I’ve been couponing for many years, but I haven’t purchased a newspaper once during that period. There are usually only a handful of coupons per newspaper that I’m interested in, and that’s often not enough savings to justify the expense of a Sunday newspaper. Here are a few methods I’ve used over the years to get coupons without paying for a newspaper.
- Print coupons off the internet. Hundreds of coupons are available for print off of the internet. The websites with the most printable coupons are Coupons.com, SmartSource, and RedPlum. Some major chain stores offer store-specific printable coupons on their website. Target.com and Rite Aid Video Values, for example, are well-known for their in-store coupons.
- Order coupons off eBay. There is a bustling market for coupons on eBay. Almost every current grocery store coupon available can be found on eBay in 20-count lots for under $5. This is perfect for products you use regularly or for when you want to stock up. You can also find coupons for chain restaurants, fast food, tobacco products, and rare grocery coupons that aren’t found in newspapers.
- Check your junkmail. Some cities include coupon inserts in their weekly Pennysaver and RedPlum mailers.
- Check Facebook. Companies occasionally post printable coupons on their Facebook pages. Like your favorite products and stores on Facebook to find out about their latest coupons and deals.
- Contact companies directly. Many companies will send high-value coupons for their products if you write to them to compliment or complain about their products. Don’t bother trying to abuse this as companies keep records and limit the amount of coupons sent to a household.
- Join a coupon swap. Many coupon and frugal living forums have their own coupon swapping sections. Many traders are happy to swap coupons in exchange for postage stamps, small Paypal payments, or other coupons.I’ve also seen offline coupon swaps at libraries, offices, and military PX stores. This usually involves someone placing a basket full of coupons in a common area where people take what they need and donate their own unwanted coupons.
- Dumpster Dive for coupons. Figure out how your local stores dispose of their unsold Sunday newspapers, and grab the coupons before the garbage truck takes them away. This isn’t as gross as it sounds. For example, the local newstands in my area put boxes of newspapers on the curb on trash day, so anyone can rummage through them for coupons. Those ubiquitous green and yellow Paper Retriever paper recycling dumpsters that you see in school and church parking lots are also an excellent source of coupons, especially on Mondays.Note: Check your local laws before you try this as dumpster diving is illegal in some areas.
Bonus tip: If you are still interested in buying a newspaper for the coupons, then check your local dollar store for the Sunday paper as they often sell them cheaper than the advertised price. Make sure you go early, though, because this is a popular tactic among experienced couponers and the newspapers are usually sold out by the end of the day.