Tales From The Coupon Hotline…

Ring Ring Hello…



Is this the Coupon Clippers anonymous hot line?

Yes… yes it is… how can I help you today?

Well… you see I have this problem…

Yes… go on…

I can’t control myself from diving into recycling bins …

Oh… and what is it your hoping to find when you dive into the recycling bin my dear?



Yes Coupons…

What’s so great about coupons my dear?

What’s so great about coupons??? Are you serious??? Coupons are like money… Shiny little pieces of slick paper with free money printed on them…

Oh sweetie… it’s just paper… it’s not really money… they have no real value… In fact I use the coupons from my Sunday paper for Mr. Friskers cat box… And anyway dear… you shouldn’t be jumping into recycling bins… especially rusty recycling bins…Why just last week my cousin Earl’s next door neighbors 2nd cousin on his Mother’s side twice removed had  his big toe bitten off by a momma possum who was nesting in the bottom of an old rusted out newspaper recycling bin…

But I wear boots…

Oh… well you should be fine then…

So you’re saying it’s okay if I dive into recycling bins looking for coupons each week?

Well… do you get a lot of coupons dear?

Yes… like 25-40 inserts a week…

OH MY… Well… let me ask you one more thing… Do you have the permission of the owner to sort through his recycling bin?

Well YES… of course I do…

Well then dive all you want dear…

Wow…thanks for understanding…I feel much better now about my deviant behavior…

I have to go on my break now dear… it’s been nice talking to you Mavis…


Want some bling for your next coupon adventure?

Chooka Women’s Herringbone Dual Buckle Rain Boot

Youngstown Glove 04-3800-30-M Women’s Garden Glove Performance Glove Medium, Burgundy


  • Lena

    Nothing like looking fresh and fab when you dumpste……er, I mean, Recycle bin dive! Love it! Love the Boots too! LOL My 14 yr old likes the idea too! HMMM maybe he can help me! Is this industrial size bins or your neighbors (or both?). Who do you go ask?

  • Monica

    Cute boots Mavis!

  • Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs

    Love this! I’m a dumpster diver. Well, okay, maybe more of a “leaner” than a diver, but it is SO worth it!!

  • Becky FabFruGal

    Where do you find these “Recycle Bins”? I’d love to know 🙂 I’m always on the lookout for more inserts 🙂

  • Aumie

    I am wondering myself where these magical bins exist! I have my fancy boots all shined up and ready, and I’ve no shame at all about sifting through dirty tuna cans, but I know not where to find them. Sigh. Coupon hotline! Point me in the right direction!

    • Mavis

      Loose Lips… Sink Ships… Sorry ladies I cannot give out specific details…

      However 🙂 You might want to try… Hotels, Starbucks, Retirement Centers, basically any building receiving the Sunday paper… Simply go in and ask if you can have there Sunday papers…

  • MaMaLaLa

    Love the pic of you spread out before all the coupons- I do this on Sunday morning- my day to wake early with my son.

  • Patti

    Love your posts Mavis! Have never dumpster dived, but am tempted with your tips.

  • kimberly

    I don’t dumpster dive I just ask others who get the paper if I can have there coupons that they dont’ use. I buy 5 sunday paper and then I go get coupon inserts from three ladies who don’t coupon. So just ask your neighbors maybe they will share there coupons with you too.

  • Helen in Meridian

    I’m too busy clipping this week to make your Coupon Clippers Anonymous meeting. My highlight of breakfast at Elmers with the relatives was finding a newspaper left on the wait bench that I could have the 2 coupon inserts from this morning.

  • heather

    seriously?? I will save my dignity and keep myself out of jail for trespassing…its 50 cents for extra sunday papers if I cant aford a few dollars to save thousands then i cant probably afford the gas to drive to the dumpsters

    REMEMBER recycle bins in general are private property!! they usually belong to non profits etc, its stealing unless you have expressed permission, your neighbors bin is free game since legally its at the curb and considered trash:-)

    • Janna

      Really Heather??? WHERE are you that an extra Sunday paper is 50 cents??! PLEASE do tell!!! I don’t know of a way to get extra papers for less than full price in the Vancouver/Portland area!

      • Christina B

        I always end up picking up extra papers at Rite Aid. I have the 20% discount from their wellness program now so it’s a little less than full price. I really need to find me some bins!

      • Becky FabFruGal

        We have a deal hear with the Fabulessly Frugals and the Idaho Statesman where you can get them every day and 4 on Sunday for $3 per week, then extra’s are $.50 each… and that’s delivered 🙂

    • Connie

      I live in SE Washington and no special deals here. And yes, the dumpsters are posted so no go there either. I’ve resorted to posting wanted posters throughout my work and church 😉

  • myssssss

    In this town you would be arrested, Starbucks recycles their papers, I worked for them and asked got all the inserts for free and had so much I could hardly bicycle home with them, but I only took the inserts with coupons I could actually use, as for retirement homes, I worked for them too, they gave the inserts to me, but all the others were recycled in a locked area, I think you are a hoarder to dive into a dumpster to get anything, when you are saving all the money you say you do why do you dive into a dumpster to get more papers????????? Do you ever help food banks in the burbs in seattle there must be a lot of hungry people there & at a battered women’s shelter too…you are nuts to me, I don’t think you are funny or helpful, I read your blog and would never do what you do to save money on groceries, I prefer to help others and not get arrested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Becky FabFruGal

      so, did you see this part?
      OH MY… Well… let me ask you one more thing… Do you have the permission of the owner to sort through his recycling bin?

