Monday, January 3, 2011

How to be a Couponer : Lesson 2 - Where do I get coupons?

For those of you just joining me, please go here first to read Lesson 1.

There are coupons EVERYWHERE!  The most obvious source is the Sunday paper.  The paper varies on how many inserts they have, but they could have a SmartSource (also called SS)
A RedPlum (also called RP)
A Proctor and Gamble (also called P&G)

and occasionally, a General Mills (also called GM - picture to be added later).
If you want to know ahead of time what inserts are coming out that week, you can see the schedule here.

There are many other sources for coupons, and each of these coupons has a name in the couponing community.
They include:
Coupons you can print from the Internet (called Internet printables or IP's)  These can be straight off the manufacturer sites, or from sources like, smartsource, or redplum, to name just a few.  Typically these sites require you to install a printer and cookies so they an limit you to 2 coupon prints (per computer).  Keep in mind, you CANNOT make copies of these coupons on a copy machine, that is considered coupon fraud!
 Peelies - these are coupons directly on the product that you "peel" off to redeem.

Home Mailers(also called HM) - these are coupons or booklets of coupons mailed directly to your house via snail mail.  (Remember me telling you to give your correct address for your loyalty cards!)

Catalina - (also called cat) These are coupons that print out of a machine next to the register.  The company name is Catalina Marketing, hence the name.  Cashier should hand these to you with your receipt and change.
If they don't, do not be scared to ask for them, they are earned by YOUR purchases.

Blinkies - These are coupons hanging from the shelf in little machines or holders.  They all used to have flashing lights on them, hence the name "blinkies"

Tearpads - These are coupons on a pad attached to the store shelves or displays.
And Finally - Electronic Coupons (also called EQ, ecoupons, loadables)
These are paperless coupons that you load to your loyalty cards before going to the store.  When you make the required purchase, they "should" come off your transaction automatically, except for Upromise (see information on that site here)
The following sites offer ecoupons:
Cellfire, Shortcuts, PG Esaver, Kroger, Randalls, and Upromise.

Obviously, the goal is to get as many of these coupons as you think you need, for as little out of pocket(oop) as possible.
For Sunday inserts, papers can get expensive!  This is where you need to be resourceful.
Ask friends, neighbors, coworkers and associates if they subscribe to the paper.  Perhaps they do not use the coupons and will be willing to save them for you.
Also, several local venues get newspapers they put out for their patrons enjoyment.  You might be about to get a few copies of the coupons from these places.  (Starbucks, Chick Fil A, Hooters, etc)
Some local high school libraries subscribe to the newspaper, ask the librarian if you can have the coupons.
Your neighborhood recycle bins.  Take a walk down your street on recycling day and help your neighbors by recycling their coupons!
The 99c only stores here in Houston sell the Sunday paper for $1.50.  Beats the $2 price elsewhere.
Or, right now, the paper is offering subscriptions for just .50 a week.  Call and ask if you can have 5 subscriptions!  Be creative.
(any of my regular readers wish to share ways you get your Sunday coupons cheap, feel free to leave a comment)
If that doesn't  work, or you are in dire need of several of one particular coupon, you can always use a coupon clipping service, ebay, or trade for them on online forums.
I have two links for clipping services on my right column.  These are both in TX so quicker delivery for my location since they are sent via snail mail.  If you are not in a state close to TX, you might want to consider other clipping services.


Anonymous said...

I should print these guides out!! Thank you so much. One quick question, maybe I am getting ahead but, how do you keep up with your coupons. I know you date the Sun by date before clipping, but how do you organize them and store them? Is there a certain place where you keep them all? I saw on the TLC program how some of the couponers had them already clipped and on binders. One of them said her binder had like 24 categories. Thanks. PS. Yesterday was recycle day in my neighborhood and I peeked in my neighbor's blue bin :O

Stephanie (aka zoeys_mom, ZM) said...

lol anon, that is lesson 3
I am trying to get it posted soon!

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