Thursday, May 19, 2011

Extreme Couponing LITE: First in a Series

My goal in this series is to help you learn use coupons to maximize your savings on groceries, household products, personal care items, and clothing.  Not one idea will involve surfing through a dumpster in search of discarded coupon inserts.




Where do I find coupons?  
First, and probably easiest, is to grab the coupon inserts from the Sunday paper. You will easily make back the cost of the paper by using just 2 or 3 of the coupons inside. Will you use all or even most of these coupons? Maybe not. But you don’t know what may be on sale next week or the week after, or what will be nearly free.  I personally save about 3 months of inserts at a time in my coupon binder (more info about that later). 
For example, even though it’s the middle of May, I just used a coupon from the 3/20 SS insert this week. What does SS mean? It’s just the type of insert. In an average Sunday paper, there will be a SmartSource (SS) insert and a RedPlum (RP) insert. The Proctor & Gamble (P&G) insert comes out once per month, on the first weekend, and those coupons expire the last day of the month. 

 I keep my inserts organized chronologically by type of insert. All my RedPlum inserts are together with the newest one on top and the oldest ones on the bottom. Just make sure every week or so you check the expiration date on the oldest ones to make sure those coupons are still valid. 

Next, the internet is an amazing resource for coupons, both on coupon websites like coupons.com, and through social media like Facebook.  Often, “liking” a company on Facebook will net you a coupon for that product.  The insert companies also have different coupons available online -- try smartsource.com and redplum.com.  Also, it’s worth checking your store’s website; often retailers like Target will post special deals, coupons, and savings on Target.com.

What about you? What are your favorite coupon tips? Are there any topics you’d like to see me cover, or questions you have?



Next time I will talk about how to use coupons from different sources to maximize your savings.

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