Free Coupons by Mail – Is It Worth It?
Any savvy shopper knows that coupons save money. With sales ads and rebates added in, products can cost pennies on the dollar (if they cost you anything at all).
Yes, one of the perks of shopping with coupons is that many products end up being free. To get big savings, you'll need to invest some time looking for the best deals at your favorite stores. You may also need to request free coupons by mail.
Recently I wrote about the money saving power of coupons. But think about the amount of time you'll need to spend searching online or clipping from ads. It can get annoying fast.
In this article I'll lay out some of the details you'll need to start getting free coupons by mail. Then I want you to decide for yourself if getting coupons mailed to you is worth it.
Couponing requires work
There’s no denying it, being a super couponer takes skills. You spend time clipping, sorting, and matching up manufacturer and store coupons with products and weekly sales.
It also requires a sense of how promotions work. You'll need to know store policies and procedures on coupon usage, too.
Many ‘extreme couponers’ make saving money at the supermarket a full-time job. They invest 40+ hours a week to their pursuit for the biggest bargains. It's a lot of work.
But couponing has big benefits
Whether you coupon out of necessity or do it for fun, one thing is certain. Knowing the different types of coupons that exist and how to use them is a big advantage. After all, they’re your ‘bread and butter’ and take the place of cash.
When you use a coupon for a $1 off, that puts $1 into your household budget. The money saved from shopping smart can go to work for you elsewhere.
Household repairs, college or retirement savings, or a family vacation can all be the result of shopping smarter. The point is, think bigger than just a $1 savings when you use coupons.
Getting coupons by mail
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, groceries cost a family of four an average of $1,300 a month. One of the easiest ways to cut that expense is by using coupons on every trip to the store.
So you might ask ask, “are free coupons by mail worth requesting?” In my opinion, the answer is yes.
Coupons direct from the manufacturer often include Buy One Get One (BOGO) free items. They also usually offer money saving discounts to the tune of a couple of dollars.
Companies work hard to market their products to consumers. When you write to them letting them know how much you like their product, it gives them an even bigger incentive to keep you happy.
These coupons by mail are money in the bank. You can usually use them at any store, which allows you to take advantage of in-store savings as well.
If you like saving money, requesting coupons online is also well worth the effort. Not only does couponing give you the opportunity to stockpile the items you use most, it also lowers your monthly expenses.
TIP: CREATE OR BUY A COUPON BINDER
You can create a coupon binder that organizes items by category, type of coupon, and expiration date. Here's a really easy way to make one, courtesy of Coupon Divas:
Or, if you're lazy, you can buy this one from Ultra Pro that comes with everything you need:
[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”300″ identifier=”B00P1SWEVY” locale=”US” src=”http://www.moneymozart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/41K676hWsQL-1.jpg” tag=”monemoza0c-20″ width=”300″]
Other ways to stack savings with your coupons
Discounted gift cards
Another way to save big is to buy discounted gift cards from Raise.com, Cardpool.com, and GiftCardGranny.com. Use your discounted gift cards with your coupons and save even more money. It’s incredible how fast the savings add up.
Signing up for rewards programs with points that you redeem for gift cards is another idea, but keep in mind that it takes weeks for the prize to arrive to your home or inbox. Swagbucks, My Coke Rewards, and survey site iPoll offer gift card rewards to participants.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Harris Teeter’s Super Double Coupon Event gives shoppers even more of an incentive to use coupons. For the duration of the promotion, men and women can use 15 coupons at one HT location and 5 more at another HT location on the same day.
Coupons with a value of $2.00 or less are doubled at the register making many products 100% free. It’s sales like Harris Teeter’s that make requesting coupons by mail even more worthwhile.
Look for rebates
When the dust settles, see what rebates you qualified for by using shopping apps Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Saving Star. The likelihood of you further reducing the cost of your shopping trip is great when you have these applications on your phone.
Make sure to check them on a regular basis because rebates change without notice. You don’t want to miss out on extra savings on items you bought or plan to buy.
Companies that love couponers
Some of the companies offering free coupons by mail include:
Note: for some of these, you'll get offers right away on their website. For others, I'd suggest writing them a letter saying how much you love their product. It's almost guaranteed they'll respond with freebies.
Getting discount offers by mail usually requires that you share your name, address, and email with the companies you want the deals from. This allows marketers to include you in future promotions and savings opportunities.
If you’re concerned about clogging up your inbox with company newsletters and emails, create an email address just for coupon requests. AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft Live, and Gmail offer free accounts that you can create in minutes.
You can also use one of my favorite services, Unroll.me. It'll let you 'roll up' any promotional email you want into one, daily email.
Another hack is to use a service like 10MinuteMail. But this only works if you are getting a coupon by email immediately, as the email expires in 10 minutes.
Savvy saving sources
If you’re new to the world of couponing, there are a couple of books that help you learn the ropes. Here are the 3 best books I've found:
[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”0615525172″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.moneymozart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/518FqYPx72BL.jpg” tag=”monemoza0c-20″ width=”389″]
[easyazon_link identifier=”0615525172″ locale=”US” tag=”monemoza0c-20″]Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey: Learn Coupon Strategies to Save $1000s at the Grocery Store[/easyazon_link]
Written by the ladies over at TheKrazyCouponLady.com, this book takes a super informal and 'actiony' approach to helping you save money with coupons. It uses a lot of humor and cartoons to keep the mood light as well. It'll definitely motivate the heck out of you to start couponing - that's for sure. This one is hands-down my favorite.
[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”0762442913″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.moneymozart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/51I5pibBnpL-1.jpg” tag=”monemoza0c-20″ width=”330″]
[easyazon_link identifier=”0762442913″ locale=”US” tag=”monemoza0c-20″]The Lazy Couponer: How to Save $25,000 Per Year in Just 45 Minutes Per Week with No Stockpiling, No Item Tracking, and No Sales Chasing![/easyazon_link]
Jamie Chase does a great job for the casual couponer in this book. The book has a very laid-back tone, and she'll make you feel better about not sitting down for hours clipping every coupon and having a coupon binder ready to go. The downside is that she doesn't offer a ton of new information, and often repeats herself throughout the text. Take a look though, it might be up your alley.
[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”0451416600″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.moneymozart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/51cJRzfRG8L.jpg” tag=”monemoza0c-20″ width=”335″]
[easyazon_link identifier=”0451416600″ locale=”US” tag=”monemoza0c-20″]Extreme Couponing: Learn How to Be a Savvy Shopper and Save Money… One Coupon At a Time[/easyazon_link]
This is a strong couponing book that takes it back to basics. Joni Meyer-Crothers gives you basic and simple advice on how to start couponing right away. She literally gives you everything you need to get started clipping coupons on your own. It does have a slight religious undertone to it - so decide for yourself if this book is right for you or not.
Receiving something in the mail other than advertisements and bills is exciting. Take it from one savvy shopper to another. Coupons work and the more you have, the more you save.
Get on the mailing list of your favorite companies and keep an eye out for envelopes from them addressed to you. Inside you’ll find free products, invitations to try new food, drinks, and household products, and other exclusive offers that aren’t available to the public.
Do you get coupons by mail? If so, please share your experience or tips below!
Main coupon image by Chris Potter