Thursday, September 4, 2008

Saving Money With Coupons

This is a new series I'm going to try out. I will be explaining to you how I use coupons to stretch the dollar around the Saving Sherry household. I'm going to start the series with the process of acquiring coupons.

How to Acquire a Stash of Coupons

1. GET THE SUNDAY NEWSPAPER!!! That is the easiest, most reliable way to get coupons. You don't need to pay for the weekly newspaper, most papers will let you get the Sunday only subscription or if not that they will have a weekend only subscription. It's a good investment for your money. This way even if you forget to go out and buy a paper or you are out of town, you still have the coupons at home waiting on you.

2. Ask friends, family members or neighbors for their leftover coupons. Many people don't want to take the time to use coupons (for shame!) or only use a few coupons and throw the rest away. Don't be shy, don't be nervous, just ask them for their extras. If you want, you can work out a trade like: "I'll bring your trash cans back from the curb if you will save me your extra coupons". Who would say no to that?

3. Buy extra newspapers. This is the option I use a lot. In our area of Cincinnati, there are stores every week that sell the Sunday paper for $.99. Usually I make back that money by using just 1 coupon from each paper. If I use more than 1 coupon (which I almost always do), I've made money by buying the paper, so it justifies the original purchase.

4. Online clipping services and e-bay. You can use online clipping services like The Coupon Clippers or Early Bird Coupons to order multiples of coupons you know you want extras of. Coupons and Things by Dede sells the coupon inserts as a whole, it you think it is a really good week and don't want to get extra papers. E-bay is a great source of coupon gathering. Just search for the coupon you want and you will usually find several sellers offering it. My tip there is to use the Buy It Now feature. That way you don't have to wait for the bidding to be over before the seller ships the coupons to you. If you have to wait, you may miss the sale that you wanted the coupons for in the first place. Please keep in mind that you are not paying these services for the actual coupons, but you are paying for the time it took them to cut the coupons.

5. Keep your eyes open when you are shopping. I have found some of the best coupons I've ever used for free on tearpads or in the blinking machines at the store. Sometimes I'm buying a product with a coupon I already have only to see that it has a peelie coupon stuck to the front of the product that is better than the coupon I originally wanted to use. Do you have young kids? They love having jobs to do like finding the blinking machines at the store. I've even heard of moms paying their kids a penny or 2 for every coupon they find at the store. Something to think about. . .

6. Online coupons are wonderful. I have a side bar that is filled with coupons you can print out or you can go to to access the same ones. Do you want to buy a specific product but don't have a coupon for it? Check the product's website. A lot of manufactures put links to coupons on their sites for you. You can also try e-mailing the company asking them for a coupon. Tell them how much you want to try their product but are worried about the price and ask them if they have any coupons available for said product. Either they will say no or they will thank you for your interest and send you some coupons! It really works! I promise. It doesn't work all the time, but it's worth the minute of your time to find out!

These are some of the tactics I have used to get my enormous stash of my coupons. Do you have any ideas I missed? What works best for you? Let us know! Next, I'll be talking about what to do
with all of the coupons you have acquired!

Happy Savings!