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Extreme Couponing 101: How to Extreme Coupon and Save 84%+ on Groceries

By David Bibby

coupons pileWith gas prices risinghigh unemployment, and inflation poised to spiral out of control, your talent for cutting household expenses is becoming more and more important. You can slash services like yard landscaping and premium cable channels (e.g. DIRECTV), and you can reduce your utility bills by using electricity, gas, and water more sparingly. But what about everyday necessities like feeding your family and operating your home?

The average American family spends between $500 and $1,100 every month on groceries, toiletries, cleaning products, pet items, clothes, and simple entertainment costs. You know you can make some sacrifices to get from the high-end of that range to the low-end. But can you really reduce or even eliminate some of these costs without giving up on good nutrition and hygiene? You absolutely can!

I still shake my head in disbelief when I look at what my family has saved in just the first three months of this year.

  • January: We paid $474.59 for $2,088.27 worth of products (groceries and toiletries), saving $1,673.70 or 77%.
  • February: We paid $402.85 for $2,369.40 worth of products, saving $1,966.55 or 82.99%, and we’re awaiting $305.94 more in rebates.
  • March: We paid $361.19 for $3,122.63 worth of products, saving $2,767.44 or 88.43%.

That’s a total of $1,238.63 that we’ve spent on $7,580.30 worth of name brand groceries, toiletries, and cleaning products. We saved 84% ($6,341.67 in savings) in three months without sacrificing quality using discount grocery coupons.

With the tips outlined in this article, it won’t take extreme time and effort for you to become an extreme couponer too.

Before I get into an awesome step-by-step guide to extreme couponing, let’s first take a look at the different types of couponers and assess which category you currently fit into:

The 4 Levels of Couponing

I love snacks, so I recently printed out a coupon for $0.55 off of one Chex Mix 4.5 oz bag from Coupons.com. Now with coupon in hand, I’m ready to go save some money. But how much money I save will now depend on what level of couponing I’m at. Recent experience has shown me that there are essentially 4 levels of couponing that range from casual to extreme. Levels 1 and 2 are well known, but levels 3 and 4 are starting to become more popular. If you haven’t heard of these couponing strategies before, you could be missing out on a whole world of saving.

Level 1: The Casual Couponer

This is where many people find themselves today. Most of the time, a person will pay for a whole cart full of groceries while handing over less than 10 coupons. They end up normally saving a few bucks off the entire order. In the simple example of the Chex Mix coupon I have, I could walk into a grocery store or drug store and find the Chex Mix for $2.99 and hand them my coupon, allowing me to spend $2.44 after the 55 cents in savings.

Savings: Minimal

Level 2: The Generic Brand Store Shopper

Many people also find themselves in this category. They’ve figured out that they could save more money overall if they buy the generic brand over the name brand even if a coupon was used on the name brand. By doing all their shopping solely for generic brands, they can easily save $200-$300 per month without clipping a single coupon. I can save more than $0.55 on my snack run if I throw the coupon out and buy Generic Mix at $1.49 a bag. In this example, the Generic Mix costs me $1.49 and saves me $1.50, a significantly better deal than if I were a Level 1 Couponer.

The problem for me here is that I prefer the name brand over the generic – it just tastes different to me. So are you out of luck if you’re in the same boat as me and prefer name brands? Don’t worry because there are still 2 levels left to go.

Savings: Good

Level 3: The Coupon Deal Shopper

Believe it or not, when the circumstances are just right, people can save even more money buying the name brand stuff than the generic brands. Items frequently go on sale, and when they do, the Coupon Deal Shopper capitalizes on the opportunity. They’ll combine a store sale with a manufacturer’s coupon, and get the item for pennies or even for free.

You know what happens when you align the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon all in a line? You get a solar or lunar eclipse, right? Well, that’s exactly what the Coupon Deal Shopper does. They set up little eclipses all over the place at different stores and walk away with items for pennies on the dollar. So if I wait for a sale, I can save even more money than buying generic.

For example, I happen to know that Walgreens frequently puts Chex Mix on sale for $0.99 approximately once a month. During this sale week, if I walked in there with my $0.55 cent coupon, I’ll pick up the item for $0.44 instead of $2.44 on a $2.99 item. That’s an 85% savings and way better than buying the Generic Mix!

The Coupon Deal Shopper saves 70% to 95% on everything they buy, because they follow two rules:

  1. Don’t buy it if it’s not on sale.
  2. Combine the sale with a coupon.

Saving at this level requires a little bit of effort. You must clip and organize your coupons, and be patient. By spending about 2-3 hours per week, you can save 70-95% on everything you buy at the grocery store and the drug store. Can’t do better than that, right? There’s still one more level to go!

Savings: Awesome

Level 4: The Extreme Couponer

Did you know that you can use a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon on the same item? Well, you can. Did you know that you can use two coupons on a buy-one-get-one-free sale? Well, you can.

Setting up bigger and better deals is what the Extreme Couponer does. They take the same measures as the Coupon Deal Shopper but then they look for multiple deals. Why get just one deal when you can get three or four all at once? To this end, it’s not unusual for an Extreme Couponer to have 4 Sunday newspapers delivered to their home. Let me give you an example to explain why:

At my grocery store, Ken’s Steakhouse Ranch Dressing costs $3.29 for a 16 oz bottle. Sometimes it goes on sale for $1.65 per bottle. So what I do is use my four $1.00 off coupons from the Sunday newspapers during the sale, and get four bottles at $0.65 a pop. That’s how I combine two big deals at once and walk away with 80% savings multiple times. If you can get your hands on more coupons, go back in the store and do it again! The idea here is to stockpile your deals and get a lot of each item because it might be another month or so before this item goes on sale again, so buy a month or two’s worth at once.

Lastly, Extreme Couponers make good use of store coupons as well (i.e. the ones that say $5 off a $20 purchase). So you could walk into the store, buy at least $20 worth of great deals like these and take another $5 off the total. This simply makes a sweet deal even sweeter. It’s almost like you’re buying individual items in bulk at prices that are even better than buying in bulk. The ultimate savings scenario is to combine 3 types of coupons: store coupons, manufacturer’s coupons, and store sales all at the same time. Yup, that’s why we call this person The Extreme Couponer.

Savings: INCREDIBLE!

Now that you know what all the levels are, what level of couponer are you? Is it worth your time to become an Extreme Couponer to save 90-100% on everything you buy? If your answer is a resounding “Yes!”, read on for a step-by-step guide to learn the ins and outs of extreme couponing.

Going to Extremes: An Example

surprised grocery shopping woman“Extreme couponing” isn’t as crazy as it may sound. You don’t have to let coupons dominate your life, and you don’t have to be embarrassed at the cash register. You just need to find the right moves to use coupons in conjunction with store sales and promotions, and then enjoy the satisfaction of getting items for free or close to free. It’s about timing, and not necessarily using a particular coupon just because you found it in that week’s Sunday paper. Instead of using it immediately, you’ll hold on to coupons until items go on sale, maximizing your savings and becoming an extreme couponer.

For example, suppose that Butterball Turkey Bacon normally costs $3.29 at your grocery store, and you find a $2 off coupon. If you used your coupon right away, you’d pay $1.29 and leave the store patting yourself on the back and thinking, “Not bad.” But you can do even better!

If you wait for a store to have a sale, you can really win out and find yourself saving much more. Imagine that you held on to the coupon for three weeks, and after the initial rush when everyone else used the coupon, the store is still trying to move more turkey bacon. Now it’s on special, with a two-for-$5 deal. That means the price is only $2.50 each, so you can use your $2 coupon and pay just 50 cents instead, saving $2.79 just by holding out.

That’s tough to beat, but this example can go even further. Suppose that the store issues a general coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase. Sound familiar? If you collected a few extra copies of that original $2 coupon, say ten of them, you could follow this simple math for incredible savings:

  • Buy 10 Butterball Turkey Bacons on two-for-$5 special: $25.00
  • Use your 10 manufacturer’s coupons: -$20.00
  • Use the $5 off $20 store coupon: -$5.00
  • Your total: FREE

You had $25 worth of coupons, but your receipt will show you the truly good news that you saved $32.90, since that’s the full retail value of the bacon you got for free. That’s the kind of thing that extreme couponing families do everyday. They’re not covering the kitchen table with coupons and letting their lives get taken over by newspaper inserts. They’re just using coupons and store deals together to get the best discounts, and they’re walking off with at least 90% in savings.

There’s no magic to it, but extreme couponing does require a bit of patience and some trial and error. Use this step-by-step guide to reduce the “error” part of that equation.

5 Steps for Extreme Couponing

Step 1: Gathering

You’re going to need a lot of coupons, but you don’t need to go out of control. The smart move is to get multiple copies of the same coupon, so that if you come across a deal you can maximize your savings. Think of coupons as “currency,” because at the end of the day, you’re going to use them like cash. Acquire as many as you can, using these top sources:

1. Sunday Newspaper

Coupon inserts and local ads are the best places to start. Look for coupon inserts with titles like “Smart Source,” “Red Plum,” and “Proctor & Gamble.” The more copies of a coupon the better, so I recommend investing in at least four copies of the newspaper. This way, when you find your favorite deals, you’ll have four coupons. Alternatively, if you’d rather not scour through multiple Sunday newspapers, you can actually buy coupons (for much less than their savings value) and have them mailed to your house using the site, The Coupon Clippers.

Insider’s Tip: Write the date on the front of the insert, so it’ll be easier to find two or three weeks from now, and you can track down extra copies once you find a good deal.

2. Online Printable Coupons

Just a few years ago, the Internet might not have been worth your time for finding coupons. You had to dig around for far too long to find the right deals in your area. Now, individuals and various websites are curating the best deals available and, better yet, setting up local deals to get in on coupons and big sales. You can get alerts about manufacturer’s coupons and find links to coupons that you’ll just need to click, print, and file. Usually, on sites like Coupons.com, you can only print one or two copies of a coupon, but it’s still worth it.

Insider’s Tip: Don’t print everything you find just because coupons are “free.” Filter yourself and only print what you need to avoid excess clutter and wasted ink and paper.

3. Grocery Stores

Have you ever seen those small devices in the aisles that blink and share coupons? Or have you seen a stack of “Tear here” coupons near the entrance of your local market? Take advantage of these in-store sources of coupons, and don’t ignore the store’s free coupon booklets either.

Insider’s Tip: While coupon booklets are often sitting out in plain sight, some stores require you to take some initiative. If you don’t see them near the door, ask at the front desk.

4. Manufacturers

If you write a letter to the manufacturers of your favorite items and tell them how much you like their products, they’ll often send you coupons – and free samples of new stuff that you haven’t tried yet. Today, I received a coupon for one free three-pack of JELL-O Temptations, worth $3.30. All I had to do was write to Kraft and ask.

Insider’s Tip: Don’t let it get you down when some of your letters go unanswered. You’ll have a few duds, but more often than not, companies will respond with higher-value coupons than you find in conventional places.

5. Neighbors

Even if you pick up four Sunday newspapers, you can get some extra free coupons by building a rapport with your neighbors and asking them for their coupon inserts. Plenty of people buy the paper and then scrap the money-saving inserts. Recycling is great, but it’s even better if you can rescue some deals before they’re carted off.

Insider’s Tip: I’ve heard stories of couponers whose neighbors have agreed to give them their coupon inserts at the door. After a walk up and down the block, they have around ten copies of great coupons they can use.

With all of these resources, you’ll have a wealth of coupons. But where will you keep them without losing track or letting them take over your home (and your life)?

cut coupons

Step 2: Organizing

The trick to successful coupon organization is to find a system that you’re comfortable with and will stick to. You need to know which products you have coupons for, and when your coupons expire. You don’t have time for a frustrating, disorganized pile cluttering up your coffee table. Since there are plenty of options available, think about the pros and cons of two popular choices.

1. Coupon Binder

In a coupon binder, you’ll use A to Z dividers and baseball card protector sheets. This thick binder will hold individual coupons, sorted by the first letter in the product’s name. You can also use pocket pages for coupons that expire quickly (within a day or two of the day you find them) or coupons that are only valid at a particular store. The coupon binder is simple and handy, but it has a few drawbacks.

Advantages of a Coupon Binder

  • You’ll have a portable container that you can move from the house to your car and carry into the store. Should you see an unadvertised sale or something on clearance, you can easily check to see if you have a coupon for that item and make an on-the-spot decision to buy or not.
  • You can make a note of which inserts your favorite coupons came from, so you’ll have an easy reference if you want to get more.
  • You can also keep a list of your stores’ coupon policies in the binder.

Disadvantages of a Coupon Binder

  • You’ll need to commit to clipping coupons and filing them. It’s going to take a while to get this organized. You’ll need some space to lay out all the coupons and cut them.
  • Expired coupons are harder to find in a binder organized in this manner. Once in a while, you’ll have to go through your binder and remove the expired coupons to make room for new ones. This audit will be a regular time commitment for you.

2. Whole Inserts

If you choose the whole inserts method instead, you’ll file away the coupon inserts in their entirety. You don’t have to clip a single coupon until you’re ready to go shopping. Even then, you’ll clip only the ones you need. You’ll just collate the inserts you have so that identical coupons are all grouped together.

If you have four identical “Smart Source” inserts, for example, arrange the pages so that when you’re ready to clip them, you get all 4 coupons at once. You can use a hanging file folder system in a filing cabinet, portable bins, or a large accordion folder to hold the pages, and you’ll build a coupon database to keep a record of what’s in the file. You’ll save time over clipping and filing, but you’ll give up some advantages too.

Advantages of Inserts

  • You can save plenty of time, especially if you date the front of the insert and arrange the pages for easy clipping.
  • These files are easy to maintain, since you can just wait for the whole insert to expire and then toss the whole thing in your recycling bin.
  • You don’t have to take your entire collection of coupons with you to the store – just the ones you clipped specifically for your trip.

Disadvantages of Inserts

  • It will be difficult to make quick decisions at the grocery store when you find an unadvertised sale or a clearance item. You won’t have time at the store to scan through all your inserts and start ripping coupons right there in the aisle.
  • If inserts aren’t the only source of your coupons, then you’ll still be searching for a system to organize other loose coupons that you’ve printed from your computer or picked up in stores.

In short, the whole inserts method saves you time, while the coupon binder method puts you in more control at the store. So now that you have your coupons and they are organized, it’s time to plan a shopping trip.

Step 3: Grocery Shopping

Especially for your first shopping trip as an extreme couponer, I suggest pursuing only one deal. Keep it simple and get comfortable at the register. Once you’re familiar with the process, you can reach for bigger deals and more of them. But for this first target, let it go something like this:

1. Watch the Sales Ads

Take a look at your grocery store’s weekly ad to see what’s on sale this week. If you see what looks like a good sale, check to see if you have a coupon for that item. Do the math and determine if the new price is a good enough deal for you. If it is, compile your multiple coupons and get as many items as you can in a single transaction.

Buy-one-get-one (BOGO) deals are great because sometimes you can use a coupon on the free item too. My local grocery store, for example, is running a BOGO deal with Mueller’s Pasta 16-ounce packages priced at $1.39 each. I have a coupon for $1 off two Mueller’s products of 12 ounces or more. Take a look at the math:

Two boxes of pasta on sale/BOGO: $1.39
Dollar-off coupon: -$1.00
My total: $0.39 for two boxes

That means I’m paying under 20 cents per box, for a total savings of 86% off, and I have ten coupons. I’ll get 20 boxes of pasta for $3.90.

If you’re looking to more easily match sale items at your local grocery store with their corresponding coupons, try out a service like Savings Angel. There’s a monthly membership fee involved, but it can help you save a lot of money and time by automatically alerting you of big sales and coupons for the items you want.

savings angel extreme couponing

2. Set Your Limits

When you’re looking for deals like this one, you need to figure out if the final price is worth it to you. I’d take the pasta for 19 cents a box, but at 35 cents a box, I’d wait. Why? Because as you get more familiar with extreme couponing, you’ll see price points that you know you can beat, and others that you know you won’t find ever again. For instance, I’ll never pay for toothpaste, razors, deodorant, body wash, or shampoo ever again because I know I can find coupons to knock the cost down to nothing.

Decide what prices you won’t go over, and if a sale-coupon combo doesn’t get you there, just wait for a better sale. Keep your target prices in a composition notebook and mark the best deals you’ve gotten on common items. Using the pasta and toothpaste again as examples, my entries look like this:

16 oz. Mueller’s Angel Hair Pasta
Lowest Price Ever: $0.10 a box;
Can frequently get for: $0.20 a box;
Don’t pay over: $0.30 a box.

Crest Whitening Tooth Paste
Lowest Price Ever: FREE;
Can frequently get for: FREE;
Don’t pay over: $0.

3. Check Store Policies

Periodically check your stores’ coupon policies. Every grocery chain is different in how their coupon policy works, so it’s good to stay in the know on these topics:

  • Does your store ever double the value of coupons?
  • Do they limit the amounts of the doubled coupons?
  • Do they have a limit on how many coupons they’ll double?
  • How do they treat coupons used with a BOGO sale?
  • Do they have special discounts for seniors, students, or veterans?
  • Do they accept (or even double) competitors’ coupons?

Often, cashiers are unaware of policy changes, so they might let you use your coupons today, but tomorrow a different cashier may reject them. Some look the other way on expired coupons. Extreme couponers keep a copy of the stores policy to help “educate” misinformed employees. Don’t be rude about policies, but be aware of the rules and make friends with a store manager and some staff members.

4. Make Mistakes

Occasionally, you may learn at the register that your coupon plan doesn’t work out the way you expected. It could be that you bought the wrong size, or the coupon won’t scan properly. Remain calm and be polite. Mistakes happen, whether they’re on your shoulders or they’re the store’s fault. If you can’t resolve the issue, tell the cashier to void the item or call the manager. Just remember that you are not obligated to buy the item simply because you took it off the shelf. If the deal does not work out in your favor, do not buy the item at all. You are the customer, and you should never feel guilty about trying to get a good deal.

5. Have Fun

Saving money shouldn’t be a chore. It’s a game. When you set up deals, go after them, and take home your winnings, you’ll experience some pretty good emotions. Some couponers get a rush of adrenaline at the checkout lane, and others have reported having a “coupon high” afterward. It’s a pretty good feeling when the cashier and the bagger’s jaws drop and they only utter, “Wow!”

So that’s how you set up your first deal and the subsequent deals. Next, take a look at some extra resources to help spur you along the path of extreme couponing greatness.

shopping list coupons

Step 4: Resources

Couponing Websites

Plenty of websites are dedicated to helping you save money at the checkout lane. Coupon compilers scour the news and inserts to prepare deals for you before you even get your paper. They’ll tell you what items to get and where, and which coupons you’ll need. In addition to Savings Angel, which I mentioned earlier, some of the great sites dedicated to extreme couponing (that my family uses first-hand) are:

Coupon Databases

Many sites also maintain coupon databases, which are useful tools, particularly if you use the whole insert method. A database lists coupon publishers, product manufacturers, stores, values, and expiration dates.

For example, if I saw a sale on Pam cooking spray and wanted to know if I had or could find a coupon for it, I’d type the product name in the search box of the coupon database and get an abbreviated response like, “Pam cooking spray, any: 04-03-11 SS. $1/2.” The SS tells me that it’s a “Smart Source” insert, and the publication date is from April 3, 2011. I also know it’s a dollar-off-two coupon, so I can determine if it’s worth cutting out. It all depends on the sale and other combined offers. The coupon database that I personally like to use maintained by Hot Coupon World.

Tracking Software

Want to know how much you’re saving over time? Unless you’re a spreadsheet whiz, you’ll need some tracking software. I recommend Coupon Sense, which will notify you of deals in your local zip code – local offers that other websites don’t usually find. It also has tracking software so you can enter your receipts from the stores you shop at most often. At $10 per month, this service really pays for itself. I’m already in awe at how much my family saved during the first quarter of this year:

  • January: We bought $2088.27 in groceries and toiletries while only paying $474.59, yielding a savings of $1,673.70 (77%).
  • February: We bought $2,369.40 in groceries and toiletries while only paying $402.85, yielding a savings of $1,966.55 (82.99%).
  • March: We bought $3,122.63 in groceries and toiletries while only paying $361.19, yielding a savings of $2,767.44 (88.43%). The percent savings just keep on growing!

To summarize, we bought a total of $7,580.30 worth of groceries and toiletries, and only paid $1,238.63, leading to a grand total of $6,341.67 in savings (84%)!

It’s clear that getting great deals and tracking your savings is a lot of fun and motivating. But what do you do about all the stuff you bring home? This brings us to our last step.

Step 5: Storage and Distribution

When you start getting extreme savings, you’re going to stockpile items very quickly, and you’re going to need more space. Organization and free space management are two skills that you’ll want to develop over time if you’re going to have a lot of stuff on hand.

You can easily pick up more than a month’s supply of frozen meat and vegetables, so a deep freezer, for example, is a must. Set up a cabinet or shelving unit in your garage to conveniently store the hundreds of canned goods you’re going to stack up. Your may be coupons organized, but if you don’t stay ahead of storage space, all of your free items will overrun your house. Keep this list of do’s and don’ts in mind:

Do’s

  • Clear away clutter in your kitchen cabinets. Throw away old small appliances you don’t use anymore. Use this opportunity to downsize your home and clear out old and expired items too.
  • Add shelves in your garage, wall-to-wall if you can fit them and still leave enough room for your vehicle.
  • Invest in a deep freezer. A chest freezer is more cost efficient and holds more than an equivalent-sized upright freezer.
  • Place like items together and keep things near where you’ll use them. Put the extra cereal in your kitchen, dishwasher and hand soap under the sink, and toilet paper in the bathroom closets. Excess – and you will have excess – goes in the garage.
  • Consume and organize your food and drinks by earliest expiration date, so you can avoid throwing things away. Keep expiration dates in mind while shopping, and don’t buy more than you can use before expiration. If you find no way to consume it all, you can always give it away to friends or donate to a charity.

Don’ts

  • Avoid a stockpile so large it doesn’t fit on your shelves. No deal is good enough to let it fill up your living space. You should be able to relax and watch TV without seeing grocery bags full of chips and soup cans.
  • Pick a few areas of your home that are off-limits, and don’t store anything there. Hallways are not storage areas.
  • Don’t be stingy. If you have more items than you can store, share with your family, neighbors, or a local charity.

Final Word

The biggest do of the them all: do bless others with your good fortune. With extreme couponing, you can do a lot of good with the money you save, like paying down debt, quitting a second part-time job, spending more time at home, and donating to charity.

While most of the good that comes from extreme couponing directly benefits you, if you have the right attitude about it, you can pay it forward and bless someone else with it too. Maybe you know someone who recently lost their job. Bring them some food and milk that you purchased at a really cheap price. If you know someone who’s sick, take a few cans of soup out of your stockpile and pay them a visit. Donate pet supplies and pet food to the humane society. There is so much you can do. Giving of your stockpile will bring you far greater joy than getting free stuff at the checkout lane. I guarantee it.

Are you an extreme couponer? What are some of the best strategies and methods that work best for you? How much money have you saved, and how much time do you spend scouring for the best deals? Share your stories in the comments below!

David Bibby
David Bibby is 35 years old currently living in Palm Bay, FL with his wife Catherine and two daughters. David is a Christian, writer, and programmer. He became interested in personal finance at age 20 while working for a credit union. He owns and operates numerous websites on topics ranging from finances to marriage help. His latest project CouponFedFamily.com might be his most ambitious yet!

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  • http://www.stockpilingmoms.com Melissa @ Stockpiling Moms

    Thanks for the mention! We appreciate it!

    Stockpiling Moms

    • David Bibby

      You are very welcome! I asked my wife Catherine where she gets her inspiration from and she said it’s YOU!

      • Catherine Bibby

        You make me so proud! All these nights I spent rambling on and on about coupons and you were actually listening!

      • http://www.stockpilingmoms.com Melissa @ Stockpiling Moms

        Wow! That is awesome! :-) Tell her thanks!

  • Rick Jungst

    Now that was good solid advise. My wife and I are #1s at best. We will have to start paying a bit more attention to our coupons from now on.

    Thanks for the tip.

    • David Bibby

      Rick,

      Getting to level 3 is not hard, it just takes a little bit of research on the sites I mentioned. In fact the deals have already been aligned for you and all you have to do is follow the instructions. I would absolutely love you hear about your first coupon deal.

      Google “Coupon Matchups” and you’ll find a site that will get you started.

      Also.. if you’re a home repair kind of guy… there is another site to check out. www.stockpilingdads.com

      Here’s their mission:

      “We are two frugal dads who created this site because men use coupons too! We are bringing you the deals men love from Lowes, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Best Buy, Staples, Office Max, Office Depot and more! We will provide home improvement ideas and tips, grilling recipes, giveaways and more!”

      Good luck and thanks for commenting!

  • Jody Baxter

    Hey, My husband has been on me to learn how to be couponer number 4. Lately I have not had time, but would love to learn. I actually sat last night and clipped coupons, but will I actually use them? Maybe, maybe not! But I would really love to!

    • David Bibby

      Jody,

      You will be amazed at how much money you can save by taking advantage of the deals that are out there. You can ease yourself into it as you learn. For example…toothpaste and toothbrushes. There is very likely a good deal on those happening right now that you can get it for free. Walgreens and CVS usually offer Register Rewards or Extra Care Bucks when you buy these items from their stores. If you use a coupon, you still get the rewards.

      You certainly don’t have to do everything all at once, and we’ll help you get there!

      David

  • Alissa

    Great information!!! I am at level 3 sometimes level 4 just depends on the time!

    • David Bibby

      Alissa,

      Thank you for the comment! When you start doing Level 4 as a way of life.. you won’t need a wholesale club membership and you won’t need to shop in a generic store either. When you can get your razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, mouthwash, tampons, antiperspirant, headache pills, groceries, and clothes for FREE (or close to it)… you know your at level 4.

      David

  • Pat Bibby

    David,
    Thanks for all of the advice. I am on level 2 and 3, and like you I really enjoy some good ole company brands. I am waiting for the some of the free samples to come through the mail, as well as the big sale for prilosec, there actually was a coupon for $5 off, in addition to $5 off at CVS, and than they gave me back $7 in register rewards. That was about 8 weeks ago!
    Thanks,
    Pat

    • David Bibby

      Hi, Mom! (boy I feel silly saying that on the internet)

      Isn’t it great to save money? Wish I had heard of this stuff sooner! But as it turns out…there isn’t much of a learning curve here. Someone can spend a little time on the sites I mentioned and in less than 2 months, take their savings through the roof!

      Love ya!

  • http://www.simpleslug.blogspot.com Slugmama

    I’ve been an Extremer for about a year and a half now. While I regularly can get all my toiletries(and the food items that the drug store carries)for free, getting as good a deal at the grocery store is a bit more challenging, especially around where I live. Even with that, I’ve averaged spending $184 a month for a family of 5 & 3 dogs, for food and HBA so far this year….for what I bought, that’s a savings of 86%.

    I concentrate on 1 drug store chain instead of trying to run from sale to sale at multiple chains and it’s working much better than when I tried working all 3 of the big drug stores. I must be doing something right because my drug store savings rate alone is 97.55% so far this year….and that’s not counting the extra HBA I sold at a flea market in May, which basically meant the stores paid me to take that stuff home. 8-)

    Anybody can do this….it takes patience like you say to time the deals, but being a numbers geek helps. I approach it as a job. Now that I have a system down, I devote maybe 1 hr. a day total to the searching for deals/clipping Qs/reading ads/working up scenarios/actual shopping/organizing and putting it all away. And since I stockpile there are some weeks I don’t even shop and take a break from it.
    I’ve saved my family over $9,400 so far this year by extreme couponing. That comes out to a pay rate of $34 an hr.

    • David Bibby

      Slugmama,

      If there was ever a level 5… you might be it! Some of the coupon matchups you have on your site are incredible! I mean, getting $38 worth of products for 14 CENTS is truly amazing.

      I can relate to the phrase “It’s as if they PAID me to take that item off their shelves”. That is a regular experience for and extreme couponer like yourself.

      I have not calculated how much we have saved since my wife started extreme couponing, but I know it was enough for her to quit her preschooling job and homeschool our children instead.

      The benefits of extreme couponing, as least in our family, is MORE than just the monetary savings on groceries and toiletries. We all have more quality time as a family because of it.

      Thank you for sharing!

  • Sue

    With help from lots of websites, I am a #4. I have a nice stockpile of shampoo, toothpaste, soap, feminine products and many other things. I don’t use coupons much for food because we don’t eat processed food in my house, so coupons for produce and meat don’t often come around. When I find them however, I use them!
    Good article! Good advice!

    • David Bibby

      Do you eat organic? Supposedly there are great organic coupons out there you can get by writing to the companies that provide them.

      Thanks for commenting!

  • http://www.lifeasmom.com FishMama

    Thanks for the shout out!

    • David Bibby

      You’re very welcome… The www.lifeasmom.com website has helped our family in many ways!

      The thanks go to you!

      David

  • http://change-is-possible.net Heather

    I’ll use coupons for household items, and occasionally on food, but most of the food we eat doesn’t have coupons.

    • David Bibby

      Thank you for commenting…I’m curious as to what foods don’t have coupons. Produce, meats, and seafood come to mind. Instead we’ll buy those on sale. Organic foods DO have coupons, but they are sometimes harder to get.

  • Lisa

    Great information. If not for coupons we could not stretch our limited household income to include a little “fun” once in awhile, I refuse to pay full price for ANYTHING including clothes. There may not be coupons for clothes in the traditional sense however there are many ways to save there as well. Great article!

    • David Bibby

      Clothes is an area that we are just starting to branch out into. www.retailmenot.com tells you how to play the “game” with clothing outlets. We don’t buy clothes that often but we recently saved well over $200 with the combination of a clearance sale, kohl’s cash, and a $10 off of $20 coupoon. I think we only spent $10 out of pocket.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Tara

    Great breakdown! So many times I hear people say, “couponing isn’t worth my time,” or “I end up spending more money because I’m buying things I have coupons for even when they’re not on sale.” This article is a concise explanation of HOW you can use coupons to your advantage.

    I disagree with you on one element of Level 4, though. I don’t have any newspapers delivered to my house–I use my CVS ExtraCare Bucks (ECB’s) to get them for free each week, rolling the ECB’s I have from buying items that I made money on (using store coupons, manufacturer’s coupons, and sales to get maximum savings!). My spending for my drug store shopping (CVS, Walgreens, and my favorite, Rite Aid) is actually NEGATIVE for almost $4,000 worth of products I’ve “purchased” in 2010 (factoring in all coupons used and store and manufacturer’s rebates earned), and that includes all diapers for my toddler!

    It’s a lot of time, but it’s absolutely worth it to me in this economy. I find that tracking my savings in my Excel spreadsheet helps inspire me to do more. I went into 2010 hoping to save $12,000 for the year, and I’m well on track to doing so, just by spending about an hour a day cutting coupons, surfing the Web for deals, and shopping all the stores for deals.

    • David Bibby

      You bring up a couple of good points Tara.

      To be a level 4 extreme couponer, you don’t HAVE to have 4 newspapers delivered. Often times you can get all the coupons you needs just by printing them out from the web, Some folks have just the coupon inserts mailed to them (because they don’t want the news) so that works as well.

      The point is that there are multiple ways to do it. A little trial and error is all it takes to figure out what works for you.

      Another thing that Level 3 and Level 4 couponers do is make great use of REBATES. Yes, it involves keeping the receipt and using a stamp, but it is worth the time and effort. For my family, we’re saving up for annual passes to a theme park with all the rebates that we get.

      Thank you for reading!

  • Robin Bohnet

    I am a single mom raising 4 children and coupons have saved us. I would go to the store and use 5 or 6 coupons and wonder how do those other women do it, I just don’t get it, it would drive me crazy! That was the old me, the new me has been able to save 85% with the aid of sales, mfg and store coupons plus register rewards and ECB’s. I DO NOT pay full price for anything anymore, thanks to a couple of wonderful people, Catherine and Cathy, thank you so much. Each time I pull out my coupon book, people look at me and say I just couldn’t do that, I don’t have the time. Make the time, it really does not require that much and it more than pays for itself. I have been able to provide my children with opportunities otherwise not available due to the savings coupons have made in our lives. I make my money do double duty before it leaves my hands and so can each and every one of you.

    • David Bibby

      Robin,

      That’s really what’s it’s all about isn’t it? Saving money on the things you regularly buy, so that you have keep the difference to benefit your family. Your time with your children is more important to them that anything money can buy, so it’s great that you’re making time for them.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • cathy

    David,

    That was such a good article. I am really getting into the couponing as you know. I really look up to you for financial advice. I am also very proud to have you as a son in law. You make me so proud, keep up the good work.

  • not given

    I can’t use most of the coupons and rebates. I can’t use most of the products there are coupons for or my health will suffer. Recently I’ve used some catfood coupons and one downloaded Iibby’s vegetable coupon, and that’s only because our store brand sucks. The most I have gotten is catfood coupons, 2 older cats have died recently and one will probably go sooner rather than later. The $4 OTC med product coupons don’t save more than the store brand does. I don’t think I can survive on couponing. I’ve rebated maybe $10 this year, thank God for the $5 on whiskey, I live with stress. I’ve made way more than that with surveys. Nobody in the house can eat cookies, cake, Hamburger helper, or, really ANY carbs. I can’t use scented products or most cleaning products.

    .

    • David Bibby

      Anonymous,

      It appears your health conditions will impede any sort of savings benefits you might receive from using coupons. Many times you can BEAT the store brand prices with a well timed sale combined with a store coupon and/or manufacturer’s coupon. While I agree that most coupons out there are for carb rich foods and cleaning products, I know it’s still possible to eat healthy as well.

      When it comes to your health vs saving money, your health come first.

      On that note, take some time out of your day to reduce the stress in your life. Stress will manifest physically in your body as ailments and other conditions. Whether you are a single parent raising children or work stress is very high, take care of yourself in healthy ways and avoid alcohol.

      Thanks for the comment.

      • not given

        After years of of trying to get a Sunday paper delivered, I had to give up. Multiple calls and emails every week to get one paper, sometimes with no coupon section, someone had stolen it, it just wasn’t worth the blood pressure meds and tranquilizers, The number of coupons included that i could use didn’t pay for the paper.

        • David Bibby

          I can relate to your situation with the newspapers. I ordered 4 copies of the Sunday paper, and received one. This happened for 3 straight weeks in a row even though I made multiple calls. Finally, I had to email someone and they were a little more responsive to that.

          We have just taken it a step further and now we order the coupon inserts directly. We’re skipping the paper altogether and we are ordering direct.

          I hope you find a workable solution, even if it’s not using coupons at all.

  • not given

    When we get the product the coupon is for,it’s after the expiration date. Small towns suck.

    • David Bibby

      There are some great forums on www.hotcouponworld.com that might be able to help you. In some parts of the country the grocery stores are not so coupon friendly. There should be some folks local to you that may know the in’s and out’s of the stores near you.

  • Shannon

    I was wondering how you go about ordering just the coupon inserts directly? Do you go through the local paper somehow, or do you use an online couponing service? I enjoy getting one paper, but getting multiples just bogs down my recycling bin! Maybe I could get one paper and order the multiple coupon inserts separately?

    Thanks for the great article, btw. I passed it on to my FB friends. Personally, I’m between a 3 and 4. I haven’t been able to juggle my schedule to fit in everything I want to and be a completely die hard couponer. I do have a nice stockpile, though! :)

    • David Bibby

      Shannon,

      Check out http://www.wholecouponinserts.com

      With this website you can order the Smart Source, P&G, and Red Plum’s directly without having to have the paper delivered. I’m sure you may have experience situations where coupon inserts were missing from the paper or other types of problems. Ordering direct (even with the shipping cost) should be cheaper than having 4 subscriptions of your newspaper (at least it was for us anyway).

