3/20/11

Find Free Coupons–In your Neighborhood

There are many ways to find coupons.  One reliable method is to buy a Sunday paper, since most have coupon inserts (from Red Plum, Smart Source, and others).  But you have to spend a couple of dollars to get that newspaper.  You can also print coupons from internet websites.  That’s a great way to get high-value or unique coupons, but those coupons aren’t quite free either, if you’re paying off the cost of a printer, and paying for the paper and ink that they’re printed on.  Another way to get coupons is to buy them from clipping services or ebay.  Those, obviously, aren’t free either, and there are ethical questions about buying and selling coupons.

There are other ways to get coupons that don’t cost you any money.  Free coupons are especially great for those who are just learning, since there’s no pressure to make up the cost of buying the coupons.  Here we focus on where to find coupons that are free.

Free Coupons In Your Neighborhood:

In the mailmail_coupon_1

Some of the best free coupons come directly to you in the mail.  Don’t throw out “junk” mail before you’ve checked it for coupons.  For instance, we get a trimmed-down version of the Smart Source coupon insert sent free in the mail each week.  We also get a monthly ad magazine with coupons to local restaurants.  You can also email companies you like, and ask if they have coupons that they can mail you.

Family and friends

Some of your neighbors, coworkers, family, and friends buy the Sunday newspaper just to read the news, and throw out all the coupons and grocery ads.  Let people know that you are looking for coupons; most folks are happy to save them for you.  You can keep the coupons coming by thanking them with products that you’ll get for free or cheap.

Recycling bins

There were 332 billion (332,000,000,000!) coupons distributed in 2010, according to NCH marketing.  Only about 1% of those coupons were ever redeemed.  What happened to the other 329 billion coupons last year?  A lot of them ended up in a recycling bin near you.  Hunting for coupon inserts in a recycling bin is not for everyone, but if you’re up for it, it can be a gold mine of free coupons.  Check with your city or township for recycling locations, and ask if it’s okay to look for coupons.  Apartment or condos usually have central recycling areas.  Some folks have reported coming across large paper recycling bins just while walking around their neighborhood.

Product packagingorv_coupons

When you unwrap a product, check the insides as well as the inside of the box for coupons.  These can be great, high-value coupons with long expiration dates.  For example, to the right is a picture of three coupons found inside a box of popcorn.  One of these contains codes for two free movie rentals from Redbox.  That was advertised on the outside of the box, but there were two other unexpected coupons also.

On the bus, at the coffee shop

When you’re out and about Sundays, keep your eyes open for left-behind newspapers.  We’ve found coupons in newspapers that people have left on the bus, at coffee shops, and at the airport.

Free newspapers

Most communities have newspaper boxes with free papers and leaflets.  Rather than pass these by, pull them out and take a look for coupons.  These can be an especially good source for coupons from local companies and restaurants.

Next up, we cover where to find free coupons in your grocery store

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