Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Coupons+You=Love (Part 1: Where To Get Your Coupons)


Couponing. Everybody's doing it. 

Rich folks, poor folks, old folks, young folks. 

It's hip to be thrifty. 

Lucky for me, I was cheap before cheap was cool. 

I have been a couponer since I first moved out on my own, and I have learned a lot. 

I am not however, a professional. If you are wanting a professional, you will have to go here. 

(Crystal @ Money Saving Mom is my all time favorite blogger, and my inspiration to start my own blog! I have been following her blog for years, and I still read it every day!) 

Anyways, on to what I was going to talk about. There are so many different aspects to couponing, and I feel like I should talk about all of them, but there is no way that I am going to be able to get to all of them in one little post, so I guess I am going to have to break it up into a series of posts. 

I will be the first to admit that I have slacked a lot on my saving money and couponing in the past year or so. You would think that after I lost my job that I would have stepped it up a bit, but alas, I did not. I didn't have a car anymore, and honestly, I didn't have the extra money to do the deals at CVS every week.

I know some of you don't even know what I am talking about with the CVS deals and the drugstore game. I am going to have to go back, way back. 

I guess I should start with where to get coupons. This might seem redundant for some of you, but it could potentially be helpful for some people. 

Where do you get your coupons?


SUNDAY PAPER
Most people already know that the Sunday Paper is the go- to source for coupon inserts. There are usually three main coupon inserts: Smart Source, Red Plum, and P&G. The P&G insert is usually a big one, and is usually only in the first Sunday paper of the month. The Red Plum and Smart Source are usually in every week. There are usually no coupon inserts on holiday weekends, just keep that in mind before you waste your $2.00! And, you can always go here to check to see a preview of what coupons are going to be in the paper before you buy it!


INTERNET PRINTABLES

This is a vast and foreign land to me. I know nothing about printable coupons. I don't even own a printer. (boo. but if any printer companies wanna hit me up for a review.....) I am very wary of internet printable coupons since so very many stores have strict and ever changing coupon policies regarding internet coupons. I am always afraid that I will spend all my time doing the deals and shopping, and get to the checkout only to find that my coupons won't be accepted. But, most "real" couponers swear by internet coupons, and this is one of the best ways to get things for cheap or free. If you are interested in getting started with internet printables, I recommend checking out the sites here, here and here.

THE TRASH


Do you think I'm shitting you? I'm not. For real. This is one of the best place to get coupon inserts. Okay, so you don't literally have to go dumpster diving.. If your neighborhood has a paper recycling bin, or you know your local paper guy this can be a great option. I used to know the paper delivery guy at my old job, and I would be there when he delivered the paper, since I opened. When he would come to deliver the Monday paper, he would have to recycle all of the leftover Sunday papers, and he would give me the inserts. (Ahh, the good old days!) Another great option is asking friends or family members. Even if they use some of their coupons, ask for their leftovers. My friend Mary used to go through her coupon inserts, and clip the coupons she wanted, and give me the rest. This was a great arrangement for me, since I always wanted the rest, no matter what they were!) 

BLINKIES/TEARPADS/PEELIES 
This is a coupon Blinkie. You know these from ripping all the coupons out when you were a kid. 

I don't have a picture of a coupon tearpad, but they are the little pads of paper attached to certain displays at the grocery store. It is okay to take a few of them, but not, I repeat, not okay, to take them all. This is coupon etiquette, and we will talk about it later :)

Same goes for peelies. Peelies are coupons that are attached directly to the products. They usually say "save $.50 now!" or something like that. For these, if you take them off of products you aren't buying, you are a coupon meanie. And that's not nice. 

But anyways, always keep your eyes peeled for blinkies, tearpads, and peelies! You can find some really great deals this way! 

CATALINAS

What are Catalinas? I remember this being a big question for me when I first started couponing. You know when your receipt prints out? Sometimes there are little coupon-y papers that print out alongside, those are catalinas. These usually have "save blankety blank when you buy blank", but sometimes there are "save blankety blank off your next in store purchase!" Why are they called catalinas? Because the company that makes that cute little box is called Catalina. Just a little tidbit there for ya! ;) 

MAGAZINES


Do you see this magazine? 

It will become your best friend. This is All You Magazine. It is available at Walmart. 

It is wonderful. I would probably go ahead and buy a subscription if I were you. This magazine has tons of high value coupons each month!

EMAIL COMPANIES

This is a great way to get high value coupons for some of your favorite products. It will take a little bit of effort, but it's totally worth it! Email your favorite companies, tell them what you like about their products. Or what you hate about their products. Or that you have never tried their products. Whatever, that part is not important. But, they will usually mail you some awesome high value coupons as a thank you for your feedback! Yay! Also, check your favorite companies for email sign ups to get on their mailing list for other coupons! 


Well folks, this is enough to get you started. I will be back for more later :) 


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