I want to welcome new readers from The Non-Consumer Advocate. If you haven’t checked out Katy’s blog, take a few minutes to go over there (after you finish reading my post, of course).
Last time, I discussed grocery stores. Now, we move on to coupons. There are a lot of mixed feelings on coupons. Some people don’t think they are worth the time. Others spend lots of time cutting, trading and using coupons. I am a huge fan of coupons. I generally save $10 to $20 each week with my coupons, and I’m just getting back on the bandwagon after lapsing for a while. Every once in a while I do that. I get so caught up in other things that I don’t have time to cut coupons. My savings start to suffer and I get my butt back in gear. I am currently in the butt in gear phase.
I have a wide variety of sources for grocery coupons. The best source is the Sunday newspaper. I get the paper delivered everyday, which costs me $2 per week. Most newspapers will allow you to get just the Sunday paper or the Thursday/Sunday subscription for less than buying the paper at a store. The Thursday paper in Connecticut has most of the grocery store flyers for the week. If you consider subscribing to the paper, get the largest paper in your area. At one time we got the smaller daily paper, but it had a lot fewer coupons than the large paper. My mother-in-law gives me her coupons, so I get double flyers. Yay Mom! I have to say I got really lucky in the in-law department.
You can talk to your delivery person to see if they have extra flyers you could have. Bribing your newspaper person with brownies helps. You can also talk to your neighbors and co-workers if you are really outgoing. Get coupons from whoever you can! A lot of people just throw those coupons away. Perish the thought.
In addition to your paper, there are tons of sites on the internet where you can print coupons: coupons.com, couponmom.com, couponsuzy.com. You can print coupons through mypoints.com as well. If you Google “grocery coupons”, you’ll get tons of results. Just make sure you check with your grocery store, since not all stores take printed coupons. You should also check on your grocery store’s website. Many now have printable coupons.
I’ve had a lot of people tell me they can never find coupons for the brands they use. I’m generally not very brand loyal but there are a few things I love. In those cases, I call the customer service number on the package and ask for coupons. Every company has a customer service number. If you can’t find one on their packaging, check their website. If they don’t offer coupons in the Sunday papers or online, encourage them to do so when you call. Most companies have coupons they can mail to you. If you enjoy the product, call every few months to tell the company how much you enjoy their product. They will offer you coupons 90% of the time. I once called Sara Lee, which owns Jimmy Dean sausage, to see if the sausage was gluten free (I won’t tell you why). I was assured that it was gluten free and was offered tons of coupons. They arrived a few days later and the savings were AWESOME! For a two minute phone call, I got about $10 worth of coupons. Not a bad deal.
If you get really adventurous, you can start trading coupons. There are groups on the internet where you can trade coupons with others. I did this for a while. My savings were great, but it was really time consuming. If you have the time and really need the savings, these coupon trading groups are really worth it. Try yahoo groups for coupon trading groups.
Clip, clip, clip away. Next time, we’ll talk about organization and maximization!
Are you a coupon user? Tell me about your successes and failures with coupons.