With the recent recession, couponing has become increasingly popular. Gone are the days when people were embarrassed to pull out their coupons at the grocery store.
Instead, they are proud of how much they have saved by simply exchanging paper for cash.
In 2009, coupon use rose 27% from 2008, according to a report published by CNN.com. That was the first time coupon use increased from the prior year in 17 years.
Television shows like Extreme Couponing have even glamourized the use of coupons.
This interest in savings has produced a surge in coupon websites, some better than others.
P&G Brandsaver, RedPlum, and SmartSource produce the inserts that are placed in Sunday newspapers. They also provide their coupons online at pgeverydaysolutions.com, redplum.com, and smartsource.com. However, they usually limit the amount of coupons that can be printed to two per computer printer.
The Lesser Known
CouponCabin.com is unique to the previously mentioned websites in that it not only offers printable grocery coupons specific to individual products, but also offers printable coupons specific to individual retailers. Target, Sears, and Kohl’s are just a few of the many retailers. They also offer promo codes to those who prefer to shop online.
CouponNetwork.com is also unique. Besides allowing users to print coupons, they have YourBucks® Offers, which according to their website are dollars-off rewards on future purchase. To claim the vouchers, you simply purchase the items being promoted at specific stores and the voucher is printed automatically at checkout. On the next visit, they work like cash toward your bill. Registration on couponnetwork.com allows you to view and print your reminders to purchase the items as well. After all, they are not of much value if you forget to use them.
A fantastic website for all coupon clippers is CouponTom.com. Keeping track of all the coupon websites can be a daunting task. CouponTom takes that frustration away by allowing you to type in the name of an item to see where the coupon can be found. You can also search the weekly ads offered by store. There is also a coupon insert schedule that shows you which inserts are going to be in the Sunday paper every week.
Adding to the value of CouponTom.com are two tools that allow you to get the most out of both your coupons and out of your time clipping them. The shopping list feature allows users to create shopping lists which CouponTom takes and checks to see which items are on sale. It then tells when their grocery store will be having a sale on the items. Another tool is the Insert Checker which allows users to determine which inserts they can throw away due to expired coupons. This can help keep coupon collections in check while adding to the efficiency of coupon clipping.
There is no reason to be embarrassed by or intimidated by coupons. Although there are numerous websites for coupon clippers, those mentioned above are great for both beginners and seasoned couponers.
George Gallagher has been writing for personal finance and frugality blogs for the last couple of years. He is currently working with graduates in helping them find student loan consolidation that helps them solve their problems while not taking advantage of their situation.