Write Your Way to Free Coupons

There are many ways you can save cash and get free coupons. Check out these tips on the best ways to find these hidden gems.

Recently, I contacted a large manufacturing company about one of their household products. In my letter, I told them how much I liked their product and how well it works in my home.

Then I mentioned that the price has risen (doubled, in fact), and wondered if they had any suggestions. A week later I got a very pleasant, personal letter from a customer specialist and five free coupons for any size of the product. I saved almost $25.

Another way to get free coupons is if you have a complaint. Virtually all merchandise has a toll-free number on it if you have a question, comment or complaint. Some even offer a Web site address.

Last month, I opened a package of breakfast sausage patties expecting six--the number stated on the box. Only four plopped into the pan. I promptly called the company. The lady who answered apologized and took my name, address and the product code from the package. Shortly after, I received three $1-off coupons for any product from the company.

About a year ago, I tried a new product with a money-back guarantee. I had some very good coupons, so bought it for less than $1. I was very unsatisfied, so I boxed it up and sent it to the address on the back. I was not convinced I would get a reply. Surprisingly, I was sent a check for the full purchase price and a free coupon for any of the company's other products. Since I'd gotten it practically free in the first place, it was extra money in my pocket.

I am not suggesting you write to every company that makes something in your home. However, if there is a product or two that you buy frequently or in large quantities, write a brief note to the company. There is a good chance that you will get free or discount coupons out of it. Go online if there is a Web site listed and you could discover coupons you can print out to use instantly.

When my children were in diapers, I did this every three to six months. I can't remember how many coupons I actually received, but I do know that I never paid full price for diapers.

Companies love it when you use coupons. It shows demographics like regions where the item is popular, if a new product is taking off and how frequently people are repurchasing the item. Often they will run a sweepstakes or contest where the coupon is your entry--you just fill in your name and address. One note of caution: If it asks for your e-mail, do not give it if it is not required. You will get a slew of spam messages, often from companies other than the one running the contest.

So look around your house at the products you use regularly. Fire off a quick letter or phone the toll-free number. It is like writing your own free coupons.

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