I used to buy one or more copies of the Sunday newspaper in order to build my coupon stash. It took me a few weeks to realize that about 90% of the coupons I spent the time to clip and organize were going unused because, simply put, most of the coupons in the Sunday paper are not for the products my family uses (especially the food coupons!)
Tired of wasting money and time on coupons that expired and went into the garbage, I started looking for ways to build my coupon stash that didn’t involve buying newspapers, and most importantly, were coupons I NEEDED for the products I WANTED to buy.
My list of ways to BUILD AN AWESOME COUPON STASH – WITHOUT A NEWSPAPER continues to grow…I want to share it with all of you coupon lovers out there in case it helps you to find the coupons you need and want for your stash.
1. Printable Coupons! There are many websites (such as smartsource.com, coupons.com, redplum.com) that allow you to click and choose the coupons you want to print. Note that you can usually only print each coupon twice from the same computer, unless the coupon “resets” and becomes available to you again. If you shop at Target, print from a huge selection of coupons at Target.com.
2. Weekly Ads from your local stores (including grocery stores, drugstores, and the big box stores). I always grab one of these from the Customer Service area or entry area of my store when I go in so that I can see the items on sale at my store that week. Many grocery store weekly ads include store coupons that I clip and use for even more savings when combined with a manufacturer’s coupon.
3. Load your CARDS! Sign up at sites like Cellfire.com and be sure to load your store cards with the available coupons before you head out to shop. Check to see if your grocery store chain offers coupons on their own site for you to load to your card. (ex. Kroger, Safeway)
4. Peelies! Keep your eyes PEELED for PEELIES as you stroll down store aisles. You may just find a great peelie coupon for a product you regularly purchase. Even if you don’t plan to immediately purchase that item, many times the peelie stickers are a coupon that you can add to your stash and use later.
5. Write to your favorite companies. Compliment them, ask them for coupons, and see what happens! I know from personal experience that this works. I have sent nice e-mails to manufacturers and gotten coupons for my favorite products mailed to me in exchange.
6. VISIT and SIGN UP! Visit your favorite companies online, take a moment and sign up for newsletters. Many times the newsletters will include useful coupons. This has been a great way for me to get coupons for ORGANIC products, which can be hard to come by. Procter & Gamble is another one of my favorite sign-up sites – they send coupons AND free samples!
7. Magazines. Subscribe to ALL YOU magazine, it will pay for itself in coupons! And be sure to glance at the ads in the magazines you read, many magazines include at least one or two coupons – maybe more, depending on the magazine.
8. Coupons found on or inside the products you buy. Make sure that you aren’t tossing coupons into the trash when you buy a product and some paper falls out! Cereal and granola bar boxes are another place I look on the outside of the boxes for a coupon printed on them.
9. Mobile Coupons. I know these exist for cell phone users with testing capabilities – but I have never used them myself since text messaging rates usually apply to receive mobile coupons. If you have unlimited texting or low texting rates, this could be a good coupon option for you!
10. Seasonal coupon books (in stores). These seem to come out around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. They may be found in places like Customer Service, or simply posted somewhere along the aisles. Booklets I found last Thanksgiving had more than $40 worth of manufacturer coupons.
11. Use a Clipping Service. Okay, so this is technically using newspaper coupons – but you aren’t having to buy a newspaper. A clipping service is a GREAT way to build a coupon stash filled with coupons you WANT, since you get to not only select coupons you want to order, but you can order them in the quantity you want. There are many coupon clipping services out there on the Internet. In my experience, most coupons cost pennies apiece, then you pay the shipping fees depending on how much you ordered.
12. Watch your mailbox. I get “junk” mail in the form of flyers, booklets, Valu-Pack envelopes, etc. Resist the urge to trash things without a quick flip through to make sure you don’t see coupons. Many times, local businesses and restaurants send out great coupons in these types of mailers.
13. E-Bay.Search for coupons you want and buy them on E-Bay!
So there you have it! I know there are ingenious couponers out there that can probably add more ideas on how to build a coupon stash without newspapers, please leave a comment. And if you want to recommend any coupon sites or services that you like to use, feel free to do that too.