For a couponer like me, Sunday is better than your birthday. It is the day when the gas station lady secretly whispers that you are crazy behind your back as you haul a stack of papers to the counter and leave the paper itself behind. Although, on an unrelated topic, I generally make the people in line behind me very happy- they all get a free Sunday paper! So, while Sunday is fresh in every one's minds, let's see where to start the savings.
First, always always make sure that the paper you are buying has coupon inserts. Some newspapers business oriented, like the New York Times, will not have coupon inserts. For the Tampa Bay area the Tampa Bay Times is your best bet. If you are not sure if the papers in your area have inserts, you can always call their customer service number or ask the clerk at which ever store you are going to pick your papers up from if you can take a peak inside. Generally, the inserts you are looking for are in the middle, near the comics section. (I would like to thank who ever put together the format of the paper for putting all of my favorite parts in one place.)
If you ever want to check out what is going to be in the inserts with out looking like you are about to steal a paper, you can see what is in this week's coupons. Now, keep in mind that not every paper has the same inserts. Each region has different "types" of coupons. This can range any where from different products to different denominations. For example, you may have a coupon that is $2 off of 1 package of ice cream, where I, with a different paper from a different region, may have a coupon for that same product but for $2 off of 2 instead. Or, I may not have a coupon for that product at all. But, don't be jealous, there are tons of fabulous websites like this one here where you can buy inserts.
Now, after all this, you are probably thinking, okay lady- just tell me how to coupon. Patience, young one, we will get there.
So what exactly are you looking for in the paper?
Red Plum, also abbreviated RP.
P&G, already abbreviated.
Smart Source and Red Plum are generally in the paper every Sunday. Now, of course I say this on a weekend where there is no Red Plum, but more times than not, it is there. P&G, on the other hand, is only in the paper once a month. Generally in the beginning of the month. For the month of October, you will find P&G in October 7th's paper. If you ever want to check out what inserts will be in this week's paper, there is a pre-determined schedule. Yes, I agree, it takes all the mystery out of couponing.
So that is your first lesson in couponing. I don't want to overwhelm you with good news. But hey, if you have any questions or need any clarification, this is definitely the place to ask!