Couponing Basics

11 Free Ways to Get Coupons

Need more coupons? I’m sure everyone does! I know newspapers have been a popular source of coupons, but since newspapers cost money, it can be discouraging for beginners who may not have room in their budget for a newspaper subscription.

If you are looking to get started couponing without making a big investment, here are 11 free ways to get more coupons:

1. Use Digital Coupons

Digital coupons are everywhere these days and have made couponing so much easier! These coupons cost you nothing – you don’t even have to print or clip. Just load them right to your phone and scan at checkout. Some stores even load the savings automatically if tied to your rewards card. Some of our favorite digital coupon sources are Flipp, and Honey.

2. Email the Manufacturer

Send a quick note to your favorite brands and they will likely send you coupons. Best of all, they will be for products you know you like!

3. Friends and Family

You likely know a few people who get a newspaper but don’t use the coupons. Ask if you can have their inserts and they will likely give them to you.

4. Print Coupons Online

There are many free places to print coupons online. Some of my favorites include Coupons.comSmartsource, and Redplum.

5. Magazines

If you have any magazine subscriptions, be sure to look through each issue carefully. Many magazines have coupons in them!

6. Coffee Shops and Airports

Many people like to sit in coffee shops, drink their morning coffee, and read the newspaper. Ask the establishment if you can take the Sunday newspapers that people leave behind.

7. Libraries and Doctor’s Offices

Ask your local library, dentist, or doctor if you can have the coupons from their old magazine and newspaper subscriptions.

8. Request Coupons and Samples

Many companies offer free coupons online that you can request. Sometimes they are even for free products! Be sure to sign up for free samples too because they sometimes come with coupons.

9. In-Store Coupons

Look for peelies (just don’t take them without buying the product), tearpads, blinkies, and coupon books throughout the store. These are free for the taking! Just take one or two though, not the whole stack. Be sure to think beyond supermarkets – I often find coupons at gas stations!

10. Coupon Buddies

If you have coupons you don’t use, you could try trading with a friend. Maybe they have a dog, but no kids while you have kids, but no dog. You could give your friend your dog food coupons and she could give you her baby product coupons. It’s a win-win!

11. Rewards Programs

There are some brands that will offer high value coupons (often coupons for free products) in exchange for you taking a quiz or giving your opinion of a new product. Go to your favorite brands’ websites and search their FAQs for ways to get coupons by participating! Sometimes signing up for their promotional newsletter will get you early access to these types of promotions as well.

Do you know of any other ways to get free coupons?


  1. Oh, there’s also a Yahoo group called Freecycle. Look it up and find the one in your area. Freecycle is an awesome way of sharing those unwanted items with people in exchange for their unwanted items. Just like on Craigslist, you can put a wanted listing, asking for newspaper inserts, coupons of any kind that anyone may have. You’ll get results, guaranteed. I’ve gotten plenty of really nice things for free on Freecycle so finding coupons is an easy one, just don’t forget to give back every now and then (even if it’s a pair of dirty old shoes, the moderator just likes to see reciprocation).


  2. My suggestions to getting coupons though are to put a listing on craigslist under the free section asking for anyone’s old newspaper inserts and any unwanted coupons, tell why you need them and be honest. You’d be amazed at how many ppl actually would help and even save those inserts for you to come collect later.
    Ppl are generally nice, especially if you are, and aren’t afraid of simply asking kindly.


  3. Recycling Center – Usually newspapers are recycled separately. They are happy to let you pull anything out of the bins. I have been told in the past, “If you are using it, it is recycling and that is what we are here for.” So I pull off box tops for our school and the coupon sections from the newspapers.


  4. I had gotten my coupons at a laundromat.. It is a local hispanic newspaper they arent read they wer just there lieing without ne used so i took advantage 🙂


  5. I beleive it is legal to go through the trash to get coupons too. I get coupons in the mail and a lot of people at my apartments through their coupon inserts in the garbage. I know if sounds crazy getting coupons out of the garbage, but its free coupons!!!


    • We go through the big recycling bin in our town to get coupons. Ive checked with the city officials and its perfectly legal… Free coupons and lots of them if you are willing to spend some time looking!


  6. I know one gas station dump all the newspaper next day after sunday they dump on the big container I try to my local newspaper but they destroy or recicly the newspaper not have for sale onle 2 dollars but if I try to take for the gas station do you think is ilegal ,because one time I ask the manager he say I am going to give back to the newspaper but he was lye because I see those newspaper on the garbaje any body know if I take those newspaper can I going to jail


    • At least here in Ohio, if the store doesn’t sell the newspaper the second day, they toss them in a bin or box for the. Newspaper company to pick up and reimburse them. Yes, they pay for all the newspapers first and then get reimbursed for any that didn’t sell. The newspaper either recycles the paper, or they save some of the copies to sell later. (My newspaper has kept a bunch of newspapers. If there were copies left, I could buy a newspaper from the day I was born.)
      So, assuming your newspaper company is the same, taking newspapers or inserts is stealing. Stealing ia a crime.


  7. Beverly L Haynes- Fields

    I tried number 1 which is email the manufacturer for the Bic corporation to see if I could get some Bic Flex 4 coupons since they work so well but quite expensive. They declined to honor my request and stated that they offer coupons only certain times of the year. So I guess they are saying that we have to wait until they are ready to offer the coupon savings!!!


  8. Pingback: The Motherload » BIG Announcement & Freebie Friday- October 14, 2011

  9. Hi, For tip number 10, what is your experience with BzzAgent? I do Kraft First Taste and Vocalpoint, but have never heard of BzzAgent. Thanks:)


  10. My city has a free newspaper that includes a smart source every week. The regional and much more popular newspaper also offers the smart source insert but it costs $2 on Sunday. However, neither offer red plum. I get one red plum once a week on Tuesdays for free in the mail, but I could get a subscription to the area’s second regional newspaper to get the red plum. For me, smart source has better coupons so I just go to the newspaper machines in front of our big lots and take 10 to 15 free local newspapers. I was out of town when p&g came out so I’m not sure if my local paper would have had that, but if not I would be willing to pay for 10 papers on the first Sunday of the month to get p&g


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