Printable coupons and zip codes: the discussion continues

As you might have noticed, I take a pretty conservative stance around here when it comes to coupon deals that I share on the blog. Where matters are gray, I err on the side of caution. Two reasons:

  1. I want the deals I share here to work for the majority of readers. I don’t want to waste your time or efforts!
  2. I see myself as a leader – someone that can make an impact for either good or bad. I want to make a positive difference for both couponers and the stores and manufacturers that provide us the deals.

What this means is that you’ll often find me silent on coupons and deals other bloggers are reporting. In many instances it’s not because I’m not aware of those coupons or deals, it’s because I have specific reservations in sharing them with you.

A couple of years ago, I decided that entering zip codes to obtain printable coupons was something I wanted to steer clear of. I came to this conclusion after a conversation I had with an editor at Red Plum.

After watching this practice continue to grow, I decided it was time to see if anything had changed. Was there more I could learn on this topic? I approached two of my affiliate contacts for Coupons.com. It is through these affiliate relationships that I serve the Coupons.com links here at The Coupon Project.com. (For more information on my affiliates, please see my Disclosure Policy.)

The answers I received differed from each other. One response indicated that it was acceptable to share the different zips (but without a definite policy in force), while the other had some more specific guidelines and official stance on this topic. Here’s what I learned from the latter affiliate:

  1. The only coupons I can highlight are the ones nationally available – that means without having to input a zip code. This means if I find a great coupon that’s available at zip 12345 and nowhere else, I should refrain from sharing that with you.
  2. I can state what zip I happened to find a nationally-based coupon in. For instance, I might say, “I found $4/4 Kellogg’s printable coupon under zip code 33333″ as proof that the coupon is available and my posting is not in error.
  3. Couponers may not be able to redeem coupons they print from other zip codes. For this reason, suggesting you print coupons for zip codes you don’t live in is discouraged.

After some further clarification with that affiliate, the issue may be more of a practical one than ethical one. I don’t want you heading to checkout with coupons that potentially won’t work. What I’ve learned recently echos what I was told a couple years prior – that some manufacturers may wish to release a certain coupon offer in a select market. Why? Well, I don’t know. But should it matter? Sometimes offers are available in certain areas. I’m alright with leaving it at that.

I also contacted the CIC for additional thoughts on this topic, but as of this posting, I’ve not heard back. According to this forum discussion, Jill Cataldo (“Coupon Maven” in the thread) is also researching this topic and is planning on sharing soon. I greatly admire her insight and ethics stance, and will be curious to see what she discovers. Thus, more thoughts on this topic may be forthcoming.

So what do I do with all this? One group is telling me it’s OK, another had something different to say, and then there’s the conversation I had a few years ago. But most of all, there’s my gut feeling that says there’s something that just doesn’t sit right with me about it, again for both practical reasons and ones that bug my conscience a bit. Therefore, you can continue to count on me to only promote coupons that are available nationally. If you see me reference a zip code on occasion, note that it’s to validate the coupon’s existence (as per #2 above), and not to highlight a coupon as being only available in one zip code. If you have problems seeing a coupon appear, I would suggest you start by entering your own zip code. (Heck, you should be entering your zip code anyways – you might see some coupons you won’t find otherwise!)

From an ethical standpoint, there are bigger fish to fry in my opinion. I feel more strongly about say, copying coupons or barcode decoding. However, I wanted to give my personal conclusion on the topic since it’s coming up more and more, and I hope this post serves to clear some of that up for you.

It’s always possible that my stance, opinion, and thoughts on this topic will evolve as I continue to learn more for myself and for your information. On a personal note, thank you for following my site, even if it means you aren’t always notified about all those “hot” coupons and deals out there. And thanks to those of you who are invested in wading through all these meaty “gray” topics with me.

PS. Feel free to leave your comments and questions on this topic today. Heck, I welcome opposing viewpoints as well so long as it’s kept nice. 


Comments

  1. Bree says

    I’ve never printed a coupon from a different area code. I always err on the cautious side and I don’t want to be like the ‘extremeists’ that will do anything to get their hands on a coupon and take strange and illegal measures to get deals. I’m not a super avid couponer, though. I eat a lot of whole foods and only coupon for things like personal items and condiments, so maybe I’m just more casual about it anyway?

