Question: "I'm really starting to get into couponing and enjoying it. But I can't help but feel I would do better if I had more of the same coupons. One of my friends is a big couponer and picks up an extra newspaper or two if the coupons are really good.
What are your thoughts on this? How many newspapers do you get each week just for the coupons?"
Answer: One of the most common question I hear from new couponers is "How do you get so many coupons?" The answer is simple, really. I get multiple copies of the same newspaper every week. And yet, some new coupon shoppers seem reluctant to do this.
An argument I often hear is, "I don't want to pay for another newspaper." I would counter that by saying that every newspaper you buy has the potential to eventually unlock hundreds of dollars worth of savings.
Here's an example. On an average week, the total value of coupon inserts may range from $100 to $300 or more. Imagine that inserts for the current week contain $200 worth of coupons and that the newspaper costs $2.49. If I use two $1 coupons and a 50-cent coupon from that newspaper, I break even. Any other coupons I use beyond that deliver me a profit.
For the same inserts, let's imagine that I had $1 coupons for salad dressing, boxed pasta, bar soap and toothpaste. At some point, all of these products will go on sale for a dollar, and I will get all four free when I use the coupons from that newspaper.
Now, if I happened to purchase another newspaper the same week, I'd take home two of each item. Eight free is better than four free. And if I purchased three newspapers - well, you get the idea.
This is how couponers stock up on products, too. More copies of the newspaper equal more free and bargain-priced items in the weeks to come. Some couponers go to the extreme and buy 30 or more newspapers every week. When those coupons line up to a good sale at the store, they take home 30 identical items with the coupons from those newspapers.
So how many newspapers do I personally get? When I first became a coupon enthusiast, I quickly realized that getting two newspapers was better than one for several reasons.
The first is exactly what's outlined above: You take home double the products when you use those coupons because you have twice as many.
Another advantage is this: Any time a buy one, get one free sale comes around, it's nice to have a coupon to use on each item in the sale. This does depend on your store's policy, but some stores allow shoppers to use a coupon on each item in a BOGO sale. So, if a multi-pack of yogurt is on sale for $2, buy one get one free, and I have two $1 coupons, I can use one on each item, taking two dollars off and making both products free.
When my newspaper offered a multiple-subscription special specifically aimed at couponers, I took advantage of it. I receive four copies for the same price I had paid for two. With the popularity of newspaper coupons on the rise, you may wish to see if your local paper offers a similar promotion.
For me, four is a great number of identical newspapers to receive. There are five people in our family, and purchasing four of every item during a sale ensures that I always have a healthy stockpile of our most-used staples on hand. And, if you've ever read the fine print on a manufacturer coupon, you may have noticed that some of them state "limit four like coupons per transaction." Getting four sets of coupon inserts allows me to buy up to that limit in the same trip.
Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to email@example.com.