12 September 2011

Couponing in Small Town Oregon

When we decided to move to Oregon for medical school I remember bragging to friends that our small town in Oregon would likely have very few coupners. I was so excited to rake up all the savings and have full shelves of products on promotion to choose from. I think I was also imagining a native coupon tree where I could freely grab local newspaper inserts on Monday.

Upon arrival this summer, I staked out my favorite coupon spots and searched for Oregon and Pacific Northwest couponing resources. As far as couponing goes Lebanon, Oregon is home to a Rite Aid, Walgreens, Safeway, Bi-Mart, Mega Foods, and Walmart as well as mom and pop stores. Oh, and an Ace Hardware. It was on my first couponing trip that all of my tiny Oregon town couponing dreams were crushed. It was Monday at a pharmacy, the shelves with promotional items were bare, and there was a lady standing next to me with the same coupon in hand.

I have come to discover that there are MANY couponers in small town Oregon. In fact, I even went to a garage sale one summer day where all the items being sold had been bought (or more likely were free) with coupons. The gall!

My coupon tree didn't exist either.Our local library receives a few daily newspaper subscriptions and has a bin for all the newspaper ads. I was so excited to discover this, but then shortly thereafter found that if I came after noon on a Monday that the inserts were gone. There are others who knew about the library resource as well. Newspaper subscriptions seem tricky for our situation. We live in a large apartment complex 15 miles from the nearest printed newspaper and 60+ miles from the nearest major printed newspaper. I don't really trust an accurate delivery, and newspaper coupons are where it's at!

Here are the best resources I have found for couponing in Oregon:

The Krazy Coupon Lady - These ladies post nation wide deals, and what I love most about their posts is their method for letting you know when there's a good deal!

Frugal Living NW - There are specific deals for Northwest stores that vary from nationwide circulars. This blog will keep you updated on those.

The Frugal Find - I use this blog for their coupon database and Winco updates. We do have a winco in Corvallis, which can be a convenient errand after work. I have yet to find a good resource for any grocery store besides Safeway or Winco.

The Oregonian - I've heard this is your best resources for coupon inserts in the Portland area. We have a local newspaper, but often the inserts are a bit on the slim side.

MyPoints.com - I use my MyPoints account to download available coupons from Coupons.com or Smartsource. All the same coupons area available through MyPoints and I receive points towards rewards by using the MyPoints printouts.

Though my utopia of small town quiet couponing was dashed, I still occassionally have some "Free" time!

The other day I bought three individual bottles of Simply juice and a Diet Coke  for 2 cents at Walgreens! It would have been free or better except for Oregon's bottle cap tax, but I'm not complaining!