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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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  • Miriam says:

    I’ve only ever gotten coupons from E-bay. I don’t do it often, just if there’s a sale + coupon = Free or almost free on something that I really use a lot of.

    I would add that when ordering coupons make sure you’ll have time to get them before the sale ends 🙂 It would be a bummer to order coupons and then the sale end before you can get the good deal.

  • sarah says:

    I get my orders from dede. I live in the northeast– land of double coupons but high values in our papers. We may get a $1 off 2 pasta coupon that other regions may get .55 off 1. That coupon could net me free pasta vs my paper’s . Also we don’t always get all the coupons up here. I find that i can keep my orders less than an extra paper a week and net enough of the cost back, if not more. Last night at target I got $14 worth of free products from my less than $5 order. And still have more coupons left.

    • Julie says:

      @sarah, Thanks for sharing this, Sarah! I live in the northeast, and I never thought to buy coupons. You are so right, though. All of our coupons are $1 off and I never get to double them!

      • sarah says:

        I find it so much cheaper than buying another paper here too– our cheapest copy is 2.50 newstand and doesn’t have all the inserts. For everything a boston globe cost $4 a copy. And for the same $4 i tend to get the coupons i prefer with dede.

  • tamika le gare says:

    i will have to add, here lately, newspapers delivered to your door have less ads and coupons than the ones you can buy at the corner store. something about keeping shipping costs down. cheaper, yes, but no coupons? not really worth having it delivered if the only reason you buy newspapers is clipping coupons.
    there is also a service that does all the leg work for you. for like $30 or something a month (guess depends on number of stores they check for you) they match sales per week with coupons, tell you where to get coupons, and print the ones off the internet for you. can’t remember the name, because since i devote a couple hours a week to coupons and sale matchup, i don’t see a need in putting that much of a dent in my already tight budget.

    • Emily says:

      @tamika le gare, You’re probably thinking of the Grocery Game, but it doesn’t cost that much. It’s $10 every 8 weeks for one store, and $5 per 8 weeks for each additional store. I subscribe to GG to catch the unadvertised sales at Kroger. I also check other websites for additional deals that GG doesn’t catch–GG only matches up sales + coupons, not catalinas or good deals with coupons even without a sale (which does happen occasionally, with the right coupons).

      • Julie says:

        @Emily, I also subscribe to the Grocery Game. I subscribe to two stores,which is $15 every eight weeks. To me, well worth the $1.87 a week. I get MANY items for free or close to free that are not listed anywhere else!

      • Crystal says:

        @Emily, This is why I would never pay for the service. If there were an all-inclusive one, maybe. but I get great match-ups from several free blogs. If I’m still going to have to be checking other sites I’m not going to pay for such a service. A lot of people do benefit from it, but I’ll stick to my free match up sites (like this one and others).

        • Emily says:

          @Crystal, I would agree, except that the other sites that give sales/coupon/catalina matchups often do not correspond with the actual prices at my stores. I read a tip the other day (can’t remember which site) about Special K crackers at Target. After Target Q, manuf. Q & sale, they were supposed to be .49/box. I went, armed with coupons, but the crackers weren’t marked down as much at my store. So I did buy them, but for .89/box. Probably a good deal, but I wouldn’t have gone if I had known they were going to be .89.

        • Elizabeth says:

          @Crystal, I too pay for Grocery Game because a.) I need more info on deals than what is in the “free” sites (which often only highlight the 5-10 best deals at a store, rather than the 50+ in GG) and because those items are price verified, and local to my specific stores. Grocery Game helps me save between $10-$20/week, which means I am still lots of money a head while respecting my time. They now have a coupon search function so if I need, say, diapers, you just search and it tells you what coupons are out there. It’s great for when you need stuff now and can’t wait for the sales, but still want to use coupons.

