Beginners Guide to Using Coupons - How to Use Coupons -Living Rich With Coupons®

Extreme Couponing 101


Beginners Guide to Using Coupons

Welcome to Beginners Guide to Using Coupons brought to you by Living Rich With Coupons.

Here you will learn the right way to become a Strategic Shopper and  Couponer and be able to save anywhere from 50 – 90% on your grocery bill.  The LRWC version of “Extreme Couponing” is NOT by clearing shelves, having your stockpile take over your house, using unethical couponing practicing or by spending 1/2 your week preparing your shopping trip.  We are “EXTREME COUPONERS” because we can save an extreme amount of money by using legitimate couponing methods, keeping a conservative stockpile of items that can pack our pantry or fit onto an extra shelf or two.  And, we buy what we need for ourselves, our family and our donations without clearing shelves in the supermarket.  All from only a few extra hours work a week.

Tons of Living Rich With Coupons readers have saved thousands of dollar each year by using these easy coupon strategies.  All it takes is a little time, organization and you will be able to stock your pantry for so much less.

Shopping basket filled with fresh fruit and vegetables

::Step-by-Step Guide to Saving Money on Groceries

Step 1: Four Easy Steps to Get Started
Get started with this basic 4 step method of saving at the grocery store.

Step 2: Coupon Lingo
Learn the couponing terms to make it easier to understand match ups.

Step 3: Import Facts About Coupons
Here is a list of important facts you should know before you begin couponing.  Learn how to tell if a coupon is fraudulent or how many coupons you can use on an item.

Step 4: Organizing Your Coupons
Learn different methods for keeping your coupons organized and ready to score some deals.

Step 5: How to Cut Your Grocery Bill
Check out these 5 easy ways that you can cut your grocery bill.

Step 6: Guide to Grocery Sale Cycles – Getting the Best Prices
Learn when frozen foods will be at their lowest or when you should stock up on paper goods or pancake syrup.

Hand put coin to money ,Business idea

::Step It Up a Notch

Now that you know the basics of how to save at the grocery store.  Check out these 6 ways to step up your couponing game to save even more.

Catalina Deals
Catalina Deals are some of the best ways to save.  Learn what they are and how to use them for the most savings.

Drug Store Deals
Drug stores are a great place to save when you take advantage of their store rewards programs.  These programs are very similar to how the catalina deals work.  Be sure to check out the posts below to find out how to save at the Drug Store

CVS 101:  How to Save at CVS
CVS is a great place to start to learn how to save at the grocery store.  Check out this informative video of a typical CVS shopping trip.

Walgreens 101: The “Secret” Rules and Great Deals
Learn the “Secret” Rules and how to get the best deals at Walgreens.

Rite Aid 101: How to Save at Rite Aid
Coming Soon

Find out how to take advantage of Rebates and why they are worth your time.

Price Matching
Check out this list of stores that offer price matching

Rain Checks
What are the benefits of getting rain checks?  Find out ways rain checks can help you save

Buy One Get One Free Sales
Coming Soon

tips word - text in vintage letterpress wood type against a grunge metal sheet

::Tips & Tricks

::Extreme Couponing Tips
There are so many different tips & tricks to help you save.  Scan through our many posts on the different tips and tricks to help you to coupon like a pro.  Or, you can view the various articles we have posted here:



Money Saving Tips:

Catalina Deals


Getting Started Couponing:

Tips to Keep You Sane:



Woman holding a blank laptop

::How to use this site to help you save

1.  Saving Resources Page:  Use our Saving Resources page for the many tools we have put together to help your couponing a breeze.

2. Ask questions: That is a must.  If you don’t understand something, ask.  We are all here to help.  Leave it in the comments, check out the Frequently Asked Questions post or send me an email by clicking on the “Contact” tab in the navigation bar.

3. Use the Coupon Database: There is an awesome Coupon Database on the site which will help you find most coupon available.  There are printable coupon, insert coupons, magazine coupons as well as Cellfire coupon.

4. Check out the Store Deals: Make sure to check out all the stores by click on the “Find My St

ore” above to find the national stores or a store near you.

