How to Get FREE Sunday Coupon Inserts

by Jess on March 28, 2010

Today I got a great question from, Angela, a reader who asked:

“I’m interested in getting Sunday coupons and am wondering what the best (most frugal) method would be. Do you recommend subscribing to Sunday papers, buying Sunday papers, ordering coupons online, or a different way? I can’t think of people I could ask to save Sunday papers for me.”

A while back I wrote an article, 7+ Places to Find Coupons that noted a couple ways of obtaining coupons. One of the methods listed was to ask your friends/relatives/co-workers/neighbors for their Sunday coupon inserts.

I’m in the same boat as Angela, in that I don’t know many people who actually still get a Sunday paper that I can ask. It’s sort of a dying medium so because of that I have to be super resourceful in scouting out ways to get additional coupon inserts.

Free Coupon Inserts

Coffee Shops
One of my all time favorite methods to score FREE coupon inserts is to hit my local Starbucks on Sunday. Many customers leave their Sunday paper on the table when they are finished for others to read. In fact, some Starbucks locations have a little recycling box for customers to throw their paper in when they are done. If you feel weird about taking the coupon inserts, ask the manager if it’s alright that you to take them. Chances are they won’t care either way.

Dumpster Dive
If you want to get really crazy – and I’ve thought about this but have yet to get the guts to do it (people already think my coupon obsession is crazy) – is to “dumpster dive”. Now, I’m not saying dig in the trash. That’s gross! Stop by your local recycling center & see if they have a paper section you can snoop in. Make sure you bring gloves & some hand sanitizing wipes & dive on in!

Another method I have pondered about recently – again, I haven’t tried it – but why not hit up a hotel that provides the Sunday paper to its guests? They always get so many & I’m sure it won’t hurt to ask the management if you can have any extras at the end of the day.

Check your local library! Most libraries receive copies of the Sunday paper for their readers. Talk to your librarian to see if you can have the coupon inserts that are inside.

Gas Stations
Ask your local gas station if at the end of the day you may have the extra coupon inserts in any of the remaining unsold Sunday papers. The gas station only needs to provide the newspaper carrier with the front page for their refund – the rest gets trashed! Maybe strike up a deal with them that you’ll purchase a copy each Sunday if in return they save you any extra coupon inserts. You could also offer to recycle the remaining papers for them. Try this method at your grocery store or any other location that sells the Sunday paper!

Purchasing a Sunday Paper

Some weekends I just don’t have the time to hunt down the freebie coupon inserts. For that reason I always purchase at least one Sunday paper each week. If the coupons look particularly exciting I may even splurge for two. Today for example, I purchased two because I knew there was going to be a $3/1 Snuggle coupon that I could use to get free Snuggle at Kmart. The general rule of thumb is to have one Sunday paper for every person in your household. In my case, it’s just me here so I only get one.

If you’re going to purchase a Sunday paper the most economical option is always going to be a delivery subscription. Many papers allow you to subscribe to only the Sunday edition which will offer significant savings off the list price. Check with your local paper to see if they have any specials available for new subscriptions or check out newspaper subscriptions at discounted rates online.

Personally, I prefer to pay a little extra & purchase my Sunday paper each week at Vons. Here is my reasoning: I live out in the middle of nowhere in an apartment complex on the 3rd floor. Not that I don’t trust the LA Times to deliver my paper each week, just that well…..there are many obstacles. You can also purchase the paper from vending machines on the street, however I don’t know about you, but they stress me out. Is it just me or is it impossible to get the timing right dropping the coins in & opening the latch?

Ordering Online

Sometimes a coupon comes out that is so hot you need to get your hands on multiple copies. What I suggest is to first, check your free resources. If you find you still need more consider ordering additional copies from a clipping service like The Coupon Clippers. They are an excellent resource which will allow you to purchase multiple copies of only the coupon you need. There are a few rules of course, you must order a minimum quantity of 5 of the same coupon & your order total must be at least $3. This is a much better option than purchasing say, 5 newspapers at $1.50 & paying $7.50!

