31 Weeks to a Better Grocery Budget Video Series: 3 Ways to Get Coupons for Free

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  1. Heather says

    Many stores have Take a Coupon/Share a Coupon baskets. I always cut out all the coupons from my inserts – even the ones I can’t use like diapers and formula and I leave them in the basket and take what I can use.

    You can also start a coupon train – some people mail them around – however I know people that pass it around at the office or around the neighborhood. Same concept as the basket above – put in coupons that you can’t use and take out coupons you can use.

  2. Erin says

    Also check to see if your city has a free newspaper that carries inserts. My city has one that carries the Red Plum and P&G inserts. I just pick up a couple of those papers every week and I get those inserts for free.

  3. Carla says

    I take a walk the night before recycling day! Pick up my coupons for free and get exercise! :)

    • Casey says

      Umm…. like you take them out of people’s curbside recycling bins?!?! (giggling to myself) that’s a genius, if not a bit odd way to do it!! I go to the recycle center at the nearby university-they have huge open bins and I dig for coupons there!

      • Crystal says

        That is what I do. Our town’s recycling bins are right by my apartment, so I can easily climb on in and bag up all the inserts from recent papers!

  4. Heather Crosson says

    I pick from the recycling bin at the post office. On Thursdays we get free circulars and coupons and people throw them inthe bin from their post office boxes.

    • Brandy says

      This is exactly what I was going to write! Not that I don’t like it up, but your hair is so pretty! I would love to have hair like it. Your videos are getting better each week! And I’ve never mentioned this, but one of my favorite things about your videos is that they are short and to the point.

      • says

        You are too kind. Truth be told, there are many days when I envy other people’s hair and dislike my straw straight, thick hair. But isn’t that how we all are? Wanting something we don’t have? :)

    • says

      :) I usually sport the ponytail look, but I’ve been trying to make myself wear my hair down more often — well, at least a couple of times each week!

  5. Tara says

    A couple years ago my mom starting working at a local gas station in the evenings to support her quilting hobby! I get all my inserts from her for free out of the unsold Sunday papers. The store has to clip the headline, with date attached, of all the unsold papers each night and send them to the newspaper’s office. The rest of the paper is trashed. My mom grabs the inserts for me every Sunday night before the papers are thrown away. Some weeks I get 3 of each, others I get 11 of each. It just depends on how many are leftover, but I can’t complain….its FREE! :)

    • Nancy from IOWA! says

      My husband is a C.O.O. with a newspaper in the largest city and metropolitan area here in Iowa and he tells me it is illegal for the newspaper carriers to give the coupon inserts away on unsold newspapers. The carriers turn the papers in for credit and therefore, they do not own them. Hence, the coupons are not for them to give. It would be considered theft and a carrier could loose his job. Not worth having that on your conscience. In most cities, day old newspapers are sold at half price.

      • Megan says

        I wish that were true in the places I’ve lived! I’ve lived in multiple urban areas, but have never seen day-old papers marked down :(

      • Crystal says

        I worked at a coffee shop which sold newspapers. At the end of each day, we cut off the top of the front page (with name of newspaper and date) of all unsold papers and placed them in a large envelope which the carrier would then empty out upon delivery each day. The rest of the paper (inserts and all) was simply thrown away. We were asked to do this by the carrier. That’s the way our large city paper works so I’m guessing it must be different in different areas.

  6. Kristin L. says

    There is a little market grocery store a minute away from where I live, so I usually drive down there at around 9:45pm Sunday night (15 minutes before closing) and I’ll pick up the inserts from the unsold papers they have left. (I asked a manager a long time ago if I could do this, and he said it was ok.) Usually they have about 4 leftover, but it can vary.

    If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll run back out to the CVS just before their midnight closing and ask if I can have their leftover inserts. Most of the time they say it’s fine, but there is one manager who won’t let me if he is working. But there’s no harm in asking. :) Also, if I go around 11:30pm or so, I can go ahead and do my CVS shopping for the week while no one else is around.

    I’ve tried going to the couple neighborhood coffee shops in the past, but I almost NEVER find coupons there. Also, they’re always very busy, so sometimes it’s a little embarrassing to be pawing through the newspapers in front of 15 people chilling out with their coffee and computers. LOL. So I’ve pretty much given that up.

