Coupon 101 - Part 3 - The Coupons!!

Posted by Jen Ehrhardt on
There are several places that I get my coupons from, so first I'm just going to list them for you...
  • Sunday paper – I used to be skimpy about which coupons I’d cut out. Now I cut out just about every coupon unless it’s for something I’d never, ever buy (like Depends… but who knows, I may be cutting those out too one day!). Every time I pass on a coupon I end up with an opportunity where I could have gotten an item for free if I had cut it out – this is a lesson I learned the hard way. I have actually lost sleep over a freebe deal that I missed out on because of a stupid coupon that I didn’t cut out (told you I was OCD).
  • Family members – If you have family members who don’t use coupons, have them save them and give them to you! My mom (in MD) and my mother-in-law (in NC) both save their coupons from their Sunday papers and mail them to me. This has been an amazing help as there are usually some different coupons – or BETTER coupons. I’ve noticed that some of the coupons that we get might be for “$1 off when you buy 2” whereas the coupons from MD or NC may be for “$1 off when you by 1”!
  • Free samples – When you see an offer online for a free sample don’t pass it up (unless it’s for something you’d absolutely never use). This has helped me in many ways. First, I get to try something without having to buy it and find out I don’t like it. Second, if I do like the item, the free samples almost always come with great coupons.
  • Printable coupons that I get online.  There are quite a few sites that offer printable coupons (you will see some on my side bar).  My favorite sites are Coupons.com (allow the ad-on to my site to run and you will see their coupons at the bottom of this webpage!), AFullCup.com (they have printable coupons for Target!), RedPlum.com and SmartSource.com.  Some printable coupons come straight from the manufacturer's websites.  Note that most of these sites have a limit for how many of each coupon you can print, so if you see a good one you better print as many as you can.  Also, some sites make you download a program in order to be able to print their coupons (fyi, I have never encountered a problem with any of these progams - I know some people are weary about what they download).
I cut out my coupons as soon as I get them so I can get them organized into my binder.  Like I said before...  I cut out everything unless it's for an item I know I absolutely wouldn't buy (even if it was free).  After cutting coupons for a while, you will remember which ones you have as soon as you see them on sale in an ad or in the store. 

Make sure your coupons are available to you for use!!  This is important - don't just cut out the coupons and leave them at home.  I keep my binder in my car...  and when I go into the grocery store, Target, Walmart, etc I take it in with me.  If I don't there's a 99.9% chance that I'll see something I need/want and I'll have a coupon for it out in the car.

I think that's about it on the coupons.  Feel free to post a note if I missed something or if you have a question.

UPDATE - One important thing I forgot to mention...  When using coupons, the standard rule is that you can only use 1 coupon per item.  However, you can combine 2 coupons for 1 item IF you have both a store coupon and a manufacturer's coupon.  ex - If you have a Target printable coupon for $1 off 1 box of Cheerio's and a manufacturer's coupon from the Sunday paper for $1.50 off 1 box of Cheerio's, you can use both coupons together and get $2.50 of 1 box of Cheerio's.  You can get some really, really good deals this way!  (Thanks Hyacinth for your question!)

1 comments:

Anonymous said...
August 28, 2009 at 2:14 AM

Hi Jen,

I'm loving your blog - so many great tips! Now if I can just get my act together I know you will help me save lots of money. :-)

Thanks!
Laura Kifer

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