For more ideas on finding coupons make sure you read my article, 7+ Places to Find Coupons.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Whitney @ Coupon Wonder Mom March 29, 2010 at 1:12 am

Great article! I never knew that all they needed was the front page to get their refund. I can't tell you how many times I have BEGGED the 7-11's and gas stations around here to give me the leftover inserts… and they all say no. I haven't given up though! I get pretty bent out of shape when I have to pay $3 per paper on Sundays considering I usually like to have 4-6 papers.


Jess @ This Frugal Life March 29, 2010 at 2:07 am

Thanks, Whitney! The 7-11's are pretty stingy when it comes to their newspapers…I'm not really sure why that is. Wowza your paper is $3?!? I thought mine was bad at $1.50…I guess I should stop complaining :D


Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 2:20 am

Great ideas! I will have to try some of those out! Thanks! Nikki M.


Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 3:50 am

I really appreciate your post, Jess!
I might try the Starbucks way next Sunday.
I'm learning to be more gutsy and assertive with the whole coupon experience (My tendency is to be somewhat of a softy). :)
Next year, this time, I'll be a better person! haha

Thanks, again.



Jess @ This Frugal Life March 29, 2010 at 4:29 am

Nikki – Thanks! Good luck, hope you're able to score some free inserts!

Angela – You are most welcome! Definitely hit the Starbucks next Sunday :) You're doing great!!!


Dana @ The Coupon Challenge March 30, 2010 at 1:50 pm

My local YMCA (and I'm sure other such places) gets a couple of Sunday's papers. I grab the coupon inserts when I'm there early. No one else wants them, so they'd just end up in the trash at the end of the day.

Great post!


Jess @ This Frugal Life March 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

What a great idea Dana!


Kara May 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I stop by the mailboxes on Sunday at my apartment complex. Just this weekend Red Plum was mailed out and people just trash the inserts! The wonderful $4 Nivea coupon was in there, so I was able to grab a bunch from the top of the trash can (which is only used for junk mail, not actual trash thankfully). Best of all, I didn't have to pay to buy extra RP inserts!


Jess @ This Frugal Life May 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Wow, Kara, talk about a MAJOR score!!! That's awesome!


Todd March 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I have 3 small little deli’s within 2 blocks from my home. Recycling comes very early Friday morning around 6am…I just make sure I get out there before them and pull all the Sunday paper coupon inserts from the pile. They have to tie up all the newspapers so its always easy to just cut the string and then re-tie it when I am done.


Marti April 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Great website and article! I am new to your blog and just wanted to mention that I purchase my Sunday paper at the Dollar Tree or $.99 store for only $1! The only drawback is you do have to get there early before they sell out.


alwayslookingforadeal April 15, 2011 at 9:06 am

Love, Love, Love this site. Your posts and ideas/recipes etc. are just wonderful. This is the first site I came across when learning to coupon and absolutely love it. I have even recommended it to friends. I have yet to score a big shopping trip, but am getting myself ready for it. Thanks so much for all the great tips. Keep up the good work.


shay May 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm

THANK YOU!!! I can not say it enough. I have been on a couponing craze and when I stumbled accross your page in a google search, I can’t believe my luck. I too purchase many sunday papers and I feel so quilty for wasting the rest of the paper. The coupon clipper site you gave gave me more of the coupons that the free sites would not let me print more of. Since I started which was 3 weeks ago. I have saved myself more than half my normal shopping bill. I go every week. My list has changed from what all I wanted to first what was on sale and what I could get the cheapest. I was pleasantly surprised by how much better stuff I was getting, CHEAPER!!! Thanks so much!!!!


Kat May 24, 2011 at 10:37 am

I just started couponing too :) We are going to take the papers and shred them and use them as mulch for our garden. We heard this on a tv show; you shred and wet the paper and put them around your plants it works as mulch and it will also compost and when you till your garden for next year your garden will be richer. That way there is not waste. :) If you don’t have a garden, save them and give them to someone that gardens.


Nicole Crutchfield May 25, 2011 at 6:42 am

Great article! I was just able to negotiate my way to a 99 cent per week Sunday newspaper subscription and asked for 4 subscriptions. So now I get 4 Sunday papers delivered to my house with coupons galore. When I was getting them from 7-11, they would not have all of the inserts. They would have a RP but not a SS, or vice versa.


noe May 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm

I know that some dollar stores/99 cent stores will sell the Sunday Paper for $1.00, but get there early because a lot of people do it and they are gone quick .