  • Amy H. says:

    I have ordered Qs only a few times, but did get some for 75 cents off Healthy Harvest whole wheat pasta recently. I ordered them as soon as i saw them in the Sunday circulars! We have pasta a few times a week it seems and i have a store that doubles coupons that are less than a dollar, so even without a sale, the pasta is 49 cents a box. With a sale, i am anticipating free pasta. Plus it has a long expiration date. So yes, when you see a potential for a good deal on something you buy all the time anyways, especially if storage/shelf-life arent an issue, get some coupons! Oh, and if you have coupon-using friends who use the same item, you can split that lot of 20 into something more reasonable 😉

  • Alice says:

    My daughter in-law and I order form Dede as well and split the cost. We live in an area that gets lousy coupons unless you get the much more expensive paper from the bigger city. We love being able to get just the coupons we will actually use and rarely spend more than the cost of one newspaper for each of us. When we do it is because the coupons make the item free or they are very high dollar such as the recent $3.00 off snuggle, and we are stocking up to the max. She has terrific customer service and I like that she limits the amounts that can be ordered on coupons she knows will be very popular so everyone has the chance to get some of the best coupons.

  • Jessica says:

    I try to buy the early Sunday edition that comes out on Sat. It’s $.75 and has all the same coupons as the Sunday paper that’s $2.00. I live in a rural area and can’t even get a city newspaper delivered to my house, so this works good for me.

    • Jodi W says:

      @Jessica, Wow–my early Sunday is $2, but still cheaper than on Sunday. In addition to my subscription, I may buy 1 or 2 early Sundays. My parents save me their inserts and my neighbor, when she remembers.

    • Crystal says:

      @Jessica, wow, that is super cheap! I was excited to get my paper for $1 each Sunday. We don’t have an early Sunday paper (not here in the boonies anyway. I’m 50+ miles away from the city that has the paper.)

      • Jessica says:

        @Crystal, Yes, ladies I was very happy when our area started offering the early Sunday paper. I live 2 1/2 hours from our city and 25 minutes from the town that has the early Sunday papers. I don’t know anyone that gets the paper and doesn’t use coupons, so I can’t get any free inserts. Our recycling center doesn’t allow anyone to look through the recycled newspapers. And I obviously live too far away to go to coffee shops. My plan is to buy 2 Sunday papers (if I can’t get into town on Sat.) at the local gas station or buy 2-4 early Sunday papers if I can get into town. I have 8 children and this works just fine for our family of 10. If our grocery stores doubled coupons, I might need a few more though.

  • No, I never buy. My rule of thumb is free, and free only when it comes to coupons. Especially now that so many are available for free on the internet, plus a lot of folks are willing to give you their leftover paper for coupons as well.

  • Erin says:

    I get coupons mostly from Ebay and They have great prices and I don’t have to buy 3 of an item to qualify getting that coupon. They also offer free shipping for anything over $5, which is easy to get!

  • Shirley says:

    I’ve bought individual coupons from or on Ebay… and I’ve only done it for a coupon that I know I’ll use. Mostly, though I use what I get from the newspapers around here.

  • Lori says:

    I have never purchased coupons before, I do buy the Sunday paper once in a while but that is it. With so many printable coupons these days I don’t see the need to ‘order’ coupons.

  • Chrissy Larkin says:

    I don’t buy coupons. Instead I have joined several coupon groups through yahoo. You can join coupon train groups or swapping groups. The coupon train groups you get coupons in the mail, take out the coupons you want, replace them with coupons you don’t want an pass them on to the next person. They have coupon specific trains ie baby, food only, frozen foo, paper products, etc.

    You can also post to these groups which coupons you are looking for. And if someone in the group has some that they won’t use they will send them to you for free.

  • Debbie in PA says:

    I have never purchase coupons either. My Mom and i swap coupons, and our library has a “coupon bin” where all the coupons from the library’s Sunday papers go. This can be hit or miss, however, because I believe there are people who are clipping them to SELL ON EBAY! So annoying!

  • Minda says:

    I have bought coupons for cat litter and cat food on Ebay. I only buy certain brands and there are never any coupons for either in our Sunday paper. I buy coupons that are worth $1 off or more usually in groups of 10 or 20 and pay very little for them. I have always been able to use the coupons before they expired and the savings were substantial to me.

