How to Get Started Using Coupons – 4 Easy Steps!

How to Get Started Using CouponsHow to Get Started Using Coupons

The new year brings new resolutions.  If one of your resolutions is to get your finances in order, I highly recommend setting up a budget.  Having control of your money and knowing exactly where it goes is one of the most important things you can do to secure your financial future.

Six years ago when we set up our first budget, we were forced into it during a time of unemployment.  One of the biggest expenses we had, besides our mortgage payments, was our groceries.  We were spending over $15,000 a year on groceries.  When we realized that for more than 20 years,  all that money was going toward groceries, we knew we had to make a change.   Actually, at that time, we were forced into making a change as we didn’t have the money to pay for our groceries and stay in our home while receiving unemployment checks.  It was a difficult time but, there was a wonderful benefit that came out of it….Couponing!  And, it’s changed our lives forever.

I recommend using coupons and saving to anyone that will sit still long enough to listen to me.  The thing I always tell them is that it’s easier then you think to get started.

So, if you want to save some serious money at the grocery store, here are four easy steps to get you started.

1.  Know Where to Find Coupons

Obviously, having coupons is the first thing you need to get started.  But, where do you find them all is usually the first question I get asked.

These days there are so many more options to getting coupons from paper to printables to electronic coupons.  Here are top 6 ways to find the best coupons.

Inserts in your weekly paper – these are inserts that vary each week in your Sunday paper.  Inserts are from Smart Source, Red Plum and/or P&G.
Printable Coupon – check out our list of all the top printable coupons sources
Catalina Printouts – these are coupons that print at your store after checkout
Magazines – Look for magazines with coupons.  There are many magazines that contain coupons including Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Better Homes & Garden Magazine and even Shape magazine have some great coupons
Tearpads/Blinkies – These are coupons that are found in store.  You can find them on displays or hanging from the shelf.
eCoupons – These are becoming more and more popular.  eCoupons are coupons that load onto your store loyalty card or your smart phone.  They are deducted at the register when you make a qualifying purchase.

2.  Know When to Use Coupons

Clipping and using coupons is only the first step in saving on your groceries.  Knowing when to use your coupons is what will get you the biggest bang for your buck.

Wait for a sale – Waiting to use your coupons when the items go on sale is the secret to saving the most money.  Don’t waste your coupons on full price items.  Hang onto them for the lowest price sale and then use that coupon.

Follow Sales Cycles – Sales on products usually run in cycles of about 8-12 weeks.  Also, sales follow cycles of holidays and events throughout the year.  For instance, snack and finger foods always go on sale around Super Bowl and candy goes on sale in February for Valentine’s Day.  Follow our Grocery Sales Cycles to see what you can expect to buy during certain months of the year.

Buy at the Lowest Price – This goes along with the first point which is wait for a sale.  If you wait for that item to go on sale, you are able to get it at it’s lowest price, combined with a coupon and even a store promotion.  Take a look at our example below on cereal to see just how much you can save by waiting for the lowest price and combining offers.

Cereal-Price3.  Know How to Use Coupons

Have you asked your customer service department at your store if they accept competitor coupons?  If not, you should!  There might be some ways to save at your store that you didn’t even know about.  Here are some things you should ask your store so you know that you are taking advantage of every savings opportunity:

Double Coupons – Does the store double coupons?  If so, does a $0.50 coupon double up to $1?  Does a $0.75 double up to $1.50?  Is there a limit to the amount of coupons that double?  Make sure you understand exactly how their double coupon policy works.

Stacking Store Coupons – Make sure to ask the store if they allow you to use a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon.  This is called stacking coupons.  Although you can never use 2 manufacturer coupons on the same product, you can, for most stores, stack a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon.

Competitor Coupons – Does your store accept competitor coupons?  Make sure to ask.  If they do, it’s even more of a savings opportunity.  I recently found out that Harmon Discount Stores accept Ulta Coupons.  Ulta Coupons are usually better coupons then Harmon puts out so now I am always saving Ulta coupons when come in the mail or newspapers.

4.  Stock Up

Stocking up on sale items is a very important part of getting the most savings at the grocery store.  It gives you control of what you are paying for your groceries instead of the store having control of your prices.

Let’s say your family eats a lot of Cheerios cereal and you were able to purchase a box for just $0.50.  After 1 week, that box of Cheerios would be gone.  When you go back to the store the next week, you’ll need to buy another box of Cheerios.  And, guess what…it’s no longer on sale.  So, you wind up paying $3.99 or maybe even $2.99 if you have another coupon.  That is a big difference from the $0.50 you bought the week before.

Now, lets say you bought 8 boxes of Cheerios at the sale price of $0.50 (after coupons).  You are now in control of the price you will pay because you can wait for another sale.  You are not forced to pay a higher price for that product since you have enough to get you through a couple of months.

Stocking up does not mean turning your house into a mini market but it does mean having a stock of items that will last your family about 3-6 months.  A typical stockpile will consist of products that can be stored on 3-4 shelves.  That’s all you need.

Get Started!

Now that you know the 4 basic steps to saving at the grocery store, what are you waiting for?  Get going and SAVE SAVE SAVE! 😉

Be sure to visit the LRWC Beginners Section for even more great tips to help you save at the grocery store.


How to Get Started Using Coupons - 4 Easy Steps

The links in the post above may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.
  • Lindsay

    Thanks, This is a great post! A great way to get started! It’s nice to see it all spelled out. It takes some time to get everything figured out but it’s worth the effort to save!

