Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Couponing 101: Build Your Coupon Stash

Hello and welcome to our first Couponing 101 class! Today we'll 'talk' about where to find all those coupons. The key to building your coupon stash is to never throw away a coupon that isn't expired! That means you should hold on to those coupons you are 99% sure you won't ever use....you'd be surprised how often store sales coincide with current coupons!

Here's a list of the best places to find all those coupons:

1. Sunday paper
- This is probably the most obvious source. I've found that the bigger the city the paper comes from, the better coupons that paper will have....generally speaking. I know for our area the Manhattan Mercury is terrible. The Topeka Journal is even worse. Most of their inserts have those cruddy infomercial-like ads. We subscribe to the weekend edition (Fri-Sun) of the KC Star, which costs slightly less for the Sunday paper as opposed to the newsstand price, not to mention the bonus of not having to drive anywhere to get it!

I recommend calling the newspaper to which you wish to subscribe and find out what special pricing promos they have going. If you know you don't want to commit to a subscription, but still want coupons, there is another way to maximize your savings! You can find out what coupons will be in the paper by going to the Taylor Town Preview! They usually have the previews up the Wednesday before each Sunday.

And, if you'd like to know what paper gets which inserts, Hot Coupon World has it all listed by state!

Often during a holiday weekend, there will not be any inserts. You can go here to view the 2010 Insert Schedule.

2. Internet Printables
- Also referred to as IPs. There are many, many, many places to print these. Here's a quick list of just a few: 3. Homemailers - Coupons mailed to your home! You get these by signing up for a company's mailing list. You can also get a lot of free product coupons from companies by simply complimenting their products! SC Johnson is the best place I've found for this! You'll get a free product coupon for each comment you leave. And I've heard you can do this once every 6 months! ...But don't ask for coupons, as they may not be so generous when you do! Here's a link to some more companies that may send you good coupons!

4. Samples - Sometimes the samples you sign up for will have coupons included with them. Many sites such as Walmart, Sams Club, and Kroger offer samples.

5. Catalinas - Have you ever been handed your receipt in the store and noticed a separate receipt-like coupon with it? That's a catalina! Usually buying certain products will trigger these to print.

6. Peelies/Instant Coupons and Inside Packaging - These are those peelable sticker-like coupons you find attached to the outside of a product. And sometimes there will also be coupons inside the packaging of a product.

7. Blinkies - You will find these coupons in the store near the product the coupon is for, in a little machine that spits them out.

8. Trades - This is a great way to get multiple coupons you need and get rid of ones you don't! Hot Coupon World and Vicky's Deals are both places I have used for trading.

9. Buy Them - This is yet another option for obtaining coupons, but it's not one I have ever done and I don't see myself paying actual money for coupons anytime soon! And since I don't do this, I personally don't recommend it as there are so many other methods for getting the coupons you want/need!

10. Tearpads and Hangtags - Tearpads are just what they sound like: a pad of coupons that you tear off. These are sometimes not where you expect them to be - I've found them on endcaps, freezer doors, on displays, etc - so keep an eye out during your shopping trips! Hangtags are found hanging on products such as pop bottles, wine, salad dressing, etc.

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