Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Where to Find Coupons - Couponing 101 Series

Coupons are a precious commodity. When you're a couponer, you need to ALWAYS be on the lookout for coupons all around you - everywhere you go. You start to see them as cash (since they work just like cash)! You wouldn't leave a $1 bill lying there in the shopping cart, would you? Here are some tips on where to find them:

In the Sunday Newspaper
The most common place to find coupons is in your Sunday newspaper. You will find coupon inserts inside almost every week. (Usually 2, but sometimes more!)  I start out by purchasing 3 newspapers every Sunday.  Besides buying them, I collect them from friends and family.  You can also visit coffeshops and diners Sunday morning/afternoon to see if there are inserts left lying on tables from customers that were browsing through the paper.  If you are really adventurous, you can look through recycling bins on the street (once they are on the curb they are public property), or you can also visit Paper Gators that are stationed at schools and churches and sift through the papers inside to find TONS of inserts. When I have done this, I bring lots of newspapers to leave behind to compensate for the small bit I take out.

The second most common place to get coupons are from the Internet. These printable coupons can be found on coupon sites like,,, and You can also find them on manufacturer’s sites (like going to for Lysol coupons, etc.). The newest way to find coupons online is to visit a manufacturer's Facebook page. Try visiting store websites (,, etc.) for their store coupons (and sometimes manufacturer coupons as well). The easiest way to stay up-to-date on the multiple coupons available is to follow a few good blogs that do the hard work of searching for you. (Like this one!)

In the Mail
You can get them through the mail.  When you register for a coupon online or sign up to receive a free sample, manufacturers will sometimes also send you coupons to your home. Store coupons will come through the mail too sometimes.  You can also sign up with sites such as or, and they will send you samples with coupons!

All You (1-year auto-renewal)
In Magazines
Check your magazine subscriptions for coupons as well! In particular, All You Magazine is always jam-packed with manufacturer’s coupons (usually around 50)! You can purchase this magazine at Wal-Mart locations or by subscription only. Most family or women's magazines will have a few coupons in them each month as well.

At the Store
You can find coupons in the stores you shop at. 
  • "Peelies" are coupons that are found on the product itself. 
  • "Tearpad" coupons are found in strategic locations in the store (usually on a display).
  • "Blinkies" are coupons that are found in little red boxes that hang near the product in the aisle. These boxes usually flash a light (hence the term blinkies).
  • "Hangtags" are coupons that are hanging from the product bottle (found on wine, detergent, soap bottles, etc.)
  • Catalina coupons ("cats") are coupons that print at the cash register when you check out. These can be manufacturer or store coupons. Bonus:  When you're leaving the store, check out the self-scanning lanes for coupons that have been left hanging on the cat machine or nicely placed on top of the scanner. You'd be surprised how many people just don't want their coupons! You can also find them on the ground, in grocery carts, and in the trash bin at the store. (Yes, that's right! Often the cashiers in charge of the self-checkout lanes will dump all the coupons right in the trash can behind their station. Cha-ching if you're brave enough!)
  • Inside specially marked products. Some products will have coupons printed on the inside of the box, for instance. Other times, you'll get a whole booklet of coupons inserted into the product packaging. Bonus!
  • Stores sometimes put out fliers or short magazines that have manufacturer and/or store coupons in them, so look near the doors of the stores where the ads are kept as well as near the pharmacy area.
After awhile, you'll turn into an expert coupon hunter with every trip to the store!

On your Cellphone
Digital coupons are a new thing. Most coupons are stored to your cell phone, and either you have to enter in your cell phone number at the register, or show the cashier the image of the coupon on your SmartPhone. Some stores have a loyalty card that you can add digital coupons to and then scan your card in-store.

Go hunt down some coupons!!

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