    • Constance

      I left m­­y 9-5 wo­rk a­nd now I get paid 85 bucks per/hour. How i did it? I’m working online! My old job wasn’t so pleasurable for me,so I chose to try something new… 2 yrs have passed since And I can say it was the smartest decision i ever made! Check it out, what it is about…

    • Veronica

      If you would like extra payment averaging 50-300 dollars on daily basis for doing simple work over internet from your couch at home for several hrs every day then try this…

    • thìs ís the way you can fíll-up your bank account wìth additional funds each week.. check for more info ín my profíle

  • Laura

    Awesome explanation!

  • ALS

    Thanks for the explanation. I have decided to learn to coupon and everything seems overwhelming but your explanation was helpful.

    • You’re welcome. If you have any questions, please ask, there are many great readers here that are always willing to answer your questions. We all started out new at one time or another. Happy Savings!

      • Yeah that’s right! 🙂
        Where, When, How & Stock up! The perfect life-cycle of couponing.

  • Chris

    Any tips on stocking up when you don’t have a lot of space. We live in an apartment, and the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer are tiny.

    • Maan Jose

      that will be tough, but use all tops you have. Cabinet tops, Under the bed(tissues), and such. U can even keep boxes so you can stack them together and fold them if they are empty.

  • Sheryl rosano

    Thank you. this post is really helpful. The only part of extreme couponing I am wondering is how you get multiple coupons for one item. To create a stock pile. Like stocking up on the cherries.

    • Maan Jose

      Depends on the store. Many has a limit of 4 like coupons. What I do is go to the store every morning before going to work, and I build my stock pile. Coupons u can get online or in newspapers. Almost always, it will be one coupon per item.

  • Ashley

    How do you obtain multiple coupons to stock up when items go on sale?

    Thanks for sharing this information! 🙂

    • Kari

      Hey Ashley! People get multiple coupons through a few sources, generally through obtaining multiple inserts several copies of a paper that has coupons (usually a Sunday paper) and through printing coupons off the internet. You can generally print an internet coupon twice from a single computer. So for me:

      I have 1 subscription to the Washington Post, 1 subscription to another paper and pick up two free papers in my region that have some of the inserts. So I’ll have anywhere between 3-6 of each individual insert from those sources.

      I have two computers that I use for printing coupons. So that means I can print each coupon twice from each computer so that gives me 4 coupons.

      Some folks elect to skip the newspaper route and to order their coupons online from “clipping services” which are folks who obtain multiple inserts from the paper and sell individual coupons in bulk. I only do this if something I really want is going to be free after the coupon and I can store 20 of them! HTH!

  • Crystal

    Thanks so much for the explanation! I’ve been wanting to get into couponing but it’s all so overwhelming. This was a big help, thanks again! =)

  • Vanessa

    Thank you for this website. Fry’s states, they double up to $1.00. So, if I have a $1.00 off coupon, they will not double, but if I have a $0.50 off coupon, it will be worth $1.00 off?

    • Denise Davison

      Yup thats correct!

    • Barb P

      Ask at the customer service desk. Usually a coupon policy will say ‘double up to $0.99’, which means they will not double a coupon with a face-value of $1. If the policy says “double up to a $1”, it could mean that they WILL double a $1 face-value coupon. That would be excellent!!! My local stores only double up to a $0.99 face-value.

  • lena

    If I have 5 coupons for a box of cereal etc. does that mean the store will except the 5 coupons for the same item of 5 boxes?

    • Rebecca Thompson

      That depends on the store which is why Cindy says you need to know your store’s coupon policy. A store that I shop at will only accept 4 like coupons so you would only be able to get 4. I also find I will have a coupon for something like cake mix. As long as I get 1 chocolate and 4 white, I can use 5 coupons.

    • Maan Jose

      Depends of Store Policy.

      Shoprite has Limit of 4 like coupons. (Doubles up to .99c)
      Stop& Shop Limit of 16 like coupons. (Doubles up to 99c, Limit of 4 like coupons will double)


  • Diana Lee

    I’ve spent wayyy too much money on groceries for me and my finacee’, but I never understood how couponing worked! This helped so much!

    • Denise Davison Uzunis

      Yay! So happy to hear that! 🙂

  • Joshua Caleb Schueler

    I still don’t get it yet. All the coupons I am seeing are only for 45 cents or 55 cents off an item. How does this all add up to major savings? For example. I shop at Walmart and their policy does not allow double couponing. How can I get the most for my dollar at Walmart?

    • Sandy

      I do best at Walmart by utilizing their Price Match Policy and getting overages on high valued coupons. Walmart will price match other stores (read the policy) and use coupons on top of those sales to get your best deals. I also bring my high value coupons there to make money on whatever items I can. I will buy an item even if I don’t need it and donate it just to get the overage towards another item. For example the Bic razors are $2.68. I will use the $3 coupon and actually make .32 off that item etc…(I may buy 10 or 20 of them) which is where the $$ add up. You also must buy multiple Sunday newspapers for the coupons and print coupons daily. Walmart by far is my least favorite store for many many reasons aside from the fact that they do not double coupons and do not have sales per say. The Drug Stores, Target and SR is where I make a killing. Read Couponing for Beginners above for a good understanding of coupons also. HTH!

      • crystal

        OK I had a problem with price matching my gf said she got dove shampoo n cond men’s dove body wash scope n dove mouse all for free by price matching from Walgreen’s add.. This week the ad says men’s dove is 3.99 then 1.99 after coupon so u end up paying 1.99 …. The way she did it at her Walmart is she showed them the ad and they plugged in the item at 1.99 then she used her coupon which made it free plus money maker … I tried it and they said no I would have to pay the final price .. Did she just get lucky tht tht cashier didnt know or is tht the right way

        • crystal

          Mind you she ended up getting over 300$ worth of those products for free n they basically paid her

        • Maan Jose

          That is wrong. Yes, the cashier probably just does not know what they are doing. or maybe it was misunderstood another way.
          But the sale value is all that will be price matched, no rewards or coupons considered for the value.