      You can see ALL the coupons in the insert before you order. So if it happens to be a bad week for deals you don’t have to buy unless you want to.

      You even get a discount if you order 10 or more inserts.

      My wife, being the Extreme Couponer that she is, set up a way to save money even with ordering direct. She is a coupon buddy with her mom! This means that when they order 10 inserts, they split the cost of the order and they each take away 5 inserts. This takes advantage of the bulk discount plus you may not want 10 of the same coupon.

      I sincerely hope this helps you and all your friends!

  • Jim

    My wife loves EmbracingBeauty.com for freebies and coupons!

    • David Bibby

      Thanks for mentioning the site. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of great sites just like EmbracingBeauty.com that not only tell you about great deals… but give you the STEP BY STEP instructions on how to pull them off!

      You can’t lose if you try!

      David

  • http://kindcoupons.org/ Jennifer Miller

    Becoming a coupon expert is very easy. You just need to be patient and dedicated in doing it. It is something that should not be taken for granted because it helps save money.

    • David Bibby

      Thanks Jennifer,

      Because it is actually very easy to learn and save money this way…some folks tend to waste the extra money by eating out more or getting a bigger car payment. I certainly don’t advocate the mismanagement of funds…which is why I mention having a purpose behind the savings.

      For us…it’s paying our house of early.

  • Jen

    I tried to use a store coupon with a manufacture coupon, and was told by the store that I couldn’t. I keep reading about how you should be able to do this. Tell me what I’m doing wrong. I want to suceed at extreme couponing. My husband is even on board and going to help.

    • David Bibby

      Jen,

      Don’t give up. Feel free to let me know where you shopped. The big chain grocery stores Publix, Winn Dixie, Food Lion, Krogers, and Albertsons most definitely will take both a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon for the same item. Walgreens and CVS also take a store coupon and a mfg. coupon together for one item.

      In my experience, the people who deny to let you use your coupons are cashiers that don’t even know their own store’s coupon policy. We have dealt with very rude store employees who have either lied or tried to assert their own false authority. If that happens…tell them to void off the item… you should not have to be railroaded into paying full price for the item. If they are not going to take your coupons, then don’t buy the item. Do ask for your coupons back though… because it’s most likely that the cashier doesn’t know what they’re doing.

      Next… call the store and ask what their coupon policy is on using Store and Manufacturers Coupons on the same item. Call the corporate office if you can’t get a straight answer.

      Don’t let this first experience end your couponing days… keep trying until you get the hang of it and before long, you’ll be able to quote your store’s own coupon policy back to the cashier, the floor supervisor, and even the manager.

      This month.. we spent about $406 out of pocket and redeemed $1900 in coupon savings and rebates. That’s 82% savings and we received over $2300 in name brand products (no generics here!).

      It is do-able and very easy.

      For more information check out www.howtoshopforfree.net , it’s yet another great site for those learning how to be an extreme couponer.

  • Curious Husband

    My wife has started couponing, and I am all for it. Here’s what we are missing. PLEASE HELP!

    How do you get the stores to sell you more than one (1) of each item. We have been to multiple stores that will not allow us to use more than one ‘set’ of coupons for one(1) of each item.

    Hopefully the answer isn’t just “keep trying.” That’s not really an answer. I know some of you have worked it out and that’s great. Please don’t tell me your story and then not tell me what stores you go to that allow you to redeem multiple coupons allowing you to buy in bulk.

    Thanks in advance and happy couponing!

    • David Bibby

      Curious,

      Feel free to let me know WHAT you tried to buy, WHERE you tried to buy it, and WHICH coupon(s) you had.

      In general, you can use a Store Coupon and an Manufacturers coupon for the same one item. For example.

      If Target has Peter Pan Peanut Butter on sale for $2.00 and you have a Target coupon for $1.00 peanut butter and a Manufacturer’s coupon for Peter Pan Peanut Butter $1.00 then you get the item for free.

      If you have 5 Target coupons and 5 Manufacturer’s coupons… you can get 5 jars of Peanut Butter for free.

      What you CAN’T do is use two target coupons on one jar of peanut butter… and you Can’t use two Manufacturer’s coupons on one Jar of Peanut Butter.

      Store coupons are not always for specific products.. sometimes they say “$5 of $25 Purchase”. When you get those.. your order must be $25 BEFORE COUPONS and then the $5 comes off… and you can then hand them the rest of the store coupons and MFG coupons you have.

      Thank you for the comment. Feel free to tell me any more information about your experience. I’m be happy to help you in any way I can.

  • charlie

    my partner and I are interested in saving money using coupons, we just saw the recent A&E special extreme couponing and it seems amazing, however I noticed almost all of the ppl that do it are a bit overweight…and im thinking the products that these companies are pandering are of little nutritional value eg, ragu, quik meals, noodles, sugary cereals….just a thought

  • David Bibby

    Charlie,

    That is a very common misconception. While it’s true that it’s easy to get “junk food” with coupons, it’s just as easy to get Milk, Produce, and Meat for next to nothing. Also, the observation that all the people that do extreme couponing are overweight is very stereotypical. The truth is extreme couponers come in all shapes and sizes. My wife is thin and athletic. Doing extreme couponing will one day allow her to become a fitness instructor which is a lifelong dream of hers.

    The Bottom line here is that you can do extreme couponing for the things that you buy right now. If you eat a lot of junk food… you can get coupons to get it for free or close to free. If you are a vegetarian and organic produce is what you are after, there are ways to get the coupons you need to do that.

    TV is not reality. I watched the A&E special and my first thought was that they are painting extreme couponing in a very NEGATIVE light. There is a big difference between creating a stockpile and hoarding. A stockpile is where you keep a reasonable amount of product on hand and start donating the rest to bless other people and hoarding is just keeping in all in your house in an un-organized manner and getting more stuff just because you can.

    If you’re really interested in extreme couponing, turn off the TV, and visit some of the sites mentioned.

    Thanks for the comment

  • Sabrina Richards

    I am curious to have more information on how to get big savings on meat, produce, milk, and other perishables.

  • David Bibby

    Sabrina,

    Take a look at the website www.howtoshopforfree.net

    Kathy Spencer is one of the foremost leading Extreme Couponers in America today. Her website will have everything you are looking for in terms of getting started with extreme couponing all the way up to the more advanced techniques that will allow you to get your items for free.

    In a nutshell…many times when you combine a store coupon, a manufacturers coupons, and a store sales…. you will have an overage. That is to say… the store would owe you money back for those coupons. The store cannot actually GIVE you cash back but those overages CAN be applied to other items in your shopping cart such as produce.

    Here is a fictional example but not one that’s too far-fetched:

    Let’s suppose you have a manufacturer coupon for $2.00 off 1 tube of Aquafresh toothpaste. Lets also suppose that Target has an in-store coupon for $1.00 off the same item and it’s on sale this week for $1.99 per tube.

    So if you used both coupons on the item it would look like this:

    1 Tube Aquafresh toothpaste – - – - $1.99
    1 Manufacturers Coupon – - – - – - – - ($2.00)
    1 Target Store Coupon – - – - – - – - – -($1.00)
    _________________
    Total -$1.01 (overage)

    Now.. $1.01 in overage isn’t going to really help you with the rest of the items in your shopping cart. But what if you had 10 Manufacturers Coupons and 10 Target store coupons. Get 10 tubes of toothpaste and now you’re talking an overage of $10.10! You could easily get a gallon of milk and a bag of apples with an overage like that, couldn’t you?

    THAT’S how it’s done! If you don’t need 10 tubes of toothpaste you can give them to your neighbors. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s worth the time and effort to collect coupons so that you can get free stuff and bless others at the same time?

    Thanks for the question. Again, please check out Kathy Spencer’s webstie. You won’t regret it.

  • Kimberly

    Hi David,

    My husband and I want to start getting into couponing. We bought the paper today and read the Manufactures coupon that says “one coupon per purchase”. Question is, how do people get away with buying more then one item?

  • Sabrina Richards

    David-
    Thanks so much! I would say that I am at a level almost 2 right now. I had NO idea you could do that with the extra money on the coupons. Thanks, and I will definitely check out Ms. Spencer’s website. We work very closely with a Christian Food Bank through our church and you are absolutely right- it would be amazing to be able to bless them in that way. Thanks for all of the great information on you site and the link to other’s sites as well.

  • David Bibby

    Kimberly,

    That’s a great question about the wording of coupons and how they affect you. In this case the word “Purchase” is synonymous with “Product”. This means that if you have 5 coupons for the same thing, you can buy 5 of those items and use all five coupons.

    If the coupon said “one coupon per TRANSACTION”, that’s a different story. Then it means one coupon per shopping trip. In these cases..some couponers have been known to get the little plastic divider at the check out lane and ring up two or three separate transactions (rung up and paid for separately). Technically, you are using one coupon per transaction this way.

    The point is that you should not be afraid to try and use coupons. Nothing about extreme couponing is illegal or criminal. Manufacturers WANT you to use coupons for their products because it gets them off the shelf. Grocery Stores WANT you to use coupons because they get a piece of the action too. They get 8 cents for every coupon they turn in plus the coupon’s actual value.

    So even if you are getting the item for free, everybody wins. The only time we run into a problem is when we get a rude cashier who can’t get their head around this concept and steadfastly refuses to take a legitimate coupon. In those cases, we politely ask the manager to intervene. If the manager can’t get his/her head around it either, we call the corporate office.

    Thanks for the question Kimberly.

  • tina

    Thanks for the tips in about coupons, I wonder if you savings also include double coupons or is it just from the manufacture coupons that save u money. i also have trouble with using the store coupons and regular coupons thanks for the tips again

  • Kesh

    I think I am a different category. I take all my adds from other grocery stores to walmart then I add match or go generic with what ever is the best value, then recently I have started stock piling on the best deals to save more down the road, but think I will try the coupons again now that I know you can double some up. Thanks

  • David Bibby

    Tina,

    I live in Florida where we cannot double coupons… so for us we almost always have to combine a Store Coupon, and Manufacturers Coupon along with the item being on sale. If you live in areas where you can double manufacturers coupons then you may not need the store coupon to get good savings.

    Kesh,

    Walmart recently changed their Coupon Policy, it is now an ever better place to shop. Walmart will now give you CASH BACK if your coupons exceed the value of the items you are purchasing. Walmart also takes the register rewards that you get from Walgreen’s Pharmacy stores as well. Register Rewards are those coupons that print out at Walgreens AFTER you make a transaction and usually read “$5.00 off your next order”. Walmart will honor these.

    However.. Walmart will NOT take a competitors coupon that says “$1 off “. This is a key difference than what was in place before.

    Lets take peanut butter as an example. If a grocery store like Winn Dixie has the advertised price of $1.99 for peanut butter, then Walmart will price match it. You can use a manufacturers coupon on it to get it lower. But, you cannot use a Winn Dixie coupon that says “$1 OFF peanut butter”.

    Hope this helps Everyone!

    Thanks for the comments.

  • David Bibby

    For Clarification.. Walmart will not take a Competitors STORE Coupon that say “$1 off ________” and lists an item. But they will take any Manufacturers coupon. The Walgreens Register Rewards are “Manufacturer’s ” coupons and therefore not store coupons. So Walmart will honor those.

  • Kesh

    Walmart may take a store coupon if the coupon lists the normal amount of price and then walmart will treat it as a price match, same if store coupon says like 4 for 10 dollars or 20 for 10 dollars, then they would price match 2.50 on the first and .50 on the second as long as you had 4 items of the first and 20 items of the second, same for the buy one get one free deals, if the add states how much the item cost then they will price match at half the stated price otherwise if add just says 2 for 1 then it will not apply. Also like I said bring the adds so they can read it, the cashiers and managers I find very helpful. They want you to save and leave happy. Price matches apply to major competitors, not to dollar stores. I shop at 2 different Walmarts in Peoria and Glendale AZ an the cashiers at those stores sit down and memorize the local competitor adds, they just need you to say it half the time, course sometimes they forget one, just show them the add and presto…

    PS I bought a Sunday paper while at the store yesterday, its my first one in the last 3 years. Will try and start clipping coupons as suggested, I may have to work my way up to 4 Sunday papers though, they are 2 bucks a pop here. Will need to get a coupon carrier.

    I totally forgot to watch the new show on ex-stream couponers. Pout!

    Thanks a bunches

  • David Bibby

    CORRECTION: Walmart no longer accepts the Walgreens Register Reward coupons anymore as of 3.16.2011.

    A copy of their coupon policy can be found here:

    http://walmartstores.com/7655.aspx

    Thanks,
    David

  • Vicki Biggs

    Hello,

    Wow funny to see you r from the Palm Bay area (I recently moved from Titusville! back to NJ) any way I’m wondering if any one has any idea’s on how to keep good track of your coupons and also about when coupons expire?? I use to use my coupons all the time and for some reason I stopped ….but now I am getting back into the swing of it but I’m trying to work my way up to 4 quick :) Any idea’s would be greatly appreciated!!

  • Alyssa

    I work at an animal shelter, and I think this sounds like a great way for people to donate supplies to shelters and other NPOs!

  • Jeri McBride

    How do i get manufactures coupons? I really want to be sucessful at this but I don’t know how to start, please help. Thanksl

  • patti

    hey david,

    Im a single mom too and trying to learn how to save money with coupons …how do i save money on meat dont see too many coupons for ground beef or steaks … was watching extreme couponing tonight …and saw the one lady had a bunch of meat … how did she not pay alot for that …im just not getting how to bundle up coupons i guess ….need some help plzz ..

  • Brittany Nicole

    I need major help!! I havr NEVER couponed before but I really need to start. I seriously need some type of help with how to properly use the coupons, how to calculate correctly, and even how much I can buy of each item for the least amount of money. Help!!

  • David Bibby

    Vicki, Alyssa, Jeri, Patti, and Brittany,

    Thank you for your comments and questions. Here is my response to all of you and anyone else who’s interested.

    So Jeri and Brittany…and those others who are looking to start couponing… stay tuned on Money Crashers, we’re going to have a guide to extreme couponing out in a couple of days. If you subscribe to these comments I’ll post a link once it’s ready. It will be more in-depth but the outline will be something similar to this.

    1) Get coupons… from the Sunday Paper, from in-store flyers, in the supermarket isles (tear pads), from neighbors, etc. Collect them where ever you can. I recommend 4 sunday papers each week.

    2) Organize your coupons… file away the entire inserts, do not cut out any coupons until you know which ones you’re going to use.

    3) Research the internet… Check out websites such as the ones mentioned in the Extreme Couponer section of this piece.

    4) Get a coupon policy for your store… policies change all the time, you want to know what you can and cannot do with your coupons.

    5) Go shopping, be polite, and start small. When you get more comfortable with it, you can go for bigger trips.

    Again… Stay tuned on money crashers for our upcoming guide.

    Vicki, Alyssa, and Patti,

    It doesn’t matter where you live…you can do couponing. When you do things right, you’ll get items for free or close to free. Sometimes you also find what are called “Money Makers”. This is when your coupon value exceeds the cost of the item on sale and the store owes you money.

    My family and I recently bought a whole bunch of cat food and cat treats, but we don’t even have a cat! We did this because the cat food and treats were money makers and with that extra money it paid for other things in our basket, like meat and produce. Since we don’t have a cat we donate the items to the local humane society. The way I see it, we got free meat and produce and the shelter won too!

    So even if you don’t get a coupon for meat and produce… clever use of coupons still allows you to get them for free or close to it.

    Hope this helps ladies!
    David

  • Josh

    I’ll admit I’m not much of a couponer but I do know how to save money on things like meat. We usually buy a half a hog and a quarter of beef each year from some local farmer/ranchers. Its usually quite a bit cheaper and the meat tastes much better than the stuff you get from a grocery store.

  • Alisha

    I am wanting to start couponing, but most of the coupons I find say no other coupon may be used with this coupon. How can I add up more savings? Are mfr coupon different than store coupons with their rules? I guess I just need some more explaining to get this to work out for me. We are trying to solely live off my husbands income so I can finish my schooling, so anything we can do would really help.

  • Jessica

    I have been trying find a way to stay…it all started with my husband loosing his job..then I had surgery on my ankle..and then lost my job…so we are always trying to find ways to save…I have tried coupons before, but never seen to work…but I just watched the show extreme couponing….I want to do what they do…

  • David Bibby

    Alisha and Jessica,

    Whether you are trying to live on one income or have recently come into hardship with a job loss, couponing is going to help your family if you do it right.

    Like most things, there is a right way and a wrong way to use coupons.. lets start with the “Wrong” way.

    The “wrong” way to use coupons is to use it of stuff you don’t need on items not on sale. For example… saving 50 cents on a can of Pringles potato chips while it’s not on sale and cost’s $2.39. That means your out of pocket cost is $1.89.

    The “Right” way to use coupons is to use it on items that are ON sale. Using the Pringles again let’s say it went on sale 10 for $10.00. On a 10 for $10 sale… you do NOT have to buy 10 items.. you can get 1 for $1.00. Using the same coupon.. you can take 50 cents off the 1 can making your out of pocket just $0.50.

    Now you have to decide if spending 50 cents on a can of Pringles is a good deal for your family or not. For one family it’s a great deal.. for another family.. they may wait until a better sale comes along or they can get a 75 cent or a 1-dollar coupon instead.

    If the math works out and you can get an item for free. Whether you need the item or not, I say go for it. If you don’t need the item you can always give it away to someone who does.

    If you’re just getting started.. please stay tuned on money crashers for our upcoming guide to extreme couponing. I’ll reply to this thread as soon as it’s been released. In the meantime.. please checkout www.howtoshopforfree.net

    Thanks
    David

  • Jill

    Dear David,

    Thank you for the wonderful article filled with advice, clear steps, and encouragement! I am hoping to reach level 3 soon. Any advice on where to find coupons for (or other ways to save on) produce? I eat a ton of it, and could use some help :)

    Thank you!
    Jill

  • Tonja

    Hi Dave -
    I have done extreme couponing before, but let it go when I took on a job. Now that things are tight with the economy, I am going to take it up again.

    I live in Virginia and I have found that a lot of the stores around here will not credit any overages to your bill. Meaning, once the item is taken down to a $0 balance the remaining amount of the coupon is forgotten. Example would be buying a box of cereal for $1.50 and having a coupon for $2 off. The store would not apply the remaining $.50 to another item. It is in their policy to only honor coupons up to the price of the product. I have never seen a coupon for produce or meats so I can only assume that this means that I cannot use coupons for those items or any other item that coupons are not printed for. Am I right?

  • Taunee

    David,
    Thanks so much for all this info. I’m a SAHM to 6 kids ages 16 down to a set of triplets who are 8. I have wanted to use coupons but really didnt know how they worked. I dont have a problem buying generic on some things but others the name brand is better, but more expensive. Things are getting more expensive for us as the kids get older and I watch the show Extreme couponers and I wish that I could do that. Thanks to you and your guide I now know how to begin. Thanks again!

  • Alicia

    David,

    You did a wonderful job writing this article!!

  • http://firstgenamerican.com First Gen American

    Wow..this is the most comprehensive article I’ve seen on the topic. I consider myself a solid 3. I regularly save 20-40% on my groceries by combining coupons and sales.

    Unfortunately, here in MA, my local supermarkets (Big Y, Stop Shop, Price Chopper) have caught onto the trend and play the game too. For example, I’ve noticed within the last year that a lot of the items from the P+G brand saver will only go on sale in my grocery store the day after my coupon expires (so I can never get below a certain price) but before the next batch of P+G coupons comes out.

    Also, my stores only offer double coupons only about once every 4-8 weeks and restrict the # of coupons to 3 per customer and those double coupons are only good for 7 days. Third, they only honor the $1 off coupons, not any other denomination.

    I haven’t considered buying coupons from online sources though. It may be worth a try.

  • David Bibby

    Jill, Tonja, and Taunee,

    Thanks for your replies! I’m glad that you found the guide encouraging. Here’s the scoop on getting produce:

    Jill,
    Like Tonja mentioned.. when you can get overage from a coupon deal… such as having a $2.00 coupon for an item on sale for $1.50.. you get 50 cents in overage. The overage can be applied to other items in the cart, such as produce. So if you had 10 coupons and bought 10 boxes of cereal and earned $5.00 in overage… you can get a bag of apples or bananas. Check the stores in your area. Most don’t allow cash back for coupon overage but will allow you to use it on other items in the kart.

    Tonja, Walmart recently changed their coupon policy to allow overage for cart items and even give you CASH BACK on your coupon overage. This is a HUGE change which started in March 2011. Before that, it was tough getting deals there. Does your Walmart sell groceries?

    Also.. Stores are NOT supposed to be adjusting down Manufacturers Coupons to the cost of the sale. There are few companies that are in TROUBLE for doing that. I would suggest calling up the store manager and/or the corporate office and discuss it with them. You may also want to get a copy of their coupon policy.

    Taunee,
    Thank you for your comments. I hope you find what you’re looking for here and that you are on your way to big savings!

    David

  • David Bibby

    Alicia,

    Thanks for the kind words! I’m quite proud of this one myself!

    First Gen American,

    It’s seems silly that the stores would intentionally “work around” the coupons to cheat you our of getting good deals. The fact is that the store get’s PAID the full value of the coupon plus 8 cents. They are there to move product off the shelves. Still P&G coupons DO expire rather quickly… so printable coupons and/or buying whole inserts of Smart Source and Red Plum might be better for you.

    Thanks again,
    David

  • http://hotcouponworld.com Heidi Kennedy

    Thanks so much for the mention of the Coupon Database at Hotcouponworld.com. We think it is a great and valuable resource for couponers both extreme and average! I think smart couponing is more important that extreme couponing. The folks highlighted on the TV show on TLC are a bit (ok more than a bit) over the top. And the show really does not show the true story on how to coupon. In fact some of the folks portrayed on the show bent the rules or out right committed coupon fraud it looks like. That is just unfortunate. I wrote an article myself on Extreme Couponing versus Hardcore Couponing that you may want to check out: http://www.hotcouponworld.com/2011/03/extreme-couponing-versus-hardcore-couponing/ (if link is not allowed my apologies please feel free to remove it)

  • http://www.couponsense.com Coupon Sense

    What a great article and so well written! Love that you are trying to help people save money in this tough economy! Groceries are a necessity, why pay a premium price for them! And thanks for mentioning our program! We’re here to help anyone who wants to give coupon shopping a try!

    Coupon Sense Team
    www.couponsense.com
    [email protected]

  • David Bibby

    Heidi,

    You are very welcome! My family uses the HotCouponWorld.com database several times a day and we absolutely love how easy it is. We try very hard to save money but there are some things we don’t do that was shown on TV, such as breaking up an order into 18 separate transactions.

    The average person should be able to get significant savings without having to resort to finding loopholes in coupon policies or spending 5 hours in a grocery store.

    The Coupon Sense Team,
    Thank you for your comments. We love the tracking software, which is where the numbers in this article came from! If we had not been tracking and entering our receipts, I would have overstated or understated the true savings we have received this year. What was written is REAL and is do-able for anyone.

    Thanks!
    David

  • peggy

    Thank you for such a comprehensive, well-written article! I especially appreciate your great attitude. I admit, when I saw the title I feared this would be like that horrible TLC show by the same name, where they showcase people who are just plain greedy (e.g., clearing the shelves, splitting their purchases into 16 transactions). Many thanks for mentioning “don’t be greedy”. If I ever bought 77 bottles of mustard (as one woman on that TLC show did) I would probably keep 2 and then donate the rest).

  • David Bibby

    Peggy,

    The TLC show puts an emphasis on the word “Extreme” so they looked for people that would make great TV. In many cases, the show gives “suggestions” to the featured couponers and encourages the “clear the shelf” mentality. The unfortunate side affect of the TV show is that it gives couponers like me a bad name.

    I believe that one should show a little restraint and save some product for everyone else. If I want more of them I can wait for the store to restock.

    Thanks for the comments!
    David

  • Jennifer

    Hi David!

    Thanks for writing this article. I’ve always been a subscriber to slickdeals but I recently learned of extreme coupons. Your article

    Is there a database of stores with their coupon policies on the net somewhere?

  • Belinda Evans

    Hi I would love to start saving on coupons because i am always broke and could use the spare cash can you help me start?

  • David Bibby

    Jennifer,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I don’t know of any websites that compile and link to individual stores’ coupon policies. Instead we’ve either called the store’s corporate office or found them on their own company websites. Most of the time I don’t run into problems because the stores in my region do not double coupons at all. It seems that the policies that change the most deal with how many coupons the store will double and how much they’ll go up to.

    You can find walmart’s coupon policy here:
    http://walmartstores.com/7655.aspx

    The policy recently changed for the better and now says the following “If coupon value exceeds the price of the item, the excess may be given to the customer as cash or applied toward the basket purchase.”

    Happy Couponing!
    David

  • http://hotcouponworld.com Heidi Kennedy

    David and Jennifer – try this link for a list of 114 stores coupon policies (albeit some of them may be a little sparse and you may still need to check with your store manager): http://www.hotcouponworld.com/store-coupon-policies/

  • Jennifer

    Thanks for your speedy response! Just a few more questions and I’m on my way on being an extreme couponer!

    If there are multiple manufacturer coupons that are different coupons but for the same item, can they be stacked?

    When do certain items usually become the cheapest? As in, is there a season that certain categories of things go on super sale?

    What are some of your favorite web resources for coupons and deals?

  • angelina

    Hi David, thanks for sharing all infos. God bless your heart. My question is, can i choose the coupon i want to print? and can i print the same kind of coupon multiple times if i want to say have 10 coupons on that particular item? and also, will it not make the ink cost much if i get coupons printed all the time? Thank you very much…

  • Kerry

    Thank you so much for your article–I am a newbie and it was very informative.

    I have a question though—I read that buying coupons was considered fraud and hence, illegal. Is buying the inserts whole different? I’d rather do that than order four papers, but I don’t want to do anything fraudulent. If I’m wrong about the law/rules, I apologize, but I’ve been trying to read up as much as possible the past few days.

  • yvette chavez

    I would like to know how to extreme coupon? Because my grocery store does not double coupon or we dont have a store discount card. The store has sales like buy this and and all this for free, also they have in store coupons and they don’t let my use the manufacturers coupons… so what to do?

  • kacie speed

    I had a question sunday newspapers here cost 2 dollars each (dont know if its the same everywhere) but if i buy more will they give me a discount on them the more i buy? also if i wait til the end of the day on sunday and then go to say the gas station i buy my newspaper at what do i ask them- if i could have all there inserts in the newspapers they have left over or if i could buy the inserts left over? Do you have a list of manufacturers that will give out coupons or is that just a thing im going to have to work on myself? Also I found this website that said if you send us a SASE we will send you coupons- I forgot the website but I have there address:
    Elite web holding, LLC
    po box 1072
    Dubuque, IA 52004
    I just want to make sure this is a good company or buisness before i send them my address do you know if it is?
    Thanks for all the help sorry for all the questions- just pretty new at this and I would like to know everything so I can save as much as possible and also help my family out thanks again,
    kacie

  • David Bibby

    Wow.. thanks for all the comments and questions.. this is helping a lot of people learn more about how to save money using coupons. Here are my responses to each of you.

    Jennifer,

    If you have multiple manufacturers (MFR) coupons of various amounts… you CANNOT stack them on the same item. You can use any ONE of those coupons and you can stack it with a STORE coupon for the item however. You also cannot stack two store coupons for the same item either. So MFR + MFR is a no-no. Store + Store is a no-no… but MFR + STORE is GOLD!

    When do items become the cheapest… it’s very hard to say… most items are on a 12 week cycle for a sale. So if you miss a deal on an item… it’s a safe bet that it will come on sale again soon. Some websites have a month-by-month savings guide for super good deals.. I know Kathy Spencer has them in her book “How to Shop for Free”… available on www.howtoshopforfree.net

    Angelina,
    You can always choose the coupons you want to print. The companies that offer online printable coupons set the limit on how many prints can be made overall. Usually you are allowed to print up to 2 coupons PER computer. Not every product has an online printable when you look at sites like www.coupons.com and www.target.com you have to see what’s available.

    If you are going to be printing a lot of coupons, you will need INK. I have a color printer but I only buy the black cartridges anymore and set my printer to only print in black. I have to replace the cartridges frequently. The good news is that I’ll get $2 back for every cartridge because I give them back to Staples every time I have 10 used cartridges. That’s a $20 gift card for doing what I normally do.

    Kerry,
    Thank you for your question about buying coupons. It is ILLEGAL for you and I to SELL coupons directly even at a discount. You can buy coupons from ebay or even whole inserts because you are paying for the SERVICE having another person or entity clip them and package them for you. So if you’re looking to buy the whole insert you are only paying for shipping and a small fee for the Service. www.wholecouponinserts.com is a site I used and trust.

    Yvette,
    It really does depend on the store. Any store that sells name brand products SHOULD allow for the use of Manufacturers coupons. It really benefits them to so do since they would get the full value of the coupon plus 8 cents handling. To the store that’s better than cash. My family and I cannot be store loyal anymore since we only shop for deals now. This means that we visit multiple stores in a week like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Publix, Winn-Dixie, and Sav-a-lot (yes they take MFR coupons). I would ask the corporate office of your store for a clear cut answer on what they take and what they won’t take. Maybe it’s time to change stores possibly?

    My suggestion for starting out if getting your toiletries from Walgreens (using their register reward program) or CVS (using their free store card and the Extra Care Bucks program).

    I’ve heard that Rite-Aid is even better than both Walgreens and CVS, but I don’t have a Rite-Aid in my area.

    Kacie,
    My family and I are up to 10 papers every Sunday now.. we don’t get a discount on the papers themselves. Instead we consider the Sunday Paper, the ink we use in our printer, and the paper we print off of as COSTS for doing what we do. The savings we get from the coupons and the deals we put together more than make up for the cost of the newspapers. That being said… you can always ask the gas station what they do with the left over papers.. and if you can have the inserts in them. The worst that can happen is that they say no.

    Still if you need a specific number of inserts,.. you can save a lot of time and hassle by buying the inserts online at www.wholecouponsinserts.com. You DO get a discount if you buy 10 or more inserts at a time.

    Everyone… Thank you for the overwhelming response to this guide. Please keep the questions coming!

  • David Bibby

    Kacie,

    I realize I didn’t answer your question about the company Elite Web Holding Inc.

    None of the coupon services I’ve ever used asked me to send a SASE (self address stamped envelope) to them for the purposes of sending coupons. They COULD be legitimate… but I’ve never used them and I would be wary of them. Instead, buy your coupons on Ebay if you want multiples of a SPECIFIC coupon.. or buy the Sunday Paper or the inserts directly.

    Regarding which manufacturers give out coupons when you write them? I don’t have a list. I know that have received coupons from Kraft Foods, Glade, Proctor and Gamble, and more just from writing to them.

    If you sign up on www.AllYou.com you can apply for a free sample once a day for various products… those products will come with coupons usually for free full size items.

    Good Luck!
    David

  • Tonja

    David –

    Thank you for he feedback. I will definitely call out the stores that are adjusting back on the coupon prices. I had a feeling that they were doing something sneaky, but didn’t know how to approach it. I will be sure and have each store’s coupon policy handy as well.

    Do you have any article link or site that I can use to research the coupon adjusting? I would like to have backup for when they tell me it isn’t illegal or wrong. :-)

    Thanks again,

    Tonja

  • Dee

    Thank you for the advise. I have a general overall question. I am a first day extreme shopper, so I’m learning here. . I notice some of the sites you use charge a monthly subscription to be a member. Do you feel the cost to use the sites that charge a monthly subscription is worth it? There are so many other webstes that have the same information for free. I would feel like I am negating my savings by paying to use some of the sites you mentioned (IE Savings Angel). I guess my question is why would you use or recommend a site that charges when you can save the money and use an identical site for free? What benefit do you get by paying a membership fee to get coupons? I’m just trying to understand a little bit more before I would consider paying a premimum to recieve coupons that I can get for free.

  • ashley

    this site has opened my eyes so much! im trying to learn about this coupon thing thats going on and i cant wait to start! i have a baby comming on the way so the savings would be sweet! any tips for a first timer!?!

  • Susan

    I thought it was dispicable what the couple did in 18 transactions. I would have put a stop to that as the store manager. The manager of that store knew what they were doing was wrong but seemed overwhelmed and was probably timid because of the cameras. To just outright ask her friends to “just come stand by me” at the checkout! As her friend I would have been embarrassed. What they were doing was hoarding….. they already had a house full of food!!!!

  • Yvonne Dixon

    How do you do this is Canada??? Where do you get the coupons online from?? How do you know how to use the Coupons?? Just wondering how to start. Thanks Yvonne

  • Danielle

    Ok I am new at this.. whats the first step in becoming a level 4? I am SO confused! What would be my first step….HELP!

  • levi

    pretty cool page i just started watching the TLC show with my fiancee and i am a stay at home dad and have been thinking ery hard about getting into this! we receive food stamps so its all kind of savings to us but if i could take that $500 and turn it into $2000 worth of food products that would be so awesome! the household products is what im really interested into getting down. i would love to get my razors and all of our other products virtually free! we live on 1 income right now and it is a small one so covering the household area with coupons i think would help free up alot of money! great website!

  • Danielle

    I read all the post and its all great information! Thanks for all the time and effort! I just want to make sure I am on the right page.. basically i gather TONS of coupns, check for coupons at my local grocery store, look at their sales, and then check my stores for double coupon offers. Is that correct? Am I missing anything?

  • David Bibby

    Tonja,

    The issue of adjusting coupons down is another topic all on it’s own. I did some research on this topic and I’ve come to the conclusion that – yes a store CAN adjust coupons down if it is their policy to do so. However.. when they do that they STILL get the full value of the coupon. It’s not illegal, but it sure doesn’t sit well with people like you and me. A large superstore is currently facing a lawsuit right now because they adjust coupons down and pocket the rest of it.

    The best thing we can do is ask the stores if they allow coupon overage to be applied to other items in the cart and get their policy. If your store won’t do that…another one will. Right now Walmart is looking good nationwide because they allow overage and will give you cash back as well.

    Dee,
    Thank you for mentioning monthly subscriptions.. the only site I mentioned that has a service fee is www.couponsense.com which I use for tracking my savings and having deals sent to me. I think it’s worth the cost. I haven’t checked Savings Angel myself so I’m not sure if it does the same thing for free or not.

    I also have a subscription to ALLYOU magazine which is another great source for coupons for minimal cost.

    So I don’t pay for a membership as a way of getting coupons. Just the newspapers, online, ALLYOU magazine, and sometimes on EBAY. You’re right that it’s not cost effective to be paying for something you can also do for free unless it’s a better value.

    Ashley,
    This whole guide is for the first timer, but please keep reading and take a look at the sites mentioned. It could get overwhelming if you try to implement everything at once.. so start small and build your way up.

    Susan,
    The TLC extreme couponing show features the MOST extreme of the couponers out there. I personally don’t let my stockpile overrun my house, but we have added extra shelves in the garage and in the laundry room. We have a donation box that is currently overflowing with stuff we’re just giving away. We don’t plan on keeping 5 years worth of stuff on hand, so we limit the size of the stockpile.

    If you watched the episode with Nathan Engels, you’ll see his stockpile is ENORMOUS. But, you won’t find a more generous person. I believe he keeps a 5 year stockpile but has given away nearly $50,000 in product donations.

