Coupons are the quickest way to make an immediate impact on your household budget. You can know almost nothing and still save money. By taking the time to learn a little more, you could save a LOT!
This page is designed to provide an overview of coupons and how to use them.
By exploring this page and the links here, you will discover what coupons are, the different types of coupons you can use, where to find them, and how to maximize your savings. I will add more links as additional articles are produced for the site.
Let’s start with some basics…
WHAT are coupons?
Coupons represent a discount that is given to you when you buy a certain product. They are generally printed by a distributor, or you can print them yourself online.
There are also electronic coupons that you can access online and apply to certain store loyalty cards like Kroger and others. There are no paper copies of these coupons.
Unless noted on the coupon itself, a coupon should never be photocopied.
Coupons can be issued by stores, manufacturers, or other third party coupon providers. Keep your eyes open, because there are coupons in all sorts of places!
You also should know that there are different kinds of coupons.
There are manufacturer coupons that are usually clearly labeled as such. They are issued by a company and can be used at any store. Unless they say not to be doubled, certain stores will double coupons up to a certain price.
There are also store coupons. These are coupons for products, but the coupon can only be used at the store issuing the coupon. Sometimes these coupons come to you in the mail, print out with a receipt during a shopping trip, or can be loaded onto a store loyalty card electronically if your store participates in such a program.
WHERE can I find coupons to use?
Coupons have advanced a great deal. In addition to finding coupons in magazines and newspaper inserts, you can also find coupons on the back of your receipts at certain stores, in the back of many phone books and also online.
Internet coupons have become hugely popular, allowing people to print and clip coupons at home. These online coupons are found everywhere: on major coupon provider sites (some listed below), manufacturer websites, Facebook fan pages for products, and on parent sites for various brands. Keeping up with all the Internet coupons that you have access to can be tough, but there are a variety of sites out there that keep track of and post details for the newest ones as they are released.
You can also ASK for coupons. Really, you can. I write companies several times a month. Sometimes I am simply providing positive feedback about their product and I ask for coupons, but occasionally I write or call with a complaint. Some companies are more responsive than others, but if you don’t ask, you won’t know what you can get! I’ve have gotten a number of really great coupons just by asking.
WHERE can I find coupons ONLINE?
As I mentioned, there are a TON of places you can find coupons online. But before I list some sites, you might want to know these things about Internet coupons:
- Almost all Internet coupons, whether hosted on a company website or on a third party provider, will require you to download and install some sort of coupon “printer”. This piece of software allows you to print the coupons and also helps regulate your printing. Each site should have directions, and if you are ever unsure whether it is safe to download something, then don’t. HOWEVER, the sites I have listed here are ones that I use and should be safe for your computer.
- Unless specified, most Internet coupons can be printed two times by a person. Each will be given a unique bar code and identifier. Be aware of the differences in your coupons, so you can point them out to a cashier or store manager if they are unfamiliar with Internet coupons.
- Some sites use the same coupon printer, and some have their own, so know that you may need to download and install more than one coupon printer.
Here are some of my favorite places to get coupons online:
- Visit my PRINT COUPONS page for the main printable and electronic coupon sites
- Access my series on Understanding Sources of Online Coupons for links to all sorts of printable and electronic sites, including store sites and exclusive coupon sites
These are just a FEW on the places to find coupons online. There are TONS more. Check my links above, or do a search on Google. They’re everywhere!
Now that you know what coupons are, and where to find them, let’s talk about how to use coupons to save money! There are so many different things to share to help you do this, so I think the easiest way is to break it down into sections.
Review the sections below to learn more on how coupons can radically affect your spending and drive your household management toward efficiency!
- The entire Coupon Education category on this site, which includes the following articles.
- Understanding Sources of Online Coupons: a closer look at printable & electronic coupon sites
- Finding a Good Coupon Match-Up/Deal Site
- Coupon Lingo/Glossary
- How to Ask Companies For Coupons
- DOs for Ethical Coupon Use
- DONTs for Ethical Coupon Use
Once you’ve learned a bit more about coupons and how to leverage them for big savings, you might be ready to explore other ways to save in your household budget.
Check out these other areas of my site:
Meal Planning – You can save the most money and make the best use of your coupons by planning your meals ahead of time, and then building your shopping list off of that.
Food Storage – Once you’ve gotten the hang of how to snag awesome deals on a regular basis, and you see your food bill starting to come down, you might want to consider if you want to learn how to keep a well stocked pantry. Storing food not only saves money by allowing you to buy larger quantities of items at their lowest prices, but it also helps protect your family in the case of an emergency and you don’t have the funds for food.
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