Learn How to Coupon!

To be successful with couponing, you have got to change the way you think about shopping. You have to open your mind to something new. This will be better for you and your life in the long run. Say Goodbye to the old shopping habits and Say Hello to Becoming a Coupon Pro!

Before:

You will no longer have to run to the store when you are out of Toilet Paper or Diapers

No longer Buying necessities regardless of the price

After: 

Buy according to what’s on sale

Saving 50-90% a week at Different Stores

Shopping with coupons while a product is on sale

Stocking up on items while it’s cheap or free

 

*Make sure you look out for our "Coupon Swag Page" Coming Soon! This page will provide a detailed list of the weekly deals that we buy in store and show you how we Save 💲💲 and have Qpon Swag! 

Where Do I get the Coupons?

Newspaper Inserts

The best place to find coupons is in the Sunday paper. There are three different inserts that come out on a regular basis: Smart Source (SS), Red Plum (RP) and Procter & Gamble (PG). You will want to get your hands on two to four copies of each of these coupon inserts. The way to save money is to buy multiple products when they’re at at really cheap prices. (Sources: Philadelphia Inquirer & Northeast Times Newspaper, Neighborhood Circular Drop-off)

Printable Coupons

Places to get Printable coupons are Coupons.com, Smartsource.com, Redplum.com, Facebook and on the manufacturer websites. you will find them in more places than you would have thought. The best part is they’re free.

You will need a computer and a printer, and you will have to download a bit of software. Rest assured, printing coupons from your home computer is pretty safe and easy!

Mobile Coupons

Mobile Coupons are a new way to save that’s even easier and faster than newspaper and printables. Get coupons right through your “mobile” phone.

Cash Back Apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, Cartwheel, Shopmium allow you to download coupons to your phone and redeem cash back savings after you’ve purchased a product. This is one of my favorite ways to save money.

eCoupons

An eCoupon is just a short word for electronic coupon. These coupons are loaded to your store loyalty card via your phone or computer. Many Stores have eCoupon programs, like Shoprite, CVS and Walgreens just to name a couple.

In order to access the eCoupon, go to your store's site, register, add your card number to your account, peruse the coupons, click the ones you want and load them to your card. To redeem, just give the cashier your card at checkout and the discount is automatically deducted from your balance.

Binder Method

If you have the time to Clip all of your coupons or want a quick way to access all coupons by category. This is for you!

Here is what you need:

3 Ring Binder - 3in or Larger

  • Baseball Card Holders or Coupon Sleeves (can be purchased on Amazon.com)
  • Once you get all of your items you will cut the coupons and separate them into the categories in your binder. Then, Your ready to Coupon!

 

Accordian File

This is the easiest way to file your coupons.

  • Purchase an Accordian File Box. (Walmart, Staples, Target, Office Max)
  • Label the Tabs the Date of the Coupon Insert (Date is on Rib of insert)
  • Put the insert into the File Folder.

When we list an item: ex. $0.50/1 Colgate Kid's Toothpaste 3/5 S, you will go to your File and look for the Tab "3/5" and find the Smartsource.

Then look for this coupon in the insert and cut the coupon.

It's that Simple!

Download Our - Table of Contents - Philly Coupon Mom

When do I use my Coupons?

The number one mistake a couponer can make is using your coupons, just because you have them.

All you need to do is wait for the item to go on sale at the Store.

Check out www.PhillyCouponMom.com Daily for Deals or Sign-up for Our Newsletter to get the Hottest Deals of the Day.