    Yvonne,
    I’m afraid I don’t know how Canada handles coupons. I imagine it’s much the same, but really couldn’t say with any certainty.

    Danielle,
    Confusion is natural…it’s like working on a 1000 piece puzzle with no picture to look at. Start by collecting a few newspapers, then look for store sales. See what you can match-up together. As you grow in confidence, you’ll be on your way.

    Levi,
    Thank you for your comment… You can use coupons just as well with Food Stamps as you can with cash. Coupons will help you with those items that food stamps does not cover, such as razors. With some time and effort, you’ll be able to thrive and not just “survive”.

    Thank you all for your comments and questions!

  • Natalie

    I have been researching a little about this and I am interested in getting involved. What I would like to know is how you really get started. Yes the concept does seem easy but for a beginner how and where do you begin???

  • Bobbie

    I printed this last night and it was my before bed read. My husband took it to work with him today to read. We are ready to start doing this. I have done some of this but not perfected it yet. And I do better with the HB products and have not done much at the grocery store. I am ready. I am trying to gather the coupons now. I have to say I have learned so much from ready everyone else question and the answers. I do know that there was some question about the newspaper and the left over papers and discounts. I know where we live I delivered the newspaper as a second job for 7 years. The paper is never discounted. It is sold to the carrier at a certain price then they sell it. Also they return what doesnt sell and get their money back, at least that is how it works here.

    Keep the questions coming I love learning and this has been the most helpful I have found.

    Right now I have to say we are a level 2. I buy everything generic. But I hope to say soon I am a strong 4!!!

    Thank you so much David for what you are doing to help people!!!

  • Dee

    “Dee,
    Thank you for mentioning monthly subscriptions.. the only site I mentioned that has a service fee is www.couponsense.com which I use for tracking my savings and having deals sent to me. I think it’s worth the cost. I haven’t checked Savings Angel myself so I’m not sure if it does the same thing for free or not”

    Thank you for responding to my question. Don’t you think creating your own excell spreadsheet would not only help save time and money as well vs the paid subscribtions? I’ve been researching so many free websites that will send me coupons and I’ve created my own excell spreadsheet so I can view my savings. I go back to thinking spending money on websites are a negitive impact on my choice how to save money. I suppose the old saying “Do whats right for you” seems to fit in here. Spending money may not on website may not be my choice of how to save money, but I applause you for your knowledge.

  • David Bibby

    Dee,

    I consider myself to be Excel Guru… having developed numerous excel applications and spreadsheets for our family budget, business, and for my day job. So when the time came to start tracking our savings, my wife wanted something simple to work to enter receipts into. I thought about using excel too, and decided that I really didn’t have the time to keep up with it. So my wife tried out coupon sense and she loves it, and thus far it has been a great service. Since coupon sense alerts us to deals in our area, that was an added time saving bonus that I could not do with excel.

    So asking the questions “Who is doing the data entry?”, “How long will it take to build?”, and “How much maintenance is required?” might help you decide what’s right for you. I’m actually a very big fan of Excel for doing nearly everything. In this case, I decided to “buy” rather than “build”. If I personally were doing the data entry for all those receipts.. I might have chosen excel because I’m extremely familiar with it.

    Thanks for your comments… I know you’ll do well with whatever you track your savings with!

    Natalie and Bobbie,
    When you’re starting out… my suggestion is to buy 4 newspapers each Sunday that have coupon inserts. For the first week you should be able to get a few deals… not many… but a few. Keep those inserts and buy 4 more newspapers the following Sunday and each Sunday after that. By the third and fourth week you’ll be finding deals that require using coupons that you collected during the first week. From there, you’ll just about always have the coupons you need for the deals you find on the internet.

    Please keep in mind that not all Sunday Papers have the coupon inserts. Some weeks in the year do not have them.

    For a schedule of the inserts… please check here:

    http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/2011-sunday-coupon-insert-schedule/

    Thanks,
    David

  • jen

    Wow
    I decided to google “how to start couponing” and found your article and found your step by step to be very helpful in getting started. As I was reading over it I kept thinking what a way to save on food and other products for our family of 6. Living on 1 income, shopping only 1 time a month for groceries and NEVER making it to the end of the month. There were times I would spend 600.00 for the month look at what was purchased and know it won’t make til the end of the month.That is cooking almost every night of the week. Packing husband lunch for work , and homeschooling children making their meals. Even splitting everything up into 4 weeks still falling short. Was so glad to find a treasure of information today and try a new approach to feed us! I appreciate your hard work to helping others make this work by applying some step by steps to get started and be successful. As a Christian family we desire to help other in our local area and I am beginning a journey the Lord it calling put together “spaghetti basket for those in need. God will bless you as you bless other!

    Thank you
    In Christ,
    Jen

  • joanna

    I was wondering if there are any good websites to print coupons that you do not have to fill out a 30 minute survey and then get the exact same coupons as 15 other web sites have.

    thanks
    Joanna

  • Alexandra

    I love your page and the information is perfect. I looked all over on how to do it and I simply couldn’t understand but this site, with its step by step info. made it so much easier for me to comprehend . I even printed out a copy and made it a users guide in my new and improving couponing folder. [=
    Thank you so much for putting all this knowledge out here!!
    Greatly appreciated
    Alexandra

  • David Bibby

    Jen,
    I truly believe that you will save more than ever before with these techniques and your willingness to try something new. You might find yourself shopping a bit more, and going to more stores.. but I believe the savings are worth it! I wish you the best with your Spaghetti baskets and that you help many others..God bless you!

    Joanna,
    Most of the time we print from Coupons.com, SmartSource.com, and Target.com. That’s our MAIN source for printable coupons. Once in a while there’s a deal for something we like to have and it may require that we either “like” a company on facebook, or fill out a survey, or play a game, or create an account on the company’s website. We don’t do this for EVERY coupon we want, but we spend a moderate about of time doing it. I do recommend creating a separate email address that you use for couponing just in case you end up with a bunch of spam.

    Alexandra,
    Sometimes you just have to read the same information in a slightly different way. Hopefully the other sites start to make sense to you as you piece it all together. I’m glad you liked the guide and I look forward to hearing your success stories!

    Thanks everyone!
    David

  • sarah

    I want to thank you for this article. I have been an on and off couponer for years. I would say a level 3 when I take the time to do it but the part I have always hated was getting the coupons. I hate to buy 3 to 4 papers just to get enough coupons to make a difference. To me that is needlessly killing trees. And none of my neighbors in my small rural area usually get the Sunday paper so getting inserts from them wasnt an option. But I love the idea of just buying the inserts!!!!! So I am going to start again. I’m going to start slow so I don’t send my family into to much of a shock. Probably starting with hb products since I have 3 teenagers in the house and spend alot of money on this stuff. Will keep you updated on my progress.

    thanks
    Sarah

  • angelina

    Hi again David, thank you very much for the quick response. I have another question, the clippings i get from the mail is usually from Von’s, Railey’s, Savemart and Riteaid, because i didn’t subscribe to Sunday newspapers. And i don’t find sales on the items that have coupons. And also, the coupon is good for a week only. My question is, the coupons that you print on line, and from the magazine that you mentioned and from the Sunday newspapers, are they good for a month or more? Thank you very much again and God bless.

  • Brandi

    Aren’t there usually limits on the number of items you can purchase, or coupons you can use??? And what about those I see that buy 60 boxes of cereal? That can’t possibly be consumed before the expiration date?

  • David Bibby

    Sarah,

    I’m glad that you’ve been inspired to start again. Hopefully getting the coupon inserts directly saves you money over buying the paper. I suppose it depends on the area you live in. Have a good time getting back in the saddle!

    Angelina,
    Be assured that the coupons you normally get from the Sunday paper, All You magazine, and printed online have at LEAST a month before they expire. Some 2 or 3 months. It depended on the insert itself… as P&G inserts are usually good for 1 month only. “Smart Source” and “Red Plum” have a longer window before they expire. Printable coupons also have around a month or more. We generally throw away the expired inserts all at once after a couple of months has gone by. Hope this helps… and God bless.

    Brandi,
    Some stores have a internal limit on how many coupons you can redeem at once before the register requires and override. When that happens,a store manager, or front office clerk can put they key in type a code, and allow you to continue your purchase. As long as the you have the right number of items for the coupons you have… you can buy them. In our stockpile…we have about 30 boxes of cereal that we purchased for $0.25 a box. That was a couple months ago. The expiration date on these boxes say DEC 2011. I would say that there’s a good change we’ll eat it all, but if not, we’ll donate it a few months before they expire. In the meantime… if we catch another sale that gets us cereal at that price again, you can bet we’ll pick up as many as we can.

    Thanks for the questions, hope this helps!

    David

  • lovescoupons

    David — On one of the Extreme Couponing shows, the lady showed off a metal shelf system that would roll a new can of food (on its side) automatically behind the other cans, so that the can on the shelf below was the oldest can (closest to expiration date). I was struck by this shelving system and would like to find it, so I can consider buying it. It would keep my shelves from “hiding” food that’s about to expire or PAST the expiration date.

    I’m not organized enough to sort my cans every month or so, so this shelving system would help me.

    I didn’t remember the name of the “extreme couponer” who had these shelves, either. I tried to find a web site where I could contact the show by email, but couldn’t find anything.

    Do you have any idea how to find out where to buy such shelving units?

    Enjoyed reading all comments and questions, I’m just looking into coupons by email or purchase, and I’ve gotten some websites to check out.
    Thanks!

  • mary a

    My question is: fresh produce is very expensive, and with the exception of some bagged salad mixes, there are really no coupons for it (that I know of). How can you save on that, or is there a whole category of coupons that I am unaware of?
    Thanks, mary a

  • http://www.breakthroughyourmoneybs.com Maureen @ Break Through Your Money BS

    I learned the system taught by Kathy Spencer and it has saved me thousands of dollars on food, household and personal supplies not to mention clothes, towels, jewelry and more! I love the system and know that coupons can change a person’s circumstances. The money you save by using this methodology can be applied to paying off debt and saving money so that you can achieve true financial freedom!

  • David Bibby

    LovesCoupons,

    Thank you for the comment.

    The couponer you’re referring to was Tiffany Ivanovsky from www.mylitter.com

    In her stockpile she has what’s called a rotating can rack. These shelf can racks can be found on the net with prices ranging from $40 to $400 depending on the size. I honestly don’t know which size Tiffany had, but it looked huge to me.

    This is definitely something we’re going to look into… but if it’s too expensive for the size we need then I might consider building it custom instead.

    Mary A,
    Coupons for produce ARE hard to come by. Target frequently has a coupon on their website for $1.00 off produce. By itself that’s not enough to make a difference. Instead we shop at stores that allow overage on coupons that can be applied to your kart. I have examples of this in earlier comments to this very question. Invariable, when you start couponing in this way… you’ll find deals in which the combination of a store sale and a coupon means that the store is PAYING you to take the item off the shelf. Instead of getting cash back, buy other items, like produce, and let your coupons for the other products pay for it.

    Maureen,
    I agree, when it comes to saving money using coupons, Kathy Spencer is a level 5. When you start saving like she does… you WILL change your life, or your budget anyway. Right now, we are able to GIVE BACK to others like we never given before.

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

  • Cristina

    I went to wholecouponinserts and sense i am new at this how many SS and RP and others do I order to get started and how farback or do i start with the most recent ones?

  • Lila

    I am new to couponing at the grocery stores and I want to thank you for this article, I found it very helpful!
    Now, I can go with my mom to the mall and we can walk out of the mall with name brand clothes/shoes/accessories for close to nothing! We take advantage of the sales and use coupons of course! But doing it at the grocery store is a different story for me and my goal is to get my grocery bill under control, I spend way too much at the grocery store.
    So, I have decided to give couponing a try…I got the Sunday paper, clipped my coupons, went online and printed more coupons, AND I have planned my first couponing experience perfectly (at least for me it is)…right now Fry’s is taking ALL manufacturer coupons (of less than $1) and making them worth a $1 AND they are taking all competitors coupons as well. Plus they have a huge sale going on because of the Easter holiday.
    So let’s see if I can take your advice and make it work for me and see if I can save some big bucks! lol, I’ll keep you posted.

  • David Bibby

    Cristina,

    It’s up to you how far back you want to go. For most people starting out, I’d recommend getting just this weeks Sunday Paper. The coupon insert schedule is located at www.sundaycouponpreview.com and this site even tells you what coupons are scheduled to be IN the insert. One thing to note is that inserts are not scheduled for ALL weeks. Easter Sunday there are no coupons in the paper.

    Hope this helps..

    Lila,

    I’m thrilled that you’ve set up a deal. Can’t wait to hear how it goes! I don’t have a Fry’s in my region but the fact that they take competitors coupons is a huge plus! Go for it!

    Thanks for commenting!
    David

  • jimmy feliciano

    HELLO DAVID I AM A DISABLE VETERAN AND I HAVE A ECONOMIC CRISIS, I LIVE IN PUERTO RICO, DOES THIS COUPON SAVING WILL WORK FOR ME IN PUERTO RICO CAN YOU HELP GET STARTING IN THIS SAVINGS, THANKS.

  • Izeldia

    I’m new at the whole couponing system and have few questions do stores truly except 10 or more coupons for for the same oneitem how can this be if I had 20 coupons for the same product I could get twenty of them in 1 transaction

  • http://www.breakthroughyourmoneybs.com Maureen @ Break Through Your Money BS

    Iseldia: They accept one coupon per item purchased not 10 coupons for one item purchased. And it ‘s not always that simple. Follow sites like www.howtoshopforfree.net; www.mavenofsavin.com, www.moneysavingmom.com and other like sites to learn the ins and outs of couponing. You can do it, it does take work, but the pay off can be huge.

  • Lila

    Ok guys…so I went to Fry’s and ONLY bought the things I needed that were on sale. I did run into a little snag though, some things that I had a coupon for were not on sale, so I had to pass on them AND I did have to purchase items that I didn’t have coupons for (but they were on sale). So, by taking advantage of the sale, using my coupons, and BOGO, gave me a total savings of $91.04, which is a 38% savings. I felt great when I walked out the store! My husband was impressed and even the cashier told me I did a pretty good job for my first time couponing.
    I do realize that my savings will increase once I start collecting more variety of coupons.
    Thanks once again for the article!!

  • Tonja

    I decided to do a small shop at CVS yesterday to see how their coupon policy worked. I went with the intention to buy 12 Reach Dental Flosses, 4 Nivea Women’s Body Washes, and 4 Nivea Men’s Body washes. I ended up buying 5 dental flosses (that is all they had) for FREE, and 4 women’s body washes. I spent $7.04 for a $47 dollar order.

    The only thing that they did not do for me was they would not put the coupon overage onto the other parts of my order so I had to put some back. I had coupons for $2.50 off 2 when the item was on sale for 5/$5. I had to use my $1 off coupons since the $2.50/2 coupon would have given me a .50 overage. :(

    Wish I could find a store that would give overages!

    Thanks for your help David! I am so excited now!

  • http://www.breakthroughyourmoneybs.com Maureen @ Break Through Your Money BS

    Tonja: The only store in my area that applies overage to the rest of your order is Walmart. You can learn about the different coupon policies by visiting sites like www.howtoshopforfree.net.

    Good luck…and not bad for the first go at it!

  • CouponDad

    After watching Extreme Couponing I became very intrigued but skeptical. I am ready to embark on the coupon crusade.I run a family business out of my home and could set aside time to coupon.I have always been frugal and now with this info ,I know I could be successful doing this.What are your thoughts about the spike in interest that the new show is bringing.Do you think the more people do couponing the stricter the coupon policies will get.Will this publicity hurt the coupon world?Also what is one piece of advice you could give a newbie like me starting out that you wish you knew when you started out?

  • Dana

    what is the best place online
    to get free printable coupons

  • Ivelis

    I am having the greatest difficulty with the mathematical aspect of it. I guess I can’t envision what the potential savings are just yet. Do you have any suggestions for me? I checked out the site you posted here for savings for Target but I just can’t figure out how to get the discounts… I have tried looking at examples on other pages but it seems that people are more about telling the public about their savings rather than how they got their savings. Don’t get me wrong, I applaude each and every one of you extreme savers!!!!! Please help!!! I understand the simpler examples like the one you posted about the toothpaste, but beyond that I get confused.

  • David Bibby

    Thanks for the comments and questions everyone… Here’s my responses to each of you.

    Jimmy,

    Call up your local grocery stores and ask them if they take manufacturers coupons, printable coupons, and how to they handle things when the coupons exceeds the value of the item on sale. Assuming reasonable answers, I’d say that you can do this in Puerto Rico too.

    Izeldia,

    Maureen answered your question already… If you have 10 coupons that say 1 item per purchase… then you can use all 10 of them on 10 of the items. If the item is on sale and using the coupon also makes it free.. then you get all 10 of them for free.

    Lila,

    I am so happy for you! You are correct that this is only the beginning of a world of savings for you. Pretty soon you’ll be saving 50%, then 75%, then around 90%. It’s very exciting and I’m glad your shopping trip went well! You’re doing great!

    Tonja,

    CVS is a great place to shop and using their ECB rewards program often leads to getting items for free. It’s true they don’t give overage but you still made out very well! Now imagine compounding those savings for the rest of the year, how much money will you save? I’m very excited for you, because you’re on your way to coupon greatness!

    Maureen,

    Thanks for all your tips as well! I appreciate you encouraging others to start couponing!

    CouponDad,

    Do I think that the show is going to ultimately hurt couponers and cause stricter policies? I can’t really say for sure. What I do know is that manufacturers want their products moved off the shelves. The store gets the full value of the coupon plus 8 cents so they win when you use coupons, and you win when you get the item for the lowest possible price or free. In that sense… coupons are BETTER than cash for the retailer.

    Policies do change, but stores that make it hard for couponers soon find that there are NO couponers shopping at their store anymore. That’s a lot of product that isn’t getting moved.

    When we started out… my wife was cutting coupons from each insert individually. With as many inserts as we had, that was a lot of cutting. We wish that we’d have known of the Insert Method sooner and once we switched from the Coupon Binder to the Insert Method… it saved us a lot of time.

    Dana,

    Honestly… the best place to look for printable coupons is on sites that have already put together deals for you. www.howtoshopforfree.net is one of them. They’ll list a deal for you and tell you to “click here” for the printable.. That’s how we get them. Sites that have printable coupons, but no deals… don’t really help me unless it’s for an item that’s on sale. However.. if it’s on sale… the couponer’s websites have already matched it up and provided you with all the instructions and a link to the printable coupon too.

    Ivelis,

    Sometimes my wife will tell me about deals that make my head spin. I took honors calculus in college and sometimes I STILL can’t follow some of the deals she puts together. What we want are the simple deals to start with.. and then move on to the more advanced level using rewards programs.

    A simple deal:
    Toothpaste normally at $1.99 is on sale for $1.00. You have a $1.00 coupon.. the item is free. Pretty straight forward.

    A moderate deal:
    Nabisco came out with a new type of cracker called “Crackerfuls” and they retail for $3.49. One of the stores I shop at recently had it on sale buy one get one free. Our paper had $1.50 off 1 coupons and we had 10 of those coupons. One a buy one get one free sale… you are allowed to you 2 coupons, because you’re really SCANNING two items.

    So already the math is getting fuzzy.. so I have to set it up like this:

    2 boxes of Crackerfuls for $3.49
    2 coupons for $1.50 = $3.00
    My Total = $.49
    Divide that by the 2 items purchased makes each one about 25 cents

    since we had 10 coupons in all… we bought this deal 5 times in one transaction. We took home 10 boxes for 25 cents each.

    Hope this helps!
    David

  • Ashley

    I watched the show when it first came out and it has me absolutly in love. My fiance are young and paying off college debt and medical bills so I am going to try and do this to save us some money. My only consern is that I live in Vermont and we don’t have big grocery stores. We have a Price Chopper, Shaws, Hanafords, and a Super Walmart to work with that are close enough by to make it worth while on gas also. Thank you for posting this it gives me clues on how to do it.
    Thanks again

  • Can’t wait to save!!

    Holy cow! Thank you soooo much for this tutorial. It was a great starting point to wrap your head around- (for the last few months I haven’t had that “a ha” moment on getting overages for other basket items…..now I understand why you might by 20 tubes of Crest at one time- duh!)
    A quick question- I read through Walmart’s coupon policy and noticed it says ONE COUPON PER ITEM….would you take this to mean you couldn’t use a store coupon AND a manu. coupon? I may go to Walmart tomorrow just to ask and clarify.
    Thanks again! My husband and I own a small business, which gives us a little financial freedom….however there is NEVER a steady paycheck. If the phone doesn’t ring- we don’t get paid. During slow months, food is our biggest household concern (and expense!) This is going to be soooo helpful. :) Bless you!!

    Crystal

  • Daisy Kent

    Great article! My mom and I love the extreme coupon show and I’ve wondered how these women do it. It seems like a lot of the coupons you clip say the thing about “1 coupon per item purchase” and a lot of the stores in the area don’t do double coupons and things like that…it’s hard to figure things out sometimes!
    Your article basically broke it down for me…i’m still confused about many stores in my area though, but I hope to research and figure things out. Any particular stores you get good bargains at?
    I’ve written down a huge list on how to get started on advancing my coupon skills. I cut coupons now but use very few…I’m getting my first place soon and now groceries will be on my dime, just lookin for ways to save money!

  • Bobbie

    OK David I am ready!!! I created a coupon binder. I got my coupons, grocery list, sales ads, I think I am ready. I do have one question…I get alot of coupons in the mail from Kroger. And some of them say store coupons and some say manufacturing coupons. So can I use the manufacturing coupons anywhere. Some of them the deal is at Kroger but some the deal is else where. I didn’t know if because the Kroger logo is on them I have to use them at Kroger.

    Thank you so much for taking the time out to help all of us!!!

  • Ivelis

    Wow, you are pretty good at responding, that’s awesome. I thank you for addressing my question and yes I will take baby steps. Now let me ask you this, yesterday the specials came in and in there came your typical grocery stores and Kmart, so I thought “this would be a great opportunity to take a look and see what savings are here”, all in all, Kmart only had 3 coupons, all for items that I do not need nor would I use. Also, they all expired by the end of the week. Another paper had 3 manufacturer coupons but also expired by the end of the week. So what do you do when you hit a wall like that? And also, I noticed that if there is a coupon, say for Chips A’Hoy I noticed the paper itself won’t say whether or not the store has it on sale. How do you get a coupon and also know what the sale price is at the store? Do you visit the store’s website?

  • David Bibby

    Ashley,

    Of the stores you mentioned.. Shaw’s and Super Walmart are probably your best bets. The site http://www.wickedcooldeals.com is a couponing site in your area that lists both Price Chopper and Shaw’s. I’m certain there are other websites out there that will show you coupon match-ups that you might like a little better.
    www.howtoshopforfree.net has a grocery section on Shaw’s as well.

    Good luck!

    Can’t wait to save,
    Walmart doesn’t usually have their own store coupons, nor will they take a competitors coupon that says $1.00 off . But they DO price match and so any thing that is on sale at any other store in your area… you can get the price match AND use a manufacturer’s coupon. Sometimes that’s enough to start making an overage.

    Daisy Kent,

    We do most of our coupon deal shopping at Publix… which is arguably one of the most expensive stores compared to Winn Dixie and Food Lion. But with their great sales and coupons, we’re beating the prices of the likes of Sav-A-Lot and Aldi’s which have you bag your own groceries to save money. It’s very interesting… upside down even.. to be getting free stuff at the highest rated (customer service-wise) places in town.

    Bobbie,

    Very good question. I can tell you’re getting excited about this! If a manufacturers coupon says “use only at Kroger” then I’m afraid you would be limited by that. However.. if it is a manufacturers coupon and only has a Kroger Logo on it… but the language doesn’t limit you… then you can use it in other places. It’s still good to check with the other stores however, to prevent a sticky situation at the register. We’ve been refused a time or two just because a logo was printed on it the coupon. Most manufacturers coupons have NO logo at all, and should be accepted just about everywhere.

    Ivelis,

    We do frequently go online to the grocery store’s websites to see what they have on sale. Usually… the process goes like this:

    Look to see what’s on sale FIRST… then check to see if you have a coupon for it… then check to see if the store has any promotions like a $5 of $25 order… then do the math. If you save your coupons and keep them organized… you’ll probably find the coupons you’re looking for.

    What doesn’t work is looking at an individual coupon and trying to find a store that has it on sale. More often then not, there won’t be a sale this time.

    Does your Sunday paper have Smart Source, or Red Plum inserts in them? You should be getting a lot more than 3 coupons here or there.

    Please keep asking questions… We’re here to help you.

  • bridget

    Thank you for all of the helpful information. I am working at becoming more of an extreme couponer because a bunch of ladies are getting together to stock pile on food to give away.

  • Christal Webber

    Thank you so much for this step-by-step guide. I’ve often read other sites who explain generically, at best, leaving me to wonder, “Ok, so how do I get started?” But you’ve provided enough information to make me feel like I can quickly graduate from the inexperienced Level 1 to a confident, money-saving Level 4! I went to the grocery store (Commisary) yesterday with all the coupons I could muster up, but I still felt like my time & efforts were wasted once my transaction was completed. On a $267 bill, I saved a whopping $19.55 (7%) with my coupons. Needless to say, I definitely have a long way to go! Thanks again for this how-to guide. Re-thinking my strategy!

  • Ivelis

    How can I make the best for the 10 for $10 sales? I saw in last night’s episode the lady was getting those items for free, how? Also, how do “double coupons” work? The worth of the coupon is worth twice as much?

  • Daisy

    It’s so sad I don’t have any of those stores located nearby. I’m on the west coast. My zip is 98277. The local groceries stores we have here are albertsons, safeway and saars. I’ve seen a lot of the people on the extreme couponer show shopping at albertsons, but it’s not a very popular store here. Maybe it’s because it’s pricier like you were saying? Not sure, many people go out of town and head to Costco. Which is a good store if you’re buying in bulk but again i’m not sure! :/

  • Daisy

    Oh, also stores like K-mart, Walmart, Rite-Aid and Walgreens. Forgot to add those!

  • Bobbie

    Ok so I went shopping last night. I learned alot but I think I did well for my first trip and I am hoping it gets easier and alittle faster for me as I do this. I went to Dollar General, CVS, and Kroger. My trip kind of got rushed because it was getting late so I didnt get to do as much at Kroger as I wanted but I think I stil did good. I am no means a level 4 but I just came out of level 2.

    I got $620.32 worth of groceries, health and beauty, and meds for $267. There were a few things we had to have and the sale wasnt as good but I saved almost 60 percent. I told my hubby I am happy with saving half until I get used to doing it. I was happy and so was he. And I earned $27 ECB for next week.

    I am so stoked to do it again next week. I will plan a little better and give myself alittle more time.

    Thanks David for all you help and suggestion. It was fun watching the cash register go down and down and down.

  • Bobbie

    One thing that did happen and I missed in the coupon policy that Kroger has changed. They have digital coupons that you can load on your card and I have been doing that for some time now. They used to be able to use digital and paper coupons together. And only one coupon per purchase would come off at register.

    Now if you have digital you can not use paper coupons. This is what my cashier told me and I am not sure if this is right I am going to check on this to know if she was right. I had 2 green giant coupons on there for 30 cents and it doubled so I still got 12 green giant boxed veggies for 40 cents a box so I was happy.

  • David Bibby

    Bridget,

    It’s great when you can amass a stockpile of items you paid little to nothing for. But it’s even better when you can GIVE it away to those who need it more than you do. It’s also nice to have someone that you who can be your shopping buddy…who wants to do couponing just like you do. Two heads are better than one as they say..

    Christal,

    I’m glad that we’re able to inspire and motivate you to bigger and better savings. I could be wrong but I believe the Commissary will take competitors coupons, which should help you drive the costs down and save more. Also the isles at the Commissary are usually filled with coupons that you can take for free. Enjoy learning and growing with this.. you can do it!

    Ivelis,

    On a 10 for $10 sale.. each item is actually on sale for $1.00. You don’t have to buy all 10 items to get the sale however… you can buy 1 for $1.00 if you want to. You can also buy MORE than 10 if you want to… and they’ll still be $1.00 each.

    So if the lady bought 100 of those items and got them for free… it’s because she collected 100 of the $1.00 off coupons on those items.

    For doubling coupons… the store will increase the value of the coupon up to $1.00.. Which means that a 25 cent coupon is worth 50 cents. A 50 cent coupon is worth $1.00 BUT… a 75 cent coupon is only going to double up to $1.00. Finally… a $1.00 coupon does not double up to $2.00… but stays at $1.00. You should talk to your particular store, as the Double Coupon policy between stores can be different.

    Daisy,

    Every region is different… but should still be workable for an extreme couponer. Once you get really good at it, you’ll most likely be shopping at Albertsons and Safeway more so than Costco. Stores where you can buy in bulk…like Costco, Sam’s, and BJ’s have great prices but it’s NOT easy to get those prices lowered using coupons. The reason is that these stores don’t usually have sales! So when the “more expensive” stores have a sale.. taking advantage of coupons combined with the sale nets you a price better than you can get at the bulk stores.

    Rite-Aid and Walgreens are also excellent places to get all your shampoo, conditioner, deodorants, feminine products, razors, ear drops, eye drops, toilet paper, and paper towels for free or next to nothing.

    No matter where you live.. you can find a way to make it work. Refuse to pay retail and look for ways to beat the bulk store prices… I know you can do it!

    Hope this helps..

    Thanks everyone!

  • David Bibby

    Bobbie,

    That was an incredible shopping trip for your first go! Saving 60 percent and earning $27 Extra Care Bucks is simply awesome.

    On your next trip to CVS… USE the extra care bucks on items that earn you MORE extra care bucks. This way you’re not spending your actual cash and you can get items for free and spend virtually nothing out of pocket.

    Regarding the ECoupons.. these are the coupons that you loaded on your store card. I personally don’t have one because none of the stores in my area take them. But this is what I’ve heard about them. If you have a 50 cent coupon for and item and a 75 coupon for the same item on your card… you don’t get to choose which one will come off your order. It was my understanding as well that you used to be able to use this in addition to paper coupons… but that may have changed. Here’s an article on using Ecoupons from the Krazy Coupon Lady

    http://thekrazycouponlady.com/2010/02/28/ecoupons-101-how-to-use-ecoupons/

    Hope this helps!
    David

  • Stephanie

    I am a newbie to couponing and am in desperate need of saving money in the household. I am seeking advice on the best way to save on printer ink. Our paper only has SS meaning I will have lots of coupon printing to conduct to take advantage of P&G and Red Plum. Thanks for all that you do to educate us on how to change our lives!

  • sarah

    Went on my first shopping trip using coupons again. While I only had two sets of coupons for everything and I don’t have my house stocked yet so I had to get must buys that while I used coupons for but didn’t have deals on I don’t think I did too bad. I bought 189.00 worth and spent 98.00. Also earned some extrabucks and free coupons for the next time I shop. I know that as I get things stocked in my house it will be easier because I can wait for the deals to come instead of just buying out of neccessity. And also more coupons will be nice. Thanks for all the tips and encouragement.

  • sarah

    ps I also only bought one generic item and that is because my hubby actually prefers it to the name brand.

  • MARGARET “MUFFY” PLATT

    Thank u very much for ur information….. I will difinitly keep u up on our out come of money saving shopping… God Bless u all

  • David Bibby

    Stephanie, Sarah, and Margaret,

    You’re very welcome! You’ll find that as you progress you’ll be spending less and less. Sarah is correct that as you build the stockpile over time… you can begin to wait for deals. When the deals come, get as many as you can so that you don’t run out before the next sale. You are all winners!

    To answer Stephanie’s question about printer ink. There are somethings that I consider necessary expenses in order to do couponing. Coupon inserts, Printer Ink, and Paper are essential for couponing. So I will pay $13 per ink cartridge at Walmart because it’s necessary. The money we save using coupons more than makes up for these costs. (I might start looking into the costs for a LaserJet printer that uses toner instead). To help minimize the cost… we take back our used cartridges to Office Depot or Staples to recycle and we get $2 back for each one. Bring 10 of them and it’s a $20 gift card for you.

    Printer Paper can also be expensive… so we ONLY buy computer paper if there is a rebate for it. Staples and Office Depot have computer paper on a rebate practically on a bi-weekly basis. So we pay the full cost out of pocket, but then we take the rebate checks that come in and use them for more paper. It takes about 12 weeks for the rebate to reach you… but since we’re doing it every other week it seems… we’re now at the point where rebate checks are coming in the mail every week now.

    Hope this helps… and thank you!

    David!

  • TDEVIL

    I appreciate your postings too! I am a not so recent couponer i have been using coupons for the past few yrs. I have a family of 6 and i try to get the best deal possible. I’ve recently lost my job and receiving benefits from the state but with that i still try to save money so i don’t spend it all before the end of the month. I find it hard to beleive you can get something for free i do understand though with coupons. I do get emails for gift cards but you have to take surveys and at the end of the survey they make u try to purchase things. If they offer free giftcards just for taking a survey than it should be free to purchasing intended right.

    Please let me know i would deeply appreciate it.

    THANK YOU,
    TDEVIL……..

  • David Bibby

    Tdevil,

    Thank you for your comment! With regards to surveys I hardly ever do them. Unless it’s for a coupon that I REALLY want… I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time with them. I have not ever received a free gift card just for filling out a survey, for the reasons you just described. Last time I was duped into filling out a survey for a $20 gift card…I was presented with offers (all of which cost money) and I HAD to select one to get the gift card. I promptly closed my browser… then I received a bunch of SPAM Email in my in-box.

    Instead… we boldly got our free items at the store using a sale and coupon combo. Then to make things even better… sometimes Target gives away $5 gift cards when you spend money on specific products. Occasionally it works out in our favors to not only get the items for free… but to earn a Target gift card too.. it’s just icing on the cake.

    Thanks,
    David

  • Letina

    This article really helped me out alot…I’m a mom of 3 with a complete family of 5 and I really have been trying to figure out ways to stretch my dollar. I have not started couponing yet but I am very excited to see if I can do. I am going to start off small like you said, one item and then maybe three, then five and so on. I will be letting you know how my first expericence goes as I cannot wait to share it with you all!!!
    Letina :)

  • sarah

    David
    I am having an extremly frustrating week this week. Because of my low inventory of coupons I am having a hard time putting deals together. I tried buying some off of Ebay….. big mistake wont happen again. I am also having a hard time keeping my coupons I do have organized but have stuff to put together a binder on the way. This site is my insperation to keep on going. My husband thinks I am going crazy with this stuff but I am sure he will see the light when I’m not spending half of my paycheck to feed our large family. I know the deals wont be there all the time but like i said it does get frustrating spending so much time looking and not finding the great ones. Okay now for my question. When printing coupons off the internet should you print all that look good at a time or only the ones you will definitly use for your shopping excurrsion? I have noticed that alot of the ones on the internet expire pretty quickly. Again thanks for your help and patients with all my questions.

    Sarah

  • David Bibby

    Letina,

    I’m glad to have helped motivate and inspire you to save. I hope your first deal goes well and that you find it getting easier and easier to do.

    Good Luck!

    Sarah,

    It’s going to take some patience and time. You’ll find the right way to organize and gather your coupons and you’ll find the right websites to follow for good deals. Your husband will surely come around when you have a receipt showing at least 50% off or more (especially when you get his favorite food items :)). Also… don’t forget that you are in the RAMP UP stage.. which means that the first few weeks will be tougher for the reasons you described. But after a few weeks.. you’ll have the process and the organization down and you’ll find ways to make it easier on you too.

