Sunday, January 10, 2010

Coupon Preview 101: What is a Coupon Preview and How Would I Use It?

Coupon previews can be very beneficial.  For one, it gives you a head start on planning your shopping trips!  If you're running low on a product, it can help you decide to go ahead and get the item now, or if there is a coupon coming out soon that could allow you to save some money if you wait for a few days.

On most couponing forums there are also ad previews, anywhere from a week to a month early as well.  So you have plenty of time to find coupon matchups for the items you need.  By knowing the coupons ahead of time you can work on your shopping trips even more in detail.

Also it can help you decide how many papers you would like to purchase that coming weekend.  Don't see anything good?  Then maybe one or two copies of the paper will do.  See a ton of coupons you could use?  Then maybe this is one of those weeks you want to get 10, 20, or 50 papers! 

BUT, a word of caution.  Coupons vary widely by region.  The coupons I get in the Sunday paper could be better or worse than the ones carried in your paper.  You may get the same product, but different values.  My local grocery stores double coupons up to 99c in value.  So many times I'll get a $1.00 coupon, where someone in an area without doubles may get a 75c coupon.   Or you could get different brands completely. 

Larger city papers usually tend to have more/better coupons than the smaller town papers.  In my area I can get 3 papers which contain the coupons.  The large Pittsburgh Paper gets the most coupons.  The Greensburg Paper, the largest in my county, gets similar coupons to the Pittsburgh paper, but often they are missing a handful of products completely.  And the tiny town paper near where my parents live, get about the same coupons as the Greensburg paper, but sometimes may be missing an entire insert on weeks where there are General Mills or other small extra inserts.  Although, that paper is less than half the price of the Greensburg paper, so some weeks I have to weigh cost vs what coupons do I 'really' need.

But a Coupon Preview can also just give you an idea of what coupons will be out there that next week on coupon clipping sites, in trading forums, or on ebay. If you get a value not as good as the ones I show, then at least you know about that higher value coupon and can search it out! 

I've also heard of people printing out the coupon lists and keeping them in a binder or with their inserts.  It can make a nice 'index' of the coupons out there. 

Hope that helps explain the benefits of a Coupon Preview!

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