Your Free Guide to Finding Grocery Coupons
Your Free Guide to Finding Grocery Coupons
The content in this guide is provided for general information only, and is not intended to address specific circumstances of any particular individuals. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.
Types of Coupons
There are three main types of coupons that you may find:
- Manufacturer coupons
- Store coupons
- Digital coupons
Manufacturer coupons are coupons that are offered by product manufacturers. The purpose of these coupons is usually to entice shoppers to purchase their particular brand. These are usually found in newspaper inserts or online at the manufacturer’s website.
Manufacturer coupons can also sometimes be found in stores during promotional periods. Coupon boxes are often placed strategically along the aisles for shoppers to grab one and go. For example, let’s say a new flavor of a sports drink has been released. The company may send a certain amount of coupons to the grocery store for display. These are free for shoppers to take and use at their leisure.
These are generally accepted at most major retailers, which means if you find a manufacturer coupon in your local newspaper, you can usually use it at any store. However, it’s important to note that some grocery stores may not accept coupons from particular manufacturers.
Store coupons are coupons that come directly from the grocery store itself. They may be able to be printed out or scanned directly from your loyalty card or app at checkout.
Store coupons often have terms for how many items must be purchased in order for the coupon to apply, or if it is limited to a certain type of product. For example, some coupons may be for “Buy One, Get One” or BOGO sales. This means that you could only use the coupon if you purchase two or more of the same or similar products as listed.
Digital coupons are just what they sound like: electronic versions of coupons. These are available online and can either be scanned at the register using a barcode, or printed out using specific software programs, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Digital coupons are becoming increasingly popular. They are pretty easy to access, store, and use. You can often find digital coupons online on retailer websites, manufacturer websites, or coupon aggregators. Digital coupons might also be located in your grocery store’s app or loyalty program.
Where to Find Coupons
Once you familiarize yourself with the different types of coupons that are available, it’s important to learn about where to look. Grocery coupons can be found in several different places.
Newspaper inserts are a classic way of finding coupons. These can generally be found in the Sunday paper and sometimes other days as well. Depending on where you live, you may need to pay a fee to access the Sunday paper. However, it may be worth the cost because these coupons tend to offer significant savings.
Newspapers may contain both manufacturer coupons and store coupons, depending on the inserts. If you find a manufacturer coupon in your local newspaper, you can usually use it at any store. These coupons are typically offered by product manufacturers as a way to promote their products and brands, especially if the product is new.
Another way to find grocery coupons is by visiting the websites of manufacturers. Many companies offer coupons for their products available for download or print out. You can often find these on the company’s website, especially if the company has recently released a new product or is pushing a different brand.
Grocery Store Websites
Many big-name grocery stores have their own websites, which may contain exclusive coupons and discounts. It’s worth checking out your local store’s website periodically to see if they have any offers you can take advantage of.
If they do have a website, they may update it to go along with a newsletter that you can usually find in store. That way, you can not only find coupons, but shop the sales to maximize savings.
Coupon aggregators are websites that compile different types of coupons from various sources. These sites usually offer coupons from both manufacturers and stores, allowing shoppers to save money when purchasing items.
Some examples of coupon aggregators include:
- The Krazy Coupon Lady
Coupon aggregators can be a great way to search for coupons quickly. You can usually type in the name of the product or store that you’re looking for and find multiple coupons in one place.
It’s important to remember, though, that these sites may not always offer the most recent or accurate deals. Some sites may contain outdated or expired coupons. It’s important to double-check any coupon codes you find before using them.
Loyalty Cards and Programs
Some stores have loyalty cards or programs that offer members special access to discounts and sales. With a loyalty card, you generally scan it in store and online to save money on purchases. These can be a great way to save money if you shop at the same store often.
A loyalty program acts in a similar way to a loyalty card. However, instead of seeing discounts taken off at the register, the program may allow you to accumulate points. The more money you spend in the store, the more points you may be able to earn. Points can then usually be “cashed in” for some kind of reward or extra discount, like a discount on gas.
Many stores also offer e-coupons or digital coupons that are available only through their loyalty program. These coupons may be for specific products or a variety of items, and there is usually no limit on how many times you can use them.