  • Laura says:

    I usually trade for coupons on those I dont need/use for those I do need and also if I need extra all it usually cost is a stamp

  • Karen says:

    For me, it’s worth it. I have a pretty sizeable stockpile, so perhaps there’s only one or two coupons on a Sunday that I need multiples of. If I can’t trade for what I need, it’s more efficient to pay 5–15¢ per coupon than 1.25 each or more for multiple papers. If it’s a moneymaker, it’s a no-brainer to buy lots of 20 from eBay.

  • Christina says:

    I buy coupons on ebay – a set or two every couple of months. I factor the price of the coupon into the price I’ll pay for the item, to determine whether it’s worth it. When my son was wearing Pull-ups, it was definitely worth $3-4 for 20 coupons of $2/1. I used all 20 before they expired. Other items that I buy all the time, I scope on ebay also: organic milk coupons, high-value ice cream coupons (which allowed me to buy a year’s supply of our favorite ice cream for $.30 per half-gallon – and we have just a few half-gallons left, 10 months later) . . . also, if I see a sneak peak of an ad coming up, and it pairs well with a coupon available on ebay (like a few weeks ago, when Betty Crocker cookie mix was BOGO and the doubled coupons made them $.29/box – I can’t make a dozen muffins from scratch for that price). Then, yes, I will buy on ebay.

    I already swap inserts with my mother-in-law, but she’s my only other coupon source. So rather than buy 5-8 copies of the Sunday AJC (at $2 each or $3/double), it’s much more efficient to buy one set of 20 copies of the coupon I really want, rather than buy multiple papers just for one or two prized coupons.

    You just have to remember to factor the cost of the coupon into the price you paid for the item. Maybe the muffin mix becomes $.35/box instead of $.29. If that’s still a deal to you, then it’s worth it. And it saves the time and effort of clipping!

  • Kayla says:

    I will buy a newspaper or from a legitimate site. It IS fraud to buy coupons from a consumer.

  • brookeb says:

    This is what I do. I work at a pretty demanding job, and don’t really have the time to hunt down enough coupons for what I’d like to stock up on. It’s more efficient for me to just buy large sets of the things I use most (like my detergent brand), or of more obscure coupons (organics, or fresh foods, for example). The small cost is worth the time I saved from getting a paper, sorting through it, clipping, organizing, etc.

  • Amanda says:

    My mom saves all her coupons and sends them to me (isn’t she sweet:))! I have a question about purchasing coupons; Is it legal/ethical to purchase coupons? I seem to recall reading fine print on several coupons that says things like “void if copied, sold, bought, etc.”

    • Erin says:

      @Amanda, It’s an ethical thing–coupon sellers get around it by saying that they’re selling their time, not the coupons. Umm, yeah.

    • Cate says:

      @Amanda, Yes, as long as you don’t “sell” the coupons, but rather charge a “clipping fee” or “processing fee.” I think that’s how the coupon clipping websites get around it.

    • Crystal says:


      This is why I don’t purchase coupons. It may be “legal” to call it by a different name, but for me that doesn’t make it “ethical.” Yes, it’s tempting sometimes. But, for me it’s more important that I maintain my integrity by trying my best to follow the intent of the coupon.

      I do purchase a newspaper sub. The paper closest to me (50 miles away, I live in a rural area) offered a special rate of $52 for 52 Sundays! So, I got them for $1 per paper, which is half the newsstand price. I usually buy a second paper though in the town over so that I can get the sales papers for that town which is the town I have to shop in.

      I also buy All You. The high value coupons in there are definitely worth it to me and I actually like the magazine as well.

      We don’t get many coupons either. Usually about 20% of the total list, and sometimes we get much lower values than other areas. but I supplement w/ printables, etc.

