April 6, 2012

Deal Shopping for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes: Utilizing Internet Printable Coupons

In my earlier post, Where to Find Manufacturer Coupons, I touched on internet printable coupons, but today I wanted to go a little more in-depth on the subject as internet printable coupons are one of the easiest ways to save.  By printing coupons online and using them with my regular shopping I have more cash to pack more Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

There are five major internet printable coupon providers:  Coupons.com, Coupon Network, SmartSource, Bricks and Redplum.  Each one offers manufacturer coupons to be printed by consumers, some offer a few at a time (Redplum usually has the least), and others offer dozens (Coupons.com usually offers the most).  Bricks coupons are powered by Coupons.com and usually are found on manufacturers' websites.  Here is a list of most of the current Bricks printable coupons.

Some Basic Facts:

  • The first of each month the coupons are reset--some are taken off and some are repeated.
    • If you printed the limit one month you can print again the next month.
    • They update the listings throughout the month, too, but the resets are almost always the first of the month.
  • Printable coupons usually expire 30 days after they print.
  • Each coupon has a "print limit."  When that number of coupons is printed it will be removed from the list.
    • If you see a coupon you are pretty sure you will be able to use within the next 30 days it is a good idea to print it as it may be gone when you are ready to shop with it.
  • You can usually print two of each coupon per computer.
  • Most of the printable coupon sites have the option to enter a zip code and some coupons will vary by region.  You can enter any zip code and it is often interesting to enter different zip codes and see the different coupons offered.

Utilizing Printable Coupons Simply:

  • Use an accordion coupon file to store printable coupons.
    • File by basic categories:  food, household, beauty, health care, baby, pet, personal care, etc.
      • Within each category file by name and/or expiration date.
    • Of course if you have a coupon file or binder you can add them to that (and this post is not probably irrelevant to you).
  • Stop by the four major sites once a week to see if any new coupons have been added (banners below).
  • Stop by each site the end of and the first of each month--remember if a coupon is reset on the first and you printed it on the last of the month you can print it again, this will get you four copies instead of just two.
  • When you make your shopping list from the weekly sale's flyer check your file for coupons and also stop by the printable coupon sites to see if any new coupons for your shopping list items have been issued.
  • Also check the manufacturer websites for products on your shopping list and see if they are offering any current printable coupons

Money Saving Printing Tips:

  • Set your printer to default to black and white printing.
  • If printing just one coupon at a time, watch for when the coupon is printed and if an ad starts to print hit cancel.
  • If you want to print a second coupon turn the paper around that you just printed on and put it back in the printer to print on the other end.
    • Be sure you know which way your printer prints--on mine I know to hold onto the coupon printed and put it in the printer which will assure that my second coupon is printed on the other end.
    • Some coupons will print right in the center of the paper, in this case there is no way to reprint a second one.
  • Save the paper that is left between the two coupons to put in your shoe boxes--perhaps in a Paper Pocket made from an up-cycled gift bag (or to make grocery lists or notes on).
                        .....    

Click banners above to visit sites to print latest coupons.

Click the banner below for all of the Coupons.com printable coupons.

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