    • arussell says

      I think the temptation may be even greater when the coupon is for a hard-to-find-a-coupon-for product such as natural, healthy, or high-value personal care item! ;)

      Again, some of it bugs my conscience, but the bigger issue – at least according to the affiliate I was corresponding with – is that the coupons just may not work in a different zip code. If I can spare folks the embarrassment of beeping or rejected coupons where possible, I’ll do that. ;)

      • Bree says

        Totally! I hate when the coupon doesn’t work! Nothing more embarassing especially when there is a line of people behind you!

  2. Lori H says

    If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. Thank you for standing, whether you have supporters or not. You have to be true to yourself and what you feel to be right. I support you 100%! Black or white, grey is a dangerous area. Kuddos to you and this site. Love it!

    • arussell says

      I love that statement: “Black or white, grey is a dangerous area!” I’ll have to remember that.

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Donna Y says

    Can you print coupons on paper that has print on the backside of it. I like to reuse my printed paper. (Nothing important on them) And was wondering if it made a difference. Newspapers and magazines do it all the time. So why not a home printed coupon. Thanks for you help.

    • arussell says

      I don’t see why not! The important part is that you’ve printed the coupon so that the barcode is scannable and that the fine print, expiration date, and product information are on it! If in doubt, just ask your store if they have any concern.

      • Karen says

        I do this all the time too and it work fine. I also messed up printing a cpn the other day on the wrong side of the paper and it printed over the previously printed item. I was so mad at myself. I took it to the store and asked if she would try to see if it would still scan…both of us thought for sure it would NOT…but it scanned just fine.

    • Jennifer says

      I do this with the kiddos school notices that come home…they get so many peices of paper that have a blank side on the back…it’s worth it to reuse it :)

    • Amber H says

      I’ve wondered this because I oftentimes am out of clean printer paper when I need to print something. I love the comment “newspapers & magazines do it all the time”. I never thought of this, but you’re totally right! Definitely will be reusing paper in the future :P

  4. Emilie says

    I wondered why certain coupons were only available under certain zipcodes and not others.
    I admit that I have changed the zipcode to Tacoma, WA and to Detroit, MI as well as use my own because sometimes the coupons are very different.
    I never thought about it changing marketing data or being unfair.
    Thank you for pointing this out. I will change the address to mine and be done with it.

  5. Tina Zumwalt says

    Thanks for your dedication to ethical couponing. I’ve only been couponing for 8 months and I’m glad to say I found your site early on. Because of that, I have been fortunate to learn what I consider to be a good couponer.

  6. carmen says

    is this consider stealing? i live in southern cali and have a really good coupon blogger in here, she is always going by hte rules,but always gives us the zip codes to use. i didnt think of it being wrong,but o go to church and dont want to have to confess of changing zip codes to get good coupons to my priest.

    • arussell says

      I would very much hesitate to use words like “Fraud” or “stealing” in this instance. The Coupon Information Corporation doesn’t even have it addressed on their website! So I would hesitate to lambast your favorite bloggers that are engaging in this as being unethical. As a reminder, one of my affiliate programs for Coupons.com didn’t have an issue with it!

      Again the issue boils down to one of the affiliates making a strong case about the coupons potentially not working, their desire to have publishers (that’d be folks like me) NOT promote them, my prior conversation with Red Plum, and my own gut feeling. To reiterate, I think the issue has more to do with a practical consideration and less of an ethical one. Does that make sense?

  7. Stacy says

    Hm, I consider myself pretty hardcore on ethics, but this hasn’t been an issue for me, personally….though I appreciate you sharing it as one of your concerns. I’ve always thought of the zip code issue being relative to availability. Meaning, manufacturers don’t want you wasting your ink/paper and their marketing dollars printing coupons you will carry around everywhere, never use, waste, not move product, and have a sour taste in your mouth for the brand. I know that XYZ freerange chicken is typically sold everywhere in the east, but only one particular local Target has it, I will print that chicken coupon.

    Furthermore, the manufacturers have the option to print “only valid in OH” or whatever they choose directly on the coupon. To use it anyway as a consumer when you know it will go through, is unethical in my opinion.

