10 Coupon-Clipping Resources
Where to find discounts for groceries and restaurants
By Roxanne Webber
1. Entertainment Books. Entertainment books look like desperation—last-ditch marketing by mediocre restaurants. Sometimes they are. But sometimes they’re not. As Chowhounds have written, occasionally you can get some good deals at good places. But Chowhounds report seeing signs in some restaurants stating that they no longer accept the coupons. You can buy the books online, and they’re often sold to raise money for schools or other charitable causes.
3. SmartSource.com. Printable coupons for things like spinach, olive oil, and paper towels. Enter your zip code, and the site will also track weekly circular deals for your area and tell you when the sales will end.
4. Coupon Mom. A site with forums, for extremely dedicated couponers. Coupon Mom has free registration (warning: You’ll have to carefully skip some baits to sign you up for other crap) and is full of advice and strategies. After you register you can sort deals by state, see what’s on sale, select the items you’re interested in, and print out a list coded to alert you to coupons in the Sunday paper or online.
5. Dining Decks. Like city restaurant weeks, dining decks—literally decks of cards that cost $25 up-front but give you a discount (usually $10 to $15 off your meal) for 52 different restaurants and/or bars—are cropping up for more and more cities. New York has the Diner’s Deck, Los Angeles the Hungry? Deck (as discussed on Chowhound), and San Diego and San Francisco have CozmoDecks. Read the fine print though: You may need to make a minimum purchase to get the discount.
6. Cellfire. Digital coupons that can be accessed directly from your cell phone. Right now the discounts are for big brand products like Hamburger Helper and Lucky Charms, but the company is trying to get more, says Cellfire’s VP of consumer marketing, Dan Kihanya.
7. Mambo Sprouts. A website with coupons for “healthy, organic” products. There are printable versions for stuff like Method nontoxic kitchen cleaning products, MaraNatha organic nut butters, and Liberté yogurt. A Twitter feed helps you keep track of new offers.
8. Restaurant.com. The site sells you a $25 gift certificate for $10, which you print and then redeem when you dine. It sounds suspiciously easy, but Chowhounds have posted mainly positive reports about using Restaurant.com. Pay attention to the rules, though: There are day and time restrictions and minimum purchases; call a restaurant before you buy a certificate to be sure it is still honoring them. Chowhound pollymerase wrote an informative post about being smart when you shop online coupon sites.
9. The Yellow Pages. You may not have ever noticed, but there are coupons in the back of the Yellow Pages. Check them out, since there’s not much else to do with the phone books these days.
10. Manufacturers’ Websites. If you shop for specific brands, go directly to a manufacturer’s website. Some products such as Seventh Generation ecofriendly cleaners and R. W. Knudsen Just Juice (great for cocktails!) had printable coupons available at the time of writing.