5. Store Coupon Policies: Make sure to print out a copy of the different store coupon policies.  It’s best to always bring a copy with you when you are shopping.

6. Inspiration: Need some inspiration?  Make sure to check out all the reader shopping trips as well as my Extreme Couponing (and sometimes not so extreme) shopping trips.

7. Donate from Your Stockpile: Once you have strategic shopping down and your pantry is full, please consider making a Couponing for a Cause donation to your local food bank.

Make it your hobby, make it a way of life.   But most importantly, make it fun.  And you too will be Living Rich with Coupons.

10 Rules for Saving Money on Groceries

  • johanna

    Hi Cindy! I’m new to couponing, I bough my newspaper on Sunday sadly there was only two inserts, p&g and rp#1, i got the other rp in the mail, I’m trying to find out where can I get the smart source insert, now I remember you mention there was a phone number I could call to find out where to find it.. help

  • krysta

    Is there any sites to print coupons without downloading a printing program?

  • Denise Davison

    Yes you can use them at any store that accepts coupons as long as the coupon does not say something on it like “Only at Target”

  • Mis

    I put all the items in my list but how do I print the actual coupons not the list?

    • Denise Davison

      Hi Mis, you need to click on the coupon link! That will take you straight to the coupons, hth!

  • Veggiepatch70

    How do you determine which Shoprite ecoupons you can stack with a paper coupon and which ones you can’t? I can’t seem to tell from looking at my loaded coupons on the Shoprite website which ones are Shoprite digital and which ones are just plain manufacturer digital coupons… If it says “Limit one coupon per purchase” etc on the paper coupon does that mean it can’t be stacked with an ecoupon loaded to your Shoprite card? Thanks!

  • Jaime

    I keep seeing deals for Shoprite stacking a Shoprite Ecoupon with a manufacturer’s coupon; however, this never works for me. I believe because the Ecoupons are also manufacturer coupons. Can someone explain how this is supposed to work?

    • Laura D.

      Hi Jaime, most stores allow the stacking of eCoupons with Manufacturer coupons. The eCoupon will be directly underneath the product and have a code of TC, ECPN or CFIRE, it will “not” be listed with your other coupons. Always give your Shoprite Price Plus card first, not your phone number. If you watch the register you should notice the deduction coming off directly after the product is scanned. Otherwise ask the cashier to hit the “total” button after all the items have been scanned. This should kick the eCoupons through. If you still don’t notice them working, update your Shoprite account and make sure everything is filled out. If they still don’t work, try another “family owned” location. HTH!

  • Denice Wolfe

    I’ve done a lot of ecoupons for sr can u use a paper coupon as well?? does it double ur savings??

    • Kari

      For most stores yes, although some folks report it not working at that store. Where are you located?

  • Diane Sanderson

    You can save on what ever you choose. sometimes, it is not just couponing but purchasing items when they are at a very low price. AS you follow the couponlng blogs, you will learn what a good or great price is for an item. You can definitely save by stockpiling the items that you listed.. If you have a freezer, March is coming. That is frozen food month. This is a great way to stock on fruits and veggies etc.

  • Michele Sànchez

    can i cupon in puerto rico?

  • hai

    how to use

  • silvia

    In extreme couponing program they use 25 coupons of the same product, is that possible? Because all the coupons have restrictions

    • nancy

      the stores featured on “that show” often make special exceptions for the shopping trips shown in exchange for promotion of their store. nothing they portray can be replicated in reality. ;)

  • mrymryqtcntry

    you have to go back in the same week

  • bbradley

    I have a MAC computer and for some reason I cannot print any coupons that need JAVA… SmartSource. Anyone have any suggestions? I was having trouble with others but found that they work if I run FireFox instead of Safari.

  • Tracey Hollins

    I’ve never did this Before and I really need help asap I live in the Atlanta area so please someone help me get started I have 3 boys 4 girls and a grandchild and a husband I’m on a fixed income not food stamps just cash please help

    • Denise Davison

      Hi Tracey- Welcome to Living Rich With Coupons – we are so happy to have you! :) We have lots of great information to help you get started, what stores do you have in your area?

