Sunday, October 31, 2010

Step one...the basics!

Isn't that the CUTEST pirate you have ever seen?? :)

Alright, for those of you starting from scratch, let's start at the very beginning. Where do you get coupons? There are several sources, but I will share my favorites.

The first, and most obvious, is the Sunday news paper. I had been paying for a Sunday only subscription to the San Diego Tribune, until I found out some GREAT information! You can buy the Sunday news paper for $1 at the dollar tree! How they get away with that when the Newspaper clearly says "$1.85", I do not know, but I am not going to question it! Today (10/31) was a great day for coupons as there was a Smart Source and a P&G insert. I usually only get two papers, but today I got three so that I can stock pile on the good coupons. Some cities may also get Redplum inserts in the Sunday paper, San Diego's come in the mail on Mondays or Tuesdays. (Don't ask me why...)

The second favorite source is from online coupon websites.,, and are the most popular. These coupons are usually updated on the first of every month (with the exception of, which adds new ones throughout the month), as well as losing some on the last day of every month. Most of the coupons can be printed two times in one month. Save yourself some ink and only print the coupon WHEN you need it! Do not get into the habit of printing a whole bunch you "might" use. This is a huge waste of paper and ink and has the adverse affect on the budget.

The third favorite source is FREE SAMPLES! Free samples are the BEST! There are several groups that you can like on Facebook that post new free sample offers throughout the day. I sign up for all of them (if time permits). First, it is so exciting to get fun things in the mail! I have gotten to the point that I get usually about three free samples or free coupons in my mail in one day. Something other than bills! The sample sizes are great for traveling or putting in my purse. Some businesses even send full size freebies or coupons to get items completely free at the store. I know...hard to believe?! Some of the freebie sites are Freebies4mom, Free Samples, and Deal Wise Mommy. What do freebies have to do with coupons? The BEST coupons that I get, come with the free samples. Most businesses send a high value coupon with the free sample. *Score*

My fourth favorite source is simply using the manufacturer's website. When there is a good deal at a store on an item, I always look on the manufacturer's website to see if there is a coupon to match with the sale to get a stellar deal. More often than not, manufacturers have several coupons on their websites. Its always worth a try.

The fifth and probably easiest way to get coupons is with websites like and If your store participates, you can load coupons onto your frequent shopper card. You do not need to print, cut, or carry anything other than your shopping card. The coupons will come off automatically. This works GREAT with stores such as Vons that lets you use a paper coupon, an electronic coupon AND a Vons coupon all at the same time!! (And will double your paper coupons under $1...more on that later.) So you can double, even TRIPLE dip in coupons on one item at some stores.

To find out for sure if your store doubles coupons or allows an electronic coupon and paper coupon on one item, go to your store's website and read the coupon policy. If there is not a coupon policy posted, email them and request a copy. It is also smart to carry the coupon policy with you, as some cashiers and even managers do not even know what they are and are not allowed to do.

That was a lot of information. If you have any questions, let me know! You can also comment or add your own tips below. Remember, I am still learning too, so I LOVE to hear other suggestions or great finds that others come across!