That is why it is important to collect your coupons from numerous sources and to build up a coupon stockpile. Today, we will discuss ways to build that stockpile and in the next session we will discuss keeping those coupons organized, another crucial step to being an effective and successful couponer.
Where to Gather Those Coupons
Knowing the Coupon Schedule
When your mom and grandmother couponed they found and clipped their coupons from their local newspapers and that was just about it. Today, coupons can be found across a wide array of mediums. Knowing when the coupons will be released and where to find them are the keys to being able to wrap your arms around them and to collect them.
Each Sunday, the local newspapers put out their weekly consumer paper filled with advertisements and in many cases coupons, too. However, not every week are coupon inserts provided. And in the weeks where coupons are provided there could be just one coupon insert to upwards of five inserts! So to plan when and how many inserts will be provided you should be familiar with the release schedule. Each year, typically around September, newspaper publishers are provided a coupon insert schedule from the major coupon insert companies (SmartSource, RedPlum, Proctor and Gamble and General Mills). This allows the newspaper publishers the time and ability to properly sell their advertising space that could work in relation to specific coupon insert release dates. Towards the beginning of each year, these coupon schedules become available to many in the coupon world. You can find the complete 2012 Coupon Schedule right here at the CouponCentsation for your convenience. It is located at the top of the page in the menu bar.
Once you know when, which ones and how many coupon inserts are being released you can plan on whether you need to purchase multiple newspapers or just stick with one. For example, P&G and GM both only come out once a month and the coupons within them are only valid for that month. It is highly recommended to have multiple copies of these inserts. partially because of their one and done release schedule but also because several of their products can be scored in great deals that go towards you coupon stockpile. But again, this can really only be done with multiple inserts.
Coupon Insert Services
Insert Insanity but there are others around and you can find them with a simple internet search.
How Many Inserts Should I Seek?
Ask this question to multiple couponers and each will likely give you a slightly different answer but the one that I use and recommend is (2) per person in your household. For example, a family of four should seek to obtain (8) inserts in total. But I also recommend that a minimum you should have is (4). That allows you the ability to take advantage of double the BOGO deals and that will help you to build your stockpile.
Printables on the Web
We have already discussed that you can gather coupons from the newspaper and through insert services but this is still just the tip of the iceberg. Today, you can find your coupons on the web, as well, and by being a follower of this site you are already aware of these. We do are very best, here, to provide you will all of the major sources coupon releases on the web that are printable. These include Coupons.com, RedPlum and the Coupon Network. We also try to provide you the latest from SmartSource and those found through product websites and their Facebook pages. But since the environment is so large we can't guarantee we find and mention all of the current printable coupons. That is why we recommend you frequent your favorite products' websites and Facebook pages as these are mediums that are growing for coupons.
Additionally, e-coupons continue to grow . For those not familiar with e-coupons, these are electronic coupons that are posted directly to a store's shopper loyalty or rewards card. For example, CVS's Extra Care Card and Kroger's Plus card. Several stores now allow you to load your cards with these coupons directly from their website. Additionally, you can find them on Cellfire.com and SavingStar . There are pluses and negatives to using e-coupons. To learn more about e-coupons, whose cards can they be loaded up on and when to use them please refer to a previous post, "Loading Your Shopper's Loyalty Cards with Coupons: Shoud You Do It",from just a few months ago.
All You. It can sometimes be difficult to find but WalMart usually has it or you can order it online. It comes out once a month and is filled with tens of dollars worth of coupons each month. It is the only magazine I will specifically list as a source to locate a coupon in the ad matchup because it is so good to have for a couponer.
Store Coupons, Savings Cards and Catalina's
Another great source is inside your grocery store. Many grocery stores release their own coupon fliers. Many of these coupons are store specific meaning you can use them in addition to manufacturers in many cases. You may also receive coupons are rewards for shopping a certain store and for using your loyalty or rewards card. For example, Kroger. When you use your Plus Card you rack up points and several times through the year Kroger mails out store coupons to their Plus Card members based on points earned and products purchased. You may also score coupons are the register with your receipt, a Catalina. Yet another source to add coupons to your stash from.
Family, Friends, Neighbors, Co-Workers
Lastly, ask those you know that may not coupon at all for their coupons. This may include your family, friends, neighbors or co-workers. Or even if your family and friends use coupons hold a coupon swap once a month and trade coupons that neither of you will use to get the ones you will.
If you search for coupons in these sources and begin clipping and printing you will soon see your stockpile of coupons grow. And as your coupon stockpile grows your product stockpile will soon follow. Just remember, it won't happen overnight and will take some time but keep positive and the $$$ will be add up in your wallet.