue.  I wonder how long I’ll be able to sustain everything.  It would sadden me, but if I ever began to lose money, it would be clear that it would be time to stop.  That’s where you come in!

I’ve shared this before, but for those who are new, here’s what you can do to help…

  • Use the links we provide vs going directly to a coupon site or buying something we share online.  The majority don’t pay, but some do.  They aren’t huge amounts (many as low as $0.02), but they add up when everyone is using them.
    You can bookmark this for printing from Coupons.com:
  •  I love Amazon and I’m sure you do, too!  When making an Amazon purchase, use the search box on the top left of the website.  If you start there (no matter what you search for), whatever you end up buying will track and I receive a payment.  If you prefer bookmarking it, going through this link will also get me credit.
  • Visit the website often.  Google ads count visitors and the more the merrier.  When you click on the ads, I receive more, but I TRULY only want you to click if interested.  I don’t think it’s fair for advertisers to pay unless you’re really interested.  But, Google matches ads pretty well, so if something comes up that you already searched for and plan to buy or you want more information, please click from there.
  • Tell people about the website … groups or individuals, publicly or privately.  I love seeing people tag their friends on Facebook.  I know you like what you see and value it enough to share it!

As Gina said, “So, thank you, thank you, thank you.  I truly thank you.  You are a blessing to me and my family.”  You really are!  Sure, we work hard, but we get the benefit of knowing that what we invest in isn’t meaningless.   My heart is full, though my days are sometimes sparse in time.  THANK YOU!  ~ Juli

This post may contain one or more affiliate links.  We appreciate you using them and supporting this site.  Thank you!

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Don’t See Facebook Updates? ~ Fix It Now!

Many of you say that a lot of posts don’t show up in your Facebook feed.

A couple ways to fix that . . .

  1.  After “liking” the Bargain Believer Facebook page.  Hover over “Following” at the top of the page and make sure “See First” is checked.
  2. Comment and “like” posts often.  This is almost a guarantee (added to above directions) that you’ll see everything.

If you’re not a Facebook fan, there’s a daily email, Twitter, or an RSS feed you can follow.

If all else fails, check the website each day.  Not many days go by without us updating something.


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Can You Use Digital & Paper Coupon Together at Fry’s?

Question:  Can you use a digital & paper coupon TOGETHER at Fry’s?

I’ve been avoiding this topic, unless directly asked, but I decided to tackle it.  I will give you the facts and you can do what you want with them.

The official answer is, “No.  You can’t combine a digital with a paper coupon.”  When you load a digital coupon from the Fry’s website or app, it tells you that it can’t be combined with a paper coupon.  It’s also in their coupon policy.  If you try to redeem a paper coupon with most digitals, the register will beep and the cashier will get a message that you already have a digital coupon loaded.  The cashier can’t override the digital, even if it’s worth more, and hands you back your paper coupon.  You can’t use them together.  This is true for most all of the digital coupons from Fry’s.

BUT, reality … unless the cashier/store does not allow the special digital coupons to go through with a paper one, they will work together.  By “special” I’m referring to the weekly “MyFry’sExtras” digital coupons or the coupons that can be used five times in one transaction.  (All other Fry’s digital coupons can only be used once, for whatever product(s) is specified.)  With the 5x digitals, you can only use it once, but you can buy up to five of the same product to get up to five discounts, in  one transaction.

The same is true if you load a 5x digital coupon and another digital coupon.  Both discounts will come off.

My theory is that the 5x use coupons are really store coupons and not manufacturers’ coupons.  My other theory is that Fry’s knows this and could program their registers differently, if they were too worried about them being used together.  However, these are theories and using them together goes against their policy.  Let me stress that I have no authority or affiliation with Fry’s (or you!) and I’m only reporting what we have discovered and been told by many readers.   Ultimately, the decision is up to you and the store you go to.

On the lists we publish, we will always post the “final price” without combining coupons (unless they change their policy), based on the highest value coupon.  I don’t want to continually promote or claim that Fry’s will do something that they say they won’t.

