Once you have gotten good at Safeway.com Just for you, you’ll want to move on to the advanced coupon techniques involved with using paper coupons. If you've never used coupons regularly you might think they are not worth the time right? After all, you’re just clipping coupons over and over again to save a few cents here and a few cents there. So not true! The key to using coupons is to double and triple stack them on top of sales and other deals. This can ramp up your savings from 40% per shopping trip to 60% -75%, even at stores that don’t double coupons. But first, you have to get the coupons! Here’s where to start, you want to gather them here and there and everywhere you find them because you need them on hand when that just right deal comes up.
For now, just start gathering them up and keep them in an envelope or dollar store coupon folder, later we’ll talk about the best way to store and organize them.
The Sunday Paper is the most obvious place to find them. I buy the Sunday newspaper every weekend in order to clip the weeklies. There are a few tips to this. First, go to a grocery store that has several different city papers if you can. Different papers will run less than others and the coupons should be the same. For instance, the Sunday Paper for my small town is only 75 cents; the paper for a nearby city is $2.50, same coupons, sold at the same store. Buy the cheapest one. Also, check inside to make sure that the coupons are still there and someone hasn’t taken them. The inserts should look like the image above. #1 rule for the Sunday paper, don’t buy it on holiday weekends. Newspapers do not include coupons on holiday weekends. I don’t know why, they just don’t.
Blinkies and Tear Pads
Blinkie are those little black boxes you probably ignore sprinkled throughout the super market shelves. They are called blinkies because you walk up and grab a coupon out of them, a little red light blinks and then spits out the next coupon. Tear pads are similarly placed throughout the store next to the products they are for. Only with tear pads, you just rip off as many coupons as you need. Blinkies typically have short expriation dates while the tear pads have longer ones. The key to these coupons is to not give in to the urge to use them right now. Save them for later when you can stack them with a sale. (more on that later)
Catalina machines are those little machines next to the register that spit out coupons printed on receipt paper. The key to these are that they are programmed according to what you buy. So if you use your grocery savings card and coupons, the machine targets you as a coupon user and spits out even more coupons on items you are likely to want to buy. Save these too, although these are pretty great and they often spit out when there is already a sale on for the product.
More and more coupons can be found on the Internet now. My favorite sites for this are coupons.com and smartsource. Check these sites weekly as the coupons often have short expiration dates and the site selctions change often.
Stay tuned and later I will tell you how to get coupons by writing to companies directly, complete with tips on who you should write to…