Truly free coupons (the best ones!)
- In-store coupons, like blinkies (the little widgets hanging off the shelves that spit out coupons), peelies (attached to packages), tear pads (again hanging on the shelves), and the occasional pamphlet that you see on display in the store. ALWAYS check these out, and if you are likely to use, take a couple! Be a considerate coupon user, and don't take all of them, please!
- Mailers that come to your home. I can't think of the names of any of these, but chances are you get some! This is a good place to look for unique coupons, like restaurants, hair cuts, more service related than product related. Don't just chuck them!
- The newspaper. These are only free if you would be getting the paper anyway, and frankly in our area, it's debatable whether they are worth it. Don't get me wrong, there are good coupons to be had in the Smart Source and Red Plum inserts, and I really like the Proctor and Gamble ones, but we don't get the same inserts that bigger markets get, and I'm jealous!
- In magazines that you already subscribe to. I have at least 6 coupons for $1 off Smart Taste pasta, most are from parenting related magazine. I make sure to clip and save these before I pass the mags on.
- Coupons that come directly from the company. On the occasion that I have been dissatisfied with a product, I have always gotten some sort of coupon from customer service. I have also received coupons when complimenting a product, which I try to do in equal measure!
- Look for truly free coupons wherever you go, they pop up in all sorts of places when you are mindful of them. On the rare occasion that my husband goes to the grocery store with me, he is awesome at spotting them. Get your kids in on it too!
Coupons that you pay for in some way.
- Internet printables (IP) are great. But keep in mind that you are paying for paper, ink, and ultimately your print and computer (and internet service, and electricity, and your nice computer desk, okay I'll stop there) when you hit print. Honestly, I've never taken the time to figure out how much it costs me to print an IP, but I have mentally assigned a price of 10 cents per sheet (which is probably high, but that's okay with me). So try not to go crazy with these, but do print the ones for products that you use, or high values that will make items free. Most IPs expire 30 days after you print them, that can vary a bit. Typically you can print 2 copies of any of these coupons. The first time you use any of these sites, you will have to install their coupon printing devices.
- coupons.com, usually the best selection
- smartsource.com, another good selection
- redplum.com, can be hard to print sometimes
- target.com, look for the coupon link towards the bottom of the page if you are on the homepage
- safeway.com, can be printed or loaded to your Safeway card, though there are currently a lot of issues with them not being credited if you do load them. This is powered by coupons.com, so there is some overlap in what coupons they list, but they also have Safeway specific coupons, so I always keep an eye on it.
- ourfamilycoupons.com for FTC store brand items
- There are so many others, seriously you could spend hours looking through all of the IPs that are out there. Lots of brands will also allow you to access a coupon from their homepage, you may have to register to do that. If you have a favorite brand, check out their website!
- Coupon clipping services. I'm no expert on these, because I almost never order from them. But if there are a few coupons or inserts that you want multiple copies of, there are lots of services that will package them up and send them to you. Coupons by DeDe is the only one I have ever used, and I found them to be very prompt, though there may be a cheaper service out there. You can also find coupons on e-bay, typically those are in lots of 20, but that would probably be the way to go if there is only one coupon you are looking for.
I'm sure I've missed some things, but that should give you plenty to get started! Questions?