Topic: How To Accumulate Coupons
If you’re here after watching the show on TLC called Extreme Couponing, I’m here to help you learn how to use coupons to maximize your savings. Keep in mind it’s not practical for beginners to try to copy exactly what you see on TV. The Extreme Couponing people have lots of experience. They spend hours and hours planning their shopping trips. And they aren’t buying real foods like meat, dairy and product.
But not to fear, you can still save 50% or more off your grocery budget. Check out all the posts in this Extreme Couponing series and you’ll be couponing like a pro in no time! I’m always adding more tips for couponing success so if you see something that hasn’t been addressed, let me know and I’ll try to cover it soon. Plus Follow on Facebook for great discussion and more tips for success!
- Part 1: How to Accumulate Coupons
- Part 2: How to Organize Your Coupons
- Part 3: How to Understand Bargain Jargon
- Part 4: Understanding Your Coupon
- Part 5: Knowing When to Use Your Coupon
- Part 6: How to Use the Coupon Database
- Part 7: How to Stack Coupons
Since you actually need to have coupons to go coupon shopping, I thought I’d review some of the many resources available to find coupons.
:: Newspaper Coupons
Each Sunday, you will find coupon inserts in most metropolitan newspapers. Each of these inserts have a name and feature different brands,
- Smartsource – This insert comes almost every week and carries major national brands.. You’ll find coupons inside from different brands including Kraft, Nabisco, Betty Crocker and more
- Red Plum – This insert also come almost every week and carries major national brands. You’ll frequently find brands like Lysol, Woolite, Reach, Listerine, French’s and more.
- Proctor & Gamble – This insert occurs monthly. Inside you’ll find coupons for specific Proctor & Gamble brand products like Olay, Tide, Pampers, Bounty and more.
- General Mills – This insert occurs once a month or less. You’ll find coupons inside for specific General Mills brand products like Pillsbury, Cheerios and other cereals, Betty Crocker, Cascadian Farm, Green Giant, Yoplait and more.
- Parade Magazine – Occasionally you’ll find a random coupon or two inside Parade Magazine in your Sunday paper. It’s not a traditional coupon source but worth a flip through.
I get a Sunday only subscription to get the inserts. Some people buy their paper at a dollar store. Others only buy the paper on weeks with multiple inserts. On Saturdays I provide the Sunday Coupon Preview so you can see how many inserts you’ll find and what coupons will be available.
:: Purchase Coupons
Some people don’t like to subscribe to the newspaper when they only buy a few specific products. Also, newspapers often have different coupon offerings in different regions. To solve these problems, many people purchase coupons. There are quite a few coupon services available.
- Coupon Clippers – Buy individual coupons. You can buy multiples of the same coupon but there is often a limit. There is also a minimum order requirement and a handling fee. Despite these costs, it is often worthwhile to buy extra coupons if you’re looking to build your stockpile.
- Coupon Master - This site is the same as Coupon Clippers but not as large or as popular. You might have better luck finding a really hot coupon here.
- Coupons by DeDe - This is a great source for individual coupons as well as whole coupon inserts. If one insert has quite a few coupons you like, it might be cheaper to buy the whole thing instead of the individual coupons.
- eBay – Purchase coupons from eBay cautiously. Sometimes people photocopy coupons and try to sell them as legitimate coupons. Check the ratings of the seller and make sure they don’t have complaints.
Purchasing coupons is actually illegal but coupon clipping services get around this law by stating the coupons are free and you are paying for their time to clip, sort and mail.
:: Internet Coupons
The Internet is a great resource for coupons. You can find lots of high value coupons. The only caveat is that many stores restrict printable coupon usage. Some stores won’t accept them. Other stores won’t accept them if they beep. A few stores don’t allow coupons greater than half the value of an item. And some stores have no requirements. Your best bet is to check out your individual store’s coupon policy before you go.
Here are a few of my favorite online coupon resources. You may need to download special software to access the coupons. This is a safe download.
- Betty Crocker
- Box Tops for Education
- Coupon Network
- Eat Better America
- Mambo Sprouts
- Red Plum
- Smart Source
You can also find coupons on a company’s website or even their Facebook page. Check out my printable coupon section for all the recent printables. Keep in mind printable coupons are only available for a limited time and reach their limits quickly.
Though easy to do, please keep in mind that photocopying coupons is considered fraud. Most computers are only allowed two prints. If you need more than two coupons, try using another computer like a friend, neighbor’s. Or go to your local library. While it may be tempting, photocopying coupons hurts everyone in the long run because stores further restrict the usage of these types of coupons. Be an honest, ethical couponer – don’t photocopy!
:: Other Sources
There are tons of other sources to find coupons. Here are some of my favorites:
- Magazines – The best coupon magazine is All You. It’s chock-full of coupons every month. You can typically find at least $60 in savings inside, sometimes as much as $100. Parents magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Kraft Food and Family and Woman’s Day also have coupons in them fairly regularly.
- Store Coupons – You can find store coupons everywhere. These coupons are available online, in the Sunday newspaper, in their weekly sales fliers and also in coupon booklets available in stores.
- Peelies – These are coupons that are stuck to packages or products. I’m sure you’ve seen them in the past. Remember to play nice, don’t peel off all the coupons. Just use the one on the item you are buying.
- Blinkies – These are coupons that pop out of the dispensers located in the grocery store aisles. Again, be nice and only take coupons for what you are buying. Don’t clean out the dispenser!
- Catalinas – These are the coupons that print out with your receipt at the grocery store. Sometimes these are item specific but other times they are money off your next purchase.
These are just some other sources. You can also get coupons from free sample offers, in your doctor’s office, from home mailers. Coupons are everywhere. Just keep your eyes peeled!
You can always find great coupons in the Saving with Shellie Coupon Database. There are newspaper coupons, internet coupons and other types of coupons listed to really help you save.
Experienced Couponers: Chime in! What is your favorite coupon source?