1.) Where Can I Get Coupons?
Perhaps one of the most asked questions from beginners is, “Where can I find coupons?” Well, I am happy to report that there are MANY great places to get them:
- The Sunday Paper- This is probably your best resource for finding coupons. Generally, you will find from 1-4 coupon inserts in the paper each week. The insert sources are Smart Source, Red Plum, and Proctor & Gamble (P&G). The P & G insert – which contains all your non-food items such as deodorant and laundry detergent-only comes out once a month, on the last Sunday of the month. If the last Sunday is a holiday, it will come out the next week. If you want to know what coupons are going to be in the paper before it comes out, go to sundaycouponpreview.com. You will find a list of all the upcoming coupons and a schedule of inserts for each month of 2012.
In the beginning, I recommend only getting 1 or 2 papers at the most. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself while you are trying to get the hang of it. If you live in an area that delivers the paper, you can usually get it a little cheaper by purchasing a subscription. Through a subscription, I can usually get the paper at about $1.25 an issue. As you get more comfortable with how couponing works, you may want to consider purchasing more papers depending on how good the coupons are that week.
- Printable Internet Coupons – If you don’t have a printer, I would suggest trying to get one cheap or with a great sale. Printable coupons are free and a great way to get some coupons that you may or may not see in the Sunday Paper. The main sources for printable coupons are Coupons.com, Red Plum.com, and Smart Source.com, although many manufacturers’ websites also offer coupons from time to time. To see my tips for printing coupons and printing FAQs, go here to read my Tips for Coupon Printing Post:
- “Peelies” and “Winetags” – these are manufacturers’ coupons that are attached to the product on the shelf that you “peel off” or that are hanging around the cap of the item. Usually you can either use them right away or save them for another time. I don’t know how many times an item has been on sale and then there has been a coupon attached to the product as well. If you already have a manufacturers’ coupon for this product, you would not be able to use both, so you would save either the “peelie” or your other manufacturers’ coupon for another time. See picture of a “peelie” below:
- “Blinkies” – these are coupons you find in those little boxes near an item on the shelf that may or may not be “blinking”. Take a few but leave enough for others!
- There may also be Tear Pads lying on the shelf near a product with coupons that you can “tear off” and use at the register. These may also be MIR (Mail-in-Rebate) forms.
- Item Packaging – Before you toss the item’s packaging away, check to see if there is a coupon printed on it. Sometimes there will be one inside, sometimes outside.
- My grocery store recently started a “Coupon Trading Center” where you can bring in your unused coupons and trade them for other ones that you might need. This is a great way to make sure coupons do not go to waste. I also leave my expired coupons here because my grocery store collects them to send to military families. Families in the military can use expired coupons up to 6 months past the expiration date. So check to see if your grocery store has a “trade center”.
- Store Coupons – these are coupons that are specific to a particular store. Many grocery stores have their own coupons that they offer to their customers, as well as drugstores and pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. You will find these in the store usually in a coupon booklet or flier. Some store coupons print out at the register with your receipt. These are called “catalinas” and you can use them on your next purchase. Store coupons can be “stacked” or used in conjunction with a manufacturers’ coupon for even greater savings! When you start “stacking” a manufacturers’ coupon, a store coupon, and a sale, you’ve got yourself some great savings – you might even get the item for FREE or better than FREE!
- EBAY – This one I suggest with caution because you really have to weigh the price that you have to pay with the savings you will get from the coupons. I have purchased coupons from EBAY before, but only when I can get at least 15-20 of the same coupon, and when I can pay no more than $1.50 for them. Last year, I purchased 20 $0.75/1 Crest Toothpaste Coupons when my grocery store had Crest on sale for $1.50. My coupons doubled to $1.50, making the toothpastes FREE! I got the products at 2 different stores so there would be plenty left on the shelves for other shoppers.
- Unexpected Places! There are some places that you might not think of – like your Doctor’s Office or Dentist’s Office! The last time I was at my dentist’s office, I picked up coupons off a tear pad that was lying there with $2/1 floss and toothbrushes. I paired them with a sale at CVS the next week and got floss and toothbrushes for FREE! So keep your eye out when you go for your appointments, or even your kids’ appointments! Another place you might not think of is your local Recycling Center. The last time I went to recycle my old newspapers, there were 2 almost uncut coupon inserts lying right on the top of the pile! I snatched them up and there were high value coupons inside.
Coupons are everywhere and if you just keep your eye out, you’ll start seeing them in places you never even thought of! Have you seen coupons in other places? I would love to hear! Any questions about where to get coupons? Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.