Thursday

SOS Mom Saver: Using Coupons & Saving Money on Groceries Part 5: Where Do I Find Coupons?

I think this is one of the most commonly asked questions about couponing.

What good is knowing the coupon policies at your stores and how to handle any problems you may encounter while couponing...if you don't have coupons?  They're kind of an important part of couponing!

So where do you get coupons?

The easy answer to that question is to buy the paper every week.  However, that is not the only way to get coupons...and there are even specific papers you can buy to increase the likelihood that you'll get good, high-value coupons.

So...Where do you get 'em?
  • Buy a paper (of course).  
    • If you have a choice, you should get a bigger city paper like the Chicago Tribune or the LA Times.  These papers are going to be more likely to have higher-value coupons (and more coupons period).
    • The big thing to remember when buying papers is to check for the coupons BEFORE you buy them.  This is VITAL.  There's nothing worse than paying for a paper (or several) only to find out you didn't get the coupons you paid for.
    • Some papers will offer a discount if you buy multiple subscriptions.  Call & ask.  The bonus here is that they'll deliver the papers to you! (But it also means you get the paper even on weeks when there are no coupons.  And it's up to you to follow-up with the paper if you happen to not get coupons in one (or more) of your papers on an given week.  (Before subscribing, make sure that the paper still includes the coupons in their delivered editions.  Some don't.)
  • Buy whole inserts from a place such as Whole Coupon Inserts.
  • Buy just the individual coupons from a place like The Coupon Clippers.
  • Get coupons on Ebay (I wouldn't recommend going with any seller who has less than a 100% rating with no negative reviews.)
  • "Blinkie" coupons which are right by the products in the stores  (These are the coupons with the red borders that are right on the store shelves.  They used to be in red machines that blinked (hence the name).  In many areas, however, they're now in cardboard boxes.) 
  • "Tear Pad" coupons which you'll find on the shelves or on the door of a cold case in the stores.  Don't forget that you can even find these at some gas station chains.  (I know Shell and Speedway have them.)
  • "Peelies" which are coupons that are attached to the product in the store.  Note:  These are not a part of the box or container, but are a sticker that is attached to the product.
  • Booklets in the stores.  Some of these will be up at the front right by the ads.  Others will be on special displays throughout the store.
  • Catalina coupons
    • These are the coupons that print out at the register at your grocery store
    • They're called "Register Rewards" at Walgreens, but these are also Catalina coupons
    • Check with your local grocery store to see if they will take a Catalina coupon that printed at another store (even Walgreens) in their store.  If they say "manufacturer coupon" on them, then many grocery store chains will take them.  (Those that I know do take Catalina coupons even if they weren't printed in their store include Kroger/Smiths/Food-4-Less & other stores in that chain, Albertson's/Jewel & other stores in that chain, Vons/Dominicks/Safeway & other stores in that chain, Family Fare & other Spartan chain stores, Meijer, Publix, & Walmart if it's off a specific product.)  Don't be afraid to ask.  The worse they can say is no.
  • Call or e-mail companies for your favorite products (or ones you're brand-sensitive on) and ask them for coupons. 
  • Go to online sites to print coupons:
  • Go to the website for your local grocery stores.  Many of them offer printable coupons.  Here are a few:
  • Go to the website for your favorite companies.  Many of them offer printable coupons.  Examples:
  • Load coupons onto your store card.  You can do this from many store websites as well as from these 3rd party companies:
The above sources are not an extensive list of everywhere you can go.  The number of places to get coupons is far too numerous for me to put them all here.  They are merely a starting point to help you know where to find coupons. 

Be sure to check out all of the posts in this series:


Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 1:  Don't Be a Brand S:nob
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 2:  Know Your Coupon Policies
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 3:  What if I Have a Problem?
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 4:  Store Cards 
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 5:  Where Do I Find Coupons?
Using Coupons and Saving Money on Groceries Part 6:  Price Matching

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