    • Sandi says

      I think this is a good idea, but only if you know the store takes the extra newspapers off the shelf. My local CVS and Walgreens will sell the Sunday paper through Monday or Tuesday unless they sell out earlier. I would be disappointed to buy a paper and find all the coupons had already been taken.

  7. says

    I have a similar comment as some of the others. I can get extra coupons (sometimes tons) by looking at my local recycling center. People recycle bags of newspapers and frequently they still have their coupons.

  8. John says

    I live in a small town and get an “advertiser” in the mail that includes coupon inserts. Many people who have PO Boxes just leave the advertiser, with coupons< on the lobby counter. Stopping in during the afternoon I've gotten as many as 12 inserts at a time.

  9. Allison V. says

    I dumpster dive the recycling bin at my nearby grocery store. No, I don’t actually climb in, but if the pile is big enough I can reach in a dig around. Got quite a few this week doing that. I also get them from my parents and my grandpa-if nothing else, this ensures I visit family every few weeks and they get to see my kids! And I get them from friends at church too.

    • Janet says

      I was doing this but started getting sick a lot. The dumpsters have so many germs. Plus, they are difficult to get around and find what you need. I am going to start asking around more because I have been doing without for a few weeks and it is straining our budget. I live very rural so it is really hard to find free coupons but I need them so not sure what I am going to do to be successful with this.

      • Corrine says

        you can buy coupon lots on ebay. this is a great way to some of the “better” coupon inserts when you live in a smaller town.

      • Heather S. says

        One way I get free coupons is through Swap Mamas.com. This a free site where everyone posts pictures of items (or lists of coupons, rewards codes, etc) that they aren’t using. Members work out swaps with each other, and the only cost involved is to ship your items to the other person (and vice versa – they pay to ship to you). For the price of a stamp I’ve gotten tons of great coupons! People are often really generous will include extras, too. Rewards codes are like gold on the site, so if you have any you don’t save, offer them there for coupons! =)

  10. Ashley says

    I used to have a friend that worked at a gas station. Ever Monday morning she was the person who would open the store. She gave me all the newspapers from the Sunday before in exchange for cutting off the front cover (the newspaper company required this for proof of how many were tossed). It took me a few minutes and I usually got an extra 8-10 papers that they were just going to throw away! She no longer works there and I haven’t built up the courage to ask the rude lady that took her place.

    • Stefanie says

      we do this at our station ( i used to work there years ago) and we know the people there now too. Ash that lady! Like Crystal said, tell her you’ll share deals with her as they come along….who doesn’t like saving?

  11. K says

    Just becareful if you decide to recycle bin dive. It’s against the law in my city…on the plant’s property AND curbside of residences. I only found this out when a regular dumpster diver was stopped by the police at MY house for taking all our cans out. He ended up being fined.

    • kandie says

      The only reason it is against the law is because the city sells the aluminum–so its like taking resources from the city. Paper isn’t a resource that’s worth anything so I doubt there’s much harm there (although I could be wrong! :) )

      • Kelly says

        I second that comment. Taking cans is basically stealing from the city but paper costs them money, so it is fine.

      • Courtney says

        This is incorrect – paper is worth something. Cities are paid by the ton for the paper that is recycled.

  12. Kara says

    It doesn’t happen all that often but if you happen to be flying on a Sunday morning (I was just two weeks ago) lots of people buy the paper and leave it or throw it before boarding – I got an extra set of inserts when the guy next to me a the gate left his paper when boarding :)

  13. Ora says

    My co-worker gets the Sunday paper. She gives me whatever coupons she doesn’t use. I also get lesser inserts on the weekend. Their usually delivered to the neighborhood. Recently my co-worker was out of town so I saved a ton of coupons to give to her. She will be surprised when I give them to her tomorrow!

  14. says

    I typically dumpster dive at the recycling center when it’s nice out, but haven’t done much since last fall due to weather and pregnancy :)

    We’re getting low and toothpaste and toothbrushes so I guess I need to start back up.

  15. Lana says

    Our local newspaper office has all the ads and inserts from the Sun paper available for pickup free in their lobby. One per customer.