Here’s an example.  Use the highest value coupon listed below and pay 99¢.  Load the digital and use the paper coupon and pay 49¢.  Either way … super deal for this bread!! (The same final price of 49¢ would apply, if the $1/1 coupon was a different digital coupon.)


Oroweat Italian Bread   $1.99
$0.50/1 Fry’s digital (can use up to 5 times in one transaction, can’t use w/ paper coupon)
$1/1 Coupons.com
Final price:  As low as 99¢

I would love to hear if you have experienced something different.   There may be some stores that won’t accept two coupons, even with the 5x digitals.  Remember, that is their policy!  I just feel an obligation to share the above information and you can decide what to do with it.  ~ Juli


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How Does Saving Star Work? ~ Changes Coming October


I just wanted to remind everyone that changes are coming to Saving Star, starting October 1st, 2014.  There are two major parts to their change.

  1.   At many stores, the savings will no longer be automatic.  You will need to scan your receipt to get the credit into your account, starting 10/1/14.
    Register and then you can submit receipts/UPC images online or through their app.  You will also need the product’s barcode.

And, there are a bunch of retailers added, that will take scanned receipts.

  1.   The Arizona stores that participate are Fry’s, Safeway, Bashas, Food City, Albertsons, Walgreens, CVS, Target, Kmart, Dollar General, Family Dollar, WinCo, Costco, & Sam’s Club.  You can see the stores in your area, if you put in you zip code.

Here’s the general information, if you haven’t used Saving Star before.

With SavingStar, you can save eCoupons to your grocery store loyalty cards or to your Saving Star account and get credited when you swipe your card at checkout or when you submit your receipt online or through their app.  The savings doesn’t come off at the register, it gets credited to your SavingStar account, within a week or two.  (Their official time is 2 – 22 days. )  If you scan your receipt, you have until three days after the offer expires.  You can request your payment via Paypal, bank deposit, or gift card when you reach $5.

The only “automatic” stores in Arizona are CVS and Bashas’.  You will enter the store’s loyalty card number once and savings will trigger whenever you use your card and buy the specified products.

There is a “Healthy Offer of the Week.”  Every Tuesday a new coupon is available to load for fresh produce.

They also have one item each Friday that you’ll get 100% cash back!  You have through Sunday to make your purchase.

The Arizona stores that participate are Fry’s, Safeway, Bashas, Albertsons, Walgreens, CVS, Target, Kmart, Dollar General, Family Dollar, WinCo, Costco, & Sam’s Club.

Before the receipt scanning was needed, I just loaded everything and considered anything I received a bonus.  Now, it will take more effort and planning.  It will be easiest to head to CVS or Bashas’ for the Friday freebie, if that’s convenient and you need other items there.

Saving Star savings is not meant to be combined with paper coupons.  Here’s their official statement on that:

SavingStar eCoupons will work whether or not you combine them with other services’ coupons, but they are not intended to be used this way.  Generally, manufacturers state that it is against their policies for shoppers to redeem more than one manufacturer’s coupon for the same purchase.  Using in-store coupons in combination with SavingStar eCoupons is not a problem.  In the future, we may implement mechanisms to limit the combination of SavingStar eCoupons with other manufacturer coupons.


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Homeschool Convention Handout ~ Helpful Notes for Everyone!

bargain_believer_logo   So many ways to save!
Super Simple & Beyond . . .

This is the outline I used when I spoke at the homeschohol convention on Saturday, July 12th.  I’ve added links for things I can take you right to, for full information.  It should be helpful for everyone, not just people who attended the convention … hopefully!

You will be amazed how much you can save on everyday essentials and family fun!

I’ve received emails saying people have been able to quit part-time jobs, can donate extra money & other resources, have money for vacations or other fun, etc.  The savings can be BIG!!

Show up

  • Museums (many free days)
  • National Parks (free weekends)
  • Special days (National “whatever” days, store anniversaries, etc.)
  • Ask! (teacher discount?, coupons?, lowest price?)

