Couponing Basics

Coupon Etiquette Tip #3: Don’t Steal Newspapers or Inserts

I have included this rule in my coupon etiquette series because it is technically an unspoken rule of couponing. It’s unspoken because it shouldn’t have to be said!

Don’t Steal Newspapers or Inserts

I have seen several versions of coupon theft, including:

  • Only paying for one but taking several newspapers from the self-serve newspaper vending machines.
  • Taking the inserts out of newspapers without buying the paper.
  • Cutting a coupon out of an insert and putting the insert back in the paper without buying it.
  • Driving by houses and taking the newspapers from the driveways without asking the owner’s permission.

Taking something without paying for it is called stealing. It doesn’t matter what the value is or how you try to justify it. If you take newspapers (or the coupons in them) without paying for them, you are stealing.

If you are looking for legal ways to get free coupons, check out these 10 Free Ways to Get More Coupons.

I realize that this rule may seem obvious to some people, but please keep in mind that it may not be so obvious to beginners, especially with the distorted view of couponing that is portrayed on television. I believe this is rule is worth sharing even if most people will ignore it.


  1. I work at a convenience store, and my store will press charges for grand theft (depending on the dollar amount of the coupons in the papers) when we find people stealing inserts. A lot of us coupon ourselves, and even if we didn’t, it’s obvious that stealing is wrong. I should hope most people would understand that. Hopefully, they’re at least not willing to go to jail over $1.25…


  2. I have walked into a convenience store to find someone STEALING the inserts out of the papers….while the clerk stood there watching. I confronted both the coupon thief and the clerk for doing nothing about it, When i suggested we consult with the manager, the clerk decided to take action.


  3. I think this rule should be broadcasted as a national state of emergency. Well… not exactly that but you get what I’m saying. I recently got into couponing and I have experienced disappointment more than a few times where my coupons wouldn’t be there or someone have already cut some coupons out. It’s like someone took away my Christmas.


  4. I completely agree. It’s not right to steal inserts. I used to look at the inserts, see how many I need, and then grab that many papers. After coming home to find that someone stole the inserts out of a few of the papers I bought were couponless. 🙁 Now, I check every paper I buy to make sure the inserts are in each one.

    If there are really good coupons in the inserts, I may buy a bunch of the Sunday paper on Monday when it’s cheaper.


Post a Comment

ABOUT COUPONING101 is a free resource for all who are interested in learning more about couponing and saving money.  Couponing 101 offers a variety of money-saving strategies that encourage and motivate readers to get creative and explore different savings techniques.