Saving and Giving has moved to! I hope that you'll all join me over at Saving & Giving's new home. I'm planning some fun giveaways to kick things off. I'm still working on the site, and I'd love to hear your input. Let me know which features you want me to keep. You can email me at If you're currently an email subscriber, you shouldn't see any change in your daily email newsletter. I switched the feed over so that you should continue to receive your daily updates.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Start Saving Part 2: Printable Coupons

In this Start Saving series, I'm trying to share some of my experiences and advice with people who are new to the couponing world. If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can catch up HERE.

Since you're reading this post, I'm assuming that you're already doing some bargain-hunting online. That's a fabulous place to find printable coupons, deal alerts, and support for your frugal journey. Let's talk a little bit about how to make the most of what's available online.

Printable Coupon Tips

Our mothers and grandmothers had to wait for manufacturers to have coupons printed in the newspaper. We are so fortunate to have coupons at our fingertips. I try to never leave for a shopping trip without making sure that I've checked for printable coupons for the items I'm buying. You never know when you might stumble upon a few and save yourself a few extra dollars.

When I find a printable coupon for something I might buy, I've found it best to print the coupon as soon as I find it. My experience has proven that the coupons are limited to a certain timeframe or number of prints. Once the limit has been reached, the coupon is no longer available. Recent examples of this would be $5 off any Huggies Natural product (free wipes!) and $2.00 All Detergent (almost-free at Kmart this week with this coupon). There were there and gone before you knew it! So if you find one you might use, print it! You can read my post HERE about how to score an inexpensive laser printer when Staples runs their recycling deal. Laser printers are far more economical to use than ink jet printers.

When you do find a great printable coupon, you can usually print 2 copies of it from every computer that you have access to. The sites don't say that, but that's the way it works. You can click your browser's Back button several times to get back to the original print screen and print again. This is ethical and legal, as the software is designed to operate this way. If you have access to more than one computer, you can print two copies from each of them.

You'll need to make sure that the stores that you frequent accept Internet printable coupons. More of them are headed that way, but I still have trouble with my local Rite Aid taking any that don't have the Rite Aid logo on them. I've found that Kroger, CVS, Kmart, and Wal-Mart do take Internet printable coupons. If you have trouble with a store taking them, it might be worth a call to their corporate office. Sometimes cashiers and managers are just misinformed.

Protecting Yourself Before You Print

Many companies will offer coupons that can be printed from their websites. However, in return they ask for your contact information. They might want your mailing address and email address. I have set up a separate free email account just for online couponing. Some companies do share your information or continue to send you emails about their products. You can usually opt out, but that takes time. Instead, protect your personal email inbox, and set up a separate account.

I've been pleasantly surprised by some companies who've collected my personal contact information. For example, Suave sent me a coupon for a totally free Suave product not too long ago. I was incredibly surprised -- and glad I gave them my address!

But where do you look for printable coupons? offers new coupons every month. They've even been sneaking in a few new ones thoughout the month lately. They've also had some VERY high-value coupons that show up for a VERY limited amount of time. Bloggers will try to alert you of any new ones that appear, especially if they're high-value coupons. But be sure to check often. If you see coupon that you think you might use, print it. To help, I've placed a quick print tool bar on the left side of this blog.

Blogs, blogs, blogs..... As bloggers come across new printable coupons, they will share. Oftentimes you'll find a post called "Printable Coupon Roundup". This is a blogger's post of favorite printable coupons that are currently available. That's the great thing about the frugal blogging community. Everyone loves to share great deals and printable coupon links! Find some blogs you like and read them often.

Hot Coupon World is a phenomenal resource for printable coupons. You will have to register for a username and password, but that's something I HIGHLY recommend! They have some great deal-sharing forums, but I'm a big fan of their coupon database. You can go there and search for any available coupons for items you need/want to buy. I always change the source to printable, so I only view the printable coupon links. Before I shop, I use this site to search for items that I don't already have coupons for.

And if all else fails, you can always do a Google or Swagbucks search for the coupon you want. Example: Philadelphia Cream Cheese Printable Coupon I haven't had much luck searching like that, but you never know!

Stop back tomorrow to learn more about staying organized as you hunt the best deals.