One of the most popular way to get manufacturer's coupons is by purchasing a Sunday paper. Most Sunday papers will include a set of coupon inserts- anywhere from one to three inserts is typical. The three most common inserts are: Smartsource (abbreviated SS), Red Plum (RP) and Proctor & Gamble (PG). Occasionally you will also find General Mills (GM) inserts as well.
The frustrating thing with Sunday coupon inserts is that not all papers carry the inserts AND the inserts vary greatly with each paper. For instance, Lancaster Intel might have a coupon for $0.75/1 Colgate toothpaste; while the Washington Post coupon for Colgate toothpaste might be $1/1. So if you are using coupon databases to help you figure out where to find coupons for a certain product, you might see that the 6/5 RP insert was supposed to have a certain coupon in it, however your insert is totally missing that coupon. That is because some inserts DID get the coupon, however, obviously not all of them did and you were one of the "lucky" ones that didn't. :)
Maybe you are wondering how to know just what week your newspaper insert is from. If you look on the spine of the insert, it will say something like this: Advertising Supplement to Washington Post 6/5/2011. That simply means that the insert was from the Washington Post newspaper and it was for Sunday June 5.
You can either purchase the Sunday paper at your local store/newspaper stand or you can subscribe to it. If you are purchasing the paper every Sunday, you may want to check this schedule to see if it is worth purchasing and to decide how many papers you want to purchase. Some weeks there are no inserts so you'd be wasting your money on a paper.
If you are planning to regularly purchase a Sunday paper, I'd highly recommend subscribing to it, as you can save quite a bit. I recently called up our local newspaper and asked them what the best subscription rate was that they could give me for just the Sunday paper. It was $0.88/week as opposed to the $1.75/week that is charged at newsstands.
What tips do you have for getting coupons via the newspaper?
Did you miss the other posts in this series? If so, here are links to them- Contacting Companies; Websites; Coupon Trading; and Store Emails & Fliers.