  • Stack your Coupons – Stacking means using one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon together on the same item. Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, Target issue store coupons and allow you to stack them with one manufacturer coupon. (Remember, you can not use two manufacturer coupons on one item)
  • Double Coupons- “Double Coupons” means they will accept your coupon at twice the face value. Certain Stores like –Shoprite, Giant & Pathmark all Double Coupons. (ex. If a coupon is $0.50 off one item, the store will honor that coupon at $1.00 off.)
  • Cash Back Offers - When you have an item on sale and you can stack it with a manufacturer coupon + a store coupon + a cash back offer like "Checkout 21", you have successfully hit it big. This is the best way to capitalize on your couponing trip. Haven't signed up for these offers yet? Read About the Cash Back Offers

Know the Coupon Policies

You are almost done, But you must learn the Stores Coupon Policies before you head to the store with your coupons. It is very important that you review each stores policies before leaving home.

First, you want to start with one store. If you do too many stores, you will get burned out. Choose a store that is closest to you, this will help you save on gas. Once you have picked the store, you need to understand their coupon policy.

You can find them listed below or you can find them on the store’s website:

Acme Coupon Policy

CVS Coupon-policy

Dollar General Coupon Policy

Dollar tree coupon policy

Rite Aid coupon policy

Shoprite Coupon Policy

Target Coupon Policy

Walgreens Coupon Policy

Walmart Coupon Policy

Coupon Lingo

Coupon Lingo Downloadable

$1.00/1, $2.00/1, etc- One dollar off one product, two dollars off one product, etc.

$1.00/2, $2.00/2, etc - One dollar off two products, two dollars off two products, etc. You must buy 2 items to receive any savings; you cannot redeem the coupon on one product for half the value.

BOGO - Buy one, get one. Will usually end with “free” or “half off” meaning buy one, get one half off, or buy one get one free.

B1G1, B2G1 - Another way to write ‘buy one, get one’. The “B” stands for “buy”, the G stands for “get”. The numbers indicate how many of a product you must buy to qualify and the number of products you get when you redeem the coupon or offer. B1G1= Buy one, get one. B2G1= Buy two, get one B2G2= Buy two, get two

Blinkie - Manufacturer coupons dispensed by coupon machines found in grocery aisles next to products. Recognize them by the blinking red light. Dispenses coupons one at a time in intervals. Manufacturer blinkie coupons may be redeemed at any store, not necessarily the store in which you found them.

Catalina - Sometimes abbreviated as “CAT”, Catalina coupon machines located at register, dispense long receipt-like coupons that may be used on a future purchase. Catalinas, refer to the coupons themselves which may be manufacturer or store coupons. Some Catalina coupons are advertised and some are generated based on consumer behavior.

Coupon Insert - Coupon circulars inserted into Sunday newspapers amongst the other advertisements. Smart Source (SS), Red Plum (RP) and Proctor and Gamble (PG) put out coupon inserts, sometimes just called “inserts”. Coupon inserts are a valuable money-saving tool and I recommend buying multiple Sunday newspapers in order to have enough coupons to create a stockpile.

Coupon - A note from a store or manufacturer that entitles shopper to a discount on specific product. Coupons may be clipped from the newspaper, printed from the internet or even downloaded to your store loyalty card. Couponing is the practice of redeeming discount coupons in order to save money.

Double Coupons - Select stores always double coupons up to a certain value, usually $0.50. If your store doubles coupons up to $0.50 off, any coupon $0.50 or under will be doubled in value. Coupons $0.51 or greater will be worth face value, no doubling. You do not need to present two coupons for one item. Each coupon will be worth twice the value. Other stores may double coupons on a particular week day, usually a slower day like Tuesday. Other stores may offer physical store ‘twice-the-value’ coupons. Even other stores may feature double coupons on a special promo week basis and will advertise this in their weekly ad.

eCoupons - Electronic coupons may be downloaded onto your store loyalty card or cell phone. Download from your PC or go mobile and download to your loyalty card through your cell phone. Grocery coupons must be downloaded to your loyalty card and will be deducted automatically when you swipe your card at checkout. E-coupons may be downloaded to your cell-phone for other retail items such as movie rentals. Download a coupon using the mobile ap and show your discount code to your cashier.