Mailing the Manufacturer
You may be surprised to learn that some manufacturers send out free coupons in the mail. All you have to do is send them a polite request via email or regular mail. You can usually find contact information on their website or in store.
If you’re lucky, they may even send you a coupon booklet with dozens of coupons inside. You can also call the company to ask if they have any coupons available.
Many companies use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for advertising special sales and deals, or even offering coupons or promo codes. If you follow your favorite companies and stores on social media, you may be alerted to deals.
Coupon Strategies and Techniques
Couponing can be as simple as clipping the coupon, buying the product and seeing the discount taken off at the register. However, if you are looking for ways to maximize your savings using grocery coupons, then it may help to learn a few couponing techniques and strategies.
Matching Store Sales
Matching coupons with store sales can be a great way to maximize savings when shopping for groceries. By taking advantage of coupon offers and combining them with sales and discounts, shoppers can often save a substantial amount of money.
For example, let’s say you have a coupon for $2 off the purchase of one container of coffee. That particular coffee may normally cost $8, but this week, it’s on sale for $6. By combining the $2 coupon with the $2 store sale, you can essentially double your savings.
The key to this technique is timing. First, it’s important to identify the grocery items that are currently on sale at your local store or grocery chain. From there, you can check coupon sites to see if any coupons are available that match the sale items.
You can also do this in reverse. You can clip several coupons and set them aside. Then, you can scour your local grocery store newsletters to view upcoming sales and plan accordingly. Many stores release sale schedules in advance.
Stockpiling is a couponing strategy that involves buying multiple items at a time when the price is lower than normal. It takes a bit more effort and planning than some other strategies, but when done correctly, stockpiling can save shoppers a lot of money. This strategy can also help minimize trips to the store.
This technique generally works best with non-perishable items that have a long shelf life, like toilet paper, shampoo, or laundry detergent.
The idea is to buy enough of the item to last until the next sale. For example, let’s say you normally go through one bottle of shampoo per month. If shampoo is on sale for $3, then you can stock up and buy six bottles, which should last you until the next sale.
Organizing Your Coupons
Couponing can feel like an overwhelming task at times. From finding and clipping coupons to then planning on when to use them, it can feel more like a burden than an exciting way to save money. However, there are a few ways to help your couponing experience go a bit more smoothly.
The key to having a successful coupon experience is to stay organized. It’s important to know which coupons you have on hand and when they expire. An expired coupon sitting at the bottom of your purse won’t save you any money.
Here are some tips you can use to organize your coupons and stay on top of your grocery trips:
Use a Binder
One popular way of organizing coupons is to use a binder. This method involves using something like an accordion binder, baseball card holders, folder with pockets, or school binder with dividers. No matter which one you choose, you should be able to separate your coupons into categories.
Consider splitting your coupons into the following categories to easily access them and see what you have:
- Frozen foods
- Canned and jarred goods
- Hair care
- Personal hygiene
You can also use color-coded index cards or sticky notes to categorize each coupon by store and expiration date. This may be especially helpful if you shop at several stores.
Use a Coupon Box
If you prefer a less complicated way of organizing your coupons, you can store them in a coupon box. These boxes are specially designed to keep your coupons organized, and usually come with pre-labeled dividers for each category of coupons you may have.
The great thing about using a coupon box is that it allows you to easily access your coupons without having to spend time sorting through a binder or folder.
If you have a lot of physical coupons, consider alphabetizing them so you can easily search for the one you’re looking for without rummaging through all of them. This can help you save time and headaches when you’re trying to find the right one for your purchase.
Highlight Expiration Dates
Many stores only accept expired coupons up to a certain amount of time past their expiration date, which is typically about three months. Label the expiration date on each individual coupon so that you don’t forget about them. Alternatively, you can put all the coupons that are expiring soon in an envelope labeled with the month they expire in order to keep track of them better.
Create Online Folders
If you use a lot of digital coupons, it may help to dedicate storage space online. You can create folders that contain digital copies of any scanned or emailed deals that don’t come with paper versions. This way, everything stays organized and it’s easier to access when you need it.