Posted on

4 Coupon Tools That Will Make Couponing Easy for You

If you want to start couponing, there are some coupon tools that you will need to make that job easier. I've listed 4 in this post that help me every day!

So, you’re wanting to coupon, but you have no idea where to start.  You have friends that save big bucks at the store, and you want to know how to do it, too.  

You know what?  I can help you with that.  🙂

When I first started couponing, the main sources for coupons were in the Sunday paper and online.  Now there are loads of places where you can find coupons!  But how do you go about getting them?  Do you need anything special?

Yes, there are a few coupon tools that you’ll actually need if you want to coupon effectively.  Some coupons can only be obtained by going to your computer and printing them onto a printer.  Some coupons can be obtained through your smartphone.  Last but not least, you’ll need to buy a Sunday newspaper to get the coupons available there.

Also, every couponer has her own “system” for couponing.  You’ll need one of these if you’re in it for the long haul.  

In today’s post, I hope you’ll learn some valuable information about the coupon tools you need so you can be on the road to couponing like a pro!

If you want to start couponing, there are some coupon tools that you will need to make that job easier. I've listed 4 in this post that help me every day!

If you already have one sitting around – great!  Put it to use!  If you don’t have a printer, I have a suggestion based on two factors.  First, you want a printer that only prints in black ink.  It will save you money in the long run to only buy black ink cartridges instead of black and color cartridges.  Stores do not care if you have color coupons!  Secondly, buy a printer with mobile/wireless print capabilities.  I’m suggesting this because that’s the type of printer that I’m currently in the market for – my current printer has just about gone kaput!

With those two considerations in mind, I like the Brother Compact Laser Printer.  It has both capabilities that I mentioned above, plus the price really is quite good considering the performance it offers.  The reviews are great (which is always an important selling point for me), and you can get compatible toner cartridges for as low as $11!  (My current printer requires both black and color cartridges, and I definitely pay more than $11 for them…and they don’t last nearly as long!)

If you want to start couponing, there are some coupon tools that you will need to make that job easier. I've listed 4 in this post that help me every day!

This is pretty much a given, but I wanted to list it for the record.  You can do so much with your phone as it relates to couponing!  Not only can you print coupons from your smartphone, you can also download different types of apps that stretch your savings further.  Here are the apps that I use the most:

  • Krazy Coupon Lady – this app saves me more time than any other.  I simply add my favorite stores, then as new offers for those stores become available, they show up in my store feed.  I don’t have to go hunting for deals – they do all the work for me!!!  They also have a website at thekrazycouponlady.com, but I prefer the app more.  Small disclosure, though…some coupons/advertisements are regional and may not be available in your area.
  • Ibotta – I have been recommending this app to everyone I know simply because there are so many rebates available through it.  I won’t dive into all that again, but you can visit this link to find out how much Ibotta has helped me save.
  • Checkout 51, MobiSave, Savingstar – additional apps very similar to Ibotta, and all are worth downloading to your smartphone.
  • Shopkick – this app gives you points when you walk into certain stores, scan products, and for purchasing select products.  You turn your kicks into gift cards!  
  • Fetch Rewards – this is new to me, but I love it!  Similar to Shopkick, you’ll earn points for your purchases that you can turn into gift cards.  They have specific products that they feature, but even if you haven’t bought any of those things, don’t let that deter you!  When you download the app, you can scan all your receipts from the past two weeks, and earn points for them.  I scanned all my receipts from this past weekend, and I’m already over 4,000 points!  That’s pretty sweet – considering I didn’t have to do anything extra!  🙂  To download this app, simply search for “Fetch Rewards” in your app store, and when prompted, enter code PR6UM for an additional 1,500 points.
  • Walgreens/Kroger/Target/Dollar General – all of these apps allow you to download coupons directly to your account.  No clipping, no fuss!  Just supply your phone number, shopper’s card, or app barcode (Target) to apply your coupons when you check out.

If you want to start couponing, there are some coupon tools that you will need to make that job easier. I've listed 4 in this post that help me every day!

Out of all the coupon tools mentioned here, a newspaper is the easiest to obtain.  Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a printer or a smartphone – you can still save some serious $$ with just the weekly coupon inserts in the Sunday paper.

Some companies offer coupons in both the Sunday paper and through their website online.  However, I’ve found several times that the Sunday paper coupons tend to have higher values.  Therefore, I buy more than one.  When a sale comes along (such as several Walgreens sales lately that have resulted in .99 laundry detergent), I want to have more than one coupon ready to use.  

In my area, there are folks that set up little stands on the side of the road and they sell newspapers for $1 (it costs $2 at the store or more for delivery).  I’ve already made it a part of my Sunday routine to get up early and get 4 newspapers – just for the coupons.

Now, if you’re really pinching pennies, do not be ashamed to ask your friends/relatives/coworkers for their coupon inserts (assuming they won’t be using them).  I personally already have a source for one of my 4 Sunday papers, and she offered her coupons to me willingly!  Don’t be afraid to ask.

