No Sunday coupons

(NOTE: This article is from 2014 – check out the 2015 version here!)

If you’re sharpening your scissors and getting ready to buy extra newspapers for the coupons this weekend – don’t. There won’t be any.

But why? Is it some kind of holiday? The only other times during the year when there are typically zero coupon inserts are on Easter Sunday and on the weekends preceding Memorial Day and Christmas. So what’s so special about July 20th?

The answer: there’s nothing particularly special about July 20th. And that’s precisely why there are no coupons.

RedPlum has taken a mid-July weekend off for several years now. But with only 38 issues a year, RedPlum takes lots of weekends off. So no one really seemed to notice its mid-July absence, until SmartSource decided to sit out the same mid-July weekend last year.

Then suddenly millions were left to wonder – where are all the coupons?


As SmartSource representatives explained to Coupons in the News last year, skipping a weekend in July was a strategic move. Advertisers were beginning to shy away from spending money to promote their products with coupons in the middle of summer, when more consumers were vacationing than couponing. So SmartSource’s parent company, News America Marketing, simply decided to sit out a week.

And this year, it’s doing the same. “The mid-summer insert timing worked well last year, so we are running with it again this summer,” News America Marketing spokesperson Laura Richards told Coupons in the News. “There are peaks and valleys in both advertiser demand and coupon redemption throughout the year, with the summer being relatively quiet until Back-to-School mania sets in.”

If you’re not one of those consumers who are too busy vacationing this weekend to clip coupons, then there’s some good news – we’re not missing out on anything in the long run. SmartSource is making up for the week off, by offering a double issue next Sunday, July 27th. RedPlum will have two inserts too, and there’s also a P&G insert planned, so the coupon drought will end with a five-insert coupon bonanza (check out the complete 2014 coupon insert schedule here).

“This particular schedule of not running an insert one weekend, then following up with a double issue, allows us to be very responsive to the needs of both our advertisers and consumers,” Richards said.

So does this mean the third weekend of July will become a permanent blank spot on the couponing calendar? “These decisions are made annually, based on the most current information we have,” Richards explained, “so we’ll make the call about 2015 after we evaluate this year’s results.”

But, realistically, unless people stop vacationing in July, or start going back to school a whole lot earlier, there’s a good chance that advertiser demand for a dead-of-summer coupon insert isn’t suddenly going to pick up. So if you’re planning to go on vacation sometime next summer, you just might want to plan it around the third weekend of July. If you can’t beat ’em, after all, you might as well join ’em.

Image source: Flickr/Carol Pyles


  1. If u really want to get free coupons go to your local grocery store, pharmacy or gas station. They just throw the extra Sunday papers in the trash at the end of the day. I have three stores that save them for me every Sunday. Granted I do have to go out Sunday nights to get them before they close but the savings are awesome. I haven’t bought a paper in almost 9 years & I usually get anywhere from 20 – 40 free every week.

  2. I just team up with the local hotel manager and get my coupons from the free Sunday papers that they give out! No one ever uses the coupons and it’s less that goes into their trash! 🙂

  3. I like it when the papers have more in one week. Because sadly, as it stands now, I rarely buy the paper anymore. SS has been too weak, even in the bigger city paper near me. And RP, is absolute crap in the local paper, which only comes out during the week.

    But when they bulk-up, there’s more of a chance I’ll spend money on a paper. Otherwise, I go directly to manufactures and get my coupons.

    Anyone else finding this to be the case, near them? Where the Sunday paper coupons are less and less worth the effort and money?

    And Bill … thanks again for another interesting read. You sir, rock at this.

    • Thank you as always, Ivy! You do have a point – for every person who’s happy when SmartSource publishes on weekends that RedPlum doesn’t, or P&G has an insert when the others don’t, there are others who are annoyed at having to buy papers every single week just for the sake of one insert. It would certainly be easier to have them all bunched together and skip the off weeks – but then the newspapers would probably prefer people to buy the Sunday paper every week!

      • Haha, yes, newspapers, I bet would.

        And wow, I dunno about where you are but here, the papers shoot up more in price. But I tell ya though, I love Sunday coupons when they’re good. That hasn’t for me been the case as of late. Lots online though. Social media can be pretty wow for bakers like me looking for ingredient coupons.

        Have a great weekend, and thanks for all the hard work you do.

    • Ivy, the coupons aren’t so good anymore. Most of the time when someone gives a heads-up online about a big-value coupon coming in the newspaper inserts, we don’t get those in the Memphis area. In fact, a good number of the listed coupons for the inserts don’t show up here. I sometimes wonder if someone at the point of distribution is snagging those to sell online.

      I find it odd that we are always told that we have a very low cost-of-living in this area, and yet, from what I see of quoted grocery and toiletry prices online, our prices are higher here than in many areas and our insert coupons tend to have lower values. Go figure!

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