Saturday, July 2, 2011

Where Do You Find Coupons?

If you want to begin couponing, the first thing you are going to have to do is to gather up some coupons for yourself.  But where do you get coupons?  Here is a list of places that they can usually be found:

1)     The Sunday Newspaper—(Hey!  That’s tomorrow.  See what will be in there!)  This is the oldest and easiest place to find coupons, and the quickest way to build up a nice supply of them.  Most area newspapers carry coupon inserts from two companies (SmartSource and RedPlum).  Some smaller area newspapers may have only one, and the coupons may be issued on a different day of the week, so be sure to ask before you subscribe, or flip through it to make sure they are there if you are buying it from a store.  I have a Sunday only subscription to the Dallas Morning News, but I also have a Thursday subscription to the Mesquite newspaper because their coupons (SS only) come on Thursday.

2)      Online—Many companies are now offering coupons that can be printed from the internet.  There are several dedicated coupon websites, such as coupons.com, smartsource.com, and redplum.com.  Another great place to find coupons is directly on your favorite manufacturers websites.  Some may have you sign up for a newsletter, but those often contain coupons too, so sign up! (Register for a free online email address from gmail.com, hotmail.com, or yahoo.com to have these sent to if you don’t want them cluttering up your main account).  Another online place that many businesses are turning to offer their coupons to the masses is facebook.com!  Simply by "liking" a page and sometimes allowing an application (both of which are easily undone in the future), you can have access to some great high dollar coupons reserved for that brand’s “fans”.  To find these, keep an eye on your newsfeed.  Whenever I see that my friends have “liked” a brand (especially if it’s one of my couponing friends) I always head over there to check if one is available.  I will often post about them on facebook, too—I may not even have time to make a post about them before they are gone-- so be sure to like my page while you are there.

3)     In The Mail—Many companies have print newsletters that you can subscribe to.  (All of the diaper manufacturers and baby food brands do!)  They will periodically send out mailings with information and coupons to your home address.  Many manufacturers also have coupons available for the asking.  They reserve special high dollar coupons for their customers who take the time to contact them and ask.  They love to hear your feedback, too.  If you have a problem with a particular product, go to the website and find their contact page and let them know about it.  They will often send you out a coupon for a free product to make up for it. 

4)     In The Store—The store is a great place to find surprise coupons.  There are several different types of coupons you can find in a store:
a.       “Peelies”—These are found stuck directly onto a product.  You peel them off and redeem them.  Last year when I was stocking up on hot dogs at rock bottom prices, I found peelies on them to get free Kool-Aid Fizzies with the purchase of two hot dogs.  I was getting 8 packs of hot dogs so I came home with 4 free packs of Kool-Aid.  That was a nice surprise!  Please do not peel the coupons off of an item that you are not buying! 
b.      “Blinkies”—These are the ones that come out of those little machines with the blinking lights on the top.  You know, the ones that you always liked to grab when you were shopping with your mom and she always got mad at you!  You can find them at random down the aisles, usually at eye level so that the blinking light attracts your attention.  They are usually near the product that the coupon is for, so you can easily see if it is on sale.  If it isn’t, there’s no harm in grabbing a couple and waiting for the product to go one sale.  Please don’t empty it though!
c.       “Tearpads”—This is exactly what it sounds like, a pad of coupons that you can tear off and redeem.  I have found tearpads for FREE bagels when I bought a loaf of bread before, so be on the lookout for those.  If you see one for an item that is not on sale, take a couple and wait for a sale, but again, please do not take the entire pad!
d.      Booklets—Sometimes you can find booklets advertising a special promotion that is going on in stores.  These booklets will often contain several coupons.  They are usually not store specific and can be used at any store.  For example, I recently found a coupon booklet at Tom Thumb that contained a few coupons that matched up with the current sale that was going on at Kroger, so that is where I used them.  Please do not take all of the booklets, though!

5)     Inside Packages—I love to get home and open up a package and have a coupon pop out. I’ve found coupons inside pet treats, oatmeal, cereal boxes, medicines, etc. Keep your eyes peeled and check inside before you toss a box. Sometimes you will have to cut them out of the cardboard and there is no indication it is there from the outside of the package. Many packages will say on the front if there are coupons in or on the package. I recently bought Cheerios with Pampers coupons on the box, and many P&G items have several coupons inside the packages for other P&G items.


6)     Friends/family—If you have friends or family members who do not use coupons or who use very different products than your family uses, they may be willing to save theirs for you or trade with you for some you do not need. Maybe you have a single friend who eats only organic foods and is constantly trying out new hair colors, whereas you have a husband and small children. They would probably be more than happy to pass along their coupons for diapers/men’s toiletries in exchange for your organic and hair dye coupons.


What is your favorite place to find coupons? What is the strangest place you’ve ever found a coupon?

Check back tomorrow for more about how to use coupons.  Maybe sure to sign up for my email newsletters so you don't miss it!

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