    I live near a border. My state doesn’t allow diary coupons for some things, but the one next door (where hubby works every day) does. I know the registration info on the site is asking my state so that it won’t have me print a coupon I cannot lawfully use in my state. But I shop in that other state all the time, more often than not, actually. So I will use hubby’s work address to access the coupon. I can understand where others would say that is wrong, but I see it as understanding the guiding principle and sticking to IT.

    • arussell says

      Again, this isn’t going to be one of those hard & fast issues for me like photocopying or using expired coupons. But as an affiliate of Coupons.com (read: someone who makes money from them), my goal is to abide by their terms and work with them in understanding how they want their coupons promoted. And then finally, being transparent in sharing that information with my readers in case they are wondering why I’m not sharing the coupons the way other bloggers may choose to.

      Although I’ve said it a few times already, I suppose it’s worth stating again: the concern may more have to do with a practical issue (coupons may not work in different areas) and less of an ethical one. I can completely understand someone’s view that this is not an ethical issue. Thanks for sharing your thoughts & experience here! ;)

  8. says

    It’s definitely a gray area. When I first started blogging, I tried to contact Coupons.com several times with no response so I just decided to steer clear. It seems to be that there must be SOME reason they do it, not just for the heck of it or because someone in marketing is bored. I don’t have an official stance on it, I just avoid it. Sounds about the same as you? Love that you’re willing to take the time to share!

    • arussell says

      Yeah, I NEVER got a direct answer from them, although I came close! This also leads me to believe it may not be any horrible violation or fraud, etc. If it was something they were dead set against, they could make a statement, or set some controls.

      I did get further contacting the affiliates for Coupons.com, which was certainly helpful!

      I sure wish there was more information on this gray area, and until then, I’m happy to do my best to be part of that conversation.

  9. Jessica says

    Thank you for posting this! I would have never thought of all of this! Very interesting and I will be interested in reading what Jill posts on her site as well!

    • arussell says

      I’ll be watching with baited breath! She has such great contacts within all aspects of the couponing industry, so whatever she ends up stating will be of value IMHO.

  10. Regina says

    My husband and I started couponing when we worked for the local newspaper delivering papers. We first used the remaining coupons left in the bundle (one for each carrier) and then we figured out that coupons were available online. My husband started to use the different zip code method to get more coupons but then I wasn’t so sure that it was the greatest thing to be doing. Now, we just stay clear of that mess and just handle the coupons out of the newspaper and the occasional printed coupons.

    Here’s a question for everyone. We went shopping a few months ago and tried to use several different printed coupons and the cashier told us that they weren’t going to even try to run the coupons because they’ve had problems with printed coupons in the past. Since then, I’ve been going there and have seen other customers using the same, printed coupons and they go through. Has anyone ever run into this problem at your local grocery store? I think I was more shocked than anything because it was a big grocery chain, WinCo. Since this problem, we don’t print many coupons in fear of the cashier refusing to try scanning them.

    • Denise H. says

      I haven’t had this problem come up too often. Sometimes the printed coupons don’t scan, so the cashiers most often enter the code by hand. I just had my first experience with the cashier not taking the $4/4 Kellogg’s cereal coupon (that I know is legit), so I didn’t buy the products. With coupon fraud gaining attention (I don’t know if it is increasing or just becoming more known), I can see stores being more careful. Just the same, if it is their policy not to take a coupon that won’t scan, it is my policy to not to buy the product. No shame in that. Fair is fair.

    • arussell says

      Regina, WinCo is definitely supposed to take printable coupons, however their policy is if the coupon doesn’t scan, they won’t accept it by keying it in.

      If you would email me some more information about your interaction – the store location, etc. – I will forward your experience directly to my contacts in corporate. They are wanting to work hard to make things better for us couponers there! angela @ thecouponproject dot com.

  11. Jolene says

    I don’t change zip codes because I figure they offer higher value coupons in markets that have higher costs of living. There are limited prints of each coupon so is it fair for someone who has half the cost of living expenses who can double a .50 coupon at their grocery store to print coupon intended for Puget Sound area? I have a similar feeling about coupon cliping services. But that’s my personal opinion. There are a lot of gray areas in couponing and I have drawn my own lines. If other couponers choose to change zip codes it not really wrong.

