Are you ready to run out and start saving money? First, you need to acquire your coupons! You probably think you know where to get them. But there may be places you have yet to explore.
The Sunday newspaper - The easiest and most straightforward way to get your for the week is to buy the paper. If you don’t want to run to your local store each Sunday, you can just subscribe to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution - there are Sunday-only subscriptions available, and the paper often offers deals and specials to save you even more money. You can also pick up the bundled “double paper” - the early and late editions of the Sunday paper are packaged together for $3 instead of the $4 you’d normally pay for two copies. And if you’re lucky, you may come across gentlemen selling the paper on the street (legitimately!) for a dollar a pop.
Your mailbox - You know those handfuls of flyers and junk mail that show up once a week in your mailbox? Do you just toss them? Next time, take a quick flip through. SmartSource has started sending a slightly different version of its Sunday paper coupon circular in the mail. For free. You can’t beat free.
Your friends and family - Ask around. People may just be throwing their coupons away. They might as well give them to you instead! Don’t just ask locally either. The value of a coupon can vary by region, so your Aunt Susie in Massachusetts might send you a coupon that nets you a better deal here in Georgia.
Online - There are two types of coupons available online right now: printable Internet coupons and e-coupons. Printables can be found at sites like smartsource.com, coupons.com, and redplum.com. Specific brands also sometimes offer exclusive printable coupons on their home pages. As for e-coupons, as of right now, the only local chain that accepts them is . You simply click away at sites like kroger.com, cellfire.com, and shortcuts.com, and your coupons will be added directly to your shopper card and redeemed automatically when you check out. Do note that official Kroger policy is that you cannot use both an e-coupon and a paper coupon on a single item, so plan your trip with care.
Prefer Publix? has several free magazines (Publix GreenWise Market, Publix FamilyStyle, and Publix Grape) to which you can subscribe that are full of coupons. Copies of these magazines are occasionally also available in the store, but the mailed-to-your-home versions have better coupons in them. Publix also has a Baby Club for new parents and a Preschool Pals Club for slightly more experienced parents, and both of these programs also send coupons directly to you - coupons that include such gems as money off any dairy item, any produce item, or any meat item. Parents of fur-children can take advantage of a new Pet Club as well.
Want to get a little more in-depth with your coupon search? Signing up for freebies and samples from sites like Walmart.com and Target.com can often net you high value coupons for future purchases. Check out viral marketing sites like bzzagent.com and vocalpoint.com; these allow you to sign up to receive occasional packages of samples and coupons to keep and to share with friends and family.
Keep your eyes peeled when you’re actually grocery shopping too; stores often have coupons right there in the aisles, in little blinking boxes and sometimes stuck to the products themselves. And finally, you can buy coupons on eBay or from coupon sellers (yes, there are reasons why you’d want to do this that I’ll explain in the future, and yes, it’s legal).
Next time, I'll explore ways to organize all of the coupons that you've so carefully hunted and gathered!