Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Coupons 101

This post is for anyone thinking about getting started with coupons, new coupon users or those of us who could use a little refresher. Here are 2 frequently asked coupon questions.

Where do you find coupons?

Newspaper...I find this the best place to get a wide variety of coupons. The Sunday paper usually has at least 1 insert each week with the exception of holiday weekends. Here is a list of the coupon inserts and the abbreviations.

SS = Smart Source
RP = Red Plum
P&G = Proctor and Gamble
V = Vlassics

To see a schedule of the Sunday coupon inserts you can go here.

Internet Printable Coupons (IP)...There are many sites that you can print coupons. You can use these coupons just like regular coupons that you clip out of the paper. More and more local stores are taking Internet coupons but you still will want to check with your store. You can usually print each coupon twice. Here are a few sites that I use to print:

A Full Cup (Target coupons)
Betty Crocker
Box Tops for Education
Coupon Bar
Coupon Loop
Coupon Bar

Blinkies...These are found in stores usually above the product the coupon is for. There are little boxes with red blinking lights on them that spit out a coupon.

Peelies...These are found right on the product.

From the manufacturer...Call or email companies to request coupons. Some companies, like Gerber for example, you can call once a month to request coupons.

Buy them...You can buy coupons online from places like ebay and couponclippers. According to the law you can not sell a coupon but you can sell your time it takes to cut and organize the coupons. I haven't done this, but there are lots of people out there who do.

Ask your friends and family...I get coupons from my mom, step mom and a friend of my husbands at work. I have even gotten left over Sunday coupons from the gas station late on Sunday night.

How do you use coupons?

Just because you have a coupon doesn't mean it is a good deal. Sometimes generic is still cheaper. Also having a coupon doesn't mean you have to buy that item. There are lots of coupons out there for items I would never purchase because we just don't eat or use that particular item.

Use your coupon with a sale or clearance item...Wait for the item to go on sale and then use the coupon. If you can, buy several of that item using coupons so that you get a good stash of it to get you to the next sale. If you can find it on clearance it can be an even better deal.

Stack your coupons...Stacking coupons is when you can use multiple coupons for one item. For example, if you shop at Target you can use a Target coupon as well as a Manufacturer coupon on the same item. Likewise for Walgreens.

Watch for buy one get one free deals...This is a great time to use your coupons because you can use a coupon for each item. For example if Walgreens has Lysol toilet bowl cleaner on sale Buy one for $2.99 get one free you can use 2 Lysol coupons, one for each item. This can be a great stock up opportunity.

Rebates...Lots of companies will offer rebates for a product in order to get you to try it. Using coupons on rebate items can actually earn you money. For example Dove put out a rebate for their shampoo. The cost of the shampoo was $4.99. You used a $1.50 coupon on the shampoo and sent in the rebate for $4.99. So, you get the shampoo free plus $1.50.

Have any other coupon questions? Feel free to comment or send me an email.


  1. Great tips! Especially for those just starting out.

  2. I have used coupons for years and never realized you could stack them...thank you for the outstanding tip