Step 1: Get Inserts & Coupons

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Now that you’ve read the basics to couponing, let’s get your feet wet with some actionable steps and practical experience. 🙂

Are you ready to save some money? Let’s dive in.

Where to Get Insert Coupons

One of the very first steps to couponing is to collect inserts from Sunday newspapers. The cheapest place to buy Sunday newspapers is at the Dollar Tree or other dollar store in your area.

Tip: if your city’s newspaper has an early Sunday edition paper (Or weekend editor paper) that comes out on Saturday, then its best to go on Saturday instead of Sunday to avoid the Sunday rush. Sometimes, if you check on Sundays, the papers may be all sold out. Alternatively, if you can only get the paper on Sunday, go early.

To make sure your Dollar Tree carries them, give them a call and ask. The other tip is to flip through the paper before buying to see if the inserts are actually in there (RP, SS or P&G). Occasionally, people may take the inserts out, so its better to double check, just in case you get an “empty” paper.

You’ll want to get multiple copies of each Sunday paper, since when there’s a killer sale, you want to have enough coupons to buy multiple units to stock up.

Some people use the rule of thumb of buying a number of paper that equals the total number of people in your household. For example, if there are 4 people in your household, then get 4 papers.

However, its okay to also start with 1 or 2 papers each week, just to get your feet wet.

Couponing 101 Inserts

I started with 5 papers a week, simply because there was a really cheap promotion ($0.20 per paper) for a local paper, and 5 was the maximum per household. Keep an eye out for newspaper subscription in your area when they have promotions for less than $1.

I also find inserts in “used” newspaper pile at some restaurants and coffee shops on weekends. I usually have good luck finding these after 10am, after the breakfast crowd has come and people are leaving behind papers they’ve finished reading.

Some regions have their Red Plum inserts delivered in regular mail, along with the grocery store weekly ad flyers. If so, you could always try asking neighbors who might not want their Red Plum. Or you could ask your postal person. Let them know that if they ever have extra, you would love to have them.

I find that my 5 papers per week to be plenty enough for my family. Additionally, there’s also the option of buying whole inserts. They range in price between $0.25-$0.50 per insert, plus $5.60 for priority shipping. When these services say “per insert”, they are referring to one insert and not a set of inserts. For example, if a weekend had three inserts (ie. RP, SS, PG), then you will pay $0.75-$1 per set of inserts plus the cost of shipping. [TODO: add whole insert selling provider in resource page]

Also, if there’s a really hot sale and you need more coupons, you could order clipped coupons from a clipping service. You must account for shipping time, so that the coupons arrive before the sale ends. Clipped coupons typically cost between $0.15-$0.35 per coupon, and they typically sell in sets of 10 or 20. [TODO: put clipping service in resource. Update link here]

Printable Coupons

If you have a printer, you can get started right away on deals that only use printable coupons, or mobile coupons, or no coupons.

If you don’t have a printer or you are in the market to upgrade printers, I highly recommend getting a laser printer. They print faster, and the ink lasts longer than inkjet printers. Thus, saving you time and money in the long run.

At the time of this writing, HP Wireless printers are also highly recommended, since they are the only printers that allow coupons-com coupon printing from apple devices (ie. iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).

In our deal breakdowns on the blog, if a printable coupon is needed, we will always include a link to print the coupon.

But if you were looking for specific coupons, I recommend the Search View from our site. You can access this page by clicking on “Print Coupons” from the site menu. It allows you to search, so you can locate coupons quickly without a lot of scrolling to find the coupon.


  1. Call up your local Dollar Tree or Dollar Store and find out if they carry Sunday Newspapers. Also find out if they have the Sunday papers on Saturday
  2. Go to Dollar Tree Saturday (if they carry early editions before Sunday. If not, go Sunday Morning), and pick up two newspapers. Double check there are inserts in the newspaper stack. If you do not have a dollar tree or dollar store, you could get them for Free from friends and family, or pick them up where newspapers are sold.
NEXT: Step Two: Sign Up Reward Programs

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