  • heather83

    I am new to but I really need help as to how to do tbis im a single mother of 2 boys and youngest has alot of health problems that causes me to miss alot of work and has a major surgery comkng uo and ill ha e to be off work for a month so I need to learn this fastso I can make sure were stocked up on everything without going broke someone anyone please help me my email is

  • tiffany

    check your printer make sure its on then check your ink

  • Meme

    Please help how do get the coupons so I can get started

  • Taylor

    how do i print the coupon after i add it to my “list”?? I am actually really confused

    • Laura D.

      Hi Taylor, the coupons that you can print are highlighted and underlined. You just need to put your cursor over the link and click on it. A new window will come up and you can print the coupon from there. You will have to download a coupon printer first if you have never printed a coupon before. After one prints, come back to the LRWC site and re-click on the link again to get one more printout of that coupon if you would like two prints. We are allowed 2 prints per coupon per device (computer, iphone, ipad, etc). Hope That Helps!

  • Jade

    I see you stack a lot of offers with the stores e-coupons plus SavingStar. My problem is that if I choose the stores e-coupon (like Shoprite), SavingsStar does not allow me to choose it on their site. When I click on the button, the site tells me I have already chosen this coupon. Therefore, it does not allow me to stack. Does anyone else also have this problem?

    • dd

      you have to save the savingstar before the shoprite

  • Brooke

    how do i print coupons from the coupon database…it shows to copy them but then how do i get them?

    • Denise Davison

      Hi Brooke, if you click on the link that says “printable” it will take you to the coupon

  • WhitneyD


    My name Is Whitney and I was wondering when on sites that have free samples and want your info to send, is it a scam??

    • Rocky

      Whitney, if you are on reputable manufacturer’s websites for free samples of their products, especially ones that Cindy writes posts about, with their links, no, they are not scams.
      If you are clicking on links sent to you in suspicious emails you might get, never a good idea to click on those and give your personal info!

  • shaina

    What do I look for when I look for coupons

  • debra

    i cant print anything off this site – i click print and nothing happens ?

    • Rocky

      Debra, the only things you can print when you click on them are the underlined words. Those are called hyperlinks and they take you to where the coupon is, to print. And, when you go to a coupon site from it, the FIRST time, you will have to install their coupon printer software, or it will not work. These sites are places like coupons dot com, redplum, or even a manufacturer’s website. The install happens automatically once you click on the okay button, or, whatever they call it. You don’t have to install it yourself.

      Any other coupons that are referenced on this site, without an underline are ones that can be found in your local Sunday newspapers. Those you cannot print, you have to buy the paper for them.

      IF you are clicking on hyperlinks and nothing is happening, your printer may not be working right if it is not making the connection. Can you print other things?

  • Chris

    What is stacked coupons? I see a offer for stacked coupons at Shop Rite but don’t know how to take advantage.

    • Cindy Livesey

      You can use a store coupon or a
      ShopRite eCoupon with a manufacturer coupon.

  • LV

    Hi crew! I’m new so please forgive me. Trying to save as much with diapers with new baby. I tried to google some info but i wanted to ask anyways. I noticed some people said that you can print more coupons with different emails. I was wondering if that is legit or not coupon fraud. I noticed that they do have different barcodes but i dont’ want to use them if it is fraud. I can just delete the other account if it is fraud and not use the coupons i printed. Please let me know thank you in advance.

  • Christine

    I am trying to print coupons from sites that require java. I have Mac OS X 10.7.5 and Safari. My coupons will not print. What version of what do I need to make them print please help!

  • Chrystal Caton

    what is the difference between manufactured coupons and all the others. I am so far in debt that couponing is something I drastically need to do. We have no money for anything after bills are paid we literally have 20 dollars. My husband doesn’t live at home just to make more money. WE REALLY NEED TO SAVE ALL OF OUR MONEY!! can someone please personally email me and answer some of my questions. Unfortunaly noone local does this couponing. I cant stand to watch all these ladies on television saving so much money and to know I am struggling to make ends meet. my email is

  • alena

    Thank you so much for this. I have been trying to get into coupon for a very long time and finnaly found you and am now able to understand how it works. You have calmed my nervouse.


    Is there more mailable coupoons? I do not have a printer and it is hard to really get all that I see onsites.

