So you’ve decided you want to get started on saving money by using coupons. You have heard and read of the savings other people have experienced and you want in on the saving too. So just how do you start? First you have to find coupons to use.
Where do you find coupons to use on these money-saving shopping trips?
Well the first go to place is the Sunday newspaper. If you live in a bigger city you are in luck. You will more than likely be able to get a good assortment of coupons each week in your Sunday paper. Most weeks you can find one to five inserts in each Sunday paper. If you are going to be doing serious couponing you might want to consider purchasing one Sunday paper per person in your family. For our family of four we usually just purchase two since we have a good stockpile. I also ask my non-couponing family and friends if I can have their coupon inserts. So I usually end up with at least three or sometimes four copies of each coupon.
If you live in a smaller town you might want to get a subscription to the paper from a larger city close to you. I have found even though my parents live just 13 miles away in the next town, which is a smaller town, they tend to get different coupons then I do just a few miles away.
We also receive each week in our mailbox a coupon paper. Inside this small paper, which I get for free, is usually a copy of the Smart Source insert for the week. Which is great, so if you get one of these type papers be sure to check for a coupon insert in it each week.
Online Printable Coupons
You can also find coupons online. There are quite a few online printable coupon sources to choose from. Just like the Sunday paper inserts there are Smart Source coupons and Red Plum coupons. Although the ones you can print will most likely be different then the ones you will find in your Sunday Paper. You can also find more printable coupons from Coupons.com, Coupon Network, and Common Kindness.
Some brands have their own printable coupons you can grab right at their site. Here’s a few I use regularly, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Kellogg’s, Arm and Hammer, and Target. So if you have a favorite brand you like to use be sure to check their website for coupons to print. Most companies have a coupon or promotions tab to take you to their printable coupons page. Some of the companies have a you sign up before you can print coupons.
Blinkies and Peelies
The next two type of coupons can be found right in the aisles of the stores while you shop. Blinkies are named that because these coupons are housed in those little black boxes you might see hanging on store shelves near the items they are for. Most of them have a little blinking light on them to call your attention to them. I often find Blinkies for our favorite soy milk more often than I can find a coupon online or in the Sunday paper. So be on the look out for these little blinking boxes the next time you shop. I will stop and pick up a blinkie coupon even if I’m not purchasing the coupon item that day. This technique has paid off for me often in extra savings the next week or two when that item goes on sale but the Blinkie box is gone.
Peelies is the name for those coupons that are stuck directly to the product itself. I have found often found that the peelies can be higher dollar coupons that I can’t find elsewhere for the product. For myself I only remove peelie coupons when I am going to purchase that item. It can be so annoying when someone has come along and taken all the peelies off of the product I would like to purchase. So be sure to use these coupons when you find them, but only if you are purchasing the product.
Catalina Coupons and In Store Display Coupons
Not only can you find blinkies and peelie in the store but there are two more ways to find coupons while shopping. First when you are shopping keep a look out for displays. The ones that are strategically placed to catch your cart as you try to go by them down the aisle. Sometimes these displays will have pamphlets that you can take. Inside the pamphlets many times are coupons for particular items. So it is worth your while to stop and take a peek you never know what kind of coupons you might find.
The other coupons you can find in the store can be found at the checkout. These coupons are called Catalina coupons and will print when you purchase particular items. At some stores you will get particular Catalina coupons when using your store rewards card. Most of the time the Catalina coupon is trigger by a purchase of a certain item. There are also Catalina coupons that work just like cash towards your next purchase. Other Catalina coupons are like other coupons giving you a cents off a product purchase. Be sure to grab them before you leave the checkout.
More and more stores are letting you load coupons right onto your store savings card. In my local area I can load coupons onto my Safeway card and Fred Meyer card (Kroger store). I love to get the instant savings without having to clip a single coupon. In some cases I have had a higher value printed or Sunday paper coupons to use but because I loaded the coupon onto my card the higher value one can’t be used. Since this scenario has happened to me a few times, I only load on coupons for the items I know I will be purchasing on that trip and only after I have searched to see if there is a better printable or Sunday paper coupons available. At some stores the cashier can void the loaded coupon and use the Sunday paper or printed coupon instead but that is not true at all stores, so be sure to check with your local store so you will be prepared.
How to Search for Coupons
I mentioned searching for Sunday paper coupons and printable coupons before loading the store website coupons onto your card. But just how do you search for the coupons that are out there? By using a coupon database. You can enter the brand name or product you are looking for and search to see if there is a coupon out there, somewhere for the item you are planning on purchasing. It only takes a few minutes and can really save you money.
So don’t put off saving money with coupons any longer. Get a Sunday paper, fired up the printer and hunt down the coupons in the store. Your wallet will thank you.
Where do you find your coupons?
Shelly Olson writes daily at Frugal Family Home. She is a mom to two kids and has a wonderful husband of 23 years. She loves to write about saving money with and without coupons. She shares recipes, homeschooling, budgeting and do it yourself projects.