If you're just getting started, you're wondering where all these coupons come from. Some do come from the Sunday paper, but there are other places these coupons come from as well.
Rule of couponing
Never get rid of any coupon. EVER. Collect any coupons you see. Even if it's not something you'd ever use. You may not be diabetic but if you had Bayer meter coupons and tossed them out, yuo'd be kicking yourself now since these have been free and yielding $5-$10 in ecb's and rr's over the last 6 months.
Sunday paper. This is where most people think of coupons being. You don't have to pay for the Sunday paper to get inserts. I buy between 4-10 papers per week depending on how good the papers are. You can also find the closest recycling center and go and dig around in the newspaper bin. Some people think "EWWWW" but it's all papers and nothing gross. I always look in if the bin is near full and just pull out any glossy papers I see and sort through them later to see if there's any inserts. On a slow day you may pull out a few, a good day could yield 20-50 inserts!! I also have a deal with the Store Manager at Food Lion that I can go in on Saturday afternoon and he will let me have any inserts leftover from the previous Sunday's papers. Be creative!
Blinkies is a term for the coupons that spit out of those little machines attached to the edge of the shelves that have a blinking light. These will spit out one, then another fairly quickly. You will have to wait a few seconds for the next set to pop out. If it looks like a hgih value coupon, get at least 5 or 6. Anything else, take at least two. EVEN IF IT'S NOT SOMETHING YOU USE!
Some stores periodically have booklets out with coupons in them. When you go in the store, look around. Look for any booklets or flyers near their sales ads. Publix routinely puts coupon booklets out in the rotating kiosk at the fornt of the store and on stand-alone displays. I've seen stand-alone displays at Kroger and Food Lion. I have also seen booklets at Food Lion with coupons in them. It may not look like it has coupons, but surprise! you. So if you see a booklet, pick it up and flip through it. If it has coupons, take some. I also picked up a whole booklet of coupons at KMart once, so you just enver know.
Tearpad coupons are everywhere. You just have to open your eyes and start seeing the grocery store differently. Look up and down at shelves. Look on cooler doors. Tearpads are everywhere. I've even seen them hanging on endcaps.
Alright, I'm going there. Peelies. Peelies are coupons located on the product itself. There is a whole moral thing going on with peelies. Some people believe it's ok to take the coupons stuck to the product, some think if you don't buy it, you shouldn't take the peelie off. My opinion? I don't have a problem with it. I think it's kind of lame to take EVERY peelie off every product unless you're going to use them right away. A lot of times those peelies are for a completely different product- for example peelies on Tortilla chips for "$1/1 ground beef". What, huh? This is a good example. I bought bags of tortilla chips with these peelies on them. We don't eat meat. I could have cared less if someone had taken those peelies b/c we wouldn't use them. I peeled them off and left them on the shelf for someone else, but most people probably wouldn't do that.
There's the etiquette for peelies and for tearpads. Taking an entire full tearpad and not leaving any for anyone else is not very nice, but I don't have a problem with taking 30 from a full pad. Really? It's all about what you're comfortable with.
Don't just look for tearpads at grocery stores. Look for them in gas stations. Gas stations yield the BEST drink tearpads, $.50/1 Vitaminwater, $1/1 Snapple and so forth. These are good used at the gas station, but taken to a grocery store and you'll get free drinks if you wait for a sale.
Now, you may say, I've never seen a tearpad at a gas station. Where do I look?
Hint: Open the cooler and look on the inside of the door. Those gas stations are SNEAKY!!