    • ChristineandDavid Brewster

      Walmart now has price match through savings catcher too. If u don’t have time for all the ads, scan receipt with smart phone or can go online and key in number and they scan the ads for you and give u the difference via ecards!

    • Maan Jose

      Walmart has been the worst place for couponing in my experience, they hardly ever accepted ANY of my coupons, and I use 2 or 3 coupons. Ended up returning them.

      Coupons, buy newspaper and get the coupon inserts. They almost never accepts printed coupons, Their register does not recognize them.
      You will see $1 coupons that is worth using in Walmart.

      • Rebekah Palmer

        I’ve printed several coupons off of walmarts site and somtimes the self checkouts won’t recognize them lol but I always get help from a worker and they input it manually no questions asked so it’s not so bad. I also use their savings catcher program but yeah I really wish they had sales, almost impossible to get stuff for fifty cents lol cause they just don’t go that low for you to use coups and get stuff for free basically, really sucks if walmart is the only store in your town lol yeah really blows but I save what I can regardless lol

        • Maan Jose

          I guess you have a better walmart then. They said in my walmart, if the register does not take it, they would not take it. They have really cheap items, even without the sale so its nice, but other that scanning items and getting the customer out the door, the cashiers dont care. It would be nice for them to have sales and doubled coupons for sure.

  • julie

    Hi, I have an question, what is double the coupon?

    • Laura D.

      If you have a $0.50/1 coupon for a product, the store will “double the coupon” when the coupon is scanned at the register, so the final deduction for that coupon will be $1.00. If it was $0.75/1 the store will double the coupon to $1.50 if the store “fully doubles”. Hope that helps!

      • dalia

        How do you know if the store doubles the coupon ?

        • Sandy

          Your best bet is to just call them and ask if they double mfg. coupons and up to what value and is there a limit on the number of coupons that you can use or double. Walmart, Target, Kmart never double but most grocery stores do.

        • Maan Jose

          search in google, coupon policy of whatever store.

  • Amber

    This is by far the most helpful coupon guide I have found online! Thank you! I do have one question though, by “doubling coupons” does that mean you ask the cashier to double the coupon before they scan it? Or would it be applying 2 clipped coupons to 1 item? Example: I am buying one box of cereal. In order to receive the “double coupon” would I need to hand the cashier 2 coupons for my one box, or would I hand her 1 coupon and ask to have it doubled?

    • Thanks Amber. I’m so glad you find it helpful.

      For the doubling coupons, you would first need to check with your store to be sure that they do, in fact, double coupons. If they do, the face value of the coupon will automatically double. For instance, if you have a $0.50/1 coupon, the register will deduct the coupon amount of $0.50 and then deduct it again. So, you would hand over 1 coupon for the 1 box of cereal (as per your example) and it will double. You don’t need to ask.

      Hope that helps.

  • Alissa

    Quick question..when sorting coupons do you sort by expiration date? I find that once something is on sale the coupons I have are expired!

    • Maan Jose

      I think organixing is waaayy too time consuming. If you have inserts, keep them as they are, do not cut them unless you are using them. So forget sorting by expiration date.

      Do take note of which coupons will expire within the next two weeks, thats it. Just keep them in a binder or something, for easy scanning.

      They WILL expire, it happens many times that they expire before the sale. if you use those items A LOT, then I suggest you separate them and always be on a look out for expiration date and buy as soon as a good deal pops up, even if it could be better.

      Ive been couponing for less than a year, and around 2-5 hrs per week just looking at this site, cutting and printing for that week. Ill be spending another 3 hrs if I try to organize,

  • Renee

    I have very limited resources at the moment… For instance I do not own a computer nor do I plan on purchasing one in the future… My desire to coupon comes from need which has reached the point of desperation… If my only means of acquiring coupons is through the Sunday newspaper will my efforts be for nothing?

    • Maan Jose

      Not at all, a great majority of coupons come from Sunday newspapers. If you keep each insert each week, they are quite a lot to take from.

  • Christina

    This was very helpful!

  • Chikita

    Thank you so much very easy to understand

  • thinds

    So in order to buy 8 boxs of
    something per say you have to hv 8 coupons? And when on sale use all coupons at that moment??? To stock up?

    • Sandy

      You don’t HAVE to have 8 coupons to purchase 8 items (you can buy without a coupon) but to lower your out of pocket expense a couponers dream is to have a coupon for every item you purchase. I hold onto my coupons until I see a really good sale and then I use them. As you coupon you will learn what REALLY good prices are and when the price is truly a stock up price. If you only have 4 coupons then you buy 4 – when you have 10 coupons then you buy 10 and so on. If you see that green checkmark next to Cindy’s match ups that typically indicates stock up price.

      • thinds

        Sandy, thank you. I think I understand I can buy what ever I want “without a coupon” my question was “hypothetically” speaking to save per item I will need that many coupons. I’m very new to this. I need to walk through this in my mind.

        • Sandy

          I had a feeling you knew that 🙂 I have such a large stockpile that I buy items typically under .50 , Free or Money Makers and then donate most of them. But for newbies you should concentrate on buying sale items with coupons and dont pass up those Money maker products that you’ll never use! Do the deal and donate the item as that .50 you made will go towards hamburger meat. My advice: Start small. Do the easy deals and not too many of them in 1 shopping trip. It will get too confusing and you wont be able to keep track of whats up and what you should have gotten back in catalinas etc.** Remember you can typically only use 4 like coupons per transaction so if you have 8 coupons you must do separate transactions.

  • nancy

    what does it mean when the coupon says: Limit 2
    Does it mean I can use 2 coupons for the 2 items or does it mean I can use the same coupon for 2 items?

