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Missing Coupon Inserts and What To Do

I received this question from Rita:

I bought 3 newspapers and there were no P&G inserts in them. My mother in law also bought one with no P&G insert in hers. We bought them at the same local store at different times. Just wondering why this would happen?

Someone said there were no inserts because of the holiday weekend but all the other inserts were there (Smart Source and RedPlum). Could this just be a fluke? I receive a local paper and the P&G insert was in it. Just wondering why. Any suggestions??

Unfortunately, it’s not a fluke. Newspapers purchased in a store may not always have all of the coupons or coupon inserts as the subscription delivered to your home. The reason for this is based on advertising. Manufacturers are guaranteed a copy is sold to a subscriber. Whether the subscriber actually looks at the coupon is another thing but they at least know you are receiving a copy.

Now if you are a subscriber and didn’t receive the anticipated coupon inserts, it could be an oversight (and it has happened to me a few times). I would always call customer service and tell them you either need 1) a new paper delivered or 2) a refund of that day’s paper. I always prefer to receive a new paper delivered since I want my coupons.

Check out the 2014 Newspaper Coupon Insert Schedule.

Sometimes you will also notice that newspapers may also contain different values of coupons from the ones that are purchased in a store. Again, the advertisers can guarantee you will see the higher value coupon. They want to give you a greater incentive to purchase that product.

Coupons ARE the basic form of print marketing.  Advertisers are banking on the fact that consumers will review the coupon inserts and make purchasing decisions based on the coupons. Their hope is that you will be more motivated to purchase the product by having a coupon, and a high value coupon at that.

If you want to guarantee you receive the same inserts consistently, I highly suggest subscribing to the newspaper. Check out Discounted Newspapers to find the best price for your regional subscription. Make sure you sign up for the largest distributed paper. The larger the distribution, the better the coupons since coupon values can also be different by newspaper and region.

You will notice we have several values of coupons in the Coupon Database. This is to account for the various regions that receive different coupons since we have users from all across the US using the database.

How many newspapers do you subscribe to? 

I only have 2 subscriptions but I know people who receive up to 10 subscriptions! Many newspapers will place your account in a wholesale category for more than 10 subscriptions, which oddly enough, receives a higher rate for newspapers.

Want to learn how to coupon and shop like a Pro?
Sign up for our Free Coupon eCourse today!

About Andrea Deckard

Andrea Deckard is a personal finance expert and speaker. She lives by the following motto, "save on what you need so you can spend on what you want." She started Savings Lifestyle in 2008, and long-time readers remember the site as Mommy Snacks. Andrea is a go-to resource on frugal living for local news outlets such as WDTN, WGRR, and as well as national outlets like Good Morning America. She has also been featured in multiple national publications.


  1. Jennifer on January 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I also didn’t receive the P&G inserts in either of my subscription papers, and neither did my friend who lives in my subdivision. :(

  2. Karen on January 4, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I also purchased two papers Sunday and in mine was the Redplum and P&G. I did not get
    the other inserts that was supposed to be in the paper.
    I have tried to get a subscription to the Enquirer and they tell me I am not on the delivery route.
    I don’t understand that seeing as I live 3 miles from town where I buy my papers and I only live 3/10’s of a mile off of a state highway. It is upsetting when you purchase your papers and can’t get all of the coupon inserts in them and can’t get a subscription!
    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank you

    • Rita on January 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      I am a little frustrated with the Cincy Enquirer also. I called and they told me I was not in their delivery area although the store I buy mine at is less than 1/2 mile from my house. I did scan the papers quickly and saw some inserts but didnt want to go through 3 papers with other customers in line behind me. It must not pay very well to be a delivery driver these days. Used to be a time when they advertised for newspaper delivery drivers all the time. I would also think that since P&G is a Cincinnati based company that they would make sure local people could benefit from their coupons as well as the company selling their products. Maybe we should complain to P&G!!!!

    • cheryl on January 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      Karen, I am in the same boat so I finally cancelled my subscription and started buying my inserts from a company in tampa florida. they are reasonable in price ship to my door and I order them the Saturday night before so they ship out Monday morning..

