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How to Accumulate a Nice Stash of Coupons

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?

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FOR MORE COUPONS, search our comprehensive Coupon Database for manufacturer coupons, printable coupons, eCoupons, and more!


  • Reader comments copied and pasted from my old blog:

    Stephanie @ said…

    A question about printing coupons online:
    Do they have to be in color?

    I cringe using all that ink for a coupon, but I didn’t know if they have to be in color. Also printing them online, sometimes one coupon takes up a whole page when the vendor puts the coupon and then a sales pitch at the bottom! I dont print many online but when I do I would like to do it the least expensive way possible!

    October 05, 2007 4:27 AM
    Blogger rice-dream said…

    Great ideas, Crystal!

    Those of you in the metro St Louis area may already know this but it’s worth repeating-Dollar Tree sells the Sunday editions of the St. Louis Post for 1.00 each, saving you .50 on each paper. Except for weekends that there aren’t coupon inserts, I always buy multiples. If you live in a different metro area and have Dollar Tree, it’s worth checking into.

    October 05, 2007 4:34 AM
    Blogger Trixie said…

    Hi Crystal,

    Thanks for the great coupon post. I love using them; they really help keep my grocery budget low.

    I always use the local paper as my first source, but here is my favorite online source for coupons. They have a ton to print and send you emails when new ones are available.


    Take Care,


    October 05, 2007 7:44 AM
    Blogger Stacey said…

    THANK YOU!!! I live in St. Louis and I had no idea DT did that! Wonderful! I will be heading there this weekend for papers!!! Also, do you know any stores in STL that double coupons?? I would love to email with you about this – can you click on my name and email me??

    I am also not really willing to use up my color ink for a few coupons! BUT, if it is a great deal on something we absolutely have to have, then I will make an exception!

    Crystal, thank you for this. I am a newbie to this world of coupons and I am excited to get myself set to save!!!

    October 05, 2007 8:23 AM
    Blogger Crystal said…

    Stephanie: I have heard from others that they print theirs in black and white with no problem. As long as you aren’t copying them and they each have a unique code, you shouldn’t have a problem. I error on the safe side and just print in color. I have a pretty endless supply of ink and paper since I do so much printing for our business.

    October 05, 2007 8:57 AM
    Blogger Crystal said…

    Great tip, Rice-Dream! Thanks for sharing!

    October 05, 2007 8:58 AM
    Anonymous Lisa said…

    I join all of the company “clubs”. They send me larger coupons than those that are offered in the paper. They also send out coupons regularly so that I seem to always have coupons. Just go to the company website and join or go to the grocery store and join the store club. My husband works with many different churches and purchases food from Winn Dixie using our personal Winn Dixie club card along with the company card (to pay for it). I get many different coupons because many clubs give you more coupons if you spend more money.
    Good post! I love coupons!

    October 05, 2007 9:01 AM
    Blogger Kacie said…

    The laundromat I use has a coupon exchange box. You simply gather the coupons you want and donate the ones you don’t. It’s a great way for me to have something productive to do while waiting for my laundry!

    October 05, 2007 9:59 AM
    Blogger Mothering with Grace said…

    A friend gives me the All You magazine when she is finished reading it and it has great coupons that are usually for larger amounts than the ones found in the paper.

    October 05, 2007 12:49 PM
    Blogger Stephanie @ said…

    I actually noticed when I printed a couple of coupons from Smart Source that it says right on it that it can be in black in white. It is a note to the retailer. So that is good! Now if I can get them on one sheet of paper…
    The propel water coupons printed huge in blue. I set my printer settings to 2 pages per sheet, and only one coupon printed but much smaller!

    October 06, 2007 4:26 AM
    Blogger rice-dream said…

    I tried clicking on your name to email you but was unable to, just got your profile. I don’t live in St. Louis, I’m about an hour north, so I don’t know much about who doubles coupons and all that except for Schnucks. You can email me at heidipocketbook at gmail dot com (remove the spaces and all that)

    October 06, 2007 5:59 AM
    Anonymous Elizabeth said…

    I’m in the Chicago area, and, while I try to cut coupons, it’s not as great a deal, because there are no double-coupons. I don’t know if profit margins are tighter here, or if it’s just not a part of the marketing “culture.” (Of course, logic says that, on average, the price of groceries for the average person is the same — just like with loss leaders, they have to make up the difference anyhow in their everyday prices — that just means that the people without the time/interest/energy to cut coupons “subsidize” the couponers.