  12. Merry Montoya says

    Integrity is always the best policy. I have lived my life that way and that is why I regularly visit your site before I print coupons, do deals, etc. Thank you for being you!

  13. Amber H says

    Also as far as why they offer it in certain areas. I imagine it’s similar to how they do “test markets” for certain products. They will put the products/coupons where they think there will be a high demand or it will be most beneficial. So they may offer the coupons in an area where the product is not selling as well in an effort to increase sales.
    Obviously I don’t know for sure, but it seems the most logical to me. I think if you look at it that way, too, it does seem a bit unethical to use the coupons in an area where they weren’t released. Companies have budgets that incorporate the amount of coupons sent out, etc., and if they used part of that in an effort to increase dwindling sales and then end up having many used in an area where they aren’t having issues, they’ve lost out on some of that “marketing” money. If that makes sense… I didn’t get much sleep last night. LOL

  14. ang says

    While I value your views on most things, I think a bit differently on this as most of our basic necessities has to be shipped here so when the price of gas goes up so does each item we pay for. Yes, its true getting coupons printable or not is changing the marketing data for certain areas however, it doesn’t make that big of an impact as everyone would like the public to believe. Lets take a look at the basic business model…. say a manufacturer says their item costs $2 ea to make (after all packaging etc) – to make any money they need to sell each item for at least $2.40. Say, you can put 100 items on a pallet ready to be bought by retailers = $240.00 a pallet. If many retailers are interested that pallet can be marked up to however much the “market” will bear meaning if they can get 280.00 for that pallet all the better. So if their item becomes popular or essential in the publics eye, they could double or triple their profits so its worth a couple thousand for market research, panels etc to make their product more favorable right? Now here comes the retailer to buy that pallet to put in their stores – of course, they are wanting to make a profit as well. The retailer gets the original price of 240.00 a pallet and buys 10 pallets: 2,400.00 and say it costs them 1,000.00 to move those 10 pallets to put in their warehouse: 3,400.00 or 3.40 each item. So for the retailer to make a profit they must sell each item for 4.08 ea. Now each store is owned by an individual that pays the retailer to use their name and get “discounts” from their warehouse so they come in and see that product cost 4.08 ea so they buy 1 pallet for 408.00 then say it costs 200 to move that pallet to their store to put on the shelf = 6.08 ea item well they need to make a profit as well so they too mark it up by 20%: 7.03 ea. …from start to finish that single product has been marked up by 60% of what it costs to make it. If that item doesn’t “move” as well as planned the warehouse retailer can authorize a coupon. They don’t want to lose any money in the process so they start small authorizing a .50/1 store coupon. The manufacturer wants to make more money so they authorize a .75/1 manufacturer coupon. Couponers spend money for local newspapers, ink and paper to get those coupons…. 7.03 – 1.50 = $5.53 ea plus the cost to get that coupon and the item starts to sell instead of sitting on the shelf….everyone makes money and the couponer feels they got a deal and is happy. Now, take into account the costs to get the product from the manufacturer to the store varies by region so say you live in Alaska like I do, that 7.03 product is marked up once again to get it here and now its 8.44 each. People will buy it out of necessity but grumble about it and feel they are getting a good deal when the various agents authorizes those coupons .50/1 store and .75/1 manufacturer and that product now becomes 7.19 ea. Now that same person learns there is a manufacturer coupon floating around for 1/1 and they can get that coupon for $0.05 that brings the product to a more reasonable price = 7.14 each. So from start to finish that 2.00 item has a final cost of 7.03 if you live in the contiguous US and 8.44 in Alaska without coupons……Now say, the manufacturer has made a better product and found their total cost to make each item is now 1.90 ea. They are used to getting 2.00 for an inferior product and since this one is better they feel justified to mark up that new item just slightly higher than the original to 2.10 ea making an even bigger profit. So now they have 2 products on the market one that people are used to and one that’s “better”. So now they can market their “better” product and use the profits from their “inferior” product to pay for advertising, release coupons, develop better slogans etc. and still make a profit even if they discontinue their original product. If an individual store finds that even with coupons that item isn’t doing as well or that item has an expiration date they are going to do what it takes to break even and discontinue that product so it gets clearanced now. However, some retailers rather get as much as they can by waiting til the very last minute and letting that product expire so they can “donate” that item and use it as a write off as a cost of business……many of the stores here do this and you know what? they appear better in the publics eye for giving back to the community winning “loyal” customers to further price gouge. I am not going to even add where the government is giving kick backs to companies to make their products “greener”. So do I feel its unethical to order my coupons out of region or use different area codes for the higher value coupons? Not one bit. In fact, I sleep better at night knowing I got the best deal I possibly can for my family.

