Gisele had the unfortunate experience of purchasing a newspaper with the intent to start using coupons only to discover this was one of only 2-3 weeks in the year that there were NO inserts. UUUGGHH!
So here are a couple tips...
Gisele actually found this site on her own for all the Coupon inserts here. Here you can see which sections will be in which paper even before you purchase one.
You can also go here to find all the sale papers for all the stores in your area here. They even have store flyers for Aldi. AND it is not just grocery, drug stores (Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid) and discount stores (Wal-Mart, Target), even department stores (Sears, Penny's and Dillard's), Old Navy and Kohls. There is nothing special about this site except that you can find all the sale papers you need to browse all in one place AND you don't have to wait for the Sunday paper inserts. The individual flyers are updated at different times depending on when the store lists them.
The Grocery Game which I have referred to on my private blog also lists all the coupon inserts for that week including a random few coupons in "Parade Magazine" every couple of weeks. This list is updated on Sunday only and you have to pay for a subscription. I will talk more about this in an upcoming post.
I have also mentioned before that there are MANY different blogs and websites that "match-up" coupons with sale items. I get at least 5 new messages a day from these sites. Different people will comment or write in with even MORE deal match-ups. The key is to know the CODE.
Most times they are written like this - (1/25 S) or (RP 12/14)
This just means you will find the coupon in the insert from Sunday's paper that came out on the date mentioned. So January 25th and December 14th for my examples.
The letters in the code are for WHICH insert the coupon is in. There are THREE MAIN inserts that appear in a Sunday paper on any given week. They are "Smart Source" (coded with "S" or sometimes "SS"), "Red Plum" (coded "RP" or sometimes "V" for Valassis which is another name for it), and "P&G" for "Procter and Gamble" (this is coded "PG") and only comes out once a month usually at the beginning.
Sometimes there are multiples of either SS or RP. January 4th had the most inserts I have seen since starting coupons last March. There were three SS and two RP. Now, I don't mean I got 2-3 copies of each of these in my paper. There were two and three different sets of each. This is where it gets confusing. Some places will say (1/4 SS) and some will say (1/4 SS1) in which you would search insert #1. However, I can find NOWHERE on the insert that actually has a number 1 or 2. So you just have to search both.
Why is this important?
See my post on organizing coupons for the answer :)
One other site I use almost daily is couponmom.com. You can use the "coupon database" to look up ANY coupon from ANY insert that has not expired. Because I use the filing system, I use this site all the time to find a certain coupon that I don't know where to find.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ME ANY questions you may have. Just post it in the comments. I read every comment and I will try to answer your questions to the best of my limited knowledge :)