    For the question about printing coupons. Internet printable coupons have a pretty short expiration period. Because of this… I don’t print a coupon unless I already know there is a deal for it and I plan to use it before it expires. #1 it saves me ink and paper… and #2 it gives other people a chance to print it. Almost every online printable coupon has a limit to the number of times it can be printed worldwide. After the print limit is reached, it cannot be printed again by anyone until the company offering it “resets” it with a new expiration date.

    Hope this helps..
    David

  • Melissa

    David

    Thank you for the information on couponing, I am just only in my teen years and have been looking for a way to help my mom with saving on groceries each time we go into a store. She is the mother and a widow, it is my sister and I here and with college approaching fast there needs to be a way to save. High gas prices and also the economy not looking good, makes me want to save more and more each time when I see an increasing bill every time we check out of the grocery store.

    Do you have anymore tips that I can use while trying to save? I want to help and I find this a great way to start so I can build and become a better couponer for when I have a family of my own one day.

    Thank You

  • Marissa M.

    Hello,
    First of all I would really like to thank you for putting up the article, so helpful! But I need some help, I’m 15 years old and my family of 8 (i have 5 brothers and sisters) is not doing very well financially. My father’s income is starting reduce by the day, and we really need to start extreme couponing. My parents don’t think it will work and don’t want to become those “crazy” couponers at grocery stores. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and I want to start extreme couponing, I’m also making a plan at my house to drastically reduce electricity, water and gas usage. How can I, a mere 15-year old, start extreme couponing? Take in mind that I still can’t drive so I can’t go to stores at random and do my researching, shopping, or anything. Also I don’t have ALOT of time to organize too much, I’m a high school student with tons of work to do and I have to work 4 days a week and babysit on the weekends. SO if you could please suggest a teen-friendly way of couponing? Thank you so much! I really appreciate it:)

  • Jennifer C

    Hi David..

    I’m at level 0 lol… I’m new to all this and wanting to learn to save more money (just like everyone else). I find it kinda hard to strike up the deals. I live in Louisiana and they really don’t double coupons and u can’t use more than one of the same coupon at a time so I’m confused with all the this … I’ll get there one day i know this doesn’t happen over night and all. But i’m gonna try… I also live in the sticks and internet isn’t really available other than dail up and that is a waste of time.. Every now and then i get a chance to get online like now and do a lil research but no printer to print.. I’m strickly paper couponing… ur site is so amazing and thanks for blessing me for finding it.lol.. thanks again jenn

  • alica

    Hi! my name is Alicia and i want to know how can i begain being an extrem couponing. We are having some probvlem in our economic and i have seen the TLc extrem couponing and i want to begin do in ti too. pls give me steps or diretions so that i could safe to. Tthank you

  • Lars

    Thanks David, for the article. I think that my kids could do some of these researching and organizational tasks–what a good learning experience. What do you think?

  • Lars

    Thanks David, for the article. I think that my kids could do some of these researching and organizational tasks–what a good learning experience. What do you think?

  • David Bibby

    Melissa,

    The only additional advice I can give is to not over-think the process. Get your coupons from the paper and KEEP them organized. Check out the sites that are posting deals for the stores in your area, then set yourself up a deal. With practice you will get better and better at it, and saving money will become as natural as breathing to you. Enjoy yourself and have fun with it!

    Marissa M,

    First let me say that you’re no MERE 15 year old. Your comments shows a level of maturity that few 15 year old’s have. I commend you for wanting to help your family, but that responsibility does not and should not fall on you. You’re doing everything you can to help, but your education must come first. Unfortunately you have to be able to GO to the grocery store to get the deals. Without a car or someone else to drive you, it’ll be difficult to save the kind of money that you’re looking to save. I believe wholeheartedly, that you’ll be very good at it once you have the means and resources to do it.

    I don’t mind being called “crazy” either… it lets me know that we’re doing it right!

    Jennifer C,

    Thank you for your comment. I hope that the way to savings presents itself to you. The stores in my area do not double coupon either, but we make it work. While you cannot use more than one manufacturer’s coupon on a single item, you should be able to use one coupon each for multiple items. I’ll be happy to help if you let me know what grocery stores are in your area. I hope faster internet options become available where you live. Information comes fast and I’m sure you’re prefer to get it quickly.

    Alicia,

    There is a wealth of information right here in these comments and in the article itself. Other than that all I can suggest is to start saving the newspapers and coupons, and try to set yourself up your first deal.

    Lars,

    We get our kids involved too. It helps them learn a little bit how to save AND reap the rewards of saving. They don’t clips the coupons or file them away… but they do get to use them at the grocery store for the things they want. By getting them used to the idea of “using” coupons… they won’t have trouble later learning how to gather and organize them later.

    Thanks for the comments everyone!
    David.

  • Holly

    Thanks for this article! As a college student, living at home with a single mother and younger brother, it’s hard to do much of anything. Living from pay check to pay check, and sometimes going a day or two with no real groceries in the house can be torture. My mom works two full time jobs, my brother and I both have part time jobs and go to school – I think by trying to become a couponer I will help my mom in the long run, and maybe even say a silent “I love you” to her. I may never become a level 4, but I sure want to become a level 3. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  • Marla

    Thanks for the great tips! I am also a born again Christian. I currently work outside the home, but would love to be a stay at home mom (where I believe I should be). However, currently I have to work. Could becoming a level 3 or 4 couponer accomplish this?

  • David Bibby

    Holly,

    I have no doubt that you’ll reach level 3 sooner than you think. Many stay at level 3 and are very happy to do so. A few hours each week and you can save big. Enjoy couponing like it’s a game and soon you’ll have fun shopping instead of running to the store because you’ve run out of something that you really needed. It’s an amazing feeling to “already have” what you need at all times. There’s a security in that I’m sure your mom will appreciate.

    Marla,

    If your asking if couponing can take the place of a 2nd income… the answer is YES, and more. I’ll assume for the moment that you are the 2nd income earner in the household with your husband as the major breadwinner. You’re working to help sustain the family finances because bills need to be paid and gas/food/toiletries are expensive.

    There are many factors to consider, we’ll start with the financial ones.

    What are all the “costs” for you to keep the job you have? How much do you have to pay in gas, childcare, eating breakfast, eating lunch, for clothing, for shoes, and eating out for dinner because it’s not always convenient to prepare a home cooked meal. When you add up all those costs and other costs directly related to having your job… and compare that with what your net pay is… you might find that life could be simpler by living on one income instead of two. Coupons will absolutely help drive the costs down on groceries, toiletries, and cleaning products to practically zero when you use the techniques mentioned here, so that’s a potential $300-$600 out of pocket costs you may not have to pay each month.

    I can’t say what’s right for your family… what I can say is that my wife no longer works a job anymore because couponing has helped us pay off debt. Now that we can live off of my income alone, we continue to coupon so that we can bless others and still have an abundance at home too.

    My suggestion is to try couponing out while you are working for now… while you add up all the costs. Can your family survive on just one income even if couponing doesn’t seem to help at first? You’ll know when the time is right to quit the job if that’s what’s in your heart to do.

    Thank you for the question Marla, I look forward to hearing more about how it all goes..

    David

  • Aneesah

    Thank you sooo much for this article. I have read so many that did not give half as much great information as you did. And thank you for the examples. I will try my first trip this weekend!!

  • Zach

    Hi, my name is Zach and I am a 16 year old in highschool. I recently started watching this show on tv about extreme couponing and soon became very intrested because of my liking of getting free stuff. I haven’t
    started couponing yet but I hope to very soon. I think it would be really cool to have a huge stock of snacks for my friends and I and I hope this will help me out enough to do so. Do you have any extra tips for someone my age on couponing? Thanks -Zach

  • Cristina

    AAAAHHHHH!!!!! I am so excited I just got my order in of 10 inserts each SS,RP ect….. I also have read kathy Spencers book GREAT!!!! reading. I have one question though before I begin my deals. Should we order 10 inserts of each every sunday paper or only 4? and….ok 2 questions:) and I’m not to sure how to work the catalina deals. So my question is if you get a catalina for buy 5 of “these” items and get $10.00 off your next order. Let’s say we get a deal as Kathy did with her pringles and she bought 5 for sale price $5.00 and recieve $10.00. She said she did it over and over. Do you have to go to the store several times to get the deal or can you do it all in one transaction? and roll over the extra $5.00 over and over until you bought all the pringles you want? I hope I made sense:)
    Thank you for your WISDOM!!

  • Cristina

    It’s me again, You don’t have to answer my CAT question I think I understand now. As long as you use dividers for the CAT deal you can do as many as you want right?
    Also in this deal for example:

    Spend $40.00,get $20.00

    lets say you get the items with coupons and sales down to where you spend only $20.00 OOP and you get $20.00 back, can you apply that to the deal right away making it free or do you pay the $20.00 bucks and they give you a CAT for $20.00 off next order? and if it is a MM of any amount do you have to use the credit right there and then or can you save it up for a future purchase?

  • Amber

    Hey i was wodering, i live in South Florida and i dont think i can use more than one coupon for one product at a time were do i get coupons were i can use them as many as i like ! Please let me know and any websites i can get manufactering coupons =] k thank you!

  • Bobbie

    OK David I have another question…I got a rain check for an item at Walgreens a couple of weeks ago.
    Is there an expiraton to these. I have a walgreens right beside were I work and I have stopped in there several times and they are still out of the product. Starting to worry because my coupon expires on the 15th. I lost the splenda deal last week because my coupon expired. I just want to know if rain checks expire.

    Thanks

  • Danita

    I have learned alot from this article as well as everybodys responses. I just have a couple of ?s so I make sure I am understanding correctly.

    Can you use 2 coupons on a BOGO Free or BOGO 1/2 off?

    Say i have a coupon for Yoplait save .40 on 6… Can I use 6 of these coupons since I am purchasing 6 or only 1 coupon when I purchase 6?

  • michael

    I am ready to start extreme couponing, but I don’t know where to start,can you give me an example of where to start so that I feel like I actually accomplished something. thanks.

  • David Bibby

    Thank you for the questions and comments everyone… here is my reply to each of you:

    Aneesah,

    You’re very welcome. I enjoyed writing it as well. Check back often as this comment thread is still going strong. We may even add more content to the article as well.

    Have a great first couponing trip!

    Zach,

    Whether you are 16 or 61, couponing can become a very fun and exciting venture. I like to think of it as a “game” of sorts. As long as you can buy newspapers with coupon inserts and you have transportation to the grocery stores.. you can do this! When your friends come over and you have tons of snacks on hand, you can tell them that they were FREE or a quarter a bag. Just make sure they clean up after themselves :)

    Christina,

    Great questions! I suggest starting out with 4 papers a week,..and work your way up to 10 later. To answer your question about the Catalina deals… Kathy Spencer would have gone to the store multiple times. I know that sometimes Extreme Couponers have been portrayed as having 18 transactions in a single store visit, most people don’t have time for that and most stores DO NOT like it. Instead.. we do at the most 2 or 3 small transactions at each store visit and if a catalina pops out on the first order that we can use on the second, we’ll do that.

    For those who don’t know… A Catalina coupon is one that prints out at the register AFTER you pay for your order. There are websites that will tell you what to buy to get a Catalina coupon. So with good planning.. you can get a Catalina coupon buy buying stuff you used OTHER coupons for. It’s very advanced level stuff. The best resource for getting to that level is Kathy Spencer’s book “How To Shop For Free”

    For your second post Christina,
    You have to save the Catalina coupon for your next order. Whether it is your 2nd transaction or a later one. So in your example… if you know you’re going to spend 20.00 OOP (out of pocket) and your going to get a “$20 off your next order” coupon back… you can’t apply that coupon to THIS transaction.. but your next one…absolutely!

    Thanks for your questions and comment!

    Amber,

    What stores are in the area you live? If you’re stores are similar to mine… you’d have Publix, Winn Dixie, Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Sav-A-Lot, and quite possibly an Albertsons. In all of these stores.. you can only use 1 Manufacturers Coupon for 1 product at a time… but if you also have a STORE coupon, you can also use it on that same item. The best place to get manufacturer coupons is your local sunday paper. Can you get the Orlando Sentinel where you live?

    Bobbie,

    Rain checks for items that the store didn’t have usually have an expiration date of 1 month. After the 15th… you can still get the Splenda at the sale price… but if the coupon has expired, then you can’t use it. A rain check will extend the life of a sale for 30 days, but it will not extend the life of a coupon.

    Danita,

    To answer your question “Can you use 2 coupons on a BOGO FREE or BOGO 1/2 off?”

    The answer is YES. When the store has a “buy one get one” sale they still have to scan both items. The computer keeps an internal count of how many items were scanned so that it knows how many coupons it will accept. So it they scan two items… you can use two manufacturers coupons.

    For your other question… if you have a .40 off 6 Yoplait coupons… you have to buy 6 items to use one coupon. Unfortunately… you can’t use 6 coupons on this deal.

    Michael,

    It all starts with the Sunday Paper’s coupon inserts… buy four copies of the paper and hold on to your coupons. Then look for what’s on sale in your stores and see if you can match up some deals. Maybe you’ll only get 2 or 3 deals your first week, but keep your coupons because as the weeks go by, you’ll see more things coming on sale that you DO have coupons for.

    Also pick a website to follow who does deal match-ups for you. There are hundreds of them out there. www.howtoshopforfree.net and www.thekrazycouponlady.com are just a couple that we really like.

    Thanks everyone!
    David

  • sarah

    Hello David. Its me again. I have been working the coupons and websites the past few weeks and while I set my goal at saving 25% off my bill I have been able to save appoximetly 35 to 50%. Once you get started its not to hard. I did get Kathy Spencers book and it was a real eye opener. I also am starting to get a small stock pile of things. But I am here to ask a question. I am very confused by a certain deal. For some reason I cant make it work in my mind so I was hoping you could explain it to me. If a store is having a bogo sale and you have a bogo coupon how does it work. I know that this type of deal is golden for freebies. Thanks again for all your help and support.

  • David Bibby

    Sarah,

    Ahhh… you’ve found one of the great phenomenons in the Extreme Couponing world. This one is like creating a black hole in the universe out of thin air. The “Buy One Get One Free” coupon used in conjunction with a “Buy One Get One Free” store sale. It’s magical how it works. Here’s an example of what my wife did today with body wash.

    She walked into Walgreens, who was having a sale on “Clean and Clear Body Wash” – Buy One Get One Free. She also had a Buy One Get One Free coupon valid up to $5.99. The coupon has the little box on it where the cashier will fill in the price of the item.

    She put two body washes on the counter, handed over only the coupon.. and all she had to pay for was the tax.

    When you have a sale like this with a bogo coupon. The store pays for one (since they offered it for free to begin with) and the manufacturer pays for the other one. Which means you walk out getting BOTH for free (only pay tax).

    How here’s the kicker… we have 13 of these coupons left… which means we’ll be getting 26 more of these body washes FREE before the week is over. Not all at once.. though… we never clear the shelves if we can help it. We got these coupons from the 3-27-2011 Smart Source Insert, so if this sale never came along then these coupons would have expired on 5-15-2011.

    This is how Walgreens does it at least. Not all stores will treat a BOGO sale and BOGO coupon the same way. It’s a good idea to call your store and ask them about that specific scenario and how they handle it.

    Best of luck to you Sarah, I hope I answered your question in a way that makes sense.
    David

  • sarah

    Thanks David that did help so basically its 4 for free. Will keep an eye out on these magical sales.

  • Cristina

    Hi! I hope all is well. Thank you for answering my CAT questions!! I also wanted to know if any time that we have MM do we have to use that credit with our transaction with stuff we don’t have coupons for or do we get to save them up? Is it different in all stores I know Walmart actually gives you cash back:) THANKS!

  • Cristina

    Oh I forgot to ask to…should we go to all the grocerey stores to see if they have store coupons once a week for the ones that do not put them in their ad like kroger, target ect….?

  • Najmah

    Hi all, I’m extremely new to EVER couponing and I am looking forward to it, even with all of my nervousness of failure. Your website is so helpful and I’ve even started a little notebook with some of your tips to help me along my way. Thanks again for offering your assistance and happy couponing!

  • sarah

    Sorry didnt mean to sound thick I ment to say 2 free but as I have 2 coupons that mean 4. My biggest problem is getting the stock piling through to my husband. I did a deal this week at krogers and bought 10 bottles of bbq sauce that after sale and coupons cost me 19 cents each plus got $5 dollars off my bill so basically got them free. He asked if we needed 10 bottles of bbq sauce. I told him at $1.19 each no for free yes.

  • Cristina

    I have another question…..Hope you don’t get weary of answering them, I really appreciate your time. The catalina coupon…Are they treated as in store coupons or like manufacture coupons? THANKS

  • David Bibby

    Sarah,

    I completely understand what you mean. One way to get through to your husband is to explain to him that, yes… you got 10 bottles of bbq sauce for free.. so you don’t have to buy anymore for awhile. Before you run out of bbq sauce another sale should come along that you can also get for free. That way you NEVER have to pay for bbq sauce again. You can do it for condiments…toilet paper…razors….anything!

    The best way to get through to him is to get his favorite snacks or cereal and get a lot of them.. then say “Don’t eat it all too fast because I’m not buying these above $x amount ever again.” And stick too it! He’ll be helping you get coupons when he see’s what you can do!

    Congratulations!

    Najmah,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the article and do not worry about making mistakes… it’s all part of learning!

    Thanks!

    Christina,

    Here’s the answers to your questions.
    1) My wife does frequently visit stores when we know that their store coupon booklets are available. We try to take only what we need (maybe 4 or so). Sometimes another couponer gets there before us and grabs the whole stack! Bad bad etiquette! Anyway.. we generally call ahead to see if they’re available before heading out there.

    2) When you have overage from Money Makers (MM) you almost always have to use them on other items in the cart, or get cash back (in Walmart’s case). If you’re at a store that does not give cash back but still allows for overage… they will require you to purchase additional items. This is where the impulse area, candy rack, and gum come in handy. In fact… this is the only way candy bars and chocolate enter our house!

    Unfortunately you can’t save up the overages as store credit for later use.

    3) Catalina’s are considered to be Manufacturer’s coupons. They usually label it clearly as such and print a payment remit address on it. Still.. some stores for whatever reason don’t want to take them even though they should.

    For example.. a Catalina coupon that says “$5.00 off your next order” that you get from Walgreens is not going be accepted at Walmart even though it is a Manufacturer’s coupon.

    Thanks for the questions Christina! I really enjoy helping all of you.
    David

  • David Bibby

    Cristina,

    I apologize for misspelling your name.

    David

    • jimmy

      HELLO DAVID JIMMY HERE FROM PUERTO RICO, I DIN’T GO WELL WHIT ME I JUST SAVE 24 DLS ON A GROCERY OF 184 DLS, BUT I LEARN THAT THEY TAKE PRINTABLE COUPONS, THEY DON’T DOUBLE COUPONS I JUST TAKE ONE COUPON FOR ITEM, ALSO I HAVE TO GIVE THE COUPON WHEN THEY SCAN THE PRODUCT NOT AT THE END, I AM LOOKING FOR COUPONS ON COKE,PEPSI, SPRIT AND 7UP I CAN’T FIND THEM, ALTHOUHGH I LEAR SOME TRICKS, FIRST I DID THE REGISTER LOOKOUT A GIRL THAT LOOKS PANTIENT AND NICE TO TALK,SO MY DAUGHTER TALKS TO HER AND SHE LET MY DAUGHERT TELL HER WHEN TAKE THE COUPON, THAT RESULT ATT LIST A DISCOUNT OF 2 DOLLAR FOR THE SAME ITEM A CEREAL, SO BEEN MY FIRST TIME I WAS THRILL 24 DLS SAVINGS IS A SAVING, KNOW I WILL CHECK EVERITHING AND MY GOLD IS TO MAKE A 300 DLS GROCERY AND PAY NO MORE THAT A 100 DLS,I WILL KEEP LEARNING UNTIL I MAX THIS GAME HERE IN PUERTO RICO, ANY COMENTS FROM YOU THANKS.

  • kc

    I’m trying to get started and of coarse doing research and looking at all sorts of websites. Several of them want your home address, cell number (wont take a home #) and even birthdate. Of coarse this makes me very nervous, have you ever given this type of information when trying to get coupons. Just wanted to get someone elses thoughts. thanks for being willing to share the knowledge that you have.

  • Courtney

    HI! I am VERY new to this, in fact I don’t think I have EVER used a coupon in my life (i will be 36 in a couple weeks). Horrible, I am realizing. I have been watching that extreme couponing on the TV and to say the least wanting to get started yesterday. Here is my problem, I live in a rural area in Iowa. We have 2 grocery stores in town, neither double the coupons. BUMMER!!! I bought the sunday paper and was HIGHLY disappointed in the lack of grocery (or any) coupons in it. Feeling defeated, threw the dumb thing away!!! So, where do I begin? What do I do now? Nearest Walmart or any of the like is an hour away. Being a full time mom of 3 and having a in home day care, getting there is not an easy feat. With the gas prices where they are, I don’t leave town much at all. In our weekly paper there are a few coupons with the weekly deals. I would love to start stockpiling but without the doubling and the great coupons, how do I? I am not comfortable giving out a lot of personal information on the websites that I have found. Guess I am looking for someone to point me what to do next. HELP!!!!

  • Christina McLean

    Hello! I am a college student trying to start saving money. I love extreme couponing but I’m an amatuer. I would like to start but I am very overwhelmed. Is their anyone willing to help me out? I live in NC.

  • Leah

    I am very interested in these tips and I appreciate that you shared them with us. I am a mother of 4 and my husband I are both students. We used to spend about 1100.00 on groceries when we had jobs, but due to the economic downfall we have had to cut our budget to 500.00 a month. We have been barely scraping by and I have just started looking for ways to get more groceries for our limited budget. Anyways, I have just signed up for two Sunday newspapers and I am going to start taking some of these tips and using them to our benefit. Thank you again for sharing this information, Leah

  • David Bibby

    kc,

    Thanks for your question. I don’t ever give out my cell phone number to any websites for any sign-ups. The last time I did, I ended up getting a horoscope service that was $10.00 a month plus texting charges.

    Now I only provide my name and email address and my date of birth. I’d only sign up to get coupons from manufacturers you trust from their sites directly. There is so much out there that it’s hard to know if your information is being kept private.

    Courtney,

    You might be better off buying your coupons directly from www.wholecouponinserts.com . The reason is that if you’re far into a rural area.. your newspaper may not contain the same coupons as those of the major city closest to you.

    For example.. even where I live… We have the “Florida Today” which my county’s paper and more local to where I live… and we have the “Orlando Sentinel” which covers Orlando and surrounding areas. We’ve found that the Orlando Sentinel has better coupons (and more inserts) than the Florida Today.

    If you buy the inserts directly.. you can pick the ones you want… and get a preview of what it in them before you buy.

    As for the stores not doubling… They don’t double in Florida either. Hopefully your stores also have their own coupons too that you can use in conjunction with a store sale and a manufacturer coupon. But let’s say that the don’t have store coupons either. How can you still coupon?

    You can still get great savings even if the store does not double or offer it’s own store coupons. You may not get 90% off, but you will still get a good deal. Let me take you back to the two tenants of couponing.

    1. Don’t buy it if it’s not on sale.
    2. Combine the sale with a coupon.

    So let’s say you’re used to paying $2.99 for one pack of sliced cheese every week when you shop. This gets you through the week and you do this week after week. At the end of the month.. you’d have spent $12 on cheese.

    Contrast that with your basic deal.. a Sale and a Coupon and nothing else.

    Now lets say that you bought 4 inserts and in the insert was a $1.00 off your brand of sliced cheese. Lo and behold the cheese is on sale at your store for $1.89. On your next shopping trip.. you pick up 4 pack of sliced cheese. They ring up at the registers for $7.56.. you present your 4 coupons (-$4.00).. and now your total is $3.56.

    So this week you spent more on cheese they you’re used to.. but you got 4 times as much… and now you don’t have to buy cheese for the rest of the month, So at the end of the month you only spent $3.56 on cheese instead of $12.00

    When you start doing this will all your most commonly bought staple items… you are going to save big. Even if you spend a little bit to buy the inserts, even if the store doesn’t double coupons for you, and even if the store has no promotions what-so-ever.

    Even if the most you could ever save from the stores near you was 75% off.. That’s so much better than paying full price. We’re all here to help you save!

    Christina Mclean,

    Sure, we’d love to help you out. Feel free to ask any questions anytime, tell us what stores are in your area and we’ll help you find the right place to get started.

    Lean,

    Wow.. It is really tough to feed 6 people on $500 a month. With couponing,.. I know that you can to one of two things… 1) Get $500 worth of stuff for under $100.. or 2) Get $1500 – $2000 worth of stuff for $500.
    When you start couponing as a way of life,.. and follow the two tenants I described.. your standard of living WILL increase. You could also lower your budget to $300 and get the $1100.00 you were used to having and take that extra $200 to help pay off debt or work on some other goal.

    It’s all possible with coupons.

    Thanks for sharing everyone!
    David

  • Nate

    Thanks Courtney! My wife and I are in the EXACT same situation in Kansas. 1.5 hours from the nearest Wal-Mart, and local (privately owned) grocery stores. We have family in California mail us their coupon inserts with their monthly love packages for the kids, and we also have invested in the whole coupon inserts. The problem with our city is that there is NO newspaper sold that delivers Sunday coupon inserts, so we are left to fend for ourselves in regards to obtaining the deals. We also have a Dillons next to our WalMart and when we have to stop in WalMart, we also stop at Dillons and try to maximize the sales.

    Finally, Pamida has double coupon days at certain times too. Though they are often expensive at Pamida, the double coupon and sale items can add up to some decent savings. No matter what we do out here though, it is much more difficult to find the savings on couponing that I did living in Southern California. Its just a matter of combining “city” trips together and other work arounds.

  • Gladys

    This was a great read! I’m not sure if you answered this already but how do you save on meat and produce? I don’t really see coupons for these things.

    • tooat

      Contact the companies you like or use the overages in your savings from your order. We just saved $62.00 on our produce etc. It was great Thanks for all of the information and help.

  • David Bibby

    Nate,

    Thank you for your comments! I appreciate you helping others the way you do!

    Gladys,

    You are correct that there isn’t many coupons for meat and produce. What we do instead is find deals that are called “Money Makers”. With these deals.. the coupons exceed the value of the item on sale which you can use towards other items in your cart. Walmart will do that and they will even give you cash back. So if you know you can get paid a $1.00 to take a bottle of shampoo off the shelf, then get 10 of those coupons, get $10.00 in overage, and use that to buy meat or produce. Check out some of the earlier comments on this page. There’s a wealth of information in here.

    Thanks,
    David

    • tooat

      If they use coupons at a store that honors overages, they can do like we do in the end your meat and fruits and vegetable can be free or close to free depending on how much you spend as a whole. And you can get it by the pound, we have because we get allot of our things on sale and with coupons or without if you check the stores before you shop and the ads you will do fine. Have fun.

  • Leelee

    Thank You sooooo Much!

    Since I was a little girl I remember clipping coupons with my mom on Sundays, and then growing up to have a great bunch of co-workers to have fun clipping organizing and deal hunting with. I still find it hard to get into a rhythm of being a true extreme coupon-er. We are now a military family and travel often so continuously getting reintroduced with new store policies and new areas make it a bit hard. Now being in the back woods of America is hard to find stores that have double- coupon days, and forget triple. Finding coupons that fit my families needs are hard. I.E. produce, soap, lotion. Do you know of a site that I could find more of these products?

  • Lora

    So I LOVE the idea of getting $500 of groceries for $5 but I wonder what the down side is. Do you ever have problems with rude cashiers or store managers?
    I’ve seen some extreme couponers who use two coupons and double them so they end up getting paid to buy the product. I looked into the policies in all my local stores and they all say they won’t allow that. What’s the secret?
    I’ve been watching the show and most of the couponers buy like 90 of everything. I understand you need to buy enough to last a couple months but even they will tell you that’s enough to last a year. Why do they buy so much?
    Also, it would be really awesome if there was a way to completely digitalize all manufactor coupons. I love the loyalty cards that can hold digital coupons to the store but everything would be so much easier if we could just scan two cards – one for coupons specific to the store and one for manufactoror coupons. Think this will happen soon?
    Thanks. :)

  • Shantrese

    Hello, I am a single mother of two struggling just to maintain. Trying to get started with couponing and so far your site is the best with the most information. I am also going to a class at a church that will teach me where to begin. I hope to be an extreme couponer within 6 months. Thanks for all the advice…will keep you updated on my progress. Once again thank you.

  • Bobbie

    Hey David I have another question…if I have a coupon for reach toothbushes that says save $2 on 2. Can I buy one 2 pack and that count for 2 or do I have to buy 2 singles. At Dollar General they have a 2pack for $2. So it would be free. And they do not carry singles at my DG. $2 would be great on 4 toothbushes but in the works of Kathy Spencer nearly free is good but free is better!!!

  • David Bibby

    Leelee,

    I can understand how difficult it is to do couponing from a rural area. You practically have to make a special trip to the city just to do it. For non-food items like shampoo’s, soap, lotions, and toiletries the best places to get them for free is Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid. Make use of their customer reward programs, because if you can literally make money at those stores. The best sites I can recommend are www.howtoshopforfree.com and www.thekrazycouponlady.com

    Lora,

    You asked the questions I’m sure is on everyone’s mind. Do we have to deal with rude cashiers and store managers? The answer is “sometimes”. At all times we try to be respectful and courteous to the store employees, even if they won’t budge on their stance. If a cashier won’t follow the policy or refuse to take our coupon, we ask for the manager. If the manager won’t allow you use the coupon, we ask them to void off the item (because we’re not going to PAY for it without a coupon). Then we call up corporate and get a solid answer as to why it was refused. Sometimes we get a call back from the store manager, who apologizes and invites us to come back. Occasionally we run into a manager who is belligerent to couponers. In those cases a phone call to corporate is appropriate.

    Will they ever go completely digital… perhaps… but not before they implement a new barcode system on the paper ones.. So coupon clipping will be around for quite a while longer.

    Shantrese,

    I’m glad you found this site and all the comments helpful. Good luck in your coupon class and enjoy saving!

    Bobbie,

    Unfortunately a 2 pack of toothbrushes has only one barcode that can get scanned.. so it’s treated like one item. So you would have to buy 2 2-packs. Good luck to you!

    Thanks for the comments and questions everyone.
    David

  • Heather

    Hey, David!

    Thanks for posting this straight-forward article. My question is where to find good coupons on fresh and/or organic items? It’s just me and my fiance, and we never really eat boxed meals, pork products or too much junk food–which tend to the be the items most on sale. Specifically, we go through a lot of fresh chicken, fruit juices, and plain old veggies, e.g. carrots, lettuce, onions, etc. Any tips on how and where to get good coupons on items like that?

    P.S. You’ve inspired me to try to make some epic and free donations to my local food pantry. :)

    Thanks,

    A level 2 and climbing

  • Chris_mcclellan

    Well written article, plain talk, explained steps so that it’s easy to understand. Thank you. I hope to take couponing to the next level.

  • Kesh

    I live in the metropolitan area of Phoenix, AZ. I have been shopping around and working on this for over a month and so far the only think I have got for free is some candy bars. The I am pretty sure I will never reach the extreme coupon level savings is that the stores here only double and triple coupons to a dollar, no more. Yes, you can get saving with coupons, just not extreme savings. If anyone does know of a store that will double and triple a coupon w/out a dollar limit here in the valley, please lets me know.

  • Anonymous

    Heather,

    Coupons for fresh produce, meat, and organic foods can be extremely rare. The best way we get these things is by buying a lot of the non-food money makers that cause “overage”. For example.. Last week we had a money maker on dog treats that gave us $3.00 in overage for every 2 that we bought. We gathered up 20 of those coupons and bought 20 of the dog treats for a total $30.00 in overage. We used that overage to buy fruits and fresh ground chicken (which was on sale).

    Does your store allow you to apply overage on coupons to other items in your cart?

    I’m glad that we’re inspiring you to save and give more. This is truly the reason why we do what we do. I just found out that someone in my neighborhood is about to lose their home. So we’re going to help as much as we can.

    Chris,

    Thank you for your comment. When you reach the next level… you’ll notice quite a change in your bottom line!

    Kesh,

    I’d pay close attention to the sales at Albertsons and Safeway. I understand that people consider these store’s “pricier” than some of the others.. but they have great deals for couponers. Albertsons frequently has 10 for $10 sales. If you have a $1 coupon for that item, it’s free! You don’t have to buy 10 to get the deal either… just buy the same quantity that you have coupons for. You can be very successful at a store that doubles to one dollar. The stores in my area do not double at all.

    Thanks for the comments and questions.
    David

  • CouponerInTraining :)

    Hey David,

    I’ve got a quick question and was wondering if you could help me out. Albertsons (and many other stores) often have great deals for 10 for $10 on certain items. I was excited when i was able to get 10 $1 off coupons on a certain item that had this deal going on….but when reading the Albertsons coupon policy, it read: “Albertsons only accepts original coupons and does not accept photocopied or reproduced coupons (including multiple prints of same series internet coupons).” So I’m just wondering what that statement means. The 10 coupons I have were all printed online (some from different sites) None were photo-copied or anything like that…. I’m just really confused about what this policy means!

  • Anonymous

    CouponerInTraining,

    Each printed coupon has it’s own unique pin number on it. This means that you can basically prove that they weren’t photocopied. Nonetheless Albertsons may decide not to allow you to use more than one coupon. In actually experience however, we’ve been able to use multiple online coupons in a single transaction. You might get a cashier that will be a stickler about taking them, but most will allow it.

    Best thing I can suggest is to ask the manager if he’ll accept them. Don’t read the policy to him but just ask for a yes or no. Chances are… the manager isn’t aware of the policy to begin with.

    Hope this helps..

  • Mrphdog22

    doesnt work like that where i live the store has rules to limit this

    • Anonymous

      Mrphdog22,

      I’m curious as to what stores are in your area and what part of the country you live in. But even if they didn’t let you do half the things other stores do… you should still be able to buy things 40-60% off by only buying items when they are on sale… and with a coupon.

      Thanks for the comment.
      David

  • Pa3cia

    David, May our Savior bless you and enrich your life with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I prayed and asked the Lord to show me how to extreme coupon so I can bless others. Thank you for your step by step advice. I am looking forward to becoming an exteme couponer. I will review your site often until I get the hang of it. Thank you, Patricia A. Trujillo

    • Anonymous

      Patricia,

      May God bless you as well in your endeavors. I have no doubt that as you learn and grow you will soon be giving at a level you never dreamed of.

      God Bless

  • Jerry

    David,
    My Wife and I are new to this couponing thing. We try and save as much as we can, but it seems that we are only saving 10-20% on our items. I have seen one major thing on your site that can answer a lot, “dont buy unless its on sale and you have a coupon” our first major mistake i believe. Is that the major key to all the savings? Keep in mind we are new to this and any extra advice would be highly appreciated.

    • Anonymous

      Jerry,

      Believe it or not.. that one key alone will bring your savings up to 40-60% if you did only that. Stock up on those items to get you through the next sale. How many jars of peanut butter would you buy if you could get them for $0.25 each? How many boxes of pasta would you purchase if you could drive the cost down to $.04 each?

      So when you see an item on sale. Check to see if you have a coupon for it, then get a lot of them.

      Thanks,
      David

  • Jen

    When it comes to the 10 for $10 deal at Albertsons. What if you only buy a few of those items. Like only 3-5? Is it still like 3 for $3 or 5 for $5. I think you might’ve answered this question on a previous post, but i’m not sure.

