Guest post from Lanise of Earth Angel Writings
When I decided to start couponing (about three years ago) I would see all the savings many women were posting online and all the stockpile they had… and I wanted in!
Yet, when I did the math, being an extreme couponer wasn’t worth the time and effort for my small family. Newspapers cost $1.50 each, and I knew that I definitely needed more than one! My budget was just too tight for me to justify spending money on a newspaper subscription or buying tons of newspapers at the store.
I still wanted to save money on my weekly groceries and other household products, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of valuable time clipping and sorting tons of coupons. In my quest for savings, I discovered some simple places to find and use grocery coupons (and more). These savings tips are perfect for the beginning couponer (or the “I don’t have time for that” shopper).
1. Open your mail.
Instead of tossing mailers in my recycle bin (as usual), I started to see what coupons I could find. I discovered coupons for local businesses, stores, and restaurants in my community.
2. Check free community papers.
Does your community distribute a free weekend edition of your local newspaper? For years, mine was just thrown in my driveway every Saturday morning. I would leave it outside on my lawn until one of my neighbors snagged an extra copy.
One day I picked it up. Yep, coupons! The same manufacture’s coupons found in that week’s Sunday newspaper.
3. Download store mobile apps.
Are you taking advantage of your grocery store’s digital coupons and savings programs? Most of your local grocery stores and pharmacy stores have their own mobile apps and text subscriptions that allow you to download digital coupons right to your store’s savings card or account.
4. Check company websites.
I buy a lot organic/natural foods, and coupons are not readily available in the Sunday’s newspaper. I started to check company websites of my favorite products. Many coupons were located right on the company’s site ready to print. I signed-up for their email mailing, too, and found they sent more coupons right to my inbox!
I have even solicited companies via email requesting coupons. In doing this, I have received coupons for free products and free samples in the mail. This only takes a quick minute using the company’s contact form!
5. Visit coupon centers.
My local library has a coupon center where patrons can take desired (clipped & unclipped) manufactured coupons. You can leave unwanted coupons for other patrons as well. I find a lot of hot brand coupons here; especially when I want extra coupons for that week’s hot sales item.
6. Look at your local grocery store.
This is a “no-brainer”; yet, you really need a keen eye. On your next grocery shopping trip, keep an eye out for extra coupons. Check store displays, look in the grocery aisles, and right on the product. And don’t forget to grab those Catalina coupons that print out at the register.
7. Follow good savings blogs.
This is my new favorite thing to do. I love checking my daily saving/deal blogs for the best coupons, free samples, and online deals. These blogs post featured deals on groceries, clothing, and other household products. Plus…they have a searchable printable coupon database (I only print the coupons I will use).
I find that by checking these places to find coupons, I have a more manageable amount of coupons to save on my weekly food budget and I’m able to keep a nice stock-up of the products and brands that my family likes.
Couponing has become a fun “no-stress” routine! And I rarely have to purchase a newspaper!
Where do you find the best coupons?
Lanise James is an elementary teacher, freelance writer, and self-love advocate. She happily writes a variety of faith-based, inspirational and lifestyle writings on her blog, Earth Angel Writings.
Another good tip–my local Dollar Tree stores sell the same newspaper that is $2.50 at grocery store next door, for $1.00, with a limit of 3 per person, as a cheaper way of getting coupons if you do want to go that route. Also, my local newspaper recently gave me a subscription to the weekend paper for free for a year, and now I was offered another year for $5, so you may want to call yours and find out if they are offering any deals that make it worthwhile.
I use rebate sites. SavingsStar, MobiSave, iBotta, and Checkout 51. I also use the store programs to check for coupons, BOGO, etc. I also use paper coupons that done in the mail. For instance, I just got a $5 off $50 from Publix. I’ll pair that with their BOGOs to make it stretch further. Yes, this is time consuming but it is a game to me. Lol.
I’m Glad you all enjoyed reading this post! Thanks for sharing your money saving tips as well. The more money we save – the more we have to live the life we want and give to others!
You can also go to your local transfer station, aka the dump and simply take the unwanted inserts out of the papers. Ours is a walk in shipping container so it’s pretty easy to do.
I just wanted to clarify you take them out of the recycling bin for papers at the dump. I get plenty of coupons for free this way and if I don’t end up using them, back to the recycling they go.
Kristina Holcomb says
I have at least four people that bring me their coupon inserts every Sunday at church… My sisters, mom and grandparents also send me theirs every week… I can’t remember the last time I had to buy a paper for coupons! I’m very thankful 🙂
Our local library has a coupon swap bin. People can drop off/take what they need. I get a lot of coupons this way!
I second this! Our town’s library has a coupon swap bin, and whenever I remember I both bring my extras by *and* purge the expired ones from the box. A great resource!
Yes, I love going to my local coupon swap bin too! Happy Savings!
Also. Let others know you want coupons. A friend brings me her coupon booklets on Monday’s. Some people like reading the Sunday paper but don’t clip coupons.
Crystal Paine says
Yes! Thanks so much for mentioning that!
Yep! Teamwork 🙂
I used to spend $2.50/week on a Sunday paper. Now I do what you do, and I apply that $2.50 towards my groceries. I use two other resources. One is the recycling center. Sometimes I’m able to pull inserts from the newspaper recycling bin, but that is hit or miss. The other is a store’s digital coupons. Yesterday, I saved $4 off an less than $12 purchase by using the digital coupons at Dollar General. I also use several each week from my grocery stores.
Yes, I love those digital coupons – a great way to save money!
I went into my local gas station and asked the owner what they did with extra Sunday papers. They would just throw them out, so now he holds them for me. Some weeks he sells out, but more often than not I get at least 2 papers for free. 🙂
Wow, that’s great!