Wednesday, May 30, 2012

#couponchallenge Step 2: Getting Coupons

Okay, so I have my price book and I'm starting to collect data (it's reaaallllllly interesting - a post on that soon!). I'm also starting to collect coupons - I know from experience that this really only works when you already have all the coupons you need (and with you!)!

I've started with printable coupons. Those are the easiest to get, they generally don't require an email, and there are great blogs that link to all the best printable coupons out there. It's an easy start, if you have access to a printer (The Idiot's Guide to Couponing points out that you can find coupons for ink, and start using the coupon game to get printer ink for free and maybe even super cheap!)

I'm also starting to sign up for manufacturer's email lists again. Every few years I get fed up with the amount of junk mail I get, but this time I'm doing some things differently.

First, I'm using a separate Gmail account. I've used separate email accounts before, but never gmail - and I feel like gmail has the best spam detection, easiest filtering options, and best of all, there's no way it's going to fill up like some of my other free email accounts would!

Second, I don't intend to check this email account every day - at most, once a week before I go shopping, and for many stores, only before a planned trip.

Third, I'm signing up for more and different manufacturers thank I have signed up with in the past. Since I've got a special gmail account, I'm being more broad and signing up for coupons from stores like office supply stores and fast food places, where I normally wouldn't bother before. I'm also opting in to more options - coupons plus sales alerts, instead of just coupons. (I still don't really want my info shared with other companies, though!)

Hopefully this tactic will get me some more printable coupons, or even high-value coupons mailed to my house. This works with Jo-Ann Fabrics and Bed, Bath and Beyond, so fingers crossed!

I don't have a subscription to the local paper yet because I'm not sure if I'd get enough savings by subscribing. I'm going to buy a Sunday paper this weekend and see how I feel about the inserts, and if so, I might get a 13-week Sunday only subscription (using - what else? - a coupon). I'm also going to look around for places where I can get discounted versions of day-old Sunday papers in my area - there are a few other local papers that might have some good or different coupons and I'll test those out before I subscribe to them as well. If you google "Sunday coupon preview" you'll get to see a list of the inserts - and sometimes the coupons! - that will appear in that week's paper! (Which saved me from buying a paper last weekend, when there were no inserts due to the Memorial Day holiday.)

I doubt very much that I'll ever buy coupons on ebay or anything like that. Even subscribing to the paper sort of smacks of "paying for savings", which I don't like. I guess if nothing else, the newspaper will help create more "browns" to go in our compost bin.

If you're participating in the coupon challenge, are you starting to collect coupons? Where are you finding them?

1 comment:

  1. Not sure if you have an iPhone, but for Joann's Fabric store, there is an app for it. You can sometimes get even better coupons through that than the e-mails and fliers. Also, for stores like Joann's, AC Moore and Michaels, they accept competitor's coupons too! Some of the stores require a hard copy of their competitor's coupons, others are OK with just looking at the Joann's app.

    Sounds like you're having fun with couponing, can't wait to hear more~ :)

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