How to Find Good Printable Coupons
This is the third post in my new series entitled “Teach a (Wo)Man How to Fish…..” In case you missed the introduction, this series is based on the Chinese Proverb: “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.” So, rather than just finding fish (deals, freebies, coupons, etc.) for you, I’m going to be teaching you HOW to find them yourself!
Printable coupons have quickly become one of the most popular forms of coupons available. They are convenient and usually have a higher value than traditional forms of coupons. The key is knowing where to find them!
Where to Find Printable Coupons
The Manufacturer’s Website – If you have a favorite product, go to the product’s website! I find so many coupons this way! Look for a section of the website titled “Special Offers”, “Promotions”, or anything similar.
Search Engine – If you are looking for a printable coupon for a specific product, just search for the name of that product plus printable coupon. For instance, if I’m looking for Huggies diaper coupons, I would search “Huggies Printable Coupon”.
Tips for Printing
Print It Twice! – Did you know that most coupons can be printed twice? For sites like Coupons.com, just go back to the site and look for the coupon and print it again. For other coupons, just click the back button on your browser (for Internet Explorer click three times rapidly, for Firefox click once then click “resend”) to print it again.
Don’t Copy – Keep in mind that there is a reason for print limits – manufacturer’s wish to limit the number of coupons redeemed! That means, you cannot copy printable coupons!
Save Ink and Paper – When I print a single coupon on a page, I flip the page over and load it again to print another coupon on the back. Make sure you know the way your printer loads – you might end up accidentally printing a coupon directly on the back of the first one! Also, if a large ad begins to print after the coupon, I cancel the printing session before the ad prints. Those huge ads waste a ton of ink! You can also print coupons in black & white, or use the low quality draft setting. As long as the coupon is still readable and scans, it’s fine!
Coupons Won’t Print? – Sometimes there are issues with printable coupons that can leave you frustrated. Sometimes I will go to print a coupon and it will say that I have already printed the number of times allowed, even though I know for sure that I have not printed that coupon. Ever happened to you? Unfortunately, I have no idea why that happens. When you have problems with coupon printing sites, it is best to email them or check their site for troubleshooting tips. If you have issues with bricks coupons (http://bricks.coupons.com/etc), then be sure to read these tips for getting your coupons to print.
Beware of Counterfeit Coupons
Coupon fraud is on the rise. There are actually people out there who have developed ways to create their own coupons that look completely real and that actually scan at the register. Using those coupons is stealing. Plain and simple. Sadly, innocent shoppers can fall for and use these fake coupons because they look so real. Here are a few printable coupon red flags:
Email Attachment – Manufacturer’s NEVER send out coupons as an attachment in an email. They will use a printable coupon program (like bricks or smartsource) to limit prints.
PDF Coupon – Coupons in PDF form (coupons that are viewed in adobe reader and can be printed unlimited times) are also suspicious. There are very rare instances of legitimate pdf coupons (for instance Scotch 3m offers pdf coupons), but I do not trust them unless they are hosted on the manufacturer’s website.
Free Product Coupon – Printable coupons for FREE products are always suspicious. If they are legitimate they will be hosted on the manufacturer’s website or on a popular coupon printing site like Coupons.com. If it is legitimate, you won’t be able to print it as many times as you want – there WILL be a limit of some sort.
You can also check the Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) to see if the coupon is listed on their counterfeit coupon list. Even if the coupon is not listed, if it looks suspicious – just don’t use it.
When to Print
Some people like to print all the coupons they think they might use right away. Others like to wait until they are about to head to the store to print their coupons. I’m sort of in between. Here are my suggestions:
HOT Coupons – Print “hot” coupons right away. When I declare a coupon “hot”, that means it will likely reach it’s print limit very fast (possibly within minutes). When you find a “hot” coupon, print it quickly if you think you might use it.
High Value Coupons – When you come across a coupon that has a very high value (over 50% of the product value), it’s probably a good idea to print it. It might mean a freebie is in your future!
Rare Coupons – You just don’t see coupons for some products very often. When I find a coupon for a product I buy regularly but never see a coupon for, I print it!
Regular Coupons – As for the coupons that are regularly available, it might be best to wait to print them until it’s time to head to the store. Those coupons will likely still be available for several days. Better to wait than print the coupon and never use it (and waste your ink and paper!)
Do you have any printable coupon tips?