Couponing 201: Web savings sources

image of coupon with scissorsYou’ve likely seen the little red shelf-talkers from SmartSource at the grocery store, where you can pull out coupons or rebate forms or advertising concerning new products.  They also have a great web site for printing coupons, which online couponers go to for printing their own coupons.  Perhaps the best known site for this purpose, SmartSource is only one of a myriad of such sites.  Other examples are Red Plum.com, ShopAtHome.com, Coupons.com and an interesting site called the Penny Pincher Gazette, or ppgazette.com, where you can not only print coupons but also find inexpensive recipes and much more.  There are plenty of coupon sites; these are just a few.  Try keying in printable grocery coupons in your search engine and see what you find, but set aside some time for this project!  There are hundreds of sites and not all are above board.  You’ll have to figure out which ones you like best.

Before your next shopping trip, spend a little time getting organized.  Write up your list, gather your coupons, and only then sit down at the computer.  Visit SmartSource and Red Plum.com and other sites you like, printing the coupons for the items you need coupons for.  If your list isn’t already covered in terms of having a coupon for each item (wouldn’t that be nice!), keep looking within a reasonable time limit.

Next, try some of the manufacturer’s sites.  Companies like Pillsbury, Smart Balance, and the like currently have coupons of their own.  While clipping or printing coupons for items you don’t currently need isn’t necessarily a good idea, with manufacturers’ sites, it might be worth it.  They can and will pull their coupons without notice, even while currently running ads.  Another place to check would be sites such as BoxTops4education.com, where you can print a number of coupons for baking mixes and other products that carry BoxTops for Schools.

Some stores have coupons on their own sites, although these are becoming fewer.  Check stores’ individual web sites for printable coupons.   New services, however, are springing up to replace those that are disappearing.  The Kroger and Carr’s/Safeway families of stores also participate in Shortcuts.com.  This is an online coupon service at which you check off the coupons you like and they will be deducted from your total at checkout without your having to present the physical coupon, all in addition to the store card discount and any manufacturer’s coupons. It’s worth checking to see if your store participates, too.

While it takes some time, online coupons are a great source of higher-value coupons.  You have to balance the time and expense with the savings, but it’s kind of fun for a thrifty soul like me!

My next post will cover mobile apps.  Oh boy, they are booming!

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Hi! Welcome to my new blog, a fun home for frugal friendlies of a crafty nature!

Yeps. It's me.

Hello, and thanks for visiting my first post of Thrifty Soul!  In it, I am hoping to not only share some pearls of a hard-gained thriftster (some might call it cheapskate-in-residence), but occasionally combine it with fun things to actually do.  Once in a while, I might even toss out an idea or two for making a few extra bucks to feed the fees (be they craft costs, the envelope in the mattress, or god forbid, bank fees).  Sometimes, you might end up hearing stories of Marbles and His Marvelous Tail, if my dog has done something so extraordinarily interesting.

I hope you will take the time to comment, especially if it’s ideas for future entries or projects to try.  REAL ways to make a little spare cash, such as postings of craft shows within reason, are welcome, spammers are NOT.  Spammers are NOT welcome and will be offered lodgings over an open pit of pit vipers.  My mouse hovers over the block button.  Trolls will be fed to my pet dragon, Sparky.  He loves trolls.  I can’t afford to feed him high-speed dragon food from PetsWag.

Other bloggers, please make yourself at home.  The coffee is usually on.  It might be instant.  For coffee purists, until recently, I was a snob about instant and would never let it cross my lips.  However, I love Starbucks Via…mocha is my favorite!.  Your Thrifty Tip for today:  for one 12-ounce mug, i have found that if I fill a 1/8 measuring cup halfway with the Via powder and top it off with the “International” Suisse Mocha Cafe mix, I can reduce the cost of the beverage significantly and actually add a bit of the cocoa flavor I crave, as well.  Still with only about 60 calories per 8-oz cup (I am also trying to control my calories – you’ll likely hear a little of that, too, sadly, but I’ll save it for later).

I’m a stay-at-home for the most part, although I do pick up independent jobs now and then.  I am a regular beader and jewelry maker with a site on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/JustLovelyJewelry).  I also have one on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/pawscharming) that is open and designed to generate donations to pet charities in my area, but it is under construction at the moment with just one necklace available.  I have a miracle stroke survivor for a husband and two dogs, a Maltese named “Marbles” and a black lab named…wait for it….”Buddy” at home.  Up and out are:  4 kids, 8 grandkids, and a burgeoning assortment of extremely entertaining great-grandkids (currently, the count is at 9).  After many years spent in the Army, wonderful Hubby and I moved around a bit until our antsy feet were able to slow down and we now live in his hometown in northern Indiana.  It’s a change for me, as I grew up in a very large General Motors city (known as Buicktown), and this is rather rural.

I also have a smattering of spinal disorders, undoubtedly either stemming from or aggravated by my time in service, and crafting helps pass the time when I can’t do much else.  Wondering why my floors aren’t vacuumed?  I have a good excuse!  I do, I really do!  LOL!

All this said, I’ve bored you enough with me, so that’s enough for today, and you can move on to your nap now.   Thanks for stopping by!  See?  You just spent a couple of minutes and paid nothing, leaving with your first Thrifty Tip!  Thrrrrrifty! 🙂