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coupon knowledge base - we love couponing (1)

Where to get your Coupons

The best couponers have the most coupons! There are many places to obtain coupons too!

Newspaper: The Sunday paper will contain Smart Source, Proctor & Gamble, & Redplum insert coupons each week.

A good number is 2 papers per person in your house. I always suggest to buy in even numbers, that way if an item goes on sale for buy one get one free you have a coupon for each item. Sales do not automatically match up with the coupons you get that week. Some times they will. When you are first starting out, it may take a few weeks before you start seeing a good deal with your coupons.

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Printables: Printable coupons are awesome because you can print them as you are searching for deals, or print just the products you need. Just like newspaper coupons, sometimes a good deal will not be going on when the printable is available. I like to print any coupon that is a product my family will use and wait to use it for a good sale.  You can print from your computer & now even your phone or tablet. Generally, it is 2 prints per device. There are multiple different sites to print from. Here are a list:

Mobile Coupon Apps: With everyone having Smartphones these days, it would only make sense for coupons to make it there too! I love Mobile Coupon Apps! What’s really awesome is if one app has a rebate, and another has a rebate for the same product, you can redeem both. We like to call that double dipping! Here are a few of our favorite!

Mobile Coupon Rewards: These are similar to the coupon apps above, but you earn rewards by performing tasks or purchasing their product and redeeming a unique code for points!

How to locate your Coupons

The Coupon Database should be your best friend!! A coupon database is a searchable list that contains all the available coupons for a product.  When you input what you are searching for in the search bar, the coupon database will give you a list all the available coupons for a specific  product (Oreos), for a manufacturer (Nabisco) or for a particular product type (cookies). Click here to go to the the We Love Couponing Database.

♄ If you type Oreos in the search bar one available coupon comes up.  You can see when the coupon expires  (3/21/16), the value of the coupon ($.75 off 2), and probably most important, where to find it (SS Smartsource 2/1/15). So now you can go to your insert from 2/1 and clip it out and use it on the sale at Publix. If you just started couponing and don’t have the coupon listed, don’t worry in a few weeks of collecting coupon inserts, you’ll have all the coupons listed.  You’ll also see coupon limitations. These are important because they let you know exactly what size or type the coupon is restricted to. In this example it says 10.5oz +. This means the coupon is good on any package 10.5 oz and larger.

To find a manufacturer, just put the manufacturer’s name in the database. When I typed in Nabisco, three different Nabisco products came up.   Each item shows all the info for each coupon.  You see the 2nd entry is a Publix store coupon. Store coupons are also included in the database.

♄ To shop by category you just type the category name. If I just want to buy cookies and want to use a coupon, then I would type cookies in the search bar.  A big list comes up this time. You see in the location section instead of the coupon insert some have red links. These are printable coupons. When you click it will take you to the location to print from.

Know your Coupons

Advantage Flyers: Advantage Flyers are slick sales flyers that a store will put out to advertise certain products that are on sale and coupons that they want to get out to the consumer. Publix will have two different Advantage Flyers per month, a Health & Beauty (Purple) and a Grocery Advantage (Green). You will usually find these at the front of the store near the regular sales ads.

Blinkies: Pull these coupons from the “blinking” machines at grocery stores. Blinking boxes are found hanging off the shelf in front of various products.

Catalinas: Coupons that print after your purchase at the register.

Coupon Booklet: These are booklets usually found in a particular store that will have either manufacturers coupons or store coupons or even a combination of both. We will usually reference which store the booklet was found.   Coupon booklets can be found in different areas of the store and are usually found on a cardboard display.   At times customer service will keep the booklets behind the counter so always ask.

Peelies: Coupons found attached to a product. You have to peel them off the product.  If you look closely there is usually an arrow on one corner where you can pull the coupon off the sticky material attached to the product.

Tear pads: Pads of coupons typically found in front of specific products like cookies, crackers and snacks.  These are usually high value coupons so when you see them, grab them!

Hang Tags or Wine Tags: This is a coupon that is hanging over the neck of the product.  You will find both manufacturers coupons and store coupons.

Know your Stores’ Coupon Policies

Store Loyalty Cards If your store offers a store loyalty card, you will need one. Some stores only offer sale prices to card-holders. So find out if your store has one and get it FAST!

Double/Triple Coupons Doubling or tripling coupons is when the store will take your 50Âą coupon and double it to make it worth $1. This is done automatically at the register; you do not have to do anything to take part in this promotion. Florida stores do NOT double coupons with the exception of Kmart, who offers double coupons events.

Stacking Coupons Some stores will allow you to use one store coupon (the discount is provided by the store) and one manufacturer coupon (the discount is provided by the manufacturer) per item. Some of these stores include, but are not limited to, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Target, & Dollar General.

Printable Coupons Make sure your store accepts printable coupons before attempting to use them.

Competitor Coupons Many stores accept competitor coupons. Find out who your store’s competitors are by calling or visiting the store.