    • Meg says:

      @Amanda, Not to get argumentative here, but most coupons also state that they are not to be transferred either. Would that not count since your mom is giving them to you? Anyway, just a thought! 🙂

      I have purchased coupons before because our area has really, really bad inserts with low value coupons. We don’t get Red Plum either. So, our inserts aren’t all that great. I use my earnings from surveys to purchase them so I’m not actually paying any money out of pocket when I want to stock up on a certain item. 🙂

      • Emily says:

        @Meg, I agree. Those who disagree about the should not be sold part should also think about the should not be transferred part. Which I would say probably means getting them from the library coupon box, your mom, etc. It seems as though companies don’t want coupons to ever really be free. You pay for them somehow, even if it’s prining them off the computer you’re still using up some paper and ink.

      • Amanda says:

        @Meg, Yes, I did think about what non-transferable means in regards to coupons. It’s difficult since typically that refers to something like a giftcard with someone’s name on it. We share a lot of things in our family, even our family business! So, I guess I don’t see it as transferring when we share or give away.

        • Melanie says:

          @Amanda, Transferring a coupon is not giving it away. If that were an issue, than any Vocalpoint coupons should not be passed on to friends. The company actually TELLS you to pass on coupons to friends and then states on the coupons “void if transferred”. Although transferring in the dictionary usually means to give from person to person, it also means to copy from one means to another (such as from print to digital). From what I’ve read, this definition is the one the manufacturer’s are talking about.

  • I used to order from Ebay (and still do occasionally) but recently started supporting a home school mom whose hubby is unemployed….it’s great because she only charges $0.50 shipping TOTAL for what ever you order, so avoid all the big fees on Ebay……here’s her site if any one is interested…perfect for triples at Harris Teeter this week. 🙂

  • Trixie says:

    I never buy coupons, but I’ve done pretty well selling them on Ebay. A lot of the free samples I get come with high dollar coupons and if it’s not an item I’m going to buy, I sell the coupon. Same thing with some coupons for free items that I’m not interested in. Between the Ebay, Paypal fees and postage, I end up giving 40% of the total collected in fees but I still make a few dollars for a few minutes of my time.

    I also try to give some of my extra coupons away to friends and family that coupon — help spread the savings, you know!

  • Kansas Mom says:

    I just checked and wanted to point out that our paper charges less than the quoted rate for the current delivery we have. Be sure to check both before ordering online.

    We use hardly any coupons from our paper, though, mostly printables from online. We just like to get the paper on the weekends. If we use any coupons, it’s a bonus.

  • AmyLauren says:

    I’ve paid for coupons from Ebay before. Before Christmas of this year, I bought 20 $5 off any purchase of $5 or more coupons for Kohl’s. I used those coupons to buy gifts for my family and friends, and also to buy some clothes for a Salvation Army angel child we collected for at work and some blankets for the local Hospice House. The coupons were emailed to me like 24 hours after I ordered them, and it saved me a TON on Christmas gifts and allowed me to donate to more charities.

    I plan to do the same thing this Christmas :).

  • Patricia says:

    I sell coupons on Ebay (among other things). As I go through the weekly paper I clip the coupons I want for myself and then clip the remainder to sell. It helps me earn a few extra dollars a month based on something that would most likely be thrown away in other homes. Don’t websites like this one promote ingenuity and making the most of what you have available to you? I make a small amount of money for my time and the buyer gets some great deals. Seems like a win-win to me.

  • Ashley turner says:

    I am one of those who get very few coupons in my area 🙁 so I do have to order them. I like to order from She has them for cheap with no min. order and the shipping is only 45 cents!

  • Sarah says:

    I was ecstatic when I saw this post. I had just started thinking about ordering coupons on-line a couple days ago. I used to be a big Sunday coupon clipper until new responsibilities came and I couldn’t keep up with everything. I knew coupons were essential to a budget, but I needed more of certain ones and less of others. I eventually just stopped altogether and took a break, trying to figure out how to make things work. This was for several months until I finally realized, on-line could be my answer. I wasn’t sure how to go about it exactly. Now I have some pointers. Thanks for all the links and information. Its really helpful.

