Hello! I am back to continue our series on the basics of couponing. I know I have been absent for awhile. We went on vacation to visit my first little nephew! We had a wonderful trip. He is a very handsome little boy and I love him so much already! Right now we are on another vacation in Southern California visiting our family here. So, needless to say, we are having a great summer so far!
When we get back home we are planning on cutting our grocery budget again, so I will be getting back into the swing of writing on a regular schedule. Last time we spoke, we were starting the Coupon Basics Series. Part two of our coupon basics series is where to get coupons. The three main places to get coupons are in the newspaper, from a coupon service, or online.
The first place is obviously your local newspaper. Like we talked about last week, the three main coupon inserts are Smart Source, Red Plum and P&G. There is also another called Unilever, but that is usually a regional insert so it won’t be in all newspapers. We usually buy two newspapers a week. On a big coupon week, we will get more. I think last week, when there were four inserts, we got five papers.
Sunday papers in Las Vegas are $3 a piece if you buy them from a grocery store or gas station. The 99 cent store sells them for $1.99, so that is where I usually buy our papers. There are usually coupons in other papers as well like the LA Times or another larger paper that your area may get. I always recommend that you look through the paper to make sure the inserts aren’t missing before you buy them, or at least while you are still in the parking lot. Unfortunately, some people like to take the inserts out without buying the papers. There was one week that we bought four papers and none of them had inserts, so always take a second to check.
The next place to get coupons is from a “coupon fairy” or coupon insert service. A coupon fairy is usually someone local that sells inserts. They will usually do local meet ups or will mail them to you if you pay for shipping. A coupon insert service is a company that sells inserts and ships them to you. There are a TON of these, so just do a quick search of “whole coupon inserts” and you will find a bunch. These are usually not local, and even if they are, will not do a delivery.
With both of these services, you will usually have to buy inserts in large quantities and they will usually give discounts the more you buy. We used to use a coupon fairy based in California. The reason we stopped was the cost of shipping started to outweigh the savings since we were not buying a lot of inserts. On an average week, we were usually spending $15 on coupons, now we are spending between $4 and $6. So, you will need to decide if it is worth it for you. If you are buying a lot of inserts or splitting the cost with a friend, it may be worth it.
I should mention that the sale of coupons is actually illegal. They are able to get around this by saying that they are not selling the inserts but are being compensated for the time.
You can also get coupons online. My favorite website is coupons.com, though I actually like their ap better than their website. You can’t print from your phone, but you are able to send them to yourself in an email and print from your computer. Red Plum and Smart Source have websites where you can print coupons, and you can also find coupons directly on the manufacturer’s websites. Online coupons are a little tricky. You are only allowed to print two coupons per computer. We have two computers, so we can print four of each coupon. Most stores will not accept buy one get one printable coupons or printable coupons for a free item, so make sure you check the specific store’s policies before you head to the store.
There are store coupons that can only be used from the specific store. Store coupons are awesome because you can use one store coupon and one manufacture coupon at the same time on the same item, which makes for some awesome savings. These can be either printable coupons online and mobile coupons that attach to your store card. For example, Target has printable coupons on target.com, they have a lot of other “store” savings as well that we will go over in a Target series. Vons and Smiths have coupons that you add to your store card either online or on their ap.
As you can see, there are a lot of places to get coupons! You will have to decide for yourself which option is best for you. We us a combination of printable coupons and Sunday papers. Some people like to only use the printable coupons to keep their cost down.
Next week we will be going over rebate aps, they are another way to save on top of your coupons.