Buried Treasure

So as a followup to Wednesday’s Coupon Commentary I said I’d share about where I find my coupons.
I use my local paper for a good portion of my manufacturer’s coupons. I also clip some from magazines that I get (Real Simple, Rachel Ray, Better Homes and Gardens etc.) These inserts are noted in my previous post. Smart Source (SS), Red Plum (RP) and Proctor and Gamble (PG). Also store coupons and flyers with sales are also found there. I save particular ones (stores I shop at) only. For me that list consists of Albertsons, Rite Aid, Michael’s, JoAnn Fabric, and sometimes JCPenny.

I get my paper free so it is certainly “worth” it. But for those of you who have to buy the paper for a few dollars, as long as you are committed to using your coupons, this can also be worth your money. Most often your savings will pay for your paper. I recently read a Facebook note of a friend who used her UP rewards from Rite Aid to buy several extra copies of a paper that had great coupons. (Great way to use an UP reward that might expire soon too.) (UP rewards are given at Rite Aid and they are dollar amounts that will be taken off (like payment) on your next purchases. I learned you can use up to 20 separate UP bar codes on a transaction. And you can always separate items in one trip into multiple transactions, so you can apply them right then and there, so there is no reason now that they should expire.)

I get my store coupons from my local paper as well and again for me those are free. But you can also go to customer service and request a couple more, or your first if you don’t get the paper. When something is particularly a good deal I often go back 2 or 3 times and get several copies. I try to do this later at night or during times when I know my local Albertsons (in particular) won’t be as busy. I have done up to 10 transactions, in one visit, and I like to keep my cashier and fellow shoppers happy.

I also have some friends, co-workers, and family members who save their coupon inserts or store flyers for me. This helps me when stockpiling in particular.

I also print online printable coupons. And I utilize the many blogs out there to guide me to those. You can always search for a product you need online or on facebook and often also find a coupon that way too. The blogs out there are a gift to us! My top 2 are “Hip2Save” and the “KrazyCouponLady.” But I visit many!

When it comes time to shop if my coupons are already organized it might take me 30 minutes longer then it would if I was shopping without any coupons but I save LOADS so it’s worth it.

If they are not organized I plan to take a while longer. (upwards of an hour).
I’ve been tuning in on Mondays to Coffee with Collin on Hip2Save and she provides some great basic info for new couponers.

Last week, when I watched Coffee with Collin, I found out that the RedPlum and other inserts have the date listed on the binding.
I also liked the three questions she suggests you ask yourself…
1. Will my family use this product? (Don’t cut a coupon for contact solution if you don’t wear contacts)
2. If this product was free would I use it or try it?
3. Could I donate this product?
(Thanks Collin!)

So… in short. These are the ways I collect my coupons…
1. My local paper for store flyers (store coupons), coupon inserts (manufacturer’s coupons and doublers).
2. My store customer service desk.
3. Online coupons I print (get my clues from blogs).
4. Catalina’s or UP Rewards that print when I buy

I have been using the binder method for organization but am not convinced it’s for me. I’m quite busy and have yet to make this really work for me. I used to use a small index card folder (like you see in this episode of Coffee with Collin)

Let me know if you have questions!

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