    • Christina D.

      What else does the coupon say?

    • Maan Jose

      Most of the times if it says :
      “Limit of 2 LIKE coupons” then you can only use 2 of the same coupon. Such as, “$1 off any one cereal”, I can buy 2 cereals and use two coupons ($1 off EACH), Any more cereals I buy, I can’t use the same coupons to.

  • Tom tom

    So excited I’m 15 and me and my mother are in a particularly rough spot in life so I’m hoping this will help

  • Ashleigh

    Cindy what is the app you mentioned on rachel ray?

  • Jessica

    I would like to get started couponing but still overwhelmed on where and how to start. Like, in the explanation above, to get the boxes of cereal for $0.50 do you have to have coupons for each box? I am a stay at home mom and would love to understand the ins and outs.

    • Maan Jose

      Terminologies on couponing was my first problem starting out.

      Almost every coupon would say:
      One coupon allowed Per purchase(item)

      Most stores allow UP TO 4 like coupons: Meaning, I can use up to 4 same cheerios coupon, in 4 items. (so yes, a coupon for EACH ITEM(PURCHASE), in this case, a box of cheerios, is necessary)

      Shoprite Doubles coupons of value up to .99 cents. If you have a .75c off coupon, they will take off $1.50 (=.75c*2)
      These were what I was mostly confused on. There will be more. And make sure to COMMENT, everyone here will help you out!

      How I got started (I relied mainly on printed coupons, did not buy any coupons):
      1. Go to FIND MY STORE > (your store) in my case shoprite.
      It will give you all the possible coupons that could be printed, associated with how much each item is. These weekly sales and coupon reports reduces the need to check the price of each item in the weekly ad.

      2. Once I got the hang of it, I started buying sunday newspapers (this could range from .50c per week up to 4$ per week) Weigh your options if this is something you would invest in. YOU CAN VIEW HERE WHAT IS INSIDE THE NEWSPAPER BEFORE YOU BUY IT.

      3. Make mistakes and learn from them. Sometimes a deal won’t work, or you misunderstood the rules, and things will go wrong. Just keep at it, and you’ll get better.

  • Jessica

    When a coupon says for example save 0.75 on two, how do you get the most out of your coupon?

    • Sandy

      1. Use at a store that doubles coupons as opposed to a Walmart or Target that does not. 2. Only use when item is on sale. 3. Stack with a store coupon ( ie. Target) 4. Use in conjunction with Ibotta or similiar program

  • sarah

    Family of 5 on a very tight budget. And i have no idea how to coupon.. any suggestiins?

    • Rocky

      You’re in the right place, Sarah, welcome! Keep checking this site, regularly. Read the post above. Click on Find My Store in the toolbar, above, and then click on, and, read the posts for the stores you regularly frequent. Read all of the beginner/how to articles and posts by clicking on the Ask Bogo area, top right corner. Read the comments, also, for the posts about the stores you shop at. You will find helpful people who post comments about how the deals work/ed, and various hints/tips. Print the coupons in the posts (these will be the ones that are underlined), and clip Sunday newspaper insert coupons that are either high-value, or, for products you regularly use and the weekly match-ups for stores will tell you when to use them. But, start learning right away and don’t put it off because you are unsure! It may be a bit scary, but, it will become easier and make more sense if you actually start clipping/printing the coupons and using them, based on the information on this site. There are a lot of great people here, who will help, even if it is in the form of comments you are reading. Ask more questions as you go along! Good luck!

  • Kim

    I recently told my mom to give me her list of *normally favored brands* to prove the point to a bunch of people that you can save a ton of money… more so to prove the point to friends that blows their food stamp money and then complains to me about it…
    wish me luck, with this it seems like this place should help a good bit… I keep recommending this method but they don’t believe you can get great results… got to prove them wrong.

    • Laura D.

      There is a way to go about increasing a monthly budget while using food stamps and doing catalina deals. I have no idea how to do it, I had just read some comments years ago. But, generally, you can use coupons towards the items that food stamps can be used for to also get catalinas at the end of your purchase. Then, those catalinas plus coupons can be used towards items that food stamps don’t pay for. Thereby, increasing your total budget over the course of the month. Genius, if you ask me! I hope someone who knows more about it will see your comment and chime in. Good Luck with your shopping trips, we all know here you will blow their minds with your savings!!!

  • Gloria

    I still don’t understand how you can stack up on a lot of stuff by using coupons, do you use multiple coupons to get all the items to be a really cheap price?

    • Rocky

      Hi, Gloria. You can’t use multiple manufacturer’s coupons on one item, but you can buy in multiples and use a coupon on each. Many stores will limit you on how many of the same coupon (also called ‘like’ coupons) you can use in one transaction, though, and that is usually four. So, you can buy 4 of the same item and use one coupon on each.
      However, that is not the full story of getting items cheaply enough that you would want to stock up on them. If you re-read the above article, you will see that you have to buy your items judiciously. In the picture example, the optimum time to buy is when the item is on sale, and, you have a manufacturer’s coupon, and, there may also be a store promotion going on at the same time. When all the conditions are right (my version of…coupon karma!), that is when you want to consider stocking up, and, to do that, because of coupon restrictions, you will have to do a few transactions during that sale week.
      Hopefully, that will give you an idea of how to stock up when you can get really cheap prices, but, there is more that you should start learning, to get more comfortable. I suggest that after you re-read the above, you click on the doggie icon in the top right corner and start reading more of the beginner’ articles.
      Then, go to the ‘Find My Store’ icon on the toolbar and click on the store you frequent the most. Start checking out the special deals and the weekly match-ups for those stores, and, also read the comments for each one. You will start to get more comfortable with how you need to do the deals to get the most bang for your buck!
      And, continue to ask questions. We have a lot of good people here who are willing to help! Also, start slowly until you get comfortable, and, if you happen to miss a deal, don’t worry about it. There is always another deal that will come along, soon! Good luck!

