Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to Find Coupons and Save Money

finding coupons
How to Find Coupons and Save
It's another day at the grocery store check out and my hubby gives me "the look." The "where have all the coupons gone?" look. I've taken home my fair share of free products, free trials, free with purchase and just free because I took the time to clip the paper, but I don't seem to be able to find as many coupons and when I do, the sales aren't timed just right like they used to be. I even checked some links on my blog to find that the coupon organizing site that was once so popular her in Arizona is now  up for sale. So where have all the coupons gone? You can still save money with coupons but you have to be a little more persistent in looking for them.
 
The Newspaper

The number one best place to find coupons is still your local newspaper although you may receive weekly inserts in the mail depending on your neighborhood. You can look for a deal a subscription through the school system.  If you can wait until Monday morning, visit your local newspaper office and they will usually sell you a back issue for a discounted rate. Just because a retailer prints coupons don't neglect their website. We found a coupon the other day for double Fry's fuel rewards that said you could download a permenant version on the website. 

Websites

The newspaper is no longer the only way to get manufacturers coupons.  There are websites popping up such as Grocery Smarts where you can download coupons directly to your grocery card.  Find free manufacturers coupons at smartsource.com.  This web site will only let you print one set per household per month so make sure your printer is working before you hit print or you won't get your coupons.

Valpak and Merchant Circle are great places to find coupons in your local neighborhood.  They have coupons for anything from eating out to household services.  Just plug in your zip code or the zip code you wish to shop in, and print coupons.   

At the Grocery Store

Shop with your eyes wide-open because people toss coupons everywhere.  You can look for special coupons posted with new products, and the employees handing out samples are probably going to shove a coupon in your hand as well.

Most grocery stores print out coupons with your receipt.  Often times an advertisement will print and if you buy a certain amount of product within a certain time frame they will give you a dollar amount off of your total bill or a free product like milk or baby formula.  Read the details carefully and you can save big.   

On Products

Look for coupons attached to every item you purchase.  Many times coupons are printed on the inside of cereal and cracker boxes and on the bottom of yogurt container lids.  Thoroughly examine every product package before it is discarded and train your family to do so as well.

On Your Store Card

Make sure you register with every local grocery store they will send money saving coupons based on your purchasing record.  If you have children you will also want to register with the diaper and formula companies. These companies will send you valuable coupons and occasionally you may get to try a new product for free.  Many grocery store chains now have websites that will download extra coupons to your grocery store card, including coupons for extra savings on store brands so check your grocery store website carefully. 

Download Apps

Make sure you download at least one shopping app so you can compare prices in the store. You should also check to see if you grocery has an app and load it for special deals. You can also use an app to surf for coupons on the web while in the grocery. I downloaded an app that lets me search for sale items by grocery store to my Android smart phone.

How to Use Coupons

If you shop at a grocer that doubles, pair your coupons with a sale, and you will start getting everything from cake mix to toothbrushes for free.  Grocery stores that double coupons are becoming scarce, watch your grocery ads carefully for special double coupon days. Make a grocery list and then go online or visit the store in person to pick up a weekly sale add.  Compare the coupons you have clipped with the items on sale.  Make sure you pay attention to details such as purchase limits or minimums and sale dates.

There are also some new websites popping up that will do this work for you. The only thing to watch out for with these websites is to carefully compare the membership fees and cost of newspaper with the actual savings.  If you work full time then this may be a good way for you to save with coupons.  It is also important to have a good filing system because statistics show that coupons are now expiring on average every two months. Keep coupons well organized so you can be ready to pair them up with a sale.

You will also want to read Saving On Groceries for more money saving coupon tips.

 

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I did not consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I am normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. I did succeed in changing our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming where we are about to take an even bigger step and move out on a dirt road in the country where we can expand our hobby bees and more! You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. Any sponsors or advertisers are independent of this blog.