    • tonya on January 8, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Hi First of all I would like to let everyone know that having a subscribetion does not mean you will get all coupon inserts. I know because I deliver for the enquirer and a lot of my customers called me this last week about missing P&G inserts my own paper was missing P&G as well. also don’t call in a missed paper call in an incomplete paper because your carrier gets charged $5.00 everytime and you only get $.30 credit the enquirer is making a $4.70 profit off of it. If the ones of you that wrote that you were told you were not in a delivery area please reply as to what area you live in and I can tell you who to call directly. Hopr this has help. Thank you

      • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on January 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

        Tonya, THANKS for clarifying the incomplete vs missing paper. I know it’s not the carriers fault so you definitely shouldn’t get dinged for it.

      • Sandy on January 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm

        First of all, I report it as a missing section. Secondly, for the fourth time since Thanksgiving I’m missing inserts again. This time the Red Plum and the General Mills. And what does the Enquirer tell me again, sorry, but we can’t help you. I cancelled my subscription.

  3. peterpan92 on January 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I just wanted to add that if you subscribe to the cincinnati enquirer and do not get your inserts you MUST CALL BY NOON on Sunday for them to redeliver – otherwise no one is there and they will only credit your acct. As far as the papers purchased at the store, I always check mine before purchase to make sure all the inserts are there!

    • Sandy on January 5, 2012 at 12:24 am

      The Cincinnati Enquirer told me I was out of luck. Three weeks since Dec. 1 an insert has been missing. I’m sending a copy of my discussion with the Enquirer to Red Plum, Smart Source and P&G. I was looking for an email contact with P&G when I stumbled on this thread. I think we need to share our concerns with the advertisers. Maybe that will make the Enquirer take notice.

  4. Marcy on January 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    An even more frustrating situation seems to be that the Dayton Daily News isn’t so diligent about getting those inserts in at all! Some weeks when there are supposed to be coupons (and others on the route have gotten them), I haven’t gotten them. I called an requested a new paper only to get a new paper without any coupons in it either! I’m not sure how high up you have to complain to get someone to understand that that’s why you subscribe to their paper!

    Best of luck to you all!

    And thanks for the chance to rant a bit!

    • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on January 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Marcy, DDN changes their coupon schedule for some reason. I am scheduled to talk with them about something and I’ll ask them. It makes no sense either since I know the advertisers are banking on the fact that stores will mark items on sale when the coupons are available. When I hear something, we’ll post about it on Savings Lifestyle Dayton.

      • Marcy on January 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm

        Thanks Andrea!

  5. Brenda on January 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I got home delivery and didnt get a P&G either. I got one RP and 2 SS.

  6. Debra on January 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I subscribe and didn’t get my P&G insert.

  7. Sandy on January 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I want to share with you all the “discussion” I’ve been having with the Cincinnati Enquirer as to the insert issue. Basically it comes down to putting pressure on P&G, Red Plum and Smart Source to make more inserts and to remember those that don’t live in the city limits. This is their response (you’ll have to read from the bottom up):

    Hi Sandy,
    Thanks for forwarding on the P&G response – I definitely appreciate it and will
    share with advertising. I’ll work internally here to see if I can’t get that P&G
    insert out to you. I’m not sure if I can go back to December 4 and 11, but will
    try to get those out to you as well.

    While we determined that this wasn’t the case with P&G (it was a production
    issue with the booklet), I do know that the general rule is that when we don’t
    receive enough coupons to cover everyone, for whatever reason that may be,
    advertisers want the coupons “where the most eyeballs will see them” and this
    tends to be near the downtown/metro area. I know it’s frustrating, so the best
    advice I have is to let the advertisers know.

    Would you consider giving us one more try? I can tell you that we have $142 in
    coupons this week (Smartsource, I believe) and I can give you a lower rate for
    six months of Sunday home delivery on EZ Pay ($6.95/month).

    Erin Hendricks

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Sandy Mahoney [[email protected]]
    Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 4:39 PM
    To: Hendricks, Erin
    Cc: Garrison, Kristin
    Subject: RE: Enquirer coupons

    Hi Erin,

    Thanks for getting back to me. So far I’ve gotten a response from P&G, which is
    the following:

    Thanks for contacting P&G, Sandy.

    We’re glad you like our products and understand your disappointment at not
    finding our coupon insert in your local newspaper. We review our newspaper list
    twice a year and I’ll let our P&G brandSAVER Team know you’d like to see P&G
    coupons in papers in your area.

    We have a website where you can register to receive our monthly e-mail
    newsletter as well as find information about savings, special offers, new
    products, and more. Simply log onto
    the one-stop site for great values and expert advice! Once you’re there, click
    on Samples and Coupons, or Promotions, to discover savings, samples, and other
    quality offers for P&G products. You’ll also find links to many of our
    individual brand websites; some of them have personalized programs you can join
    so you’re the first to hear about product news or promotions and samples! On a
    one time goodwill gesture I’m sending some money saving coupons. Please allow
    2-3 weeks for delivery.

