Cosmetics Couponing 101 : Where I get all the best coupons


I have been doing my “Beauty Bargains” picks of the week series for a couple of weeks now, and I realized that although the couponing world makes sense to me {and the Beauty Bargain pick posts should be super helpful}, there may be someone out there just getting started in couponing and feeling a bit overwhelmed.

You just want to save a little money on makeup, right?

Cosmetics Couponing 101 : where I get all the best coupons ||

So, in conjunction with my Beauty Bargains series, I thought I would also start a little mini-series titled “Cosmetics Couponing 101” where I share my tips and tricks at getting the biggest savings not only at the drugstore, but on high-end cosmetics as well.

And remember, I like to keep things simple.  The way I coupon is a process that I have developed over a few years now and it has become the most simple way that works for me.  However, there may be a different process, or a slight amendment, to the way I do something that works better for you. If so, go for it!  If it works for you, and you are saving money, that is all I hope for!

Also, I am going to be honestly realistic with you when it comes to couponing for cosmetics.  I am not going to sit here and tell you that I get all of my makeup for free because I coupon and that I haven’t paid for an eye shadow in years.

Have I gotten a few things for free?  Yes, absolutely it is possible, every once in a while.  But not EVERYTHING is going to be free like so many coupon guides tell you magically happens when you start to coupon.  However, I do get pretty great deals very consistently, though, and I rarely pay full retail value on any of my cosmetics or beauty items.

I thought I would start this series by showing you where I get coupons.  Because without coupons, there would be no couponing to speak of!

There are basically three different categories of coupons for me: 1) newspaper, 2) online, and 3) smart phone app coupons

Newspaper Coupons

Each week, the local Sunday newspaper is delivered to my door {oddly enough, it arrives on Saturday, so I always feel like I am getting a peek into the future}.  We started subscribing to newspaper delivery because we actually wanted to read it and keep up to date with local news, so I look at the coupons as an added bonus {in other words, I do not feel like I am paying for the newspaper just to get the coupons}.

However, if we stopped reading the paper, we would certainly keep subscribing because of the coupons.  Our local subscription is $11 per month and that includes a newspaper delivered 6 days a week.  And do not discount the issues other than the Sunday paper!  Very regularly, department stores will send a circular during the week that has a coupon in it.  So, the value of coupons that I use from our newspaper far exceeds the $11 it costs us each month and getting the paper delivered to our door is actually less expensive than if we were to go buy the paper every day at the store!

In my local newspaper, I usually receive the Smart Source coupon insert and, once a month, the P&G coupon insert.  There is also a Red Plum coupon insert, but we do not get that where I am from.  If you do, score!  Red Plum usually has some pretty sweet makeup coupons that I am envious of not having.

Now, please do not imagine me sitting down at my kitchen table every Sunday and clipping out every single coupon and then organizing it into my huge coupon binder.  I do not clip every coupon and I do not have a binder.  I keep it much more simple, people.  I only clip the coupons I know I am going to use and use them during the week.

How do I know which ones I will use?  I actually regularly visit a couple of couponing sites that TELL me which ones I should be using for that particular week.  More on that to come later.

But, this allows my couponing to be pretty straight-forward and simple.  Someone tells me which coupons I need {just like in my Bargain Beauty posts}, I get those coupons, and I go buy the items.

Online Coupons

Okay, I am going to contradict myself just a tad when it comes to talking about online coupons.  I do print out ANY and all cosmetics coupons that I think I MIGHT use in the future and do have them saved to use for whenever that brand goes on sale.

The reason being is that with online coupons, one day they are here, the next day they are not {unlike the newspaper coupons you receive that you can access at anytime}.  Manufacturers usually only let a certain number of prints per coupon take place online.  So, when I see a coupon for $2 off an eye shadow come available, I print it out and save it for when that brand is on sale.

But, again, please do not picture me with this massive three ring binder cutting out and sorting thousands of coupons.  I have one, ONE, letter sized envelope with my cosmetic and beauty related coupons sorted in.  I keep it in my purse {it is that small} and that way if I am ever out shopping and come across a sale or clearance items on makeup, I know I have any and all available coupons with me to use in conjunction with that sale.

I plan on doing a post as a part of this Couponing 101 series that shows you how I organize this ONE envelope, so more on that to come!

In the meantime, here are the online websites I check for coupons regularly.  I check these sites once every week {or so} and just print out all of the beauty related coupons.  Bookmark these links so that you can have quick and easy access!

Also, you should know that you can print out each coupon on these sites two times per computer.  I have two computers in my house, so I get to print each coupon out four times.  Muahahahaha!

See, there are only three sites….how simple is it to check three sites, for five minutes, and print out some coupons?  I waste more time on Facebook!

Smart Phone App Coupons

This is my favorite category!  I actually save more money than I ever did because of my smart phone.  Since I have to have the phone anyways, it is like the newspaper…the cost of the smart phone is going to be a bill I pay regardless, so why not utilize it at least somewhat to save a bit of money on that fab new lipstick color I have been eyeing up!

I am going to do a more extensive post on all of these smart phone apps, as each one deserves a bit more explanation to maximize your savings, but below is a list of the smart phone apps I currently use in conjunction with my paper coupons.  And yes, all of these apps are free.  Paying for an app to coupon just seems counter-intuitive!

Saving Star


Checkout 51

Cartwheel {for Target}

Walgreens {the app to access and use your Balance Rewards}

There are plenty of other apps, including those for drugstores like CVS, but I do not have one of those locally {and therefore do not shop there or need the app}.  If you have a drugstore that you like to frequent, other than those listed above, check and see what apps might be available to use for that store!

BONUS – Online Shopping Cash Back

Along with coupons themselves, there are a few ways and a few different websites you can utilize to save even more money while you are shopping online rather than when you are shopping in-store.  To be honest, sometimes I find I save more money shopping from a store’s website versus actually going to the physical location.  Again, follow-up posts on each one of these savings sites to come, but for now start taking a peek at them to get a feel for what they have to offer! – anytime you plan to make a purchase online, start at Ebates, click through to the store’s site, and you will get a certain percentage of your purchase back as a cash rebate {it gets deposited right into your Paypal account each month, or you can request a check be sent}. – works just like Ebates.  I typically check Ebates first {usually a better cash back percentage}, but if I am shopping somewhere Ebates doesn’t work with, I then try Shopathome. – it wasn’t until recently that I discovered how many beauty related deals there are on Groupon!

Hautelook – if you are not familiar with this site, it is a flash sale site.  New items are added each day, at a huge discount, but are only available for a short period of time, or until they sell out!

I hope you have enjoyed this post.  Stay tuned for more in this new Cosmetics Couponing 101 series!

Do you follow Simple Nails and Beauty on Facebook?  How about Twitter or Instagram?  I post a lot of day-to-day pictures on Instagram {ones you wouldn’t see on the blog}, I update my Twitter feed with all things beauty related {not just SNB related} and my Facebook page is where you can keep most up-to-date with what SNB has happening.  So, it really is beneficial to follow in all of your favorite social media outlets.  For even more beauty inspiration, follow SNB on Pinterest as well!

This post was seen at Much Ado about Monday No. 72

Disclosure: All of the products reviewed in this post were purchased by me, with my own resources. All of the opinions are my own, are not influenced in any way, and I was not paid to write this post.  Affiliate links appear in this post. If you decide to purchase a product through one of these affiliate links, you help support this site. For more info view my Disclosure Policy.


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