May 20, 2009

Step 2: Building Your Stash: Where to Find Coupons

In order to start saving money couponing, you have to start collecting coupons! I was asked by a clerk the other day, "Where do you GET all of those coupons?". Well, I get them from many places, and here's a list of all the places that I've found them.

Sunday Newspaper
The first and most obvious place is the Sunday newspaper. There are usually 2-3 inserts and sometimes 4. Besides the inserts, sometimes the Parade magazine in the newspaper will have a couple on it's pages and sometimes there will be some printed on the pages of the newspaper. Albertsons recently had some coupons printed on the backside of one of the sections and Albertsons has started sending out an insert of "doublers" pretty regularly. Make sure you look through the whole paper so you don't miss these! You can get the Sunday paper in a number of ways.

You can run down to Walgreens or a grocery store on Sunday morning and spend around $2 per copy. This really isn't the most cost effective way to do it and it can get expensive if you need multiple copies like I do.

The Dollar Tree usually carries the Sunday paper and it's only $1 per copy there. Cheaper and much more manageable price, but some places don't have a Dollar Tree around.

You can usually get a "Sunday only"subscription to your local newspaper and some will give you a discount if you receive multiple copies. There is also a website called where you can enter your zip code to see if there are any discounts that your local paper offers.

A free place to find the newspaper is a recycling drop off center. When we lived in New Mexico, they had collection dumpsters behind our grocery store and I often found entire coupon inserts just lying on top!

Another free place is to simply ask friends, family, and neighbors to save them for you. Most people are more than willing to save them, especially if you're going to put them to good use! If you have someone who regularly blesses you by saving the inserts for you, consider blessing them back by making a "goodie box" for them every once in awhile with things that you have gotten from using them.

In-Store Booklets
By keeping your eyes peeled you can usually find a booklet of some kind in the store. Recently there was a booklet out for Cinco de Mayo. It contained coupons for a bunch of different products. Yesterday, I found SC Johnson booklets at Albertsons. They contain over $37 worth of coupons. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for these!

Many grocery stores have what are called “blinkies”, they are called because they are in a plastic box with a blinking light on it that hangs near the product. They are usually manufacturer coupons and can be used at any store not just the one you found it at. If I find blinkie coupons for a good product or something I use regularly, I'll usually grab 5-10 and file them away for a good sale later.

Tearpad Coupons
These are the coupons that are usually found in front of a product and you tear them off of a pad. They are also usually manufacturer’s coupons that can be used at any store. Again, I'll tear off a small chunk of them to use later on a good sale.

These are the coupons that are stuck to a product on the shelf and you have to peel them off. Some people will peel them off and file them away for later. I'm not quite sure what I think of that since they are intended to be used on the product that they are stuck to. But again, they are manufacturer's coupons and can be used at any store. (Anyone have any thoughts on swiping peelies for later use?)

Places like eBay and coupon clipping sites like The Coupon Clippers are great places to just buy coupons. You can usually find them rather inexpensively and can buy just the ones that you think you will use. A word of caution though, be a little careful when buying on eBay. Coupons for completely free products are few and far between and you don't want to accidentally buy fraudulent coupons. There are many, many legitimate auctions though by people who just clip the coupons from inserts and those can be a great time saving resource for you!

Many magazines have coupons in them and more are showing up everyday! The All You magazine at Walmart is the most popular one and it usually contains at least $50 worth of coupons per issue! I've also seen some coupons cropping up in People and Women's Day as well. Now, I don't recommend that you run out and subscribe to a bunch of magazines to get coupons but if you have some credit card rewards points or frequent flyer miles hanging around, that might be a good way to use them. The only exception would be All You that one will probably be worth the subscription price just for its coupons.

Mailers are a great way to get coupons! You usually have to request these but they are definitely worth it as the coupons are higher in value than you would regularly find.

Free Samples
Free samples are another great way to get coupons. Not only do you get to sample a new product but they usually come with the higher value coupons as well.

Inside Packages
Alot of times, you can find coupons slipped into the products that you buy or on the outside of the box. Glade is one example of a company regularly slipping coupons into their products. But, they can also be found in cereals, snacks, cleaners, etc.

Dr's Offices
Sometimes you can find little booklets or pamphlets at your Dr's office. I found a Lysol booklet at our Pediatrician's office with tips on how to keep from getting sick and it included coupons for some Lysol products.

Printable Coupons
There are numerous online sources for printable coupons.

Some of my favorite sites include:

Betty Crocker
Box Tops for Education
Cool Savings
Eat Better America
General Mills

Red Plum
Smart Source

Online Newsletters
There are numerous online newsletters that you can sign up for that usually include printable coupons in them.

Here is a list of some of my favorites:

Box Tops for Education
General Mills
Kraft Community
P&G's Right at Home
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