  16. says

    I asked my coworkers to save theirs for me. In exchange, once a month or so I bake a batch of brownies or cookies and share them with those coworkers. Win, win!

  17. Monica says

    We have a coupon exchange box at church. I put in lots of coupons I can’t or don’t use and take a few that I can use. Same concept as some others have already mentioned.

  18. says

    Wow, great ideas! I’m going to try this this weekend for sure. Go to starbucks, relax with some chai tea, AND get free coupons??!! Sounds like the best plan to me!!! Thank you so much Crystal! You’re the biggest inspiration to me!

    PS, I hope it’s okay to post this on my blog too?

  19. Sandra Lee says

    I am so blessed to have found this site and to have learned how to do couponing like I had never done before. I found it a learned skill which has lent me opportunity to provide more and more than ever, not only for my family, but for our church food pantry as well! One of the ladies at church approached me to say she noticed week after week we bring in bags of items for the food pantry and hygeine kits for the homeless shelter and how wonderful it is that we give so much. I mentioned how I am able to do so because of learning how to extreme coupon. Well, word got around and I was asked to share my knowledge and that was the beginning of our Coupon Box at church. Members of the congragation bring in unused coupons and place it in the box, free for the taking by others. It has been a blessing to many!

  20. says

    I have not had luck going to McDonalds/Starbucks on Sunday afternoon, I always get told ‘NO!” I’ve also tried going through the big recycling bin at the grocery store, but it seems that the people around me hold on to them until they are expired! :(

  21. Kim says

    I recently visited sites for certain certain companies like Newman’s Own and Springer Mountain Farms and asked for coupons. They mailed them to me.

    The Newman’s Own coupons didn’t even have an expiration date, which is great!

    Springer Mountain Farms sent me a generous amount of coupons along with a very nice letter from the president of the company which included a personal, handwritten note thanking me for my in their product. They also sent several delicious looking recipe ideas. I was impressed. :) I was able to use my coupons on my next shopping trip. An added bonus is that the products just happened to be on sale that very same day. (They sell free range, antibiotic free/ hormone free chicken.)

    I think it may have been a one time deal, but it was worth it. And perhaps companies will adopt some type of program that would reward their loyal customers w/ coupons and other incentives. Or maybe they already do??.. :)

  22. Sandra Lee says

    I think it would be great if there were a chat room available on this site, a place where we could all post the deals we get. I’ve done this before on other sites and it helped me greatly to learn by the examples of others. You’d be surprised how different people work the deals differently.

    • says

      It’s something we’re considering, but there are a number of logistics we’d have to work out to pull it off, so we’re still discussing how to do it. Thanks for suggesting it!

      • Sandra Lee says

        Oh, I’ll pray for you that the answer comes easily. I did so much better at working the deals when I was first learning by following the examples of others. Fingers crossed!

  23. Kim says

    Regarding the Springer Mountain Farms and Newman’s Own coupons I received: The companies sent them to me via US mail as per my request. I haven’t had much success w/ printing coupons, despite several desperate attempts. :) I did request the coupons via email, however.

  24. Rachael says

    I know this post is about getting coupons for free, but we do buy the Sunday paper every week. It provides both my husband and I with at least an hour of entertainment, so we figure it is money well spent–and I generally “pay” for it with the coupons :)

  25. Teresa says

    We do a nursing home service once a month in a near by town. I have one of the staff collect the adds from the tenants and we pick them up while we are there. I bring in a box of toothpaste, deoderant, or other free stuff for the staff to hand out once a month in exchange. They love it and I do to. Normally get about 6 papers from each week this way. I buy one for the adds and my mother-in-law and neighbor give me what they get.
    I am starting to collect from church members for our new pastor and his wife when they arrive. She is very up on the idea of helping the family with a tight budget and most of the other people at church have not been interested in what I do. We go to church in a small town and have 1 grocery store and 1 walgreens (that opened 2 years ago) that is it. So most people don’t find it worth the drive to another town when it is just for 1 or two people. When you have a family my size it is well worth the trouble even with gas at $4.04, plus we are always in a few towns a week for lessons and I do my shopping then.

