Sorry this post is late, I had Monday and technology issues.
The third step is gathering coupons. There are many places and ways to get coupons.
*In the paper: The Sunday paper has inserts, but these can vary by the region or the paper you get. Experiment with several papers and find the one (or ones) that has the best ones for you. I buy three each week, my local paper (for the ads, but it doesn't have coupons), and the two papers from the bigger cities that have the coupon inserts. The inserts are called Smart Source (SS) and Red Plum (RP). About once a month there is a Proctor & Gamble (P&G) insert too. Sometimes other companies put out inserts, Kelloggs did one in September. The Sunday paper also has store coupons. Store coupons (put out by that specific store and can only be used at that store) can be stacked (used together) with manufacturers coupons.
*In the store: Look for "blinkies" and "tear pads" displays next to products. Sometimes companies put out whole booklets that are on displays (Kelloggs and Kraft did this in the last month). Also Fred Meyer and Walgreens have coupons booklets (store coupons) which can be stacked. Be respectful of other couponers though and don't wipe out the whole display :) Some stores may even have a coupon trade bin, where you put your coupons you don't want and get ones you do.
*On products: Look for "peelies" (those sticker like coupons on packages) on products and coupons inside boxes. The ones hidden in boxes are usually high values. I recently got $5 worth of Kelloggs coupons inside a cereal box.
*On the internet: Internet coupons are free. You can usually print them twice. Coupons.com, redplum.com, smartsource.com are the best ones. They update once a month, but are set to only so many prints per coupon. So if you see something you need, print it before it is no longer available. (You can print them all, but you are probably not going to use them all, so it wastes paper and ink.) Also company websites are great sources for coupons. If you are looking to see if a coupon is available for a specific product, you can try coupontom.com. It tells you where to find the coupon. (These links are on my sidebar.) One word of caution, I would stay away from coolsavings.com, couponmom.com, etc...those sites just seem to fill your mailbox with spam and never produce usable coupons (at least for me they don't.)
*In the mailbox: You know I love mail! There are lots of coupon books and free samples (that often come with high values coupons) to sign up for. Again, I would stick with freebies4mom.com on that. I am on several companies mailing lists and I often get coupons that work great with promotions.
*In magazines: Lots of coupons are available in magazines. Keep your eyes open next time you are browsing. Also the All You magazine has lots of coupons in it. It is a tip mag made for moms. I actually like reading it, because it is realistic. The recipes are actually very easy with common ingredients and the fashion section is stuff you would wear and can actually afford to buy. You can get this mag at WalMart for under $2 and it easily has $100 of coupons in it every month. You can also get a cheap subscription to the mag on numerous sites.
So go gather some coupons, next we will talk about how to organize them.