Have you ever asked yourself “where can I find coupons” after a particularly large grocery bill? If you want to consistently save money while you’re out shopping, coupons are the way to go.
However, it can be hard to find where the best coupons are, and your time is a valuable resource that you can’t get back. All too often your hours of research lead to minuscule rewards.
We’re here to help. Read on to learn where to find the best coupons and how to use them effectively!
Rules of Thumb
Before we start talking about how to find the best coupons, you need to know how to use them effectively. These rules will actually improve your purchasing habits, and you’ll find you’re saving money and your precious time even if you don’t have a coupon available.
1. Get in and Get Out
Have you ever walked around the grocery store without a list and found that you bought items you already had, splurged on items you didn’t need and doubled the length of your shopping trip all at the same time?
Before you head to the store, write a list of the items you actually need and only purchase those items when you arrive - even if there’s a buy one get one free sale for an item you hadn’t considered.
Ask yourself if spending $20 instead of $30 on an item you didn’t need is really saving you money.
Brands want you to spend your hard-earned money on their products, and sales are one of the most effective ways to entice consumers. A 2003 study from NYU even found that couponers actually spend more. They receive a psychological benefit instead of a monetary one.
Don’t fall into this trap and stick to the plan.
2. Start Small
When you first get started finding and using coupons, you’ll probably be discouraged by the amount you’re saving, which can be as little as a few cents.
You may also be tempted to gather a huge pile of coupons before your shopping trip. However, using coupons smartly is all about small, incremental savings that add up over time.
Instead of throwing away your receipts, keep them on hand or scan them into a phone app and look them over at the end of the month. You’ll find that the combination of all the coupons you used may be the cost of a latte or your lunch.
As you get better at efficiently accumulating coupons, your savings will naturally grow!
3. Track the Sales
Focusing on small savings of name-brand items will take up a lot of your time with little return. Instead, grab your favorite store’s weekly ad and scan the pages for sales.
Circle the sales that interest you, and plan a meal based on those sales. You’ll find that some of the best deals are usually produce, dairy, and meat, which makes meal planning even easier.
Where to Find Coupons
You don’t want to spend too much of your time scrutinizing adds. Think of couponing as minimum-wage work - if you spend two hours clipping coupons and only save about five dollars, was it really worth your time?
Nowadays, apps and websites are the quickest way to find valuable coupons. Be sure to learn more about coupon codes as well - they help you save while you shop online.
1. Coupon Blogs
There are a variety of blogs that do a lot of the research for you. They’ll post the best deals daily or weekly and offer online coupons, or they’ll tell you where to find the paper coupons.
Some popular blogs include:
- Southern Savers
- Krazy Coupon Lady
- I Heart Publix
- I Heart Kroger
Remember that some of these sites will encourage extreme couponing that will end up wasting time and money. Keep your shopping list in hand and focus on scanning for the items you actually plan to buy.
2. Coupon Apps
Using coupon apps is a far more efficient way to find coupons. These apps are developed to provide valuable coupons while saving you time and effort.
The most popular mobile apps are:
- Grocery iQ
- Coupon Sherpa
Many of these apps allow you to search for coupons by location and retailer. Some will also connect to your store’s loyalty card to make the process even easier.
3. Coupon Inserts
If you like doing things the old-fashioned way, purchase or subscribe to your local Sunday paper. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can buy them at the Dollar Store or in groceries on Mondays, when they’ll be on sale. You can also find them in public places such as libraries.
There are three major companies that provide the coupon inserts to most newspapers:
- SmartSource - Advertises on Sunday
- Valassis - Often found every other week
- PGBrand Saver - Typically found at the beginning of every month
Where Can I Find Coupons that Save Time and Money?
By now you should have a variety of resources that will help you find coupons quickly and efficiently. Answering the question “where can I find coupons” isn’t the only information you need.
The most important things to remember are to shop with a list in hand and to stick with that list. As you browse websites, apps, or your newspaper, keep yourself on a timer.
Lastly, remember that efficient coupon shopping is all about incremental savings that add up over time. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find yourself burnt out!
Want to read more about how to save money? Keep reading our blog for informative articles!