Extra Bucks - CVS rewards program, formerly called ECBs. Extra Bucks print according to the store’s weekly or monthly advertised deals. When you make a qualifying purchase, you receive the coordinating Extra Bucks value as advertised. Extra Bucks are similar to catalinas or register rewards, but they print directly onto the bottom of your receipt.

EXP - Expires or Expiration Date

Handling Fee - Refers to an amount, usually $0.08, paid by the manufacturer to reimburse the store for the trouble of accepting a coupon. The handling fee is usually used to pay a clearing house to sort, organize and bill the manufacturer. If a store chose to sort its own coupons, they will keep the handling fee.

MIR - Mail in Rebate, refers to rebates which must be submitted by mail. These are the traditional rebates that require you to mail in both your receipt and proof of purchase in the form of UPC barcodes. Manufacturer: The company who produces the brand items: Dove soap manufacturer, Pace Salsa manufacturer, etc.

MFR - Manufacturer abreviation.

Manufacturer Coupon - A coupon created by the manufacturer, or by a marketing company on the manufacturer’s behalf. Manufacturer offers a discount to shoppers in order to entice them to buy their product. When a coupon is redeemed the manufacturer reimburses the store for the entire value of the coupon, plus a handling fee, aprox $0.08.

One Coupon per Purchase - Refers to your ability to use one coupon per item. Meant to enforce the point that you may not use two of the exact same coupon for one item.

One Coupon per Transaction - Limits you to only using one of this coupon per transaction. You may request to do separate transactions. Example: If you have 5 coupons that read “one coupon per transaction” you may request to separate into 5 transactions and pay 5 times.

Peelie - Adhesive manufacturer coupons found on products in the store. Peelies are often good on a wider selection of products than the one it is stuck to. Be sure to read the fine print on the peelie to discover if the coupon may be used on a smaller size or different variety of the same product, to allow you to maximize savings.

P&G - Proctor and Gamble manufacture a wide range of consumer goods and are one of the largest corporations in the world. Proctor and Gamble puts out monthly coupon inserts filled with coupons for a variety of Proctor and Gamble produced brands, just a few of which include: Always, Bounty, Crest, Dawn, Gillette, Olay, Pampers and Tide.

Purchase - A purchase refers to buying any item. If I buy 30 items on a single shopping trip, I just made 30 purchases.

Purchase-Based Coupon - Purchase-Based coupons specify a dollar amount off a minimum dollar future purchase. Some common values: $2 off $10, $3 off $15, $4 off $20. Purchase based coupons may be used in addition to store and manufacturer coupons.

Raincheck - A Rain Check is a written slip that you can request from a store when a sale item is out of stock. When the store restocks the item, after the sale period is over, a rain check entitles you to purchase for the previous sale price. Store may include an expiration date as well as a quantity limit on your rain check. Rain checks are usually issued at the customer service desk.

Rebate - A rebate is a refund of part or all of the amount paid. I refer to rebates as programs that offer you cash back for making a qualified purchase. Rebates are sponsored by a store or a manufacturer. Either clip and mail UPC barcodes or enter receipt proof of purchase online, then wait for your rebate check in the mail.

RR - Register Rewards. Walgreens drugstore rewards program, and version of the catalina coupon. Look for the same machines located at register, dispensing long receipt-like coupons that may be used on a future purchase. RRs cannot be ‘rolled’ like catalinas.

Rolling Catalinas - Refers to the practice of separating your purchase into multiple transactions in order to use register catalina coupons from your first transaction to pay for your second transaction. Another catalina prints from the 2nd transaction that pays for the 3rd transaction and so on.

RP - Red Plum. Formerly known as Vallasis, Red Plum coupon inserts and website feature coupons from a variety of manufacturers. Red Plum is part of Valassis Interactiv.

SS - Smart Source. A marketing company, like RP, Smart Source coupon inserts and website feature coupons from a variety of manufacturers. Smart Source is part of News America Marketing Co. Smart Source coupon inserts can be found in most Sunday papers.

