(Updated 11/09/16) Sure we’re all aware of the usual spots to find coupons, your neighbor’s Sunday paper, online websites like Rather-Be-Shopping.com, your email inbox, and your actual mailbox. But if those are the only places you’re looking for coupons you clearly need to update our strategy. With new technology, public restrooms, airport lounges. and social media it is a whole new ball game. Here are 13 spots you need to add right now to your coupon collecting strategy.
Hit Up a Live Chat Operator
I have talked about this before on my blog, just hit up a live chat operator for a coupon when shopping online. Tell them you’re a starving college student and can’t afford to pay the shipping charges. The key is to be polite and non-assuming.
It will blow your mind with just how many online stores give their live chat operators a coupon code to hand out if you’ll ask for it. For retailers, it is a great way to build loyal customers who’ll come back and buy time after time.
Store Bathroom (Yes, you read that correctly)
The last time I was at my favorite “Man Cave” store, also known as Harbor Freight Tools, I had to visit the privy as nature called while I was examining the miter saws.
While sitting on the throne I happened to look down and their shining in the golden sunlight (at least I think it was sunlight) sat the most beautiful thing in the entire world.
A 25% off any 1 item coupon on the back of a Harbor Freight weekly flyer. No joke peeps, it was so awesome. I quickly snatched it up, washed my hands three times, and proceeded to save $18.48. Moral of the story: Always check the crapper for a coupon.
You might be thinking I am totally off my rocker on this one, why would any balanced human being go to the airport to collect coupons? The obvious places to look at the airport include discarded newspapers and magazines. The not so obvious places to look include lounge areas and technology kiosks where frequent flyers tend to hangout.
If you fly Southwest Airlines regularly, keep an eye out for Southwest drink coupons as they’ll make you some nice cash on eBay.com. As a matter of fact, a package of 4 coupons will fetch you close to $20.
Would I go out of my way to look for coupons at the airport? Probably not. But if I’m a frequent flyer and have to be there anyways, I absolutely would get my coupon hunt on.
Don’t Buy It, You Might Get Rewarded
The next time you’re shopping online and about to make a significant purchase, do NOT click the finalize button, instead close your browser and grab a cold adult beverage and wait for a coupon.
Many online retailers like Best Buy, Bass Pro Shops, and even Zappos.com has been known to send you a coupon via email to try and entice you to come back and finalize your purchase. Here are some tips on how to make the abandon your virtual shopping cart strategy a big ol’ coupon yielding success.
Tweet for Discounts
If you don’t like paying full price and you’re NOT following your favorite retailers on Twitter, you’re an idiot. Simple as that.
A solid majority of retailers are now using their Twitter feeds as a way to not only stay in touch with their loyal customer base, but also as a way to hand out coupons and insider tips on upcoming sales and promotions. Go follow your favs RIGHT NOW.
Scour the Parking Lot
Similar to the coupon by the toilet idea, you can also find coupons laying around in the parking lot as well as near the entrance to stores. People discard them if they aren’t needed and unfortunately they don’t always make it to the trash.
Your best bet is to look for store flyers as they often have coupons in them. Also look near the cashier registers and dressing rooms for store flyers.
Buddy Up with an Employee
Get to know a store employee or two at your favorite stores. This especially works great at home improvement stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware. When I worked in the paint department at The Home Depot I got to know several of our regular customers quite well and I was able to save them significant money by informing them of upcoming sales and coupon events.
Be sure to do the same as the opportunities for savings are quite significant, especially on larger purchases. Oh, and if you are a big DIY’er this is a total no-brainer.
Buy Cheap Coupons on eBay.com
Are you aware that eBay.com currently has over 100,000 listings selling coupons for not only the grocery store but also popular retailers like Kohl’s, American Eagle, Old Navy, and Home Depot. Many are auctions and tons of them are listed as ‘Buy It Now’.
Buying coupons off eBay makes the most sense on larger purchases that you know you’re going to make anyways. Things like flooring for your home from The Home Depot, a new television from Best Buy, or new clothing for back-to-school from American Eagle.
Totally makes sense to buy a 25% off coupon for a few bucks when your savings will easily pass the amount paid for the coupon.
Pay Someone Else To Clip Your Coupons
Are you aware that there are actually companies who will clip your coupons for you for a small fee? The most popular service seems to be The Coupon Clippers.com and they make money by charging you a handling fee on paper coupons.
The fee varies from 8 cents up to 25 cents each. If you like to save money and don’t have the time to collect and clip your own coupons, a service like this could definitely save you some money.
Hop on the Coupon Train
Get on board the coupon train and start saving some dough. Essentially a coupon train works by the “conductor” mailing 50-200 coupons to the first person on the coupon train list.
He/she takes the coupons they need and mails the rest to the next person on the list. So on, and so on, until almost all of the coupons are taken. The best spot to give it a try is at my buddy Kim’s site, MommySavers.com.
I literally lived off Subway coupons that I found in the student union and campus post office at the college I attended. The coupons were good for 1 FREE foot-long sub when you buy 1 foot-long. It was a crazy good coupon and essentially gave me 2 meals for right around 5 bucks.
While Subway probably doesn’t have coupons that good any more, there is no doubt that many up and coming restaurants do. If you’re a student this is a total no-brainer.
If you love a good deal and aren’t in school, it may still be a decent strategy if you have a campus nearby. Side-note: In college I once ate 2 foot-long subs from Subway for lunch. Once in college I also clogged the toilet.
Did you know that most cereal boxes still contain a coupon or two? I thought this was a rumor from the 1980’s but I recently tested it out and scored coupons for guess what, more cereal.
My three kids practically live off of Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch so why not collect coupons to save a few bucks the next time we stock up. Kinda makes sense, right?
Waiter or Waitress
Are you too cheap to ask your waiter or waitress if they have a coupon for the next time you come in to eat? Not me. It all comes down to how you frame it.
Say something like, “I absolutely loved my meal and was wondering if you have any coupons for the next time I come in?” Chance of success…highly positive.
Ask the Reader: Do you have any other awesome ways to find a coupon? Let me know all about it in the comments.
By Kyle James