I think I might have to come up with a nifty name and do this once a week…You all have sent some great questions! I thought everyone would benefit from the answers.
Trading is a critical component to my weekly savings! Coupons can vary in availability and value. While California may get a $1/1 coupon for an item–here in Georgia we may get a $.55/1 and South Carolina gets a $.50/1 SO–I NEED the $1/1 or $.50/1 (doubles to $1/1) to maximize my savings! Some areas may not even get coupons that other areas have in their inserts. You will also notice that the match ups that I do for the ads include tearpad coupons, blinkies, peelies and the like. Not all areas will be so lucky to get all of these wonderful non-insert coupons. My area is quite lacking in the non-insert coupons! If I want these gems I HAVE to trade!! I prefer trading coupons rather than buying them online since my cost is usually just a stamp! I will pay a clipping site if I have to but I really prefer to trade!
I have introduced a small trading area on the site. You will need to be a registered user to complete a trade since posting personal info such as your address would not be a good idea! Anyone is then welcome to post on the Trades page anything you need or would like to offer! This is a great way to get started. Some of you have indicated that this is a perfect way since it is on a small scale. For those who want to have access to a bigger trading forum–I would HIGHLY recommend Hot Coupon World. They have a FANTASTIC forum and some wonderful people! Some of you have expressed some fear and feelings of being overwhelmed…there is no need to feel that way. They have a program called Traders In Training where they will help you learn the ropes–you can find out more and join HERE.
Another option would be a local coupon exchange. For you all in my neck of the woods you can try Atlanta Coupon Exchange HERE . Ask around or look on city websites to see if you can find groups in your area. Citysearch and momslikeme might be a good place to start??
Where to get printable coupons?
Here are my favorite printable sites: If you have other favorites let me know and I will add them for everyone else to see!
Eat Better America
Very Best Baking
How to determine coupon type?
A manufacturer coupon has a bar code that begins with the number 5 or the number 9. Coupons that begin with the number 9 will not automatically double at the register. You will need to ask the cashier to manually double these coupons.
A Publix coupon will have a LU number and typically does not have a bar code (some Publix coupon will scan but they are identified as a Publix Q)
Competitor coupons may vary. Some may have a bar code but a true store coupon will not begin with a number 5 or 9. Some coupons may have a store name on the coupon but actually be a manufacturer coupon. If you look carefully you will be able to tell the difference.
Here are some samples (click on the pic to see it up close)
Manufacturer begins with #5
Publix Coupon (note the LU number and no bar code)
Manufacturer Coupon –but has a Kroger Coupon…this is not a store coupon!
Store coupon–notice the different bar code and that it begins with the number 1
Remember at Publix you can stack a MQ with a Publix coupon OR you can stack a MQ with a competitor coupon. Look carefully to make sure you are using the correct coupons as it can be tricky sometimes!
Keep sending me questions and any comments!