Saturday, March 26, 2011
If you are new to couponing, you might wonder where in the world to start.
My first introduction to coupons was through the Sunday paper. The coupons are located in the advertisements. There can be any where from 0 to 3 or more inserts. The inserts have titles like Redplum, Smart Source, P&G. You may even be one of the lucky ones that gets these inserts in local papers delivered during the week. Some websites post a list of coupons that are planned for each Sunday's paper. This can be helpful, but you may or may not get the coupons listed. It depends on your location.
There are also coupons in the actual stores. You may hear couponers talk about tear pads. This would be a pad of couponers located near an item in the store ready for consumers to take one and use on the current purchase. Stores may even have coupons attached to the product itself. And you can use these coupons on the purchase you are making them. If the coupon is located inside the package it is usually assumed that you can use it the next time you purchase the product.
You can print coupons from your computer. When I began couponing, it never dawned on me that there would be people out there creating fake coupons. Fake coupons hurt the couponing world and the stores and businesses that can not be refunded the value of these coupons. To keep from getting a fake coupon I stick to the most reputable print sites: redplum.com, smartsource.com, and coupons.com. You are able to print 2 coupons for the same product from these sites. It is not ok to photo copy coupons. Each coupon printed has a special code that proves that it is a unique copy. I am sure that you can picture what would happen if you were allowed to make as many photo copies of a high value coupon as you wanted. Shelves would be cleared and the companies making the coupon could possibly lose a lot of money which could in turn cause that company and many others to stop issuing coupons.
If you can't find a coupon you are looking for in a Sunday insert, on the coupon sites, or in the store there are a couple of other options. You can go to the product's website and search for a coupons or sepcial promotion tab. I have had a ton of luck with this. You can write to the company. If it is a product that our family really likes, I write and tell them why we like it. Generally, I've found that companies love to hear the compliments and have been very generous by sending me coupons to use on my next purchase. I usually send them an email to share my thoughts in the "Contact Us" section of the product's webpage. be sure to stay positive and never expect to get a coupon. Instead, I try to plan on getting nothing in return so that I am pleasantly surprised when I get coupons in my mailbox.
Did you hear about a great coupon but didn't get it in your insert or area? You might think about trading or buying the coupon. I like trading rather than buying because the idea of coupons is to save money. So the more money I have to spend on coupons, the less I've saved. I have traded on AFC a few times and have always had a good trade. I have never purchased coupons but have heard good things about Dede's coupons and things.
And the last place I look for coupons is in magazines. There is All You, which is magazine filled with exceptional coupons and money saving ideas. Or you can look in everyday magazines like Woman's Day, Better Homes and Gardens, Shape, etc.
If you are wondering if there is a coupon out there some great websites have coupon databases. I usually use the one on FTM. You can check it out here. You just type in the product name and search. If there is a coupon out there somewhere it will most likely be mentioned there.
Do you have other questions about couponing? Please leave them in the comments so that I can help answer them!!