When I tell people that I coupon the first response I usually get is – How do you find the time? I have to admit when I decided to start couponing I was overwhelmed. I did not know where to start or really how to get organized. But I am a big fan of the phrase – Work smarter not harder.
Over the next 3 articles, I hope you will learn how to work smarter to find, organize and shop using coupons and in the end save your family’s hard earned money.
Where to find coupons?
If you start thinking of coupons as free money – and who doesn’t love free money– you will start to notice them everywhere.
In a world of technology, it is hard to believe that we are still relying on newspapers for coupons. However, more than half my coupons and many high value coupons still come from the Sunday newspaper.
To save money, subscribe to the Sunday newspaper; in many areas this is cheaper than buying weekly at your local store.
There are numerous websites on the web that you can print coupons from, but the most popular and comprehensive sites to print coupons from are coupons.com, smartsource.com and redplum.com. All of these sites require that you download software to print the coupons, but this only takes a moment, and it is completely safe.
Several magazines including Redbook, Good House Keeping, Women’s Day and All You Magazine have monthly coupons. All You Magazine is a particularly good magazine because it features close to $100+ worth of coupons each month. It is sold at Wal-Mart or you can find a subscription on the internet for less than $10 a year.
Also remember to flip through magazines the next time you are getting your hair done or at the doctor’s office… as long as you will use the coupon and it is not expired grab it!
Grocery Store coupons:
Check out the website of your local grocery store(s), many now have coupons that you can print or automatically load onto your loyalty card. In addition, several have great coupons or discounts in their weekly ads.
Peelies and Blinkies:
Those are the coupons found sticking to the product itself or the little blinking machine in the grocery store that gives you coupons. If you use the product – even if you are not going to buy the product that day – grab the coupon!
Now that you know where to find the coupons…don’t cut them! I know this goes against the whole idea of “clipping coupons” but remember you want to be able to find the coupons and not spend a lot of time on your weekly couponing.
Next week’s article will explain how to organize coupons and use websites to find them. No clipping until you need the coupon and no organizing by category!
Amanda Ellerbe writes about couponing, raising children on a budget and other money management tools. She is a stay-at-home mom of a two year old girl with baby #2 due in March 2012.