There are a few questions that I have had lately regarding coupons that I thought I would answer as a part of today’s “tip of the day Tuesday.”
Often my scenarios involve buying multiple items using multiple coupons, so one question I get a lot is – Where do you get all of your coupons?
The “key” to really being able to stockpile and save is having multiple coupons so that when there are big sales, you can buy multiple items. The way that I get multiple coupons is either from eBay or a coupon clipping site.
The coupon clipping site that I use most often is The Coupon Clippers. She posts the insert coupons for the new week on Saturday mornings and if there are “hot” coupons, you have to get them quick. The average cost for “standard” coupons is .08-.12 each and the average cost for “hot” coupons (some examples include the $2.50 Electrasol coupons or the $4 Gillette razor coupons) is $.30-40/each. She also charges a shipping and handling fee of .50 and you have to have a minimum purchase of $3. If there is a variety of insert coupons that I want multiples of, this is the route that I use. She usually has limits on the “hot” coupons you can purchase (usually 10 per order and there is a waiting period before you can order more).
I buy on eBay if there are multiples of just one coupon that I want because I know I won’t meet the minimum purchase requirements for The Coupon Clippers and/or it’s a less expensive route to take.
Sometimes timing is everything, too. For example, in the 10/25 insert, some areas received a special extra insert with Target coupons. There was a Target coupon for $1 off Huggies wipes. From experience, I know that the wipes often go on sale for $1.99, and I also knew that there was a .50/1 Huggies wipes manufacturer’s coupon in the paper recently, so with both coupons, it would make the wipes only .49! I bought 20 of each right away and paid a total of $4.74 for all of those coupons, including shipping. The Target wipes coupons are now going for an average of $10-12 each for a lot of 20. The manufacturer’s coupons for the wipes are hard to even find on eBay and are going for about $2 for a lot of 20. So, sometimes timing is everything. Now, I will be able to get 20 tubs of wipes for $14.54 out of pocket (including what I paid for the coupons), which is .73/tub.
A word of caution: If you are buying in eBay, be SURE that you check the seller’s feedback first! Go with a seller that has a high feedback score and has completed lots of transactions. Many of them will have a store where they are listing multiple coupons that they have available. Sometimes you can find other coupons you need and most sellers will combine shipping if you win more than one item. I prefer “Buy it Now” auctions and auctions with free shipping. Be sure to also check the shipping costs. Some sellers will charge $1-1.50 for shipping on coupons! If you do order coupons through eBay, did you know that you can go through Ebates and get 3% cash back? (plus a $5 bonus if you are signing up for the first time!)
Here are some eBay sellers that I have had good experiences with: danicab, tarastreasures83, coupondad2nine, and blackhawk-pilots-wife
What about buying multiple papers?
I know that this works for some people and for people who do buy multiples, the cheapest route I have heard of is the 99 Cent Store, if you have one in your area. This just doesn’t work for me because I usually only want a few of the insert coupons and I end up feeling like I’m becoming loaded down with paper and inserts that go to waste.
How do you organize your coupons?
I have started filing my inserts by date. I write the date on the outside of the insert (it also appears along the “spine” of the insert) and I have a hanging file folder for each month where I file them. Most “deal match-ups” will list the insert where different coupons came from, so it’s easy for me to go straight to the insert and clip the coupons I need.
I have an accordian style holder that is divided by store and when I go out to do my shopping trips for the week, I organize my coupons for each trip in there. Also, if I buy multiples of a coupon from a coupon clipping service or on eBay, it’s usually for a sale that I already know about, so I go ahead and file them in the appropriate store section.