Welcome to Coupon 101
Check out this post for the first in the series!
It's no secret: in order to truly rack up the savings, you are going to need multiple copies of the coupons. In order to save the most amount of money at the grocery store, you need to start a stockpile…and your weekly subscription to the Sunday newspaper just isn't going to cut it!
The first place to find coupons is the most obvious: the Sunday newspaper. If you are lucky, you will live near a Dollar Tree and will be able to get the Sunday paper for $1 (which is much less than the typical cover price of a Sunday paper). The question is, how many copies of the paper to buy? Each week I do a Coupon Insert Preview to point out as what I see as the best coupons, based on typical “rock bottom prices” of groceries. This should help you decide how many to buy!
Once you get beyond the Sunday Newspaper, where do you go?
Internet Printables (IPs): there are tons of coupons to be found all over the internet. General Mills is the most generous with the coupons, between here here here and here. There is also Coupons.com as well as SmartSource.
Another great source for online coupons is the manufacturers website. In many cases, they may have coupons available right on their site. If they don't have coupons? Use the Contact form (or get the phone number and call) and let them know your honest opinion of their products. Very often they will respond by mailing you coupons. Simply Google your favorite products and start contacting them! (note: this also works great for smaller companies who do have coupons, but not the ability to get their coupons in the national inserts!)
Then there are the places where you can buy coupons. Actually, you aren't buying the coupons (because that is illegal and really, who wants to go to jail and have to tell their cellmate that they got busted for buying coupons?). You are paying for the time it takes to clip and sort the coupons. Ebay is a great resource, as is Coupon Clippers. I've never bought coupons, but that is because I can get my Sunday papers dirt cheap and they always have all the circulars in them. If you live where newspapers are more expensive, or you don't get all the circulars, you may find it worth your time!
Lastly is friends and family. Hit up all the non-couponing people that you know and ask them for their circulars. Do they use coupons? Then ask them for their leftovers! We have no pets in our house (ever since the hermit crab died, and there weren't a whole lot of coupons for hermit crab supplies), so I always have pet food coupons that I won't use and am willing to share with others!
Next in the the series? Sorting and organizing your coupons!