Lately I have been getting this question often, "Where do you get all of those coupons?" I typically answer the basics...paper inserts and internet printables. However, the truth of the matter is that I get my coupons from everywhere and anywhere...they seem to seep out of the woodwork and take over my home at times. A blogger friend of mine, Coupon Katarina, compiled a great list recapping all of the different ways you can build your coupon library, I added some additions. Keep in mind, this list is not meant to overwhelm you, just to educate and keep you aware of the many resources out there. Anyone can shop smart and save but those that work the hardest at it will get the deepest discounts. :-) SO let's get started:
WEEKEND NEWSPAPER: This is (and always will be in my opinion) the #1 way to get coupons. In my area we receive our coupon inserts in the Saturday paper; however the majority of you will want to purchase the Sunday paper to receive all your coupons. ALWAYS CHECK to make sure the paper you are purchasing has the coupons inside. I’ve been burned a couple times…got home…no coupons! Ugh. That’s the worst. Usually on holiday weekends there are no coupon inserts (boo!), but sometimes they surprise you, so always check. The coupon inserts are as follows: RedPlum, Smartsource, General Mills and Proctor & Gamble.
INTERNET SITES LIKE: coupons.com, smartsource.com, redplum.com, etc. There is an insane amount of printable coupons these days – it is never ending.
MANUFACTUER WEBSITE: If I know that I am going to buy a particular brand and I don't see a coupon on an internet site and I don't have a paper coupon then I check that brands website. Most always there is a coupon on their website or on their facebook page (read below). Good examples are Betty Crocker, Kellogg's, International Delight, Right at Home -Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, Glade. There could be an endless list of possabilities. If I can't find a coupon on their website then I will write and request one (listed below).
FACEBOOK: has become the new cool place to release HOT high value coupons and even FREEBIES. If you are leary of putting your info on the internet for all the world to see, I would still sign up with Facebook even if it is JUST to grab HOT coupons and freebies.
ASK FRIENDS and FAMILY: Chances are most of your friends and family are not using all of their coupons. Speak up and ask if you can save them from the trash! My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law both give me their extra coupons and I repay them with some of the free stuff I got from using them! Seems like a fair deal to me.
BLINKIES and TEAR PADS: Blinkies are little machines that spit out coupons and tear pads have coupons attached to them. Be on the look out for these at all times!
PEELIES: These are coupons and offers attached to products. These are ONLY for the customer purchasing the item. It is NOT okay to peel off coupons from items you are not buying!
CATALINA MACHINE: This is the little machine that prints along with your receipt. It’s main purpose is to reward you for a specific purchase, but sometimes it has advertisements for upcoming Catalina deals and such, but many times it spits out extra coupons!
CHECK RECYCLE BINS: Now some of you might turn your nose up at this idea, but if you’re anything like my husband (fyi: this is Katarina talking)…you live for dumpster diving! Hey, don’t knock it. You can get lots of freebies! Our local paper recycling bin contains ONLY paper and mostly newspaper, so it’s actually pretty clean!
TRADE ON THE INTERNET: There are several coupon trading/clipping sites. There are several of these companies out there, but here are just a couple you can choose from: Coupon Dede, Ebay (Go through ShopAtHome to earn 1-3% cash back on Ebay purchases!). I purchase coupons from these sites once in awhile. For example, when Rite Aid has their Covergirl BOGO Free sale and there is a BOGO Free coupon…I stock up and get tons of FREE makeup a couple times a year.
MAGAZINES: Several magazines feature a few coupons per month…don’t let those get away! Even the ones you wouldn’t expect to have coupons will sometimes surprise you!
I cannot say enough about ALL You magazine, which features 40+ coupons within their monthly publication. You can also print coupons off of their website! I will make sure to give you a heads up when this subscription is offered at a great price! Check my Magazines category for the latest deal on this mag.
STORES: Many stores, especially drugstores like Walgreens will put out their own monthly coupon booklets to be used exclusively in their stores. The great thing about these is that these are store coupons that can be stacked with a manufacturer coupon, which makes for some great deals! Another way they promote coupons is in their weekly ads, so don’t forget to check those out. I also like to check out Target and CVS.
Grocery stores, like Kroger will mail you coupons based on what you buy.
EMAIL YOUR FAVORITE COMPANIES DIRECTLY: Just ask! I try to email about 10-15 companies each month to compliment them on a quality product. In response they mail me coupons! It only takes a few minutes of your time and the majority will respond with coupons. These coupons are usually higher value than ones you find anywhere else. To avoid bombarding your inbox with junk mail, I would definitely open a separate email account through yahoo or hotmail just for this purpose.
FREEBIES: So I may sometimes look like a free sample junkie but there is a bigger reason besides getting something for free that I sign up for them. Not only will you get a freebie but most come with high value coupons. It's a win-win!
MAILERS: If you sign up with different companies they will usually mail or email you promotional offers and coupons periodically.
INSIDE PRODUCTS: Make sure to check inside the products you buy. Also sometimes manufacturers will put coupons on the box, so don’t throw away anything without checking for coupons first!
LOAD ELECTRONIC COUPONS TO YOUR STORE LOYALTY CARD:
Another great way to amp up your coupon savings is by loading them directly to your store’s loyalty card (example: Kroger Plus Card). It is very convenient…never forget your coupons again!
3 easy steps to instant clip-free savings
1. Register your store card on each electronic coupon website
2. Check the coupons you wish to load
3. Swipe your card at checkout and coupons are automatically deducted
(the coupon deduction does not show up at the end of your receipt with the other coupons…it shows up immediately after the item scan)
Here are the 5 websites I load coupons from each month:
Shortcuts, Cellfire, P&G e-Saver, Kroger and Upromise
Each month, I always print a list of what I’ve loaded to my shopper’s card and keep it with me so I can easily match up sales to coupons to clip-free coupons. This makes for some great deals on the spot!
Sometimes these coupons are stackable with a paper coupon. It depends on your store, which site you loaded it from – and sometimes it just depends on the weather! It is so inconsistent that I always consider it a bonus when a digital coupon comes off in addition to a paper coupon.
GET TO KNOW YOUR GROCERY STORE: For example, Publix will accept competitors coupons so it is certainly worth noting who the competition is in your area. Once you have an idea then make sure to periodically check these stores for their coupon booklets and/or the store coupons they have on their websites.
Thank you for the wonderful guest post Coupon Katarina with additions made by Mission Driven Mom