  15. Brenda says

    I am also torn about this topic. i generally use my zip code, but i feel if the manufacturer or coupons.com cared about us using the coupons in other zip codes wouldn’t they put “good only in xxxx” at the bottom? I also follow the blog Fabulessly Frugal based in Idaho and they often promote milk and cheese coupons that specifically state that they are only valid in the states of Idaho and Utah. i would never try to use those in washington, but i’ve never had a problem using an occasional coupon from a different zip code that didn’t specify a location.

    • Brenda says

      PS, i DO appreciate your ethical couponing and i have learned a lot from following your blog, about couponing and everything in between!

  16. Karen says

    (I think we are in need of pest control right here, Spammy McSpamerson)

    Thanks for keeping on top of this subject for us. I used to get jealous of all the good cpns in other zips people were reporting on but have found that either they are for products that are not sold in my area at all, or is a new product that is not in my area just yet or that very same coupon will eventually show up a bit later in my zip code offerings.

    Which brings me to a question to throw out there…how about the ethics issue of using more than one printer per household. I saw someone mention they had 14 printers in there household so 28 cpns could be had for each item. Many coupons only have a limited number of prints and I would feel bad taking those intended for other, esp those in the zip they were originally meant for. I only have one printer anyway and I cringe at having to pay for the meager amt of ink I go through. Just curious.

    • dave says

      great point.. that bothers me more than printing from different zipcodes.. and again an easy fix for coupons.com – they could easily restrict IP addresses to 2 prints.. but coupons.com is not in the business of stopping people from printing coupons…

      • arussell says

        Right – and this is what gets me too – there are probably ways they could restrict the zip code thing more, but they don’t. Kind of makes me wonder why…

    • arussell says

      Another great topic! (Oh man, I just love a good debate on coupon gray areas! lol!) On some of these topics, there may be no hard & fast line, but it’s up to you to use good judgment and common sense. Sometimes hot coupons will only have so many prints – take those Kelloggs coupons, for instance. The hope of the manufacturer is to get those coupons to as many households as possible. So if someone has 14 printers (YIKES) and makes 28 prints? Now only one household gets the prints versus spreading it across 13 households. What’s more, the print caps will be reached quicker and the coupon will become unavailable.

      This isn’t a topic I’ve ever tackled, but I’d just say – use common sense. I personally don’t share scenarios here that require more than 2 prints of any coupon, partly b/c I’m on the fence of how appropriate it is – but mostly because most of us don’t have access to more than one printer in our home. Remember my goal is to share deals that the majority of my reader could do. Good thoughts here – good thoughts, Karen….

  17. Karen says

    It is funny that you mention Jill Cataldo because I had been struggling to remember her name to find the piece she did on expired food on Safeway shelves. I have been having trouble with my Safeway and their expired goods and my last shopping trip was no exception. The cookies alone had exp dates of Nov 2011.

  18. dave says

    Great post. It’s always going to be a debate – that we ourselves grapple with time and again. Here’s a thought – Coupons.com makes money by the number of prints.. so I’m sure they are happy whenever a coupon is printed no matter your location so you’re not going to see them tell people not to print anytime soon.. 2) if coupons.com wanted to restrict access to those outside a zipcode it’s an easy programming fix based on your IP address – which many sites use. yes, the technical savvy can beat it, but the everyday person will be locked out. 3) coupons.com knows exactly where people are printing coupons from – and it’s a good bet the companies advertising are requesting that data as well. if companies wanted to put a stop to this, they can and perhaps someday they will. 4) the debate will go on… but if companies wanted to put a stop to it, they can by simply giving some guidance … but until then they leave the gray area open where everyone that coupons is likely to have a slightly different version of their own opinion. ……but if you do some digging, a lot of the same zip codes that come up with the good coupons all rank as areas of the country with the highest coupon users…maybe that’s the whole point afterall is just distribution…..

