Filling your organizer
One of the top questions of all newbie couponers is, "Where do you get all of your coupons?!"
I can honestly say this was my first question as well. You see people with binders bursting at the seams with pages upon pages of coupons, you have to wonder where in the world they get all of those little bits of coupon gold!
Sunday PaperJust picking up a copy of your Sunday paper will give you the bulk of coupons in circulation. Aproximately 82% of all coupons in circulation come from the Sunday paper. Going to sites such as sundaycouponpreview.com will allow you to know ahead of time what coupons are to be expected in each paper. While my personal recommendation for those starting out is to get 1 paper per person in your household, if there simply aren't going to be coupons you are interested in you can save yourself the extra expense. On the other side of this, if you find that there are several coupons you would be extremely interested in, you will know ahead of time to pick up a few extra copies. Additionally, most newspapers will allow you to come in and purchase just the inserts and not the paper. Of course, most newspapers will charge you the same regardless, but it's less waste going to the recycling bin.
Printable CouponsSeveral companies have coupons located online, which you can simply press a button and voila! Your coupons are waiting at your printer. You must be careful when printing coupons because there are several counterfeit or fraudulent coupons you could be printing. If you are ever concerned you might have a fraudulent coupon, check out the Coupon Information Center for their list of fraudulent coupons. Always remember to print from a trusted source. Here at OCH we have a list of trusted sources to print from located HERE.
Blinkies, Tearpads, PeeliesYou're probably looking at this heading thinking, "What in the world is she talking about?!" Well here's a little lesson in coupon lingo. Blinkies are coupons located in the grocery aisles in the machines with little red blinking lights on them. Tearpads are coupons again located in the grocery aisles, usually next to or near the product it mentions on a pad of coupons you tear off. Peelies are coupons located on the product themselves that you peel off to use.
Make sure to have courtesy when taking any of these coupons. Don't take more than you'll use, and if you're planning on taking a peelie on a product you don't intend to buy at that time, DON'T DO IT. Peelies are intended for people to use at the register when buying that product OR for future use IF you still intend on purchasing the product it is affixed to.
Contacting a CompanyContacting a company to express your loyalty, enjoyment, or disdain with a product may at times prompt the company to send you an envelope of coupons as a thank you or to salvage customer loyalty. Often, companies will send out high dollar coupons to people who write to them. However, do not expect coupons when writing to companies. You may simply receive a thank you letter, or sometimes nothing at all. People often ask how many times can someone write to a company. Well, you can write to them however often you wish, but my success has been with sticking to a three month rule. I would not recommend any sooner than three months.
Facebook and TwitterSocial networking sites have been a remarkable way for companies to get the word out on new products. Along with new products come new coupons for said products. By simply following or liking a company you are kept up to date on releases of new coupons made available only to those that follow or like the page.
Stay tuned for the next edition of How to Get Your Coupon On: How to Decipher an Ad Matchup