You’ve decided to try your hand at this Super couponing game, now where in the hoot do you find the coupons? And especially the really good ones?!? Believe it or not, there are lots of ways to find free coupon inserts and it doesn’t involve dumpster diving or sneaking onto your neighbor’s porch at five in the morning or knowing someone down at the local newspaper. It might take a little time to research, but many of you may find coupon inserts in places that you didn’t know existed.
First off, your Sunday paper is THE best place to continuously find coupons. You will want to buy the largest city paper that you can. Often times, if you have a nearby city paper available and your small town paper, you will notice a difference in the variety and volume of coupons. I live in a decent sized city, but in the beginning, I still chose to buy my local paper and the next larger city paper for several weeks and compare them. You will have to decide how to get the better deal on them each week:
chances are if your local newspaper is published by Washington Post, Tribune, Gannett or McClatchy then you might be missing out on FREE coupon inserts. Many local newspapers over the past few years have been offering a FREE Sunday Select ads program that delivers a special package of advertisements (including coupons) each Sunday to your front door. The Sunday Select YES! (Your Essential Shopper) the program has been a huge success and now serves over 50 of the largest newspaper markets as well as many rural areas. Participating cities, include Baltimore, Boise, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Fresno,Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Orlando, Sacremento, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, Salt Lake City. Locally, you can sign up for Tacoma here or contact the Seattle Times by phone to subscribe. If you live in other cities, try a Google Search for ”Your Essential Shopper Sunday Select” or call your local newspaper to see if they offer the program in your area.
- Subscribe- do you get a better deal by subscribing? Can you subscribe for multiple copies? We have a local Scripps newspaper guy, Mike Jolly, who leaves updates for us on the Xtreme FB page about the current prices. (Sometimes….)
- Purchase each week. I choose to purchase mine from the same street vendor each Sunday morning on our way to church. He knows I am there every week and buy multiples and he sells them to me at a lower price. You can also purchase from about any store. Just know that it is the stores who get the tail end of the inserts that are available in your area. Sometimes the inserts are missing because someone else took them, but often they are missing because your town’s newspaper just ran out. (Each newspaper gets a specific amount of inserts. Here in my city subscribers get first dibs; street vendors get second, and whatever is left goes to the stores.)
Weekly regional newspapers – many free small weekly city regionals and even college newspapers across the country have coupon inserts. Don’t walk past that free newspaper box, you might be missing out on free coupons. Start with the P&G Everyday Brand Saver monthly coupon finder to see if there’s a regional paper near you. If you live in the Seattle/Tacoma area Sound Publishing has over 20 different local and regional weekly newspapers that offer free coupon inserts.
*You will want to purchase extra papers if it is going to be a great week for coupons. The rule of thumb tho’ for deciding how many to purchase is 1 for every person who eats like an adult in your house. In Florida, we buy our papers in sets of 2 because we have “true BOGO”. (If you have 5 people, you will want to buy 6 papers. At least till you have a stockpile built up.)
You can also find coupons inside most woman’s magazines. Just be on the alert for them. I often pick up free magazines from the library, just to check for current coupons!
All You magazine is a great one to purchase or subscribe to, just for their coupons!! It can only be purchased at Walmart (1 of a very few reasons why I would ever send you to Walmart) or you can subscribe to it. It often has $60-$90 worth of coupons inside. Throughout the year we often find great deals for subscribing. Just wait a bit and we’ll see one at some point.
You can find coupons online from places like : coupons.com, smartsource.com & redplum.com. There are other places to print from, but most of them link back into coupons.com. (When I get my affiliates all set up, I would appreciate your printing from my website.) 🙂 You can also print your coupons.com coupons from your Swagbucks page, if you are doing Swagbucks. That will earn your 10 SB for every Q that you redeem.
- You can print each coupon 2 times, per computer.
- In the beginning, you will want to print and print and…. Don’t! Save yourself some $$. Print only the ones you need and the ones that the various bloggers tell you are “Hot”, as those usually are high value and will not last long.
We get a lot of our really great coupons from Facebook these days! It seems about everyone is jumping on the FB bandwagon. Some manufacturers are giving out a one time great Q, while others are giving them out rather regularly.
Another way to get some great coupons is to send emails to your favorite manufacturers. Send them an inquiry, praise for their products, etc… and usually, they will respond with coupons. (not always, but usually.)
We also find coupons called blinkies, in the grocery store. The Blinky machine is a black box attached to the shelf, in front of the specific item it is for. It allows you to take 2 coupons and then stops. It has a blinking red sensor light on the side and is waiting for you to WALK AWAY. Then it sends out the next one. Take your 2 and walk away! Next time you are in that store, take 2 more- IF you need them.
Keep an eye out at your local grocery stores, as most of them are offering various coupon booklets throughout the year. Some more than others. Publix is our local Supermarket and they have them ALL the time! (I try to make you aware when there is a new one to watch out for.)
The last place to look is inside & outside of your food boxes. Sometimes they tell you that there is a coupon inside the box, but lately, I have found some inside cereal or granola bar boxes and the box did not even state that they were hiding inside. Always have a peek before tossing it in the recycle bin!
