Sunday, September 4, 2011

Printable Coupons

I have a lot of friends and family ask me what sites I use to print coupons. A lot of them express to me how annoying it is when they search for printable coupons online and get a million websites in their search that just refer them to other websites. The answer is simple: go back to the source.

What do I mean by "go back to the source"? Simple, think about where coupons come from. The manufacturers and the companies that put the inserts in the Sunday paper. So we should start looking in those places for printables first.

Most manufacturer's websites will have a promotional area that will list any coupons or promotions available. Many manufacturers put coupons and other offers on their Facebook page, which is why it is important to be plugged into an online couponing community. I highly suggest Slick Deals and WUC (we use coupons). Next you will want to check the companies that put the inserts in the Sunday paper. They are Smart Source, Red Plum (aka Valassis) and P&G. Both Smart Source and Red Plum have internet printable coupons but P&G does not; what it does have is a mailer you sign up for that comes out every few months. Last but definitely not least I use This site is the most widely accepted site for printable coupons for grocery stores.

A few things I'd like to mention about printable coupons that is very important. One, is about making several copies of printable coupons. It wouldn't strike some as surprising that it is illegal to take coupons from the newspaper, copy them with a copy machine and try to use them in a store. But many people do not realize that you cannot print several copies of internet coupons. Do not save the image of the coupon and attempt to print it off as this is illegal. Each internet coupon comes with a spare UPC code that is unique to each printed coupon, so a manufacturer can limit customers to a certain amount of prints per family. Internet printable coupons are usually limited to two per computer. For example, if there was a coupon for Tide laundry detergent and I have a home computer I could print off two of the same coupons and still be able to use both because the upc codes would be different. If I wanted to be extra savvy I could also use my son's computer and print out two more so that I would have a total of 4 legit coupons. This is not illegal. There are instances however, that a manufacturer will allow more than two prints per computer, this is usually when you have bought a product and need to enter a code or a number on the purchased package to get the coupons. Use common sense when printing coupons off the internet make sure the coupon is from a source you can trust like the ones mentioned above to discourage any issues you may encounter at the checkout lane.

A few more tips to make coupon printing easy, cheaper and more enjoyable:
  • You do not have to print coupons in color (save your expensive ink)
  • Coupons normally print 3 per page uniformly when from the same source, so you can stack several pages and cut out several at a time.
  • Printable coupons generally have a shorter life span, around 30 days or shorter, so print frugally.
  • Sometimes you will run across store specific printables that will display the name of the store and possibly a logo, this means the coupon is only good at that certain grocer or store. Make sure you read the coupon carefully and look for the words manufacturer's coupon, if you do not see these words it is likely a store specific coupon.
I wish you all luck in finding what you need online. Happy savings!

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