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Coupon Tip #7 – 7 Tips for Gathering Coupons as you Shop

by Freebies4Mom on January 7, 2008 2:08 pm

I used to not pay a lot of attention to the coupons you can gather while you are shopping at the grocery store. Now I am like a hawk, hunting down every coupon I can. Here are some things to look for to help you gather more coupons as you do your shopping:

1. Special Display – It pays to look at that special cardboard display they have set-up in the middle of a walkway or at the end of an aisle. Look for a tear-off pad, or brochure. Check it out to see if there is a coupon. Even if it’s not a coupon that you think you will use, you may want to add it to your coupon file for future use. If you belong to a coupon swap, like The Coupon Exchange, then you will definitely be able to share it with others who may be able to use it. Don’t assume that all the stores have the same displays with the same coupons – they don’t!

2. Don’t Blink! – Collect a coupon from each Blinkie coupon machine that you pass (yes, these are those red machines that blink). Sometimes these are great coupons! This is how I became inspired to try a new brand of pickles. I got a great coupon for the Mt. Olive brand from the Blinkie, and ended up getting dill pickle slices for a much better price than the Vlassic brand. Be careful on the Blinkie coupons, they are often not as good as the coupons that you may have in your file for the same brand.

3. Coupon Fairy Siting – Yes, whether people intend to or not, there are other Coupon Fairies out there! They are leaving coupons for you to use by the products the coupons are for (or not). You just have to keep an eye out for them (and check the expiration date).

4. Make a New Friend – Ok, I will admit that I have never been this bold, but you could ask a fellow couponer in the same aisle as you if they have a coupon for X brand? I have been known to offer coupons to people I see about to buy something that I know I have a coupon for. I just can’t stand to see them not save money – so I politely offer them a coupon. So, I guess this is a good tip because if you asked me for a coupon in the grocery aisle – I would try to help you out!

5. Catalina Crazy – Don’t walk away from the register without getting your Catalina coupons that just printed as your purchases were scanned (maybe the coupons from the last customer too, if they stayed on the printer). I often have to ask the cashier for them, because they forget. I’ve also caught a cashier taking them and then trying to throw them away instead of giving them to me: “Wait, can I have those coupons, please!”

6. Be a Scavenger – The cashiers are your friends – so ask them for any coupons others left behind. They often just throw these away. You can also walk by the U-Scan area and see if there are any coupons dangling from the printers (with no customer at them of course). Ask the cashier supervising the U-Scan if there are any unwanted coupons you can have. Once the cashier gave me a box full of them, right before they were going to throw them away!

7. Be The Litter Patrol – Lots of coupons can be found left in the carts or lying on the ground in either the entrance/exit or the parking lot. Pick up the litter, gain a coupon.

Share your tips here by posting a comment!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather October 11, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Yes, it is usually cheaper to subscribe to the "Sunday only" paper than to pick it up each week at the store at newstand price.-HeatherFreebies 4 Mom


Anonymous October 11, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Is it cheaper to get a subscription to the Sunday paper? Or does it cost the same as buying one at the store every Sunday?


Kimberly August 15, 2009 at 11:05 am

There are several other ways to get coupons in stores. You can't forget the "peelies" located on items. (I've found these on fruit before, even) and winetags. Winetags are really great because they are often coupons for items that you don't normally have coupons for. I found 2 for $2 off beef or chicken and combined them with a $.99/lb ground beef sale and a $.37/lb chicken leg quarter sale to get 2.18 lbs of the ground beef and 5.75 lbs of the chicken for only $.25 plus tax. I've had over 87% savings in groceries this week (with 7 seperate shops). Those coupons you pick up around the store REALLY help.


Liliana May 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm

When I go with my husband shopping, he is always in the look out for coupons at the store.


Elizabeth F. July 4, 2008 at 10:34 pm

I found a coupon the other day at Food Lion on top of the gumball machine as I was walking in. It was a catalina for $2 off any Butterball fresh Turkey product. I looked while I was there and got fresh turkey sausages for $1 for a meal! They were good too. Then, one day I was leaving the YMCA and spotted some “litter” on the ground. It was a Chick Fil A coupon for a FREE sandwich! I love finding coupons.


Marin July 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm

I picked up a piece of litter in the CVS parking lot a while ago, thinking it would be an ECB that I wouldn’t be able to use, but it was a $5 off formula at Target CRT instead! I traded it online for coupons I could use. Definitely some valuable trash!


Heather January 13, 2008 at 6:03 am

Thanks for the comments, Megan and Debbie! These are great ways to share coupons!


Debbie January 13, 2008 at 12:28 am

Thanks for the great tips! I am actually one of the “coupon faires” out there. If I’m not going to use it, or it’s a great coupon for a brand I don’t use, I’ll leave it by the item. I’ve also been known to give coupons to those who are shopping without. It has actually come back to me before. I was buying perfume at Kohl’s and someone came up to me and gave me a $5 coupon for the item! : )


Megan January 7, 2008 at 8:17 pm

One of the thrift stores I shopped at in my old town kept a coupon basket at their front counter for customers to go through and take what they wanted. It was a church-run thrift store and the volunteers are the ones who put their coupons in there. I haven’t seen this at any of the thrift stores around here but it’s always worth a check if you’re there already.


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