If you want to start couponing, there are some coupon tools that you will need to make that job easier. I've listed 4 in this post that help me every day!

If you’re new to couponing, you might find yourself saving this step for last.  Out of all the coupon tools I’ve mentioned, this is the one that will save your sanity.  If you don’t develop one quickly, you’ll find yourself with random coupons everywhere.  It’s overwhelming.

It takes time to find an organizational system that works for you.  You may decide to use a little coupon box/folder to sort your coupons.  That’s what I used when I first started, but now, it no longer suits my needs.  You may decide to get a binder with clear inserts that are made for baseball cards.  Going this route will have you lugging that thing to the store and sorting through it each trip – not my cup of tea.

Here’s what I’ve found that works for me…

I keep all my newspaper inserts intact, and they’re sorted by week.  Each insert cover has little tiny writing on the folded edge that will include the date.  You can refer to that, or write the date with a Sharpie on the front page.  Either way, it will help you keep all like coupon inserts together.  From there, you can put them into an accordion folder or large box with folders/sections.  There are TONS of options for this, and my suggestion would just be to find something that’s functional, sturdy, and inexpensive.  Your going to be rifling through this box on a regular basis, so it needs to be sturdy.

Now obviously, I’m not going to lug this box to the store with me on each trip.  That’s way too much hassle.  When I’m ready to go to the store, I have a different system in place.  

  1. Use the Krazy Coupon Lady app to see what deals are being offered for that week.  Each deal will tell you what the expected regular/full/sale price will be at the store (remember, these can vary slightly by region).  Along with the price will be the coupons that you’ll need to have on hand or downloaded to your shopper’s card when you’re ready to checkout.  If there are any rebates available through Ibotta, Checkout 51, MobiSave or Savingstar, those will be listed, too.  For each deal you want to get, you’ll check the little circle beside it to add it to your list.
  2. Use the list feature and start gathering your coupons.  If you need to clip paper coupons from your Sunday inserts, the instructions will look something like this:  Use $1.00/2 – Suave Essentials Body Wash Products from RP 5/14.  What that means is that you’ll go to your Red Plum (RP) inserts from 5/14 and look for the Suave Body Wash coupon for $1.00 off when you purchase 2.
  3. If there are any internet coupons that need to be printed, I do that next.  Each deal will tell you exactly which website to go to.
  4. If you need to clip a digital coupon to a store rewards card, do that next.  There’s nothing worse than waiting to do this at the store, and I promise, you’ll end up in a dither.  Plan, plan, plan!
  5. Paper clip all your coupons together, put ’em in your purse, and head to the store!

Now, I also keep a handful of random coupons with me at all times.  These are coupons that I may only have 1 of, may be the last few from an old newspaper insert that haven’t expired yet, or may be coupons that I went through all the steps above to get, but decided not to use them for some reason.  I keep them on hand   because I never know when they might come in handy.  For example, I check the clearance section/shelf at every store I go to.  It never fails that I find something on clearance that I can combine with these random coupons.  It’s important to always keep some extra coupons on hand!!!

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to coupon organization, but it’s very important that you have a system.  Just do something that works for you.  🙂

If you want to start couponing, there are some coupon tools that you will need to make that job easier. I've listed 4 in this post that help me every day!

I hope you’ve learned some valuable info here, and that you’re on the road to couponing like a pro!  If you’re already a pro, what are some of the coupon tools that you’ve found to be invaluable?

***

This post contains affiliate links, and I may receive a small compensation for any direct links that you visit.  Visiting the links shown here in no way obligates you to purchase or sign up for any program, and does not result in any increased cost.  Please view my disclosure policy for more information.

Please follow and like us:
Posted on

8 Types of Coupons and How They Can Help You Save

There are 8 types of coupons available. How and when you use them can help you keep your own money in your pocket.

If you’re like me, you grew up seeing members of your family clip a few coupons.  Both my grandmas did it, my aunt did it, and my mom did it occasionally, too.  It’s something that I distinctly remember from my childhood.  Back in those days, it was simply clipping the coupons that came in the Sunday paper.  Maybe you’d get a bonus coupon inside a box of cereal, but generally, the Sunday paper was where all the good ones would be.

Nowadays, coupons are obtainable in many more places.  In fact, it’s a little overwhelming – especially if you’re a beginner.  I used to think the best ones were either in the Sunday paper or printable online.  Not so anymore.  Yes, those two places are still excellent sources, but now, we also have all of these, too:

  • eCoupons
  • Catalinas
  • Peelies
  • Blinkies & tear offs
  • Store coupons
  • Rebate apps

For today, I’ll explain the 8 types of coupons that are available and also how you can use multiple coupons to save even more!

Sunday paper coupons

These are the most common coupons, and in my opinion, what everyone associates with “couponing.”  Each Sunday, your newspaper will have a selection of coupon inserts from SmartSource, RedPlum, or Proctor & Gamble (1 per month).  The types of coupons that are included are different by region, so what someone gets in Oregon may be different than what’s provided in Tennessee.  