    (I was in Germany for a while, and there the stores don’t have loss leader, just relatively small reductions in prices for sales. So the meat, for example, was somewhat more expensive than here (relative to other things, in a cost-of-living sort of way) but it was nice to be able to buy it anytime, rather than watching for a sale and then freezing it!)

    But anyway — the other problem that I have is that it seems like, compared to my prior experiences, the coupons’ expiraton dates are much sooner, only two months, or even less, from now. And it also seems that regular food items have a lot fewer coupons — it seems to be largely cleaning products.

    October 06, 2007 6:43 AM
    Blogger Mom2fur said…

    I haven’t done this in a long time, but I’ve bought coupons via eBay. For a dollar or so, you can get a whole bunch of them. Granted, you won’t use every coupon…but I always find enough so it more than makes up for the cost. You can also get multiples of one coupon this way, if there is something you use on a very regular basis. The only thing is to be sure you know the expiration date before you buy. 30 coupons for ketchup won’t do you much good if they expire in less than a month, LOL! (Unless you are lucky to have a killer pantry with room for 30 bottles of ketchup.)

    October 06, 2007 9:49 AM
    Blogger J Kelton said…

    We often stop at a McDonald’s on our way home from Church on Sunday. They usually have a stack of newspapers on one of their trash bins and if you ask they do not mind at all if you take the coupons. I can usually find three or four coupon inserts. I hope this helps!

    October 08, 2007 7:45 AM
    Blogger AnneK said…

    Hi Crystal,

    I am new to all this couponing and am excited to try it out. I was wondering if only the Sunday paper carries coupons. Should I subscribe to just the Sunday edition or for the whole week? I am in the Orlando area.

    October 11, 2007 8:12 AM
    Blogger InsertWittyBlogHere said…

    A great way to get coupons is to by them from one of the clipping services like CouponClippers or similar. There are also a ton of buy and trade boards, but I found that to be too much of a hassle and that it “cost” me too much time. I only use the services if I want a large quantity of several coupons.

    One other nice thing about the paper subscription is that if your paper is missing any coupon inserts (and you should know, because there are several preview sites available) then you can usually call them up and tell them what was missing. They will usually drop another paper by, or mail you a set of coupons.

    The only reason I stopped bothering with a subscription where I used to live is because they kept upping my Sunday-only sub to a weekend, or all week sub for “free”, then trying to charge me for the full price the next time the bill rolled around. I got tired of fighting them to take that off the bill and just stopped getting a sub.

    October 12, 2007 3:01 PM
    Anonymous Angela said…

    A very good way I have found to get coupons is on ebay! You pay like .70 for clipped coupons. Versus 1.50 for the paper and still having to clip them. A lot of the coupons on there are very recent as well like the last one that came out!

    October 17, 2007 12:51 PM
    Anonymous Jenn said…

    If you go to and click on esavers, you can register your kroger card (and I think you can for other stores as well) with their coupons. They are normally the same coupons found in the Sunday paper. The best part is that it takes that discount off with your card but you can also use the paper coupon with it. This week I bought a pack of cascade dish tabs. Reg 3.99, sale 2.99. Loaded coupon was 1 off and I had the paper coupon of 1 off. I paid 1.99 for the tabs. Just an idea of how to get a little more for your money!

    November 06, 2007 9:13 AM
    Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I usually keep my finger on the cancel button on my printer and after I see that the coupon is printed, then I push the cancel button if it continues to print the advertisement. The only time it doesn’t work is if they print the advertisement first and then the coupon on the bottom of the page.

