Reader Q & A: How can I purge expired coupons (whole insert method)?

How do I check a whole insert to see if any coupons are still valid or if all are expired? I need to purge!! Thanks!


Since we just reached the end of the month, many of you are probably looking to purge your coupon stash of any expired coupons and inserts. There are a number of ways to organize coupons, and keeping your coupon inserts intact according to date is just one of them (those of you who clip all of your coupons will just need to seek out and eliminate the expired coupons). If you’re a clip-only-as-you-need-them kind of shopper (like me) and you’re working with whole inserts, here’s how to find valid coupons with the help of technology:

  1. Start with a good COUPON DATABASE.
    Coupon Mom’s Coupon Database is my favorite, since all coupons are regionally-specific and they’re organized neatly according to state/region. You may need to register first to access the database, but there’s no cost. I begin by checking the Coupon Mom coupon listing for my state (Michigan).

    Coupon Mom's Searchable Database - look for the PUBLISHED heading to sort current coupons according to date

  2. SORT the coupon list according to DATE PUBLISHED.
    • Don’t type anything into the database search box.
    • You’ll notice that EVERY existing non-expired coupon is listed – printables first followed by newspaper insert coupons.
    • Find the “PUBLISHED” column heading at the top of the page.
    • Click the triangle arrow pointing UP to sort coupons with the oldest inserts listed at the top.

      An example of valid coupons remaining in past inserts

  3. WORK through the listing date-by-date.
    • If an insert has no coupon listings, the entire insert for that date has expired and you can recycle it.
    • If the remaining valid coupons in the insert are not coupons you would use, recycle the whole insert.
    • If there are only a few valid coupons remaining, you’ll need to decide whether to clip those few and recycle the rest, or simply wait until those coupons are expired (sometimes I find it easier to write the remaining brands and expiration date on the front page so that I can purge it easily once the date has passed).
DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.
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  1. 1

    Tami says

    Fabulous advice! Thanks so much for sharing! I too have been frustrated by there being 1 coupon in the entire one that is still good. And I’ve learned my lesson about tossing my older coupons, as inevitably, I’ve wanted it after it was gone.

  2. 2

    Marianne Stuckwisch says

    Thanks for the advice, I purged mine last week, all of mine from prior to Jan 2011 had mostly expired, I cut the couple that were not expired. Looks like I hardly have any q’s left!! I have not been buying as many inserts I have decided to hit ebay and coupon cutting services for the extras I want.

    • 3

      Jennifer says

      I go to schools that recycle papers to throw out my recycling and grab up any extra inserts I see inside.

  3. 5

    Jennifer says

    Thanks for the information, It took me about 20 min. but I completely cleaned out coupon inserts I had saved, since August 29th. Throwing out whole inserts and clipping out certain coupons before throwing them into the recycing. This site is Great!

    I went to Kmart this morning for the double up to $2, no additional purchases required. I got 3 boxes of tampons marked $4.00 Free, Dial nutri skin lotion .29c and a 14.99 highlighting kit that was marked $3.50, free w/ $2 coupon. $1.15 out the door!

  4. 7

    Rebecca says

    Thanks so much for this info. I did not know you could do this! I usually waste lots of time paging through every old insert trying to see if there any coupons still valid before I throw them away. This will save me lots of time!

  5. 8

    Amy says

    What a great resource!! I have a stack of coupons 8″ high that I need to go through and have been dreading it!!

    Thanks for sharing. . . Your site is very valuable to me, keep up the GREAT work :-)

  6. 9

    Diana says

    Thanks – that was so much faster than going thru them page by page – really reduced my stack !!

  7. 12

    Leslie Kula says

    Thanks, Jolyn. I didn’t quite grasp this concept when you mentioned it awhile back, so thanks for going into more detail…sooo helpful! I appreciate all you do, blessings to you today!

  8. 13

    Christy Milbrandt says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I think I have tried every possible way to file my coupons, and I absolutely LOVE the whole insert method, but couldn’t figure out a great way to purge. I am in the process now of purging. Thanks again!