A surprisingly easy, but often overlooked, source of coupons is – the grocery store!

Almost every manufacturer has printed coupons available in stores at some point. They can often be of higher value than those you find in the newspaper. Frequently the highest value coupons are literally buried, since the manufacturer may have put the value into the coupon instead of the promotional costs of displaying them.

Finding in-store coupons while you are focused on balancing a shopping list, budget, and the coupons you plan to use, can be a formidable task. It is therefore worth your time to take a trip around your local grocery store to become familiar with the coupon environment.

Things To Look For

There are actually a wide variety of different types of coupons available in grocery stores – probably more than you thought. The key to finding them is knowing what you are looking for. The following are a few common examples of in-store grocery coupons you're likely to find:

smartsource coupon dispenser SmartSource Coupon Machines: SmartSource Coupon Machines, often referred to as “blinkies” due to a blinking light designed to attract your attention while walking down the aisles, generally provide a coupon directly in front of the product. They may be taken and used any time before the expiration date at any store that accepts manufacturers’ coupons. The machines typically have a slot on top for consumers to replace them if they are not interested – those that others didn't want also are available to you, too.
freezer extra coupon dispenser Freezer Extra: These are found in the freezer section of the grocery store. These are attached to the freezer or refrigerator door and usually come in a bright colors to attract your attention. This dispenser distributes coupons for a product which is found within the freezer or refrigerator on which it is attached.
smartsource box coupon dispenser SmartSource TakeOne Box: These dispensers are usually located prominently on the shelf at eye level. In addition to coupons, these dispensers may also hold recipes, rebates, sweepstakes forms and other promotional offers for the products nearby.
smartsource showcase coupon dispenser SmartSource Showcase Extra: SmartSource Showcase Extra is a dispenser that attaches securely to an at-shelf bracket and usually has with a riser card that sticks out to grab your attention and to highlight new product features. The dispenser portion usually provides coupons or some other product incentive.
catalina check-out coupons Catalinas: Catalina Category Marketing (CCM) rewards purchases of promoted products with “catalinas”, also known as “check-out coupons”. These offer incentives good on your next shopping trip to that retailer. There is usually a 2-week window on $ off On Your Next Shopping Order coupons, and up to three months on coupon savings for specific products.
tearpad coupons Tearpads: These are pads which are stocked on the shelf or display where you simply tear the coupon of a pad of coupons.
winetag coupons Winetags and Collars: These are coupons that hang around the neck of wine, olive oil, juice, or any other bottle or jar.
brochure coupons Brochures and Loose Coupons: Brochures frequently include coupons, rebates, or other savings information. Coupons may also be found “loose”, where a stack of individual coupons are placed on a counter or shelf.
Peelies: These are the coupons that are attached directly to the product. Generally they indicate “use me now”. These coupons are frequently unnoticed at the time of purchase, but can be removed and redeemed at any time before the expiration date.
winetag coupons Try Me Free or Rebate Forms: These forms are a great way to try a new product and/or make money on a deal! Buy an item on sale, use the coupon, and send away for the rebate.

Return to Where to Find Coupons

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  1. I have often found coupons INSIDE the product I am using… some times for a different product, but most often for the same product. I got used to ALWAYS checking inside the box before throwing it away, especially in frozen food boxes.

  2. I remember the “tear pads”, especially how upset my mom-in-law would get when people would take the entire pad!

    Now do most people use rebate forms? If so, how do I get them? I never see the “tear pads” anymore.

  3. I went to Safeway today with some coupons and was able to save 41% which was pretty good since I bought beer and wine for a BBQ today. I spent $190-ish total and was surprised that I didn’t receive any catalina coupons! I fear that the machine may have been out of paper but was too rushed to ask. Is there a place where I can see what the current catalinas are?

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