Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Where To Find Coupons!

Coupons have a long history in the United States and while they have been around since the 1800’s (yes, 1800’s, by Coca Cola no less) they have yet to be used to their full extent. Over 300 BILLION dollars in coupons are printed each year and yet only about 1% are used. And while 1% of a billion is still an impressive figure in itself, it is still only 1%.

Coupons are everywhere! They come each week in your Sunday paper (my personal favorite place to find coupons!), they hang on the grocery store shelves, they come in the mail and now they can even be printed off the internet. With so many resources to find coupons, wouldn’t you think that MORE than 1% of coupons are being redeemed.

When you are first trying to find coupons, the BEST place to start is with your Sunday Paper. And just because you don’t see a coupon in there at first glance that might be “a good deal,” don’t give up. Coupons have a long life for a reason, because not everything goes on sale right away.

One of the best, and most recent examples I can think of is a coupon for Propel Zero Flavored Water and the deal I posted (Here). Schnucks, a local St Louis grocery store chain is having a sale on the Propel water, it’s on sale for 2/$1, or $.50 each. WAAAAY back in February (2/13 SS) there was a coupon for $1 off any 2 Propel Zero. When this coupon first came out in February there wasn’t much that interested me in this coupon. It wasn’t a product I typically buy and it wasn’t that great of a coupon. But that changed 2 months later when that coupon now matches up with a sale to make this water FREE.

If I had just cut the coupons out for just the products I wanted and then thrown away my insert, I never would have scored Free Propel. So just because a coupon doesn’t seem appealing at first, doesn’t mean it won’t in the following weeks! So don’t shy away from the inserts, they are one of the BEST coupon resources out there!

Another great place to find coupons is the grocery store. Manufacturers send the grocery store packs of coupons to try and promote their products. Most people when they are in the grocery store always seem to buy more than what they came in for and those coupons are meant for those exact moments. When you see those coupons grab one or two off the tear pad, or blinkie and save it for later if you aren’t planning on purchasing that product today. If it’s a manufacturers coupon you can use it at other stores as well! However, be respectful to others and don’t take the whole tear pad by any means, it’s unethical and isn’t fair to other couponers and buyers. And a few of the best places to check for these tear pad coupons… the customer service counter AND the beer aisle!

This past January, right before the Super Bowl, there were tear pads galore! Two instances that really stick out in my mind were for DiGiorno Pizzas and Tostitos. In one of the local grocery stores I was able to find a $3 off any 2 DiGiorno Pizza coupon (courtesy of Miller Lite) with the Miller Lite Display. If you had looked to quick you might have missed it! But that same week, CVS had DiGiornos on sale for B1G1. I was able to use the manufacturer’s coupon I found at the grocery store at CVS on their sale scoring REALLY cheap pizzas!!

During this same period, Tostitos tortilla chips were on sale (go figure with the Super Bowl being right around the corner). Well, we have 3 different grocery store chains in St Louis: Shop N Save, Schnucks and Dierbergs. All three store had a different coupon that had something to do with Tostitos. Schnucks and Dierbergs both had the chips on sale for $1.99 and they are regularly $3.99. Dierbergs had a Tearpad for $1 off any bag of Tostitos, making them $.99 after the coupon. Schnucks had coupons that read, “Buy 2 bags of Tostitos Chips and get a free bottle of Tostitos salsa or dip!” Wow, so now I pay $1.98 and get 2 bags of chips, and 1 salsa! To make things EVEN better, Shop N Save had coupons that read, “buy one bag of Tostitos Chips and one Tostitos Salsa or Dip and get one free Pepsi 2-liter!” WHOA, so now for $1.98 I was able to get 2 bags of tortilla chips, one salsa and one 2-liter all because I watched out for tear pad coupons!

Since the birth of email, “snail mail” has slowly been phased out for a much quicker electronic option. But if you are a couponer, you still look forward to the old-fashioned mail. Most of the time signing up on manufacturer’s websites guarantee coupons, but occasionally you will get a promotional coupon in the mail! Most people will toss these but you never know when a sale might hit and having that coupon will allow you to pick it up at a rock bottom price!

If there is a particular product you are fond of and notice that you never see any coupons for it, give the company an email telling them how much you like their product. And to Thank You for your kind words, often manufacturers will send you a coupon (and sometimes it’s for a FREE Product)!!

Even though I still enjoy checking my mail each day, I cannot forget the Goliath of a coupon resource that is the internet. While sites like offer coupons constantly and revolve their selection each month. Some brands offer internet printable coupons on their websites. Some you will need to sign up for their newsletters, others you don’t. Either way, check the websites of products you use or you see on sale for printable coupons!

And if all of this seems overwhelming, which it definitely can be, check places like that have coupon databases. Sign up on their website and start searching. Just type in a product name and if there is a coupon, the database will list all of the places you can find it!

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