One question I am often asked is “Where do you find all your coupons you use?” Well, I don’t have any super secret source, but I have come across many different ideas for accumulating coupons. Here are just a few ideas that I’ve personally used or heard about from others:
1) Subscribe to your local newspaper.
This is the simplest way to get started couponing – getting it delivered to your door every week! We pay around $1.00/week for this and it has been worth every penny. I waited until I could get it that cheap before I would subscribe, though. Unless you already get the paper anyway, if you are buying the paper solely for the coupons, don’t pay more than $2/week maximum for it. Also, see if you can subscribe to a Sunday-only edition or at least a weekend-only edition.
Other things to look into: Check and see if you can get more than one copy of the paper and get a discount. Or, call around to other local towns/cities – especially larger cities – and see if they offer any discounts on newspaper subscriptions for out-of-town folks. You might also call and ask about them just letting you purchase the coupon inserts. And always ask for a discount – there’s usually a way to get one!
There are a few other online sites, including eBay and The Coupon Clippers or The Coupon Master where you can routinely buy extra coupons from for a fraction of the cost. I encourage you to be cautious when doing this, though, as you can easily go overboard. However, if it’s a really good deal and going to save you lots of money and you’re able to afford it in your grocery budget, then go for it! I know many people who have saved hundreds of dollars buying coupons from The Coupon Clippers or The Coupon Master.
2) Ask friends, relatives, and co-workers for their extra papers.
Let it be known that you are an avid couponer and will gladly accept any extra coupon inserts from anyone who doesn’t use them. You might be surprised how many you can collect this way. Elderly neighbors seem to be especially eager to save their coupons for others, so be sure to ask them. Also, if you know of anyone who has a newspaper route, this might be another avenue for having access to free coupons. It depends upon the policy of the newspaper company, but sometimes they will allow you to have the extras.
3) Check out your local recycling bin.
I’d heard of this method for awhile but never investigated it until a few years ago. Let me tell you – it really works! In the town where we used to live, I discovered where some very clean newspaper recycling bins were located and hit them on my way home from the store, if I had time. In 15 minutes, I could usually salvage 10-15 coupon inserts.
4) Get coupons at the store.
Keep your eyes peeled at the store and pick up any coupons you find on tearpads or in the blinking dispensers. If there are extras, pick up multiple copies of these. A lot of times, this very item will be on an exceptional sale just a few weeks later and you’ll be more than glad you picked up that handful of coupons!
5) Print coupons out online.
If your store accepts “printables,” this can be a great source of coupons. You can do a search for “printable coupons” and it will bring up many different coupons. You can also search for a specific item and see if there are any printable coupons. Most of these sites allow you to print two coupons per computer every few weeks. The coupons offered on these sites usually change every month. Check out the list on the sidebar for some of my favorite links to printable coupon websites.
There are also many other options for obtaining coupons like trading coupons with others online or offline or coupon trading boxes available at some stores or libraries, and other ways. Start actively looking for coupons and you’ll soon find more sources than you can use!
Reader Tip: Write companies and praise their product and request any coupons they might have to offer.
Reader Rachel wrote and said:
If there is a product we really like, I email the contact email on the package and let them know how much we like it.
My recent success was with Mission tortillas and wraps. They are our favorite because they are always fresh and soft, and we go through a couple packs a month. I emailed them and raved about their product and wrote something like this, “I am a single adoptive mom on a tight budget. Would you have any coupons to help us afford our favorite wraps?”
Today I received two coupons, each for a free pack of wraps. Not bad for about a minute of my time! – Rachel
What are your best methods for obtaining coupons?