I hope you’ve been getting some useful information from this series so far, but we’ve got a way to go, so hang in there with me. So far, you’ve learned what couponing is and the two types of coupons and how to properly use them.
Today we’re talking about where to find all those coupons. They can be found in paper form, online printable form, and electronic form.
- Newspaper Inserts – The inserts come in the Sunday paper each week. There are usually two or three, most commonly a Smartsource, Redplum and about once a month a Proctor & Gamble insert. Occasionally, there will be even more. Here is a 2010 insert schedule. Inserts do vary by region, so you may not get the same coupons as someone in another town, or the coupons may even be for a different value. I recommend getting the biggest paper you can in your area and at least two papers per week in the beginning. This way you will always have at least two coupons when an item goes on sale, particularly a buy one get one sale.
- Magazines – Magazines can be a great way to add to your coupon collection. If you subscribe to any magazines, be sure to keep your eyes open for coupons as you flip through. However, the best magazine for coupons is All You Magazine. You can find it at Walmart up by the registers or you can subscribe to it. I have a monthly subscription and it is well worth it, because it’s packed full of really good coupons.
- Store Booklets/Flyers – Store booklets and flyers can be found occasionally in many stores. They may include store coupons and/or manufacturer coupons. The best places to find them are close to the store ad when you walk through the door and on displays throughout the store. Really though, they could be anywhere, and some stores don’t seem to ever have them. If you don’t see any, try asking customer service because sometimes they keep them at the counter.
- Blinkies/Tearpads – Blinkies are the little boxes that stick out from the shelves in grocery stores and have a red light that blinks. They contain coupons and are usually hanging close to the product the coupon is for. Tearpads, like blinkies, are usually hanging next to the product, but these are small pads with a stack of coupons that you can just reach up and tear the coupon off. Check the expiration date and please only take these for products that you will purchase if they go on sale and only take a couple of each. This way everyone gets an opportunity to save on that product.
- Peelies/Inside Product Packages – Both of these will be found with the actual product. Peelies are attached to the outside of the product box or package. You have probably picked up a package and saw a tag that said, “Save $1 Now.” You can pull these off and use them immediately or save them for later if you already have a coupon for the product that is either a better value than the peelie or expires sooner. You can also find coupons inside product packages. Sometimes they will be on a piece of paper inside the package, or they may be on the package or box itself. Be on the lookout for these coupons too.
- Samples/Home Mailers – One of my favorite ways to get high value coupons is through samples. Occasionally manufacturers will offer free samples on their websites and most of the time along with those samples come coupons. Walmart even has a section on its website where you can order samples. You can also get great coupons through home mailers. Examples: Home Made Simple and Nabisco occasionally allow you to request coupons booklets to be mailed to you. I suggest creating a separate email account just for registering on these sites. This way any information you receive regarding coupons will not interfere with your personal email account. (By the way, once you find a few coupon match-up sites you like, they’ll alert you to these samples and mailers. You don’t have to find them all yourself.)
- Ebay/Coupon Clipper Services – If you find that you need additional coupons for certain items, but don’t want to buy lots of extra newspapers, there are ways to get more coupons for the things you really love. Ebay and The Coupon Clippers are great places to look. You are paying them to cut and mail the coupons to you. I have ordered from Ebay before and was very pleased. I have not ordered from The Coupon Clippers, but have heard they are very good.
Online Printable Sources
- Home Solutions News
- Betty Crocker
- Eat Better America
- Simple and Delicious
- Snack Picks
- Other Manufacturer’s Websites
On these websites, you’ll find manufacturer coupons that you can print. The first three are the most common places to find many printable coupons for various products. Many stores that accept manufacturer coupons will take printable ones, but you’ll want to double check with the individual store to be sure.
You will have to install a coupon printer onto your computer in order to print these. It will not hurt your computer, just follow the instructions for installing it. Generally, there is a limit of two prints per coupon per computer. If you have access to more than one computer, you will be able to print more coupons.
For the remaining links, you will most likely be required to register in order to print coupons from those sites. Again, when registering, I suggest using a separate email account from your personal one.
Shortcuts and Cellfire
Shortcuts and Cellfire are both websites that allow you to load manufacturer coupons onto your store savings card. You can look here for shortcuts and here for cellfire to see if there are any participating stores in your area.
Here’s how it works. If you’re purchasing a product for which you have saved a coupon to your card, the coupon will automatically be deducted from your bill at checkout after scanning your savings card. You don’t have to do any clipping for these coupons.
Things to note regarding electronic coupons:
- Once loaded to your card, the only way electronic coupons can come off your card is either by you using them or the coupon expiring.
- Electronic coupons do not double or triple.
- You can only load one of each coupon from each site to your card, until you use it or it expires, and the coupon becomes available again for you to re-load.
It is sometimes possible to use an electronic coupon and a paper coupon for one item. However, I cannot recommend this in good conscience because you would then be using two manufacturer coupons on the same item. I feel this is against good coupon ethics. However, you will have to make your own decision.
On the other hand, if you are buying two of a particular item and have both an electronic coupon and a paper coupon, then it is fine to use one of each. The electronic coupon will come off for one item and the paper coupon can be used for the other one.
Upromise is a program designed to earn money for college savings when you purchase certain products online and at grocery and drug stores.
You set up a Upromise account and register your store savings cards. Then a percentage of those certain products purchased will be deposited into a college savings account when you use your store card. To read more about how Upromise works you can go here.
Whew!! This post was a long one. I hope it wasn’t too much all at once.
Now that you’ve got all those coupons, what do you do with them? Organizing coupons is going to be the next topic in this series. Stay tuned.
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