  • Que

    I get the concept of couponing but how do get enough coupons to stock pile? Do you just buy a lot of newspapers? Silly question, I know, but would appreciate any input.

    • Rocky

      Hi, Que, Yes, you can buy multiple newspapers, but, you should first do a test to find out which papers in your area carry the ‘best’ versions of coupons. You can do this more cheaply by checking out your local ‘dollar store’ early on Sunday mornings, or, by buying a few different newspapers that day, elsewhere. Then, you can ask family, friends, co-workers to give you their extras, if so inclined. You can also print coupons from a number of sources and if you regularly check out this site, there are always posts about new printables that come out, along with deals for how/when to use them. In addition, if you are not against it, you can also order coupons from clipping sites on the web. So, there are a number of ways to build up your coupon stash! Be sure to click on the BOGO doggie icon on the top right corner. There is a post specifically regarding ways to do this! Good luck, and, keep us posted as to how you are doing! There are a lot of good people on this site who will continue to help you!

    • Clamato

      we get flyers on a local free paper. the paper is sent to us weekly and it has a P&G insert, and a Smartsource insert. it isnt the best set of inserts, but it’s better than nothing and it is FREE. i usually take 4 papers. i used to jujst take one, but i learned from neighbors that only a few people take the papers and the groundkeepers throw the stack in the trash. they throw out all the coupons! so now, i take 6 papers, save a few for my neighbors who may not have gotten their free inserts, and i clip away. i give the leftover paper to another neighbor who lines her disgustring bird cages with paper.
      I also learned, keep your coupons. clip them all. do not throw away the ones you wont need.
      1. a sale may come up offering a freebie that offers a great deal like a catalina or a SRFH coupon code and it adds to your balance.
      2. you can donate items you arent using
      3. sometimes i am on line to check out and see the person ahead or behind me, and i know i have a coupon they can use, so i pass it onto them.

  • Renee

    Does your coupin for cheerios fo .50 cover more than 1 box? This is where I get confused. Will the coupon cover the amount thaat you buy or did you need 8 coupons?

    • Rocky

      Renee, one coupon covers the purchase of one box. Some coupons stipulate that you have to buy 2 items (for example, the coupon will say $1 off 2 packages of such and such product) to get the coupon deal, but, in Cindy’s example, above, you need 8 coupons for 8 boxes of Cheerios at that cheap price. Then, that will hold you over until the next time you can get another good deal on it. Of course, each person’s needs vary, so, some folks might buy more (with more coupons) if they use a lot of that product. But, you must also keep in mind that many stores will limit you to using only up to four of the same coupon in one transaction, so, you will have to get to know your store’s rules on using coupons.

  • Renata

    Thank you great post

  • LaShun

    I’m looking for a couponing group in Birmingham or the Fairfield area in Alabama. If so, please post.

  • All the four steps are necessary to know & execute. I knew few sites like RetailMeNot, LavishCoupon, CouponsRain etc which offers same coupons with different discount. Also there are some sites which offers modern ways of utilizing coupons like Mobile apps, freebies, printable coupons and what not.

  • Stacey

    im Just confuse all together!I have a 3 year old and one on the way and I know money is really about to get tight so I really need to learn fast how to coupon! If I read correctly you are only supposed to use coupons on items that are for sale not full price?

    • Selma

      Hello! Welcome to couponing. Yes, the best way to optimize your savings is to use coupons on sale items, that way you pay the least out of pocket. When an item is on sale, it is best to use all your coupons and stock up on that item, that way you don’t have to pay full price in the future. I have only been couponing since November, but even now I learn something new everyday. Just read, read, read all around this site – articles and comments, it helps A LOT.

    • Clamato

      I started couponing when my husband was out of work aand my son was an infant, and i havent stopped. it took me a good 3-4 months to really start seeing the true savings. some weeks i spend more than i want, but most weeks i can skip shopping because i have stocked up. it’s a week to week task and you definitely have to dedicate a couple of hours a week to clipping and planning your shopping trip, but it saves money and time in the longrun. it’s an investment. i ssave time now because i spend 20 minutes in a store because i have a strict list, and i save 50% a shopping trip minimum.
      logically, if you need an item and you can;t wait for a sale or you dont have a coupon, then you need to buy that item. but if you have coupons and find a good sale, stocking up will save you that time and money because you now don’t NEED to pay full price for the item ever again unless you run out. EXAMPLE, you have a diaper coupon expiring this week, and you NEED diapers, just buy them. you need them. you’ll spend the money anyway, so may as well save the coupon value. couponing is just a way to think about how you spend your money and you learn to save when you can.

  • Allen Crowe

    Ok I really need to start couponing…. things are very tight for my wife and I. So bad we are getting a new apartment with a friend to save money. So thank you! But I’m terrified I’m going to get this wrong. And I can’t afford to…plus we live in ft Lauderdale Florida and I’m not sure what stores and where to get coupons… I look but see none. Help!

    • Sandy

      For grocery stores look at website- Southern Savers – Drug stores and mass merchants ware pretty much all the same. Do a Google search for coupling sites in Florida so you can get local store deals.

      • Allen Crowe

        Thank You so much! I’m sure it will help! I can’t wait to get started!

    • Rocky

      Allen, in addition to what Sandy said, be sure to read all the Beginner’s Guides on this site. They are of great help for the basics. And, start slow and don’t try to do too much at once. It can be overwhelming, and that can lead to discouragment! Once you find a store in your area (start with just one until you start to feel comfortable), be sure to read the posts and deals for that store, including the comments. They can be really helpful. Do just one small deal at a time and you will start to understand things better. And, ask questions! I don’t know what that site in your area is like, but, hopefully, their readers will be as helpful as the ones are here! And, lastly, very best of luck to you. Many folks here can relate to your circumstances, so, we all pull for each other!!

