There are several places you can get coupons, but you need to know a little more about coupons first.

First and foremost: EVERY COUPON HAS A BARCODE.  No barcode, no savings.

There are several kinds of coupons you can easily get your hands on; newspaper inserts, in-store ads, in-store coupons, peelies, blinkies, wine tags, and Catalinas.

Newspaper Inserts– get your Sunday Newspapers.  Again, find the newspaper with the highest circulation in your area and you’ll find the best coupons.  The coupons in the newspaper inserts (Red Plum, SmartSource, P&G Brand Saver, etc.) are distributed by the manufacturer.  These can be stacked with in-store coupons to create your big savings.

Store Ads– these are usually in your Sunday Newspapers as well, but you’ll often find additional savings in the information kiosks.  Fred Meyer, for instance, has a month-long ad booklet that they do not distribute anywhere but in the store.  At first glance, it’s full of store brand items, but upon closer examination you’ll find some good deals in there.

In-Store Coupons– these are put out by the store, usually hanging on the shelves.  These are tricky, DO YOUR RESEARCH.  These are sometimes manufacturer coupons, but in that case, they are usually worth less than the manufacturer coupon you’ll find in the Sunday inserts.

Peelies– there is a bit of debate about peelies, these coupons are adhered to packaging on the shelf, frequently boasting “Instant savings!” or “SAVE $$ NOW!”.  Is it ok to take them off product you aren’t buying?  Is it ok to take peelies off products you don’t plan to buy in this shopping trip?  It’s all up to you and your own Jiminey Cricket. Due to the unpredictable amount of time a product can sit on a shelf, the expiration dates are usually more than 3 months out.

Blinkies– those little coupon dispensers that beep, flash, talk, and sometimes even show video are called “blinkies” in the coupon world.  Manufacturers pay for these machines to be placed in the store to lour shoppers to a “deal” with the distraction noise and lights.  Again, be careful.

Wine Tags– those tags you see hanging around a vinegar bottle or a wine bottle, or even a bottle of BBQ sauce are wine tags.  Wine tags are usually for things like proteins or produce that would accompany the bottled item.

Catalinas– ah, that thin strip of paper from that tiny little printer… they deserve their own post.  Catalinas print for you based on your purchase history using your rewards/membership card.  There are two kinds of Catalinas: cash toward your next purchase and coupons for products you use.  Companies pay for ad space with the Catalina Marketing Co. and they either reward you by giving you a dollar amount off of future purchases (“Buy $25 worth of these products, get $5 off your next purchase”) or they give you coupons for diapers, formula, canned foods, etc. for your future purchases.

Now you know!  Happy Saving!