Friday, February 14, 2014

Frugal Friday: Where do I find coupons?

This week's Frugal Friday is about obtaining the coupons that you can use. There are a lot of different places you can get them, and it can be a little overwhelming at first. Here's my list of true and legal locations you can get what you need to save money.

You need to beware though. There are a lot of illegal sites and places that have fraudulent 'coupons', so only go to trusted sources. Coupon fraud is no joke! Even when its accidental.

where to get coupons

1) Newspapers. This may be a 'duh' to some people, but you'd be surprised how many people toss out those inserts. They're literally throwing money in the trash. Now, the big question is how many to get. Yes. How many? My answer: even numbers. How many you actually get is up to you, but always get them in even numbers. Minimum of 2. The reason is, in places like Florida where a sale of Buy 1, Get 1 free {BOGO} is a true one {meaning you when you buy 1 at full price, the second one is completely free}, you can still use a coupon on that free item.

So, say an item is normally $2, but this week its BOGO. That's already a great deal since you're buying 2 and only paying the $2. Now let's add in coupons. In the recent paper there was a $1 off of 1 of that item. You go to the grocery store, buy the 2 that are BOGO, use your $1 coupon and you only pay $1 for both items. Great, right? You've lowered your cost on that item down to $.50 each instead of $2! To make this even better, let's say you bought 2 newspapers that week, so you now have two of those $1 off of 1 of that item coupon. You take both of those coupons in with you, buy the two items, use the coupons, and you literally pay nothing {except maybe tax} on those items! FREE!

It won't always work out to the above scenario, but it should give you an idea on why I really, really believe that newspapers must be bought in even amounts. It will benefit you in the end.

2) Coupon Sites. There are numerous places that allow you to print coupons. The most common sites out there are, RedPlum, SmartSource, & Hopster. Hopster is a new site that I haven't really had the chance to use, so I'm excited to get to know that site a little better as it grows.

The best way to determine where you should be checking for the coupons that you need is to check online coupon databases. Yes, those do exist. My favorite 'go-to' is on Southern Savers. Also, check out that site to find a store's weekly ad. She does a great job at matching up current coupons for the items that are on sale. That way you're saving both time AND money.

3) Store Sites. Yup, the stores websites. Whether grocery or other retail, check out the sites for coupons! My favorite is Target because not only do they have coupons for items like bedding and make-up, they also have coupons for other groceries. Also, check with your grocery stores to see if they take competitor coupons. My Publix accepts Target coupons, so I can print from the Target website and use them at Publix. Extra money in my pocket!

And while you're on their site, sign up for their newsletters, email and snail mail. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you'll receive!

4) Digital Coupons. I'm not really familiar with how a lot of the stores deal with digital coupons, since our Publix only recently started this program, I can't really tell you exactly how to use them. I'd check with your local retailer's website to see if they have a program and what it all entails. It usually is associated with a rewards/loyalty card or a phone number.

5) Stores. Yup! Its just as simple as that! Wandering down the aisles at the stores can score you some really good savings! Keep an eye out for little blinking machines on the shelves that spit out coupons {called Blinkie Machines, go figure}, pads of coupons up for the taking stuck on displays or even on the products themselves, and even coupon booklets. Some stores have unique booklets that are up at the front door or scattered throughout the store. Also, when you checkout, the register sometimes spits out coupons. They're everywhere in stores to keep you coming back.

Walgreens is a great example because there you can find all of the different types of coupons available from stores. When you walk in right next to their ad is their monthly store coupon book. Inside are coupons that are put out by Walgreens and can only be used at Walgreens. Even their ad will have coupons in it! When you go up and down the aisles there, you can find Blinkie Machines and tear pads. Their healthcare and pharmacy aisles have booklets with a mix of store coupons and manufacturer coupons {manufacturer coupons can be used anywhere that accepts coupons}, and when you check out, the register will usually give you a coupon for your next visit. Sometimes they're store coupons, sometimes they're manufacturer coupons. You just have to check what you get and not throw them directly into the trash. Which is very easy to do if you're not familiar with it.

Now, for a few small rules.

You can usually print two coupons per computer. Its not per printer, its per computer. I think even some tablets/phones can print coupons, which is great! If you have 5 different computers, then you can print up to 10 of one coupon! This goes hand-in-hand with my rules about getting even numbers of newspapers. Two is the magical number.

That being said, its only two. Your computer information is actually stored on the code on the coupon, so when the coupons are redeemed, the company can track it down to where it was printed {as in, your home}. Which means, under no circumstances do you copy that coupon and use it. That's considered coupon fraud. That will put you in jail and you will pay fines. You'll also not be allowed to print coupons from your computer again. But the biggest thing is: JAIL. You don't want to go to jail because you wanted to save $.50 on a pack of hot dogs, do you? Didn't think so.

That rule about copying also goes for the newspaper inserts. Do. Not. Copy. I don't think I can stress that enough with anything. Stores won't get reimbursed, which is very Not Good.

You'd be surprised how many coupons you will end up with as long as you look around. Just remember that no matter what you save, you are still saving. Every little bit helps in the long run.

If you have any advice, requests, or questions, leave a comment below!

Newspaper image courtesy of Naypong /

This post is linked up to A Bowl Full of Lemons’ One Project at a Time & Tickled Pink.

No comments :

Post a Comment