    December 23, 2007 10:15 PM
    Blogger JennaJLC said…

    Here is how I get my multiples of coupons:

    1) My local Sunday paper. I subscribe to it and will check the inserts on Sunday morning. If it’s a great week for coupons, I go out that night at 11:45 pm to my local gas stations (there are at least 5 within 2 miles). Many will give me their unsold Sunday papers for free! I never come home empty-handed, and have obtained as many as 30 this way.

    2) Coupon trading. I trade on Hot coupon World and Coupon Forum. If my Sunday paper only has a few coupons I need, or for example the weather is bad, myself or one of the kids is sick, etc; I will get on these sites and look to trade for what I need. This is why I save every coupon – not all get clipped, but I leave some inserts unclipped and can go get them if someone needs what I don’t.

    3) Ebay. If there’s a great coupon for a sale, or one that doubles at my store and will get me an item cheap or free even without a sale, I will buy multiples of that coupon. A bonus is buying from a seller who has a store, and gives a shipping discount when you buy more than one auction.

    February 15, 2008 11:16 AM
    Blogger April said…

    These are some great tips.

    I’ve been purchasing the Sunday paper at a newspaper stand with no coupon luck. Someone comes through and takes all the coupons out. I will contact the newspaper office and see if they have a weekend subscription only. Thanks for sharing.

    April 27, 2008 7:12 PM

  • As an eBay seller and buyer, I purchase coupons on eBay on a weekly basis. I can find coupons for items that I sell in my store and that dramatically increases my profit margin. For example, I bought $30 worth of $1 off coupons for a health and beauty product this week, and the coupon purchase only cost me $3.

    I’ve been buying coupons from this particular seller for a while and she often sends me extras as a freebie. So, my net savings on the health and beauty product will be $27. This is just one example. I can increase my bottom line by hundreds just by buying very specific coupons on eBay, and asking the coupon sellers to contact me when they get what I want.

    When you do this type of thing over and over again, and combine the manufacturer coupons with CVS Extra Bucks, Ulta 20% off coupons, sale prices, online coupons, magazine coupons, etc – you can build a business around it. That is what I have done and it is fun and profitable.

    Happy shopping-


  • Sue says:

    Hey I have a few ideas for getting more coupons then usual and have used these hints myself.

    1. some stores will discard their sunday papers early. My local 7-11 does this about 5 pm on sunday and they usually have alot. If I am in the area and catch then tossing them I can usually get 1o or more copies of the paper. I then put them in my recycle papers.

    2. My town requires paper recycling for businesses at the curb so the night before pick up you can pick up a stack by the curb and again take them home.

    3. A local retirement village near my home has a recycling truck that they bring their papers to. You can just pick up a stack and go through it. If you have time it is a great way to get the coupons.

    Thats my 3 best ways to get coupons with out having to buy the papers…

  • Jenni says:

    If you live near a subway system, consider checking out stations on Sunday mornings. I just happened to be going through one in Virginia and noticed that there were 5 P&G coupon packets laying around. Readers on subways usually just want the paper and leave the coupons behind!

  • Julie says:

    Walmart also has the Sunday paper for $1 and weekly for .50.

  • jenni williams says:

    i am just starting out and trying to buy my coupon supply… i put out a wanted for coupons on freecycle and got alot of responses!!!

  • Beandippy says:

    I didn’t want to pay for a paper just to get the coupons, because I was never sure if I would use them, plus, I hated the wastefullness of the rest of the paper. So, I posted on Freecycle (a wonderful yahoo group that you can give or ask for free stuff from other members in your local area) that I wanted coupons, and several people who subscribed to papers but didn’t use the coupons let me have theirs for free.

