Coupons, coupons, and coupons

I had an interesting coversation with another Mom today. It started out with– I hate printing coupons. I have an old printer. I can’t afford the ink.

I spoke to someone last week who said nobody in their family reads the Sunday paper, but they still subscribe to it for the coupons…

A while back someone at the store stopped and asked me how I got my coupons to fill my binders that weighed last week were over 9 lbs!!

So here are some thoughts for you…

Saving With Anna does not to subscribe to the Sunday newspaper right now! I LOVE reading the paper. I am very interested in writing, journalism and want to support the paper and publishing industries all I can. But my husband is constantly losing hours at work. I don’t know how we are still surviging.

No wait yes I do- coupons!

We have figured out what days are good to dumpster dive! Everyone that watches Extreme Couponers laughs at the one mom and her pregnant best friend who dumpster dived and actually had it on her schedule to do so. Well we do too! I used to carry our recycling like once a month. We go several times a week. We peek in see if anything is in arms reach. I used to use one of those claws that are shown on TV but I left it there one day and well its gone… but my husband gets into it to. For the coupons, sure, he loves helping, but he secretly loves finding cool magazines to read. Some folks look down on us and get really perterbed, but if people are just recycling why not re-use. One man actually asked my husband if he was looking for work when he drove our old pick-up to the recycling bin and was sorting coupons on the tailgate. I don’t know how many times I’ve filled my trunk and backseat with groceries for pennies on the dollar simply because we grabbed coupons from the recycling bin.

I recently spoke to a blogger on Twitter that said people aren’t just going through their recycling bins on the curb in their neighborhood but collecting cans to cash in at the metal recycling, going through their trash. Now that is gross…. reaching in the recycling bin that only accepts newspapers when the papers are piled high enough you can reach- there is no harm and no shame in my mind.

Next, print coupons. I always print to many. I get excited about a coupon when I find out that the sale is not for our region, or the product is much higher priced than I imagined. But, I have a great cycle of buying my ink at Best Buy and earning rewards to buy more ink… Then I turn in the used ink at the office store- Staples, Office Max, Office Depot and get credits to use in their store that accumulate monthly. Then I can buy paper and more coupon binder supplies! Also, when I print, unless its a restaurant or retail coupon that says- print in color for acceptance, I only print in DRAFT and Black and White. You can control this in your printer settings. We have a fancy photo printer and I barely use ink printing coupons this way.

Last, where else to get coupons. Well, yes I do collect peelies in the store… those are the coupons that you find on products in the store. I find that the peelies often save you more money a little while later when a sale comes up often at another store. Most of the time, I use one there and pull off another one or two. I am not greedy though, I don’t get everything I can and I always try to bring more with coupons to the front so someone else can benefit. Just as I do not believe in clearing a shelf or emptying a bin like they do on the TLC show. Even if it is for charity, how frustrating is it when you get up early Sunday or Monday and race to the store with a bunch of whiney kids to find out that some other couponer has wiped the shelves clean. Share the wealth… One of my favorite bloggers said this past week that she needs to team up with some mystery couponer that keeps beating her to the store 🙂 After peelies, there are displays in the store that we all see, but look everywhere! Look at the customer service counter, in some stores they have a coupon exchange counter, and even in gas stations and convient stores like Dollar General- the peal off pads of coupons are everywhere these days. Look in the mess of junk mail that everyone gets in the mail. I one time looked in our post office box to find a FREE Chickfilet sandwhich coupon to turn around and find stacks of thrown away ads on the counter where people rudely left them- for |ME to get FREE chicken sandwiches!

If you listen to Extreme Couponers or deal bloggers, they often write companies. I am definately into telling a company what I think if I’ve had a bad experience, but you can’t forget about the good experiences. You can’t forget to write your favorite product companies and brag about how much you love them and hint for coupons! The one Extreme Couponer on TLC said the banana companies send her coupons this way. I LOVE that! I follow Penny Pinchin Mom and she has the apple a day program where she writes a different company and tells you about it, http://www.pennypinchinmom.com/2011/05/apple-a-day-234/. Also, when you request samples or email for information from companies online you often get coupons. Look in everything! Train the rest of your family to look in the products they use and find coupons.

Many bloggers have coupon databases, there are several databases that I frequently use- posted about that last week, and last you can get coupons through rewards companies like Recyclebank, Swagbucks, Shopathome, etc.

Hope this gives you all some food for thought. Recent conversations have prompted me to discuss this today and as you all know, I’m still building my blog and working on content to complete my page tabs!

Anna

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About Anna Kroyer Cahoon

I'm a savings savvy stay at home mom. Our family loves to play the grocery game and we have to save every way we can. Through Saving With Anna, we exchange savings ideas and share great deals with friends, family, and faithful followers. With Inspire-gize, I am taking charge of my life and its mission in 2012!

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