Since I started couponing two years ago, I have yet to come across an actual coupon for kosher meat, cheese or chicken. Therefore, I have made it a point to focus on coupon shopping for all my other kosher food items, which keeps my monthly total ALowAP and frees up some wiggle room for those more expensive products.
If you want to implement the same strategy, here’s a look at my ten favorite coupon sources. While not every coupon you will find in these places will be for a kosher product, many — if not most — of them are!
1. The weekend paper
This is probably the most obvious source, but I think a lot of people dismiss it due to cost. To buy just the Sunday at the store would cost me $1.75, which seems pretty steep just to buy your coupons. But for the past year, the KC Star has been charging us just $1/week! If you don’t currently get the paper, you may want to calling up and asking what specials they have.
Each Sunday paper should have at least two coupon inserts — Smart Source and Red Plum. The Proctor & Gamble insert comes out monthly. The Sunday Parade Magazine also often has one or two high value coupons nestled in there as well.
2. Free local papers
Our paper also recently started a free subscription for people who want to get just the circulars and coupon inserts. Uh, sign me up! I also noticed last year that my library has stacks of the free local newspaper, which comes stuffed with the weekly SS and RP. Score!
3. Blinkies & Tearpads
Have you ever noticed a little blinking coupon machine by a particular product? These so-called blinkies spit out high value manufacturer coupons, which usually have a late expiration date. Sometimes the system is less high-tech and you just rip a coupon off a tear-pad.
Either way, if the product is kosher, I grab five or six and stick them into my Groceries Coupon File. Then I wait for a sale – which usually follows about a week or two later – and I combine that already low price with my coupon for an even better deal.
When checking out of the grocery or drug store, you might get handed a coupon along with your receipt. Known as catalinas, these can be either manufacturer coupons or store coupons. In either case, hold on to them!
A manufacturer coupon will usually say “Manufacturer Coupon” across the top and it can be used at any store, even if it has a logo from Target, Walgreens or wherever. A store coupon can be used only at that store, but it can also be combined with manufacturer coupons (like the ones from the newspaper) to get an even better deal.
5. Whole Foods Deal
I know that Whole Foods has a reputation for being extremely expensive (hence the Whole Paycheck moniker), but I’ve actually done very well there when I selectively shop sales and combine them with coupons. Sometimes I don’t even have to bring my own coupons, since Whole Foods puts out its own little newsletter with great coupons in it. Called The Whole Deal, the newsletter can be found by the entrance to the store and there’s also an online version. I have noticed that many of Whole Food’s store brand (called 365) is hechshered, as are a lot of their “name brand” products.
6. Mambo Sprouts
This web-based newsletter and quarterly mailer is another great source of organic and often-kosher coupons. Mambo Sprouts works closely with Whole Foods, including producing the Whole Deal, but these coupons can be used anywhere. You can sign up for both the mailer and the e-newsletter here. Don’t forget to create a separate email account just for online registrations!
7. Product Websites
Many of my favorite brands have coupons right on their websites. Just look for a menu item for coupons or ‘offers’, as it is sometimes called. Usually these coupons have a two-print maximum, so if you really want to stock up you will need more than one computer. The good news is the coupons usually reset at the end of every month, so you can always get more.
8. Company Requests
If you don’t manage to find coupons on your favorite products’ websites, you can always try my little trick of writing to the company. Whether you out and out ask for the coupons, or just tell them how much you like their product, you’ve got a high likelihood of getting some nice coupons in my experience.
9. Smart Source
There are a number of online coupon sites, and Smart Source is one of my favorites. Like product website coupons, these usually have a two-print maximum and are reset periodically (usually at the beginning of the month).
Coupons.com is like Smart Source – it’s an online coupon site. The only thing I don’t like is that it can be a bit tempermental with my Mac, so I often have to have my husband print coupons from his PC (has anyone else experienced this problem?).
Those are my favorite go-to sources for kosher coupons. Have I missed any? Where do you find your kosher Qs?