  • Tina

    Can Saving Star coupons and a manufacter coupon be used together on a product?

    • Kari


  • StephLB

    Just wanted to let you know. The link for tips and tricks to work with catalinas goes to cvs when you click it.

    • Cindy Livesey

      Thanks, I’ll update that.

  • Joy

    what is the item to stock on for Apirl or May???

  • Mary Hernandez

    that coupons is for Puerto Rico

  • Kristine

    I’ve noticed some SRecoupon after using it with my purchase does not disappear from my list on card. Some comes off right away after I used it. Does that mean I can use it again?

  • Joseph

    Can anyone tell me basic steps How to use coupons? I’m searching for how to use coupon but everywhere people talking about extreme couponing or sharing best coupon websites. I know some good coupon websites but I just want to know how to use coupon? There isn’t any single post for beginners. :(

    • Sandy

      “Ask Bogo-Couponing for Beginners” (in yellow) – click on that and read. How to get started using coupons in 4 easy steps should give you some basics. Did u not find this segment on this site useful??

      • Samantha Jane

        Thanks for your helpful reply @Sandy

  • barbara

    how do i reprint coupons? printer ran out of ink and added new ink so now it says REACH LIMIT

  • jonathan

    when a manufacturer’s coupon says “redeemable at walmart” will shoprite take it?

    • Sandy

      8. Unless expressly prohibited by the terms on the coupon, we accept checkout (Catalina) coupons and manufacturer-issued coupons that display other retailer logos only if they are clearly identified as manufacturer coupons and if they scan at checkout

      *This Coupon policy may be modified at the store manager’s discretion and is subject to change.

      **** This is the section of their coupon policy where is says they do however the disclaimer notes that stores can basically opt out. Some stores do and some don’t.*** You should call ahead of time to find out.

  • Esther

    Hello everyone, I just started couponing out of necessity:( I need HELP!!! I was so sad yesterday because I felt totally unprepared for my shopping trip. I tried to print really good coupons, but I noticed that they were gone. Should I be looking for these coupons ahead of time? Also, I noticed that some of the sales at my Kroger store did not match the sale I found here. Is that common? Is there a difference from store to store? Is Publix better with coupons? One more question, is it normal to have only one or two deals a week, or should I be saving on many items at once? I am so sorry for all of the questions–I just feel so overwhelmed. I don’t want to fail my family. Thank you for any advice you can offer.

    • Rocky

      Hi, Esther, welcome! Sorry for this late reply, but, if you are no longer checking this post, maybe it will help someone else. First of all, don’t be sad, at all! We all have had trips where we feel unprepared, or, things go wrong with our coupons, or, we just plain feel overwhelmed – for one reason, or, another. Even seasoned couponers get those days! Just start out slowly and don’t expect too much at the beginning. To touch on some of your questions:

      – Really good coupons can reach their print limits quickly, whether in printables, or digital coupons online, that you might add to your card. For IPs (internet printables), sometimes, you just have to be online to read about them when they first come out, though that isn’t always possible, as we all know, because ‘life’ can get in the way! But, if you can, check this site a few times a day and you should be able to get some of them. And, there are always other coupons that will be just as good for your needs, so, checking/printing a few times a day might help (just don’t try to print ‘everything’!). For digital coupons, the best ones go early, so try to find out what day/time, each week, the new ones get posted online for your stores.

      – Many of the store match-ups are/can be closer to the east coast NJ’ish area, so, yes, it is quite possible the prices may not match (or even the store coupon policies) so be sure to compare them to either hard copy flyers or online store ads for your particular area so that you can work out the details of your own personalized shopping list before you go. And, yes, prices can fluctuate store to store, along with region to region if you have groups of stores that have different owners. That happens in this area, also.

      – I’m not familiar with your stores so I can only give generalized info, but, I
      had heard somewhere that Publix stores in the Florida area do not double
      coupons. I don’t know if that is correct, but, one of the most important things for these deals is to use a store that doubles (though they may double differing amounts – some double only up to a face value of fifty cents. Others double completely, up to a face value of $0.99), so, you will have to do some research to find out which store will give you more bang for your buck!