  • Jana Hennessy says:

    Thank you so much for the link to!! I didn’t know they existed. We have a Thursday-Sunday subscription (I like the newspaper as well as the coupons), and were paying $11.52 per month. They offered it for $9.00. I called my newspaper first to see if they would match it, and they wouldn’t, so I switched over and will save $30 for the year! Just for 5 minutes of my time! Thanks so much.

  • Erika says:

    Another site to order from

    No minimum order or added fees!

    Use coupon code moneysavingmom and save 25%! (now through May 7th)

  • This is kind of funny timing because I just wrote a post today about how I cancelled my newspaper subscription because I didn’t use enough of the coupons to make a subscription worth it!

    Back in the days when $1 coupons were doubled here, I did buy an extra paper every now and again in addition to my regular subscription.

  • lele says:

    I do buy coupons from ebay when we are going to be renting a car. I have a lot of ladies in my church that are older and don’t use their inserts so they bring me them.

  • Emily says:

    I bought some Snuggle and Pantene coupons recently that were high dollar. I did pay 50 cents for the Snuggle coupons, but the Snuggle was free with the coupon so I got it for 50 cents each. The Patene was on closeout at food lion for 2.17, so the $3/2 coupon made them 70 cents each when counting the 5 cents for the coupons. Sometimes it is definitely worth it.

    • Mary says:

      With coupons like the Snuggle coupons, that netted you free Snuggle, it paid to wait it out on Ebay – they were going for really high $$ for quite awhile – but as it got closer to the expiration (5/2) they got much cheaper! I order a few more (trying to help out my sister, money’s tight for them and I try to keep her stocked with the easy to get free stuff when I can) and got them today, and I already went to Family Dollar and guess what – Snuggle was finally back in stock!!! Woo hoo! The rush to get it is over, the coupons were cheaper, and my sister was happy with what I gave her.

      If Snuggle didn’t want people using that coupon, they’d not have published them – they know darn well we are getting it free or nearly free with the coupon. Great marketing on their part, I’d say – I may never have switched from my regular brand without it!

  • Emily says:

    I will add that you have to be careful about buying off of ebay. I bought some last year of the $5 off Huggies. There were 6 coupons and three were originals and the other three were copies. I contacted the seller and she promptly returned my money and took her other listings down. I’ve also seen several people with negative feedback because of copied coupons, from Victoria’s Secret, Kohl’s, the newspaper, basically anywhere. So just be careful who you buy from.

    • Christina says:

      @Emily, I also have seen listings for coupons that expired a couple days prior. Example, it was April 20 and I was looking at listings for coupons that had expired April 18. So you definitely have to read the details.

  • Beth says:

    About newspaper subscriptions, I managed to get a good deal by paying full price. One week I brought one at the grocery store for $2 (usually got one from a street vendor for $1) and got a Catalina for a. 99 cent/week subscription. They let me order a full year at that rate which was a chunk of cash upfront but now I don’t have to find a paper every Sunday.

  • Stephanie says:

    We have horrible coupons in our area but we have a local website she recommened getting the early sunday star tribune for $.75 it has sunday coupons and I can get it at the store for cheaper than a subscription. It has saved me in not having to print so many coupons.

  • Courtney says:

    I order from and am very happy with their selection and service. Shipping is cheap, too!

  • jenny says:

    How do you get past the “void if altered, transferred, exchanged, sold or auctioned” on most coupons? Seems slightly dishonest to buy them when it says that right on the coupon? I know the companies say you are paying for the clipping etc, but really you are not- you are buying the coupon? Just wondering what your opinion is on it. Thanks!

  • Kelly says:

    I get them from EBAY when there is one I really want, like Disney Yogurt Coupons for $0.75 off. We go through at least 3 – 6 packs a week and I can get them for almost free with my doubled coupons at Giant Eagle. I have also bought Kellogg’s coupons because my area does not seem to get them!

  • Amanda says:

    I have never paid for coupons, always get mine online, from newspaper and magazines.

    Not sure if this is in all states, but at tip I have is here in RI, we have a local Saturday paper that also contains the same coupons that would come in our Sunday paper. The Sunday Journal here is $3.00 I believe where the local Saturday Times is only $.50. So for the price of Sunday’s paper, I buy 6 Saturday papers and get 6 times the coupons.

