jcpenneyIf you get a rectangular-shaped catalog from JCPenney in your mailbox advertising back-to-school specials, don’t throw it away! There’s a coupon inside good for $10 off an in-store purchase of at least $10. I get these coupons every once in a while and I usually go to the store to find something inexpensive that I can get for free, or nearly for free.

Didn’t get the catalog? Don’t despair. You can use the coupon code GET4BTS at www.jcpenney.com and get the same deal – the only drawback is that you’ll have to pay shipping. But it’s still a great deal. I ended up using the online deal as well. I got a pair of PJ pants and a pair of exercise pants for $5.99 apiece. My total with the discount was $7.02, including shipping to my local JCP store. (Direct shipping to my home would have cost about $1.50 more.) Both the online code and the in-store coupon are good through Aug. 22.

Before you go to shop, make sure to sign up for JCPenney Rewards. Visit www.jcprewards.com and register, then save the credit or debit cards that you use most often to your account – every time you make a purchase at JCPenney or JCPenney.com of regular or sale-priced merchandise, you’ll get points that you can turn in for store coupons. If you shop with your JCPenney card, you’ll get 25 percent more points. (Bonus: Being part of the rewards program also gets you on JCP mailing lists, which means if you didn’t get an in-store coupon this time around, you might the next time.)

Edited on Aug. 15 to add: I just went to JCPenney to pick up my online order and use my $10 coupon. By shopping the sales, I got 2 cute melamine plates for my kids, and a toddler t-shirt and shorts for a grand total of 82 cents!