• Where to Get Coupons? (Couponing 101)


    The number one question I get asked from newbie couponers is something along the lines of “Where can I get this coupon?”

    Coupons come from several sources and in several forms. In addition to Manufacturer Coupons and Store coupons (we covered these in the last class), here are the major types:

    • Insert Coupons
    • Printable Coupons
    • Mobile Coupons
    • Peelie Coupons
    • Hang Tags
    • Blinkie Coupons
    • Tear Pad Coupons

    Coupon Type: Insert Coupons

    Coupon Inserts

    The most common kind of coupons that couponers use are known as “Inserts”. Inserts are little thin booklets that contain coupons. They are slipped in with the weekly advertisements in your Sunday newspaper.

    The three most common inserts we keep track of are: P&G (PG for short), Redplum (RP for short) and SmartSource (SS for short).

    The schedule for which inserts will be coming out each week is predetermined. So, some weeks we may receive only a RedPlum, some with all three inserts, and a few rare Sundays with no inserts. Occasionally, some region may receive bonus inserts for Target.

    P&G inserts typically come out once a month, and very occasionally twice a month.

    Additionally, coupons and coupon values may vary by region. Someone in New York may not get the exact same coupon as a person in Seattle, even though they both got a RedPlum insert from the same weekend. We call these “Regional Coupons” or “Regional”.

    For example: Brawny Paper Towel came out. In the Seattle area, they got $2 off two brawny. And in the rest of the country, we got a $0.55 off one Brawny Papertowel coupon.

    If you want to know which inserts to expect each week, you can check out the 2016 Coupon Insert Schedule here.

    Coupon Type: Printable Coupons


    Printable coupons are coupons you can print from your computer. Couponers sometimes refer to Printable Coupons as “IP”, which stands for “Internet Printable”. The most common form of printable coupons is hosted by coupons-dot-com.

    We have several views into Coupons-Dot-Com coupons on the Free Stuff Finder site:

    • Search Coupons View – You can access this page by clicking on “PRINT COUPONS” from the horizontal site menu. This is VERY convenient because you don’t have to hop around to multiple sites. You can see the deals and print the coupons right here on Free Stuff Finder!
    • Pre-clipped Coupons – These are linked directly inside blog posts for certain deals. Pre-clipped means that the printable coupon will be selected and ready for you to hit “Print Coupons”. These are nice because it saves you time from looking for the coupon. And because we can fit 3 coupons on a single piece of paper, sometimes, we pre-clip additional hot coupons, so that you can print 3 coupons instead of 1 on a sheet of paper, thus saving you paper. All you have to do is click and print. Almost no work required!

    If you are printing coupons for the first time, you’ll need to install a “Coupon Printing Program” from coupons.com. Install this program once, and it will work on all web browsers going forward on the computer you’re using. [Note: If the install prompt doesn’t download, try switching to a different browser. IE. Don’t use Chrome, use Firefox for installation.]

    To get started, go to this page, and attempt to print one coupon. If this is your first time, the page will ask you to install the software. Once you install it once, you will be set.


    Printable coupons can be a Manufacturer coupon or a Store coupon. Depending on where you do the printing and the promotion. Most of the time, coupons-dot-com coupons are Manufacturer coupons, but I’ve see them come out as Target coupons before as well.

    Whenever there is a valid printable coupon for a specific deal, we will always include a link to where you can print the coupon.

    Other Types of Coupons

    Mobile Coupons – Coupons that you request or show up on your smartphone in the form of a text message. They are free, but regular text messaging fees still apply. Generally, you text a certain word to a mobile number, and you’ll receive a return text (sometimes with a web link) that contains your coupon. Usually Mobile Coupons are store coupons.

    Peelies – Peelies are coupons that are stuck on the product itself in the store. They are called Peelies because you have to peel them off to redeem them.

