How to Identify a Counterfeit Coupon
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How to Identify a Counterfeit Coupon

Posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 at 7:00 am
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How to Identify a Counterfeit Coupon | FreeCoupons.comEveryone knows that using coupons is a great way to lower your grocery bill. People who are brand new to couponing might not be able to tell a legitimate coupon from a fake one. You are going to want to avoid the counterfeit coupons, because you could, potentially, be charged with a crime if you use them. Here is some advice to help you sort out the good coupons from the counterfeit coupons.

Use Safe Sources
It is not a good idea to download coupons, or print out coupons, from websites that are questionable. You have no way of knowing where that coupon originated. Instead of taking a risk, only print coupons that come from safe sources.

The printable coupons you find at FreeCoupons have been checked out and are safe to use. Another reliable source is Coupons.com (which is one of the most popular places for people to find coupons). It is also safe to use store coupons that you find on the official website of the store itself. For example, if you want to shop at Target then it is safe to use the coupons you find on Target’s website.

Check the List
Unsure about the legitimacy of a coupon? Check the list at the Coupon Information Corporation. They work hard to keep the list as updated as possible. If the coupon you were considering using appears in their list – don’t use it! It is definitely a counterfeit coupon.

Print Manufacturers Coupons
Another good way to find legitimate coupons is to get them directly from the manufacturer. Often, this requires you to sign up with the company through their official website. (It won’t cost any money to do it). For example, print your Kellogg’s coupon from the Kellogg’s website instead of from some random blog that you came across online. There are several other manufactures that offer safe coupons to people who sign up with them.

Skip the Questionable Coupons
Never print out a coupon from a website that wants you to pay money in order to access the coupon. Someone at that website is trying to scam you (and may be interested in obtaining your credit card information for nefarious purposes).

Don’t use a coupon that lacks a barcode, or one that has a barcode that contains one digit (over and over again). Be careful if the coupon says “print out this email”. These coupons are only for people who joined a loyalty club at a restaurant or grocery store (or who signed up with a particular manufacturer). Using the coupon, without having the email that is supposed to accompany it, could lead to problems. When in doubt, don’t use the coupon!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.