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31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget: Should You Ever Pay For Coupons?

Missed the first posts this series? Read them here.

While I’m a big proponent of getting coupons for free, I definitely think there is a time and place to pay for coupons. Maybe you live in an area which gets very low-value coupons. By buying coupons online, you’ll be able to get some of the higher-value coupons that your region missed. Or, perhaps you don’t have time to mess with tracking down coupons from free sources, so it’s just easier and more time-efficient for you to purchase coupons online.

I also think that it can be a great deal to purchase coupons if there’s a high-value or free coupon out on something you need and use. If you’re going to be buying it anyway and you can spend $0.05 per coupon to save $2 per item, than it might very well be a great deal.

In addition, if you use a lot of coupons, I think it can be a wise investment to purchase a newspaper subscription or All You subscription–provided you get a great price on them!

Where to Buy Coupons

1) Get a Sunday Newspaper Subscription — If you live in a large city, you’ll more than likely get a good stack of coupons each Sunday in your newspaper. If you can purchase a newspaper subscription for $1.50 per week or less, it’s often worth it to do so as your savings will likely be ten times that–if not more. Plus, you’ll have the coupons delivered straight to your home every week, as soon as they are available. offers the best prices for most newspaper subscriptions that I’ve found. I highly suggest checking out their prices before you order a subscription elsewhere.

If you don’t live in a big city, try checking cities within 1-2 hours of where you live to see if you can get their newspaper delivered to you. You’ll often get a better selection of coupons from larger city papers than you will from small town newspapers.

2) Order Coupons from Ebay — Ebay is an excellent source for coupons. You can order an assorted lot of them, or specific coupons. Be sure to order through Ebates in order to get 1-3% back on your order.

3) Order from Coupon-Clipping Services — There are a number of different websites which offer individual coupons for sale. These are usually priced around $0.05-$0.15 each, depending upon their value and demand. You’ll have to pay shipping, in most cases, so you’ll want to order enough to make it worth the cost of shipping. A few sites I’d recommend would be The Coupon Clippers and Manufacturer’s Coupons.

If you’re wanting to order whole inserts, Coupons and Things by Dede offers these.

Remember to be wise when ordering coupons. Don’t go spend $30 each week on piles of coupons when you’re on a tight budget and don’t need or use the items you’re buying coupons for! Use moderation and carefully evaluate whether paying for coupons is truly a good deal for you or not.

Do you buy coupons? If so, what are your favorite places to purchase them from?

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  • Kandice says:

    Newspaper subscriptions can be had for cheap. Call and ask if they have any specials. Ask your local stores if the newspapers ever come and set up a vendor table offering specials.

    I happen to be in an area that does not have the greatest coupons, so I have family save theirs for me. I do occassionaly purchase coupons from sites.

  • Crystal says:

    You are so right! Several weeks ago i was able to spend about $6 on coupons from Ebay, but I stocked up on tortillas, vanilla extract, sea salt grinders, and pepper grinders. And if that wasn’t enough, they were free plus overage after I used all the coupons I bought. I’m definitely willing to buy coupons if the deal is great!

  • Nikki says:

    I have bought Pediasure coupons off of Ebay twice and had a great experience. Paid about $2 total for 10 $2 off coupons, knowing I would use them since I have a special needs child that uses 2-3 a day. No brainer there. they were all original coupons, clearly cut out of inserts. This was from two different sellers.

    I’m not going to get too caught up in the ethical issues of coupon buying. My child has a fatal disease and I need to take care of her. If I can save $2 a pack on one of her major sources of nutrition, I’m going to do it.

  • Alisha says:

    I buy coupons for items we use on a daily basis ($1 off soy milk and $.50 of frozen veggies making them free after doubles!) as well as for moneymakers on occasion. If I don’t find a good “Buy It Now” price on ebay (I won’t pay more than 10% of the total savings – shipping included) I usually buy from the coupon clipping crew – I used to use “The Coupon Clippers” but their shipping is higher, coupons are $.01-$.02 higher each and there is a minimum order unlike the couponclippingcrew.

  • Mary says:

    I buy coupons online often. Sometimes Ebay, though they may priced higher there than thru a clipping service – it pays to comparison shop.

    I try to check ahead a couple of weeks on what will be the weekly freebies or deals at Walgreens or CVS. That’s where it pays to buy coupons.

    For example…this week at Walgreens, Stayfree was $2.99 with a $3 Register Reward on one package. Also, they had dental flossers for $2 with a $2 RR and Skintimate Shave Creme for $2.99 with a $3 RR. I ordered some $2 off one Stayfree that was only $1/1 in my area, and also some 50 cents off the flossers coupons. There are at least 15 Walgreens with a 10-mile radius of my house and they are located on my way to work and on my way to other stores, so it’s not like I’m going out of my way to shop at them.