    • Anonymous

      Jen,
      You are correct. On a 10 for $10 sale you can get them 3 for $3 or 5 for $5. Some people intuitively think they that the must buy 10 to get that price, and that isn’t true unless the tag explicitly says “must buy 10″. However, that is pretty rare.

      So if you have $1.00 coupons….you can pick yourself up some free items.

      Thanks Jen for your question.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3MMV3ZY4ML6E2UOLYPW4HD53ZU sanona

    David-
    This is Sarah. I dont no why my user name changed when I logged in but it did. Ok so have been at this for awhile now and I have figured out how to stock most of my bathroom for next to nothing but I am having a very hard time with actual groceries. I have noticed that this time of year condiments and stuff go on sale at really good prices almost every week. So is the trick to really stock up good on this stuff so you just have it on hand til the next sale. I have also learned how to use ebay properly for getting extra coupons when needed. I know I am on my way but it does get frustrating to want to be at the top level of couponing and it can be a slow process. But I am actually writing this to share my last shopping experience. I took my 17 year old daughter with me for the first time since I started using coupons. I thought it mite embaress her to have her mom flipping through her coupon binder all the way through the store but to my amazement she jumped right in. If she saw something on sale that she wanted she started flipping through my binder to see if I had a coupon for it and she even turned down a couple of things cuz she said the savings just werent enough. She said she had fun doing it. So hopfully I am raising the next generation of couponer.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Sarah,
      Money Crashers has changed the way we do comments. This actually works better because I can now reply to you one on one instead of everyone all at once. It’s not hard to get used to but it did change some folks names.

      We started out couponing with the non-food items first, then later branched out into the grocery stores. Walgreens and CVS has made it easy to get free items with their register rewards and ECB programs. The sad thing is that a lot of people throw those receipts away along with any future savings they could get. They way to do it is to save those rewards and use them on other deals that produce more rewards.

      When you feel like you’ve mastered the pharmacies…next comes the grocery stores. We are not loyal to any particular store, so we go where we can get the best deals. Sometimes it’s Publix, other times Winn-Dixie, and occasionally Target and Walmart.

      This week Winn-Dixie has a sale on bagged Dole Salads. They normally cost $2.99 and are now on sale for $1.99. We also have 10 coupons for $1 off 1. So we could pick them up for $.99 each. That’s a 66% savings over paying full price.

      I’d also like to say that anything above 50% is great savings! If you did that on everything you bought at the grocery store you’ll have cut your bill in half. That’s nothing to sneeze at. It’s a great accomplishment! You’ll see your savings steadily climbing and before you know it, you’ll be at 80-90%.

      Lastly… it’s amazing that you’re teaching your children these things too. The next generation desperately needs to learn how to save money, not accumulate debt, and learn the importance of a good education and hard work. I have two daughters myself and they are learning these things too even though they are not in middle school yet.

      Thanks for your comment!
      David

  • Anonymous

    I work as a cashier for a major name grocery store. Watching my customers save money thru couponing has inspired me. Our receipts state the total “savings” for each transaction, and I truly enjoy telling each person what they have saved today. I don’t mind being corrected if I’m wrong about a certain situation, and I will often override a rejection if it seems fair. I want you to shop in my store.

    What I don’t like, is when the little Mom & Pop convenience stores come in and clear our shelves, leaving nothing left for our family shoppers, so that they can mark up the merchandise three times. I see this as rude and unethical. They also tend to be the most argumentative, questioning everything, holding up the line.

    My favorite extreme couponers shop during off hours…early morning or late evening. This is much appreciated, as we can take our time making sure to get everything right, and answer any questions.

    Thanks for your website. I am so ready to follow in your footsteps!!!

    • Anonymous

      Missybug88,

      Thank you for your comments. I’m glad you are one of the good cashiers that actually understands the couponing process and is cheerful about telling the customer how much they’ve saved. We love cashiers like you!

      I agree that greed and selfishness can be an ugly side of couponing. In my experience there are givers and there are takers in all categories of people, couponers included. The Mom & Pop stores you mentioned are not the only ones who clear the shelves for their gain. I heard a story about one couponer who bought 40 bottles of body wash to get overage (because it was a money maker). That’s not the bad part… she doesn’t use that kind of body wash… so did she give it away? NO! She poured it all down the drain! My stomach turned upon hearing that. That was pure selfishness on her part. That could have been donated and given to people who really need it.

      There’s no excuse for rudeness either. We sometime get some backlash from cashiers and managers, simply because another couponer was in the store earlier, cleared the shelves, and was rude to the staff. That gives us a bad name so we sometimes have to battle that.

      As much as we can, we try to make friends with the staff instead of being so demanding.

      Thanks for the comments.. I hope your couponing ventures go well!

      David

    • Dawnminer

      excellent points!

  • Cookiesforthesoul

    Hi there David,
    Just happened on your site this evening for the first time and wanted to say thanks for all the great information. As I read your blog, I thought to myself, “I bet this guy is a christian.” So, I just wanted to let you know that Christ is shining through you even here. I applaud you for being such a good steward and for helping others to do the same. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Anonymous

      Cookiesforthesoul,

      Thank you… yes..My family and I have been greatly blessed since this article came out. We absolutely love doing this as a way to give back to those less fortunate. I can not wait to see what’s in store ahead.

      David.

  • Amy

    David,
    First off i wana say i REALLY appreciate your WONDERFUL tips on all of this couponing!!! but i do have some questions… every coupon i have ever seen says “limit one per coustomer” so how can u use ten of them in one transaction? and also do you know Hyvee store policy on coupons? i live in a small town in iowa and the only places we have 2 shop is a fareway and aldis and hyvee or walmart and the only one i have seen anyone on here mention is walmart BUT there is a downside… our walmart is not a super walmart therefore they have a very limited ammount of groceries. what do you suggest i do?

  • Kehaulani

    Aloha David –

  • Kehaulani

    Aloha David,
    Just getting started here on Maui and really want to make this work. I will
    be following your advise and will update as I start my journey. Do you
    know of any inside advise for Hawaii?
    Mahalo,
    Kehaulani

    • Anonymous

      Aloha Kehaulani!

      I wish I knew what stores and websites are out there for Hawaii. I imagine that it’s more or less the same as the rest of the country but I could be wrong. Whatever stores are in your area.. do a search in google for “Coupon Matchups” along with your store’s name. For example.. since I shop at Publix I type in “Publix Coupon Matchups” and I’ll get a list of sites in which people have already figured out the deals that can be had in those stores.

      Try it and let me know what you find! I’m interested in knowing what stores are in your area and what newspapers can give your those coupons that you’ll need.

      Thanks!
      David

      • Kehaulani

        Aloha David,
        I truly appreciate your response to my posting being that I’m just starting. First the stores in my area are Foodland, Safeway, Walgreens, Kmart, Walmart (not a super store one), and we also have Costco.
        Please note that the price deals do not go from island to island. Each island is only allowed to price match on its own.
        Second I have gotten the paper from Oahu another island here in Hawaii and have found no inserts.
        I do know now that we do need to put in specific zip codes to get certain coupons online which I feel is unfare. I will continue on my quest and let you know if I get any where.
        With much Aloha.

        Mahalo,
        Kehaulani

  • Bobbie

    Ok David!! With this wonderful website and all the other great websites you have giving to me and alot of there people I have transformed from a 2 to a strong 3 and maybe even a 4!! If making your hubby go shopping at midnight on a sunday morning to make sure we get the deals makes you a 4 by golly im there!! LOL

    Thank you so much for what you do.

    I do have a question just to make sure I am not crazy!! LOL Some would say different about me!!

    I went to CVS today and got 10 of the Ajax dish soap for 89 cents. I was going to keep 5 and give 5 some other family members. I have a coupon that reads “save $1 on any 2 dynamo, fab, ajax, or niagara products” shouldnt I have been able to use this coupon. CVS would not let me because of course the pic was laundry detergent. It would not scan.

    I was alittle upset that I didnt get my dish soap for .39 and that was part of my $10 gas card too. But the cashier was madder at me when I told her I didnt want them and we had to dig them out of the sacks!!! She said its only 89 cents and I said it should be only 39 cents!!!

    I just wanted to make sure that I wasnt doing anything wrong.

    Bobbie

    • Pqpqpq

      Same thing happened to me with that coupon. It should have worked. If they wanted it to work with only laundry soap, it should have SAID only laundry soap. We all know that you cannot go by the photo. I believe the coupon is defective, the manufacturer screwed up.Or they think we will buy it anyway. I did the same as you and did not purchase them.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. When ever your coupon is refused for ANY reason… and your deal is not working out like you expected. Refuse to buy the items.

        Great work!

    • Anonymous

      Hi Bobbie,

      Let me assure you… you didn’t do anything wrong. Retailers are supposed to adhere to the “wording” of a coupon and not the picture. When a coupon doesn’t scan, the cashier’s first job is to try an figure out why… and usually they look at the photo and conclude that you purchased the wrong product.

      When situations like this arise…ask for the manager. If the manager also refuses to take it… then there is nothing more you can do at this time. Void the items off the transaction.

      When we know we’re in the right… and we are refused by the cashier and the manager.. a quick call to corporate usually clears things up. We tell the person in corporate what transpired.. what coupon we have… the wording first… and then we mention the picture.

      Many times we get a call back from the manager who refused the coupon in the first place inviting us to come back and that he/she will “personally” make sure it goes through.

      Don’t feel guilty for trying to get a good deal. If your deal is not working the way you expect it too.. there is NO obligation to purchase the item.

      You did everything right Bobbie, I’m proud of you!

  • jimmy

    HELLO DAVID JIMMY HERE FROM PUERTO RICO, I DIN’T GO WELL WHIT ME I JUST SAVE 24 DLS ON A GROCERY OF 184 DLS, BUT I LEARN THAT THEY TAKE PRINTABLE COUPONS, THEY DON’T DOUBLE COUPONS I JUST TAKE ONE COUPON FOR ITEM, ALSO I HAVE TO GIVE THE COUPON WHEN THEY SCAN THE PRODUCT NOT AT THE END, I AM LOOKING FOR COUPONS ON COKE,PEPSI, SPRIT AND 7UP I CAN’T FIND THEM, ALTHOUHGH I LEAR SOME TRICKS, FIRST I DID THE REGISTER LOOKOUT A GIRL THAT LOOKS PANTIENT AND NICE TO TALK,SO MY DAUGHTER TALKS TO HER AND SHE LET MY DAUGHERT TELL HER WHEN TAKE THE COUPON, THAT RESULT ATT LIST A DISCOUNT OF 2 DOLLAR FOR THE SAME ITEM A CEREAL, SO BEEN MY FIRST TIME I WAS THRILL 24 DLS SAVINGS IS A SAVING, KNOW I WILL CHECK EVERITHING AND MY GOLD IS TO MAKE A 300 DLS GROCERY AND PAY NO MORE THAT A 100 DLS,I WILL KEEP LEARNING UNTIL I MAX THIS GAME HERE IN PUERTO RICO, ANY COMENTS FROM YOU ALSO WHERE IS THE BEST WAY TO BUY COUPONS I SEE ALOT ON EBAY, BUT I HAVE TO BE CAREFUL HERE IN PUERTO RICO ARE HARD TO FOUND AND IN THE INTERNET THERE NOT SO MANY TO PRINT I MEAN THEY WON’T LET YOU PRINT A LOT, I AM LOOKING FOR COCACOLA.SPRIT,7UP TOILET PAPER,PAPER TOWEL AND LAUNDRY DETERGENT THAT WE USE A LOT ANY HELP THANKS.

    • Anonymous

      Jimmy,

      24 Dollars on your first trip is awesome! Don’t worry about getting huge numbers right from the beginning. As you learn and grow with this, your savings will increase by a lot.

      Now…Soda is one of those items that I consume a lot of.. but we don’t always find good coupons for them. With soda at least…I only buy it if it’s at the best sale possible. For example.. 3 12 packs for $11 is not a good enough sale for me. But 4 12 packs for $7.50 absolutely is. As long as my price is around $0.22 a can… I’ll buy it at that price.. but not more.

      So when any retailer has soda for $0.22 a can or less.. I’ll buy a lot of it. Even without having any coupons available.

      Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, and Laundry soap are items that we can usually get good coupons for.

      I think your goals are very realistic and I know you’ll be able to achieve them. Well done!

      Thanks!
      David

  • Jimmyv962

    Hello,
    Jimmy from Dorado Puerto Rico. I read your step-by-step and found it to be cool. I cant wait to do it here, my quesion is How do I do this in PR. we only get 2 news papers on Sundays, they come with sale item but no coupons.Thank you 4 your time Dios Te Bendiga which means God Bless You

    • jimmy

      lo puedes hacer con cupones printeados atravez de la internet son muy pocos, pero funcionan y te ahorras algo cuidate jimmy san sebastian.

      • Jimmyv962

        Gracias un millon por la ayuda. es increible como esta gente ahorran tanto me quedo bobo. Donde usted hace la compra? Yo pensaba WalMart CVS o Walgreens. No e podido empezar pero estoy loco por hacerlo. Aprendiendo cada dia mas los trucos. Y aguantate que por alli van los tocallos razando con puertoro. Cuidate, Dios bendiga a ti y tu familia… mi email es [email protected] PS que web site para los cupones.

  • jimmy

    HELLO EVERYONE ITS SO DIFUCULT TO GET COUPONS HERE IN PUERTO RICO, THERE ARE NOT ON THE NEWSPAPER AND ON THE INTERNET SOME DON’T PPLY HERE, I WAS WONDERING IF ANY IS SO KIND AND SAME SOME THAT YOU DON’T USED OR HVE TO MANY, I SEE SOME ON EBAY, BUT I AM WORRY TO BE SCAM, I WHANT TO BE THE # 1 EXTREME COUPONING IN PUERTO RICO I WILL THANKFULLY OF NY HELP, HERE IS MY ADDRESS JIMMY
    HC 3 BOX 31479
    SAN SEBASTIAN,PR 00685

  • Lila

    Hi David!
    I commented about a month ago, when I first started preparing my coupons and getting ready for my first trip to the store. I remember saving 38% or maybe it was 58% my first trip but I was so thrilled!!! I kept track of my savings on a spread sheet and I’m proud to say that I’m a strong level 3/weak level 4 couponer! When I added up my total savings for the month, it was a avg of 70%! I know it’s actually higher than that because when I price match at walmart or use competitor store coupons at frys, the receipt doesn’t show their retail price for the item-so it kinda throws off my numbers (and I price match A LOT).
    I’m still learning and I enjoy reading the comments here because I learn all sorts of new “tricks” lol.
    The one thing I do want to add for everyone here, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be courteous to other couponers and don’t clear the darn self the first day of the sale!!! I went into the walgreens Sunday and ALL the Rightguard bodywashes and deodorants were gone…there was 5 rows of bodywashes and like 6 rows of deodorants all cleared! And this certain person had hit up like 3 walgreens near my area (I know because I asked the cashiers). I just think that is just soooo rude.

    • Anonymous

      Lila,

      You are doing incredible! Can you imagine ever going back paying full price? Not ME!

      Regarding clearing the shelves… we had a couponer in our area take all the bottled water and cat food from two different Publix stores. One of the stores decided to change their policy and only allow 4 like items to be purchased with coupons now.

      Not only is that behavior rude (clearing the shelf) but it causes the stores to make changes to prevent good couponers like us from getting deals like these.

      Hopefully that won’t happen to you.

      I’m glad that you’ve taken to it so well!

      David

  • Magscoupon1s

    Hello David,
    I live in a Virginia suburb of Washington DC we get our weekly store inserts on sales etc. But I have difficulty locating the manufacturers coupons before the sale ends at the store. Many of the sites listed above cater to Florida and other areas. Where would I find manufacturing coupons without writing to each company each week. Thanks – Maggie

    • Anonymous

      Maggie,

      Sometimes we come across an item that is on sale.. but we don’t have a coupon for it and we cannot locate one. If that’s the case… we PASS on that item. If you get the regular coupon inserts in your sunday paper…and you save them week after week…your item will come around eventually with a coupon that isn’t expired.

      In other cases… if we really NEED that item.. we might earn overage on other items that are on sale using money makers and we could get the item we need anyway.

      If we REALLY NEED that item.. then might buy it on sale without a coupon.

      But we won’t EVER pay full price for it.

  • Writing4me

    …and I noticed you are a Christian writer, I am too. Have you been published or post your work online. I am trying to get established so I would appreciate any advice you would care to offer.
    Regards,
    Maggie

    • Anonymous

      Maggie,

      You can find my website if you read my author bio. Feel free to contact me.

  • Amber1953

    I am an “insane couponing” skeptic…I don’t see how any of this can work. I live in southern California and I don’t know of any grocery store that accepts coupons on their store sales. Anybody have any ideas how to get “free” groceries in so cal, feel free to let me know.

    • Anonymous

      Amber,

      I can certainly understand your skepticism. Most people will watch the “Extreme Couponing” show on TLC and think one of these three things:

      1) That’s impossible… no one can to that..
      2) Well it’s possible… but there’s no way “I” can do that..
      3) Well it’s possible… but not where I live.

      If you were to take the name of your store and put it in a google search in the following format… you should find some deals:

      “Publix Coupon Matchups”

      Just put your store name in their instead of Publix. That’s my store down here.

      I agree that some areas are more “difficult” to do than others.. but there should be some sort of solution for everyone.

      David

  • Ubuggme101

    David,

    I just want to say how happy I am to come across your guide on extreme couponing. I’m
    a proud housewife and mother of three. I never used to worry to much about buying on sale or couponing, but was always glad when I could get a good deal. Last year we decided to make one last addition to our family I knew I had to start saving money somehow, and to add to that my husband just lost his job. I made little changes like only buying on sale and clearence is my best friend. However this still isn’t enough. I saw a show on extreme couponing and knew that I had to try it. I was at the store and only had 10 dollars not enough to buy the baby food I needed and gas in my car. Remembering the coupons I had and the coupons on the packs of baby food, I was able to get more than I expected. I ended uo with 12 jars of food for only 4$ this would have usually costed me about 11$. That was more than a 60% savings. (THANK YOU JESUS!) This has made it to where Im excited to get started. Thank you for your tips. GOD always makes a way. He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

    -Proud Wife & Mom-

    • Anonymous

      The extreme couponing show really does get people fired up to save. I caution people not to expect 95 – 100% savings right off the bat. It takes time, patience, and practice to reach that level. Saving more than 60% at first is very good and you should be very proud of that.

      Keep it up… and you’ll soon be blessed with so much that you’ll have to give most of it away.

      David

  • Suzette Noel

    New to couponing, what price should I wait for when buying Playtex GentleGlide and bacon? I’ve noticed turkey bacon goes for a really good deal sometimes, but I have tried it and do not like it at all, would much rather have the real bacon.

    • Anonymous

      Suzette,

      I’m very glad you asked this question. One of the things that may hinder an extreme couponer’s progress is “Brand Loyalty”. For example… if I was to pass on FREE Skippy Peanut Butter because my kids like the Peter Pan Peanut Butter…. then I would be brand loyal.

      To answer your question… if you can find Playtex GentleGlide for under $0.50 a box with a sale and a coupon… then get a lot of them! Usually you can always get tampons, pads, and other feminine products for FREE at Walgreens or CVS using their reward programs.

      In our house we have Playtex, Tampax, and U-Kotex in stock…all of which we received for free at one time or another.

      Regarding the bacon. I agree that regular bacon taste’s better than turkey bacon. Those should go one sale as often or more so than turkey bacon.

      David

  • Kristen Castillo

    Hi David! I am new to couponing and your site has helped me SO much:) So far I have gone on three shopping trips. The first time I only saved $7.75 on a $82.67 grocery bill, the second time–after I found your site–I saved $14.50 on a $92.87 grocery bill. After studying a little more and learning to combine I found my first BOGO sale and figured out how to match my coupons to the sale and I saved $82.75 on a $195.82 which meant I only paid roughly $113 out of pocket :) I’m still learning but I have noticed a huge difference and with more experience I can’t wait to see what I can do! I have four kids and I am a stay at home mom so anything I can save is a plus. I just wanted to say Thank you so much! Your How To Coupon site is a life saver!!!

    • Anonymous

      I’m very happy to hear how well you’re taking to it. The more you do this.. the easier it will be for you to save. You’ll find yourself going from 60% savings… to 70%…. then to 80-90% range consistently.

      With the extra money you save… you’ll really be able to accomplish your financial goals much faster.

      Good luck and Happy Couponing!
      David

  • Ksdg

    I also live in south dakota, and we have an employee owned grocery store,Walmart, Kmart and Walgreens. I dont think it will work here, we can only use one vendor coupon, and one store coupon on each product. It is difficult in this part of the country to get a huge discount. Suzanne

    • Anonymous

      Suzanne,

      It’s no different where we do it. On any single item you can use ONE manufacturers coupon and ONE store coupon. If you do this while the item is on sale you can drive the cost down to FREE or next to nothing.

      Suppose peanut butter goes on sale for $1.50 for a jar that’s usually $2.79. And day that you have a $1.00 vendor coupon for it plus you have a $0.50 store coupon for that item. This means that you take the peanut butter home for free.

      So the math looks like this:
      Peanut Butter (on sale): $1.50
      Vendor Coupon: -$1.00
      Store Coupon: -$0.50
      Total: FREE

      At that price… you could gather up 10 store coupons,.. and 10 vendor coupons… and get 10 jars of peanut butter for free.

      Walmart and Walgreens will allow this… and there’s a good chance that the employee owned grocery store in your area does too.

      Look up “South Dakota Coupon Matchups” and I’ll bet you find people in your area that make it work.

      • Kristen Castillo

        A good trick to use at Wal-Mart–since Wal-Mart doesnt have a lot of store coupons–if any! is to ask if they take competitor coupons and price match ads–the one in my area does. I just recently put a binder together of all the local sales circulars so by using David’s example of peanut butter if the peanut butter goes on sale somewhere else–say like Walgreens but you’d rather go to Wal-Mart or if Walgreens is out of peanut butter and Wal-Mart has it you can take the peanut butter and get it for the sales price that Walgreens offered through the price match ad using a circular from Walgreens that states the price of the item on sale. Also, combine the manufacturer’s coupon and then a store coupon, like Bi-Lo, Walgreens, Kroger…etc. for additional savings since Wal-Mart will accept competitor coupons in addition to price matching :) and TA-DA! You just got free or really really cheap peanut butter :) Also, Wal-Mart allows for overages so if the peanut butter goes on sale for $0.89 and you have a coupon for $1.00 off you just made $0.11 just for “buying” the item!

  • Ken Quiggan

    Hey David, How about up north of you guys? I am a Canuck and love to save money. I keep missing the Extreme Couponing show but I don’t need it any more now that I found your site. Any help for “small population countries like Canada? I buy in bulk when on sale, I hold off when it is regular price if I can and I am now doing my homework on coupons thanks to your advice. The best tip I can give to your readers is find out if there is a discount meat section where they put mead on sale just because it is bloody and messy or close to their expire date. I get meat at 1/2 off usually and never had a problem. When I pay less I enjoy the meat more! If you have any help for us Canadians please pass it on. We are not “let it rip Americans” but I am sure I can save more money.

    Thanks for helping. I have been out of work now for 10 weeks and can only find a commission job so the timing is much appreciated. I helped at-risk youth but could only get short contracts so I am going to try to raise funds for charities instead and have a consistent job for a change. God bless, Ken

  • Danita

    David,

    I shop @ Kroger and seem to only save 50% with the sales and Qs. I purchase produce & Milk which doesn’t have Qs. Our Kroger has recenty changed their Q Policy you can have 3 like Qs for an item. I am wondering how to get my savings up to 70%? Any insight & scenerios are welcome.

    • Anonymous

      Danita,

      I know it’s not often feasible to do this… but if your Kroger has limited you to 3 like coupons for an item.. then you may have to split this up among two smaller transactions or leave the store and come back later for transaction number #2. Kroger has excellent deals that should get you in the 70-90% savings range.

      When companies change their policies on you.. you have to adjust your strategy a little bit.

      Recently, our Publix changed their policy and now no longer accepts BJ’s coupons as competitors coupons. BJ’s is a warehouse (buy in bulk) type store and had excellent coupons. But now that we know what the rules are… we follow them and find other ways to save.

      I have no doubt you’ll make it work for you.

      David

  • Danita

    David,

    I shop @ Kroger and seem to only save 50% with the sales and Qs. I purchase produce & Milk which doesn’t have Qs. Our Kroger has recenty changed their Q Policy you can have 3 like Qs for an item. I am wondering how to get my savings up to 70%? Any insight & scenerios are welcome.

  • cnv123

    Lovely article. But one secret I learned while in a merchandising class in college was that a lot of the generic brands are made by the name brand companies and often times are the same exact product. Companies base some of their market research off of the products we buy and whether we will pick generic or brand based on apperance/prenotions. We watched a video in class that pretty much made me sick at the mind games these big companies play on consumers. From that day forward, I shopped differently. Kind of like the placebo effect-you think you’re getting something better so you feel better, even though it is nothing different about it. Some items I choose generic and some I choose brand but I prefer to save money no matter how I choose to shop.

    • Anonymous

      cnv123,

      Great points you raised. Before we were level 4 couponers… we were level 2 (Generic Brand Shoppers) for a LONG time. I didn’t mind the generic brand so much. However.. with couponing…you can get the best price AND the best product (whether the same exact product as generic) for much less than the generic price.

      It seems very out of place doesn’t it?

      • cnv123

        I’m back 7 months later and I have to say, boy have things changed in the way supermarkets handle business. Now a lot of stores are very restrictive and it takes a lot of effort to save money with coupons. I guess it all boils down to this: if you want to save, then you better be willing to put in the hard work!

      • cnv123

        I’m back 7 months later and I have to say, boy have things changed in the way supermarkets handle business. Now a lot of stores are very restrictive and it takes a lot of effort to save money with coupons. I guess it all boils down to this: if you want to save, then you better be willing to put in the hard work!

  • Jodie Friend

    David – I am very new to couponing, I am a stay at home mother to six children and with my husband being the sole provider anything I can do to help with money makes me feel good. After seeing the couponing show on TLC I have decided to give it a shot. Even if i’m not as extreme if I can stock us up on laundry soap, TP, paper towels and body wash I’ll feel I accomplished something. My question is how do you know if something is a good coupon or not worth the time to clip? I’ve seen a lot of coupons for auction on ebay. Is it worth it to just look for the coupons you want and then pay a small fee to order them from a service?

    • Anonymous

      Jodie,

      How do you know if a coupon is a good coupon? It’s a good coupon if it drives the cost of the item down at or below your rock bottom price for the item.

      Allow me to explain.

      Our rock bottom price on peanut butter is 50 cents. We will NOT pay more than 50 cents on a jar of peanut butter.

      So if peanut butter goes on sale one day…and a coupon is out there on e-bay that will take the price of peanut butter at or below 50 cents… then it IS a good coupon and I want it.

      It doesn’t matter is the coupon is worth 50 cents or 75 cents or $1. If the coupon can take items to a price I’m willing to pay. Then it is a good coupon.

      The one variable is the rock bottom price.. it could be different from one person to another. One person might be happy with paying $1.00 per jar of peanut butter… and another person might not ever buy peanut butter unless they can get it for 25 cents or free.

      We DO buy coupons on ebay… but only if we know the item is on sale at the store and the coupons we’re buying WILL be used. We won’t buy coupons for products we like and hope that they will go on sale before the coupon expires. We still collect the Sunday Paper coupons and hold onto those… because we’ll always end up using a good portion of those and throwing the rest away.

      Look for the SALE first… THEN find the coupons you need to drive that sale lower.

      Hope this helps…
      David

      • Jodie Friend

        David – That helps a lot. I am very new to this and a bit overwhelmed. I was looking for coupons on ebay for products I like but looking for the sale first then the coupon does make much more sense especially to try and get things as cheap as possible.

        Thanks again I look forward to sharing my future success.

  • Fritschebrandi

    is there any sites out there. that tells you the best store to use a coupon at??

    • Anonymous

      Fritschebrandi,

      Any store that has your item on sale…and lets you use the coupon in conjunction with it… is the “best” store.

      Honestly… it’s all local to where you live.

  • Dunn4506

    Hello David, I don’t believe, I’ve read anywhere,about merchant downloadeable sites. I was wondering, could we download Ex. krogers, coupons onto thier card…and use thier card..at Walmart, for the sakes of using a coupon to save ?? I was, also wondering about if it would scan ? Or, perhaps..scaned as a Debit/credit/ or perhaps maybe, Ebt ?? For the kroger coupon’s on their card !! I had a CVS coupon for 3/12 pks of cokes for $8.00, I tried, to use it at WALMART, they refused it, stating,”CVS, REQUIRES A CARD!!!!!” LOL, I laughed “HYSTERICALLY”. I had my kroger paper with me, What, does this say W/card you pay only???? She , called her CSM (cust.serv.mngr ) She agreed with, cashier!!! I was, so angry… I phoned, the store manager…after return home, so I could talk.. The store manager, said…I was right !!! Save, my reciept for purchase, on my next visit. Thank You, Dunn

  • Aaaguiar777

    that was an amazing article, thank you

  • Hroheirjwi

    HI David…. Im just wondering where and how extreme couponers get there coupons and inserts. One drawlback I have is that I dont like to print them. Can you help??

  • felicitas ramirez

    Thank you david,
    Today i will start my path on savings. I agree with every body amazing article

    Felicitas, Lodi Cal

  • Celinamitch1

    Thank you sooo much I look forward to putting your advice to work and making my first shopping trip soon after I get married next month!!

  • Neeners

    OMG! I can’t wait to start spending and saving money wisely!!!

  • Ryan L

    Hey David,
    I’m 17 years old and I am REALLY on a high for coupling. I’m in the process of learning how to do it, and your story has really fired me up! I just wanted to ask if you think I’ll get better deals at Brookshires as opposed to Walmart. I saw that apparently the don’t honor triple or double coupon deals/ one coupon for one item. Where would you recommend is a good place to do it? Or is Walmart just as good as any other place?

    • Anonymous

      While I’m not that familiar with Brookshires, I would say that it’s probably easier to get better deals there since they post their weekly sales, and allow you to double coupons.

      Walmart is ok for doing price matching and using overage to apply to other items in the cart.

      I think you’ll find yourself going to Brookshires more often.

  • Mom of 6

    Hi David, First I would like to thank you for this site it has been so helpful in getting started with coupon shopping. This site has taught me so much and led me in the right direction. I just lost my job and with a family of 8, we are really going to have to tighten the belt to make it through this time. I had my first “successful” coupon shopping trip today, I bought $96.77 worth of products at our local Rite Aid, and I paid only $3.40 for it!!! I was very proud and thought, I can do this!! I have only tried to coupon in Rite Aid, I am a little intimidated by the grocery stores : ( , I haven’t been able to really find coupons for some items that I would like to stockpile, and the ones I do find I am not saving the money I thought I would be?? Any words of wisdom??

    Jenny

    • Anonymous

      Jenny,

      That is an AWESOME Rite Aid shopping trip! Keep doing that and your stock pile of non-food items is going to grow by leaps and bounds…

      For the grocery items… I can relate to the feelings you’re having. We started at the pharmacies as well and later branched out into the grocery stores. All I can say is…continue to learn and implement small changes and go after the small deals you see. You will grow in this area and move from 40% savings to 50% to 75% and higher.

      As long as you’re keeping your coupons from the papers, when you see a sale on a grocery item you want.. look up on Hot Coupon World’s coupon database to see where coupons are available for that item.

      I wish you the best!

      David

      • Lea

        Hey David,
        I also am a Newbie! I am learning so much. I had a coupon for $0.50 off of French’s Worcestershire sauce (extra tenderizing), and the store where I found it had it for $1.05 so that meant I only paid $0.05 per bottle! I was so proud. This was my first time at couponing and I hadn’t reached it yet, all I had done is watch the shows. Now I am continuing to do my homework. Thank you for the heads up.
        Lea

    • Chadan04

      Oh My… how did you do this? did you u have up rewards from previous purchases that you used towards the $96.77 or break it up into abunch of transactions?

  • peg wardwell

    WOW ! I dont know when I have ever seen such a helpful artle on a subject. You should publish a book.

  • summer donahue

    This has been a big help! I will use all of the helpfull tips! Thanks extreme couponers your awesome, who ever thought it was possible.

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      We had the exact same feeling when we first realized the impact it would have on our family. In fact… we just came back home from a week’s vacation… paid for upfront by all the rebate checks we’ve been getting. Couponing WILL change your life!

  • Dina Montano72

    Hi David , I like this web site I have a family of eight I have heard of this . And haven’t tryed it want to start couping but didn’t know how by reading this it gives me an idea.Of how to do this would this also work if the groucery store i go to honors of to triple coupons. and how does it work with meat and fresh fruit and veggies.

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      If you live in an area that store’s will double and triple coupons… then you have an advantage. However…every store may have a different policy about how many like-coupons they will double or triple. So it would be in your best interest to get an updated coupon policy for each store. You want to play by the rules and they often change the rules on you all the time.

  • taytay.

    at the end of the first section you said to assess what kind of couponer you are…but you spelled it as asses. FYI.

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Thanks… I believe it’s been fixed now…:)

  • Trisha

    David: I’ve recently become a big fan of the show “Extreme Couponing”. About 3-4 months ago I saw an episode and I’ve been hooked ever since. Although the show is great, I’ve never quite understood the process of couponing, but thanks to your website, and tips I think have a better understanding. As a single mother of 3, one being a new born, I’m always looking for deals! Thank you again, and I look forward to my first grocery trip!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Trisha,

      Thanks for the comments! I hope that this information has been helpful to you and that you are getting good results with coupons. Don’t give up! Your babies are counting on you!

  • Harmoniea

    This is great…to bad we can not do this in canada…we can only use coupon at a time with the item…continue your savings…its great… i am jealous that i can not do it here in Quebec…:)

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Even if a store only allows one coupon per item and you cannot stack them… you can still get about 30% to 50% savings by following only these two rules:

      1. Don’t buy it unless it’s on sale.
      2. Combine the sale with a coupon.

      I know that there are some couponing sites out there geared towards Canada as well. Don’t give up!

  • http://www.facebook.com/AshleyNLesterGray Ashley Parks Gray

    Hello David, Ashley Gray 27,F, From Longview , Texas… I just got through making notes of everything you said in your blog. I am trying to learn extereme couponing to help my family as well. I am married, and have a 8 yr old son from a previous relationship, And am Currently pregnant with my Husband’s first child. ( a lil girl). and we are very excited, but not so much with all the extra money that will need to be spent on diapers, wipes and other things.. So Thank you so much for your insights on everything,. and i really look forward to learning alot and SAVING BIG MONEY too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/AshleyNLesterGray Ashley Parks Gray

    Hello David, Ashley Gray 27,F, From Longview , Texas… I just got through making notes of everything you said in your blog. I am trying to learn extereme couponing to help my family as well. I am married, and have a 8 yr old son from a previous relationship, And am Currently pregnant with my Husband’s first child. ( a lil girl). and we are very excited, but not so much with all the extra money that will need to be spent on diapers, wipes and other things.. So Thank you so much for your insights on everything,. and i really look forward to learning alot and SAVING BIG MONEY too!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Ashley,

      I wish the best for you and your family. I know that you can routinely get samples and good coupons by writing the manufacturers directly. Start writing today and they will send you some really good stuff. Ask if your grocery store or pharmacy has a “baby club” you can join, they will usually give you a bag of items just for signing up.

