Answered here: What’s a Coupon? Where Do I Find Coupons? How Do I Use Coupons?
Please note: On many websites, including this one, coupons are often called Qs.
Insert Q: found in the Sunday coupon inserts from your local (or nearest big city) paper. There are 4 names of inserts: Smart Source, Red Plum, General Mills, and P & G. Coupons in these inserts are regional so the coupon values will vary and the coupons available in the inserts will vary. You may want to consider buying the paper of your nearest big city instead of your hometown paper, as the larger city will likely have a better selection of Qs (if you are in Tyler, buy the Dallas paper instead)
Manufacturer Q: Most Qs are manufacturer Qs, which means the manufacturer publishes the coupon and is the one giving you $$ off your purchase for buying their product, via the store you redeem the Q at.
Store Q: Many stores will publish their own Qs that are valid only at their store. Target, Walgreens and CVS all release store Qs. These can be used in combination with (stacked) a manu Q. Often I will purchase a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Wash for $1.97. I will use a $1 manu Q and a $.75 Target Q, paying just $.22 for the baby wash. You can find store Qs for Target, Walgreens and CVS on their websites as well as in their weekly ads and home mailers.
Internet Printable Qs: These coupons can be printed twice per computer. It is easiest if you hit your backspace right after the Q has printed to be able to print it again. These Qs have a total # of prints allowed by the manufacturer so if you see a Q that you think you will use, you should print it right away. You might go back to print it later but can’t find it because it is out of prints. Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, Redplum.com and couponnetwork.com are all reputable coupon sites. You can also go to many manufacturer websites to print coupons directly. Kellogg’s, Campbell’s and Kimberly Clark almost always have Qs available on their sites. When you first use a coupon site you will have to download a driver in order to print the Qs. If you are printing from any of the sites I mentioned above you can rest assured that this is a safe thing to put on your computer. Once it’s done you shouldn’t have to do it again.
Peelies: Qs found stuck on products on the shelves. Many times they are valid on other products too besides just the one that had the peelie.
Tearpads: These Qs are found in various stores around town. Be nice- only take 1 or 2!
They can often be saved to combine with a sale for a great price.
Booklet Qs: These can be requested from places like Home Made Simple or can be found in stores on product displays.Wags Monthly IVC books are by the weekly ads.
Blinkies: These are small coupon holder/machines that blink-usually a red light. They are found near the item the Q is for of course. Sometimes the machines don’t have lights. Like the tearpad Qs- be respectful and just take 1 or 2, and save them for a sale and save big!
BOGO or Buy One Get One Q: This is a coupon that yields you a free product when you buy another one. Technically you can also use a $ off Q on the item you bought, but I feel like this is double dipping with the manufacturer and my conscience gets the better of me. It is legal to do so though.. BOGO Qs can be combined with Buy One Get One Sales to yield you 2 free products! In this case the manufacturer gives you one for free and the store gives you one for free so my conscience has no issues with 2 freebies here! Remember that a BOGO Q has a spending limit that may not cover the entire price at some stores.
Catalina Q: These print at the register after you have bought a certain product or combination of products. These may be a $ off any purchase or may be for a specific item. Some have very short expirations though, so watch them carefully. They are usually only valid at the store that printed them, even though they are manufacturer issued.
RR or Register Reward: This is a special Catalina that only prints at Walgreens and is a manufacturer Q. It is only valid for 2 weeks and cannot be used on the same item or group of items that produced the RR. These are usually advertised and will often be for the entire amount of the item you just purchased. These are a wonderful way to stock your cabinets.
ECBs or Extra Care Bucks: These are similar to Walgreens RRs, but they are considered store Qs. You will receive them for buying certain advertised products or for using your Green Bag Tag (more on that later)
E-Coupons: These are loaded onto your store savings card or on your smartphone. Some function as coupons (Cellfire, Brookshire’s store Qs, Target smartphone Qs) and others are a cashback coupon (Upromise and SavingStar)
Keep your coupons for your transaction in the same hand as your form of payment. When the cashier gives you the total price, hand him or her your coupons. If you have several, you might want to hand just a few at a time to verify that they all come off your total. When you take a $1 Manu Q to the store and buy the corresponding item, they will give you $1 off your purchase. The store will submit that Q to the manufacturer and receive the $1 plus $.08 back in exchange for processing the Q. It’s a win-win situation for the store, you buy the product from them and they get an extra 8 cents out of the deal. When you use a store Q, the store does not get reimbursed for the value of the coupon, but they do get your business.
Be sure to read the title on the Q. Some Qs are for just the item pictured. Others will say “on any”.
Also be aware that there are stores that don’t accept manu Qs. Big Lots, Drug Emporium and Sams are some that come to mind. Use a filing system to keep your coupons organized. Use the system that works best for you. (Box, accordian file, clutch, envelope, binder)
If you have any questions- leave a comment or send an e-mail. I’ll do my best to answer.