Minimal planning

Spend $$ Up Front

  • Memberships
  • Pogo Pass ($39.98, code BARGAIN)
  • Gift card perks (gas, extra value)
  • Bulk foods (Zaycon Foods)


  • Call about monthly bills (cell phone, cable, home phone, insurance, etc)
    Republic Wireless – cell phone option
  • Buy & sell used (Craigslist, garage sales, etc.)
  • Meal plan around sales (especially meat!)

Click (Online, Apps, Mobile)


Use Sunday Inserts & Printable Coupons


Possibly the most difficult

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Are We Going to Charge for Bargain Believer? No! ~ How Can You Support Us?


I’ve been asked if I will charge a fee for the upgrades/app my husband is working on.  No!  Unless there is a reason our income drops, we can afford to keep going the way we are.  Thankfully, my husband works for dinner (when I make it!) and doesn’t expect more.  :)

I pay four people to help with this site:  Gina, Susan, Cherie, Karen.   Let me assure you that none of them are getting rich and they all deserve more for what they do!  When there’s “extra,” I make money.  When there’s not, I don’t.  Thankfully, overall I do.  I have additional ideas for improvements, but they all take time.  Since I don’t have more of that precious commodity, it would mean hiring additional people to help.  I’m always afraid to take that leap since my income goes up and down and I’m not willing to lose money by running this website.  But, up to this point, it’s always worked out.

I’ve also been asked what you can do to thank us or help support the site.  First of all, by asking that or telling us how the site has helped you . . . you’ve brought a smile to my face and probably the other gals.  Thank you!  Beyond that, my basic answer is . . . . use this site and tell others about it, if you find value in it!

Something even more tangible that you can do is bookmark the Coupons.com page on the site:

Whenever you print coupons from there (or any direct link we give), I get paid.  When you type in Coupons.com and go to their site, I don’t.  From time to time, I get paid for other links I give you, but that is one of the main ways I make money and we can continue to make the site free.

Another consistent source of income is from Google ads, as you probably know.  When you see something of interest and click on it (or just come to the site), they pay me a small amount.  It adds up!

So, please use the links we provide!  Many won’t bring me any revenue, but some do.  I try very hard not to post things just because I’ll get paid for them.  In fact, I just had a IM conversation with Susan a couple days ago, hesitating to post something because it made me money.  When I make money, I often give it extra thought — just to make sure that’s not what is motivating me to publish it.  I don’t want this site to become like so many out there . . . selling you one “bargain” after another just to make a buck or two.   I’m very firm on this.

Again, this link is a great one to bookmark and use . . . it has a value to you and to all of us who work behind the scenes.  Thank you!
http://www.bargainbeliever.com/blog/coupons-com-printables/   It’s also on the top menu bar, if that’s easier.

Thank for being here and trusting us to bring you deals we find value in!

~ Juli

P.S.  My husband is slowly working on the upgrades, but there is not a target date.  It just gets a couple hours here and there, as he can find time.  The biggest change (that will probably roll out first) will be for you to be able to move from device to device, being able to work on or pull up your completed lists.  I’m very excited and can’t wait to use it myself!


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New to Bargain Believer? ~ Shopping List, Facebook, Twitter, RSS, Email, Etc! :)


First of all, WELCOME!  I’m glad you’re here and hope you find ways to save for your family!  (Actually, I KNOW you will!)  :)  We focus on Arizona, though some deals are national.


If you’re active on Facebook, make sure you’ve “liked” Bargain Believer.  All updates are there right away and you have a better chance of seeing things before they disappear.  Plus, we post extra things over there sometimes, especially deals that are Facebook only deals or ones that we think will disappear very quickly.


I’m not a Twitter user, but the feeds automatically go there, so if you use Twitter, you can also follow there.  (No extras there, but all the updates on the website will be there.)  Note:  We’re having technical difficulties getting the feeds over there — hope to have it fixed soon!


Or, you can get email updates or see posts in your RSS feed.


Also, if you’re new or just never discovered the shopping list function, check it out.  You can make your own shopping lists, from the website.  (Sorry, can’t use it on mobile devices unless you have the newest iPad.  You can copy it and email it to yourself, if you want to pull it up on your mobile.)  You can customize it in many ways.  I use it myself and love it!