    • arussell says

      Thanks for your thoughts and I agree – if they wanted to put those limits, they can (and should!). What complicates matters is when they fail to make a clear statement on it. Then that leaves publishers (such as myself) wondering what the best practice is. One of my affiliates said go for it, and another cautioned me. Some bloggers will encourage the different zip codes, and some (like me) don’t feel 100% OK about it. This is definitely a gray area, and one that I will continue to see what I can do to bring clarity to.

  19. Rita Collins says

    I still disagree with this issue. If I live in zip code 12345, but I am using coupons in 23456 – which zip code do I use? What if I am at a location (not at home) printing coupons? What if I live in zip code 12345, but work in zip code 34567 and I shop in neither area? When I lived in Long Island, NY, I had co-workers that lived in CT. What zip code are they ‘allowed’ to print coupons from? What if they do not always shop at the same place?

  20. steph says

    I wonder then, is it also wrong then to get a coupon from a friend that gets a different area newspaper than you get? Of coupon trade groups that mail coupons to different areas? Or asking people to mail rebates that are in a different insert than the one you get?

    My other point of discussion is that the second guy said not to share coupons that are only in specific area codes, but what if somebody from that area code is reading the blog?…they will miss out on a deal available to them…

  21. Sarah says

    I actually was reading through this and had a similar thought… I would still consider myself a newbie coupon-er and it is difficult for me to get my hands on multiple copies of my Sunday Paper as we live in a rural but seasonal destination area. Which means using and collecting coupons is a little more difficult as there is only one larger paper that is actually for the nearest large city (about 75 miles away) and so getting multiple copies delivered on Sunday has not a possibility for us. We do have a few newspaper boxes around town but with the increased popularity of coupons they are raided early in the morning, if I do not make it to the box by 7 am on Sunday the papers are all gone or at least all the inserts are. Additionally we only have two grocery stores in our county, which again makes things difficult because during our busy season the shelves are raided when the ski resort closes at 4 pm and weekends aren’t even worth trying. This also means that our prices are significantly higher than even the largest major city. Long story short, my extended family has started collecting their Sunday Inserts and mailing them to me on a monthly basis. Some of my family and friends do live out of state, but I never really considered the ethics of using out of state coupons. I realize that this is a little different than obtaining online coupons with different zip codes, but it is in the same category. What are your thoughts on the topic?
    Additionally, with our community being so dependent on tourism which has obviously taken a hit with the economy… I have started to work with our local food bank to try and help put together a curriculum to integrate with their other financial classes that they offer to help educate many of our struggling locals feed their families. Many people in our community do not have the internet or a home computer because it has been cost prohibitive or they have not stayed up with the times, so I think it is vital to explore some of these ethical issues when showing people how to effectively use coupons. So I do appreciate you opening this forum for discussion and reminding all of us to take a little more time to consider the ramifications of not using coupons properly or how to navigate those “gray” areas.

    One additional question I have is… in trying to develop the coupon program with our local food bank we have been exploring the idea of placing a coupon bin next to the newspaper recycling bin on Saturday mornings (the only time we have recycling collection) in order to try and collect coupons that we would be able to make large grocery runs (to our nearest large city) for the food bank and also setting up a coupon distribution for families that need financial assistance. What we have found is that many of our families that could really benefit from coupon usage do not have the time nor resources to collect coupons and match them up with the deals in our local area. What sort of ethical issues would you recommend we watch out for?

