Previously, we covered where to find free coupons in your neighborhood. Now, let’s move on to another hot area for finding coupons.
Free Coupons at the Grocery Store:
Some grocery stores regularly put coupons in their weekly ads. You have to cut them out and present them to the cashier just like regular manufacturer coupons. These coupons are unique, though, in that you can often use them along with a manufacturer coupon on the same item, which leads to extra great savings. An example from a Safeway weekly ad is to the right. Check your local grocery store’s ad online before you go, to help you plan ahead.
Blinkies and tearpads
Stores will often place coupons right next to products in the stores. These coupons can take the form or “blinkies” or “tearpads”. A “blinkie” is a coupon that spits out of a little box, which often has a blinking red light. A “tearpad” is a coupon stack that you tear off one-at-a time. When you see these, take a coupon, even if you don’t want the product right then. Keep it and wait to combine it with a good sale price. We keep a running list of blinkies and tearpads found at Safeway here.
Some stores work with manufacturers to put out special booklets filled with coupons (photo, right). When you see one of these you are in luck! Often these manufacturer coupons can be used anywhere, not just the store you got it at. Safeway also has a free monthly booklet with produce coupons.
Electronic coupons are the new frontier of coupons that bypass paper completely. You go to a website provided by the grocery store and enter the number from your store card. Then you see a list of coupons, and when you click one, it is automatically loaded onto your card. When you buy the item at that store, and swipe your card at check-out, the coupon should come off automatically. Read about how to load ecoupons here, and some problems with ecoupons here.
When you check-out at grocery stores, the cashier will often hand you the receipt and a bunch of other paper slips that spit out of a machine. Some of those slips are advertisements, but some of them are coupons, so check them carefully before you toss.
Once you start looking, you’ll see coupons everywhere. The next topic in this series: ideas for organizing your coupons.