    • sarah says:

      Which city’s “times”?? There are a few here and i would love to know which one. I get the journal now but it’s getting pricey- even with subscriptions.

  • Jennifer S says:

    I didn’t have time to read all of the comments but want to make sure everyone knows – YOU CAN NOT BUY coupons. That is illegal. When you use a coupon clipping service, you are paying for the time it takes to clip the coupon and then processing time and fees.

    Crystal, this is a very important ethical distinction. Please make this clear to your readers.

    • Crystal says:

      @Jennifer S, semantics.

      In order to be legal, those sites claim to be “charging for a service” but this is only semantics. For me, “legal” and “ethical” are 2 very different things. If you call it something different, it makes it legal, but you’re still purchasing the coupon. When people post about it they don’t say “hmm, I paid $.20 for this service to clip my coupon for me.” they say “I bought this coupon for $.20,” which is what they are doing.

      I agree w/ another poster that if it really is just a service for clipping the coupons, then why are the higher value ones more expensive? Does it really take $.50 more effort to cut out a $3.00 coupon than it does to cut out a $.50 coupon?

      • Jennifer S says:

        So if you think that people really are buying the coupons, which you agree is illegal, does hiding that fact by calling it something else (which is your claim), suddenly make it okay? Why would you endorse it if it would be illegal if they called it “buying” instead of “clipping”?

        What they charge to clip individual coupons is irrelevant to whether or not it is legal or ethical. That is a red herring argument.

    • Val in MD says:

      @Jennifer S, If you want to get into semantics, every time you buy a Sunday paper, you’re buying coupons. If you buy more than one paper, do you consider that unethical–because you’re certainly not going to read the second one? Any way you shake it, if someone didn’t give you the newspaper, you have paid money for those insert coupons.

  • Toni says:

    I just went to the couponhunters website just to check it out and clicked on a coupon. It said there were 873 in stock. My question is where do these people get that many coupons?? That makes me wonder how ethical it is. At least on Ebay someone may be selling a lot of 10 or 20 and that seems reasonable that someone could go purchase 10 or 20 papers on a weekend but where does a site get several hundred. Just curious if anyone knows.

    • Andrea Q says:

      @Toni, Good question!

      Perhaps some of them come from people who deliver newspapers?

      The clerk at the gas station told me that every Saturday evening (or Sunday morning), the employees have to assemble the newspapers (stuff the coupons and flyers inside). Perhaps there are extras?

      When I buy a paper, I check it before the purchase to make sure it includes the coupons. They claim that there are coupons inside, but there frequently are not.

    • Mary says:

      I can tell you that in my town a ton of extra Sunday papers get dropped at a certain semi-truck recycling station on Sunday afternoon. You can go in there and get all the inserts you want.

      I’ve never done that because I think it’s a waste to search for full inserts when all I want are just a few coupons from them, but I see people doing it every week.

      I can also tell you that once I put the word out that I find great deals with coupons, and I spread some of the “freebies” around to friends and relatives, I have more inserts given to me free than I know what to do with.

      Just give your friends all the free toothpaste they’ll ever need and you’ve got inserts for life from them!

      I have at least 10 people that regularly give me their inserts, and most are uncut. They’d rather I do the work and they reap the rewards, which is fine with me because I get to have the shopping rush and not the piles of stuff laying around! For me, it’s about finding the free deals and doing the shopping, that is where the fun is!

    • brookeb says:

      @Toni, If someone could buy 20 papers, I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be able to buy 873 papers. My guess is that they have a deal with the local paper sellers to buy unsold copies for a certain price at the end of the day. It ends up being a win-win for all.

  • Marie says:

    I get mine from the couponclippers!

    Giveaway on my blog ends May 3rd!

