If you’ve watched any of the extreme couponing shows currently on television, and then looked online or in your local flyers for coupons, you may be wondering exactly how these people pull off such great hauls. It can be confusing, after watching these shows, to find that you can’t find the same great deals. Take heart: unless you devote yourself to couponing full-time, you’re never going to walk out of the store with five carts for $0.50.
For the mere mortals among us, it’s still possible to get great coupons if you know where to look. Here are five places to find the best coupons available:
1. Product Packaging
If there are products that you buy frequently, don’t forget to check out the inside of the bag, box or label for savings coupons. Pet foods are notorious for hiding coupons inside of the bag and canned foods often have coupons printed on the inside of the labels. Before you throw anything in the garbage, or in the recycling bin, be sure to check the inside to make sure you aren’t throwing away a coupon.
2. Manufacturer’s Sites
Again, if there are products you use frequently or those that you would like to try, look on the manufacturer’s website to see if there are any coupons for offer. Don’t forget to look at Facebook; many of your favorite products have a fan page and information on how to get printable coupons. If there’s a product you really like, don’t be afraid to send an email singing the praises of the product; you might just be thanked with a coupon or two.
Most grocery stores have their own website full of printable coupons. Before any shopping trip, look on your store’s website and see if there are any printable coupons. Even if you don’t find anything, flipping through your store’s website can alert you to double coupons, loyalty card perks and items on sale.
If you’ve got a mobile device, you have access to discounts at your fingertips. Apps like Pushpins, available on iOS, and GroceryIQ can alert you to discounts and allow you to load your loyalty card with various discounts. Once you’ve completed your shopping and go through the checkout, your discounts will automatically be taken when your loyalty card is scanned. Yet another reason to sign up for your store’s loyalty card!
In addition to these money saving apps, look to see if your store has its own app for your mobile device. Many stores are jumping on the app bandwagon, offering their customers great deals through their apps.
The Sunday paper is still a great source of coupons for the average saver. You can also look in your mail: Valpak and weekly flyers can offer great discounts. The chances of finding a fantastic deal in one of these print ads is fairly slim, but saving a quarter on several items will add up, especially if you take advantage of double coupon days at your local grocery store.
Once you get a feel for how smart couponing works, get your friends and family involved! Clip coupons for items that you don’t use and store them in a coupon file. Get together once a week, or even once a month, and trade coupons with your friends and family. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your stash of coupons grows simply by trading with the people you know.
Don’t be disheartened if your couponing doesn’t save you hundreds of dollars. Once you get used to couponing, your skills will grow and so will your savings!
Jessica Hansen is a freelance writer and often blogs for sidepon.com, a great site for finding the best deals and discounts. She suggests using their amazing system for finding the coupon codes – they have everything from ny and company coupons to jos a bank promo codes!