LEARN TO COUPON:
This is Lesson 1 of my series:
Lesson 1: Coupons – Where Do I Get Them?
There are several places you can find coupons. If you are just starting out, you need to build your coupon collection.
- Sunday Newspaper: Your regional Sunday paper will be your best bet for getting coupons. Every Sunday (excluding most holidays) you will find coupon inserts from Smartsource and Redplum. Proctor & Gamble will have coupons in the paper on the 1st Sunday of each month. Other companies like Kelloggs, General Mills and Campbell’s may have inserts in the paper as well. I recommend that you buy one newspaper for each person in your household. However, before I buy the paper each Sunday I check the Sunday Coupon Preview listing to see what coupons will be in the upcoming Sunday paper. This helps me to know if I need to buy more or less papers since I am more interested in getting coupons for the things my family needs and uses. If I am not excited about the coupons that are coming out, I will normally buy 2 papers so I can take advantage of Buy 1 Get Free Sales (B1G1). The final decision for how many papers you buy depends on your budget and household needs. (Note: Please make sure you have a separate line item on your family budget for newspaper purchases/subscription).
Please keep in mind that there can be regional differences in what coupons will be in what paper.
You can also ask your neighbors, friends and family to give you their coupon inserts if they do not plan to use them. You can also find a group or coupon swap in your area where you can meet and share coupons.
One other note, please check your newspapers to make sure all of your inserts are in it before you buy. With the extreme couponing craze, people are resorting to stealing inserts from newspapers. This is so sad, but true.
- Printable Coupons: With a computer and printer, you can print lots of coupons to use for your shopping. There are so many sources for coupons to print and companies will also have coupons on their websites. I suggest you make a list of products that you shop for on a regularly basis and check the company’s website for coupons to print. I also recommend coupons.com.
- Your Local Stores: Grocery stores and Supercenters are great places to look for coupons and coupon booklets. As I am shopping, I am always on the lookout for coupons on products (called peelies), tearpads, displays, shelves and blinkies (little machines that spit out coupons). Also, check your local store ad for manufacturer or store coupons.
- Coupons That Print At the Cash Register: These are called Catalinas or check-out coupons. They spit out at the cash register at stores when you check out. They are generally manufacturer coupons, but can be store coupons as well.
- Magazines – Magazines also have manufacturer coupons in their issues. All You Magazine is a great magazine for coupons. You can only get it at Walmart or by subscription.
- Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Coupon Forums – I highly recommend that you follow a blog (like clipsavegive) or coupon forum to keep up with the latest coupon deals and sales. This is how I got started couponing and it does help to save you time as you prepare to do your own shopping. They do the work for you because they have already matched up the deals for you. Plus, you learn from others about couponing tips and saving money. I recommend following no more than 5 blogs (to avoid information overload) and to follow people who share the same values and principles as you.
- Emails to Companies/Company Email Newsletters – I also recommend that you email the companies for the products you buy on a regular basis and ask them for coupons. You can use the list you created in section B for printable coupons as a starting point. Companies also will send newsletters about their products and company news and will have coupons in the newsletter that you can print and use. I highly recommend that if you decide to sign up for company emails that you create a separate email account for this so you do overwhelm your personal email inbox. (Lesson learned for me).
- Coupon Clipping Sites – What if you want a coupon for an item that you didn’t get an insert for? There are coupon clipping sites that you can go to purchase coupons. I recommend coupondede.com and lorihas3kids.
- Mobile Coupons – This is the wave of the future. Target as well as other companies have mobile phone coupons that you sign up for and send to your phone and you can use when you checkout.
- Coupons in the mail – I love checking my mailbox because I get manufacturer coupons from companies to use at their stores. Companies I have gotten coupons from include Target, CVS, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble, Harris Teeter, Bi-Lo and others.
- Digital Coupons – These are coupons that can be saved down to your store loyalty card. They are basically paperless coupons.
Now that you know where to get and clip your coupons from, in lesson 2 we will discuss how to keep and stay organized with your coupons. Remember to follow clipsavegive on Facebook, Twitter or email.