    Thanks again for getting in touch with us.

    P&G Team
    I was prepared for not getting an insert on December 18 and 25, that’s normal.
    I belong to couponing groups and we get the lists of inserts and know what to
    expect and when to expect it. I was missing at least one insert on December 4
    and 11, then the ones we discussed on January 1 and 8. So 4 times in 6 weeks is
    very upsetting. I would LOVE to get the P&G insert. It’s been killing me to
    not be able to take advantage of the sales going on right now on their products.
    As for the January 8 inserts, I drove to the Biggs/Remke in Harrison and bought
    a paper and made sure they were in there before I picked it up, so I’m okay
    there. I just want to know why we out here in Indiana are the ones to get cut.
    We’re just as much of a consumer as those in the Cincinnati city limits.

    Hopefully this link will help you too. This is a discussion from others in the
    area that haven’t been getting their inserts either.

    As you can see, I’m not alone. I’m fighting for this, not just for me, but
    others that are trying to make ends meet. I’m a stay at home mom and I want to
    keep it that way and these coupons are a HUGE help to me.


    Hi Sandy,
    I apologize for my delayed response – I was doing some research to get to the
    bottom of this and wanted to have the information before responding. I was able
    to find out that on both December 18 and December 25, there were no coupon books
    in The Enquirer at all, possibly due to the holidays. On January 1, there was a
    production issue with the P&G coupons, leading to a shortage, and on January 8,
    we did not receive enough General Mills and Red Plum booklets to cover our
    entire home delivery area.

    I was able to confirm that in these cases, when there is a shortage of coupons,
    decisions have to be made as to which areas to cover.

    If at all possible, can you send me the communication that the coupon companies
    shared with you? I would like to forward it our advertising department, who
    works directly with these businesses in the selection of where their products
    are included.

    I would be more than happy to mail out P&G coupons from January 1, as well as
    the General Mills and Red Plum booklets from January 8.

    I’ve also included my supervisor on this email – please let either of us know if
    you have any questions or what we can do to further assist you. I apologize for
    any frustration that you’ve experienced, and I’m sorry that you’ve decided to
    stop your subscription. If you decide to come back to The Enquirer, all we can
    ask is for is another chance to try to get the correct coupons to you on a
    regular basis.
    Erin Hendricks

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Sandy Mahoney [[email protected]]
    Sent: Sunday, January 08, 2012 12:00 PM
    To: Hendricks, Erin
    Cc: [email protected]; [email protected]
    Subject: Re: Enquirer coupons

    Once again my paper was missing coupon ads. My Red Plum was missing along with
    the General Mills. I have cancelled my subscription to the Enquirer. But don’t
    think I’m done with this issue. I blog about American Companies that do not
    live up to the American standards of customer service. I have several thousand
    local readers just in the Cincinnati area. Word of The Cincinnati Enquirer’s
    sloppy and could-care-less customer service will get out. My father ran a
    business and always taught me to take care of your customers. He was so
    successful that customers that moved away are still coming back to seek him out,
    five years after he died. The Enquirer should learn as much.


    • Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on January 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Sandy, this is awesome! Thanks for sharing this information and for taking the initiative to get things changed. These companies need to communicate to the papers who in turn need to communicate to their customers so they are aware of what is coming.

      • Sandy on January 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm

        Thank you Andrea. Tonight I posted the following on Red Plum’s Facebook page and one similar (just changed it to Smart Source) to SS’s parent company’s wall (News America).

        Red Plum, Since December 4th, my Cincinnati Enquirer has missed giving me a Red Plum insert 4 times. I called to cancelled my delivery because of this. Today I got an email from one of their representatives, who told me that when the advertiser doesn’t have enough inserts they want the Enquirer to eliminate the inserts from the papers of their customers that are not in the city limits. She stated, “for whatever reason that may be, advertisers want the coupons “where the most eyeballs will see them” and this tends to be near the downtown/metro area.” I just want you to know, I shop just like they do and I’m just as important! I’m a stay at home mom and coupons is my way of keeping this job. I’ve shared this information with my couponing circles. I know they are just as upset by this as I am. I hope you take this seriously because I do!

        I hope your readers do the same. I am a big believer in getting our voices heard. I’m getting tired of companies not listening to what we want and instead telling us what we want.

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