EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

March 29, 2013

Dig these digital savings tools

This week, readers are looking to make their couponing lives a little easier. What if you had a crystal ball that showed which weeks multiple coupon inserts would come in the newspaper? Or a shopping guide that reveals which stores in your area have the best prices on what you want to buy this week?

Fortunately, websites that do all of the above actually exist. Here are a few of my favorites. Bookmark them today – they’ll become some of your most frequently used couponing tools.

Dear Jill,

I was wondering which websites are best to check out the coupon inserts before they appear in the newspaper? The past two weeks the paper has been coupon-free. I would like any tips that you are willing to share.

Stephanie A.

At the beginning of each year, the three major coupon insert providers –NewsAmerica’s SmartSource, Valassis’ RedPlum and Procter & Gamble’s Brandcaster – publish a schedule of which weeks coupon inserts will appear in the paper. Usually there is at least one coupon insert every week, but there are a few weeks in a year that we don’t have any. Browsing these insert schedules will let you know which weeks to expect coupons. I have a copy of this schedule on my blog at www.jillcataldo.com/2013schedule.

Along the same lines, a reader has a related question:

Dear Jill,

Why are there no coupons in the newspaper the week of a holiday?

Susanne L.

We typically don’t see coupon inserts in the newspaper during a week in which there’s a national holiday. Why? In one word – leftovers! Think about what we do when a holiday is approaching. We buy lots of food, entertain, feed our families and then … ? We’ve got a fridge full of leftovers.

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