When I first started clipping coupons, I assumed I would not be able to find the coupons I needed for products that I regularly purchase. Boy was I wrong! There are thousands of coupons available everyday, I just was not looking the right places. To get started collecting your coupons, you first need to know how many products you buy, and what you buy. You also should have a good idea of the number of times you buy this product per year. If you follow the first rule of couponing, and buy items while on sale, you will need to know how many of each coupon you need to get you through a years time. For example, if you buy XXX brand of shampoo, and you use 12 bottles per year, you know you need 12 coupons.
Do you only use one brand of shampoo? Then it is easy, look for that manufactures website. Almost all high volume producers of consumable products have websites. Many will have a special section for Offers and Promotions. This is where you will find free coupons. Many can only be printed once every 3-6 months. You can spend quite a bit of time searching for one coupon at a time, but you will definitely get the coupon you need.
You can also go to websites that list ALL the online free printable coupons that are available online. Sites like America Loves Coupons, Hot Coupon World, or Refund Cents have lists with quick links to the page that prints coupons. This can save you a lot of time in your coupon searches.
While you are online, check your local grocery stores sites. They also have printable coupons that you can use in their stores. Some are store issued coupons, and some are manufacturer issued. You can use one of each per item purchased in most stores. By combining two offers for XXX shampoo, you will be getting double the savings.
Review your pantry before you plan to hit the stores. Many packages have printed coupons on the packs themselves. Most are Peelies. These simply peel off for redemption. Some are printed on the backside of the label or the inside of the box. By getting in the habit of checking before you throw any container out, you will find coupons on products you already purchase on a regular basis.
Online message boards list groups of coupons that other frugal shoppers have that they would like to trade with you. They may not purchase the same type of cereal that you do, so they are willing to trade. Most will trade groups of 12 of a type in one trade. Keep all the coupons that you do not intend to use out of your Sunday paper for trading purposes. You can also consider selling or buying coupon bundles on Ebay. Auction sites such as eBay have become a popular source for finding printable coupons. Selling coupons is illegal; however charging for the time spent to collect and organize the coupons is legal.
Send a favorable review to your favorite food manufacturers. Most of these companies have public relations departments who hear 95% complaints. Send a quick note of praise, often they will thank you for your kind words, and mail you some coupons good on your next purchase.
Do not forget the phone book! In the back you will find many coupons for restaurants, car washes, and laundry mats. There are always great coupons for saving at local stores and services inside the phone book and many times they go unclipped.
Join a direct mail coupon club. Clubs offer members a free monthly mail service of coupons. These companies send a packet of coupons that can save you ten fold. Since many manufacturers are offering their coupons direct to club members, these coupons tend to have a higher face value than the ones you find in local newspapers.