Friday, May 13, 2011

Adventures in Couponing: Acquiring Coupons

A few people have already asked me where I find my coupons. The answer is, anywhere I can! But there are two main types of coupons, split into sub-categories.

1) Paper Coupons. These are those good ol' traditional coupons that you cut out and take to the store. Paper coupons can be found in lots of things, like the backs of cereal boxes or magazines, but the #1 primary source is in the Sunday newspaper. There are a few very common coupon fliers that every coupon-clipping-enthusiast clings to like a hundred-dollar bill:
a) P&G: a once-monthly flier in the paper, advertising and coupons for Proctor & Gamble
b) SmartSource (SS): once a week, in the Sunday Paper
c) Red Plum (RP): comes in the mail along with store circulars.

When your paper coupons arrive, write the date clearly on the front and then keep the whole thing. I like to store mine in a hanging file, with a folder for each source. We'll talk more about this when we get into organization.

2) Online Coupons, or E-coupons. More and more things are becoming electronic these days, and coupons are no exception. While nearly every product has a website and they occasionally sport coupons there, you don't want to spend all your waking moments scouring the web for coupons one at a time. There's a few good websites you can find e-coupons at, my all-time favorite being www.coupons.com. Before you can print any, you must download a free printing application that allows your computer to print each coupon with the appropriate barcode and date stamp. After that, it's just click and print. And heads up--most of the time you can print two. So do!

A few more thoughts:
When I first started clipping coupons I only wanted to keep the big coupons, for a dollar or more. But now I've learned to keep all coupons, no matter how small they seem. And I do keep all coupons. I keep the whole packet that comes in the mail and clip the coupons as I need them. We'll talk more about this later. But today is just about acquiring coupons. So start saving them! All of them! Multiple copies if you can! Ask people who don't keep their coupons for them.

speaking of which, if you live by me and would like to give any coupons to me, I'd love them! I'd be happy to come pick them up even!

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