  • hannaqueen says:

    Here’s what I do to get coupons.
    1. Contact companies and tell them I like their product and would love any coupons if they ever have any. 9 times out of 10, they send some. Some for free product, some for cents off. Anything and im happy. Plus the expiration date is for a year or more usually.
    2. I have a few web sites im on daily for free samples. Almost all free samples I get have a coupon. Again, they expiration date is for over a year away. Walmart has great free samples.
    3. Print them online. I try not to print too much, my printer doesnt have an option of just black and white and it eats up my ink. gets expensive.
    4. Sign up with your favorite brands. Take a look in your pantry at all your favorites. Look for a website and get on your computer. They will have newsletters, and even coupons for you to print up.
    5. While im shopping, I look for those blinking coupon box’s. I save them for later. They will almost always be on a good sale a few weeks later,perfect time to use your coupon.
    6. Family, friends and neighbors know I love coupons and give me the ones they dont use. And I do the same. Just let them know you are a coupon person.
    7. Store magazines. Fred Meyers is one of them who has their own magazine in the healthy section. They always have 2 coupons in them. I grab a few of them, save the coupons for later when that item goes on sale. Kashi coupons are almost always in there. So worth looking at them.
    8. Product info papers are sometimes in the store with new products. Usually coupons in those.
    9. Store weekly ad’s. Safeway has a double coupon for when you use your manufacturer coupons. Example:Mac n cheese crackers on sale at Safeway this week for $1.99(reg.$3.99). I had 4 coupons for 55 cents off. I can use the double coupon (up to 50 cents plus off with each coupon . Max 4 coupons). So basically I bought 4 box’s of these crackers for 95 cents each. my 55 cents off, double coupon 50 cents off . $1.05 off each box. I would rather pay 95 cents off instead of $3.99. Yahoo! Totally worth it
    10. Coupons on products. Sometimes I find coupons on the floor that have fallen off products. I keep them. Or I find coupons that other customers have left for other to take. I will keep them if I use that item. Usually save them for later when the item is on sale. I will only buy things if they are marked down, discounted, and I have a coupon. It has to be a excellent deal for me to buy it.
    I dont get the sunday paper, and not subscribed to any coupon programs and I can do it. So can you@!

  • JoanRenae says:

    Does WalGreens accept printable coupons?

  • LANA says:

    If you are not happy with a product, complain! I bought a pair of Robeez slippers for my 2 year old and they tore at the toe within 3 months. I complained and got a new pair. Also, I have had Pampers leak on me and I have complained and got $13 from the manufacturer! It is worth the effort!

  • Priscilla says:

    I have had trouble getting free coupons. I called & talked with my local newspaper. He did some checking & found out I could purchase the complete paper for 25% of the regular cost ($1.75), so, 45 cents is a good price. I will now call my contact person at customer service & let them know how many I need. Then go down…take out the coupons & comics (use for gift wrap). I then can ask them to recycle the rest of the paper I don’t want.

  • Michele says:

    Now this is the blog that I need to master…I recently posted a blog about the Opera Whinfrey show from last week – There was a lady on there that master the coupon shopping and saves so much money. I would love to get to that point, but I have so much to learn in order to accomplish her type of savings.
    I have always been a careless shopper and I buy what I like whether it is on sale or not…that has to stop though and I can use all the tips that I can get.
    I hope you can check out my blog….


  • Lori says:

    As for printing coupons and trying to save ink, see if you can “select” only the coupon with your mouse, or a little space before or after it. Choose “Print” from the “File” menu or “Cntr-P”. Down to the left side, choose “Selection” and it will ONLY print what you have selected by the mouse.

    I do this often when I want only a portion of a page.

  • Stephanie Teagarden says:

    You do not have to use color to print your coupons. Just select black ink only when your print detail box pops up. Also, I have found that after printing one coupon (that takes up an entire page w/ the ad at the bottom), that you can pull the sheet out of the printer,turn it upside down and spin it, and then print another coupon on the bottom opposite half. At least you can get 2 coupons printed per page! Hope that helps!

  • Cricket says:

    I do my mother in laws laundry once a week. She lives in a retirement home and they have recycle bins in the laundry rooms for newspapers. I usually hit the 6 laundry rooms and take as many coupon inserts as I can find. That allows me to share with the couples in our Crown Financial Class at church. I share a lot of cost -saving measures I read about on blogs, like this one. thank you.

  • LadyStanwyck says:

    Here is another thought for those expired coupons. Many companies allow military personnel and their families to use the coupons for months past their expiration date. You can even “adopt” a base overseas and mail the coupons to them. They will in turn pass them along to these families. The website I found is:

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