    On one trip I’ll grab a Stayfree and use the $2 off coupon – there, I just made $2 because I’m paying 99 cents plus tax for the item and I’m getting $3 in RR’s back. On my next trip I grab a bag of the flossers, pay $1.50 and get $2 back, but I pay with the $3 RR from the Stayfree (and I buy something else I need, like a Reese’s Dark PB Cup) and I just keep playing this “back and forth” game – getting it all for free or nearly free each time I stop.

    The best website to show you how this all works is Hope it’s ok to post another website here, but that is a really great site where the owner posts exactly what she buys, what coupons she uses, how much she pays, etc.

    Yesterday I got over $50 worth of stuff I will actually use (that’s the key to this whole game!) for $4.12. My dad couldn’t believe it when I showed him the receipt. I got vitamins, packaging tape (4 rolls, free!), Tone body wash…and of course, more Reese’s Dark PB Cups…

  • Karen says:

    I want to weigh in on this too- I do buy coupons from clipping services. I like He sometimes has blinkies too.

    I am a member of a survey site that pays $3 per survey. I leave that money in my paypal account, and I pay for any coupons I buy that way.

    To me, that way they are free. They only cost me the time it took to complete the survey.

  • I buy coupons online sometimes (mostly on Ebay). I used to buy them in just random assortments from people on ebay to try and get a good variety, but I don’t do that as much any more because I’ve found that most of the time it is just the coupons that no one wants (like random brands that you’ve never heard of, or 10 coupons for Depends). I wouldn’t be opposed to buying more coupons off Ebay if they were for items I was sure I was going to use. Honestly I haven’t looked into other sites as much, although perhaps I should because the last ones I tried to find on ebay ended up selling for around $10….umm no thanks!

  • Heather says:

    I use Swagbucks, after earning around 700 swagbucks i buy a $5.00 paypal giftcard and buy all my coupons for free.

  • Shannon says:

    I have had the best luck with buying my local sunday paper for 1.75. I usually buy the one that carries the P&G Brand inserts and that goes a long way in savings for buying toiletries. I also have done very well printing coupons at smartsource, redplum and Many companies have facebook groups as well offering printable coupons simply for becoming a fan! My best advice however, is not to get lured into buying something just because you have a coupon. The best scenario is to buy something on sale that you need and can use with a coupon.

  • Lydia says:

    I have never purchased coupons before, but I have a great way to get extra coupon inserts for free. I stop by my local Starbucks on Sunday mornings and get the coupon inserts out of the recycled newspaper rack. The manager there even commented that it was a brilliant idea. You could probably score some at your local McDonald’s also.

  • stephanie says:

    I only buy coupons if it is something I really need, it is high value & I can get the item for free to cheap.

  • Porsha says:

    I buy all of my coupons from

    She is great and is willing to work with you on everything. I have been ordering from her since 2008. I get coupons ahead of time for all of my major coupon sales. I also check out to find out about the sales early.

  • Alaine says:

    I haven’t bought through any coupon services yet, but I do get our Sunday paper delivered (Boston Globe). It’s not a cheap paper ($3.50) but when I signed up I got 16 weeks at 1/2 price, and they deliver it to my door which is nicer (and cheaper) than walking to the store to get it like I used to! My husband likes to read the actual news (who would want to do that?!) while I cut my coupons on Sun morning, so it works well for us. And I definitely save more than $3.50/week on groceries and drugstore shopping!

  • tamika le gare says:

    no, i was talking about a service here in jacksonville, florida. a friend of mine told me about it, looked it up, it’s like $30 a month for them to send you a complete grocery list plus printed out online coupons. i looked up the grocery game, also, and yes it is cheaper, however still not worth it to me. i have my mom and my sister clipping coupons and telling me the best deals at their stores, and i spend my time on the computer to put it all together. i think coming home with $50 worth of stuff from wags for around $5-$10 every week is proof enough that i do just fine without paying for someone else’s services. don’t get me wrong, that’s all fine and dandy if y’all do it, just not me!

  • Karen says:

    And, honestly? Couponing has saved me from the poorhouse. I no longer pay huge $ for things like shampoo, toothpaste, etc. – basically the essentials. I’ve been out of full-time work since March of 2008, my business died a very fast death, and there hasn’t been an engineering job in my local paper in over a year (14% unemployment in my county). I’m trying to get back on my feet – this helps. And when I can get multiple coupons of things my family uses for next to nothing, I share the extras – they don’t just sit in a closet waiting for my next tube of toothpaste to run out! I share with a single mom & daughter, too, who are surviving on govt. assistance – the mom is the result of fetal alcohol syndrome and her daughter is special needs, too, so I’m so glad I can get free or really cheap stuff and share with them, because it’s not like I can share cash at this time.

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