The coupon inserts in the Sunday paper are generally going to be traditional manufacturer’s coupons.  Some stores will allow you to double the coupon value up to a certain amount, but this is becoming less common.  You cannot use more than one manufacturer’s coupon on a single item.  However, you can use them with other store coupons/programs and rebate apps…more on that later.

Internet printable coupons

For the most part, internet coupons are also going to be manufacturer’s coupons.  You can find them in a variety of places – Coupons.com has the largest database (see below), but Smartsource.com and Redplum.com have a different, but smaller, selection.  Generally, you’re allowed to print a coupon up to two times.  There are caps in place on most websites, meaning that once the allotted amount has been printed, they’re no longer available for new prints.

eCoupons (aka digital coupons)

For people that hate to clip or print coupons, eCoupons make couponing easy!  Multiple stores now have shopper’s cards that you can load eCoupons to – Kroger, Target, Walgreens, and CVS are the ones I use on a regular basis.  In order to clip the coupons you want, you’ll need to log in to your store account, and view the available coupons.  “Clip” the ones you’d like to use onto your shopper’s card and when you check out at the store, they’ll instantly be applied to your purchase.  No paper, no fuss!

Target’s program is the only one that I know of that’s a little different from the other ones I mentioned.  Their app, Cartwheel by Target, has 2 types of coupons – eCoupons as well as general % discount savings (anywhere from 5% to 50% off).  Simply log in to the app on your smartphone, and load the offers you want to use.  When you’re ready to check out, have the cashier scan your Cartwheel barcode after they’ve scanned your paper coupons.  

To give you a great example of how you can make Cartwheel work for you, this week they had a 20% discount on Cottonelle toilet paper.  I was able to load that discount onto my Cartwheel app and also pair it with a manufacturer’s coupon…bonus savings!!  Cartwheel discounts are not posted by the items in the store, so it’s also helpful to use the barcode scanner within the app to see if any discount offers are available.  Target’s Up & Up brand frequently gives 5% off on numerous products.  Never pay full price again – even when you’re buying generics!

Catalinas

These are the coupons that you occasionally receive with your receipt after you’ve checked out at the store, and the ones you receive depend on the items you just bought.  For example, I’ve gotten Gerber coupons on a regular basis because I’ve bought the Gerber meals and pouches for my toddler.  I’ll frequently get a coupon that gives me $1 off a future purchase.  When you redeem Catalinas, you will need to return to the store that they were printed at.  Using a Kroger Catalina at Walmart will not work.

Peelies

These are just like they sound.  They’re the coupons that you “peel” off an item at the store.  I don’t rely on these too much because usually, they either ask you to buy 2 items or I’ve got some other coupon on hand that’s better.  Don’t count them out, though – they can be helpful.

Blinkies and tear offs

Ever notice those boxes that are attached to the store shelf, and they’re blinking to get your attention?  It’s because there’s a coupon there!  🙂  Tear offs are the coupons on pads that are attached to the shelf.  Much like peelies, the blinkies/tear offs are bonus savings that you can use instantly.  

Store coupons

This is where it starts to get fun.  🙂  Remember when I said earlier that you could use multiple types of coupons to save big?  Store coupons are just one of the ways you can do it!  For this section, I’ll use Target because they frequently have store coupons available.  You can find them either in their weekly ad, in a newspaper coupon insert, or through the Cartwheel app.  When you look at the top of the coupon, it will say “Target coupon” instead of “manufacturer’s coupon.”  All stores that have store coupons allow you to “stack” their coupons with manufacturer’s coupons which will multiply your savings!  

You remember the Cottonelle example I used earlier?  Well, in that same transaction, not only did I have the 20% Cartwheel discount and a .50 manufacturer’s coupon, I also had a Target coupon that was $5 off my $25 transaction of select paper products.  To make it even BETTER, I also had an Ibotta rebate (more on that next).  That’s 4 different types of coupons, and they can all be used together!  

Rebate apps

I covered all of the good ones in a post here (along with some other apps that are great to have if you want to save serious $$).  To give you an overview, the #1 app that is a must download is Ibotta (they give you a $10 bonus when you redeem your first branded rebate!) followed by Checkout 51, MobiSave, and SavingStar.  To me, rebates are the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae.  If you’ve been fortunate enough to get an already great deal with coupons, take advantage of these rebate apps and put money back in your pocket.  It’s a total win-win.  🙂

There are 8 types of coupons available. How and when you use them can help you keep your own money in your pocket.

Is your head spinning now?  Did you have any idea that there were so many types of coupons?!  It’s actually pretty exciting because they work just like cash.  If you’re like me, I’d rather hand someone a coupon than cash out of my own pocket whenever possible.  

Now, just because there are so many different types of coupons doesn’t mean that you should use them the first chance you get.  Once you start to use them with regularity, you’ll start to notice when and where you can get the most bang for your buck.  It just takes a little strategy and planning, but it can be done.  You’ll love the rewards.

Tell me about you – are you already a couponing mastermind?  How have you been able to use coupons to save on your grocery/household budget?

Please follow and like us: