Couponing 101-Secret Coupon Sources

The coupon inserts that come in the Sunday paper can save you a lot of money, but they're not the only source for grocery store coupons. Here are several other sources to consider:

Go directly to the source
Make a list of the name brand products that you use frequently, and then call or write the manufacturer with a compliment. Then, while you have their attention, ask if they have any coupons they could send you.

Since manufacturers frequently send out coupons to promote their latest products, asking to be placed on their promotional mailing list is another winning strategy.

Check store displays
You've probably noticed the coupon dispensing machines attached to shelves throughout the store, but have you ever stopped to see what coupons they're dispensing? Generally these are cents-off offers, much like what you'd find in your newspaper; but not always. Sometimes these machines will actually offer coupons for a free trial of a new product-now that's a coupon worth checking for.

Many pharmacies also have a special coupon display located near the weekly sales fliers. This is a great spot to check for free trial and free after rebate offers.

Go online
For printable coupons, check your favorite manufacturers' Web sites. Often a manufacturer will offer larger coupons to customers who visit the company Web site. For even more online coupons, be sure to check sites that offer printable coupons for a variety of products, so you won't have to visit each manufacturer's page individually if you're short on time.

Check register printouts
If your grocery store generates coupons at the register based on your purchases, be sure to check those tapes. You'll not only find coupons for the products you use most, but you might also find free trial coupons for new products or a heads-up about an upcoming promotion.

Scan your magazines
Many women's magazines include coupon inserts for popular products, so keep an eye out for coupons as you're reading. You may just find a coupon for a product you use.

Another marketing strategy that's growing in popularity is to offer subscribers a free trial of new-to-market products. Candy manufacturers are frequent participators in this type of marketing, but many other companies are following the trend, so see what kind of coupons your subscription can net.

Give packaging a once-over
Many companies place coupons directly on the packages of the products you buy. Each time you pick up an item for purchase, do a quick scan of the packaging to see if there are any coupons that you can use now. Then, when you get the product home, look again to see if there are coupons either inside or outside of the package that can be cut out and redeemed at a later date.

Grocery coupons are readily available, if you're willing to look for them, so put on your coupon eyes, and see how many you can find.

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Grocery shopping on a budget can be hard, but you will eventually get the hang of it. Take advantage of sales, coupons, rebates and bulk foods whenever possible, but don't buy more than you can eat before the expiration date arrives. 

Tired of paying retail prices for kitchen products and supplies? If so, it may be time to try a new source: visit a restaurant supply store. These companies make a business of offering restaurateurs top-quality equipment and supplies at wholesale prices. It's a great deal for restaurant owners, and there's no reason it can't be a great deal for you as well.

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