The trading of coupons from papers you purchase is not only legal, it’s done on a regular basis in volumes you aren’t even aware of. The only thing that might be illegal about it is if someone would attempt to redeem them without purchasing the items specified (fraud).
I have been using and trading coupons for over 30 years, in addition to sending in for rebates and refunds in accordance with the rules of the manufacturers.
Go to Yahoogroups and do a search for coupons - you’ll find lots of email lists for coupon trading. There are services which sell coupons for a handling fee. (They locate, cut out, and sort all the coupons they list, and send you only the ones you want for a handling fee to do just that.) There are 3 auction sites that I know of that are ONLY for coupons, some do have a sideline of allowing people to auction couponing/refunding aids as well as craft items and other things. (Aids might be trading slips, auction slips, add in cards to make people smile, bible verses, address labels etc).
Look on Topica - another list service… they have them too. There are megasites like Kachina Web is probably the biggest trading forum out there. My Coupons is another huge trading forum.
There are 3 or 4 print magazines for refunding and couponing. I subscribe to Refunding Makes Cents and Refund Express. which are the two largest ones.
Incidently, I recently went to ACME for a triple coupon sale (one day) and purchased $180 worth of groceries for $83. This is not the best I’ve done with coupons.
Don’t forget that some products will have offers out there like buy two packs of hotdogs and get the rolls free by mail. In that case, you might receive either a refund on the price of the rolls, or a coupon for free rolls to a certain amount.
You can also get coupons by going to websites (Safeway has U-Pons, Cool Savings has coupons, Valupage has web bucks, and Smart Source has coupons they send by mail and can be printed out.) Go to the product’s website and look for offers. It might get you a coupon or a premium (merchandise you can get for sending in proofs of purchase - most notably the Marlboro Gear merchandise). Write the company or call them when there is a problem with your product or if you really like their product. Often a call or letter will produce coupons.
I wrote a letter to Kirby & Holloway to tell them that I really liked their sausage products and to tell them how I cooked them in the microwave with spaghetti sauce instead of water… a week later, a representitive from Kirby & Holloway showed up at the front door with several pounds of sausage, scrapple, and all of their products. I’ve received 5 coupons for any size Tuna because I complained to StarKist about a can of tuna I bought having bones and scraps in it. If my Kraft Cheese goes moldy before the date, I call Kraft and always get a replacement coupon. Same with Pillsbury and Duncan Hines.
Some terminology - a play is having a coupon for the product or a sale on the product. A double play is having a coupon AND a sale. A triple play is having a coupon, sale, and a refund offer on the product. In some cases, you can get an item on sale, with a coupon free or for pennies and then send in for a refund offer. However, those plays are few and far between. Usually, when there’s a triple play, you end up getting it for free between the sale, coupon and offer.
If you’re interested in learning the ins and outs of couponing and coupon trading, send me an email and I’ll be glad to help you out.
Sofa King - you can’t make money with coupons unless you get the food cheap or free and resell it. Most stores won’t allow resellers to buy the large quantities they need to make any money.