Do you see women pulling out 80 copies of the same coupon to buy 80 bottles of ketchup for next to nothing? But it doesn’t take much to know that purchasing 80 Sunday newspapers will get expensive, no matter how many of the coupons you use to get some products for free. When you consider most Sunday newspapers average about $2-3, at the bare minimum those 80 newspapers would cost $160 every week or a whopping $640 a month! Ouch!
So if you want to score some extra inserts for your couponing pleasure, here are some ways you go about getting more inserts each week.
Buy multiple newspapers
The easiest but the priciest is to buy extra newspapers each Sunday. Check and see if your newspaper has a Sunday-only delivery service so you can save money on the newspapers – it isn’t all that unusual for people to get multiple papers delivered on Sundays.
Buy different newspapers in the same area
Did you know that there are different coupon inserts that service the same areas? Find out if more than one Sunday newspaper in your area carries inserts that are different, especially if you are in a major area. You could be missing out on twice as many inserts if you don’t realize that they aren’t necessarily the same coupons in each. Learn more Why coupon inserts have different values?
Ask friends and family
Ask your friends and family to save their coupon inserts for you, especially those who don’t do their own couponing. The majority of inserts go into the recycling bin with all the coupons or nearly all the coupons still in them. Don’t forget to thank those who do this for you, whether it is giving them a couple of grocery items you got for free that you know they use, or giving them an occasional gift card as thanks.
Check recycling bins
Check neighbor’s recycling bins on recycling days. If you find it embarrassing, do it the night before under the cover of darkness – bring your dog along for a walk if you want a handy excuse, just say you were looking for a plastic bag for pooper scooper duty! Take along an largish bag for your inserts you collect – the easiest is a bag that you wear across the body, that way you can easily slip them inside without having to zip open a backpack and take it on and off as you go. If you have friends in a townhouse complex or apartment building, many have communal recycling bins where you can score many inserts. You can also check there on Sunday nights and Mondays for the best haul, since most are accessible every day, instead of once every week or two as for houses. You can also hit up other neighborhoods if you know their recycling schedule. Do note that some cities consider contents of the recycling boxes to by the city’s property once it is on the street, so phone and double-check the bylaws in your area first.
Yes, some people do go dumpster diving for inserts, and yes, it can get kind of gross! Make sure you wear clothes that can get grubby, bring along gloves, wet wipes, hand sanitizer and something you can use to move around things in the dumpster, such as a claw garden tool. Some parents will toss their kids in there and they think it is great fun, although it is mostly the boys!
You can buy full inserts online, being sold by coupon services or just by people who don’t do couponing themselves but are looking to make a bit of extra money. You want to make sure that the inserts are intact. Make sure you read the description carefully and also check the feedback of the seller. Don’t forget that sometimes coupon values can vary around the country for the same weekly insert, so if you are buying the insert for a specific coupon or two, message the seller and ask what the value is for the coupons you are buying for.
Swap complete inserts with other people who live in different states from you, since often the coupon values vary by region. For more on how to do complete insert swaps read Trading Coupon Inserts for More Savings..
Start a Coupon Swap basket
Is there a coupon swap basket in your neighborhood? Start one up at your local library, laundromat or your apartment building. Dump your unused coupons or inserts in the basket and encourage others to swap theirs. You will also get non-couponers saving their inserts and putting them in the basket because they know others will use them. As you go through them, don’t forget to pull out any expired coupons/inserts you notice to save the next person time when they go through them.
Check the library papers
Most libraries don’t allow newspapers to be removed for that day but consider flyers/inserts to be fair game for anyone who wants them. If your library isn’t open on Sundays, you may need to make a trip on Monday to score the coupons. If your library gets multiple copies, try and share the coupons by not taking all the inserts, or wait until the next day to scoop the ones that are left. If your library removes all the flyers and inserts before putting them on the shelf, make friends with the librarian and ask for them to be saved for you.
Restaurants and coffee shops
If you are in any coffee shops or restaurants on Sunday or a few days after, check where they keep their papers for customers and see if you can snag the inserts. If you have friends or family members in the ones that buy newspapers for customers’ use, ask them to save the inserts for you.
When newspaper retailers recycle
If you are buying coupons for the inserts, think about hitting up the stores right before closing and ask if they recycle the newspapers, and if they do, ask if you can grab the inserts before they pitch them in the recycle bin or garbage. While some places have to return back to the newspaper any unsold copies, others just recycle them at the end of each business day, just return the front page or they return the paper but not any inserts. While Sunday nights is a pain to go out and do this, don’t forget they are doing you the favor, so don’t ask them to keep them til Monday or Tuesday for you. But again, if you know friends who work in these places, hit them up!
Your local community paper
Some of the free/cheap community newspapers that publish once a week carry a smaller version of the coupon inserts, don’t forget to pick up a few copies of the paper when it comes out. But don’t forget to grab extras right before the new week’s paper is due out. If the newspaper comes out new on Thursday and the papers are free in your community, hit up the paper boxes on Wednesday night and grab the mini inserts before they are replaced with the next week’s paper in a few hours.
Craigslist and Freecycle
On Saturday night or Sunday, post a request for any inserts. If you know that there are significant savings in a particular insert, you can offer a bounty for them – say, $1 for all 3 inserts – to encourage people to give them to you and to also encourage them to give you multiple copies of each. You might find a great source for these inserts (someone who works at a store selling papers for example) who can give you many copies of the inserts each week, for a nominal cost to you – and cheaper than buying them on eBay.