Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lesson 2: Finding Coupons

        Ok, so you’ve decided on an organizational strategy and maybe organized the coupons you have already. Now what? You need more coupons!! Here are some tips for collecting coupons so you’re always ready for a good deal.

Get a Good Paper

Go ahead and get a newspaper subscription so you never miss the weekly inserts. I recommend getting the News & Observer - it has WAY more coupons than the Daily Reflector and you can have it delivered to your house just like the Reflector. Plus, you can get a Sunday only subscription. Sign up online here. Follow this link to get a discount if you are a first-time subscriber.

Get More Than 1 Paper

When you find a good deal you don’t want to be limited to only getting it once because you only have one coupon for that item. Get multiple copies of the paper so you have plenty of coupons. You may want to only have one or two subscriptions and then stock up on extra copies at the convenience store when there are a lot of coupons.

Watch for Blinkies and Product Displays

Blinkies (yes, that’s the technical term :-) are the coupons that come in the red boxes with the blinking light that you see at grocery stores. These coupons usually can’t be doubled, but I’ve found some good ones out there. Product displays also sometimes have coupons. Recipe books at grocery stores and promotional samples are also good hiding places for coupons. And don’t forget to look on the items themselves. Peelies (the couponer’s technical term for peelable coupons on the outsides of product packaging) can make a good deal better and there are a lot of free after rebate (FAR) peelies out there, too!

Catalina and Store Coupons
When you check out at the grocery or drug store, often you will get coupons either on the bottom of your receipt or as a separate print-out (catalina). These can be great money-savers. Many stores will also let you use these in conjunction with regular coupons (if it is a store coupon, rather than a manufacturer’s coupon)! CVS even has a barcode scanning machine in their stores now that will print out CVS coupons for you when you scan your card.

All You Magazine

All You is a magazine you can get only by subscription or at WalMart. It's geared toward moms and being frugal and it's always loaded with coupons. I usually don't even read the thing - I just clip the coupons, do the Sudoku puzzle and recycle it. This month's edition has $48.12 worth of coupons and it usually has some coupons that you can't get anywhere else. Check it out. If you're interested, there is also a link on ClipperGirl's blog where you can get a subscription for just $18 for 2 years (the cover price is $2.49 and there are 12 issues a year, so it's a huge savings!).

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A Random Thought

If you wouldn't have bought it to begin with, you didn't save money on it!

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