Adventures of an Island Mom

A JOURNEY OF LIVING LIFE FULLY, FRUGALLY, AND FAITHFULLY

Coupons 101—Let’s re-visit March 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — srowe5 @ 1:58 pm

Since I have quite a few new followers, (Welcome, all of you!!), and because it’s often times a great thing to re-visit and refresh our memories of something we learned:  I am going to re-post my couponing 101 “course.”  I posted these tutorials quite awhile ago, so if you didn’t catch them (or even if you did!), here’s Part 1 of all things COUPONS!  🙂

So, I want to start a “tutorial”, if you will, of all things COUPONS!  I am not a coupon genius, nor do I claim to be.  I have always loved saving money, using coupons, finding deals, looking for sales, thrift store shopping, etc, etc, etc.  But, just recently, in about the past 6 months, I have dived into the world of coupon-clipping and now there’s no turning back!!  I LOVE IT!  I have to admit, that I used to think coupon-clipping was a somewhat waste of time, I would clip a few, and then throw the rest in the trash.  But, BOY, have my eyes been opened!!  I now look at coupons as MONEY IN MY POCKET!  This is the world of coupon-clipping that I have learned, and I hope it helps you!  Please let me know if you have any questions…..I’d be more than happy to answer them!  There is so much to go over on this subject, so each day is going to be something new!

PART ONE

Learning to use coupons effectively is an integral part of saving money, you could be saving up to 50% or more on each shopping trip!  But, you first have to know where to get your coupons!

  • Newspaper– I have found the best place to get a wide variety of coupons all at once is the Sunday coupon inserts.  Not all papers carry the same inserts, so you might ask which inserts your local paper has. Once a month, Procter & Gamble has a special coupon insert dedicated to their products but it is available only in select papers.   Most papers allow you to purchase just the Sunday paper, or Multiple papers, at a lower price.  Purchasing just the Sunday paper is minimal money out of your pocket, compared to what you’re going to save!!  Now, we don’t get the Paper, and we haven’t since we’ve lived here.  I seem to be able to still get the Sunday inserts by scouring recycle bins, (If I happen to ride the ferry on a Sunday, HOLY COW, I can snag up 20 inserts at a time!!), asking neighbors, letting family members know to save them, etc.  I haven’t missed any Sunday inserts, yet, and I don’t even subscribe to the paper!
  • Printable Internet coupons– There are a lot of really good sites to print coupons from. You can print the same coupons from a lot of different sites. Most of the sites will allow you to print the coupon twice. But if you have more than one computer at home, you can print it twice from each computer.  If you do not have high speed internet it can be tricky to get them to print.  DO NOT try to photo copy your coupons, the stores can tell, and it will make using printable coupons harder for us all. Check your local stores to see if they accept printed coupons.  All the local stores I frequent, ie:  Safeway, Albertsons, Rite Aid, Town and Country, Target, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens all accept printable coupons.  Here are some sites that I frequent:  Coupons.com, Redplum.com, smartsource.com, eatbetteramerica.com, and coolsavings.com are just a few!
  • Blinkies– These are the little black boxes with the red blinking light that spits out coupons at the store. You can find these little units on the shelves in some stores, like Safeway and Albertsons, to name a few. Go ahead and take a few and save them for your coupon stash, or use on your shopping trip.
  • Peelies– These are the coupons that come stuck to a product. They normally have a long shelf life, and they tend to not expire for up to a year. They are great to save and combine with other sales and/or other coupons.
  • Store coupons – Often stores offer their own coupons, as opposed to manufacturer coupons. Store coupons are actually “stackable,” meaning you can use both a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupons on the same item. Pair this combination up with a great sale and you can SAVE BIG! A good way to get store coupons is by signing up for store loyalty programs, or just looking at their once and/or twice weekly Ad.
  • Buying coupons– According to the law, no one can “sell” a coupon, but, they CAN charge you for the time and effort put into clipping it. You’ll find lots of coupons for sale on other sites.  The two sites I frequent the most to buy my coupons are on Ebay and thecouponmaster.com.  Buying coupons is very inexpensive and is great, because you can pick the exact coupons you want!
  • The Manufacturer– Many companies like it when you contact them.  Many folks are eager to contact when something is wrong with the product (which is understandable!), but companies love to hear good things, too! You can call, email, or write to them and tell them how much you love the product.  Some companies are happy to send you coupons for discounts, or for free products.  I have emailed numerous companies and received many, many coupons, free products and samples!  It’s great!  Not all companies do this, though, so don’t expect them all to send something your way.
  • Free samples –Manufacturers often include coupons in the free samples that they send out as an extra incentive for you to go out and purchase the product if you try it and like it.
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