      Another thing that we did for both our girls is Cloth Diaper. I think we invested about $300 in pre-fold cloth diapers, fleece liners, vinly diaper covers, and snappy fasteners (no safety pins necessary!). We used a home depot orange bucket for the solid diapers until it was time to wash them.

      While the babies looked a little silly with their big butts, the benefits to cloth diapering far out-way using disposables. 1) Your babies will potty train earlier than other kids. This is because the cloth diapers are not as absorbent as disposables. Your kids will know (and let you know) that they just “wet”. 2) the cost savings is enormous. Once you have all the materials, you don’t need anything else but the occasional disposable when you are out and about.

      Enjoy this exciting chapter in your life!
      David

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, David for making this so much easier to understand! I am very excited to get started. I like so many others have been amazed as I watch the “Extreme Couponing” TV show. But I do have a question!! So often on the show I see people stockpiling toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, chips, and a huge assortment of cleaning supplies to name a few. My question is this: What about dinner? What about meat and fresh produce, eggs and cheese? Is there a way to save on the perishable items, too? How much money do you spend on these things in addition to the all the stockpile items? Thanks for your help!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      rsf5,

      If you were to take a look at my family’s stockpile…you’d also find a ton of toothpaste, mouthwash, hair color, razors, paper products, soaps, shampoos, etc. We don’t consume these as fast as we’re getting them in for free, so we donate a lot of it.

      Now.. if you were to look at my family’s pantry… you’d find it fully stocked with Peanut Butter (30 jars), Salad Dressings (40+), Canned goods (too many to count), Soups, Chips, Cereals (30+), Oatmeal (40+), Condiments (over 40+ each). etc.

      To answer your question, how to you get meat and produce? The answer is in one word: OVERAGE.

      Frequently, a sale on an item like toothpaste or shampoo comes around that when you use a coupon with it… you MAKE money. These are called “money makers” and the store is literally PAYING you to take the item off the shelf. But…the store many times will not pay you cash…but instead will apply that difference to other items in your cart.

      So if you found that toothpaste was a $1.00 money maker this week. You gather up 10 coupons… buy 10 tubes of toothpaste…get $10.00 in overage to apply to your cart. This is how we get all our produce. $10.00 will get a bag of apples and some bananas easily.

      We plan just about every shopping trip to include money makers (to get overage) and we buy meat and produce with that overage.

      Hope that helps!
      David

  • Melinda Walsh

    Hi David I’ve read your article several times and have done extensive research on extreme couponing. I would like to start couponing to save my family money and I think I understand the process but I’m finding that I’m only saving a small amount. You said you live in Palm Bay, FL .. I live in Cocoa, FL .. have you every thought of teaching classes or “tutoring” on couponing? I think I would benefit from being with someone experienced when clipping coupons and for a few shopping trips.

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Hi Melinda!

      A class is something I would definitely like to do in the near future. I really love teaching and couponing is a great topic. Feel free to post your questions here though. I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

  • Angelbella5

    Hi David, I have read all of your tips..but the only problem I am having is that I live in a rural area that does not have many coupons in the sunday paper for SS or RP. We are lucky to have 4-6 coupons a week. I see that I can but them on Ebay or other online sources, but is it worht it to buy them??

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Angelbella5,

      Yes.. in my personal opinion.. buying your SS or RP inserts online is worth the cost. In order to do couponing you have to have the coupons…and you have to store and file them away for up to 3 months. I don’t think you can coupon effectively without these coupon inserts.

      My family and I are spending about $400/month doing deals… but we’re getting about $3500 – $4000 worth of name brand items and groceries.

      We’re buying 20 papers a week for the coupon inserts they contain. So that’s about $30 a week just in newspapers. We also print coupons online like crazy… we are replacing an ink cartridge at least once a week at $13.50 apiece.

      But without these costs… we cannot get the savings we get.

      The alternative then.. is to not buy the newspapers or the ink cartridges. Then at the end of the day… we’d spend about $400 a month to get about $400 in groceries. Actually we’d spend more because it’s expensive to feed a family of 4 today.

      Once you start couponing… you will more than make up the cost of the inserts you buy. Your dollar will stretch much much further, and you’ll by thinking the same thing we did a couple of years ago: “Why did we not do this SOONER??”

      Hope this helps…
      David

      • KJC

        This was exactly the info I was looking for. I couldn’t understand how I could spend so much money on newspapers and ink and save money. But if I’m understanding correctly the overages are being used to pay for other groceries? Can you get newspapers delivered from different zip codes? For example, I’ve noticed that a lot of the sites that I’m visiting are reflecting couponds that I am not receiving in my SS or RP? How many regions are there? It seems to me there might be a lot? For example, I’m in zip 61264 and did not have a SoftSoap coupon in my newspaper? What am I missing?

        • KJC

          PS – Thank You :)

        • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

          Unfortunately it’s difficult to predict what coupons are going to show up in what regions. Companies will split test their marketing campaigns in different regions and experiment with what they give out. Coupons WILL differ from region to region… and they will ALSO differ inside of regions as well.

          For example: Where I live I can get “The Florida Today” and the “Orlando Sentinel”… two different newspapers. The Florida Today is more for my county (Brevard), and the Orlando Sentinel is more for the Orlando Area.

          As a test we bought BOTH papers to see what the differences were.

          The Orlando Sentinel had MORE coupons and Higher value coupons. Such as $1.00 off Pop Tarts vs.. Florida Today’s $.50 cents off the same item.

          We also find that we are missing coupons as well even in the Orlando Sentinel too… so it really is just the luck of the draw. You win some and you lose some.

          So I do think that you can get better coupons by buying the whole inserts online if you find that you are missing too many of them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3MMV3ZY4ML6E2UOLYPW4HD53ZU sanona

    Hi David. I have posted on here several times and I thought I would just share some of what I have learned over the past few months. The first thing I have learned is that to be a true extreme couponer takes alot of work. Work that I don’t know that I am willing to put into couponing. Right now I am at getting all of my bodywash, toothpaste, and shampoo for free and only buy it if i am not going to pay for it. As for my groceries I am at about a 70% savings. After stressing that I was doing something wrong I realized that I am content with these savings. Not saying that I don’t spend a few hours a week searching for deals and coupons but I no longer stress that my bill is not dropping to zero.

    Second thing I have learned is that after awhile while you are stockpiling you will set yourself a limit as to how much you will pay for something. When I first started my goal was cheaper than generic. If I could get it for less than a generic version I would find coupons on ebay and buy multiples. Now my goal is usually one dollar or less. If I can get it for that I will by alot. I also see myself looking at what I got a product for last time. For example I recently bought alot of salad dressing for 50 cents a bottle so now I see no reason to ever pay more than that.

    I have also learned that I am a lazy coupon clipper. While I do buy a couple of newspapers for the inserts. I dont dumpster dive or ask my neighbors for there coupons. For me ebay is my best friend. I find a sale and then search and buy the coupons.

    Next thing I learned is that a coupon buddy is a great thing. I have a friend who started about the same time as me and we always share deal ideas. It is great to have an extra pair of eyes. It can be real easy to miss great deals if you are busy or havent made it to the store yet to find the unposted deals. We never actually shop together but text and talk all the way throught our shopping days to fill each other in on what we have found.

    All in all I have finally taught myself that you are not a failure at couponing if you are still putting money out for your groceries. If you are saving any kind of money you are a success. Thanks for all the information and support you give people.

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Sanona,

      I greatly appreciate your kind words. I am extremely happy for you that you are now saving at a level you are content with. I certainly don’t think any one here is a failure if they are at the 50-60% range… or the 70%-80% range. It’s all part of the learning process.

      I agree with all the points you described above and one would do well to really listen to everything you mentioned.

      Thanks again for reading and asking questions. I know you will continue to be blessed by the knowledge you put into practice.

      David

      • mydear

        love your site. I am very inspired. And for the ones who like to send negative posts, thats the reasons they have so many problems in their lives. I too am struggling which is why I look to this site (duh). I didnt even know you could buy coupons! I love the way you handled that!!! Cant wait to start saving money.

  • Doris Black

    Hi, I’m new to this and don’t understand the overages. How do I get an overage? Please, Please explain how it helps to get reduced meats and fresh produce.

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Doris,

      Here’s a recent example of why my wife did the other day. I’ll present this in a step-by-step fashion:

      Our store was having a sale on Bic razors $5.49 buy one get one free. This means that you get 2 of them for $5.49

      My wife has a coupon for $3.00 off one pack of Bic razors. Actually she has 20 of these coupons.

      On a “buy one get one free” sale.. you are allowed to use two coupons: One on the item you are buying and one on the item that you get for free. This means that we can present 2 of these coupons of $3.00 each on a purchase of $5.49.

      The math looks like this:
      2 packs of Bic Razors (buy one get one free): $5.49
      One coupon for $3.00 for the item we’re buying: -$3.00
      One coupon for $3.00 for the free item: -$3.00

      Total: -$0.51 – Overage.

      The store is literally paying you 51 cents to take two packs of razors off the shelf.

      Because the store does not allow you to get cash back on your coupons.. you must have other items in your cart that this can apply towards.. say a candy bar. You can add a 59 cent candy bar to the order.. and your total now would be a positive 8 cents.

      How would you feel if you got two packs of Bic Razors and a Candy bar and paid 8 cents for it?

      Pretty good right?

      Now lets take it further… remember I said my wife had 20 of these coupons?

      The actual math went something like this:

      20 Packs of Bic Razors (buy one get one free): $54.90
      20 Coupons for $3.00 (1 for each pack we bought): $60.00

      Total: -$5.10 Overage

      So what did my wife get with the overage? Strawberries and Bananas.

      She paid less than a dollar for 20 packs of Bic Razors and got some Strawberries and Bananas too. How cool is that??

      When you can get overage using coupons… get a bunch of those coupons..then get as many deals as you can so that the overage is multiplied.

      Did I explain this in a way that makes sense?

      David

      • Chironurse

        Hi David,

        I am new to this concept of couponing and I wonder if stores limit this type of couponing. I am afraid to try this and get to the counter to find out I have to pay $56 for razors I don’t need at the moment!
        Can you always apply the overage towards other purchases in your cart or do stores negate overages?
        I remember as a little girl I would shop with my mom and her overages would be paid back in cash and she could cash in coupons! Those were the days!!!
        Thanks for the help

        • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

          Chironurse,

          The answer to this questions actually depends on your store’s coupon policy.

          Some stores will negate overages and actually adjust the price of an Item to match your coupon and make it free…but will not apply the overages to other items in your cart. (Target has been notorious for doing this)

          Some stores will apply your overages to other items in your cart, but will not give you cash back if your total ends up being a negative number. (Publix, a grocery store in the south does this)

          Some stores will actually give you CASH BACK if your coupons exceed the value of your items and you have a negative balance on your shopping order. (Walmart does this)

          So please check with your store and see how they will handle a coupon that is worth more than your sale item. All you have to do is ask them.

          Hope this helps…
          David

  • Anonymous

    I could not imagine the various aspects of couponing especially extreme couponing. Thank you so much David for presenting a detailed article.
    By the way, I’m not an extreme couponer :-)

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Amanda,

      You’re not an extreme couponer, YET… lol. The truth is that less than 2 years ago, we weren’t either! But once my wife got the hang of it, it became our lifestyle. Just in time too… I can’t imagine how we would make ends meet without couponing.

      Thanks!
      David

  • Phenomenalboo

    I want to try extreme couponing really bad and this is the best website I came across with clear definite directions on how to do it, so thank you for that. The first time I watched the television show “Extreme Couponing” there was a gentleman who had a coupon on jeans and he got several pairs of jeans for free. My question is how is this possible and also is this a common thing you can do with clothes? If so I would really love to try this with clothes as well. Thanks in advance for your response. :0)

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Clothes is not usually something that you can get for free. But you can get amazing deals at places like Kohl’s and Justice, and other stores like that. These stores offer you rewards bucks for buying $50 or more in clothing. The best way to make it work is to shop the clearance rack on a 40% off day. Then get the rewards bucks to use towards your next purchase and shop the clearance rack again.

      In Kathy Specer’s book “How to Shop for Free”.. she explains this in better detail.

      Thanks for your kind words!

      • Phenomenalboo

        Thanks so much!

  • jessica

    Hi, I will be new to the extreme couponing. I am also a Christian with a big heart. I’ve always wanted to help others in need, but I can barely support my 2 month old daughter. Although i stoped smoking, eating out, ect. I still find myself coming up short. I don’t buy toys and books because i only have money for diapers and wipes. Dont get me wrong, i am blessed with a great family and fiance that would do anything for me, but i want more. I deserve it and i think this couponing can really help me in a big way, and eventually i can help others in the same “boat” im in now. I will take what ive learned here apply it and teach others as well. I am very excited. Thank you!!! :)

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Jessica,

      Thank you for your comment. I do hope that what you’ve learned in the article and within these great comments are the keys to living using coupons. This will help you not only provide for your 2 month old little girl, but also thrive in your home too. If you have any questions.. just ask.

      Thanks,
      David

  • melinda

    this was extremely informative! wonderful! i love the part at the end where you say to donate. it bothers me when people have tons of stuff they wont be able to use in their lifetime and wont share.its like they dont care. i personally want to be able to grocery shop for my family and help others as well

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Melinda,

      I myself wish that more people would donate regularly.. once couponing becomes an natural thing, the stockpile starts to grow very fast. We find ourselves frequently needing to make room for more, so we donate to the church, school supply drive, food bank, and to our family and neighbors.

      Good luck to you on your couponing endeavors!

  • Claudia

    David, this is Claudia and i just wanted to tell you, i love your 101 website about coupons, i think i figured out, but im having a hard time with some coupons i give you on example, i have a coupon for scotties facial tissues save $ 1 when you buy any 5 boxes or 2 multipacks, can you guide me on that one PLEASE. Thanks

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Hi Claudia,

      Thank you for your question. Let’s get down to it…

      A coupon for $1 off of 5 boxes of Scotties facial tissue isn’t going to go far…because it requires your to actually get 5 boxes. It’s only really worth about $0.20 a box. If each box is $2.00 normally… five boxes would cost you $10… and you’d only save $1. That’s a 10% savings and nothing to get excited about.

      Since the coupon also says “or 2 multipacks” you can wait for a sale on those multipacks… say a $3.99 buy one get one free sale… then you can get two multipacks for just $2.99. Which means you’ve get them for $1.50 each, instead of paying full price for them.

      Don’t be afraid to throw away a coupon if it isn’t going to make a good deal happen. Just like there are some no-so-good sales out there… there are plenty of no-so-good coupons too.

      Hope this helps…
      David

  • Emma

    Hi David,

    First of all I would like to say thanks for writing this article! You have gotten my family educated about extreme couponing! But alot of the manufacturer’s coupons I get in my paper say “Limit one coupon per purchase.” So how would I be able to use multiple coupons the same purchase??

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Emma,

      The phrase “Limit one coupon per purchase” actually means… “Limit one coupon per ITEM or PRODUCT”. This means that if you have 4 coupons… you can buy 4 products and use one coupon on each.

      Now… there are some coupons out there that say “Limit one coupon per TRANSACTION” and that means only one per checkout.

      So cashiers can sometimes get this confused… and will not let you use more than one coupon that says one per purchase. If this happens… get the manager involved.

      So to recap;

      1 per purchase = 1 per item
      1 per transaction = 1 per checkout

      Hope this helps!
      David

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Emma,

      The phrase “Limit one coupon per purchase” actually means… “Limit one coupon per ITEM or PRODUCT”. This means that if you have 4 coupons… you can buy 4 products and use one coupon on each.

      Now… there are some coupons out there that say “Limit one coupon per TRANSACTION” and that means only one per checkout.

      So cashiers can sometimes get this confused… and will not let you use more than one coupon that says one per purchase. If this happens… get the manager involved.

      So to recap;

      1 per purchase = 1 per item
      1 per transaction = 1 per checkout

      Hope this helps!
      David

  • Marylou

    Hi David,

    I want to let you know that your website is AWESOME!!! I have gotten so much information off of your website that I can’t wait to start couponing and getting into the jists of it. I do have a question though. I have a coupon that says “SAVE $1.00 ON NINE(9) CANS OF KERNS JUICE”, can I use 9 coupons in total to get these or am I aloud only to use one the coupon with the 9 cans of kerns juice?

    Thank you in advance,
    Marylou

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Hi Marylou,

      Unfortunately.. if the coupon says “Save $1.00 on NINE Cans” then you can use only ONE such coupon. If it has said Save $1.00 on ONE… that would have allowed you to buy nine cans and use nine like coupons.

      Thanks for the question!

      David

      • Marylou

        Thank you very much for clearing that up. =)

  • Factexchequer

    What a pointless article. This guy’s advice: Use as many coupons as you’re allowed. No-brainer. Also, what ridiculousness in steps 3.4 and 3.5: Make mistakes? Have “fun” while couponing? I’m sorry, I’ll use coupons because I’m struggling, not having fun. And as for tracking coupons in a database, I’ll probably be too busy working to make ends meet. Lastly, why does this guy think that being a christian is the first qualifier for him to have following?

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Factexchequer,

      I’m sorry that you’re still struggling to make coupons work for you, that you didn’t get anything out of this article, and that you’re not having much fun.

      Because my audience ranges wildly from the newbie couponer to the high-saving level 4 couponers, I wanted to create a decent “how-to” guide with plenty of information AND enough encouragement for people just starting out. Steps 3.4 and 3.5 are designed to do that.

      3.4 Make Mistakes. Couponing is one of these areas where… if you don’t have all the facts and information… it’s EASY to make a mistake. Not only is it easy to make a mistake but it’s also easy to be very embarrassed at the checkout line for a mistake. My intent with this particular step is to simply encourage people not to quit because they make a mistake. The fact is… they are LEARNING. It’s OK to make honest mistakes and later you can laugh it off. Don’t throw in the towel because you made a mistake and deem couponing as “too hard to do.”

      3.5 Have Fun. Anything worth doing is worth enjoying. If you don’t enjoy exercise, you won’t do it. If you don’t enjoy work, you’ll do less than half of the required output of your peers each day. If you don’t enjoy couponing…you won’t save as much. This step is more about attitude than anything else. If you see couponing as a “game”, then your focus will be about increasing and doing better at the “game”. If you see couponing as a chore, then you will gripe and complain about how much you “hate” doing it just to save a buck or too. To me.. this is a rewarding lifestyle that has and will continue to bless me and those around me. I want the same for you.

      Lastly… My being Christian has nothing to do with my following. My profile reads “Christian, Husband, Father, and good friend to many…” and that is simply a statement of the priority with regards to my relationships in life. First is my relationship with God, second to God is my wife of 15 years, then my two amazing daughters, and finally my close personal friends and other family. This could easily be another topic altogether but having this priority IS the reason for all the good in my life. If I change the order in any way… (i.e. putting my wife in front of God, or putting my children before my wife) then my life will be subject to significant distress, chaos, unrest, and unhappiness. So there you have it… my life as an open book.

      Thank you for your comments…

      David

      • Candicehassman

        Well said!! And I’m enjoying your site. It’s been very helpful. :-)

    • Dawnminer

      wow. Well, obviously you were searching for some advice. David wrote a good, well rounded article to get people started.

      You can have fun saving money….it becomes a hobby to some of us.

      I don’t think he was using Christianity to “get a following.” He stated some facts about himself….Most of us do that when we are introducing ourselves online.

      Good luck with saving money and I hope you feel more peaceful very soon.

    • Gddr1962

      you are too negative…..

  • Nicole

    Sounds

  • Ntfrenk

    This is a great introduction to couponing, but it sounds as if it’s also a rather time-consuming and travel-intensive way to shop, especially if you live in a rural area or small town with only a few shopping opportunities. You’ll have to figure the price of gas into your calculations.

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Ntfrenk,

      Thanks for the comments. In the beginning it is a little time-consuming, especially when you are learning and experimenting with it. But I guarantee that when you start saving like this you will find that the time and effort was WELL worth it!

      Just today. We did a shop at our favorite grocery chain and purchased the following.

      4 – 12 packs of diet pepsi
      20 Packages of Knor’s side dishes
      4 – 30 oz. jars of Hellman’s mayonnaise
      6 – Bottles of Kraft Salad dressing
      and 2 packages of Ball Park Hot dogs

      After coupons… the bill was $1.10

      Now.. If we were still newbies at this… it might have taken more time and effort than it took us recently. But now that we save like this routinely and naturally, it doesn’t feel much like work anymore.

      So what I’m trying to say here is that… Yes, it takes time and energy…but it WILL get easier and easier as you learn, implement, improve, start over, learn again, implement again, fine-tune, and improve again.

      When you are saving 80% or more on everything you buy, you’ll be glad to have put in the extra time, plus you’ll have more money for the other more important things.

      I agree that if you live in a rural area…that you would want to plan a little bit more to make the best use of gas and other resources. Gas should be figured into the cost, just like computer paper, ink, and Sunday Newspapers.

      I think the savings outweighs ALL of those costs.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7KEPNIRLTZMKJ433V4NXTMEBNQ lady-like

    I have always used coupons, but now that I am retired, I don’t want to pay for groceries at all. So I am learning how to be an extreme coupon er, plus my children have college bound kids and they can use anything I can give them. I will be learning and trying different things. Best I have done so far is $546.87 worth of grocery for $227.34. I have a way to go to get to zero!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      You are doing great!.. that’s at least 50%. Keep it up because as long as you have a goal in mind… and you’re willing to experiment a little.. You’ll be on your way to whittling your grocery bill down to zero.

      With that said… there are two ways you can look at this:

      1) Get your grocery bill down as low at it can go while providing the same lifestyle you currently have… or
      2) Continue to spend the same amount you do now, but get a whole lot more stretch in your dollar.

      My family does the latter. We still spend about $300 – $400 a month “out of pocket” for all the deals we do… but we are receiving $3,000 – $4,000 a month in groceries, toiletries, clothes, and more.

      We donate what we don’t need, or don’t use, or if we have too much excess.

      However you want to do it… I know you will get there!

      Thanks for the comment,
      David

  • Tamika

    Hi, I am a single mom of 1 and twins on the way. I saw “Extreme Couponing” on TV 2 weeks ago, and I started clipping coupons, with many family members giving me their inserts from the Sunday paper. I’m in the process of organizing them into my binder card sleeves. I’m planning my first shopping trip before my coupons expire the end of this month. Any advice? Feels like I have not had the proper “teaching” to have a really successful trip. Thanks for your help!

  • Anding5

    Thank you for such an informative website and it looks like you actually answer a lot of our questions!! I have been extreme couponing for about 3 months and still have trouble with using all of the coupons I have for a particular sale. You don’t seem to have trouble with that or maybe I’m wrong. My Meijer only doubles 2 like coupons per transaction. So if I want to use 20 $3 off razors coupons, I’d have to do 10 transactions or make it back to the store multiple times that week. Neither one seems feasible to me. Do you have any advice? Thank you!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Anding5,

      We do occasionally run into that situation. For example, one Publix store in our area will let us use all 20 coupons in a single transactions, whereas another Publix location will say we can only use 4-like coupons.

      Here are some of the common things we do:

      My wife and her mom shop together – since they are technically separate customers, they can each four of the 20 coupons. So having an extra “body” with you can help (even if it’s one of your children)

      We have also left the store…walked out… and walked right back in… to do another transaction… gone back to the same cashier and say “I’m Baaaack!”

      Other times we’ll use the divider and do 2-3 transactions in one shot right there at the checkout.

      And finally, where we live there are at least 3-4 of every grocery store within a 10 mile radius of our home. When one location won’t accept our patronage… we go to another.

      Unfortunately we have to work with the coupon policies at the stores we shop in. It’s too bad they limit you to 2… because they make more money taking the coupons than by taking cash.

  • Anding5

    Forgot to ask my other question! You’ve mentioned overages, but all of the stores in my area adjust the price so there is no overage. This prevents me from getting a lot of the great deals you mentioned. Are you finding more stores are doing this? Also, when you order coupons from a clipping service for a sale that is going on that week, do you usually get them quick enough not to miss the sale? Could you explain more about how you do this. This is one area I’m hesitant about. thanks again!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Anding5,

      Regarding overages… It just happens to be part of the store’s coupon policy how they want to handle it. If an item is $1.50 and you have a $2.00 coupon and it is in their policy to adjust the coupon down to $1.50, then they are allowed to do that. However.. they DO get the full $2.00 value of the coupon back + 8 cents so I actually find that morally reprehensible. Other stores, knowing that the coupon will be redeemed for the full value, will pass that difference back to you as an overage.

      If all the stores in your area adjust down and don’t give overage, well… then at least you’re getting the item for free and you have to adjust other parts of your shopping strategy.

      Where I live, NONE of my stores double-coupons, but they do give overage (except Target).

      Now.. one place that should give you an overage is Walmart. Because they price-match, you can get the same deal as you could at your other local stores, AND use your coupons, AND get overage.

      I only mention it because if overage is important to you, you gotta go where you can get it.

      Regarding your other question about using clipping services. As long as you are buying them on the 1st or 2nd day during the sale.. you should be able to get the coupons you ordered from e-bay or other websites in a reasonable time frame.

      We have had occasional hiccups, in which the coupons arrived late, so we only do this once in a while and if we REALLY need the coupons. Otherwise, we order the whole coupon inserts every week just so we have a general supply of coupons.

      Thanks for the excellent questions!

  • sophia

    Thank you so much for this site. Im a newly stay at home mom, and I need to save where I can. I just didnt really know how. This site has the best tips that im going to use everytime I shop. Thank you!
    -Sophia

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Thanks for your kind words, Sophia!

      We appreciate you very much! Congratulations on becoming a stay at home mom!

  • Abrown1050

    Hi! I just ran across this website by accident and I must say I’m AMAZED!!!!! This is Awesome!!! I’ve always been fascinated by this and have wanted to do it but never knew how!! So thank you for this website I LOVE IT!! I can’t wait to start! Also i have a question you mention something about stores have coupon books and you can get them on ebay? How do i search for them?
    Thanks for this website it really is awesome!!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Abrown,

      When a store puts out a coupon booklet… they usually have it behind the front desk or on a rack near the entrance to the store. I’ve never thought to buy them on E-Bay. We just visit the store and take a few (leaving some behind for others…).

      Thanks for the kind words!
      David

  • Kimberly

    Thank you for this site. I am a divorced mother of two teenage boys and so everything is tight. I can now do my shopping and not worry so much at how much it is going to cost. Thanks again!!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Kimberly,

      Thank you for visiting! If you can enlist the help of your two teenage boys, you will really go far. SHOW them how much it costs (without complaining). When you return home from a grocery trip, they should be helping you unload. When you start getting deals, your teenage boys are going to learn the value of couponing and they should make every effort to help you instead of eating you out of house and home.

      Thanks for the kind words!

      David

  • Kmweber82

    Found your site nad started taking notes. I am a single mother of a 4 year-old little boy. I move back in with my parents and will be moving out after 2 years. I decided to start couponing due to the VERY limited budget that I will have. It just all seems so overwhelming. I really hope I can pull it off!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Kmweber82,

      Not only can you pull it off, but you can change your LIFE! Give yourself permission to get out of your comfort zone, clip some coupons, and get some deals. You will get the hang of it and savings will become natural to you. Just imagine you and your son having enough to live off of and have excess to donate to others.

      I know it’s overwhelming at first. Take it slowly, and don’t worry if you make mistakes.. You’re going to do AWESOME!

      David

    • Veronica

      IF YOU SAY YOU CAN …..YOU CAN
      IF YOU SAY YOU CAN’T…..YOU CAN’T, you can do it !

  • Mayra

    Hi David,

    My name is Mayra. I’m a stay at home wife and my husband’s in the military. We’re living off of one person income which is getting ready hard. I just finished going thur your website, and I hope I can save my family some money on groceries. I have been going thur other websites trying to get the best ways to learn how to save. Do you have advice that could help me? I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Mayra,

      Living off of once income is a challenge. Couponing will help you make the most of it… To me Couponing will give you extra money in your budget… but I would absolutely recommend putting that saved money to good use… such as paying off debt (becoming debt free) and saving for the future.

      For everyone… I recommend the following books:
      “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
      “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach
      “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S Clason
      “How to Shop for Free” by Kathy Spencer

      That fourth book there is without a doubt THE how-to guide for couponing. It’s what really took my family’s couponing skills to the next level!

      Hope this helps…
      David

  • Jenn

    Love this site! Wondering how I could get multiple copies of coupon inserts without having to buy 6 newspapers. I am wanting to become an extreme couponer. I am only a level 1 or 2. I recently purchased 3 local Sunday papers and found no coupon inserts. Just one page of random coupons. How do I get my hands on multiple inserts? Do local papers supply ppl with the overstock?

    Thanks
    Jenn C

  • Jenn

    Love this site! Wondering how I could get multiple copies of coupon inserts without having to buy 6 newspapers. I am wanting to become an extreme couponer. I am only a level 1 or 2. I recently purchased 3 local Sunday papers and found no coupon inserts. Just one page of random coupons. How do I get my hands on multiple inserts? Do local papers supply ppl with the overstock?

    Thanks
    Jenn C

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Jenn,

      Outside of buying more newspapers (We’re buying 20 a week), we also buy the inserts directly online from WholeCouponInserts and CouponDede.

      If you ask your neighbors if they use their coupon inserts, they may just give them to you.

      I have found that those Newspaper Vending machines don’t usually have the coupons in them. I’m not sure why that is… perhaps to fill more of them in there. But if you go to your grocery store or 7-Eleven, they should have them.

      Don’t be afraid to look at the paper to make sure it has the inserts before you buy it. After all, you’re not going to read the news three times.

      Besides that… the local newspapers don’t give out the overstock, but sometimes a newpaper recycling bin will have them. (I personally don’t do that, but some people hit a gold mine there)

      Hope this helps…
      David

    • Susan

      Jenn in reguards to buying papers and finding no inserts. Typically there will be no inserts on a holiday weekend paper, ie the christmas sunday paper, there will be no coupon inserts, laborday weekend, no coupon inserts great sale adds but no coupons just a tip. also your local dollar stores will have sunday papers for a dollar sometimes so if you got alot of good inserts in your paper you might want to pick up more papers cheaply at the dollar stores.

      good luck and happy shopping :)
      Susan

  • Jenn

    Love this site! Wondering how I could get multiple copies of coupon inserts without having to buy 6 newspapers. I am wanting to become an extreme couponer. I am only a level 1 or 2. I recently purchased 3 local Sunday papers and found no coupon inserts. Just one page of random coupons. How do I get my hands on multiple inserts? Do local papers supply ppl with the overstock?

    Thanks
    Jenn C

  • restless_angel

    I as well use coupons daily. I consider myself a level three. Normally, I don’t buy things that aren’t on sale…or items I don’t have a coupon to match the sale with. UNLESS, it’s something I have to have immediatly(ie. milk when it’s not on sale & we’re out.) I think this is a great site, and really helpful, especially to beginners. I as well get things on sale quite often, and for a very cheap price, and then share them with friends or family if I don’t need the said item. Thanks for all of your hard work on the site!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Thanks for the comment! I’m so happy that this is working well for you! It’s great to share and give to all your friends and family.

  • Milkmilkeri

    Hi, I love your great information!!! I was wondering if any coupon you find is good for every store? And in order to find out about the deals going on in stores do i have to walk around in them or is there more then one way to find out

    • Couponsfor_me

      You can get online and go to that specific stores site for that weeks deals!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      If it is a manufacturers coupon… then you can use it at any store that takes coupons. However, if it is store coupon, you can only use it at Target. However… other stores DO take competitors coupons, for example, Publix will take Target coupons regularly.

  • Fatima

    Hi, this will be my first try to use coupons, but I want to do as good as I can. After reading this article and all the answers you are giving, I’ve learned a lot and I feel pretty confident. You are amazing explaining all about coupons and ways to save money, thank you for taking your time to post all this information. My question is that if I find the inserts in the Sunday papers and I buy 4, should I still spend time and money trying to buy more inserts from other websites? or just look for specific free coupons to print? this may be a stupid question but I just want to make sure I understood about the inserts.

    Thanks!

    • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

      Fatima,

      This is an excellent question. Start out by only buying 4 Sunday Papers. Check them before you buy to make sure they have the inserts you want. I wouldn’t buy any inserts online above the four until you have practiced getting deals with coupons. Also.. since this is your first week, you may not find a whole lot of deals that you can use this weeks coupons for… but hold onto those coupons…because the subsequent weeks may make it worth your while.

      Once you’ve reached a rhythm of saving money with 4 inserts… then consider adding more. My family and I are buying 20 papers at a time now, and sometimes it’s more cost effective to buy the papers at 7-Eleven… but on those weeks where there is only one coupon insert per paper, it’s more cost effective to order online.

      Hope this helps…
      David

  • Fatima

    Hi, this will be my first try to use coupons, but I want to do as good as I can. After reading this article and all the answers you are giving, I’ve learned a lot and I feel pretty confident. You are amazing explaining all about coupons and ways to save money, thank you for taking your time to post all this information. My question is that if I find the inserts in the Sunday papers and I buy 4, should I still spend time and money trying to buy more inserts from other websites? or just look for specific free coupons to print? this may be a stupid question but I just want to make sure I understood about the inserts.

    Thanks!

  • Miriam

    What about the expiration date? I believe most

    • Miriam

      sorry didnt finish .most coupons i get expire within 2 weeks ? you can still use them even thoughthey are expired?

      • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

        Unfortunately, once a coupon expires, it’s no good to you. Usually online printable coupons have a shorter life than the ones you get in the paper. We’ve found that the P&G inserts usually have a 30 day life span on coupons, some 60-days, and the Smart Source and Red Plum inserts have longer shelf life ranging from 30 – 90 days.

        Keep a close eye for store sales that coincide with the coupons you have in your possession… even with a 2 week shelf life… you can save some big dough.

        • Connie King

          The military people over seas can use coupons that have expired up to six months, so if you know of someone over there you can send them to it would be great. I don’t know of anyone overseas right now since my daughter and her family has returned to the states. C. King-Georgia

      • Nikkosgrandma

        You can mail your expired coupons to military stationed overseas, they can use them until they are 6 months past the expiration date.

  • http://www.debtfreemarriage.org David Bibby

    Everyone,

    Feel free to ask any questions… but don’t forget to look in these previous comments. There is a wealth of information from some very great readers.

    Thanks!
    David

  • Diane

    Awesome resource! God bless you David for helping others!

  • guest

    If I have a mf coupon that says buy one get one free can I use another mf coupon with the first product??

  • Thecherokee

    OK, I’m trying here. . . . I got an extreme deal ONCE! :) Capri Sun drinks on sale for 2 box/$5, but if you bought 10 boxes, they were $1.99/box. I had a coupon for $1 off and a store coupon for 50 cents off. So I got them for 49cents a box! It was awesome AND I bought them on a tax-free weekend so they were truly 49 cents. I bought 60 boxes.

    That was ONCE! I live in a fairly small town and no one doubles coupons or has a store reward program. How do I save such big amounts? The coupons I usually get in the paper are for 50 cents off. I just can’t get it all to make sense. And, where do I find coupons for dairy and meat?

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      If the paper in your area only has smaller value coupons… you can try buying whole inserts online, or individual coupons on Ebay.

      When you see something on sale in your store… Look up the item on hot coupon world and see if there is an online printable coupon for it or if a coupon appeared in one of your paper inserts. Then see what the price ends up being.

      We don’t normally get coupons for meat and produce. What we do instead is stack store coupons and manufacturers coupons on items that are already on sale. The coupons value is higher than the price of the item and that results in an overage. We then use the overage to pay for items we can’t get coupons for.

      Now all stores allow overage so it will vary from region to region.

      What stores are in your area… maybe I can get you some resources to check out?

