Coupon 101 – Where do you get your coupons?

I have decided to start a coupon section to my blog. So here is the first installment.

Your first source should be the Sunday newspaper. The coupons are usually with the magazine section inside the funnies! There are three kinds of coupon inserts to look for: the SmartSource (SS), the Redplum (RP), and once a month, the Procter & Gamble Brand Saver (P&G). There are no inserts on major holidays, so you might want to save your money on those days. Check out the Sunday Coupon Insert Schedule to see what Sundays will have coupons in them or not.

The first key to saving money is to get multiple copies of the inserts– lots of them. You want to do this as inexpensively as possible.

  • You probably already get a paper, either home delivered or at the news stand, so you have one set of inserts there. If you buy it at the store, make sure the coupons are actually in there before you pay for the paper!
  • Some stores discount the price of the Sunday paper, or offer a special deal on two.
  • Then you can ask everyone you know. Most people don’t use coupons, or if they do, they cut one or two and toss the rest. Get those. Ask your mother, your neighbors, your church friends, coworkers– anyone that you can think of!
  • If you live in or close to an apartment or condo complex, check out the recycling bins. You’d be surprised how many people just toss the whole center section! These are usually pretty clean, since recycling companies require you to separate newspaper from other recyclables.
  • Join the “Dumpster Divers”! This is what people call it when they go to the local recycling center to poke around for extra inserts. Make friends with the people who run them if you are confronted—they can become your best friends! They might be able to tell you when the carriers come to dump their extras. More information on Dumpster Diving.
  • Ask at the local store on Sunday night or Monday morning. Many papers require that only the front page of unsold papers be returned for credit, or if they need the whole paper, they don’t want the inserts. It never hurts to ask!
  • Look at hotels, nursing homes, McDonald’s on a Sunday morning… anywhere that people sit to read the paper and leave the inserts.
  • There are reputable coupon clipping services that will send coupons for a handling fee. Free from the sources above is always best, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money!
  • Another source of coupons is online printable coupons. There are many links to these in our Coupon Database! Most sites allow you to print two copies of each coupon. One caveat, however, is that many stores no longer accept them due to fraud. You will need to ask if your store accepts these.
  • A preview of the coupons that will be appearing in the next weeks’ inserts can be found in our Insert Coupons forum.


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