Jocelyn Saverance June 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

HI I just wanted to say check out EBAY on buying coupons… They have tons of them. I’ve gotten 20 of one kind for less than a $1.00. I’ve gotten over 100 of them on one auction for less than $1.00. Just a heads up!!


Lisa December 10, 2011 at 6:04 am

I think all the coupons sold on Ebay are the ones stolen from the newspapers. My delivered papers always have coupons that seem to be rifled through. They contain mostly ads. The good coupons are never in them. I would have to go to Ebay to get them. I have to think sellers are not buying 1,000 papers each week to be able to offer 10-20 coupons of each type for 99 cents. I pay for the newspaper to get coupons and then again to buy the ones that have been taken out of the newspaper.

I just don’t understand why something isn’t done about it. No one who has the authority to do so ever questions where all these sellers are getting these coupons? Amazing. I inadvertently use a San Giorgio coupon on a Ronzoni product (colors are similar) and they act like I committed a crime.


juan July 4, 2011 at 12:41 pm

hello, i am retired military, i am married with 6 children. it is a different atmosphere being a civilian. i am getting interested in couponing me and my wife have been watching the extreme couponing shows. we do not have room for that but it is a struggle to start. she has been diagnosed with dystonia and so i am struggling to start. can you help us find definite coupon websites that can help us start with we are greatly appreciated.


jAMIE September 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm



Tori July 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm

My sunday newspaper is ridiculous! I am lucky if i get a SmartSource and SS just plain…well, with lack of a better word, SUCKS. Is there a way to get RP or P&G mailed to me?


Velma July 28, 2011 at 5:27 pm

FYI – as someone that works in hotels we DO NOT receive coupon inserts. The delivery service removes them before delivering papers to us. The thinking is, guests aren’t local they are here visiting so they won’t need them. This way it cuts down on needless paper as well. Great idea though and I personally wished we did get them! I would rack up a huge savings. But just thought I’d share that info. I need inserts too, my Sunday paper barely carries a page.


Jess July 28, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Thanks for sharing!


Amy September 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Was wondering if anyone would liek to share how to extreme coupon? I sorta get the idea, but now that I have plenty of time on my hands and am unemployed, i could atleast save some money:) Anyone want to walk me through it?


Jessica September 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm

I actually have done the “dumpster diving” lol However it was not a dumpster it was a recycling bin but it was still fun lol, and it is amazing how many ppl throw out the really good coupons. I am still learning alot of new things but I love finding coupons anywhere!! Its like christmas morning lol :)


Nicki Walenter September 29, 2011 at 10:08 am

I contacted my local gas station and its not just the front page they need, they need the whole paper to get there refund. Even the coupon inserts. (Antioch, IL)


alhsjej October 3, 2011 at 8:15 am

I had a quick question. I went to a recycle bin (for paper). But all over the outside it was posted that the contents were the property of …. Is it against the law to take out inserts from these recycling bins or is there different kinds??
(alhsjej MO)


cindy January 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I have been purchasing my newspapers at the dollar store. I often find that the some of the inserts are missing.


Helen January 3, 2012 at 2:09 pm

i emailed my library, they said they dont give free coupon inserts :( :( help me, where can i get free coupon inserts? i tend to buy 2 to 4 copies of newpapers…eh….


Heather January 20, 2012 at 7:23 am

I tend to buy 2-3 and mine are 2.00 for loacl and 2.50 for the bigger city paper. And in which NEITHER have RP EVER … I dont know if it is a Texas thing or what but I get my sister who lives in OK to send me her 1 RP every monday. I mail her 5 bucks and she mails me the inserts she gathers every monday.


Laura January 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I am wondering why the stores are so bent on not giving the papers they plan on throwing out anyway, I’ve tried quik chek, 7/11, supermarkets, and they were actually a little rude, I want to save money with these coupons and I actually can’t afford to buy 6-10 papers, and where do I find these recycling bins or recycling centers? although I am afraid, I may just try dumpster diving


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