Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Coupon Basics: Getting Started, Part 1

The question I asked myself when I began couponing, and the one many have asked me advice on is: Where do I get all the coupons I need to get started? It's really not that difficult to build up a pile of them. It will take time to get coupons for some things, like that Febreeze sale you wanted to hit but don't have the inserts needed to get it for free. Here's a list of places, ways to begin your stockpile of coupons right away:
1) Sunday newspapers (usually the bigger the area, the better the coupons). For eastern Oregon, it's gonna be The Oregonian. Sometimes, our local papers are missing vital coupons. If you're from the Tri-Cities area, get the Seattle or Spokane paper. Don't forget to check the Parade section!

2) All You magazine - It has a coupon on nearly every page and you can pick it up at Walmart for 2.49, less their magazine discount or subscribe. For now, I would pick one up, but also subscribe. There are discounts all of the time online for it. Scour any magazines you have in your house since a lot of magazines now put coupons in them. Good ones are Good Housekeeping, Parents, Better Homes and Gardens.

3) Your local supermarkets/drug stores for booklets, peelies, and wine tags. I do not promote taking peelies off of items you aren't purchasing, but if you are purchasing something with them on it, make sure you sift through all of the available boxes to make sure there is a peelie on each item. Booklets are often placed on shelves near products or at the check stands. Wine tags are usually hanging from wine, olive oil, dressings, etc. and are coupons or rebates. When you check out, make sure you don't leave your catalinas behind since they are usually combinable with store coupons and manufacturer's coupons.

4) Now what I'm about to type might gross some of you out, but if you are desperate, you might try it out: Dumpster diving...well, really...recycle bin diving. You'd be surprised how many people throw out completely intact coupons in the recycle bin because they don't use them. There's nothing illegal about it. It's not gross, but you might want to wear gloves just in case. And yes...I have done it, to my kids' embarrassment. Most of the time, the papers in the bins are not even opened or even read.

Now, here are some suggestions for building your coupon stockpile in a slower way, but still highly recommended.:

1) Go online to your favorite manufacturer's websites to sign up for free samples and coupons. Some good ones are: PGesaver, Hunt'sKraftKellogg'sBetty CrockerArm and Hammer. There is a website for almost everything you want to get a coupon for, so just google the brand and I'm sure you can find it!

2) Print coupons online from sites like www.coupons.com, www.redplum.comwww.smartsource.com, or directly from the brand site. Some stores, such as Safeway have printables too.

3) Add e-coupons to your shopping cards through www.cellfire.comwww.pgeversaver.com, and www.shortcuts.com.

4) Buy online from e-Bay and other sites.

5) Trade in special forums, such as www.hotcouponworld.com or with other coupon groups locally or online.

6) If you have a Rite Aid, join the Wellness Club and start watching videos in their Video Values section. These are usually really great coupons.

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