Do you find coupons any other places? (And taking them from your neighbor’s driveway is not acceptable! Without asking!!!)
Local Library – Here in the Seattle area, the King County Library system offers free Sunday Seattle Times newspapers, limit one per person while supplies last. Check your local library to see if it offers a similar program.
U.S. Postal Service – We get our Redplum inserts in the mail here in Seattle, if you’re friendly with your postal employee it doesn’t hurt to ask if he/she has extras.
Local Hotels – If you live near business type hotels, many of them receive stacks of FREE Sunday newspapers, especially like a Courtyard Marriott or Fairfield Hotels. We know people that have spoken to the hotel manager and instead of dumping Sunday papers in the recycler at the end of the day, they are more than happy to allow you to take a few homes.
Other Places To Find Free Coupons:
Don’t walk past the front entrance of your local grocery or drug store too fast. Chances there is a FREE coupon booklet filled with in-store coupons. Many stores allow you to combine one in-store coupon with one manufacturer’s coupon, so this is a great way to get items for FREE.
Hang Tag Coupons
Often times hang tag coupons might be higher value or coupons you won’t find in an insert. By purchasing the product you can save instantly without all the hassles of finding and clipping coupons.
Peelies are manufacturer coupons that work the same as hang tag, often can be a higher value than coupons and offer instant product savings.
Blinkie Coupons are manufacturer coupons similar to hang tag and peelies. However, these coupons can be saved for use at a different time or another store where savings are more optimal.
Tear Pad Coupons
Tear Pad manufacturer coupons are usually found on displays and combined with a sales promotion a lot of times you can score the product for free. You can also save these coupons and wait for better prices or take them to a store you know has a great deal.
After you have checked all of those places for coupons, here are a few others to look into:
- Ebay-You can purchase coupons in a regular eBay auction. Beware of the prices paid. Sometimes those really great coupons are no longer really great when you factor in the price paid for them! (They can get outrageously high!!)
- Clipping services- There are services such as thecouponclippers (Florida) that sell whole inserts &/or already clipped coupons, usually in lots of 10. Each service has their own rules and standards, with minimum purchases required. This is a great choice if you wanted a specific coupon but your region did not get it.
- Forums- Websites like iheartpublix, southernsavers have a Forum or a Community that you can join. One of the things you can do there (among others) is to trade coupons. If you have lots of pet coupons because you have no animals, trade them with a pet lover for some coupons that you do need. One thing I will tell you about (warning!!) is that you MUST follow thru! IF you say you are going to trade, but then forget or let some other “life” thing get in the way and those coupons never arrive at their intended persons home- You will be blacklisted! If you are not good at following thru with what you said you would do, this might not be an option for you.
- Coupon Trains- Some of you already know about these and others of you are thinking “what in the hoot is that??!!?” 🙂 Joining a coupon train is a great way to move coupons around. Let me explain what it is first: a small group of couponers who trade coupons in a random way. Let’s say that there are 3 of us on this train and I live in FL, you live in TX and she lives in KS. I place about 35-40 coupons that I don’t want into an envelope and mail it to you in TX. (Takes 1 stamp to mail that amount of coupons) You look thru it and take what you want, add in some more and mail it to KS. She looks thru it, takes what she wants and adds more and mails it back to me in FL. This is a train. This is a GREAT way to move those regional coupons around! (I belong to 2 of them) You can Google it and find some to join. They all work differently. IF you have small children, you may belong to babycenter.com. If you do, there is a group called Coupon Newbies to join. There is also a group called Choo! Choo! Coupon train. This is where we have lots of groups to trade coupons. These groups run for 6 weeks and then we take a break and regroup about 2 weeks later. You can jump on the train and off, every 6 weeks, as needed.
Now, after telling you all of those additional ways to find coupons I’m going to tell you some of what the CIC has to say about it: (This is taken directly from their website.)
Buying coupons. “When a person buys coupons, they may be inadvertently purchasing stolen property or counterfeit coupons. Even if there is not a direct criminal penalty involved, both coupon buyers and sellers open the door to potential litigation when they buy or sell coupons because they are in violation of the “nontransferability” clause printed on all coupons distributed within the United States. The transfer makes a coupon void. Coupon sellers often include legal disclaimers stating that they are selling their time, a service, or even envelopes that just happen to contain coupons instead of the coupons themselves. Such statements are invalid and do not offer any legal protection. Rather, such statements suggest that the sellers know that their coupon sales are inappropriate and wrong.”
I’m making you aware of various ways to gather more coupons, but I am also giving you the CIC’s opinion on some of those ways. You read it all and decide for yourself what are the best ways for YOU to get your coupons.
Also, don’t miss in-store ad coupons, and email newsletter coupons for higher value savings that often lead to free groceries and products. So next time you take a trip to the market, always scan the aisles and take a couple of seconds to look at those big advertising displays, chances are there’s a FREE coupon there somewhere. Also, a lot of couponers like to send emails to companies and products that they enjoy, if you have the extra time to send out a few notes each week, you may be rewarded with a few valuable coupons.
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