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Old 10-08-2008, 03:32 PM
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Default Dumpster Diving for Coupons in 10 Easy Steps

Dumpster Diving for Coupons in 10 Easy Steps

1. First know your local laws. Some communities & states discourage trash picking. The Supreme Court has made it clear that trash is public domain, but communities can pass trash picking ordinances. Whether or not they will stand in court is something you donít want to find out. But remember, dumpster divers cannot be charged with theft! Research the laws in your area or contact your local police department.

2. Get over yourself!! When I first started dumpster diving, I was so scared of the disease and filth. Make sure to first locate your paper dumpsters!! Recycling is a hot trend right now, and paper dumpsters are everywhere. Paper dumpsters are remarkable clean, and dry. Hardly ever do I find a foul odor or rotten food. If I smell something coming from the dumpster, I skip it, and go on the next one.

3. Locate the dumpsters. Companies like Paper Retriever have every dumpster online. You can type in your address and have a list of the 25 closest dumpsters to your address. Other companies around the country have similar websites. Call them and ask for a list. Even network with other people that do the same thing you do. Share tips and experiences with them and youíll probably get some good tips in return.

4. Find the hot spots. The most common question I get about dumpster diving for coupons is: ĎWhich day is best for dumpster diving?Ē The response is simple: it doesnít matter the day, it matters the dumpster. In my experience, paper dumpsters that are in plain view of the public are heavily trafficked. They receive many more papers, and thus are loaded with coupons. Those dumpsters that are behind buildings and are not seen tend to be empty.

5. Wear the right clothes. I donít use gloves but others do, so go get some good gloves and wear them whenever you go diving. If youíre going to actually enter a dumpster long pants are a must. They will help protect you from dirt and cuts. Dumpsters can get hot, and if you have shorts you will sweat, which will cause the paper to stick to your legs, not a great feeling. Protect your feet by wearing thick, fully-enclosed shoes or boots. Wear clothes that you donít care too much about. In my personal experience I have never seen needles or other things in paper dumpsters. But I feel that being prepared is the way to go.

6. Equip yourself. Carry a milk crate or stepping stool to help you see and access the contents of dumpsters and bring plastic bags or small boxes to hold your coupons. The stepping stool will also help if you want to get into the dumpster, because most dumpsters are high and you will need a way in! Also be sure to bring a flashlight if youíre diving at night. Remember that you donít have to dive right into a dumpsteróbring along a long pole to poke around with or one with a grabbing apparatus on the end, and you may not need to venture in at all. Check this link for handy tools.

7. Make sure no one is around. This is a big one. I try to make sure no one seeís me enter the dumpster. I hate to have to explain what I doing. As long as youíre not breaking any laws, you donít have anything to worry about. But you donít want a confrontation. Divers are often confronted by walkers, shopkeepers or even homeowners, and rightfully so. If you saw someone whose behavior was out of the ordinary you would want to know what was going on. While a confrontation is no big deal if handled properly, you should still try to avoid it. I am often confronted, but I respond with a smile and that usually diffuses the situation. I always have a line ready or have boxes to throw out, saying ĎIím moving and needs lots of boxesí. Rarely will people believe that I am diving for coupons, itís a stretch. If you see people in the area, wait a while or avoid that specific dumpster.
8. Be quick. I usually only spend 20-30 in a really good dumpster. Less in empty ones. The more time you spend at a specific dumpster the higher likelihood that someone will come. You donít want to spend the whole day in a dumpster either. The faster you can get in and out, the better.

9. Know what youíre looking for. When dumpster diving for coupons, I look for the funnies section, in the Sunday paper. I know what the coupon booklets look like and am quick to grab and stack. I usually bring a box with me, and place coupon inserts in the box so they donít get lost as I search for more. I also get Coke codes, Pepsi points and box tops for education.

10. Keep the paper dumpsters in business! Return the coupon clippings back to the paper dumpster. We like to recycle. After you clip your coupons, return the clippings on your next trip. Many paper dumpsters are fundraisers for churches and schools. So by returning the clippings or replacing what you take, you help out the school and the environment, but you also help the company responsible for making money off the dumpster. We want to keep those paper dumpsters companies in business!! Because without them, we would have to frequent the regular smelling dumpsters!


Hope this helps, if you have any other questions please post them in the dumpster diving forum area.
Written by: MrCoupon
www.weusecoupons.com


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Last edited by MrsCoupon; 10-08-2008 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 11-04-2008, 01:23 PM
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I used to dumpster dive for things other than coupons, but times have changed and so have the stores, they are now changing to compactors I would get some great finds, oh well...at least I still have one way to save.....

COUPONS!!

Mom to 4 & grandma to little Kenneth !!

I've been away for a while, now I'm back into coupons and frugality! Look out!
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:30 AM
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All the useful articles, how to's, web address sites & where to find coupons, I am printing as I can never remember a web addy or where I saw something. thanx
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:28 PM
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Is there other ways to get coupons other than dumpster diving. Most of the stores have gone to recycling and no longer put the paper in the outside dumpsters.
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Old 11-20-2008, 01:24 PM
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there are many ways. in my area....stores get credit for there papers. Most newspaper companies have a place they dump the papers...you just have to find it.

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Old 12-08-2008, 01:35 AM
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I can't wait till spring to go dumpster diving.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:10 PM
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Two questions,
How do you go about finding it? And once you find it how do you get in to look? Do you tell them your looking for coupons?
Candy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCoupon View Post
there are many ways. in my area....stores get credit for there papers. Most newspaper companies have a place they dump the papers...you just have to find it.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:30 AM
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Great idea and sounds like a magnet for multiple coupons!
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Old 12-09-2008, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy View Post
Two questions,
How do you go about finding it? And once you find it how do you get in to look? Do you tell them your looking for coupons?
Candy
I have found two dump sites....I guess where people who deliver the paper throw extras away. Those places are hit and miss. I love going and just searching for coupons. It's an adventure every time!! lol. Well at first, i'll be honest and say I lied . If someone pulled up...I usually said I was getting boxes. They never said anything. But more recently, I say im just collecting coupons, and they still don't say anything. In rare instances, i'll get into a nice conversation with someone, but no one has ever told me to get out etc. Most are nice, if I meet them with a smile!!!

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Old 03-31-2009, 08:03 AM
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Good article!

Sherry married to Alan & mom to 7(still at home)
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