Expired Coupons Some stores may accept expired coupons, but if you are unsure of the store’s policy, you must ask BEFORE attempting to use your expired coupons. One good example of a store accepting expired coupons is Publix. Publix Grocery Stores accept expired coupons, but only with a raincheck, and only as long as you have a raincheck that was issued PRIOR to the expiration date of your coupon/s.

Know these Little Tricks

10/$10 Promotions You do not have to buy 10 items to get the $1 price! The only exception to this rule is if the ad states that you must! That is hardly ever the case though.

Rock-bottom Prices Don’t go out and use your coupon immediately! If you use that 25± off toilet paper right away, when it’s not on sale, you aren’t reaching your saving potential! Wait until that toilet paper goes on sale THEN use the coupon to match the sale.  Always try to match sales & coupons for the BEST price! Very often, there are store coupons, promotions, or rebates that you can stack with your sales & coupons, making for AMAZING deals!

“One per Purchase” We’ve heard this so many times! Most coupons say “one coupon per purchase” somewhere in the fine print. Cashiers will try to tell you that this means that you can only use one coupon per transaction/day. That is NOT true! One per purchase means that you can only use one coupon per item purchased! So if you are buying 10 items and have 10 coupons then you can use them all! Unless, of course, your store has a limit on how many “like” coupons you can use per transaction/day. Publix, for instance, is 8 “like” coupons per day. Winn-Dixie,  5 “like” coupons.

Make a Price Book Start paying attention to prices and keep a list of items you regularly buy with the best and regular prices for those items. This will help you when you see that canned veggies are on “sale” for 10/$10 but the regular price is actually 99±!

Limits Stores will sometimes put limits on an item to make you think it’s a great price! If cereal is on sale for 2/$4 you might not even notice it. But if it’s on sale “2/$4 — limit 2!” then you will likely think it’s a great price since they had to put a limit on it!

Shop Early If you have couponers in your area, then it’s best to get to the store as early as possible on the FIRST day of the sale! If you cannot make it early and some of the items you wanted are out of stock, breathe in, breathe out, and walk on over to customer service for your rainchecks 😉

“Bigger is Better” Not really. The cost per unit of the bigger box of cereal may be less than the smaller one, but when combining coupons with sales, the smaller box is more than likely to be the better deal.

Keep an Eye on your Cashier When checking out, pay close attention to the price screen to make sure everything rings up at the correct price. Also, make sure that the cashier scans all of your coupons. Coupons sometimes stick together or get dropped or the cashier will scan the coupon but not realize that it didn’t go through. Kindly point out that they missed one and they will correct it.

Check Your Receipt BEFORE leaving the store, look over your receipt to make sure everything rang up correctly and that all of your coupons were scanned. If there is a problem, take your receipt over to customer service immediately so that they can fix it. If you leave the store and come back at another time, it may be harder to get the problem fixed. If the cashier missed a coupon and you notice right away it’s easy to see the mistake. But if you come back later, after several other coupons have been added to the cashier’s stack or the stack is gone, then there will probably be no way to prove that a coupon was missed.

Know How to Build a Stockpile

Start Slowly Don’t buy a ton of everything as soon as you get started or you will blow your budget and get overwhelmed! A stockpile takes time. Set aside some money for stockpiling and try to stick to a budget.

Buy for the Future If an item goes on sale for a great price (or free!) then buy more than you need for just the week. Typically sales come around in 12 week cycles so you only need to buy enough for 12 weeks. If you eat one box of cereal per week then when you find cereal at stock-up price, you should buy at least 12 boxes. This way you have cheap cereal that will last you until it’s priced to stock-up again.

Stock-up but Don’t Go Crazy! Start paying attention to how many bottles of shampoo, packs of diapers, boxes of cereal, etc. you use. This will help you have a better idea of how much you should buy without going crazy (which you probably will do anyway). If you find yourself buried in a pile of stuff you bought using coupons, then it’s time to face the truth; you are now a crazy couponer!

Pay It Forward Every couponer will eventually get to the point where they buy a lot more than they can use – couponing can be very addicting (don’t say we didn’t warn you!). If there is no way you will use something before it expires, you can consider donating the item to a shelter, food pantry, or someone in need. There is nothing better than the feeling of being able to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Especially when we can afford to do so!

Remember… Sharing is Caring ♄

  If you are new to couponing and would like to join a community of other “Newbies”, Join We LOVE Couponing 101 Newbies Edition on Facebook! We are happy to help you learn all there is to know about saving through the use of sales and coupons.

**This page may contain affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure.

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  • Susan Alt
    Susan Alt
    April 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    What is the best way to get multiples of a good coupon and how do you find out what will be on sale so you can get those coupons?

  • Maria Drake
    Maria Drake
    April 26, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    I think I have it figured out. I just need a working database…..
    The 3 we tried didn’t match up to any of the coupons properly.

    The database link in this is no good

  • Lona Drake
    Lona Drake
    April 26, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Maria Drakethis may help us

  • Angel L. Meyer Conklin
    Angel L. Meyer Conklin
    January 6, 2017 at 12:40 am

    Well put! I teach classes on couponing ( we’ll volunteering) and you said it all! I ???? it. Reading someone else’s words just make me feel like I’m doing it right. Thank you

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