  • Andrea

    GREAT article — but left out at least to me, two of the most important components of couponing — prayer and obeying God…:-)

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Thank you Andrea,

      I couldn’t agree more!

  • M.Jensen

    Hi! I really loved the article. You gave a lot of details and explained things very well. I am a visual learner so all of your examples really helped me to fully understand what you were talking about. I’ve watched the “Extreme Couponing” show and it really makes me want to do it. Plus your article makes it sound a little easier. A few months back I made a small attempt to try and get into couponing but I didn’t follow through and keep with it. The dilema I find for myself is that I don’t think I can make couponing worth it for me and the types of items I buy. For example, we’re picky about the things we eat…my family and I try to eat very healthy. I don’t buy junk food like chips, cookies, crackers, or even sugar cereals. We don’t drink caffine and sugar products so I don’t buy juices, soda, and sports drinks. When we buy condiments, dressings, sauces, soups, pastas, etc, I buy sugar free, fat free, whole wheat, and so on….you get the point! Also I have very dry skin and eczema so I have to be picky about the products I put on my skin like shampoos, soaps, and lotions.
    Is there any hope for me?!! Can I get the items I want with coupons or do you think my couponing will have to be limited to toilet paper, razors, and toothpaste?! LoL :)
    I would love feedback from anyone (if you’re nice!) Thank you in advance!

    M. Jensen
    Stay-at-home Mom

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Most couponers start out with the toiletries and the shampoo. I don’t know which brands of body wash and soaps help your skin the most… but most of the time the big name brands like John Frieda and Paul Mitchel are frequently available for next to nothing with coupons.

      As far as eating healthy… even though we have lots of cookies, chips, and other high carb snacks. We give most of that stuff away and/or eat it in moderation. Most of the time the coupons will allow you get a fat free version of an item even if the coupon doesn’t specifically say it.

      If you can get overage where you live… when your coupons exceed the value of the sale price… you can put money towards items you don’t normally have coupons for.

    • Nikkosgrandma

      Write the companies that make the products that you use and they will usually sent you coupons in the mail :)

  • Kelsey

    Are we allowed to use coupons from other zip codes/State or do they have to be clipped or printed in the same area as the store? I am having trouble saving a bundle when I use my basic coupons.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby

      Manufacturer’s coupons can be used anywhere in the United States by stores that accept coupons. There is no state/zip code limitation. Store coupons on the other hand, may include stipulations that it is valid at only a specific location. An example of that would be Subway coupon that says “Free Small Sub: Redeemable in Orlando locations only.” If it is intended to be limited, it will be written on the coupon itself.

  • Lynsey_n_ben

    hi i am new too all this.. by the way let me start out by saying this is AMAZING!!.. okay my question is how do u get toilet paper and laundry detergent free? i never get coupons that are over a dollar and none of our stores where i live let us double coupons..

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Lynsey_n_ben,

      The best places to get those items for free (or close to it) is Walgreens and CVS. Let’s say toilet paper is on sale for $4.99, and they are giving you back 4.00 in “Register Rewards”.. and you have a $1.00 coupon for the paper.

      You’ll spend $3.99 out of pocket because you have a $1.00 coupon.. but you get back 4 dollars in walgreens register rewards.

      Now you can spend those rewards on Laundry Detergent… or you can use them towards another deal on something else that gives you more register rewards back.

      You’ll have to look at the Walgreens and CVS flyers and see what items are giving these rewards back. But in time… all of your toiletry needs give rewards, and you can frequently get MORE back in rewards than what you pay out of pocket.

      Keep the questions coming!

      David

  • Wntpce

    okay I have a question. I have several coupons that say save $1.00 on a certain product. Can I use more than one coupon on that one item? This is kinda hard to explain. If the coupon says $1.00 off on this product and I want to use two coupons and just get the ONE item, can I do that. or so I have to get two of the product because I am using two coupons?

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      If you are only buying ONE item… then you can only use ONE manufacturers coupons. But lets say that the other coupon was a STORE coupon… then yes you can use that one as well.

      So to break it down.

      $2.00 Item (you can use a $1.00 manufacturer coupon AND a $1.00 store coupon) = Free

      $2.00 Item (you CANNOT use two $1.00 manufacturer coupons, only one allowed)
      $2.00 Item (you CANNOT use two $1.00 store coupons, only one allowed)

      Now for the best one:

      $2.00 item… but it is on sale Buy One Get One Free… (you CAN use two $1.00 manufacturer coupons and get them both for free)

      Hope this helps…

      David

  • Thecherokee

    Thanks so much for answering my previous question :) I live in a small town with mostly mom/pop stores. There are three Jumbo’s, three United stores and one Aldi’s. That’s it :( Now you see my dilemma.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Yes I do… I don’t think Aldi’s takes ANY coupons at all… and I have not even heard of the other two stores.

      We have an Aldi’s here as well.. and what sort of benchmark our savings based on that store. In other words… if we can get it cheaper than Aldi’s using coupons… then we did great! If we can’t… we’ll buy it at Aldi’s.

      Before we started doing couponing.. we would spend $100-$150 per shopping trip at Aldi’s ever two weeks and bring home one cart full of groceries.

      Today… we hardly every go to there anymore.

      If the other two stores are severely limiting you on the number of coupons you can use… then you may have to make smaller trips more frequently. Some of the stores in my area are starting to do this now.

      It just means we have to work harder to get the savings we want.

      Hope this helps…
      David

  • Britt

    brittney

  • Brittttk

    I have a question because I believe I found a deal and I want to see if I’m understanding how this all works correctly. In my local paper they are advertising party pizzas 5/$5 and I found printable coupons for $1 off when you buy FOUR Totino’s® Crisp Crust Party Pizza® Products .. how would this work? how many would I buy? I guess I just need some kind of direction. You explained everything so clearly in your post but I’m still a little lost.

    Thanks.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      When Stores say 5/$5… you don’t necessarily have to buy all 5. You can probably get 4/$4 and use the $1.00/4 coupon to make it 4/$3.

      Therefore making it .75 cents a pizza…. NOT BAD!

      At that price… get 20 pizzas.

      The only thing you have to make sure of is that you can get them for $1.00 each even if you don’t buy 5.

      Hope this helps..
      David

  • Mary Ann Banks

    God Bless you David Bibby, my husband and i are christians and i am so blessed to read about your extreme couponing which i just got the wisdom to do with 4 children and i am totally blessed with your words and giving. i am enjoying every moment with my older daughters, teaching them how to be virtuous woman and to be a blessing to their husbands when that time comes to ther lives. We are tithers and givers and we have a dream to start a food bank at our church. Very encouraged, God bless you and your beautiful wife Catherine. Love you in Christ my brother.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Thanks for the kind words Mary Ann!

      It seems counter-intuitive to tithe but it really has blessed us in so many ways. While on the surface, it may appear that you are LOSING something when you give 10% of your income to the church… but ever since we started doing that years ago… our lives have improved IMMEASURABLY!

      Giving is just icing on the cake!

      I’m glad that you are receiving the same blessings.

      Yours in Christ,
      David

  • Joy

    I definitely appreciate the advice, info, and prompt responses, Mr. Bibby! You are being Christ’s hands and feet here on Earth by offering help to those in need. Way to be Christ-like, bro!

    Just a few quick questions, if you don’t mind: Are tehre couponsing sites available for which I can search for a specific product and select coupons to print and bring to the store? For instance, if I am looking for one specific deal, like how to get a great deal on Secret Deodorant, which stores should I shop to get the best deal? What sites can I search for that specific product?

    Also, if I were to get an item for free with coupons, would I still have to pay the sales tax?

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Joy,

      The sites we use most are:

      Coupon Sense – which we use to track our savings and they send us deals in our email with the links to the printable coupons.

      Hot Coupon World – the coupon database allows you to search for a specific product and it will tell you what newspaper insert to look for… as well as a link to the printable if possible.

      Typically… instead of having a coupon… and searching for store that has the item on sale… it’s easier to do it the other way:

      Look at the SALE in your stores first… then go to hot coupon world and find out where to locate the coupons for those items. Gather the coupons and combine them with the sale for max savings.

      Secret Deodorant might not be on sale anywhere this week, or even next week, but when it does go on sale… then look for the coupons you need.

      Hope this helps…
      David

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Joy,

      The sites we use most are:

      Coupon Sense – which we use to track our savings and they send us deals in our email with the links to the printable coupons.

      Hot Coupon World – the coupon database allows you to search for a specific product and it will tell you what newspaper insert to look for… as well as a link to the printable if possible.

      Typically… instead of having a coupon… and searching for store that has the item on sale… it’s easier to do it the other way:

      Look at the SALE in your stores first… then go to hot coupon world and find out where to locate the coupons for those items. Gather the coupons and combine them with the sale for max savings.

      Secret Deodorant might not be on sale anywhere this week, or even next week, but when it does go on sale… then look for the coupons you need.

      Hope this helps…
      David

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Regarding your other question… Do you still have to pay sales tax… the answer is usually yes.

      It really depends on the store. We have literally walked away from the store with 20 items and paid $0.00. In Florida.. food items are usually not taxable. But if they were, I suspect we WOULD have at least had to pay that.

      Coupons are meant to reduce the cost of the item, not the tax on that item.

      Hope that answers your question.

      David

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3MMV3ZY4ML6E2UOLYPW4HD53ZU sanona

    Well David here I am again. And I have a confession to make. After doing really well for quite awhile I slipped into the ” I don’t have time this week” attitude. I have been extremely busy the past month and probably a little lazy. I should have at least bought newspapers to at least get some coupons but I didn’t. So here I am starting all over again. On the up side my stockpile pretty much lasted me the entire month but now my cupboards are looking pretty bare. So here’s to another lesson learned. In order for this to work you need to do at least the bare minimum to keep going. Had I at least bought papers I would have some coupons to fall back on. Now it’s just like starting new. But start again I will.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Sanona,

      We have had that experience as well. This past summer we attempted to go a week without buying the newspaper while we were on vacation. Unfortunately… we found deals that were too good to pass up and we did some deal shopping in the town we were staying in.

      The good news is that it’s easy to get back into… You did it once and you can do it again!

      Keep up the good work!
      David

  • Whitney-bailey

    David,
    I have really found this article to be helpful. I am very excited to begin couponing. I have started to find out my local store’s coupon policies. Unfortunately most of them do not double the value of coupons or do overages. I am thinking about which organizational strategy may work best for me and i think that i will try the whole insert method. In the article you mention that with this method you will build a coupon database to keep record of what’s in the files. Can you tell me more about this database and what it may look like?
    Thanks,
    ‘Whitney

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Whitney-Bailey,

      The coupon database I’m referring to is at Hot Coupon World… just click on Coupon Database and you’ll be able to enter in a product and find out what insert has the coupon you’re looking for.

      Lets says that your store has a sale on Bar-S Smoked Sausage… and you’ve been collecting the whole inserts from your Sunday Newspapers for the last month or so.

      You see the sale.. and you want to know if you have a coupon for it.

      You type in Bar-S in hot coupon world and you get this result:

      “Bar-S Smoked Sausage, any 2.5 lb – 10-23-11 RP $1.00/1″

      That means that the coupon is in the RED PLUM (RP) insert that came in the 10-23-2011 Newspaper

      Now you cut it out and you go and get the deal!

      So you don’t actually build your own database… but you USE the database that is available to you.

      Thanks for the question!
      David

  • Christina F.

    I have a couple questions about your typical couponing week:
    1) How many stores do you go to? Do you have favorites?
    2) How many different items are purchased at each store? Do you buy just a few items or buy a whole shopping list of items?

    The reason I ask is that being transportation limited, I try to do a one stop shop at Walmart (price matching is awesome). But I’ve found out CVS/Walgreens has deals that walmart just can’t do (rewards programs), and Fry’s (Kroger) has clearance items, doubles coupons, and can do BOGO sales (Walmart won’t price match BOGO mostly). I want to get those most out of my couponing experience, without having to go to every single store in the area to get the deals. Does this make sense?

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Christina,

      Thank you for your questions. Here are my replies:

      1) How many stores do you go to? Do you have favorites?

      We go to Publix, Winn Dixie for the bulk of our grocery deals.
      Publix is our favorite because they have a lot of Buy One Get One Free deals. On those we use two coupons per deal. Some Publix locations have a limit of 4 like coupons per transaction. So we may have to visit them more than once during a sale week.

      We visit Walgreens and CVS very often.. We use their rewards programs heavily and we are constantly rolling the rewards forward (using a reward to buy products that give you more rewards back). Eventually we end up with about $100 in Walgreens Register rewards and we buy soda on sale or milk or whatever.

      2) How many different items are purchased at each store? Do you buy just a few items or buy a whole shopping list of items?

      We ONLY buy deals. We don’t have a shopping list… but instead we have a list of DEALS we’re going to do at the store. So if we go to Publix on a given day… we’re there to buy the “Mayonnaise Deal” or the “Vlassic Pickles deal”.

      We might do 4 or 5 deals in a single transaction… then head to another Publix and do the same thing in that location.

      A typical transaction for us is about $50-$100 worth of deal items we’re getting for $5. Publix also occasionally gives $5 gift cards when you buy $20 or more of certain products so we always try to get our $5 back if we can, making it FREE.

      We very RARELY shop at Walmart, for the reasons you listed. They don’t give out the rewards like Walgreens and CVS… they don’t honor the BOGO sales that Publix or Winn Dixie has… and (at least in our area) the customer service isn’t the greatest.

      In order to do couponing… we’ve had the assume the following costs (for doing things the way we do):

      20 Newspapers a week (yes…we’re up to 20 now..) – $160 a month
      2 HP-Ink Cartridges a month – $30 a month
      About 1 tank of gas per week – $200 a month

      We spend about $300-400 cash out of pocket for deals and bring home about $4000 worth of name brand toiletries and groceries every month. Our stockpile continues to grow and we donate our excess regularly.

      Thank you very much for the questions again! Please keep them coming!

      David

  • Anonymous

    how do you get store upin mn. like hugo” in thief river falls mn. or do you have call frist

  • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

    Coupon Man,

    Thank you for your comment. I appreciate what you are trying to do here.. but this article is VERY relevant and has already helped quite a number of people save money.

    I’m not suggesting or claiming to anyone that you can easily get a $1000 order down to pennies. But what I am saying is that savings 80-90% is achievable and can be worked up to.

    I agree with you in that the TLC show is filled with false expectations and they don’t give all the facts. That is not what I am doing here. This is a comprehensive guide and I’ve given just about every bit of information I can find and personally practice… Including checking up on your stores coupon policy.

    Where I live (Florida)… they don’t double coupons at all!… and that has not stopped us from saving and using coupons daily to the tune of 90%. Did we start out that way? No.. but we worked up to to it.

    We don’t spend hours in the store…
    We don’t dump buckets of product into our shopping carts…
    We don’t work AROUND the coupon policy… we work WITH it!

    We simply combine store sales with manufacturer and store coupons and get them really cheap. We make small trips and only shop these deals.

    So is it BS to try and give people information that is useful and results in someone improving the quality of their lives?

    Even if your store’s coupon policies were highly restrictive, you should still be able to manage saving 50 – 70%… isn’t that a worthwhile goal?

    Instead of being a naysayer, Coupon Man,… why not encourage people in your local area to find ways to save money and/or improve their lives. I’m sure that you’ll find it a much more pleasant way to interact with people.

    Again… thanks for the comment
    David

  • Connie King

    What kind of stores give you cash back like you see on TV, I normally shop at three stores if their ads are great that week. They are all with 2 miles of each other. I have had a lot of trouble using my coupons at Wal-mart where I seldom shop at for groceries anymore. I buy a lot of my cleaning items at Dollar General, I find I get a better deal when they have something on sale and use a coupon then where they double my coupons.
    Thanks,
    C. King, Georgia

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Connie,

      Walmart is the only store I know of that will give you CASH back…in actual cash. The other stores in my area allow you to use the excess towards OTHER items in my cart, but will not ever let you have a negative balance at the register so that they owe you money.

      For my cleaning items.. Walgreens and CVS have their rewards programs that can usually beat Dollar General… so you can get better products for free.

      Take a look at Walgreens “register reward” program… and also CVS.. “Extra Care Bucks” program.

  • Leslie

    Thank you for your article. I guess you would say I am a #1 with #3 tendencies. I clip and use them on deals and sales, but never thought about doubling them up. I am working on getting to the extreme, and your information has helped !! Thanks Leslie, Beebe AR

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Leslie,

      Thank you for your comments! We were solid 2′s before we got started… We spent about $100 a week at Aldi’s. Like clockwork I’d go in and buy generic everything. Don’t get me wrong…generics are inexpensive… but they are not the same to me.

      Now.. as level 3 and 4 was brought on… we find we can beat Aldi’s prices on everything and get the name brand to boot… at a store that bags our groceries for us as opposed to bag-your-own.

      Good luck to you! I know you can do it!
      David

  • Pam, SW Texas

    I am starting out for the first time. I live in a small town and have to drive at least 20 miles to get to a grocery chain such as Kroger or HEB here in Texas. My question is this: Wouldn’t it be cheaper for me to use The Coupon Clippers or a similar site to order my coupons pre-clipped and pay the small handling fee for ONLY the coupons I know I will use? OR should I be buying numerous news papers at $2 each just to get the entire inserts?

    • Pam, SW Texas

      By the way, all grocery stores here stopped doubling coupons because of the TLC show, unfortunately. I have been printing coupons like a mad woman and have used The Coupon Clippers and the news paper methods before but can’t seem to get more than $30-$50 from a $200-$300 grocery bill. I know that’s still something but I’m trying to get those amounts reversed…$300 in savings.

      • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

        Pam,

        Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately you are correct.. the TLC show has brought on a new wave of customers with bad coupon etiquette, clearing shelves and whatnot. Companies are changing their policies to make it more difficult for couponers.

        That being said… You want to work WITH the stores policy… WITH the store manager to know what the rules are. Even if they don’t double coupons.. you can find store sales and printable coupons and at least get 40% – 50% off regularly.

        Recently… stores in my area… that used to let us buy 20 items and having 20 manufacturer’s coupons. They now imposed a 4-like coupon policy to limit how many of each we can use.

        No matter though… we go to another store or come back to this one later.

        Hope this helps..
        David

      • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

        My personal opinion on this is to get the entire inserts. Here’s why:

        We never know what will come on sale in our stores.. but if an item comes on sale…and we have a coupon that makes it close to free… we’ll buy it EVEN IF it is not an item we personally use.

        We donate what we don’t use or have no need for…and if makes us feel good to be able to do that.

        Many times a sale ends up being a money maker… and we use the overage on items we DON’T need… to get items we DO need.

        Right now we have the last three months worth of coupon inserts (about 20 of each)

        So we really couldn’t do that if we were buying pre-clipped coupons.

        That’s what works for us… you have to do what works best for you. I think you’d miss out on deals by having to pre-select the coupons you want.

        Hope this helps..
        David

  • michie reyes

    hey I’m from Palm Bay. I have all intentions in getting this extreme couponing thing done.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Michie,

      Go for it! Start today and gather up those coupons… then check out the sales for Winn-Dixie, Publix, Walgreens, and CVS.

      Make a match-up and SAVE that money!

      You can do it.

      David

  • Natashagentry

    Thank you so much for the advice, I have been trying to get hold of how to do this, but just didn’t
    know how to get started. This web site has helped me out alot and made it simpler than i thought it was going to be.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Thanks for the comment! If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

      David

      • Quissh84

        i just starting out and i am so confused i got coupon for things i would but and i looked fro what is on sell how do i know what to do next

      • Gercher

        recently my friend sold coupon on ebay…it said any free arm and hammer product…no restriction…it went up to $300.00 why? we can’t find any item worth that… Why are peolpe buyiing coupons for more than they are worth??

        • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

          There’s no good reason to spend $300 on a SINGLE coupon. That goes against pretty much everything a couponer does.

          We don’t buy things at full price.. and we’re certainly not going to spend more for a coupon than what the item is worth…

          So you are right to question that!!

          I personally don’t buy coupons on Ebay.. I just get a lot of newspapers and sometimes I’ll buy the whole inserts if I can get a better deal.

  • Natashagentry

    Thank you so much for the advice, I have been trying to get hold of how to do this, but just didn’t
    know how to get started. This web site has helped me out alot and made it simpler than i thought it was going to be.

  • barbieed

    :( I can’t download apparently not compatible with safari/mac :(

  • Stmartie1

    Does anyone near Southeastern WI know what grocerie stores allow extreme couponing? We have many Pick N Save’s in town but require a $25 minimum purchase and are only allowed 4 coupons per transactions.

    • Xoinks

      Not sure how long ago this was posted, but I’m also from Southeastern Wisconsin. Let me clarify a bit on them. First of all, you’re allowed to double 5 coupons (up to 1.00$ in value apiece, 1.10 can’t be doubled). Secondly, you can use as many coupons as you would like on top of that. Just only the first 5 will be doubled. (And this is only on “double days”, typically Wednesday or Saturday). Also – the $25.00 is for the whole bill before savings. So, for example, I have a 5.00/off per bag of dog food. It is selling for about $6 a bag. If I buy 3 of those, I pay $3 for the bags but they apply $18 dollars towards the $25 I need to spend to double some other $1.00 coupons. Secondly, Piggly Wiggly has double days where you can double 10 coupons (same restrictions) every week! I usually switch between the two stores, or go to both if they have some very good deals.

  • Inaralove

    So would you suggest to start on toiletries and or shampoo first? I am excited to try this out, but am not sure about what is the best avenue to take first?!..

    My next question is how to get the Walgreens “Register Rewards” to begin with. Is it something that you get from shopping there, or something you can get online?

    What does it mean when the coupon says, “limit one coupon per purchase or purchases of products,” mean? Does it mean that you can only use that one coupon and no others?… can you use a different coupon or coupons instead of that one to get the really good deal?

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Inaralove,

      Limit one coupon per purchase literally means one coupon per product. So if you were buying 4 bottles of ketchup you could use 4 coupons that said “50 cents off 1 bottle Heinz Ketchup”

      I would suggest getting your toiletries and shampoo first to start your couponing ventures.. because they are easy to get coupons for and Walgreens typically has them on sale.

      Walgreens Register Rewards are those little coupons that come out of the register when you buy certain products. You have to look at the Walgreens flyer to see what products will give you these rewards. For example.. the flyer might say:

      “Crest Toothpaste $1.99 – $1.99 Register Rewards = FREE”

      This means that you PAY $1.99 when you buy the Crest Toothepaste… and you get back a $1.99 Register Reward after you buy it. You can use the Register Reward on anything else in the store on your next visit. Be careful though.. register rewards expire in about 15 days or so. It is a “Use it or Lose it” proposition.

      The trick to using them is to get a register reward… and then turn around and USE it on a different product that ALSO gives you register rewards. This is called ROLLING your register rewards. There are some limitations for this but for the most part… you can continue to roll your register rewards and get many items for free.

      Hope this helps..
      David

  • Rebekkahking

    WOW! This information has been more than helpful! I’ve seen the show several times & can’t for the life of me figure out just how to do this with such success. So, on behalf of all of us newbies out there, thank you David for taking the time to be so detailed & informative in your article! That being said, just how is it that things such as toiletries & cereals are so often gotten for free? Also, how do you buy fresh produce & meats with such deep savings? Those are the two I’m still not able to grasp because I don’t ever see coupons for meat dept savings, unless it’s such items as the Butterballs & things of that nature, the prepackaged meats.

    • imablack

      Meat dept coupons are hard to find, but they do exist. Take a look at the flyers or pamphlets at the front of your store, or ask customer service. Last summer, our store had coupons for the meat department. Usually, like $2 off Angus beef of $5 off every $25 spent on pork. Every now and again, you will find coupons in the Sunday ads for FRESH chicken breast. Like I said, though…they are hard to find. Mostly, I look for the sales. My store’s meat dept does a lot of BOGOs-especially on chicken breasts and London Broils.When that happens, I stock up and vacuum freeze. BTW…did you know London Broil is actually sirloin? A single London Broil can get you 8 THICK-cut sirloin steaks for less than $10!

      Many extreme couponers will use the money saved from other items to buy meat. Some stores honour coupons that exceed the purchase price of an item. That is how some of those grocery bills are so unbelievably low.

      • Earlff19

        A lot of stores will discount meat when it is almost at the end of its sell by date. The other week I picked up 3 lbs of ground turkey normally $8.00 for $4.00. 50% off right there. I took it home broke it up and froze it right away. I also just got a small steak today tat was $.50 off. So I got it less then $2.75. So just have to look.

  • Imaworker2 1

    David thank you for explaining this in more detail for me. I am a level 3 shopper trying to get to level 4 as we are struggeling so very badly with money. My last shopping trip I spent 160.00 ( This is only my fourth trip couponing) and I saved 112.00, not to shabby considering I am new at this. I have about 6 months of TP already built up and peanut butter. I am learning anfd sending a BIG thank you so I can further my couponing. I have challanged myself to walk out with a cart of food for only six dollars, and I think this article will help on my goal!

  • 4evercouponing

    My husband and I live with our daughter and her family of 5 due to my husband’s illness and so that we can help with the children ( three boys ages 14,11,and 9). Our grocery bill can be quite large so we have started to coupon again. I used to do it back in the day where double and triple couponing was the norm. We have help from all the boys with this.I do the reachering and printing. The oldest boy helps match the coupons to the sales ads and store coupons. At the store the 1 of ther youngest ones hang on to the coupons and as we add the items to our cart the other child holds on to them untill we get to the checkout. If we are buying coupon items and regular groceries too we take two carts. Since we have just started again we are building up our coupons but I am confident that we will be saving alot of money in the near future. We currently use food stamps and the extra savings by couponing make those go further. This is a great way to teach the boys the value of a dollar and they get excited when we have saved 50.00-100.00 on our grocery bill every month. They also like to see the stockpile of groceries on the shelf. Make it a family affair and fun and it is a win win for everyone. This is awonderful site and thanks for th help

  • Natinell

    After watching an episode of “extreme couponing”, I was so intrigued by it. I am so ready to “SAVE BIG” but I just couldn’t quite understand how a couponer would empty a whole shelf of the same item, (i.e. 60 items) & walk out the store with “FREE” all over it. After reading your detailed “how to’s” … I understand now how they do it. Thank you for clarifying.

  • Jessie

    OK, so I absolutely LOVE all this information, and the comments that I have read so far…. (very intrigued, but not sure if I can read 400+ messages) Here is my dilemma…. I shop Organic, and All Natural. I unfortunately see very few coupons for these items. I am not willing to sway from this very far due to the health benefits my family and I reap, however I am so looking for a way to make this less of a burden on my wallet. Any suggestions, ideas, or secrets I haven’t found yet????? Thanks

    • Kaylynsmommy

      Hi Jessie. I also prefer natural products and I agree it is hard to find coupons for the brands I want. I shop with a manufacturing company online for my family’s bath and body products, vitamins, nutrition products, medicine cabinet items, and more. Their prices save me money to begin with and every month they have coupons for some of their products. They are emailed to me automatically so I can use them when I shop. If you want more information, let me know. [email protected]
      Happy couponing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B2WCZBG7VN7Q3V5XJ6VX7BTBYE Susan

    Hay David, im knew to couponing and how do you buy coupons off of ebay. I cant fine what i want I NEED MAXWELL COFFEE!!!!! can you please help me thanks mom of 8

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B2WCZBG7VN7Q3V5XJ6VX7BTBYE Susan

    Hay David, im knew to couponing and how do you buy coupons off of ebay. I cant fine what i want I NEED MAXWELL COFFEE!!!!! can you please help me thanks mom of 8

  • Anonymous

    @MoreThanSex……….I c?n’t b?leive…..M? fri?nd’s sist?r m?k?s 96/hr on the L?????. Sh? h?s b?en un?mplo??d for 10 months but l?st month h?r incom? was 8253 USD ?ust w?rking ?n th? PC f?r ? f?w h?urs. G? t? this w?b sit?….http://alturl.com/dd5gy

  • Fonessakatz

    Wow this information is great I’m New at all this and this article has really shed some much needed light on the subject for me I have been using the register rewards at walgreens for about a month now and have paid pennies for tons off toiletries it feels almost criminal getting such good deals as a struggling college student and single mother of two I hope to become level4 much sooner then later thanks to you I’m on my way

  • Tamyrn Nix

    David,

    I am new to couponing but have been doing okay lately. I have had two trips recently that gave me good coupon discounts. The first time I took an $133 dollar trip and brought it down to $94 and my second trip went from $271 down to $194. I WANT MORE!

    I am alittle confused on how certain coupons work. On my recent trip I had coupons for Pillsbury Grands biscuits, sweet rolls and crescent rolls. My coupons were buy 3 get $.50/.40 off and I also had the same coupon but it was buy 2 get $.40 off. If I buy 3 can I combine these manufacturer coupons? If they have different expiration dates from each other does that make them different?

    My next question is how do you know which coupons can double, is something written on them?

    I live by so many stores in Des Moines, IA I never know which stores are doing what deals. Is there a database that would help me?

    • Carrie M

      no, you would have to buy 5 items.
      usually the ones that don’t double, there is text at the top that says do not double. (but many grocery stores ignore that, since it’s instructions to them that the manufacturer won’t reimburse the store double. not that the store can’t double it and pay for it themselves.)

  • http://www.susies-coupons.com Jamie

    I appreciate your understanding of couponing as a game. I think of it this way, too. For me, it’s also something of a balancing act. I guess I’m not an extreme couponer but more of a casual couponer. I like to save money the easy way…with clipped coupons, coupons printed from the internet and even the ones you can save to your loyalty card, but I also value my time to the extent that I don’t spend hours planning for a trip to the store. Plus, I don’t have a RiteAid or a CVS in my town, so I order a lot of things online, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/junkgypsyy Amy Dudrey

    LOve this article, I am a sole supporter of my family, My adult daughter lives with me she has a brain injury, I need to save as much as I can, Im going to try this and hope for the best !!! Anyone who has any other info on how to do this, please let me know, we get no jelp, I pay for all on my own, and the food budget is not big :)

    [email protected]

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WW4FM4LTHA2DD3KFC57Q53MMZI PrettyPisces

    Thanks for your tips here David and for sharing your personal experiences. I am going to try this ASAP! May God continue to bless you and your family.
    Marla

  • Severn

    This is great information. I am a beginner but I am in between Level 3 and Level 4 of couponing.
    I tend to do week to week shopping but I am starting to slowly stock up. The first thing I stocked up on was laundry soap and I am wanting to do more.

    I recently lost my job so this is going to help. I also will be visiting my local food pantry where you can get named brand foods for free. My sister goes and with her couponing habits and going to the food pantry once a month, she is always stocked up. :)

    • Cindyb327

      I volunteer @ a food pantry, & yes some of what we distribute IS brand name. Some is from the USDA. It really all depends on what we can get from where.

  • Natinell

    I’m a coupon virgin who is yet to embark into my journey of SAVINGS. However, some coupon techniques I am still unsure of. If you can please help me understand this one, I’d greatly appreciate it. I was watching an episode of extreme couponing & I’m having a hard time understanding how a couponer would buy 40 of the same item & after deductions made from retail sales & coupons used on these items, this couponer was left to pay $0.99 per item. Now mind you, she also have additional groceries that have accumulated up to almost $300.00. After all retail & manufacture coupons have deducted from what she would’ve paid without coupons, she still walks out paying less then $10.00. Now, if we go back to the 40 items that she would pay $0.99 each for, 40×0.99=$39.60. How is it that she walks out paying less then $10 when she was suppose to pay $39.60 for the 40 items, probably the same with her other stockpile? I’m so confuse. Please reply.

    • Tokyobratt

      If she had a store card, that could be why the extra money was taken off. I had the same question though. i’ve learned by watching Extreme couponers that store cards are the thing to have!

      • Kendra_schaefer

        also if you use a coupon like $1 off but say the item is on sale for 0.89 the extra 0.11 is taken off your final balance still

    • Christiemroig

      I am right there with you Natinell!! I am confused also, but really want to start this new chapter in my life. I NEED HELP!!

    • Erikareyes0308

      I am also new on all this. I am kind of confused too and I used to have the same question than Natinell. Then, I watched extreme couponers and this lady had like 50 coupons of $1.00 off of Excedrin migraine pills. She went to the store and Excedrin were on sale for $1.50 each package. Store doubled each coupon, so she ended earning .50 cents for each package she bought….= so she got $25.00 extra to spend!!….so I understood how all this works…LOL

    • Erikareyes0308

      I am also new on all this. I am kind of confused too and I used to have the same question than Natinell. Then, I watched extreme couponers and this lady had like 50 coupons of $1.00 off of Excedrin migraine pills. She went to the store and Excedrin were on sale for $1.50 each package. Store doubled each coupon, so she ended earning .50 cents for each package she bought….= so she got $25.00 extra to spend!!….so I understood how all this works…LOL

    • Erikareyes0308

      I am also new on all this. I am kind of confused too and I used to have the same question than Natinell. Then, I watched extreme couponers and this lady had like 50 coupons of $1.00 off of Excedrin migraine pills. She went to the store and Excedrin were on sale for $1.50 each package. Store doubled each coupon, so she ended earning .50 cents for each package she bought….= so she got $25.00 extra to spend!!….so I understood how all this works…LOL

    • Erikareyes0308

      I am also new on all this. I am kind of confused too and I used to have the same question than Natinell. Then, I watched extreme couponers and this lady had like 50 coupons of $1.00 off of Excedrin migraine pills. She went to the store and Excedrin were on sale for $1.50 each package. Store doubled each coupon, so she ended earning .50 cents for each package she bought….= so she got $25.00 extra to spend!!….so I understood how all this works…LOL

  • Chinavagabond94122

    I am new to extreme couponing and so far it has changed my outlook on shopping ( it is now called looting)and greatly enhanced my wallet. For the past three weeks I have been couponing to the extreme and have fed myself for the past three weeks on less than 90.00. In that time I have not only fed myself as mentioned before but accumulated enough food to last me for another month on that same 90.00! That means my weekly food bill over a seven week period is less than 14.00!

  • Debmeriwether

    I am a single mother of 4 children and i have watched the show and would love to learn to do this but there are some things i dont understand..Can you use more than one coupon to buy 1 product? And can i use 1 coupon to buy multible of 1 product?

    • Guest

      Usually the stores only allow one coupon per item, but for example Giant double manufacturers coupons if you have a free Giant Card! And you can’t usually use a single coupon more than once, which is why the author suggests getting multiple coupon inserts by asking neighbors etc.

  • Renzortiz25

    thanks man you helped a lot. i watched extreme couponing but i didn’t understand some things but when i found you every thing cleared up.

  • Sueskids8

    hay i took what i read and put it to good work. i went to bilo my total was 374.86 i payed 104.00 i was mad i wanted 100.00 had my kids. and hour in the store they wanted to go home. i know i can do better. Thank for your help

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      You’re doing great with those savings!

      Keep it up!

      David

      • Maria

        How do you save that big if you eat organic?

        • Otto

          Read what I wrote above about buying fresh produce with overage. Organic costs more usually but overage is overage and can be used for whatever you’d like to spend it on.

  • Johann

    Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that in most countries other than the US. Here in South Africa, you are not allowed to use more than one coupon on the same product even if they are “store” and “manufacturer’s” coupons. Most US citizens don’t know what they have. Sure the US has problems like any other country, sometimes more than other countries, but you have extreme couponing!

    • Melissa03

      Where about in s.a are you! Im in durban would also like to find a way in wich we can saving on grocery shopping! Respond!! Email me on [email protected]

  • Betty1225

    not a big help for people who eat things that come out of the ground, not a box or can.

