Making Coupon Lookup (CouponTom) better for our local coupons
I've gotten some email over the last few weeks that the Coupon Lookup link we use (CouponTom.com) to look up specific coupons and see which inserts they were in hasn't seemed as reliable lately. And, indeed, as of late it seems we're getting more than the usual number of coupons that are specific to the Chicago Tribune over and above what the "main" inserts contain.
Which isn't a bad thing - we always love more coupons! But I've been mulling over how to make things more localized to the Trib's inserts so that we're not missing matching a coupon to a deal. I considered setting up my own, blog-specific coupon database, but it would be an enormous time undertaking to do so. And I really, really like CouponTom - the site is great and the fastest, easiest database to use. I don't want to reinvent the wheel just for the coupons that might be specific to the Tribune each week.
So, starting with this week, I'm going to try to update CouponTom's database to note all of the coupons that were in the Chicago Tribune inserts, plus add the Tribune-specific coupons each week. (Did you know you can do that? You can add ANY coupon you want to the database, which I'll show you how to do in a minute if you're ever inclined to want to help too.)
But before that, did you know that you can set up CouponTom so that it specifically shows you which coupons were in the Chicago Tribune versus other inserts in other parts of the country? Here's how:
The first time you look up a coupon on the site, click the grey megaphone icon to the right of the icon:
You'll get a popup to select which newspapers to show coupons for. Choose the Chicago Tribune under "My Newspaper" (of course, if you're in another part of the country, you'd choose your local newspaper.)
Once you select your paper, you'll also have the option to click the "I Have It" or "I Don't" buttons to indicate that this coupon was or wasn't in the Tribune. This action also gets added to the database for everyone else who has the Tribune selected to see.
And then, any other coupons you look up... if they're noted as Tribune coupons, they'll show up with green icons in the list:
Now, I have not gone back and done ALL of the past inserts (I have this weekend's Deals of the Week to finish up!) but moving forward from this week, I'm going to try to keep current with going through each new insert and green-buttoning all the coupons we got in the Trib. But if you're going through older inserts and want to green-button them to indicate they were in the Trib, now you know how too. :)
AND, either way -- simply selecting the Chicago Tribune before you look for any other coupons will automatically green-light the ones that are known to be in the Trib. Nice!
Adding your own coupons to the database:
There were 27 coupons in the 6/3 inserts that weren't already in the database. If you have an insert coupon that isn't in the database, and you want to add it, click on the "My Coupons" link on the right side of the screen. Then click "Add New Public Coupon."
Fill in the box, and... that's it! It's now in the database. When you search for it again, click the megaphone icon to turn it green, and everyone else will know it's in the Tribune too.
Not sure if this is the appropriate thread, but I would love to see what inserts are expired without having to click all the way down to the week. Expired by month, in order would be great.
Sometimes when I'm not consistently couponing, it's difficult to purge the old because I can only look at a week at a time.
You're not using the "Current Inserts" link at left (under "Coupon Tools"?) It shows them all in a list on the left side of the page - no clicking required.
Not sure how I've missed this all this time...
I logged in last night to mark all of the coupons in the new 7/15 in CouponTom for the Tribune, but someone had already done them! :) Whoever did, you rock! Thanks! :)
You're amazing Jill!
I rarely if ever use coupontom as I typically find its not correct. I normally look coupons up on either southernsavers or hip2save as I find their databases to be more complete even if the value of the coupon differs from what we got here in Chicago. They also list most of the online coupons and magazine. HTH
I took some time off from couponing but getting back on the wagon. I have been just dating the inserts and filing them away without looking at them. But going back looking for things now I have found some that I could have really used the last month or so. I do use Coupon Tom and I've been wondering if there are coupons out there that are not in that database? Some things I can't believe there isn't a coupon for but can't find it so I don't buy the product.
Yes, sometimes there are. The first week of June, I began manually entering any difference between CouponTom and the Chicago Tribune's inserts into the database, so from June 4th on, the database is correct to our inserts. For weeks before that, I've been trying to add things when I can, but for June on, it's correct.
Just wanted to thank you for doing that. It's really nice of you and helps all of us. You are the best! :)
Is there a way to add coupons that we come across in magazines? Sometimes I will find a decent coupon in a magazine, but it's either expired or I don't clip it right away and forget it's there. I'm sure that happens to other people, too.
I know All You is in Coupon Tom, but Better Homes & Gardens, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, etc. would be helpful, too. And can we designate them as Chicagoland issues (I'm assuming a lot of the coupons are regional)?
Yes, you can - when you're entering your own coupons, in the box for "Location," just put "Redbook 6/12" or something like that instead of the insert's abbreviation.
the cpn Tom works quickly and provides a good assortment of options..so far,
its the best coupon search engine I have seen..
Bumping up as we're discussing how to show ONLY Chicago Tribune coupons in CouponTom in another thread...
Thanks so much!
I've also found the opposite: coupons listed in CouponTom that weren't in any of my inserts. I've gone nuts a couple times, with both of us looking through the same insert 2 or 3 times, and still not finding it. Eventually we just move on to the next one.
... if that happens, you can click the button to turn it red, and save yourself (and others) future frustration over not finding it. As we see more localized offers in various parts of the country, that phenomenon is likely to occur more often, I'm afraid...
I agree that Coupon Tom is the best of the databases I'm familiar with but even then there have been a few coupons that were in my local inserts that weren't in Coupon Tom. Never dreamed I could add the coupons myself or select the newspaper for speoific inserts.
Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to help too much with adding the Trib coupons since I live in the Boston area.
I have heard from quite a few people in my workshops that they love CouponTom, but they had no idea they could set it to highlight the inserts from a particular newspaper. Now you know too :)