      • Allen Crowe

        Thank You so much Rocky, I’m reading away. I was kind of wondering if opening a second special email account for signing up to company newsletters and promos was a good idea since I didn’t want to flood my everyday email with all this

        • Laura D.

          Hi Allen, definitely open up a second email account for your coupons. It’s definitely too much to filter through in your regular email. From reading your comment, I know you are off to a new start and working hard to get up to speed, so I figured I’d chime so you can set it up asap. Welcome to couponing! 🙂

        • Rocky

          Hey, Allen! Yes, as Laura D. mentioned, it is definitely a good idea to do that! And, once you start going onto your favorite brands’ websites to sign up, set up a quick little doc or spreadsheet to keep track of your passwords, too! You’re on the right track, keep chugging along!!

  • Stacey

    This is so helpful! Thank you so much. I just did my first shopping trip with coupons and it wasn’t as great as I expected. Would you mind explaining the double coupons. how does it double? Just with purchasing a product or does it have to multiple?

    • Rocky

      Hi, Stacey, welcome! Coupons only double if you shop at a store that doubles coupons. Not all stores in all areas of the country do this, unfortunately. Where are you located? Many of the deals on this site, for grocery stores, at least, are in the northern east coast, where there are ShopRites, Stop & Shop, Acme, A&P, etc. though other stores like Walmart and Target (who do not double coupons), are included. If you shop at these stores, the coupon will automatically double. And you would buy just what the coupon says. If it is $0.50/1 item, buy one and the coupon will double the face value. But, you can definitely still get some good deals IF you are using those coupons at the optimal time, such as when the items are on sale, and, if you can also couple those manufacturer’s coupons (stack them) with a store coupon, whether paper or digital, AND, if you are also getting a ‘catalina’ deal at the same time. Click on the Find My Store icon in the toolbar at the top and look for a store that you shop at. If one is included, look at all the deals posted for that store. That should help you get an idea of which deals are the best value for you. Also read the comments section for them, because those are also of great help. And, keep asking questions! There are a lot of good folks here who will help you along! Good luck!

      • Stacey

        Ohhh okay. It’s all starting to make sense. I’m located in Chicago, IL. I think that was my first mistake I wasn’t looking at the best deals which didn’t save me much money. I

  • How can you wait for a sale if coupons usually have a short expiration date?

    • Sandy

      The lengths do vary – some may be 2 weeks others may be 6 months. This site does post match ups for the upcoming week so you can compare which stores may or may not have the product you need on sale and plan ahead. As you build your stockpile you will find yourself passing up on a box of cereal or a bottle of shampoo for .25 simply because you don’t need it!

  • Angie Marquez

    I am so new to this coupon stuff. if I have a coupon for a bottle of salad dressing 50 cents off and the bottle cost 98 cents then I would pay 48 cents. Now, my question is ~ How many bottles of salad dressings can I buy with the same coupon (1 coupon)? thank you for any information.

    • Laura D.

      You can only purchase one item per coupon. One bottle of dressing for one coupon.

    • Sunil

      Laura D. just beat me to it. 🙂

      Also, not to get too complicated but depending on where you shop, some stores double coupons that have a face value of $.99 and below (unless it specifically say DO NOT DOUBLE on the coupon).

      So it would work this way at ShopRite, Pathmark, and Stop&Shop:

      Salad dressing costs $.98

      You have a $.50 paper coupon. This coupon would “double” to $.98 so you should get the dressing for free (unless it says do not double on the coupon). 🙂

      Hope that makes sense and helps.

      • Laura D.

        Haha! Hi Sunil, I thought I was the only one up this late!

        • Sunil

          LOL. Hey Laura. Unfortunately I have a project to complete on a tight deadline, so of course I’m spending time on LRWC instead. 🙂

  • mouseg74

    Has anyone ever placed a “special” order at Shoprite? I want to purchase a “bulk” amount (about 40) of a particular item and I just wanted to know the procedure. Do I just go to customer service and tell them I want to place an order, is there a minimum/maximum you can order, etc. any information I can find out would be greatly appreciated. I am going to call Shoprite and inquire but I figured I would try here first 🙂

  • Jeren

    Hi! My question is… For example I have one $4 off any Almay product coupon that I clipped out of the Sunday paper and I found another $2 off any Almay product that I printed from an online coupon site, so should I be able to use both of these coupons combined on the same product? They both say manufacturer’s coupon on the top but they are from two different sources.

    • Rocky

      Nope, sorry, only one manufacturer’s coupon on one product, at a time. To use both those coupons, you would have to buy 2 Almay products in the same trip. The only time they are considered ‘different’ is if your store has a limit of ‘like’ coupons (meaning the same coupon) in the same transaction, such as SR, which limits us to 4 like coupons, per transaction, as many stores do. In that case, if you wanted to buy 5 products, you could use 4 of one coupon, and one of another. Or, of course, if the coupon has a restriction on it, like Unilever coupons limit you to 2 per transaction. Then, you could use 2 insert coupons and one printable, IF you were buying 3 products and they would be considered 2 different coupons. Hope this didn’t make it too confusing!

    • Sunil

      No. You can only use 2 coupons for 1 product when it says “store coupon” on one and “manufacturer coupon” on the other. You cannot use 2 manufacturer coupons on the same item.

      Often times you can find a coupon in the Sunday paper and the same coupon in a printable format which gives you the ability to buy more of that item (like if you wanted to buy 2 or 3 of the same product but only received 1 coupon in the paper) but you cannot use both on one item.