  • Andrea Q says:

    Other than buying the paper, I do not “buy” coupons. My mother does send me some, especially diaper coupons. I hadn’t thought about the non-transferable part. 🙁

  • Erin says:

    If “selling coupons” and not “paying for a persons time to cut coupons” was illegal, they would have been shut down on Ebay a long time ago. Manufacturers are very aware of Ebay and coupon clipping sites. Manufacturers put out X amount of coupons and expect X amount of coupons to be redeemed. If I redeem them, or you redeem them…it doesnt matter. If you feel that is not right, then “transferring” them from person to person, whether it be your mom or a lady on Ebay would be the same thing then too. The lady of Ebay could be charging you for her time and “SHARING” the coupon with you, just as your mom would be “sharing” the coupon with you also. Its either all illegal and unethical or not.

    • Erin says:

      @Erin, we could all argue this all day. I mean, if I find a coupon on the street, or some kind soul sends me an anonymous envelope to try and help me save money, is that considered “transferred?” A person may think it unethical to actually buy a coupon, and that is fine. But there is no way for the maufacturer to know this coupon was bought or sold or transferred. I think if the companies were truly worried about it they would find a way to put a persons name on a coupon, or somehow tie it to a single person, or they would not allow thousands of them to be produced in Sunday papers.

  • Kelly says:

    The “non-transferable” part has me feeling a little bit of convivtion. I would like that pharse clarified. I can justify taking coupons from my mom or mother-in-law but that doesn’t necessarily make it right.

  • Lisa says:

    I learn something here every day! I did not know that I could get cash back on ebates for Ebay purchases. Oh well, I know now!! I really thought I had checked into that before. Thanks for the info! I order my coupons through Ebay. There are certain items, like coffee cream and yogurt, that typically have coupons. I order those and pass on purchasing the newspaper. I check your website for other deals that are out there and if the coupons don’t expire to soon, I order those. It works for us right now. The kids are small and this is a good balance for saving money and being efficient with our time. I never got a good groove for clipping coupons each week so ordering them works in this season of life.

  • Donna says:

    I did not see this tip suggested

    I live in a small town and our paper has little if any in it. However, we have a store in town called “Peoples News” I go in there and pick up a Pittsburg Paper or a Columbus Paper or sometimes both. Right on the front is the amount of coupon value in the paper. If I see the amount is less than $100..I sometimes skip out on buying it..but Sundays when the value is around $400…I will buy 2 to 4 papers.

    So check your local magazine stores for the big city papers 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      @Donna, Oh my goodness! Our paper’s coupon value is usually around $70-$80! I can’t imagine if it were $400. THat must be one of the papers that gets the full list or close to it.

  • Elisa says:

    I guess I could sum up what the article says in case you all don’t want to read it 🙂 It is basically saying that transferring is referring to transferring the coupon from one medium to another. Like scanning it into your computer, then printing it. Or making copies of it. And then from there, giving the copies away or even selling them. That is what she is saying transferring coupons refers to, not trading or selling them from person to person.

  • Sherri says:

    As far as “selling” coupons goes, I do believe that my time is worth something. If I give coupons to family/friends, that’s one thing and it’s my choice. But if I take the time to dig through the recycle bin, sort, cut, and then post an auction (or whatever), aren’t I entitled to some compensation for my efforts? People who work outside the home get paid for their time/effort. Other kinds of work pay you for time/effort, not an actual product. If I price all coupons the same, regardless of value, can you then say I’m selling my time? Or should I just toss them all back into the bin when I’m done? BTW, I don’t “sell” coupons on eBay or anywhere else- just trying to point out the other side of the coin.

    • Crystal says:

      @Sherri, Taking someone’s paper and clipping/organizing the coupons for them because they don’t have time is one thing.

      But people, purchasing coupons that aren’t available in their area or because you can get 20 copies of them is completely different (IMHO).

      • Sherri says:

        @Crystal, But the “product” that I am selling is my time. If I were tutoring, the product that I am selling is my time. If I clean houses, the product I am selling is my time. As a buyer, you do get something else of value from the transaction- coupons, an A on the test, a clean toilet, whatever- but the time is what you are paying for. Don’t see a problem with that.

  • 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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