Printable Coupons – All You Need To Know
Who want’s to print some money?!
Printable coupons are an awesome resource for any person looking to save money. Outside of newspaper inserts, the web has the most extensive variety of coupons. In an effort to draw in more buyers, almost every company is jumping on the coupon bandwagon and offering customers a way to save on their products. Most savvy couponers take advantage of printable coupons. They are generally higher value and easy to come by.
Here are a few things to know when printing and redeeming coupons:
1.) Printing Limits
Most printable coupons are regulated by special software that allow a limited number of prints per computer. Generally this limit is 2. Take note that this limit is per computer, NOT per printer. When printing regulated coupons, you usually will be prompted to install software or a plug-in. This allows the manufacturer to track the number of prints. You should only be promoted to download during your first print attempt. Most of these service providers offer technical support if needed, but generally it’s a simple, safe and fast process. Bricks (Coupons.com), Catalina (Target & Coupon Network) and Smart Source are of some of the most common types of printable coupon services.
2.) Photo Copying
One of the most common questions I get asked is if you can photo copy printable coupons. The short answer is no. Unfortunately, companies put limits on print numbers for a reason and they mean business. If you print 2 same coupons you will notice unique bar codes or unique time stamps on each coupon. Below is a picture of a Bricks coupon printed twice from my home computer. You’ll notice in the top right corner where the is a bar code that is unique to each coupon. When retailers submit coupons for reimbursement, only coupons with unique codes are refunded. Manufacturers track each code and will not reimburse retailers for copies once a code is submitted. So, if your computer will only allow a limited number of prints, using multiple photocopied versions would essentially be the equivalent of stealing from the retailer.
3.) PDF Coupons
On rare occasion, manufacturers will release PDF or non-regulated coupons. These coupons can be printed an unlimited number of times and can sometimes be saved to your computer for printing at a later date. Because coupon fraud is a booming business, you’ll find that some of these non-regulated coupons are fraudulent and have been created illegally. I recommend only using non-regulated coupons that have posted on verified web sited with legitimate URL’s. You can verify the legitimacy of a coupon by verifying its web address. WHOIS is a helpful resource when checking web addresses. Be careful when printing from web sites that have been recently created or are not owned by the manufacturer represented on the coupon.
4.) Time Sensitive
Printable coupons generally have “print limits”. This limit is different from the per computer limit and refers to the combined number of times a coupon can be printed once released. For example, Nabisco generally releases a new Facebook coupon on the first of each month. The per computer limit is set at two while the general combined print limit is 25,000. This means that once the public has printed 25,000 coupons in total, Nabisco will pull not allow any more prints and will pull the coupon from the web. Another limit may be time. Occasionally you’ll find manufacturers will release a promotional coupon for a limited amount of time. They may let you know how long you have to print, but more often they only hint that the coupon won’t last long – and they don’t usually bluff! You can bet high value coupons go FAST, as well as staple product coupons such as eggs, bread, milk, etc… If you see any of the above, print soon or it may be gone before you get a second chance. I’ve seen coupons disappear within a matter of minutes (or less!) once released.
5.) The 1st of the month
Most large coupon printing sites release new coupons the first of each month. Some older coupons are deleted while others are reset by the manufacturer. “Reset” refers the addition of print limits, both general and per computer. Once reset, they may re-appear on a siteÂ or may be able to be printed once again from your computer. Resets generally happen once a month (most common), once a quarter or twice a year, depending on the coupon. Be sure to check your favorite site at the beginning of each month (and throughout the first week) for new and reset coupons.
Â 6.) Redeeming Printable Coupons
Most retailers now accept printable coupons. If you are unsure if your store will accept this type of coupon, look up their store policy. You can generally find these on the retailer’s site. Print and take with you a copy of the policy in case you find yourself dealing with an uninformed cashier or manager.
7.) Printable Coupon Resources
Below are a list of the most common sites to find free printable coupons.
- Red Plum
- The Coupon Network
- Betty Crocker
- Eat Better America
- Campbell’s Kitchen
- Target (some store coupons, some manufacturer)
- All You
- Saving Star
- Right at Home (J&J)
- Mambo Sprouts (organic products)
- Que Rica Vida (GM)
- Wyeth (medicinal)
- Cool Savings
8.) A Few Tips
- The General Mills printing sites (Pillsbury, Betty Crocker & Eat Better America) usually have some like ans some different coupons. You will only be able to print the like ones twice per computer in total. You will not be able to print twice per computer per site. The same is true for The Coupon Network and Target. If you see like coupon on these two sites, only two prints per computer in total will be allowed. In both cases the sites are monitored by the same printing service.
- Coupons.com is the best, most diverse and most convenient place to find printable coupons. The print limit is generally two per computer, sometimes one. The coupons print 3 per page so you may want to print in multiples of 3 to save paper. After you print a coupon once the coupon will appear on the very last page, so you’ll have to scroll through each page to print the same coupon a second time.
- If you are looking for a specific product coupon, be sure to check out Facebook. So many companies release promotional Facebook coupons in order to gain a following. Don’t be afraid to use Facebook! “Liking” companies is harmless and can mean access to high value coupons!