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
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.
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.
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?
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.