Today I'm going to spend some time talking about where I've found coupons before.
The truth is, there are MANY sources, and some may surprise you. Do I recommend getting the Sunday paper coupons? Yes; absolutely! The Sunday paper is still where I find most of the coupons I use. But I'm finding other ways of getting great "high value" coupons for the items that matter to me.
If you're new to The Coupon Project and/or my getting started series, I recommend you go here and read up on Lessons 1 – 3. This month I'm working to help as many people as possible get started with the basics of couponing.
There are two major categories of coupons. Do you remember them?
OK, I know it's been a few days, so I won't send you to detention if you can't remember.
The first major category is store coupons. These are coupons that the store issues out. Think of them akin to the store offering a sale. The store is providing you the discount.
Because these vary so greatly in appearance, I thought I'd snap a few photos of store coupons from my collection. (Oh, and in case you're wondering…I removed the barcodes from the images using Paint. Unfortunately, coupon fraud is a very real thing and I would not like to be supplying fraudsters with any material…)
The first exhibit, Target coupons. These are actually appearing more frequently in my regular Sunday paper inserts. They clearly state "Target coupon" at the top and have the Target logo displayed. You could use these ONLY at Target (unless you are lucky enough to shop at a store that accepts competitor coupons – and some DO, so ASK!)
Next, here are some coupons I received in the mail this past week for Summit Trading Co, a local grocery store. If you can read the TINY print, these coupons read "limit 2 per coupon." This means that I could get that price for up to 2 of that item with this 1 coupon! I love this!
By the way, I DO recommend getting on mailing lists of stores like this. It has become a great way to receive store coupons not generally available otherwise.
I featured this in my lesson from last week, but I'll add it again. These are Albertsons doubler coupons and they can be found periodically in their weekly ad and in the Sunday paper. These are another example of store coupons, and I'll explain a little bit more how they work as we get going. Again, the thing to note is that it has the store logo on it, and makes it clear that it is only to be used at that particular store.
So where do I find store coupons? Here are just a few of the places I've found them:
- In weekly ads (either found in-store or in the Sunday paper)
- In the front of the store (for instance, Fred Meyer has their Easy Savings booklet RIGHT when you walk in)
- On the shelves (sometimes stores like Fred Meyer will help customers by putting their coupons right on the shelf…I noticed HEB does this too when I visited back in May…if you see this, you should feel pretty confident you're in what I call a "coupon friendly" store
- In the mail
Why do I like store coupons?
Here's the thing. One of the major complaints I hear frequently from non-couponers is that there aren't coupons for things that most people use or buy. Store coupons often fill that void. I've found store coupons for produce, generic items, bulk items, meats, cheese, and just about every category out there.
The other reason I really like store coupons is because in most cases, you can stack them.
"What's that?" you ask.
You stack coupons when you use one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon towards the same purchase. Here's an example. I found a Glade Sense & Spray Fred Meyer coupon in their Easy Savings Booklet (found in the front of the store). In going through my stash of couponse, I found I had a manufacturer's coupon for the same item.
I could potentially use BOTH of these coupons for the purchase of ONE Glade Sense & Spray. So my total savings would be $6. Make sense?
Before I go any further, let's take a break. I'm going to go for a run, and clear my head. Maybe you just need to digest all this with your lunch. Whatever the case, come back later this afternoon and I'll spend some time talking about manufacturer's coupons, how they're different than store coupons, and where you can find them.