  22. Doris says

    While I appreciate all of the lengthy, and I do mean LENGTHY, discussions and debates, don’t you think this is going a bit overboard? Restricting IP addresses? No coupon sharing if you and your friend have access to different newspapers? The manufacturers want you to purchase their product. The coupon distribution companies that are online are making money from those manufacturers to distrbute a limited amount of prints online. Everyone is getting some kind of benefit. Are we now going to protest coupon trading groups? I, foe one, belong to a coupon trading group because I cannot afford to print or purchase newspapers for the coupon inserts for all of the coupons I need to feed my family and my community. What do we gals do? We trade. Yep, the old fashioned barter system. “Watcha want for what I got? How many do you have and how many do I have that you need?” That, in itself, is a community. Our coupon trading community of students, moms, dads, teachers, charity workers, organizers, etc. who need to buy food and items for ourselves or for schools, military personnel, etc. have to find a way to purchase the items we need at the best prices possible and coupons are the way to go. And all I am reading over and over and over again is about “a feeling” or being “unethical”. No one is stealing the coupons. Some people are for sure misusing the system. Most are not. I work, run a side business for additional income and support my family, help out my elder parent and my brother’s family in one state, my sister with health issues working for a dying industry in another state. I have a friend in the military who is not issued toiletries by the very government he works for. So I help him in his current situation and am helping him stock up as much as humanly possible for when he is deployed to Afghanistan the last quarter of this year. I also contribute much needed items to 3 community food pantries, one partially funded by the State (funding was cut by 50% this year), the other 2 with no government funding. And something is giving you “a feeling”? Get over yourself. Most are not stealing. I certainly am not. But if I can trade enough coupons to get coupon prints for 24 boxes of feminine hygiene products for a battered women’s shelter – I WILL DO IT. Did I trade coupons for valuable Crayola print coupons to get 16 boxes of crayons and a few packages of scissors for foster children who could not afford school supplies? YES. 80%+ of coupons are not redeemed anyway. Get off your high horse and do something useful with your life.

    • arussell says

      Wow thank you for that lecture, Doris. Judgmental much? Bitter much? I think so.

      Based on the many wonderful emails & comments I get, I do believe I’ve done something useful with my life. Methinks you are completely new to my site, or you’d be aware of some of the stories, testimonials and ways I’ve given back to the community here.

      My goal is to veer on the conservative side of couponing. If you don’t like that approach, great, I welcome you to leave and find another site. But you should know I take an active approach into not BS’ing around but approaching my store, manufacturer, and newspaper partners to see what it is I can learn about their part of the couponing process.

      While your comments and opinions are certainly welcome, your personal attacks of me are not and you walk a fine line with the comment guidelines set for this site. Consider yourself warned, my friend.

  23. donna says

    i came looking for coupons and ending up reading a circle of why to not post a zip code and the same thing repeated over and over… okay you dont like to use zip codes…..that could have been a few lines not a entire page……just think spining wheels to repeat one self is going way off what coupon website are about and maybe someone has a platform so they want to stand on the soap box and baulk as loud as possible, oh i did read the part about
    “attacking”, this is not a “attack” just like yours……….its a OPINION.just done in a much shorter way…see how easy short and to the point is………

    • Angela Russell says

      Donna, as a coupon blogger, this is something I get asked about a lot. I feel it is a topic worth discussing.

      If you don’t like this blog, please find another one. It’s my blog and no one should say what this coupon website should be about except one person. ME. Have a good day! :)

  24. says

    Notre générateur de kamas est enfin terminée et disponible
    gratuitement en téléchargement.
    Ne perdez pas de temps il n’est disponible qu’en quantité limitée.
    Notre générateur de kamas est garantie de non-bannissement
    avec beaucoups de possibilité intégrée vous garantissant une sécurité parfaite.

    Il est important de comprendre que notre logiciel n’est pas difficile
    d’accès et vous permet une utilisation sereine en tout cas
    En plus vous allez pouvoir générer des kamas très simplement mais
    en plus vous êtes sur
    d’être en toutes sécurité grâce à notre moyen de programmation
    spéciale utilisant des techniques utilisés par les
    plus grands du moment.

  25. Raymi says

    Thank you for this! I am new to couponing and I saw on a database a certain coupon and zipcode. I was wondering if that is acceptable. I don’t want to start doing things the wrong way so I’m glad I found this out. Thank you again!

  26. Raymi says

    Oops I forgot…so is trading coupons the same as putting a different zip code in for printable coupons? I’m nowhere near that level of couponing but i’m just curious. Thank you.

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