Learn To Coupon | Where to Find Coupons

learn to coupon

Welcome to Learn to Coupon... in 30 days. For the next 30 days (week days),  I will be posting a couponing how to.  Each day we will build on the prior days information. The goal of this series is to teach you the basics of couponing. Where to start, what coupons to use, how to use your coupons and more.This series will focus on realistic strategies for couponing.  There will be some depth to the posts, so you will need to spend the time reading the posts in the entirety. Since each post will build on the day before, I suggest you read them chronologically.

Where to Find Coupons

Coupons are everywhere. 20 years ago there were only a few sources of coupons. Today, you can find coupons just about everywhere.  We all know the standard Sunday newspapers – but the best coupons these days are not found in newspapers.  After coupon stacking, high value coupons is another way to say big dollars.

Over the next few days, we are going to discuss some of the well known sources and not so well known sources for coupons.  Today’s post will focus on where to obtain Manufacturer Coupons in Sunday Inserts.

Sunday Newspaper Inserts

On Sunday, you will find weekly coupon inserts.  There are three major inserts that you will find:

  • Smartsource – abbreviated at SS
  • Redplum  – abbreviated as RP
  • Proctor & Gamble – abbreviated as P&G or PG

From time to time you will also find:

  • General Mills – abbreviated as GM
  • Seasonal and Promotional Inserts

Some weeks there are more inserts than other.  There is a published coupon insert schedule, however it is subject to change  You can see the tentative schedule for which inserts will be on  particular weekend.

There are a few important notes about Sunday Newspaper coupons:

1. Not all newspapers carry all inserts. This does  not mean that they have different coupons, it means they simply do not include Redplum or Smartsource or P&G  in their papers.  The newspapers do not decide what inserts they get. The coupon distribution companies make decisions as to where the coupons will be distributed. Many times coupons are not included in papers due to cost factors.  If you are not getting the Redplum in your newspaper, you may be able to request it for home delivery.  You will not get it if they provide it to a paper that is local to you.

2. Every newspaper gets different coupons. You may hear the term regional coupons on a regular basis. Regional isn’t a really good term to describe coupons.  Coupons are really geocentric. Sometimes, areas just don’t ever receive the good coupons.  Other times, You can go into a gas station on a Sunday morning and pick up three different newspapers and get three different sets of inserts.   Do not be surprised if your coupons vary from the weekly coupon previews. I suggest you buying all of your local newspapers at one time and comparing denominations to determine which newspaper has the best coupons for you.

3. Every newspaper gets different denominations in coupons. The manufacturers make strategic decisions on coupon values. You may notice that a coupon preview says $.50 off 1 but you receive $1.00/2.  Unfortunately, none of us are privy to the decision making process.

4. There are no coupons on holiday weekends. Save your money on the holiday weekends. Most major holiday weekends we don’t see any coupons. Maybe once a year depending on timing, the P&G  insert may fall on a holiday weekend, but it is very rare.

Before you decide to buy another paper for better coupons, you can check your insert to see what papers it is included in.  Take a look at the side of your coupon insert, it will list all the papers that are included.

Note:  You may find that your SmartSource and Redplum are not distributed in all the same papers.

From time to time, you may find store coupons in Sunday inserts.  Stores like Target will put coupons in the in the sunday inserts.

If you don’t get the coupons in your Sunday newspaper, you can opt to purchase inserts.  Some places you can purchase coupons:

:: Coupons by Dede

:: Ebay

:: The Coupon Clippers

Fortunately, the coupon playing field has be leveled quite a bit over the past few years.  With internet printables now main stream, we all have a chance at getting high value coupons, regardless of our Sunday paper.

Till tomorrow…


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here
  • dynamicbarb

    On Dec 11, I went shopping at Acme Market BalaCyw, Pa my issue was coupon doubling. Online states a $0.99 coupon will double to $1.98 , well that didn’t happen at the register. Instead the coupons doubled below$0.99 what @#!!!! A total of 26 manufacturer coupon only 5 multipled the rest face value. I had a total of 47 items my first trip I saved 53%.

    I checked policies and coupons before I made my trip. Hope I do better the next round.
    Ms B

    • Whitaker mommy

      You should have told them that they were not and they would have brought over a manager and he would have fixed it for u on u would have probably walk out with them paying you its a quick 5 min fix good luck next time

  • Crystal

    When is the best time too find deals after the coupons come out on sundays??

  • Jennifer, I run Coupon For Christ/Louisville KY on facebook. I have been around the block a few times and learned a few things. Assuming your coupons are valid, (sorry but you know how it is sometimes) assuming they are valid coupons, I would whip out my policy for that store and show them WHY your coupon is valid and if they still refuse to take it ask for a manager. If the problem persists, I whip out my cell phone and call cooperate with the manager standing right there. TYPICALLY they will straighten it out then. BUT if it still persists, this is false advertisement then. You are not allowed to advertise you accept coupons and then discriminate against from who or which ones you want to take. Let your local news station know about how this store is discriminating against you. They will NOT like the publicity…..BUT be sure you are 100% correct in using the coupon.