    Here’s an example of a peelie coupon. I spotted this $2.00 off any Pantene hair products at a CVS store:


    Hang Tags – Hang Tags are similar to Peelies in that its a coupon on the product itself. But it’s usually loose and hung by a string or elastic around the product. You generally see these on drinks, and other bottled products, such as sunscreen and laundry detergent.

    Here is an example of a Hang Tag coupon at Walgreens. This is good for $2.00 off the sunscreen that it’s attached to.


    Blinkie Coupons – Coupons from a Blinkie machine. A Blinkie machine is a little box that spits out coupons. They are located along store aisle and usually have a little blinking light, which is how they became known as “Blinkies”.

    Here’s an example of a Blinkie coupon machine. Coincidentally, this Blinkie machine contains a $1 off coupon, placed over Crest toothpaste that would make them Free after reward dollars.


    Tear Pads – Tearpads are pads of coupons, usually stuck on a promotional display at a store.

    In-Ad Coupons – Coupons (usually store coupons) found in the weekly ad for that store.

    Here is an example of a couple of Rite Aid in-ad coupons


    Digital Coupons – Coupons you load from your computer or mobile phones to your reward/membership cards at various stores. Example: Kroger or Walgreens digital coupons. These coupons are typically Manufacturer Coupons and not store coupons.

    Here is an example of a digital coupon:

    aussie digi coupon kroger

    Catalina Coupons (Cat) – Catalina coupons are printed on receipt paper and handed to you along with your receipt after you pay. It’s printed from the Catalina machine that sits next to the cashier. Catalina coupons are typically manufacturer coupons. They can be store specific coupons as well (ie. at Target).

    Here’s an example of a Catalina coupon printed for me at Walgreens:


    There are of course other types of coupons and they can be found in many places.  Just start paying attention to coupons and you’ll start to notice them everywhere.

    Other places to find coupons: mailer postcards (Like Bed Bath & Beyond $5 off $15 coupon they regularly send), magazines (All You Magazine is known for having coupons), booklets within stores, Free Samples (many free samples we receive, will include a coupon in the package), in your email, at your Doctor’s office, etc.


    • Keep an eye out the next time you’re at a store to see if you can spot any Peelies, Hang Tag, Tear Pad. Or when a cashier hands you a Catalina, make a mental note to say “Hey, That’s a Catalina!”
    NEXT: How to Read Coupon Lingo?
    35 good-looking people commentedLeave a comment
    1. 1

      I have been told multiple time that I am not able to use the same two coupons in the same transaction. They said that because the coupon say “Limit one coupon per purchase” How do I explain to them that I can use the same two coupon in the same transaction. The coupon also say limit two per day per family.

      • 1.1

        Hi Choua, coupon lingo can be very tricky, even to cashiers. If the cashier and or manager believe you can only use one, I don’t know that you will be able to change their mind. I would suggest either going to a different store or shopping at a different time so you will get a different cashier and or manager.

        • Thank you for the reply. That is so true. I was just wondering what would you say to explain it to them clearly?

          • If the coupon states “limit one per purchase” that means you can only use one manufacturers coupon for each item you purchase. This is different from “limit one per transaction” which means you can only use one coupon in one shopping trip. The coupon will usually also have a limit of how many identical coupons can be used in a transaction or per day. So if the coupon states “limit one coupon per purchase, limit 4 identical coupons per day”, you can use up to 4 coupons (if you have purchased 4 items) for that product. Hope this helps Choua!

    2. 0

      So if I use a mobile coupon with a manufacturer coupon, I cant use a PHYSICAL store coupon that I have on paper because a mobile coupon is considered a store coupon?

    3. -1

      It’s been a while since I couponed now coupons.com asks me to authenticate with my phone number. I’d really prefer not to give that out, it’s also a charge for a text I didn’t previously need. This also seems to limit it to one set of coupons per phone/computer instead of the previous 2 sets per computer. Are there any ways around this?

    4. -2

      At my dollar tree stores they sale Sunday papers love it

    5. -3

      Which dollar store can i buy a sunday paper with inserts?

    6. -4

      How can i order coupon from PG

    7. Page 2 of 212

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