      Hope this helps!

      • linda

        Can u get coupons off your android phone and can they scan them at the store

  • Andrea Pereira Escaler

    I am brand new to coupons. and I am not understanding the stocking up section. if I have 2 coupons for cheerios but only allowed to use 1 coupon per purchase how would I get multiple boxes for .50 cents?

    • Rocky

      Hi, Andrea! In order to stock up, you will have to do a few things. First, you need to get access to multiple coupons (though, yes, you can only use one coupon per item purchased), because, if you only have two coupons, you can only buy 2 boxes and that is not really stocking up. You can get multiple coupons in a few different ways. You can buy a few extra newspapers on Sundays. Or, ask friends, relatives, neighbors if they can give you their extras. Some public libraries have bins where people put theirs, in, that they are not using, etc. Or, you can also print coupons, and, have those same folks print some for you, for items they don’t use. Secondly, you will have to do multiple transactions. Many stores will allow you to use four of the same coupon in one transaction, so, you can buy 4 of the Cheerios in one transaction and use 4 of the same coupons, one for each box purchased. Then, in another transaction during the week, you would do the same thing. Any time you do any of this, you should be using those coupons when there is a sale, and, also, for some of the best prices, like $0.50, or less, for an item, you also need to combine that sale and coupon with a special deal (catalinas are one kind of these special sales), and/or store coupons (different from manufacturer’s coupons), and, so on. You can read all about that stuff in other areas of the beginner’s section, though, so, I don’t want to add too much, right now, to what you are trying to figure out! HTH (hope this helps), and, good luck!

  • Chris Summey

    How do I know the store actually used my coupons? What will it say on my receipt ? I used coupons for the first time today but never saw the cashier scan my coupons

    • Sunil

      Cashiers scan coupons just like they scan items you purchase. After all of your items are scanned, they scan any coupons you have with the same machine.

      At Shoprite, Stop & Shop and Pathmark, you will see which coupons you used towards the bottom of the receipt in a section labelled “coupons.” In that section, you will see the name of the item you bought or scanned coupon followed by a – $(whatever the coupon amount was) to show the amount that was deducted from your total. If the coupon was doubled you see a line below or above that one that says “Multipled Coupon” followed by a – $ (amount).

      The above is true for paper coupons. If you use digital coupons, the deduction will show up right below the item you bought.

      Hope this helps.

  • Maddie

    Thanks for the great post for Beginners like myself, I am really determined in learning how to be a great couponer, I definitely need to learn how to save with 4 children at home 2 of them being teenagers and 2 smaller ones. Seems like I am still confused and need some clarification on how to read and use my coupons, If i have a coupon that says Save $3.00 off/2, and I purchase 4 items does that mean I can use 4 coupons if the fine print says Limit of 4 like coupons in the same shopping trip.

    • Michelle T.

      You would then use two coupons. $3/2 would be for two of the products, so you could use one more coupon for the other two. The limit 4 coupons would mean you could use 4 coupons while buying 8 items.

  • Briana

    Good evening everyone, I am college student whom hasn’t coupon, in this capacity, for two years. I miss the savings so much. I have been following the cycles this past week and I’m so excited for a shopping trip. I have my policies ready and all. However, it would be nice to have some advice from seasoned couponers.

  • Kerry Down

    Hi there I just saw a TV programme about extreme couponing and would love to know how to do it as I’m on a tight budget

  • Bob

    I used to be an avid coupon person but have fallen off the wagon. I find the printable coupons a frustrating site as there is hardly ever anything that I want or need to download. I am tired of being angry when I get to check out and know I could be saving so much money. Is there anyone out there who offers a coupon service for folks like myself who just doesn’t seem to have the time anymore?

  • Sharlene Shasha

    omg..i so looking froward to sart couping bt having problem picking up the right amount of stuff with my coupons help pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee

    • Rocky

      Hi, Sharlene! Can you be a little more specific, so we know exactly what the problem is? Is it that you don’t have enough of the same coupon to buy enough of an item to build a stockpile? If so, there are many ways and places to get coupons, and, extra coupons. If it is Sunday insert coupons, you can buy multiple Sunday papers (some dollar stores sell Sunday newspapers for $1), or, ask friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers for their inserts if they are not using them. Some libraries have a box for folks to drop their extra coupons off and folks can select the ones they want from the box. You can also print coupons from the links on this site (check the coupon database, above). And so on. But, if you can give us a better idea of what help you need, there are a great bunch of people on this site who are happy to help!

  • Claudia

    I don’t understand how to but so many of the same product if you can’t use more than one coupon…??? Please help!!!!!!!

    • Rocky

      Hi, Claudia. In most stores, you can use up to 4 of the same coupon in one transaction, as long as you are buying 4 of that item. Or, if the coupon, is, for example $1/2, you can use 4 coupons, but, you will have to buy 8 items. Then, you have to check if the coupon, itself, has a limit on it. Unilever product coupons (Hellmann’s, Ragu, Dove, etc.) have a coupon limit of 2 per transaction, so, that would override the store’s 4 per transaction rule. But, either way, for each product you buy, you can only use one manufacturer’s coupon per item. However, in some stores you can get more savings if you then stack that coupon with a store coupon (it will actually say Store Coupon on it, as opposed to saying Manufacturer’s Coupon, at the top). For example, at ShopRite, their store coupons are marked Super Coupon. In some stores you can also stack that store’s ecoupon (electronic, or, also called digital) with a manufacturer’s coupon and a hard copy store coupon, thereby saving even more. ShopRite and Stop & Shop allow you to do that, but, Acme doesn’t. Note, though, that unlike Sunday Insert coupons, you can only use one store coupon of an item in a transaction, it’s not a limit of 4. And, ecoupons/digital coupons are a one time use, only. It is really best for you to learn your store’s coupon policy (check their website) before your first couponing trip. So, you can buy multiple products in one transaction (thereby building your stockpile), but, you will also need to have multiple coupons in order to do that. You can get multiple coupons by buying multiple Sunday newspapers (or asking friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers for ones they aren’t using), or, for printable manufacturer’s coupons, many of the sites allow you two prints per device (say, two from your laptop, two from another family member’s computer, two from your phone, etc.). Some printable sites only allow one print per device. But, in one shopping trip, you can use both printable and insert coupons as long as you are not going over the maximum per transaction. Keep reading the Beginner’s Section because there is so much more you can learn, here! Good Luck!

