I’ve received lots of emails from readers recently regarding how to acquire more coupon inserts without having to spend a lot of money. Well, one of my readers wrote a fantastic post in March of 2009 on this very topic, so I thought I’d go ahead and re-post it. Enjoy!
Guest Post by Amanda Allalunis:
For those of you looking for new ways to find coupons (and lets face it, what money-minded person isnt interested in more coupons,) I have a nifty new idea that you might like to try. In my town, there are several little coffee shops and diners that sell the local newspapers for customers to read while they eat and relax. One day while I was getting a cup of coffee with my husband I happened to notice many of the customers threw the newspaper away as they left the store and most of them never even bothered to remove the coupon inserts. Because I didnt relish the idea of digging through the trash can, even for coupons, I approached the owner of the coffee shop with a mutually beneficial idea: I offered to provide the restaurant with a bin to store old newspapers and to take those newspapers to the recycling center weekly. To my surprise the owner of the coffee shop loved the idea, and she even offered to sweeten the deal. If I would agree to take the restaurants cardboard to the recycling center once a week as well, she would let me have up to $20 a month in free food and coffee!!!
As of today, I am currently recycling newspapers for six different businesses; and four of those businesses are trading me $15-$20 a month in free food for my services. Ive been doing this for about 2 months and it has been AMAZING! I usually find at least 10 newspapers a week with full coupons, plus I get about $70 a month in free food for about 2 hours a week of my time! I havent purchased my own newspaper since I started, and I often find inserts that are not available in my immediate area they are brought in by out-of-towners and left to be recycled by me! Not only is this good for my pocket book, but its also good for the environment a double bonus in my opinion.
If you are interested in trying this neat little trick, here are a few suggestions. First, make sure that you speak directly to the owner of the business and make it clear from the start that you arent trying to sell anything to him or her. I found that using the environmental angle when pitching this idea was the most effective. Second, if the business wants you to provide a recycling bin for the job dont worry about getting anything too fancy. I actually just took a strong cardboard box from the restaurant and wrote newspapers on the side. It was fast and, more importantly, it was free. Third, in order to get the most coupons out of the deal, try to collect the newspapers twice a week, the day before the new papers come out, and about two days after they come out. I found that by collecting the papers at these times I get many more coupon inserts and MUCH cleaner newspapers. Finally, while youre at the recycling center, take a peak into the newspaper recycling bin. You will probably be surprised at the number of clean inserts that you find sitting right on top of the pile!