      – One or many deals? Start slowly! Don’t try to do more than two deals per week, or even one, if there is too much pressure. Concentrate on the ones that you feel are easiest for you. Go at times of the day when the store is less crowded. Go when you can be alone, perhaps, so that you can concentrate. And, start by creating only small stockpiles – don’t feel like you need to get everything at once. These things go in cycles, so, they will come around again, after awhile. Some folks feel more comfortable doing drug store deals like CVS, Walgreens, etc. Some feel more comfortable at grocery stores (that was me!) when they first start, so, go with what you feel best with.

      – Lastly, check this site regularly. There are so many helpful people that you will feel like you’re talking with/listening to friends or neighbors! We are here to help each other and you will get great tips and hints!
      – And, remember, there is ALWAYS another good deal around the corner if you miss one this week! HTH (hope this helps!). Good luck!

  • Frugal Lee

    Awesome guide with great tips on couponing and gosh…everything! Thanks for gathering all this info in one place!

    • Rocky

      Welcome, Frugal Lee! Yes, you just discovered a wealth of great, couponing information! Another hint for you is to get in the habit of regularly reading the comments sections of the posts for stores that you frequent. There, you will also find a goldmine of hints and tips that will help you understand your store/s and the deals at them, in more detail! Good luck!

  • brittany

    Hi I’m a mum of 3 children and on a really low budget we run out of food a lot an sometimes don’t known what we will feed everyone which is 9 people all together I would like to start to coupon but don’t have a computer an I really don’t understand how to start is there classes or something to help me really need the help too feed my family thank you

    • Sandy

      Cindy just listed her next class in Port Chester, NY Oct 14th at 7 pm at the Carver Center. Go to home page and you will see details on class posted.

  • KarenG6173

    VERY NEW to couponing, can I use (2) $1.00 off 1 coupons for a B1G1 50% off?

    • Melinda Dilione

      yes you can :)

  • dawn

    Why won’t my list print? It hasn’t for several weeks now. I know i can print from my computer, because it was working, now its not…. for all 10 of us that use this site. Very frustrating, actually thinking of using a different sight like moms for coupons.

    • Sandy

      My list prints however some of the lines on the list still printing very faint (unreadable). Only started happening when new features rolled out. Did you clear your cache ??? We all had to do that weeks ago.

    • Cindy Livesey

      I’m not sure why it won’t print for you. We would need more info for us to be able to tell exactly what the problem is. If you could send and email to and let use know what browser you are using and exactly what happens when you try to print, we’ll see if we can fix the issue

  • Pat

    i tried to print … the coupon says I have clipped it … but nothing prints …??? I thought it might be in my download but it was not –

  • Maisa

    I am a beginner here, so please excuse this silly question. How do you print more than one of the same coupon?

    • Sandy

      Majority of the time the coupon site allow 2 prints per COMPUTER. So if u are on the coupons dot com websitefor example print your first coupon then you can click to “browse other coupons” or re-click initial link from LRWC site and print again. Sometimes you can backtab and coupon will print again but I prefer not to go that route as I’ve run into problems doing it that way and lost out on some good coupons.

  • Sanchez

    Why everytime I click on a printable coupon it asks me to subscribe when I’ve already subscribed? Thanks.

  • prettygurl

    Hi im new

    • Melinda Dilione

      welcome prettygurl :)

  • Momsaver

    Hi! I’m a newbie to coupon world. Bear me with my silly questions:
    I’d like to buy 6 cereal.
    I have 3 coupons of $1/2
    2 coupons of $1/3
    1 coupon $1/5
    Can i use the 6 coupons on one transaction?
    Please help me. Thanks!

    • Sandy

      No. If you’re buying 6 then the quantity limit from those coupons is 6. Use the (3) $1/2 coupons so that you can save $3.00 in total. Many printable coupon links and coupons avail if you have a printer.

      • Momsaver

        Thank you so much Sandy! Big help to me or i’ll end up funnylady on the cashier with all those coupons trying to bring down the amount. LOLz

  • Momsaver

    One more question
    I’m trying to buy 6 loreal conditioner
    I have manu coupon $5/$20 any loreal
    And 3 coupons of $4/2

    Can i use them together? Thanks!

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