Coupon clipping to the Max

By: Jill Maxwell
By: Jill Maxwell

In the "olden days" the only place to get coupons were newspapers and magazines. Yes children, there was a time when there was no internet - you had to use scissors!! Now, you can use the internet, little gadgets on the shelves at the store, and offers you receive in the mail to name a few.

Today's topic is coupons. In the "olden days" the only place to get coupons were newspapers and magazines. Yes children, there was a time when there was no internet - you had to use scissors!! Now, you can use the internet, little gadgets on the shelves at the store, and offers you receive in the mail to name a few.

As I said before, the newspaper pays for itself. One or two coupons cover the cost of the Sunday paper and there are still a lot more. I usually clip about anything in there - I'd hate to be unprepared! Sometimes I know I'll never use them, but one of my newsroom kids has a precious little one so she appreciates the diaper coupons! And those coupons in the store - you don't have to use them today! Take a couple and put them in your purse!

The biggest resource now is the internet. There are hundreds of sites out there with coupons, you just need to find them. I'm going to give you a few of my favorites here and save you some time. There are some drawbacks to these sites. The biggest is the fact that they want you to register on their site. And the junk email begins! To keep my personal email from being cluttered with all kinds of offers, I set up an email account on one of the free email sites online. There are quite a few - Yahoo, Google, MSN. If you don't know where to find them or how to do it, ask one of your kids - they're whizzes at computer stuff. So, all these offers go to that account and keeps my personal email clean. Don't just ignore the messages you get though - sometimes there are some great offers and updates! After a while, you get to know which ones are good and which ones aren't by the email account it's coming from.

The first site is www.coolsavings.com. I've been using this site for about 7 years and it always has something I can use. It's been around since 1997 and they've kept up with technology and trends. There are a lot of things on this site that you can go through, but the one I use for grocery coupons is the tab at the top that says "Printable Coupons". From here it's self-explanatory, you click on the box that says "select this coupon" and go through all the pages. Once you've selected all the ones you want, click on the Print Now box and ta-da! You've got your coupons.

What makes online coupons so great is, you can print as many as you want! I always print at least 2 of a coupon in the event something is "Buy One, Get One Free". That's when savings can amount to something. You do have to reselect your coupons, but it's worth it. For example, a couple weeks ago the grocery story had Quilted Northern 6-packs on sale 2 for $6.00. Have you checked the price of TP lately? The only other bargain out there on TP is for the stuff that should be on the sandpaper shelf at the hardware store! I knew I was going to get some of the Quilted Northern, so I went searching and found a coupon for $1.00 off a 6-pack - and printed 2. Wound up with TP at $2.00 a 6 pack.

When you go to these sites and others, scan the screen. They all have links to different sites that provide coupons - some good, some not so good. The other day I got one that said to take a simple survey... Hah! Thirty minutes later I gave up! Other sites like www.couponmom.com are a resource for other web sites.

Another site is www.smartsource.com. It looks very similar to coolsavings.com, but there are differences in some of the coupons. It functions the same way, pick your coupon and print. This site also lets you enter your zip code and view items on sale at your local grocery stores. You then "add to list" and print your list! You can sort by category or store. And if you keep your coupons nearby, you can figure out where you can save some money!

Here's one - last week I printed a coupon for Progresso bread crumbs, $1.00 off two. Publix has it on sale 2 for $1.93, so I'm going to pay $.93 for 2 containers! I know, I said I don't drive around looking for deals, but I do work near Publix, Kroger and Bi-Lo so I can pop in on my way home from work or at lunch (without using up my savings in gas!). Here's another (yes, I actually make these), Hamburger Helper - 10 for $10 at Food Lion. And there's a coupon out there for $.80 off three. Print 3 coupons and I'm getting 10 for $7.60. I'm sorry, but if it's a long day and we don't want to fuss with dinner - one of these with a salad and we're good!

I could go on and on, but we all have things to do! More to come tomorrow, so "stay tuned". One assignment for you all, anyone have any idea on the best way to keep your coupons? The stack just grows and it's a real pain going through them!! Help me!!

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