Episode 20: January 8, 2010
by Linsey Knerl
Long gone are the days when you had to sit around and wait for your Sunday paper to arrive to get clipping. Coupons are now available everywhere--and most notably, can be printed out at home from popular websites!
The Best Coupon Sites
There are several advantages to printing coupons from home: the ease, the convenience, and the instant savings! Headed to the store that afternoon? It’s simple to pick the coupons you want to use and print them out before you leave. Long-term planners will also like the ability to request pre-printed coupons (like the kind you see in your local newspaper) to be mailed directly to your home. Here are our favorite sites for getting manufacturer’s coupons, in no particular order:
Coupons.com – As the name implies, this site is dedicated to coupons! Enter your zip code to see offers available for your geographical area. The available offers include coupons for products you buy at the store (like cereal, toilet paper, and more) as well as dining offers for restaurants in your hometown. Coupons.com also has the added feature of allowing you to “upload” coupons to your store savings card (like the kind used at Safeway) so you can take your coupons with you without the clipping or sorting!
RedPlum.com – This site is owned by Valassis, the company that puts some of the coupon inserts in your Sunday paper. They offer many of the same coupon offers on the website, which means you can get double savings by getting a paper and printing your own coupons. Additional offers on the site include shopping tips, exclusive freebies, and giveaways.
Be sure to print the maximum number of coupons that you’re allowed.
Target – This hot retailer not only lets you use manufacturer’s coupons at its stores, but it also offers its own selection of Target-only savings coupons. Used for in-store purchases only, these coupons can often be paired with super weekly sales to help shoppers score low-cost chicken breasts, salsa, broccoli, and more! Be sure to print the maximum number of coupons that you’re allowed. You’ll never know if you’ll find something on clearance to help sweeten the deal!
SmartSource – Another coupon insert company that has brought its savings online, Smart Source gives you much of the same coupon offerings that you’ll find in your Sunday paper. With many high-value grocery coupons (like $1.00 off a product) and entertainment offers (like $3.00 off a new release DVD purchase), you’re likely to find savings on at least a few items you buy regularly.
Valpak – Traditionally a supplier of dining and entertainment coupons, Valpak still remains a strong source for savings. Recently, however, they’ve upped the ante with some high-value grocery coupons, as well. To skip all the plumbing, maid, and carwash offers, enter your zip code and click directly on the “grocery” tab.
Facebook – Good for more than just catching up with old college buddies and seeing how many kids your ex has, Facebook is now a growing market for companies to promote their newest offerings to their customers. By offering free samples and high-value coupons to members of their Fan groups, brands like Sweetleaf Sweetener, Wheat Thins, and Nexxus have been reaching out online and helping consumers save money!
The Best Brand Sites for Coupons
In addition to these coupon “clearinghouses” that offer savings on many brands, individual brand sites have done an amazing job of making printable and mail-in offers plentiful. Some of our favorites include:
EatBetterAmerica.com – Owned by General Mills, you’ll find regular savings on brands like Nature Valley, Yoplait, and Bisquick.
PGEveryDaySolutions.com – A site of Proctor & Gamble, you’ll find plenty of free samples and coupons that will be mailed directly to you! Offers include savings on Downy, Febreze, Tide, and Crest!
Quick and Dirty Tips for Using Online Coupons
In addition to knowing the best coupon sites, it’s important to know these extra quick and dirty tips:
Have your printer ready – Once you hit the “print” button on your computer screen, it’s too late to make adjustments. Be sure that your printer is loaded with paper and ink, and that it’s set to the print quality you need for the cashier to be able to scan your coupon.
Know your limits – Most coupons have a print limit of 2 per person, household, or IP address. Keep this in mind when doing offers that allow you to make multiple purchases for extra savings!
Keep updated – When registering for saving offers online, the website will most likely use whatever info they have on file, and won’t give you a chance to make changes to your name or address once you’ve made your request. Keep your online profiles updated with your most current information and double-check them before you request an important coupon!
Many stores will be happy to take your printed coupons, but know their policy before you shop. A quick call to the manager will tell you all you need to know.
As always, you can send us your questions, comments, and tips to email@example.com or call 206-426-1615. We’re also on Facebook under “The Dealista!”