Extreme Couponing Tip: Start Couponing at One Store

Extreme Couponing Tip: Start Couponing at One Store

If you’re just starting to explore the world of couponing, here’s a tip to help you get the hang of it: start couponing at one store.  Once you feel you’ve gotten comfortable with using coupons at one store, then move on to using coupons at other stores.

Using coupons is different at each store…no two stores are exactly alike in their coupon policies and in how coupon friendly they are.  For a beginner, it can be overwhelming to try and tackle couponing at several stores, as it is easy to get confused, overwhelmed and wanting to give up. It takes time to really understand everything there is to know, such as drugstore money back programs such as Register Rewards at Walgreens, Extra Care Bucks at CVS and UP Rewards at Rite Aid…and that’s just drugstores!  There’s much more about couponing at grocery stores to learn, such as understanding Catalinas, knowing Coupon Policies, making sense of Coupon Lingo and much more!

CVS is a great place to start couponing if you’re just getting started.  CVS enforces limits on sale items, which most of the time ensures that you will be able to take advantage of a good deal because shelves won’t be cleared.  Stores like CVS and other drugstores are much smaller than grocery stores, so you’re less likely to be intimidated by starting at a smaller store.  Begin by starting a small stockpile with Health & Beauty items at CVS and then consider even picking up some grocery items at CVS, where you can score some great deals.  Once you feel you’ve got the hang of things and you’ve built up some confidence, take on another store gradually.  You’ll be a coupon pro in no time! 😉 Don’t forget to make use of the Beginners section too!

Where did you first start out using coupons?

Do you have an idea for an Extreme Couponing tip you’d like to see addressed?  Leave your ideas in the comments!

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  • Jennifer

    Thanks so much for all of the beginner tips! I have a question, is there a stockpile price list anywhere on this site? I know to look for the green check mark on the matchups, but didn’t know if there was a general list of prices so that if I see something on sale, I know that it’s worth stocking up??? Thanks!

  • Jodi

    I’ve been couponing for ever ( I think I was 8)! But I definitely agree that CVS is the best place to start. Easy to navigate the store and easy to get excited over the deals. Most people think that couponing is just about grocery stores, but I get my best deals at drugstores!

  • liz v

    I’m glad you are giving such great advice. I like CVS too because of the MCM. It’s like a surprise each time you scan your card. They also often have items on clearance which makes coupons easy to stack. I don’t know why anyone pays for shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant-CVS is the place to go!

  • luz

    i agree with starting small i was overwhelm when i started couponing that i stop for a while, i am from NYC and always look at your site, i am trying to handle couponing, job and family. i think it is more difficult to use coupon in Manhattan,NY. also, CVS deals here are not the same as the ones posted in this site because the cvs circular is like 4 pages long most of the good deals are not in it. In addition their coupon machine doesn’t give the same coupons usually mention here. i am trying to go back to couponing.

  • Karen

    CVS is a great place to start. I have gotten a few of my friends hooked on couponing by starting there. But I was wondering the same thing as Jennifer – is there a stock pile price list vs good price if you really need it? Just when I thought I got a good deal on sunblock, a week later I saw it for half the price!

  • Angela

    My biggest starting out couponing tip is before you cut/clip/download the coupon ask yourself this question: Is this a product that will be used or donated by me/family in the foreseeable future. If you have never tried the item before and money is tight just start with one. If you like it and the price is right by all means go back and get more. If you don’t like it but you have the money to buy extra and donate then do it. However, it is a waste to spend out of pocket on an item that won’t be used/donated. It’s ok to try new products. If you like it hey great, if not just be on the look out for coupons on the products/brands you use most often.

  • Flaka

    I started couponing out of sheer necessity. When I had my son (1st and only child) I used coupons here and there for diapers and formula, then when he was about 4 weeks old my house burned to the ground and lost everything. I had a slumlord at the time who took me to court and even told me I started the fire on purpose! I never got my security back or anything. I had to start all over with clothes, baby things, furniture, it was terrible and I was broke. I started looking thru inserts for things that I needed and food, not just baby things anymore. The first time I went armed with an envelope of coupons, I took my total from $150 and change to $30! I was so excited, I was hooked forever! I found this site a little over a year ago and it makes life so much easier, I have never couponed at CVS, I can’t seem to get their policy down. I usually go to Walmart as well as Shoprite with my coupons.

  • Marie H

    Don’t get discouraged if CVS isn’t “it” for you. CVS is awful in my area. There is never any stock. I had to wait 2.5 months for the 30 oz. Helmann’s mayo to get back in stock. Flipside, they are very raincheck friendly and usually extend as well as accept the Q’s even if expired from waiting so long for stock to return.

  • Melissa

    We don’t have any CVS’s in our area. I frequent Rite-Aid though, and get some great deals there! I also love, love, love Shoprite; they have the best deals in my area and are super coupon friendly! I just started couponing fully about a month ago and don’t know why I didn’t start sooner! So manybgreatvdeals to be had!

  • Kim D.

    My mom used coupons at Shoprite my whole life (and I always rolled my eyes when she made me dig through her envelopes lol). So naturally, when I was old enough to appreciate the value of a coupon, I started at Shoprite as well. So glad I did! I actually live 3 blocks away from Stop and Shop and it takes me about 20 minutes to get to Shoprite, but I go there instead because the deals are so much better! Then, I moved onto Rite Aid- I started there right before they introduced UP rewards and I still have some items in my stockpile from then! I actually liked them better before the UP rewards- the prices were lower OOP. I still don’t quite have the hang of rolling CATs and UPs yet. The larger cost OOP scares me away a little.

    I should mention that once I got more comfortable, I definitely moved on to other stores as well- I like to watch Stop and Shop for bonus gas points & Price Chopper for triple coupons.

    My best advice is to think long and hard about what you want/need. When I first started, I bought EVERYTHING that was a good deal. Then I gained 20 pounds! I learned my lesson pretty quickly after that once I realized that just because you CAN get 10 boxes of cookies for $2, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

  • Lady J

    Another great thing about CVS is that you have 1 month to use your Extra Care Bucks. So, if you don’t feel like going back to CVS right away, or there’s nothing popping out of the ad at you one week, you’ve got time. And, unlike Walgreens, Extra Care Bucks don’t count as a coupon – just store credit. It makes putting deals together a little easier.

  • brooke petrasko

    How do I know how much I would be spending after I give them all my coupons. I want to kniw do I kniw how muvh monry to bring

  • Ela

    I have questions about Walgreens: I have more then 40,00 points earned (= $50). When I would like to use in my next shopping trip and I will be have total $14 may use only 10,000 points (= $10), and use my rewards for another shopping trip 30,000 (will be $ 40 or $35 ?) ?

  • leann

    i started at cvs and it seems like they never have enough of the products to stock up on it is frustrating but i have to say thank you for all the tips!!

  • Verito


    first of all love this page, I check it out everyday 🙂

    I was wondering if CVS can matchup prices over Walmart and use manufacture coupon and pay with ECBs? LOL, I might sound crazy but savings its a savings 🙂