Ok, you hard core couponers. You're going to want to sit down for this one. Ready? I DON'T BUY THE SUNDAY PAPER. Not one copy.
For those of you new to couponing, most of the experts recommend that you buy 4-8 copies of the Sunday paper for the coupon inserts. Since I don't, you might be wondering how I am able to take advantage of many of the deals that are out there. It's simple - I use a coupon clipping service - basically I pay them to clip the coupons for me, and I only order the coupons I need.
I check out all the deals for the week on Saturday and Sunday, and I always place my order on Monday morning and plan to use those coupons to shop on Friday. I typically spend $4-$5 a week on the coupons, which is about what I would spend on the papers. In addition:
1. I don't have to take the time to cut the coupons myself.
2. I don't have to take the time to keep them all organized and filed.
3. I don't have to continue to sort through my filed coupons to remove those that are expired.
4. If there is a great stock up sale on, I don't have to hope that I bought enough papers to really take advantage of it!
Every service I've run across makes their revenue by charging a "clipping fee" for every coupon you order, usually based on the face value of the coupon. There is some "fine print" you need to be aware of when using a service. First, there is typically a minimum dollar order (usually around $4). In addition, there is sometimes a minimum or maximum of each coupon you need to buy (this actually doesn't happen very often, but I do occasionally run across a minimum of 2 or 3 of a coupon, and a maximum of 5 or 10). Shipping speeds vary, as does the selection of coupons available.
Two services I use regularly are The Coupon Clippers (fast shipping but selection is limited in some cases) and Coupon Clipping Crew (slower shipping but very wide selection). I've had great luck with both of them, but as always in couponing, YMMV (your mileage may vary)!