Amy Duran is a blogger who shares her wisdom with us at SheSpeaks.
Coupons are a wonderful source for saving. They are readily available, easy to use, and can make a huge dent in your grocery budget. But before you can use coupon you'll need to find them. It can quickly become overwhelming trying to understand what types of coupons there are and how to get them. My goal here is to help you learn all the types of coupons and know where to best look for them.
Each Sunday you can typically find a couple inserts in your local paper that contain coupons. These inserts are the bread and butter for couponers. There are three companies that do this: Smartsource (SS), Redplum (RP), and Proctor & Gamble (PG). SS and RP can be found most weekends, except holidays, and PG is typically released once a month. As the list of coupons in an insert is released I post the information on my Pixie Deals Blog.
One thing about newspaper inserts that is important to understand is that not all inserts are created equally. Many coupons are released in certain regions or newspapers. Larger newspapers tend to get more of the coupons than small town newspapers. Also values of coupons may vary by region. So seeing the list of coupons coming out does not guarantee your inserts will have them. But the positive side is you know the coupon exists and you can then work on getting your hands on them.
An increasingly popular type of coupon is the printable coupon. These can be found all over the Internet, but there are areas they are more commonly found. Most printables can be printed twice by hitting the back button after printing is complete, or via going back to the page and hitting print again. You must print to a printer and not to a scanning or pdf program within your computer. If you want to save on ink most stores will accept printables in black and white. Remember it is illegal to scan or copy printable coupons.
Coupon Dedicated Sites
There are three main sites that are dedicated solely to printable coupons - coupons.com, redplum.com, and smartsource.com. Redplum generally adds coupons on Sunday's. The other sites add at random intervals but usually add a bulk of the coupons at the start of each month. Any coupons you print (and are still available) will reset at the start of each calendar month as well.
Quite often Manufacturer's will have coupons available right on their product's webpage. Check on your favorite sites to see if they have any. Also, many companies will email you a link to printables if you sign up for their newsletters or member clubs.
Offering coupons on Facebook is rapidly increasing in popularity. Often these coupons are high value and only available for a very short time. So it is definitely recommended to get a Facebook account, even if you only use it for getting coupons.
All in One
So right now you are thinking how much time is it going to take me to check every site every day for new coupons? Luckily coupon bloggers, such as myself, will typically post when a new coupon pops up. So instead of needing to check all over the Internet you can just keep an eye on a few blogs to know when new and hot coupons become available.
If you keep you eyes open in your grocery store you may be able to spot coupons all around. There are several types of coupons to look out for in the store. The coupons usually don't last long so it's a good idea to grab a few to use on a future trip. You can keep a hold of them until the item goes on sale and get a better deal. Just remember to be kind to others and not take all the coupons.
Various stores and manufacturers will put out booklets of coupons. These often surround a holiday or major event. Keep your eyes peeled near the entrance of the store and on any large displays for booklets they may have put out.
Tearpads are basically a pad of coupons of which you can tear a few off. Tearpads are often attached to the shelves and placed in front of the larger, more expensive items. Even though they are in front of the more expensive items, check the wording of the coupon. You may be able to use them on smaller or cheaper items.
Blinkies are small machines used by smartsource to distribute coupons in-store. They are attached to shelves and dispense one small coupon at a time. They got their name because they usually have a red blinkie light on them.
These coupons are actually stuck to the products, and you have to peel them off. Look for little rectangles attached to your products. These often have long expiration dates, which is helpful for holding them till a good sale.
Coupons come by so many different names that it can easily be overwhelming trying to understand them all. You now have a good idea of all the types of coupons there are out there, and should have a good idea of how to find them. Coupons can be anywhere, so keep your eyes peeled!
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