Thursday, April 14, 2011

Beginner's Guide: Getting Coupons

To start couponing, first, well, you need coupons. There are several places to get coupons, but the newspaper is one of you best sources. And from what I've heard there are more & better coupons in the Minneapolis Star Tribune than in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But both have many of the same ones. Keep reading to find out how to get the best deals on newspapers and where to find other coupons...

Star Tribune
If you live in Dakota or Washington county, you can get a year's subscription for $1. Yep, that's right, $1. You will end up paying $26 up front on your credit/debit card, but then they will send you a $25 gift card to your choice of Rainbow, Cub, Walgreen's, or Menard's.

If you live in Ramsey county, you can get a year's subscription for $16. You will also pay $26 up front, but then you will be sent a $10 gift card to one of the same four stores.

For any other counties or to RENEW**, you can get 26 weeks for $22.50, paying $32.50 up front and getting a $10 gift card, or you can get a year's subscriptions for $55, paying $65 up front and getting a $10 gift card.

**If you are RENEWING, check your renewal invoice, as it might be cheaper. I just got mine in the mail, and it's $26 for a year's subscription (or $52 for two years). You cannot get a cheaper deal around if you are in Dakota or Washington Counties!

I'm not sure how long this deal will last, as I have been offered it for a few months now, so I would try to call soon. Call Todd at 701-371-5540 and let him know you got the deal from Sarah.

Other Papers
If you are interested in getting another paper, you can check Discounted Newspapers for other deals. But keep in mind that you will NOT get the gift cards like you will with the deal above.

Newspaper Coupons
In the Sunday paper (and sometimes the early edition of the Sunday paper), there are several inserts that could be stuffed inside.
-Smart Source
-Red Plum
-P & G
There are also often coupons found in the Parade. And occasionally there are other inserts with coupons. (Just this Sunday there was one with coupons for different Playschool/Hasboro games.)

Friends & Neighbors
I've heard stories of people dumpster-diving to get coupons. Why not just ask your friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers who don't use coupons to set them aside for you? Or maybe they do coupon, but don't have any kids in diapers, or who use formula, or have pets... Why not trade coupons with them? (We don't drink coffee, so I give my mom all the coffee & creamer coupons. She doesn't buy diapers, so she gives me all those coupons.) At my work, they are starting a coupon box, where people can put any coupons that they won't use in, and then can go through the coupons that others have put in and pick out ones that maybe they would use.

Printable Coupons
There are several legitimate sites for printing coupons from the internet. Most sites require you to install their "coupon printer" in order to print them. This program on your computer allows you to print only two copies of the coupon (each with a different number on them, so they know they're not photocopied...  which is illegal, by the way). If you don't install their program, you can't print. It's your choice. Make sure to read about how you can save money when you're printing your coupons.

Sites with Printables (the place I print the most from)
Smart Source
Red Plum
Box Tops 4 Education
Mambo Sprouts (organic)
Manufacturer's/ Product websites (i.e. Kraft, SoBe, Dreamfields, etc.)
Company's on Facebook often offer coupons for those who have "liked" their page.
Recycle Bank (read my posts on how to get points for Recycle Bank to get some high value coupons)

If you become a member of MyPoints or Swagbucks you can also print coupons through their sites and earn points for using them. You can read my posts on Legit Ways to Make Extra $$ about these websites and others.

Your Mailbox
Many companies will send you a free sample of their product, along with a high value coupon to tempt you to buy their product. How do you get free samples in the mail? I like to use Freebies 4 Mom, but I have also used FreeFlys a few times as well. Freebies 4 Mom posts freebies that you can sign up for on-line that show up in your mailbox (you can explore her website for other ways to get freebies as well.)

Now that you have all these coupons, what do you do with them? Read my next posts to find out how to organize them and start using them to save some $$.

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