- Who can find a virtuous woman? her price is far above rubies
- She looketh well to the ways of her household
Once I started reading money-saving blogs, and saving a little money using my internet printed coupons, I started paying attention to other coupon sources.
My next step in my couponing journey was beginning to buy the Sunday newspaper for the coupon inserts.
There are usually two weekly inserts, one from RedPlum, and one from Smart Source, on occasion one from Vlassis. In addition to these, Procter and Gamble has an insert every 4-6 weeks for their products. Sites that do coupon match-ups for sales list these as SS, RP, V, and P&G.
There are websites you can visit which will tell you which inserts are coming out which weeks, and even what coupons are possibly included in the inserts. One of these is Taylortown Preview.
Why do I say "possibly included"? It didn't take long for me to figure out that not all newspaper inserts are created equally. Smart Source, RedPlum, Vlassis and even P&G inserts are completely different in major metropolitan markets than in smaller cities. So you may read in a preview that there's a high dollar coupon coming for a product you like, only to open your paper and find either a) no coupon at all for that product, or b) a smaller dollar value. Or not.
That's one of the reasons I seldom buy multiple copies of the Sunday paper as some couponers do. Occasionally I buy 2, usually the weeks that there's a P&G insert so that I'll have two coupons for products that may come up often on B1G1 sales, or items that I buy frequently.
Do I miss some deals at times, because I don't have multiples of the "good" coupons, or because I had 1 or 2 and I've already used them? You bet. But even yet, I manage to do quite well and have quite a stockpile built up of the things we use regularly. Could that change at some point? Sure, if I had access to a newspaper from a major metropolitan area, I might totally rethink my position.
But that brings me to another point. Many of the coupons in the inserts are for products that I don't buy, ever, at any cost. I don't mean just different brand of something I use, because if I can get something for free, I'm willing to at least try it. But there are some products that we just don't use in our household, and I don't want to have to handle multiples of those coupons, not to mention the trash it would generate.
So what to do if you want the "good" coupons (which means good for you and your household) but don't want to have to chase down a big city newspaper that may or may not have the coupon you want?
That brings me to another source of coupons for me.
Coupon Clipping Services
There are several different coupon clipping services out there--the one I've use with great success is the Coupon Clippers. You can click the link or the button on my right hand sidebar to go there from here. Once you're there, you'll need to register. Then you can search for coupons alphabetically, by what's "hot", what's new, etc. They list the product, the face value of the coupon, the cost to you for the coupon, when it expires (important!) and if there is a minimum number required for purchase. You fill in the quantity next to the coupons you want--be sure to click on the "add to cart" button before you go the next page. You'll also see a box on the left that shows the next ship date and what the order deadline is to make that ship date. Coupons are mailed out by 5:00 pm on the ship date, and I've always had mine in my mailbox by two days later. (e.g., ship Wednesday, I have them by Friday). I've been very happy with the coupons and the service I've received from there.
There are other services available around the web, including e-Bay. Many of the bloggers I follow have had success with getting coupons from e-Bay, but it's not something that I have personally done.
You may be asking how it's a savings to pay to get coupons? The service I use charges a very small percentage of the face value of the coupon, and a small handling charge. The amount of savings I get more than makes up for the amount I spend to get these clipped for me. The same thing seems to apply to other clipping services.
Note on paying for coupons: Whether through "coupon clippers" or e-Bay, you are not buying coupons, which is illegal. You are paying someone for their services to clip coupons that they obtain legally from acquiring multiple copies of the inserts. That's why I made sure I use only a legitimate service that I've seen recommended by bloggers I trust.
Mail Freebies and Samples
In Part 1 of this series I mentioned going directly to manufacturer's and brand websites to look for printable coupons. Another thing that you can find at many sites are offers for free samples. I've gotten all kinds of freebies in the mail, from cereal to snack bars to shampoo and even free full size, non-disposable razors. My favorites are the ones that come with coupons--and many of them do.
So where do you find these free samples? Again--evvvverywhere!
Wal-mart has a Free Sample page that updates regularly with new offers. You sign up and request each sample individually.
Other sites you register and provide your information once, and they will send you an email when they have something available to request. Some send newsletters.
Right at Home for SCJohnson
P&G Brand Sampler can be requested seasonally
Vocalpoint sign up and visit this site regularly--the more active you are, the better samples and coupons you'll get. I've received multiples of coupons from them--usually one for a free product, then several others that are $ off to use or share with others.
Start Sampling is another site that offers multiple samples and coupons
Home Made Simple register and sign up for their newsletter, they mail out coupon booklets periodically.
Frugal Shopping and Deals Blogs
I get alerted to lots of these good sources for freebies, samples, and coupons by following several frugal shopping/deals/couponing blogs. There are lots of them out there--click on the links on my lefthand sidebar under the heading "Frugal Living, Couponing, Shopping".
And that brings me to the final (I think!) source for coupons:
In Stores and on Products
I'm not sure if it's just because I coupon that I notice these now, but there seems to be a lot more in-store and on-product coupons than I ever seem to remember. I see these everywhere these days!
- Tearpads are pads of coupons, usually attached to the shelf at eye-level right in front of the product or a related product. Recently there were a lot of internet coupons for Kraft products--bbq sauce, mayo, Miracle Whip, etc. On the shelf in front of the Kraft bbq sauce was a tearpad of coupons for $2 off any fresh meat product when you bought two Kraft products. I used my IP Qs (internet printed coupons) to get two free bottles of bbq sauce, then used the tearpad Q (coupon) to get a package of chicken thighs for next to nothing.
- Blinkies are similar to tearpads--on the shelf at eye-level, except the are in little black coupon dispensers, usually with a little red light that blinks--hence the name!
- Peelies are coupons found on the product itself, usually stating "save $ now" and have to be peeled off to be used. The very first completely free thing I bought when I started couponing and watching sales were four tins of Altoids mints that were on sale $1.99, B1G1, and had peelies on them for $1 off--I used the four peelies and paid nothing but the tax OOP (out of pocket)--I was so excited, you'd have thought I'd saved $100! Just a few weeks ago, granulated Splenda was on sale at Publix B1G1, at $5.99, and I found bags that had $2.00 off each bag---meaning that I got two big bags of Splenda for $1.99 for two with the sale and two coupons.
Do you have other sources of coupons that I've missed? If you do, be sure to leave a comment and let me know!
Did you miss the other posts in this series? Click the links to see:
Back to Basics--How I Organize My Coupons
Back to Basics--Where I Get My Coupons, Part 1
Until next time...