By the middle of the 20th century, more than half of the households in the United States were clipping coupons to help save on household expenses, and by the mid-1970s that number had risen to three-quarters, where it has remained for consumers in nearly all household income brackets ever since. Of course, in addition to coupons offered in stores, in newspapers or magazines and by mail, more and more people are finding their coupons online these days. In fact, dozens of millions are now using coupons available on the Internet. Many of these coupons can be used directly online, but there are also many that can be printed off and redeemed the old fashioned way in a brick and mortar store. Here’s how to find and use coupons of that sort.
Do a simple search. Use your favorite search engine to look for “printable coupons” and you’ll get a return approaching 20 million pages, so the biggest problem you’ll have is in determining which sites are legitimate and have the best and most current offers. Many of the more prominent sites have active communities and forums so take a look at what others are saying to help you decide which sites are best and which to avoid.
Do a little more complex search. If you’re looking for a coupon to use on a specific product, add that product name or the parent company name to your search. For instance, “printable Gillette coupons” just gave me a return of nearly two million pages in Google, and several of the returns on the first page brought me to legitimate coupons on Gillette products.
Visit Brand Websites. A quick visit to Colgate.com just now showed me $1.00 off coupons for four or five of their products within a click or two. You can also register on many brand or retail sites to receive emails with special offers and coupons. The email I receive each month from Procter and Gamble, for instance, links to coupons and samples for everything from personal care products to dog food to water filters. They’ve even got coupons available by RSS feed!
Here are a couple more tips for using your printable coupons. Be sure to print the entire coupon page out (including the website URL, etc.) when you do find it so you’ll have fewer questions about validity when you go to use it. Also, some merchants have a policy not to honor home-printed coupons at all due to fraud. You may want to ask about any restrictions or policies at the store’s service desk before shopping.
Welcome to the world of printable coupons!