Sunday, February 5, 2012

Starting the Savings Part 1

This is the first part of a tutorial to learn how to coupon effectively and start saving big! In this part, we will be looking at the many different ways to get coupons you can use to save! 

Anyone can cut a coupon out and then go to the store and buy the product and get a few cents off the price. I am a firm believer than anytime you save something, you did a good job! But, learning how to coupon effectively can lead to amazing savings and really make a difference in your family’s budget! Soon, you will be saving big on food, health and beauty items, AND almost anything you buy!

First, you need to get some coupons. We are going to look at the major ways to get them!


The easiest way to get coupons is to buy the newspaper which has the inserts. In most areas, this is the Sunday paper, but it can be a different day depending on your local paper. Also in some areas, the Red Plum insert is mailed to your home instead of put in the paper. You can check here to see what papers carry this insert or to know if you should be looking for it in your mailbox.

I suggest buying each paper you have access to one week and comparing the coupons. Coupons vary by region and so do their values. If you live somewhere that doubles to a certain amount, many of the coupons you get will be over that amount. But in the next town over, if the stores have different doubling policies, you may get better coupon values from their newspaper. Also, maybe your big city Sunday paper costs $1.50 or more. There could be a local small town paper with almost the same coupons in it that only costs $0.50 or could be FREE!

I go by the rule of buying one paper per each person in my household. There are 4 of us, so I buy 4 papers. If I see a few high value coupons for things I always buy, or it’s a particularly good P&G insert that week, I will get a few more. I try to factor the price of the paper into my savings, so I don’t want to go out and drop $20 on papers and then only save $15 from the coupons in them.

Don’t forget to ask your friends, co-workers and family members for their coupons too. Many people get the paper and don’t use the coupons!


Another way to get coupons is to print them from your computer. Most coupons have a limit of 2 prints per computer.

The major sites to check for printable coupons are:
Red Plum

These sites release coupons from many different manufacturers. The manufacturer sets a print limit for their coupon, and once that many have been printed, the coupon is removed. It’s a good idea to print a coupon you are interested in when you see it! I have seen coupons gone in an hour! Most stay around for several days though unless they are high value or very rare.

There are also manufacturer sites that have coupons on them for just their own products. You can find the list I compiled of these sites

Also, many companies now run coupon promotions on their Facebook fan pages. It’s a great idea to “like” the products you buy and keep an eye out for them to post they are offering a coupon! Sometimes they have coupons there that they leave up for awhile and other times there is a special coupon giveaway at a particular time! I have gotten many high value and FREE product coupons this way!


Another way to get coupons is to contact the companies who make the products you buy and love and have them mail you some! I have just started doing this and love what i have received so far! I have been updating what I get as I get them
HERE. Or you can contact a company if you buy something that is not up to your standards and politely tell them what was wrong or what you didn’t like, and many will send you coupons too. This takes a little more work than just buying a paper or clicking and printing, but most companies have higher value coupons to mail than what they give out in the papers or online.

At the Store:

Finally, you should always keep an eye out while you are shopping for coupons! These come in several different forms.
Peelie: A coupon stuck to a product for that product.
Hangtag: A coupon hanging from a product for that product.
Blinkie: A coupon that comes out of a dispenser that is attached to the shelf in front of the product. It has a red blinking light; hence, the term blinkie.
Tearpad: A pad of coupons found attached to a display, stuck to a freezer door, tied to or just laying on the shelf.
Booklet: Several of the larger companies put out coupon booklets. They normally have recipes and coupons inside. These are usually found in a holder on a cardboard display. General Mills, Campbell’s, Nabisco, Kellogg’s, Kraft and others regularly put these booklets out.
You can also find booklets of coupons put out by your local store. Sometimes they are store specific coupons, but other times they are manufacturer coupons. 

Other than these ways, you can trade coupons with your local friends or on online sites. You can also buy from a clipping service or ebay. And some people find discarded inserts in paper recycling bins. 

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