      Well YES… of course I do…

      She’s asked permission! She has the permission of the OWNERS to get them… She’s not going to be arrested!!

    • Don't agree, either

      Why would you waste your time reading a blog that you get NOTHING out of?

    • Carri Ames

      Strangely, battered women and homeless people would be the ones who know where best to get free papers to get free coupon stuff… Not that I’m against contributing to your community to help people who are having a hard time but honestly battered women and homeless people are some of the strongest people I know. BTW I just dropped off a stockpile of peanutbutter, bbq sauce and box cereal off at the food pantry! You shouldn’t speak like that to and about people you don’t know.

  • myssssss

    I noticed the recipe you made, your stove looked expensive, looks like you can afford a lot why do you dumpster dive at all? it is unhealthy, dangerous and illegal!!!!! The people who are the most frugal for spending money on anything usually have a nice income and many luxuries that ordinary people could only dream of..why be a hoarder??? plus wipe out any items normal people would only like to buy 1 or 2 of not 60..Plus your time is worth something and you are spending tons of time on hoarding food..not healthy, why do you care to have 60 cans of soup when it could be purchased by people like myself to feed the very hungry in the community where I live..unemployment is horrible here and some soup on a rainey day and some pb&j sammies are wonderful!!!! Why encourage people to become hoarders??????????????

    • I don't agree

      That seems obvious!!! She Dumpster Dives so she can afford the nicer things in life!!!
      Or, what if she got it second hand? She’s in Seattle!! They have some of the best second hand stores in AMERICA!!!
      Isn’t that really why we all coupon? So we can save money so we have it to spend on other things? Nice things that we wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise? Take me for example… the money I saved couponing last month is going to go towards buying contact for me for a year. My family wouldn’t have had the money otherwise, and really, they are a luxury… I could just wear my glasses. But they are a way my honey wants to bless me, and I love them!
      Really, if you are so all concerned about unemployment and the hungry in your community, why don’t you just get off this board, because you seem to hate us all so much, and go out and help!! Don’t just sit around taking about how much you help. Start a food drive, go ask stores for donations, etc… Do something to keep yourself busy and out of our lives!! We don’t need your hate.

    • Don't agree,either

      Let me guess….your stove doesn’t work and your p….d off because someone else is getting the 60 cans of soup YOU want.

      And what constitutes an “ordinary” person? Certainly not YOU!

    • Becca

      Your comment “The people who are the most frugal for spending money on anything usually have a nice income and many luxuries that ordinary people could only dream of..why be a hoarder??? ” is just ridiculous!
      My husband has been laid off from his job for many months now, and it got so bad that I was considering getting on food stamps. I met with someone from WIC, and it was decided that we could get around $800 a month in food stamps and WIC. And then we could get health insurance, etc. We were approved for it all. My husband was very against the idea, and I didn’t like it either, but I had to do something! There were 2 things that saved us from having to do that:

      #1- When times were good, we had worked hard to build up a supply, or as you called it, hoarding. Our goal was a years supply, but had not even come close to that yet. We did, however have quite a bit of this and that stuff to keep us going for a few months.

      #2- COUPONING! I discovered this wonderful magical world of kind generous friends that work together to help one another find good deals. There’s no way that we could have made it without this. We went from spending $600+ a month on groceries and home goods (and I was always skimping and trying to find the cheapest brand, comparing prices, etc) to spending under $200 a month. I also get way more, and am able to work on building some of that supply back up. I thank my Heavenly Father for sending these wonderful ladies into my life, and for all the hard work they do so that I can feed my family during this hard time in our lives.

    • Becca

      Oh, and BTW Mavis, I think you are hilarious! We all need a little crazy in our lives so we can laugh instead of cry sometimes. Thank you for making my world a better place!

      • mavis

        Becca… You are awesome! Coupons really are amazing… and you’re right… you are able to get more with a coupon than without. Sending positive energy your way… Take care, Mavis

    • christian

      did you not see where she specifically mentions under her shopping picture that she called the food bank to ask them if they needed any of the things she bought with her coupons? Did you also not notice that she special ordered her items so she would not clear any shelves? I say GO MAVIS!!!!! Thanks to her tips I have been able to feed 7 families aside from my own, on a regular basis as well as donate to my local food bank here in small town Tennessee.

  • Shelie

    Mavis is my role model!!! Honest, creative, funny and smart! I don’t care what kind of stove she has! She has been able to take her family on three trips to Europe with the money she has saved and I’m sure her family loves her for it! There is nothing wrong with that! Keep up the good work Mavis! My 16 yr old daughter and I love your posts!

  • Carri Ames

    I think some people who have posted here have us confused with the people that they have seen on TV.

  • Katherine

    Love your posts, Mavis! I’m always excited when the deals you get are still on sale!

    Where do you get the electronic coupons to add to your Safeway card?

  • marie

    keep up the good work ladies…… You know what’s funny people are just so jealous we save a lot of molla that they will do their best to bring you down…. Well guess what we are not going anywhere…. And we are loving the fact that we have a lot of money to spare to buy the fine things in life ( aka mavis stove). Thank you coupon…. And thank you smart ladies…..

  • Heather

    I don’t understand why people keep calling Mavis a hoarder and a shelf clearer when she clearly states in her posts that she pre-orders when she gets lots of items which means shes not shelf clearing and she donates to shelters when she gets those large quanities?

  • katy

    I’m wondering how you know what Albertson’s future sale will be on the razors so that you can preorder, and how long does a preorder take to arrive, and what happens if you don’t pick up the preorder?

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