Sunday, January 24, 2010

The importance of acquiring coupons

If you want to save money, it is important to collect and use coupons. Now, you can save with buy 1, get 1 and percentage off sales, heck, I do that myself. However, if you want to consistently save over 50% off your grocery and drugstore transactions, you must use coupons. There are two basic forms of coupons available: newspaper and ad inserts and printable online coupons.

I do not subscribe to my local paper. My grandfather generously lets me have his Wednesday and Sunday ads and inserts each week. This is actually a great way to start collecting coupons; asking relatives, friends, and co-workers for their papers. If you can't get enough inserts this way, you can also purchase additional papers. I'm not willing to buy extra papers, but my Walgreens discounts the Sunday paper to .75 when you purchase any other item. Some Dollar Generals will also mark down the Sunday paper to $1. You can also call your newspaper and see about discounts for multiple or Sunday-only subscriptions. If possible, buy the biggest (most populous city) paper available to your area.

Now, my paper, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, is horrible for serious couponing. So, I have to acquire the bulk of my coupons through online transactions. I regularly buy off of eBay and from coupon clipping services. eBay is nice, because it never takes a holiday and prices are generally low. Coupon clipping services are good if you need a specific coupon (usually you have to buy at least 5 and there may be a limit) and they generally offer whole inserts before any auctions will appear on eBay. Try to cultivate a variety of resources just in case something happens to one source. That way you'll never have to worry about missing a great coupon/insert.

Do you have a printer? If not, you will want to get one, because online coupons are awesome! Some coupons can only be obtained online. Target has good store and manufacturer coupons that can only be found on their website. My Publix accepts Target as a competitor, so I am able to use 2 coupons and save more money than I would with just 1 coupon. Even the newspaper insert companies have online coupons available! I highly recommend visiting, SmartSource, and Redplum. Also, look for your favorite manufacturers' websites for coupons. Sign up for mailing lists when you see them; email and mailed coupons are possible. If you have problems printing, consider trying multiple browsers or installing Flash. I use 3 browsers myself. Also, most online coupons can be printed twice per computer, just use your Back button.

Stay on the lookout for coupons; they will help you take your savings to the next level!

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