When I am shopping, my goal is to pay the least amount of money possible. I often watch the sales at my local stores, but the easiest way for me to save the most money is to use coupons.

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Manufacturers want you to buy their products, and one way to attract you to their products is to offer a coupon. There are many places to find coupons to save you a little extra money on your everyday purchases. You do not need to be an "Extreme Couponer" to save money. Know the products you like and be aware of coupons that may be available.

Saving money does not have to be difficult. Start slow and don't feel like you need to use a coupon for every product you buy. If you want to save more, you can do an online search for your favorite store's coupon matchups, and they will tell you all the coupons that are available and the best deals you can find each week. There is no reason to pay full price all the time.

Printable coupons

Printable coupons are some of the easiest and fastest to access. They are available at Coupons.com, RedPlum.com, and SmartSource.com, and once you are on the websites, you can scroll through the coupons they have available to print. You only need to "clip" the coupons you want to use, and you only print those coupons. Many times, you can go back through and print a second copy of the coupons. These coupons usually expire 30 days after you print them.


Sunday paper

Newspapers are getting expensive, but I still think that the coupons in the Sunday paper make it worth purchasing the paper. I would suggest buying two papers each week because when your favorite store has a "buy one get one free" sale, you are allowed to use two coupons to maximize your savings.

You can also visit SundayCouponPreview.com to preview the coupons that will most likely be in your local Sunday paper. That will help you decide whether it’s worth it to buy the newspaper. Please note that the Sunday paper usually does not have coupons on holiday weekends. (Tip: Watch daily deal sites like LivingSocial and Groupon for a deal on your Sunday paper. Sometimes, they have Sunday-only subscriptions as low as $10 for 52 weeks.)


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Email your favorite companies

Have you ever considered sending an email or calling your favorite companies? Companies love to hear what you really think about their products, and oftentimes, they will send you a few coupons for their products. I have heard many stories about companies sending people coupons for free products because they took the time to contact the company.


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Target.com

Target.com has hundreds of coupons available for you to print. These are considered store coupons, and they can only be used at Target, but you can maximize your savings by using the Target coupon and a manufacturer's coupon on the same product! (Side note: Some Publix grocery stores accept Target coupons. Be sure to check your local store to see if they consider Target a competitor. Make sure to also check out their app, Cartwheel, for digital coupons.)


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Coupon books

Coupon books like Entertainment Book and Enjoy The City can help you save money on everything from miniature golf to lunch to dry cleaning. I always have one of these books in my car. Enjoy the City is a newer book and offers huge discounts when you buy 25–50 books. When they have a sale, I usually find a few people to split them with so that we pay as little as $2.50 a book. They are usually $20 a book, so this is a huge savings. Enjoy the City books usually include four coupons for $5 off a purchase of $30 or more at Winn Dixie (or use them at Publix if they consider Winn Dixie a competitor). The coupons more than pay for the book.


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RetailMeNot.com

When I shop online, I always check for a coupon code. Most of the time, there is a coupon code available to save up to an additional 30 percent off my purchase, or there is a code to get free shipping. Once you visit RetailMeNot.com, search for your store. The site usually has the most current coupon codes available to help you save more on your online purchase.


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Free samples

I love to get free samples in the mail. We use them when we travel or if we run out of something. Oftentimes, I really enjoy the free sample and will eventually buy the full-sized product. The free sample is nice, but usually inside that envelope is a coupon (or two) to use on the full-sized product. So even if you already know you like the product — request the free sample.