The SmartSource company places coupon machines in grocery stores where you can take a coupon right then and there to save on the item you purchase. These SmartSource coupon machines are often referred to as “blinkies” by most couponers. They get this name because the coupon dispensers usually have a green blinking light designed to attract your attention while walking down the grocery store aisles. Blinkies are usually found directly in front of (or at least nearby) the product for which the coupon is being dispensed is for.

Blinkies are free and you can take as many as you need. The coupons will have an expiration date and can be taken to be used at a later date as long as it is before the coupon has expired (it doesn't have to be used on the date you find it). They also do not need to be used at the store where they are found, but can be used at any store where manufacturer coupons are accepted

While Blinkie coupons are free, there are some basic etiquette rules that you should consider when taking them. If you pull a coupon from the Blinkie machine and decide that you don't want it, there is a slot on top where you can replace it so that someone else can use it. Also, only take the number of coupons that you will actually use. There are a limited number of coupons in each Blinkie coupon machine, so to hoard them. Simply take the number that you believe that you will realistically use.

It is well worthwhile to keep a lookout for Blinkies on each trip to the grocery store you take and they can often get you a good discount when combined with other promotions that are going on.

This is what they look like:

blinkie coupon

blinikie machine

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  1. I’ll have to start looking out for blinkies. But I still don’t understand how by using the blinkie coupons you are able to save on other items (i.e., but 20 packs of cream cheese and only pay $.06 for bananas). Somewhere along the way you’re getting cash back but that’s where you’ve lost me.

  2. Eden: It looks like the cream cheeses rang up at $0.49 somehow instead of the $1.49 that we see here, so when he buys 10 packs at $4.90, the coupons take off $5.50. This is some incredible deal shopping, ’cause in it he ends up getting paid $0.60 to take the cream cheese – and so he only pays 2 cents for $0.62 bananas.

  3. @Eden,

    Yes, Chrissy is correct. There was a deal going at the time that when you bought 5 products, you instantly got $5 off bringing the price of the cream cheese down to $0.49 each. Then using the coupon on top of that gave a $0.06 overage — since safeway doesn’t give cash back, I simply purchased something else (the bananas) and the overage went agains the cost of that item. This isn’t only blinkies – it can happen with Sunday newspaper coupons as well. In fact, you can do it with Rolaids this week at Safeway

  4. I recently started coupons about a month and a half ago. I got excited when I scored some awesome Catalina coupons here @ a local Albertson’s!!! I remember walking around the store with my mother when I was a kid and I use to just pull on them… Now I realize how much I can truely benefit from clipping coupons!!!

  5. I can’t find a single store in the city i live in that has blinkies or the tear pads…. is there a way i can find out where to find them?

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