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.

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