Guest Post: How to get FREE Coupons & Food

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Guest Post by Amanda Allalunis:

For those of you looking for new ways to find coupons (and let’s face it, what money-minded person isn’t 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 didn’t 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 restaurant’s 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. I’ve been doing this for about 2 months and it’s 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 haven’t 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 aren’t 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 – don’t 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 you’re 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!

Hip2Save here: How do you save money when purchasing the Sunday Newspaper? Are you able to snag free coupon inserts?
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Comments 17

  1. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    What a great idea! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    This is an AWESOME idea! I love it! Thanks!

  3. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    WOW! Great post!
    That was so helpful!
    I’m off to my local coffee shops right now!:)

  4. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    What a great way to get coupons! I usually roll my Walgreens RR’s and purchase newspapers with those… but this is an even better idea!

  5. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    this is awsome! thanks!
    allso on a slightly different note i have known several people who would contract with a bakery to pick up “old” baked goods a few times a week to take to local shelters or other charity, your family get all the baked goods you want and more besides and you get to do something great for the comunity. When my sister worked at a bagel store I would sometimes pick her up from work when it was closing time and she would save some of the leftover bagels from that day instead of throughing them away, like a hundred of them or so. After we picked our favorites I took the rest with me and began visiting the neighbors who were allways happy to see me.


  6. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Something that I do, that you might like to try…is going to the local recycle center. I get 30-40 inserts of all kinds, smartsource, RP, and P&G and sometimes I even score some restarant coupons and once even a mailer with Kroger coupons in it!!! It’s not gross, its just newspaper and if you want you can wear gloves:) I NEVER print coupons, unless they are not in the paper and I can get it for free or almost free. It saves me a ton of money!!

  7. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Rochelle, There are groups of people who do this in Michigan. We call ourselves “Dumpster Divers”. Like you said, they are clean.

  8. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Great idea. I find alot of coupons in the recycle bins. Sometimes I find whole bundles of ads, that is the jackpot for me. Thanks for the good ideas.

  9. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Great tip!

  10. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    My sister and my mom buy the Sunday paper each week. However, they don’t use hardly any of the coupons. So they both give them their papers on Monday after they are done reading them and I don’t have to purchase any newspapers! I would like to find a recycle center and dumpster dive!

  11. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    I have been able to snag 5-6 papers worth of inserts at my grandmothers assisted living facility. The residents don’t need to buy anything since everything is included so the receptionist pulls all the inserts and usually throws them away. If I visit on a Sunday I ask her if I can have them and she’s always happy to get rid of them!

  12. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    That is the best idea I’ve ever heard. I can’t believe that I didn’t think of it. Thank you so much. Have a great weekend!

  13. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    That is so cool! Way to go!!

  14. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    “Finally, while you’re 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!”

    Just be warned that it is illegal and you can be arrested for stealing recyclables.

  15. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    Nice Article. Keep it up. But I think this is copy of your topic recycling process

  16. Collin (Mrs. Hip)

    This is such a clever idea!

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