      • Claudia

        Thank you so much!!!! You have no idea how much you helped me understand. I really want to get all this bc my family is going through such a hard time and I need to help. Thank you. 🙂

        • Rocky

          You’re quite welcome, Claudia. We all know what’s it’s like, here, so, make sure to check this site frequently. You will not only be amazed at how much you can learn, but, also, how much you can save!!

      • nick hill

        Great breakdown Rocky. It is really informative and concise. I may use this to help others who ask the same/similar questions as I now have family/friends who are amazed by our savings and are new to couponing and I tend to give answers that are too long-winded and convoluted!

        Also Claudia, I am not sure if you go to S&S but if you do you can use up to 16 manufacturers coupons for the same item per transaction (only the first 4 will double if the coupon is under $1 and your store doubles coupons) as long as the coupon/manufacturer doesn’t have a restriction printed on the coupon (such as Unilever only 2 coupons per transaction as Rocky mentioned above).

  • Hope Harris

    I stopped working and went back to college full time and I am living on a very short budget. I don’t eat prepackaged and frozen food. I bake my own bread and eat fresh vegetables and meats. I haven’t found coupons that make much of a dent in my grocery bill. Any help or advice with this other than following weekly produce sales?

    • Linda Bradley

      Hope, I understand your frustration in finding coupons for those products. However, you can use your coupons to save on cleaning supplies, personal hygiene products, health and beauty products and use the money that you save to buy the items you desire.

    • Tina Bennett

      Hope, some stores like Kroger and Walmart discount tthereat and produce items when they are close to their best by date. Ask your favorite stores meat and. Produce departments to find out what time / day this takes place. Example: my local Kroger has a produce shelf where they put bags of near end date produce each morning around 7am for 99 cents per bag.

  • Misha Floyd

    Hello my name is misha im trying to understand how to coupon .my family and I are on a short budget i understand most of it ok so could someone please help me out with more details please . so far I have bought 15 news papers and printed out some coupons I organized them and also my next step is to print out some store coupon policy this is all i understand so far . whats my next step????????????? and also what are some good store I currently live in Orlando Florida

    • Sandy

      Southernsavers is a coupon website that covers Fl. Grocery stores. Read couponing 101 to learn the basics
      As you need to understand what you’re doing before making a list and heading out the door. Do a few really small trips to the stores until you get a handle on what you’re doing as a large trip would be overwhelming. You’ll make mistakes but hang in there.

    • Tee

      I think your next will be to see what’s on sale and when/where you can use your coupons. I just started back couponing. Go through the weekly circular, see what’s on sale and go buy. Last week I went to CVS and brought a few things I needed (deodorant, razors for my hubby, batteries for kids Xmas toys, mouthwash, a makeup brand I always wanted to try). I spent $22 using coupons and received $17 back in ExtraBucks to use on my next purchase. I love couponing at CVS, Walgreens and Target especially for household and personal care items. I have a small stockpile of toilet paper, laundry detergent, toothpaste etc. We go through these items quickly – have 2 children. I don’t do as well in the grocery store, only because I don’t plan out my trips as well. But I do stock up on cereal, frozen veggies, juices. I have tried lots of new foods, items due to couponing and getting a really good deal. Hope this helps…

  • Steven

    How can save on quilted soft that’s says save 0.50 cents how do stock or get them cheap..?I’m new to couponing help..

  • Michel

    Hi everyone! My question is you say to buy the items when they go on sell them use coupons to get the most savings. But how would I know when the items goes on sell?

    • Sandy

      As you gain more experience couponing you will eventually learn your “Buy” price. For now look for the GREEN checkmarks next to the item at the store in which you choose to shop from for the LRWC stock up (sale) best buys and start making your shopping list. Read the comments section and check site throughout your day for posts.

    • Rocky

      Hi, Michel! In addition to what Sandy said, for now, to get familiar, pick a store that you shop at, from the toolbar, above. The current week’s match-ups of that store’s sale items and coupons will come up. That’s what tells you when items are on sale. It will list the prices of items and will tell you all the coupons available from all over, for each item. You check which of those coupons you have, and you can figure out how much the item will cost you. Also look over the green checked items, as Sandy said, because those will be the best deals, assuming you have those coupons. Then, you can scroll back up on that match-ups page and there will be an icon to click for best deals that week. They can be listed throughout the day, each day, so, be sure to keep checking this site. At times, hot printable coupons will be listed, and there may be good deals for it, at your store! Good luck!

  • Jessica Culbert

    What if I eat organic/ non gmo… can I still save money?

  • Ingrid Miller

    In my area, there is no double coupons, no using perks or store coupons along with a manufacturer coupon. This makes saving even 50% on my grocery bill impossible! I try to do what I can to save, and I find that buying the store brand is usually the cheeper option even with an item on sale and using a coupon.

    • Rocky

      Maybe you could check out some of the mobile apps? Those are ones where you scan your receipts after you sign up with them, and you build up totals that you can then cash out. Every little bit can help. Try looking for mobile apps in the Search Bar, above.