• National Coupon Month--Favorite Coupons



How to Find the Best Coupons for Everything! 

By Stephanie Nelson


For the past several years, September has been “National Coupon Month.”  In celebration of National Coupon Month, I’d like to share my favorite coupon strategies and coupon sources to help you become a coupon aficionado, too.  I have a “coupon mentality” and try to find a coupon for almost every purchase or activity before I leave my house.  I do not find coupons every time, but have been pleasantly surprised at the coupons I have been able to find in just a few minutes by searching the Internet for free savings. 

Grocery coupons:  My favorite source of coupon savings is the Sunday newspaper coupon circular.  Representing a potential $318 billion in annual savings, they can be a great source of savings for most households.  Ninety-nine percent of grocery coupons are thrown away, most likely because they can be tedious to use.  Save time and money using the online “Grocery Coupon Database” for your state to find the coupons you like easily.  All you have to do is find the coupon circulars in the paper each week, write that day’s date on the front of the circular, and save the entire circular in a box or file.  When you decide you’d like to save with grocery coupons, whether that is once a week or once a month, the Virtual Coupon Organizer will make it easy for you to search and find the coupons you need.  Simply cut out the coupons you need (the Grocery Coupon Database will tell you the date the coupon you liked came out).  Find your state’s coupon database at www.couponmom.com.

Clothing coupons:  If you have a favorite clothing store, visit its website or ask the salesperson if they issue any coupons.  You may be surprised at the savings available.  For example, many clothing stores such as Coldwater Creek and Chico’s have generous coupons in every catalog (a typical offer would be $25 off $100 purchase).  If you don’t receive their catalogs, you can subscribe to their mailing list online.  Many stores like Gap, Old Navy, and New York & Co. send coupon offers out via their email newsletters.  Department stores frequently have coupons in the newspaper that can be combined with clearance sales as well.  Outlet mall stores even have coupons you can print and coupon books available in the mall office. Check sites like premiumoutlets.com for details.  Find online coupon codes for dozens of clothing stores in the Online Coupons section of CouponMom.com.

Home Improvement coupons:  You can even find coupons for your favorite hardware stores that can save anywhere from $5 to $1,000 with one coupon.  Stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware offer national coupons.  Visit their websites to sign up for their email newsletters to receive notices about sales, special promotions, free educational workshops that include special discounts, online coupon codes for online orders, and even printable coupons to use in stores.  Also check coupon mailers (such as the blue envelope from Valpak) for hardware store coupons.  For example, when we had our kitchen cabinets refaced last year, we used a Home Depot coupon from the Valpak mailer that saved $722 off the total order (be sure to present the coupon after you are given the price estimate for the work so that you can be sure your coupon savings are genuine).  I also received a 10% off coupon from lowesmoving.com that I used to buy light fixtures, saving $50 off our total purchase.  However, you can even use that 10% coupon to buy more expensive merchandise (such as appliances) to save up to $1,000.  

Local Business coupons:  Many local businesses are now providing coupons you can print from the Internet through a variety of local coupon websites.  Use a search engine to surface local websites that may have coupons for mom and pop restaurants, local movie theaters, home services, and more.  National sites like Valpak.com and Hotcoupons.com have free local business coupons.  Also check your local newspaper, radio and television websites to find printable coupons in your area.  For little known coupon sites, type “local coupons + the name of your city” in a search engine.  For example, by entering “local coupons Chicago” in a search engine, I immediately found coupons for several restaurants in a Chicago suburb from a local coupon site, as well as dozens of other businesses.  I also found a 50% off one item coupon for a local clothing store in my area by taking the same approach.  Experiment with different search terms (try the name of your suburb, your state, your city, etc.) and different businesses names (restaurant, businesses, clothing, etc.)  

Coupons are free money if you can find them for businesses you already use!  

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