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Monday, July 28

My Obsession with Coupons (Part 1)

Monday, July 28
I have no “normal” hobbies. I can’t sing, I can’t dance, I can’t swim, I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.

However, just because I am uncoordinated and unskilled in many disciplines doesn’t mean that don’t have any hobbies. I have tons of hobbies: I browse the internet, I blog occasionally, and sometimes I even manage to accidentally pick up a book and read the entire thing without forgetting about it half-way through. One of these hobbies I’ve picked up over the last few years working in a grocery store is couponing. As a broke college student, it is definitely one of the more useful skills I’ve acquired.

Working in a grocery store through much of my high school career, I have seen my share of coupon kings and queens who manage to buy 15 bottles of ketchup for only $0.15, and after carefully watching and mimicking what I’ve seen, I have managed to compile a list of useful tips and techniques to help even the most casual couponer save money! 
 
The Sunday Paper is a Goldmine
I have found that the Sunday paper holds some of the best and most useful coupons. Sadly, you do have to pay for the paper (which is around $1.50-2.00 in a lot of places) but the potential coupons you uncover will definitely earn you your money back tenfold. You can always thumb through the paper at the store before purchasing to see if the coupons for that week are going to be useful to you before purchasing the paper.

Pros: The number of coupons in here is extraordinary and you will also find a ton of coupons from local businesses you might not find anywhere else.
Cons: You have to buy the paper.

The Internet Has Tons of Free Coupons
If paying for a Sunday paper is not within your budget, there are tons of free coupons available online. These coupon sites allow you to look through their database of coupons and virtually “clip” them. When you have looked through all the coupons you simply click “Print Coupons” and all the coupons you have clipped and collected will be printed.
My favorite online coupon sites are: CouponSuzy CouponMom Redplum

Pros: Absolutely free.
Cons: You do have to print them (which can be done for free at your local library). You also have to download the “coupon printer,” which takes a few minutes. However, I have found the coupon apps of the sites I have listed to be harmless.

Mail Flyers and Newsletters 
I know a lot of people see these flyers in the mail and think “ugh, junk mail” but if you look carefully some of these hold some pretty amazing coupons while also alerting you to some of the local deals. One of my favorite mail flyers is the redplum one I get in my mail box about every two weeks.

Pros: Just like the online coupons, these coupons are absolutely free.
Cons: They might appear to junk up your mailbox and you can’t control when they come.

Writing the Company 
This one may seem a bit weird, but trust me, it actually works. With some companies, if you write them either 1) asking for coupons directly or 2) commenting on their services they will send you complimentary coupons!

Pros: Absolutely free
Cons: It takes a bit of work to write them as well as the fact that you might have to pay for postage if you are sending a letter. Also, there is no true guarantee that the company will respond with coupons. I really only recommend this one if you are either bored with nothing to do, or if you like a product so much you are willing to take the gamble.

With these tips you are sure to find tons of useful coupons for your favorite products and services. Look out for Part 2 for tips about how to keep all of your recently acquired coupons neat and orderly for your trip to the

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