Coupon Academy

First we'll start with a quick lesson on the two most basic types of coupons, physical and electronic.

  • Physical Coupon- Any coupon clipped from a newspaper insert, magazine ad, product label/container, weekly sale flyer, etc.  This can also be a coupon printed from an internet site.  In other words, any coupon you physically take to the store and submit to the cashier.
  • Electronic Coupon- A coupon used in electronic form.  In this area of the country, it is most usually loaded to your Dillon's or Kroger savings card from the internet.  The discounts are automatically given at the time of checkout, once your card has been scanned.  There are services that allow you to also load these coupons to your cellular phone for exchange at the store, but I do not personally know of any local stores that participate in this sort of coupon exchange currently.

Lesson #2- Where to Find Physical Coupons

  1. Newspapers- Weekend editions of many newspapers will include special coupon inserts, such as Red Plum, Smart Source, and P&G Saver.
  2. Blinkies- These are the electronic coupon dispensing machines found in the aisles at your grocery store.  When you're browsing the shelves, be sure to keep your eyes peeled and grab a couple for future use.
  3. Internet- There are numerous websites that offer coupons for you to download and print for free. I have embedded one of the most popular printable coupon sources at the bottom of my blog spot.  Scroll down to the bottom and print to your heart's desire!  You can also try Softcoin (through Dillon's), RedPlum, SmartSource, Shortcuts, CouponNetwork and Target, but there are more out there you may come across and use.  I like accessing printables through my SwagBucks account, because I earn credits for every coupon I print and redeem.  For a serious couponer, that can add up quickly!
  4. Peelies- The little peel off coupons located on product packaging.
  5. Tear Pads- Often found in the shopping aisles near specific products.  Another great place to find tear pads is your local gas station/convenience store.
  6. Product Packaging- Be sure to look inside that cardboard box and inside all of your packages for that matter.  You might be surprised by the high value of the coupons you find there.
Lesson #3- How to Print Physical Coupons from the Internet

This can be a little scary at first, because you will have to download a coupon printing feature.  I have done this with the sites I have listed, and it has been totally safe.  Once you have downloaded and installed the printing program (and it will walk you how to step by step), you then click on coupons to select and print when your list is complete.

Lesson #4- Where to Find Electronic Coupons

  1. Softcoin (through Dillon's).  You can choose from hundreds of coupons and load them directly to your Dillon's card.  Just have the card handy, as you'll need the card number to set up your account.  I highly recommend that couples use the same card to maximize savings and fuel points.
  2. Cellfire.  Again, you'll need your Dillon's card handy.  There are usually less to choose from, but they all add up to savings.  Also, Cellfire periodically rewards users with bonus cash off your purchase rewards.  I have save $2.50 just this month in special rewards.
  3. Shortcuts.  Very similar to the other two sites listed above.
  4. Upromise.  This one is similar in how coupons are loaded to your card; however, you do not actually see any savings while at the store.  If you have college debt or are saving for college, you may be eligible to use this service to pay off debt or accumulate savings.  I personally signed up just recently, but have not saved anything yet.  It can take several weeks for your savings to appear, so I anticipate a little soon.  Be sure to ask friends and family for their savings card numbers as well, because this will increase your chances of redeeming selected coupons.  You are allowed to register multiple cards.  It costs your supporters nothing, but can add to your student assistance.
Lesson #5- How to Load Electronic Coupons

This is the easiest part.  Each site (see Lesson #4 above) will ask you to set up an account, for which you'll need access to your Dillon's (or other affiliated grocery savings) card.  Then you simply select coupons and click to add.  These sites will even send you periodic updates on your savings, which is always fun when you've recently worked so hard to save.

Lesson #6- Coupon Slang

Here are some terms you commonly find when reading my coupon blogs, as well as those that others may post on other blogs.  There is actually a HUGE list, so I will add from time to time as I use them in my posts.

B1G1- Buy 1 Get 1 Free (or insert a different number, such as buy 2 get 1)
BOGO- Buy 1 Get 1 Free
eQ- electronic/digital coupon
MIR- mail in rebate
NLA- no longer available
P&G- Proctor and Gamble (they make booklets, mailers, newspaper inserts, and more)
Q- coupon
RP- Red Plum, a coupon insert often found in the weekend paper; RP also hosts a coupon printing site
SS- Smart Source (newspaper insert)
Stack- Using a manufacturer's coupon in conjunction with a store-specific or electronic/digital coupon
TWQ- Target Web Coupon, coupons specific to Target available at their website
WYB- when you buy

Lesson #7- Coupon Databases

If you are in need of a coupon for a specific item, and you can't find it on my page already, I suggest trying a coupon database.  These are great sources for finding coupons in places you would never think to look, and they can dramatically cut down your search time.  They are especially helpful to me when I am hoping to find multiple coupons for the same item.  Below are the two I currently use the most, Money Saving Mom and Deal Seeking Mom.  There are many out there, but these two seem to have what I'm looking for on a regular basis.

Money Saving Mom Coupon Database
Deal Seeking Mom Coupon Database