Stacking - Stacking may refer to using any two promotions together. When a coupon coincides with a promotion, we say “stack the coupon with the sale or promotion”.

Stacking Coupons - Stacking coupons refers to using both a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on one product. Nearly all stores will allow you to “stack”. Only one manufacturer coupon may be used per item.

Stockpile (v.) - to buy many items at a time in order to build your stockpile.

Stockpile (n.) - A food storage or stash of food and non-food items. Stockpiling is a key principle to Extreme Couponing methods. Buy items when they’re on sale and you have a coupon. Buy products before you need them and build up a stockpile of food and toiletries. When you run out of an item shop from your stockpile.

Store Coupon - A coupon created by the store to entice you to buy a certain product at their store. Stores receive no reimbursement from store coupons. Store coupons may be found in the weekly ad, printed online or downloaded as e-coupons.

Store Loyalty Card: A free card which you present at checkout to receive additional savings. Fill out a short application to receive a loyalty card at your local grocer. If you don’t want to carry the card, the cashier can look up your preferred card by entering your ten digit phone number.

Transaction - A transaction refers to your entire purchase, especially the payment you make for that purchase. If I buy 30 items and then pay the cashier, I just made one transaction.

Tear Pad - A pad of manufacturer coupons found near product on shopping aisles. Tear pad manufacturer coupons may be used at any store, not just the one where you found the coupon.

WAGS - Abbreviation for Walgreens Drugstore

UPC - Universal Product Code. Bar code printed on product packages that can be scanned electronically.

WYB - When You Buy. Some sales or coupons require purchase of multiple items. When reporting a deal, we always include a final price. Example: Buy 2 Mint Milano cookies $2.00 each, use 1 $1.00/2 coupons, Final Price: $1.50 each, WYB 2. You must buy 2 in order to use the $1.00/2 coupon, so the final price states “WYB 2″.

Avoid Checkout Anxiety

Follow these steps:

  • Organize
  1. Make sure you have your “Philly Coupon Mom” Shopping list of the items you want and the coupons that you need. (Hint: When you see deals you want, click the check box and It will save it to your list located on the right-hand side of the page. Make sure you print it and to take it with you to the store)
  2. Want to do different transactions? Make sure you have everything separated before you get to the store. (Hint: Try using Bill envelopes that you receive when you get your bill, use paper clips, a small coupon folder, or a clothes pin)
  • Timing is Everything
  1. The best time for a Couponer to go shopping is when it is less busy. That way you are not holding up the line with all your coupons. Try going late at night or early in the morning when the store opens.

Tips:

Try and do your couponing without the kids or your spouse. I have found it much easier to get my couponing done by myself or with another couponing friend. You don’t have to hear “Mom, can I have this?”, “Are we done yet?”. This is may be a distraction and may throw you off the task at hand. Trust me, I do understand that some people will not be able to go do this alone.

So here are a few ideas if you have to bring the kids or the spouse:

*Have a scavenger hunt for an item you need and give a small prize to the winner who finds it.

*For your Spouse or pre-teen - Ask them to join in on the fun of couponing. It saves the family money.

*For little children: Try bringing a book, favorite toy or snack while you shop.

Stock Pile Do's & Dont's

*Don't Purchase products that you will never use just because they are on sale or free!

*Do Build your stock pile up with everyday items

*Don't sell your stock-pile, (products clearly state that the item is not for resale, you also run into the chance of getting fined or sued for a product that the company cannot protect. (exp. dates, re-calls etc.)

*Do share your stock pile with family, friends, soup kitchens or homeless shelters.

*Remember have fun building your stock pile, but also please be responsible!

Always set a time limit. Try to map out a plan for the week when to get your couponing done.

You don't have to worry that you missed out on that Toothpaste deal, because the sales cycle is about every 4-6 weeks.

The easiest way to choose a store is to pick what is closest to your home. You will be there often, so it makes sense to find a store nearby. Plus, you will also save money on gas.

You are now Ready to be a Coupon Mom or Dad...