  • jennifer

    I can’t ever find any dial coupons and I live down south so its hard for the couponers down here to coupon b/c so many has abused them. What should I do when the cashier says we can’t accept some of those coupons u have?

    • Whitaker mommy

      Ask for a manager and if it’s not stayed on their policy they cant refuse thats false advertising and they can be sewed

  • tascha

    where i live i spoke with the newspaper co an they said that you are only guaranteed qs in delivered papers. If you get them at the store you are not guranteed all inserts. Also if your mom lives in another city they will often get higher or perhaps lower value qs. Ca gets some of the best qs.

  • Sharnett

    It is wise to subscribe for more than one issue of the Newspaper in order to get a lot of coupons? I heard that it was, but what is the point if we are only allowed to use 1 manufacturer’s coupon at a time?

  • ok what states have the best coupons the high value ones i always hear about its not new jersey or pa but pa did have the 85 cent off 1 viva so what do i base this on if i wanna get a coupon service from where they are located??thanks if anyone could help

    • Shannon


      I dont think you can go by states – its more by city/region.

  • Kathy

    My problem with coupons is that I can’t seem to find many for organic foods. I buy a lot of Kashi and Cascadian Farms etc. because they are healthier obviously. Is there a place where I can find organic coupons? They seem to be very few if at all and these foods are very expensive. Just trying to eat healthier on a budget!

  • Candace

    This is for Lynda. I am also a new couponer, but a friend of mine told me to go to the recycling center in our area. You would not believe how many of the newspapers that weren’t bought end up there. I too thought the newspaper recycled their own, but apparently many of the delivery drivers just drop them off at the recycling center instead of taking them back to the office. If you call them or go by, at least in our area, they will even tell you the day and time when most of them are brought in and they are more than willing to let you go through them and pick out the coupons.

  • Meredith Dierking

    I thought it was illegal to sell/buy coupons?

    • Jennie

      It is not legal to re-sell manufacturer coupons. (certain websites) allow you to sell your ‘time collecting, clipping, sorting and shipping’ to distribute coupons to bidders for a fee to reimburse you for your service. Ultimately, yes you are exchanging coupons for cash in that manner… but it takes a lot of time collecting, clipping and sorting to make any money doing this which justifies you are providing a service. Some people don’t have the time to clip their own coupons. But really, whats next? Is someone going to show up on your door step with coupons clipped and sort them into your coupon binder?? LOL

  • Lynda

    Hi I am very new to couponing. I am having trouble fnding coupons. I can’t keep buying multiple copies of the sunday paper. Need other outlets. Local newspaper shreds the overage and can’t afford to buy from places like the coupon flippers. Any other ideas greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Shannon

      The best bet is online printables.

  • jj

    Depend on the papers , i live in the SF Bay Area, in my area we have San Mateo County Times and San Jose Mercury News boxes, they have the same, look the same, cost the same $1 , in fact the only difference is the name, but , San Jose Mercury News has more and better coupons than San Mateo County Times. I think it is because San Mateo County is more expensive than Santa Clara County ( Rent, Gas, Food, etc.) not sure. :P

  • Laura

    Yes I would agree, this is all amazing stuff. I am a new couponer and I am loving all the education!!!

  • krissi

    I have been couponing for about a year now and just now found out that you can buy newspapers after the actual day they are sold in stores. This might just be a “duh” statement for some people, but I just figured that the only day you could get a Sunday paper was on Sunday at the gas station or other store. My mom recently got a job at a newspaper company and one of her many duties is to sell old papers when someone comes in looking for them. She has lots of couponers buy multiple (10+) papers throughout the week. Of course, they only keep so many, so the closer you are to the actual date you are looking for the better.

    Another great tip is finding the cheapest paper possible. Although this could bite you in the rear when you are looking for a high value and it is not included in the small town paper, but I live outside of Cincinnati and had been buying my Cincinnati paper for almost $2 a pop. I found out that the actual small town I live in has a Saturday paper (also assumed that since they didn’t run a Sunday paper that they didn’t have the inserts available) that is a little less than $1. Wow, that is a 50% savings and we all know we want that. The only time I regret it is when I find a $5 coupon in Cincinnati and my local one only has $2 or nothing at all. But really, that happens very infrequently and is probably worth my sacrifice by the savings I am getting.

    This series is awesome. I really thought, what more do I need to know about couponing? I love following the blog with the match-ups each week, but I thought after a year I would have it down. You are finding ways to teach us even more. You are amazing!!!!!!!!!!

  • J

    I have never found a situation where the coupons from paper bought at the gas station down the road were different from the ones that were in the delivered paper; they’ve always been identical! That might just be our local paper though that doesn’t differentiate.

  • Kathleen

    do you believe there is any truth to the idea that if you have your paper delivered, you get better/higher coupon value inserts? I recently visited my Mom in Baltimore – she gets the paper delivered and got many great coupons. So, before leaving to come home, I picked up a couple more of the same paper. When I got home, at least two of the $1 coupons she had were $50 in the other paper. Was this a fluke?

    • Shannon


      In my area, most definitely no. I get three papers delivered to my house. Each week I decide which paper to buy at the store and they have matched perfectly for the last three years.

      Great question though.. perhaps others have had different experiences.