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"Hipsters" to the Rescue: Paper on a Budget

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In addition to finding great deals on ink, I have often been asked how to snatch up great deals on paper. I personally stock up on paper when rebates/rewards are offered on reams of paper at the local office supply store (for example, you can snag 500 sheets of paper over at Office Depot this week for only $1 after mail-in savings card). However, I just received this email from reader, Lisa, which offers up another great (and FREE) method for snagging paper. Check it out below…

I don’t know if this idea has been published before, but I have come up with a creative way to use paper for couponing. My daughter is in 1st grade and my son is in preschool. They come home with book bags full of paper from school. So I started flipping them over and using the back side and it works like a charm. I have never had a problem. I do not use papers with a grade and I cut their names off since coupons rarely use a full sheet. I feel like I am recycling what used to go in the trash and not wasting a blank sheet on coupons that sometimes only take up a 1/4 of a sheet. My daughter loves it too, because when she shows me the papers, she says ok mom, you can have this sheet, this sheet, this sheet for coupons and stacks them up. She loves recycling too!!

What a great way to keep a few bucks in your pocket and to help the environment! Do you have any creative suggestions for snagging paper to print all those coupons for free or almost free? If so, please share your ideas with us below!

* On a side note, if you need some great ideas for stocking up on ink and making it last and/or want some advice on purchasing a printer, check out this post and the comments.

Join The Discussion

Comments 91

  1. lindseymhelms

    My husband is a musician and he has binders and binders of printed music that he doesn’t ever need, nor do I think he ever looked at to begin with! I use the backs of all of those for coupons, and they are the thicker, higher quality pages too! Not that music sheets are accessible to everyone 🙂 but I bet a lot of us have husbands who have access to a lot of “used” paper from their work, that would otherwise be thrown away! (businesses use and WASTE so much paper, it’s crazy!) On that note, I am sure I have 100 binders in the basement of paper I can use!

    • Sherri T

      My husband works at a printing factory. He brings home paper that would otherwise be shredded and recycled. We figure we are just getting another use out of it before it is ultimately recycled. We take paper to our kids’ schools and keep some at home for our use.

  2. Brittany D

    We do this with all our scratch paper. Also, when only printing ONE coupon, we cut it out and use the rest of the paper for when we print another one. It only works when you print one at a time, not when you select a bunch at a time 🙂

    • Claudia

      I do the same!!! I am from a place that we always recycle without even knowing the benefits for our planet! I also use the paper from the junk mail we received every day

  3. Ria

    I print my coupons on blank sheets of white paper, but I use the leftover cutouts (like when a coupon prints with an ad or I only needed to print 2 coupons on 1 side) as scratch paper for when I’m studying for my organic chem midterms/finals. ^^

    • Katie

      Yay for organic chem!

  4. JenFish19

    I am a teacher and use all my extra copies for coupons. Even my students give me their own work so I can use the back.

  5. Bonnie

    Those of you with Paper Retriever or similar paper recycling bins in your school parking lots, those are gold mines for paper. I have found reams and reams of paper that is only printed on one side and it isn’t all disorganized either. I find many neatly stacked piles in paper bags just tossed away for the taking. Schools seem best because they just print off so much stuff.

    • Claudia

      Schools here get pay for the paper they recycle so…I don’t think you can do that here it is illegal.

  6. Sherri T

    My husband brings paper home from work, box after box of plain white 8.5×11 sheets. He works at a printing company and these blank pages are in between printed pages during set ups. They would normally get shredded and bailed for recycling but we get one more use out of them before they are recycled. We take paper to the schools and use tons at home.

  7. Maryc

    I also use paper that would otherwise be thrown away. Anytime I go to meetings where there are pages and pages of reports, I reuse before I recycle. I’ve set my printer on print preview so I can see if I need a whole sheet or not to print individual coupons and cut my paper to size for individual coupons to save in if there is an advertisement below.

  8. suzeeeeq2

    I have had my brother ink jet printer for 3 years- awesome! I by paper at Office Depot when I can get it for a buck with the rebate like yesterday. I go to amazon for inks and bought 10 cartridges for 13.00 and used an amazon “swagbucks reward” and only paid 7!!!!!
    Today I told my friend about it and she got 13 cartridges for 19.00 on amazon!!!
    Yeah saving!!!!!!!!!!

    • andrea

      Yeah I have a brother MFC 240C. Not the greatest printer but I sure can find the ink cheap on Amazon.

  9. Joan Southwick

    I bring home paper from the office,, junk faxes, spread sheets that don’t matter anymore,, just make a little pile and bring a stack home now and again. I am also the one at the office that puts that same waste paper in the copier or fax when I know something is being printed that doesn’t have to be pristine. every sheet counts,, and if I can print coupons on it,, it’s kind of like printing money……….. 🙂 I also was able to snag two cases of paper at Office Max not too long ago for $42.57 ,,, yeah,, thats 20 reams… for the office,, the price of ONE case… so they just appreciate my paper sense!

  10. Valerie

    I picked up a couple of reams of paper tonight. Thanks! I need to get on that rebate now before I forget.

  11. Teri

    I work in a church office where many of the items that we print are only printed on one side. A long time ago I started gathering up these pieces of paper, after their initial use has expired, and put them into a copier/printer that is designated for couponing only! I have a cool boss. : )

  12. Craig

    Glad to know somebody else thinks outside the box. I do this with papers from whatever. Junk mail or not, that have blank sides. Copies that were supposed to be 2 sided that somebody made wrong. Cut sheets after qs print or if I know its going to be printing more than just the q, cut the sheet down to able just printing of the q. and repeat till not useable. Any scraps, I stack and use for writing down H2S deals on it or notes. Yaay!

  13. Jenny

    Like so many others, I reuse just about any paper I can get my hands on. I also make notepads and even caught my boss starting to do it, too!

  14. Jill

    I do the same thing although I don’t have children in school. I just reuse paper that I’ve already printed stuff on and either don’t need it or whatever. I always make sure the other side of the paper is not blank before I throw it away. I’ve not thought about using junk mail and such. I wish I knew someone in school to use their paper, too. I try to very green, frugal, and such. I love it!

  15. Hollie

    My husband brings home boxes of paper from work that would otherwise be recycled. I use it for coupons & the kids use it for drawing & crafts. I haven’t bought paper in forever & keep a small stack for things that need to be printed on nice new paper.

  16. Amy

    I do the same thing – my kids save me their school papers and I “recycle” them and print coupons on the back.. nobody has ever said anything about the back having other stuff on it! and.. I always print in greyscale… uses less ink and only prints in black/white.

  17. Amy

    I do the same thing – my kids save me their school papers and I “recycle” them and print coupons on the back.. nobody has ever said anything about the back having other stuff on it! and.. I always print in greyscale… uses less ink and only prints in black/white. I even use the scraps for shopping lists!

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