I made a video explaining how to use the new shopping list.  Among a few other things, it is sorted by category and so much more!!

Or . . . if you prefer to learn on your own, it shouldn’t be that hard.  Just click a green plus sign, from a shopping list on the website.  It’s fairly intuitive and you won’t have to listen to my ten minutes of babbling.  :)


And, Here’s a link to a previous post I did, that has some general information that you might find helpful.

Please ask any specific questions that you have!  You can ask on Facebook or email me:  juli@bargainbeleiver.com

Glad you’re here!


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Get Raincheck for Unadvertisded Price on Fry’s Mega Deal List? ~ FAQ


Fry's official coupon policy states that you can only get a raincheck on advertised products, not other sales tagged throughout their store.

The question has come up as to whether the the items listed in the Mega sale flyer count as an advertised item.  (They are advertised as part of the Mega sale, but no specific prices are listed.  You can pick up the list in the store.)

Bella pointed out that Fry's recently answered that question on their Facebook page.  I'll copy the dialogue below.  The summary is that they will give it to you, but you have to redeem it at the same store IF the manger approves it.  They started out strong in their answer, but then got a little more vague in their second response.

The bottom line is that it's worth asking.  If they said they won't, you will have to decide how much you want to pursue it.

Customer:  Fry's, I love your sale!!! It is wonderful that you have a card in the stores that shows all the sale items. I have a question about rainchecks. If an item is listed on your sale card, may I get a raincheck for that item??????

Fry's:  Hi Albert, thanks for your inquiry! Yes, you can get a rain check for all advertised items on the sales list that are out of stock, which is to be used at that same location. You can request a rain check at customer service or reach out to the store manager and he or she will be happy to assist you. Thanks and have a great day!

Customer:  Even if it is on the the sales card with all the items included in the sale and not in the weekly ad?

Fry's:  Hi, you should be able to get a rain check for those items.  We recommend you check with the store manager. He or she will be happy to assist you and will be able to tell you for sure whether a specific sales item is eligible for a rain check. Thanks!

(Thanks, Bella!)

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Do I Need to Buy 10 for Buy 10 Sales & Similar? ~ FAQ

I took the above picture at Fry's awhile back.  It cracks me up.  I guess it's for the mathematically challenged.  Maybe some of us think in dollars and others in cents.  Or, maybe some of us just don't quite get the whole money thing.  I don't know how your mind thinks, but I wanted to clarify the more confusing sales that I get questions about sometimes.

Here are some examples:

59¢ or 2/$1
In this case, you would need to buy two to pay 50¢ each.  (It's rare to see the picture I have above.)  The most likely place you'll see this is at a convenience store or Walgreens.  It will always be clear that there is a difference in price.

10 for $10
If you don't see anything in the fine print that says you need to buy 10, you can buy one for $1.

2 for $5
Don't let them fool you on the smaller quantities either.  You can still buy one and pay $2.50.  It's not the same as a buy 1, get 1 free sale.

Buy 10, Save $5
In this case, you would need to buy ten products to get $5 off.  It's rarely the same product, but a certain selection of products.  To maximize your savings, you will want to buy in multiples of ten.  Watch for limits since you might only be allowed a certain number of $5 rewards per transaction.  (On Bargain Believer shopping lists, there will be two prices listed.)

Buy 4 or more, Save $1 each
These show up at Safeway sometimes.  It means that you will save an additional $1 on each product you buy, if you buy at least four.  You can buy five and save $5, but if you buy three, you won't save anything.  You don't need to buy in multiples of four.

The bottom line is, don't grab more than you need if you don't want it and/or the savings doesn't justify stocking up.  My husband rarely goes to the store, but he fell for this a couple times, saying he wasn't sure.  I think I can say "fell" since I hope I have him trained now, but ??  I understand.  It just seems like the right thing to do when you're standing in front of a sign telling you to buy two!

For all you rule following, compliant people out there . . . it's okay, you're not breaking a rule, just falling for a marketing scheme.  Be strong and pick up only one!  :)
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~~~ 17 Venues ~~~ Some more than once!