People ask me all the time “Where do you get so many coupons?”. Because I sometimes use 100 or more of the same coupon in a transaction, I have to have several ways to be able to get multiple coupons and am going to list a few. I’m sure there are many other ways.
(1) The obvious way to get more coupons is to buy more newspapers. This might be good for some but I am cheaper than that. I have to admit in the beginning I did buy a few extra papers to get the coupons, but not anymore.
(2) Trade for extra coupons, whether it be on AFC’s FSOT forum or on a local coupon group. My friends and I have a local Yahoo coupon group where we discuss deals and also have a wishlist of coupons we are looking for. I just dropped off Surf coupons to one of the ladies at the convenience store where she works on the weekends.
(3) Join the “Coupon trains” here on AFC, talked about in “New to Couponing, Part 8“. There are also Yahoo groups that focus on coupon trains as well. In the beginning I “rode” many trains here on AFC. I now find that I have better ways to acquire coupons for the products I need.
(4) Have “Coupon parties” , discussed in “How to have a Coupon Party“. These are EXCELLENT ways to get more coupons. Sometimes you don’t even realize that you want a particular coupon until someone in the group mentions that the product is on sale somewhere and it will be end up being free or cheap.
(5) “Buy” coupons on Ebay or from a coupon clipping service. I know you are not actually “buying “the coupons but instead are paying the “seller” for their time to cut, collect and mail them to you. This has been an invaluable way to get more coupons, especially if the seller does not know about a current or upcoming deal.
(6) Have your friends, family, church members, co-workers, neighbors, etc save their inserts for you. All of my husband’s family now saves me their extra inserts. They know that not only am I providing for my family but they themselves benefit too by getting surplus products such as Knox gelatin, dog food, razors, shampoos, etc.
(7) Start a “Coupon box” at a local library or even a store. One of the girls in my coupon group started a “Coupon box” at the local library. Granted I am not there very often as I do not live in town, but when I am, I do look through it. I was very pleased when one week I looked through it and found some of the Farmland coupons that were making the sausage .29 a pound!
(8) Last year I learned that some motels will give you a complimentary paper. While we were checking out, I saw that most people just threw theirs away or left it outside. I ended up getting several inserts for FREE.
(9) Ask your newspaper carrier if you can have the extra inserts. My husband used to deliver the Arkansas Democrat (before I started using coupons), so we know the regional manager. When I started getting into coupons professionally, I asked him about all the extras as I knew only the left hand corner had to be sent in to get credit on the newspapers the carriers didn’t sell. He put me in contact with our carrier and every 2 weeks or so I would go to his house and pull all of the coupons from the papers before he took them to the recycler.
(10) Dumpster dive. I don’t have this option where I live but have read that others do. From all accounts I have read, one will go to their local recycler and ask if they can get in the dumpsters and look for the coupon inserts. If I had this option, I would utilize it.
(11) If you happen to be in fast food restaurants on the weekends (I’m not) or maybe even on Mondays there could possibly be some coupon inserts laying around or you could ask a manager if you could have them.
(12) I have also been told that there are countless newspapers at hospitals. I am definitely not advocating that you hang out in a hospital to get their inserts, but another one of the ladies in my coupon group picked up a bunch of coupons while waiting on her husband. Same goes for nursing homes. I have another friend who gathers all the inserts in the nursing home she works for and saves them for me.
(12) Ask your local gas stations and convenience stores if you can have the extra coupons from the newspapers they are sending back. These are the unsold papers that carriers are picking up.
(13) If you buy a lot of items on Ebay or anywhere else on line, always look through the packing when you receive your item. One time we got a package and it was lined with newspapers and there were COUPONS, good coupons. I was so excited and it made me think that there are numerous places you might find coupons.
(14) Always be looking for coupons. On the ground, on the road, at car washes, in trash cans, etc. You’d be surprise how many times I have found coupon inserts, Coke codes, sunglasses, etc while walking on the road, or while waiting at a car wash.
(15) By far my BEST way to get coupons is from the local newspaper itself. About 2 years ago I went and asked the local newspaper if I could have their extra inserts. I knew all they could say was “NO”. I told the circulation manager how I coupon and how I donate tons of stuff to women’s shelters, schools and the local independent living organization. To my surprise, he said “yes” that I could have them. All I have to do is when there are coupons I want, just make a trip to down and pull them from the “dumpsters”. (This is a picture of what I got yesterday at the newspaper office. The large stack was bundled and appears to have over 100 inserts in it).
It just goes to show that unless you ask, you will never know. You’ve got a 50-50 shot of getting a “yes” and if they say “no”, it’s not the end of the world. There are so many resources and places out there to acquire extra coupon inserts, if you’ll just start looking and keeping an open mind.
Because I like to help people who help me, I give my carrier and the regional manager bags of usable products that I have gotten with the coupons, such as toilet paper, deodorant, Tylenol, dish soap, razors, candles, etc. I take products to the newspaper office, I give to the people who save their coupons for me. I want to make sure that I am taking care of the people who are taking care of me.