  26. Chris J. says

    I do pay to have my Sunday paper delivered each week, but I noticed awhile ago that every Monday the neighbors who do not subscribe received a “supplement” in their driveways that just had a few of the sale flyers as well as the Smartsource coupons. I called the newspaper to tell them that I still wanted to be a paying subscriber, but I didn’t think it was fair that people who paid nothing were getting some of the same coupons as I was. I suggested that since they are out on Mondays delivering all the supplements anyway, why couldn’t they deliver one to me too? At first they said no, but when I explained to them that it would no longer be worth my while to subscribe they transferred me to a manager who made the arrangements. Long story short, now I end up with doubles of the Smart Source coupons each week for no extra cost above what I was already paying.

    • Erin says

      I get that supplement too…it just shows up on my door step every week (although I guess it is seasonal because it seems to come for a while and then stop for months at a time). It’s another good way to get free coupons. No work involved :)

  27. Stefanie says

    We live in a smaller town and on Sunday evenings we get inserts from papers not sold up at the gas station where I used to work. (My hubby also hangs out up there after work with some of his buddies so it’s not like they don’t know us) This helps get a lot of extra inserts and when I get a lot of things free I always donate half of it just to pass it on and so I don’t feel like I’m being a coupon hoarder lol. Plus over the years my family of 7 have enough of these things so why not donate it! :)

  28. AJ says

    I asked my Publix if I could have the inserts from the old Sunday papers since they were just throwing them away. They said the news people don’t want them to do that. So I emailed the newspaper to see if they would give me permission to get the inserts that are being thrown away and they said they couldn’t give permission due to their contracts. It would be illegal. They want people to buy the paper to get the coupons. I think the library employees take the inserts at the library because they are always cutting coupons when I go to check out books.

    • AJ says

      I did find coupons at the doctor’s office yesterday. It was a tearpad for $1 off Dannon Activia yogurt!

  29. Melody says

    I posted on Craigslist that I was interested in coupons and my post was flagged and removed. No reason was given as to why. Very disappointed!

      • says

        I don’t think it’s against their rules, so I would just post it again, and then you’ll be at the top for a little while anyhow – as long as you do it in the wanted section. It seems like people flag ads when they see someone asking for something for free. In my opinion, I think they do it out of spite because they wish they had thought of it asking first.

  30. says

    My husband works for a hotel and they order so many papers every Sunday-he always brings some home so we get our for free, but that might be another idea. Check with local hotels-especially higher end ones that leave newspapers for their guests, they often have some leftover, or extended stay hotels often do this as well. Sorry if this was already mentioned-I didn’t have time to read through all the comments.

  31. Katie says

    I was also told by my newspaper that it was illegal for coupons from extra newspapers to be given to me. They said it was coupon fraud.

  32. Diane says

    by far the best sound quality yet – I didn’t have to turn the speakers almost all the way up!!!!! and….love love love your hair down…but I totally understand why you rock the ponytail almost daily :)

    also – loved that this video was so clear and concise…not that I haven’t liked the others, this one just stands out to me!

  33. wkares says

    Video sounded fine to me! I heard everything. My only problem is it drags enormously. I’m looking to get a faster speed. Thanks.

  34. says

    I wish Bloggers would caption their videos, hearing people are not the only ones trying to save money. Many deaf and hard of hearing are too and we do not get the same tips since Bloggers usually do not use captions. :(

  35. Niki in Denver says

    The Denver Post started a program called Y.E.S (Your Essential Shopper) – ads and coupon inserts are delivered on Sundays in a Y.E.S branded polybag for free.
    Call the Post to check you are in the target ZIP code areas then you’ll need to cancel service since this is a program to reach non-subscribers. I stopped my Sunday paper since I was only paying for it to get the coupons.

  36. Crystal says

    My sister works at a gas station, and even though only one manager will allow her to do it, she goes through the papers that are still there on Monday and collects the inserts and weekly ads for me.

  37. Charlotte says

    My sister-in-law pays for a subscription to be sent to me for her local newspaper which has coupon inserts. She does this as a Christmas gift.

    Best, best Christmas gift in my book!!

    Charlotte

  38. Rainey says

    I want to know, how do those people that sell inserts and coupons by the hundereds get theirs. Anybody know? I have always wondered how the heck they get tons of the same coupon to sell.