Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday's Tip

Towards the end of the year I started receiving emails and facebook messages from friends, family, and readers with questions about how to get started using coupons and saving money. It is a lot of information and can be overwhelming to people just getting started, so I decided to break it down into a weekly tip guide. Probably the most often question I get asked is "Where do you get so many coupons?". So, here is the breakdown list:

  • Sunday Paper: I have one subscription to the Sunday/Wednesday edition of my local paper. Sunday for the coupons and circulars, Wednesday to get the new grocery store ads. If I know the current week has exceptional coupons that I plan to use, I will go down the street to the convenience store to purchase additional copies. However, I only buy the amount I know I will use! (example: Target often has $10 gift card coupons with new prescriptions. Last month I had 5 scripts I needed filled, so I made sure I had 5 papers total. $50 in gift cards for $6 worth of Sunday papers. Profit of $44.)
  • Internet: I have a list on my sidebar of the sites I visit to print coupons. I first exhaust my supply of newspaper coupons, then supplement with internet coupons. Many companies offer exclusive coupons from their direct site, or their facebook page, so be sure to "like" the companies you purchase products from!
  • Supermarket Machines: Often products in the store will have machines, displays or tearpads located near them offering discounts on them. Other times products have coupons attached to them, just remember to pull them off before checking out! Sometimes these are good deals, other times not. My rule of thumb is to only take the coupon if it is something I planned to purchase anyway, or that I know I will use. I don't buy things just because I have a coupon.
  • Magazines: All You is probably the magazine with the most coupons in it. However, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, Family Circle, Parents, and Taste of Home (among others) regularly include at least a few coupons, often enough to pay for the subscription.
  • My mom: My mom saves her coupons, and after she clips what she needs, she brings me the leftovers when she visits. I have a few other friends with whom I pass coupons that I know I won't use, but they probably will, so I mail them. They reciprocate, and it works nicely.
  
I do want to point out that it is typically against coupon policy to sell coupons, so I do not purchase coupons from any source, nor do I "dumpster dive" as was shown on a recent show regarding couponing. It is important to know the coupon policy of stores you will be shopping in, and most have this information available on their websites. It is also very important to make sure you are using legitimate coupons, and using them as intended. When people use coupons in other ways, such as photocopies of internet coupons, it makes stores leery of accepting any printed coupons, and in the end they might stop accepting them at all.

1 comment:

The Dad said...

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