    • Otto

      You are totally wrong. Just this past week with combined coupon use and store deals, tuna was a money maker of $1 for every two I bought. I bought fresh fruit and veggies with the overage and my refrigerator drawers are stuffed. Last week Safeway had Fresh Express salads on sale for $2 and there were printable coupons for $2 off any Fresh Express. I bought twenty packs and my family has eaten them twice a day for the past week! Sometimes I buy things I don’t need just for the overage and use the overage to buy all the fresh produce my family can eat. (Donating is good because someone will eat the packaged food.) My freezer is full of meat I got for free with overage.

    • Barney

      So…every item you use in your home is from the ground? What do you use for toilet paper?

  • tgfg2011

    I would like to know how do you acquire multiple free item coupons? I see on TLC “Extreme Couponing” the shoppers checking out with these coupons. In Southern California, we no longer have stores that double coupons. Ralph’s use to prior to the strike a few years ago.

  • Anonymous

    How do you get coupons for free items? I’ve been looking on eBay and there are alot of coupons for free stuff, is that a hoax?

  • http://ecouponsguide.com/ deals

    thanks man you helped a lot.

  • Maryannbrown

    Not very helpful if you buy natural products and cook real food. I would never buy jello or chex mix. This promotes greed, not good health practices.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Maryannbrown,

      I thank you for your comment. While I certainly don’t promote greedy behavior… I can see how someone could take this information and use it in that way. In fact.. someone can take a business article and use it in a greedy way. It’s not really fair of you to say that this article promotes greed when there is an entirely different interpretation that’s much more useful if you’ll look thru a different lens.

      We do extreme couponing so that we can feed our families for as cheap as possible. There’s nothing greedy about that… it’s SMART. It allows us to conserve our resources for more important things. It just so happens that by doing this we get an abundance of products free or really cheap and that allows us to give to others in ways we could never do before.

      I find incredible joy in giving. I give to my church, my community, my family and friends, my coworkers, and to total strangers. Is that not the opposite of greed?

      As far as being healthy, I KNOW people can benefit from extreme couponing AND be healthy at the same time. While I’m not at 8% body fat yet.. I am in the best shape of my life. A snack here or there is not going to ruin that.

      There is a certain stereotype that’s pervasive regarding extreme couponing:
      “There all FAT, GREEDY, HOARDERS!”

      Don’t buy into that, it just isn’t true. Open your eyes and see the good in people.

      Warmly,
      David

      • Angel Oney

        I agree with you 100%. I could hit the lottery and still use coupons because it allows for me to save and help in more ways than one. I plan to use my savings for vacation and Christmas this year.

    • Angel Oney

      Maybe not for foods you purchase, but you can still get a huge savings with you shampoos, body washes, razors(cartridges), dishwasher tabs or cleaners, laundry supplies, and so much more.

  • suzan1010

    I donate a large part of oral care items, school supply items, hair care (mostly things I get for free) to Ronald McDonald House Charities and they really appreciate it!!!

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Suzan1010,

      Thank you for your comment! We’ve been fortunate as well to be able to donate to pet shelters, churches, and individual families in need. We donated pasta, bodywash, and razors to a couple undergoing Chemotherapy… they were absolutely thrilled to have these things and if was no effort on our part.

      God Bless!

      • Angel Oney

        We have pet food coupons in our inserts all the time and when I had a cat and dog I found awesome almost nothing out of pocket deals on the items. I got to where I just threw out the coupons because I could not use them, but I think I am going to start using them again and donating the pet supplies. It is much better than wasting them, besides, not to be greedy, but it benefits me with my fuel rewards, and gives me a bigger discount at the pumps. Thanks for suggesting this..

      • http://www.facebook.com/Thickmadame314 LaTasha Ubettarespectme Edward

        That is such a blessing to be able to give to people in need. God bless u.

  • Milliseidel

    I thought I was doing well when I bought $220.00 worth of groceries and walked out paying $140.00! But know that I’veread this, I think OI can do much better. My store (HEB) displays most of the coupons I use. I will have to check their policies about using them as well as manufactures…if I can use both, I’m sure I will save probably another $30-60.00! Couponing has helped me feed my family better and with A LOT LESS STRESS!!!

    • Angel Oney

      I lost my job and right after I got back to work had to use my first check to purchase items, and was extremely disappointed by the small savings. I was so used to paying only 1/4 of my bill, and when I only had a $57 savings on a $300 trip I wanted to cry.

  • kyo

    i got a queston … i dont know if any of you all guys can help me with this.. its about MACDONALD.
    how MCdonald coupons benefit to the store?…. For example, there are some coupons like (FREE MCDONALD CHEESE BURGERS) ,so what profit does this coupon bring to the store if it only has a benefit for the costumer which is getting a free hamburger without any charge. Why you do not come out with something like (WITH THE POURCHE OF A LARGE DRINK YOU CAN GET A FREE CHEESE BURGER) i find this more beneficial because at least there are consuming something for something. I would like you guys to give me an answer because i just start studing business and i have some doubt about somethings like this. thanks i’ll apreciate your answer.

    • Beatrizhandmade

      the free stuff its what they are promoting , they want you to try for free so you keep buying

      • H-williams2010

        It’s because they expect you to buy something in addition to just a cheeseburger. Maybe you want to try a mocha Frappe now that you just got a free burger. They expect you to buy more. That is why when drugstores have sale items, they are marked way down to entice shoppers to go there in the hopes they will buy overpriced staple items with their sale items.

  • imablack

    Great article. I just started couponing in earnest last August. By the end of the year I had saved over $3000 on my grocery bill at one store alone…and that was as a beginner. Unfortunately. the local stores around her have armed themselves against really extreme couponing. For example, you cannot use more than 10 of the same coupons in one trip and they will not honour them if the exceed the purchase price. But still, it is only early April, and I have saved over $2500 already. I am big at looking for sales and matching them with my coupons. We are fortunate that our biggest three grocery chains (Bilo, Publix, and Ingles) are located at one intersection. We take two coolers with us for storing cold items and hit all three stores for the best deals. Bilo even offers fuel perks. I have filled my tank (station wagon) on many occasions for less than $20!

    I noticed you didn’t mention e-coupons. They work primarily like store coupons, but you go online to the stores website and load them on to a customer loyalty card. Not only can they be stacked with manufacturer coupons, but also with paper store coupons…A TRIPLE stack. YEA!

    Another way to save, though it is usually only a few cents, is to bring your own reusable bags. Many stores will give you 5-10 cents off every bag you bring. They also fit better into your car, meaning you can store more loot.

    I don’t use card sleeves for my binder. I use the old-fashioned photo albums. Believe it or not, very few of my coupons get torn and they make it easy to see what I have and keep track of expiration dates. In the back, I have a pocket page from a old school notebook, and as I shop, I put my pulled coupons in there-ready for check out. The cashiers love me because I’m so organised and I have NEVER had to dispute a coupon. In fact, cashiers and bag boys fight for my business because they are anxious to see how much I save every week. Even the managers get excited over it.

    Rather than use the A-Z method, which I did in the beginning, my binder is organised according to catigory…Frozen…Refigerated…Paper Goods…Veggies…ext. It is also numbered and indexed for easy reference. I have a accordion folder labeled the same way. As I cut my coupons, I can separate them as I go. When I am ready to put them in my binder, I go one section at a time, purging the expired coupons as I go. It saves a ton of time. Cutting…organising…purging…4 hours a week tops=$100s in saving a week.

    Anyway, you are correct, with a little time, organisation, and effort, anyone cam save tons of money on their grocery bill. I for one, will never take couponing for granted again.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Thank you for your comments,

      It’s great to hear that you are saving so much! I especially enjoyed hearing about how Cashiers, Managers, and Bag Boys want to see how much you save. I can tell that you’re the kind of person who brightens the room when you walk in!

      Thanks for reading and sharing your experience.

    • Angel Oney

      I used to do the category and isle for isle way, but I shop at several different stores, and for some odd reason I go to both Kroger stores we have, but yet they are both set up completely different. So I have resorted to using the A-Z method. I have yet to find a store who allows for the stacking of coupons unless they are the B1G1. I cannot do e-coupons with paper coupons anywhere. I use a photo album that has slots for pictures and do six different coupons per page(or 12 per sheet). They allow for unfolded coupons and if you staple them then use velcro snaps they keep shut and no coupons are tumbling on the floor while you look for one you know you had. The problem I have is the sheets want to come unhooked from time to time, and I cannot find a holder big enough to fit my album into. I tried my laptop carrier when I broke my laptop, but it fit one length but not another length. And i have yet to find a album like it that is smaller.

  • Hasnol

    Nice to read this article although it wont work in my country Malaysia. We seldom/never find a coupon RM1.00 off for a product less than RM20.00! No coupon or discount can be used during sale. The most consumers in Malaysia would do is having loyalty card/store card and get small freebies after u have collected enough points. So shops smartly & enjoy it while u can.

  • Mreynolds1975

    U did a terrific job on this article! I actually understand the process,Ive watched the show but nvr got it,lol. Thx this will be my new obsession.

  • Moluvsyou

    I’m so excited to try this out. I to, have watched the show an never knew what to do until now. after reading the tips, I’m pumped!!!!!!

  • Thea

    This is a great how-to for a beginner. I will be bookmarking this article so that I can come back to it when I need it!

  • Lola1109

    Since I am new and haven’t reaped the mass benefits that most of you have, I live in a small town with only a Wal-Mart and Safeway store. I am not quite sure how to know what deals are coming my way to use the stock of internet coupons that i have printed for good use. Help?

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Lola1109,

      Look up “Safeway Coupon Matchups” in your browser… that should give you a few websites devoted to saving money at Safeway. Walmart has a nice coupon policy, but in my experience the cashiers are rarely helpful or knowledgeable and often refuse to take your coupons.

      Good luck!
      David

  • Cassyjn

    Oh my goodness…I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This is the first piece on couponing that I was able to understand and read straight through; it was extremely clear and the examples really helped.
    My mother has been out of work for months and our faith and trust in God is the only reason why we have been able to get by. I have been interested in extreme couponing and this is such a great motivation piece; now I feel like I can actually make it happy.

    Great job and thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless you! Thank you again, I’m so grateful for this I know it must have taken you some time to put it all together. :)

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Cassyjn,

      You’re very welcome. Feel free to ask questions anytime. Doing this will radically change they way you live and the money you save is incredible!

  • Dana

    I have a question about when a coupon say available at does that mean you must use that coupon at that store or can you use it at all stores? If you could answer this it would be great! Also is it possible to extreme coupon in a small town that doesn’t have double coupons? Thanks so much!

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Hi Dana,

      It really depends of in the coupon is a manufacturer’s coupon or a store coupon. A manufacturer’s coupon will usually say it near the top “Manufacturer’s Coupon”. With these.. you can use at any store that accepts coupons.

      Store coupons will usually have the grocers name on it.. such as “Target Coupon” or “Publix Coupon”… and those you can only use at the store that issued the coupon. However.. that being said some stores, like Publix, will take OTHER store coupons because they are competitors. You’d have to ask your store if they do that.

      In small towns.. it is a bit more challenging to coupon effectively.. but it CAN be done. You will have to get to know your store manager and see what they will and will not allow.

      Hope this helps..
      David

  • Kris10

    Cassyjn said exactly what I was thinking…word for word. Truly, thank you!

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      You’re Welcome Kris10!

      Glad I could help… and please ask any questions you have.

  • Linda

    This article really cleared many doubts and questions, great info, thanks.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Thanks for the comment Linda! If you have questions, just ask.

      • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.zimmer.96 Patrick Zimmer

        hi David,
        I am new to coupons and trying to save some money. Im just so confused on how this all works. So can I use 10 of the same coupons at the same time? does walmart double their coupons? What if a store doesnt double?
        from Pats wife,
        Nicole :) I accidently signed in under my husbands name.

  • Linda

    This article really cleared many doubts and questions, great info, thanks.

  • Laurengriffeth

    great advice … im just starting out and i understood this clear , concise and informative information better than anywere i have looked before . thank you

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      I’m glad this helps you. If you have questions, feel free to post them!

  • Jd73193

    Thank you for writting this blog for us newbies out there!
    I would consider myself the third level couponer.
    I am having trouble finding a grocery store in my area that both price matches and doubles coupons.
    Any suggestions?
    I live in Peoria AZ.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Jd,

      Very few stores do actual price matching. Walmart is the only one in my area, and to be honest… We RARELY shop there. They almost always fight us over our coupons, so we shop where we are not treated like a criminal.

      Also… There are ZERO stores where we live that double coupons. So we’re out of luck there as well.

      My suggestion is to work with what you have. You can still combine store sales with coupons that don’t double and put together incredible deals. If that means you have to break your shopping trips into smaller ones (maybe they have a 4-like coupon policy) than you do what you have to do.

      • Angel Oney

        We have a Wal-Mart that price matches, but I am not a Wal-Mart fan. After shopping Krogers and Giant Eagle and getting a huge savings, even using coupons at Wal-mart is too expensive. We also have a KMart that price matches, but they do not price match Wal_mart and they are one of the most expensive grocery places in town.

      • Carl

        Exactly. Now that is a better point, you have to work with what you have. Walmart does not like people that use a lot of coupons because they feel as though their prices are “low enough” but I don’t agree with the fact the coupons are better than cash to stores because why would Walmart be so negative to people using them? It doesn’t make any sense. Then again how do places that do the “triplers” I used to live near a Martin’s and a Weis Markets in Maryland a few years ago that would triple coupons. I miss those days of shopping

        • Ashley C

          When you go in Walmart, there are about 3 lanes open. People are over worked and most people there dislike their jobs because of things like that. I think that has a lot to do with people having issues at Wal-Mart. I will go somewhere where I am treated with respect by my cashier.

    • Angel Oney

      I would check a town around you. I used to drive two hours away to do my shopping because I would spend next to nothing, and would also get my gas for free. I shopped Giant Eagle, and for every $50 of my total I would get .10-.20 cents off per gallon of gas. I would also take advantage of their car wash and gas station to save also. The car wash I got an additional .20 cents off a gallon of gas, and for every 10 gallons of fuel I purchased I got 1% of my next purchase, which was good for three months. One day I paid only $1.89 for my gas and prices was twice that regular. My grocery order totaled $460 and after coupons my fuel discount and regular member price deduction I only spent a little under $90. It may sound crazy to drive two hours away to the grocery, but if you can get those deals like I did it is well worth it and your gas is basically paid for.

  • Avalevi2

    alot of places tell us that we arent allowed to use more than 1 of the same coupon in a single transaction, but i was wondering if that is really the case and if so would i have to do different transactions and wouldnt that defeat the purpose and wouldnt i be paying more!

    • Angel Oney

      I would much rather do it all in one transaction, but either way it all still comes out the same. No matter how you do your transactions the total will still be the same in the end. Smaller transactions are easier because you can keep better track of your coupons by putting them into an envelope and placing them with the transaction it goes. If you have multiple items you find yourself trying to figure out if you have the correct amount that matches the number of coupons and also find yourself getting overwhelmed with the number of coupons you have in hand and amount of items in the cart(s).

  • Mendebraden

    wow holy moly, never in my life have i seen someone who pays so much attention to peoples comments and consistently replies, nice man nice, I am a christian too, but from a christian perspective, don’t you think that extreme couponing is kind of manipulative. I mean, obviously coupons werent mean to be used in the way that extreme couponers use them now.

    I know this has no purpose at all to do with this couponing subject, but ive always wanted to go to vegas when im 21, (im 16 now) and be a pro poker player or something, but your whole job is kind of manipulative in a way. I mean, you make money off peoples mistakes, so you are wanting people to constantly do bad. Its kind of greedy I think, but sounds like so much fun

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Mendebraden,

      Can couponing be considered manipulative? That’s a very good question. I don’t believe it is for the following reasons:

      1. Manufacturers issue coupons to promote and sell products. They want their brand purchased more than their competitors brand.
      2. Grocery Stores are paid an incentive to ACCEPT coupons. They get the value of the coupon plus 8-12 cents as a bonus. So as far as grocery stores are concerned… coupons are worth MORE than cash.
      3. When store coupons are used, the grocery store can write that off as a business expense.
      4. The stores coupon policies allow for a store AND a manufacturers coupon to be used on the same product. They don’t have to have that policy if they don’t want to.
      5. When stores have a major sale… it’s because they also received those items on a DEEP DISCOUNT… so even at the sale price.. they profit.

      What does this all mean? When my family buys $140 worth of groceries and toiltries for 34 cents. Everybody wins. The manufacturer wins because their products were sold, the store wins because they redeem the coupons and get the bonus 8-12 cents on each, and we win because we saved money that can be put to greater use (such as tithing and giving)

      It’s a WIN/WIN/WIN situation. Am I manipulating the system? No… I am merely working within the rules. Anyone else who wants to work within the rules an put forth a little effort can get the same results we get.

      Now.. am I greedy because I extreme coupon? Let’s explore that:

      Let’s say that I need 3 Jars of Peanut Butter a week for all the sandwiches needed for the girl scout troop. Would it be better for me to buy 3 jars a week at $2.89 a jar… or would it be better for me to buy 36 jars all at one time for 25 cents a jar?

      3 jars a week x $2.89 per jar x 12 weeks = $104.04
      or
      36 jars to last the same 12 weeks x $0.25 = $9.00

      That’s a $95 savings.

      As Christians… are we not called to spend our resources (money and time) wisely?

      Because my family and I shop this way, we are able to give more, to the church, to food banks, to nursing homes, and to friends and family. We are PROUD to be able to do that.

      I guess I don’t understand how would could be making money off of others mistakes. They are not making mistakes at all, they are only offering sales (which they DO profit from) and we are simply combining a sale with a coupon (which they get paid more than cash for).

      I suppose if you watched the TLC Extreme Couponing show… I guess I can see where you’d get an idea like that. But I’m here to tell you that is NOT what extreme couponing is all about. That show makes for great TV… but it is not at all what most extreme couponers online do. Most of us do this to benefit more than just our own families. An overflowing pantry allows us to bless others in ways we never could before.

      That all being said. There ARE greedy couponers out there. Those who want to get stuff for free with coupons, then turn around and have a garage sale and sell for full price. I think that is absolutely deplorable. I have not and will not ever condone that sort of behavior. It gives people like me a bad name.

      I really appreciate your questions Mendebraden, especially from one as young as you. It’s a breath of fresh air to see someone your age ask questions. I sure do hope to hear from you again.

      God Bless,
      David BIbby

    • Angel Oney

      You are talking about manipulative and you want to go play poker for a living. Okay? Anyhow, coupons have helped me pay my bills and buy my kids things they need. Using a coupon is no different than handing a Poker dealer $500 to win $5,000. All we do is hand a coupon for a cheaper price on an item. The stores get their moneys worth with the coupons because the coupon manufactures give so much back to the stores, besides they want you buying what they make. What better way to get you to buy than to use coupons. I know you are young but it is worth it to try and use them or get into the habit of it because when you are out on your own it gets rough, unless you are born with silver spoon in your hand. My daughter, who is 14, dyes her hair and wears make-up, so I of course hand her coupons, and yes she always says, “Mom I hate these things!” But after she checks out she is glad she still has money left to go to the movies or skating on Friday night. It is a lifeline for some. I lost my job and was without income for a little over a month, and thank goodness, I found three jobs within two weeks, which I went from one to another until I stopped at the current position, anyhow I needed the small stock pile I had achieved and needed the coupons I had to get me through,.

  • KMills1849

    Hi There! This was very informative for a beginner. I have been thinking seriously about extreme couponing here lately and need a little help. I live in Texas and there is only 1 place I love to shop for my groceries and that is HEB. They always have great deals and have tons of in store coupons there. I am willing to shop at other places if the deals are just as good. We dont have any Krogers or Kmarts or Albertsons anywhere close to where I live. So my question is what are the best places to coupon at in Texas?

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Kmills1849,

      Search online for “HEB Coupon Matchups”. I think you’ll find that it’s already the best in the area. Replace HEB with your other store names to see what sites are available too.

      Best of Luck to you!
      David

  • Raylynn

    Hi I have been couponing for a few months and get some pretty good deals but I want to do even better. Most of the coupons that come in my paper are for personal care products that are expensive like johm fredia shampoo or things like that that I will never afford to use even with a coupon. I have gotten some good deals on laundry, soap, toothpaste, and deoderant. I only have about $60 a month to spend on groceries for a family of two but don’t really get many great grocery coupons. I need to spend my money on things like milk, bread, and lunch items. I don’t need 70 bottles of mustard or 60 things of yourgut. I guess what I don’t get is yes I could spend my $ getting these deals but until I have a huge stockpie built up over time what do I eat for the month just mustard and yougurt. Please help because I’m trying to work very hard at this and I just feel like there is still something I’m missing as far as grocey couponing goes. Also I only get paid once a month and thats when I do my major shopping I’ll only go weekly if I find a deal I can’t resent. Thaks for any help.

  • Jcricardo316

    Hi i need your help. I live in Louisville, KY and all the stores only double coupons up to .50 cents adn they will only accept one coupon per item. You can not stack or use any combination. Are there any other coupon stratiges i could use. Please email me at [email protected]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1675599103 Karen Vanderhoorn-Collins

    Thank you for writing this. It was very informative. I have wondered how people do it, and now I have an idea. Only problem, I am now living in Bangkok and do not know if they even have coupons here. One day, when we move back to the States, I will try couponing the way you have suggested.

  • Angel Oney

    I use coupons on a regular basis and at almost everyshopping trip, but I have yet to find how these extreme couponers get toilet paper for free or next to nothing. I cannot find coupons for Cottenelle(which is what I prefer) but maybe every few months, and even then it still leaves me paying $5 for with only a .50-$1.00 savings. I do have to say I take huge advantage of the All and Tide coupons because every so often you find .75 off All, and it will go on sale for $3.99, and when that doubles I only pay $2.50 a bottle. But never have got it for less than this. I will not spend more than .75 for a tube of toothpaste, $1.50 for a bottle of Gillette body wash, or $2.00 for a pack of razors. When I coupon I check all isles for deals I can find, which means I have a small list or no list of what I need. I have thought about taking a week to go in and price everything I have coupons for(and when I get a new coupon pricing it)at all stores I shop, and using this to give me an idea of whether I will be getting a good deal or not.

  • Emilia Davis

    Where do people get those Gatorade or Powerade coupons? I’ve never seen them before. Where do they exist?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/F5S3ZYZBRHLZGE5WUILJLNM5QU Lissou Avistew

    When I’m back in the US, I’ll definitely give this a try. Right now the store in my town only allows one coupon per purchase, and they’re not compatible with sales. That makes it much less of a deal, and extreme couponing becomes impossible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=13746292 Dawn Jackson

    These savings are way overinflated. I know it “can” be done but if you’ve ever watched extreme couponing the tv show you’d see that they purchase 100 bottles of mustard for like $2. Who has space for that much stockpile? Also, many hygiene products like shampoo have a shelf life of about 1 year. I did save a lot when I was a couponer but I also ended up buying products I wouldn’t use and ended up throwing out because they expired. After I spent hours and hours every week organizing and cutting coupons, spending money on newspapers to acquire the coupons and then when I got to the store to get in on a good deal only to find that the shelf had been wiped out from other greedy couponers, I found that it just wasn’t worth my time and effort. It was emotionally exhausting and the rush of the coupon high wasn’t worth it for me anymore.

    I’m not saying that couponing in moderation is a bad thing, it’s a wonderful way to save some money for a family on a tight budget, but shows like extreme couponing and articles like this put people in a frenzy thinking that couponing is something that it’s not. It is WORK! It takes time and energy to get the good deals. These overstated savings don’t put couponing into perspective. Coupons are created not to save consumers money (that’s mearly a side effect if they are used properly), they are meant to influence a consumers buying habits. I had to ask myself if I would actually use the product I was buying or if I was simply buying it because it was a good deal. When I started answering with the later I knew it was time for me to quit couponing.

    • Mark

      There’s nothing inherently wrong with buying a lot of mustard, but these things have expiration dates! I would go through one bottle and have to toss the other 99.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1557220821 Verne Vandygriff Doyle

        why wouldn’t you donate the other 99 bottles to the local food bank?

  • Nathyfreire

    Hi, I’m Nathalia and I have been a level 1 couponer for a while now, but what i’m really trying to do is to be a level 3 couponer, i’ve been very frustrated that I just can’t get it right, I try to save the best I can but I really have a hard time figuring out when the stores will have a sale, do you have anything that could help me out? I woulk love to get some 101 help.

  • Carl

    “Extreme” couponing is possible I’m sure but these people that do this are basically hoarders of food and items you may never use. If you ever watch shows sometimes that have these people showing where they store the stuff, I’ve seen 3 full rooms of products that I gurantee a 3-4 person family won’t use everything they have nor does the average family have room to do couponing like this. Plus, there are stores that don’t allow this stuff to go on and they can actually tell you they don’t want to accept the coupons in the store if they feel like they are losing money. It’s not all happy faces and as easy as people make it out to be either. Not everyone has the storage space, a store that will allow them to consistently do this on a regular basis, and as another person mentioned it takes time and effort in clipping these coupons and organizing them and then when you get to the store and an item is “out of stock” when you get there then it ruins the point of using the coupons on sale items if the store doesn’t re-stock the sale items quick enough. When I lived in Maryland I was doing the level 3 couponing for a short time but found that I spent more money on items I didn’t use or need when that money could’ve went for items I know I’d need or use with only a few coupons here and there. Nothing is as it seems and “extreme couponing” is not as great as people make it out to be unless you have the storage, actually like to do it, and somehow can find a way to use all the items without losing more money than you are saving and finding out that you don’t actually need something else for another trip back to the store with no coupon for that item.

    • Angel Oney

      It states on these shows that it is not a typical shopping trip, and a huge majority of them are making these big trips due to big events, donating, having a baby, helping a family members too. Yes they have huge stock piles, and some overtake a certain area of the house, but it does not mean they are horders. I wish I had these stockpiles cause with 6 people in my house I use a lot of cleaning products, food and drinks of al kinds. I buy on average 5-6 small bottles of laundry detergent every other week, I purchase 2-3 bottles of shampoo and 2-3 bottles of bodywash per week. I have a daughter who thinks water is not going to be here tomorrow and it is nothing for her to take 2-3 showers a day and wash her hair every morning and night. One amazing day I got my laundry caught up and was suprised to realize, it is never caught up because just for a single day have four loads of laundry…TOWELS, WHITES, LIGHTS, and DARKS, all of which are a full load each. Snce a 26 load bottle is averaged to a normal load I find myself going though a 50 oz bottle in 3 days with large loads(which I use). That is 5 bottles in two weeks. I actually used a smal stock pile yesterday to fill 5 shoe boxes to get into the zoo for free for our troops. .

      • Rebeccal_ops

        First, I suggest making your own laundry detergent (fels naptha, washing soda, and borax recipe). Second have your daughter who wastes water do the laundry. 3rd make your own cleaners.

  • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

    Carl,

    Coupons ARE better than cash to the store. They get 8-12 cents plus the value of the coupon. It might not seem like much, but it translates to billions of dollars in “handling fees” every year.

    But why do stores like Walmart act so negative about them?

    It’s a matter of training. We’ve found in our area that even though Walmart has a “newer/better” coupon policy… that very few of the employees actually knew about it or adhered to it. But I think the real problem, at least at Walmart, is that they even though they have 30 cashier lanes… you find only 3 are actually manned and checking out customers. The employees are overworked, and having to deal with coupons is NOT something the employees want to do.

    We get better service with cashiers that actually SMILE at Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walgreens, and CVS. They cheerfully take our coupons and only once in a while do we have to “educate” the cashier.

    Regarding your other comment Carl, I don’t think most extreme couponers are hoarders. Now.. the TLC Show is just plain awful and is giving most of us a bad name. Some of the folks on that show are the most generous people around… but the producers wanted to show people dumping whole bins into carts and clearing the shelves. It makes for great TV. But is not an indication of how a majority of extreme couponers actually are.

    That being said… I HAVE seen some of the worst behavior around IN MY OWN AREA from other extreme couponers. I figure I’ll see them on TV one day.

    • Ginag81

      HI DAVID MY NAME IS GINA AND I LIVE IN FLORIDA CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME LEARN HOW TO DO THE COUPONS IM IN NEED OF HELP MY JOB IS NOT GOING GOOD AND I HAVE TO KIDS ANYTHING HELPS [email protected] THANKS

  • Mel

    I’m about to have my first child and I’m a single young mom living on my own with a full time job and as a full time student. I’m totally grateful that you wrote this informative blog bc I’m definitely a level one and two couponer but that won’t cut it when my baby gets here. Thanks for advice, and hopefully I save as much as you do !! :) God bless !

  • Joe

    I’ve read so many other sites on the “how-to’s” of couponing that I lost interest. Until now! After reading this article, I believe I can go out and, with practice, become an extreme couponer.
    Thank you for the very informative article.

  • Bobby

    Would it not be nice if we forget our coupons and share the gospel instead. Pass out tracts and Bibles instead of focusing on coupons. Is coupons the devils way of changing our focus.

    • SadieK

      Just because people coupon does not mean that they are doing the devils bidding. I have every intention of “Extreme Couponing” and with it I have every intention to make donations to the food bank and to people in need. That would be GOD’s bidding right there. Unless it’s the devil’s bidding that I am wanting to help the people of my community?

    • Ashley C

      You can use couponing to bless others! I love donating items to charities or to the food drives at my church :)

    • Tamifrost

      God helps those who help themselves.

      • Tina

        where in the bible does it say that? we just had a sermon on this in church its a sin to add to or take away from the bible LOOK IT UP!!!!! NOWHERE AND I MEAN NOWHERE in the bible does it say God helps those who help themselves some people are so ignorant

        • Grammarc

          Thomas Jefferson said it, not gospel, people. We are supposed to use all of our talents that God gives us. Remember the servant who did nothing? Couponing is not wrong in my book. We just don’t want to make a god out of couponing. Our funding is a blessing from God and if we are stretching it further and to help others it is doing like what the other servants did.

    • Lesleyhoney

      Wow god isn’t real stupid

  • Lost

    My husband was recently laid off so Im trying to find a way to grocery shop for a family of 6. I don’t purchase NAME brand items, no canned foods, no boxed or processed foods, nor any FROZEN dinners. Mostly organic, all fresh produce of fruits and vegetables, meats and some cheese. I visit farmers markets whenever possible. I make our own laundry detergent, household cleaners, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, etc. How can I find coupons for the items I actually USE??

    • Lost

      And Im doing this from my phone. We DONT own a computer/printer..

    • Mark

      I am in the same boat as you. In addition to what you mentioned, I won’t use most generic products from the store, such as deodorant (contains aluminum), toothpaste (contains fluoride), any food containing unsaturated fat (I want coconut oil, olive oil, or animal fats), etc. So I buy special brands which are found in the natural section of the store, such as Tom’s and Health Valley. How am I supposed to find coupons for those? All the coupons I see are for mainstream products which I refuse to buy.

      • Acozmicmama

        You can go online to the websites of these companies, ie. Tom’s of Maine and they usually have a link for coupons that you can print out.

      • My3angelmusketeers

        Toothpaste contains flouride to prevent cavities, and too much saturated fat (I.e. animal fats) is unhealthy. You want to eat natural foods containing olive oil, coconut oil, etc. that’s low in saturated fat. As for the coupons, many can be found on the nonlinear coupon sites or by searching the item directly. I hope this was helpful. God bless.

        • Mark

          Um, you do realize that coconut oil is saturated fat, right? And fluoride is a toxin that makes you submissive. It was used on the Jews during the holocaust.

    • Ashley C

      You can use coupons to buy things to make the household cleaners :) That is what I do!

  • Sassy12374

    I am not an extreme couponer but i do use alot of coupons but only on things i use. i also have to drive 45mins to the grocery store that has the best sales people think i am crazy but that same grocery store gives you a cent of gas coupon based on how much you spent and you can use up to 3 of them at a time so i spend 350 before coupons after coupons i pay 200 i get a gas coupon for 35cents of a gallon up to 15 gallons i save 3 coupons and save 1.05 off per gallon i fill up my tank which is 25 gallons but i am never below 1/4 of a tank normally i end up puting in around 16gallons and gas is around 3.70 a gallon here in the end it all is worth it. i also use coupons on sale items b1g1 items 10for 10 items its all in what you do when you do it. the store i shop at also gives a free item to you if you spend 30 dollars so i alway walk away with something free no matter what. all in all since i started 6months ago my savings have come to 3600 dollars. were going to go on a family vacation with it at the end of the year its all in what your willing to put into it. we also found a bread store that sells our favorite bread for 99 cents verse 3.49 at the store.

  • Kindercub2000

    Wow Thank you for the very thorough explanation. I always wanted to do this for my family but didn’t know where to start. I am so excited now I can’t wait to organize my binder and get some extra coupons

  • Alineback1

    I am new at this and just getting started with extreme couponing. I am very excited about this, Your website has help me a bunch. I cant wait for the savings and most of all I cant wait to start blessing other people with the things I will accumulate in stockpile. Thank you very much and God Bless You!

  • mollie

    Thank you for this post. I have been looking at couponing strategies but never really understood how. This post has explained everything in such a simple way.

  • Shandi

    Ok so as of last weekend was my first coupon cutting experience. I have a family of 6 on my own and my sister is staying with me who doesn’t have a job and 3 kids of her own.Thank The Lord I read this article before I went to the store. I went to Walgreens and my total bill was 118.00 I paid 58.11. I was exstatic!! My kids were laughing at me for how excited I was. However that was for toiletries and shampoo etc. I am having a real hard time buying groceries and am having to go to food pantries just to make it sometimes. I am going to check out the references posted here and see how to save on the food to fill their bellies. I pray before I go to the stores that God helps me to provide for my kids at a price I can afford. I do believe that God has sent you here David to be a blessing to us all teaching us how to buy food for a little money. I know I have a long way to go but I will definately be spreading the blessings as I start to stockpile. :) I will keep you in my prayers that God will pour his blessings upon you and your family. Thanks again and God Bless!!

  • singlemommy

    About 98% of the coupons that I see state One per customer per transaction. How is it that people are using multiples of the same exact coupon? Couponing is something I would really like to get into, however, I am confused on how to accurately use my coupons for more than just once in a while shopping trips.

    • Moomaid

      you must divide your shoping into several transactions. So you won’t be paying for everything on one receipt. Depending on how much you have you might have 8 transactions.

  • DadfromPA

    Nope this coupons aren’t working. A friend and myself clipped all sorts of coupons. We only shop at Wal-Mart, that’s the closest for us. This was our experience. #1) Hamburger on sale @ another store. $2.99 per lb. Wal_mart say’s no go…they price per ounce. #2) Shampoo coupon “Save”!!! .25 cents., but must buy 2 bottles ??? @ $3.98 per bottle. my shampoo is .97 cents. 3) Toilet Tissue 8/Dbl rolls for $5.98 @ another store…Wal-Mart doesn’t have on shelf, and/or will not give rain check. 4) Coupons read…”Only one Item per customer”. So I spent $145.00 on my shopping, was able to use 2 coupons out of a handful… and saved .45 cents. how exciting.

  • Sarah

    Talk about Community Service! Thank you for sharing your knowledge in this desperate economy. I will be paying it forward to my children and others. I am always excited to teach my children the value of a dollar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Thickmadame314 LaTasha Ubettarespectme Edward

    I can’t wait to get started with saving money. I have four hungry boys that are eating me out of a house and a home.

  • Katy Bolding.

    OMG!! I want to thank you so much. This is the
    first piece on couping that I was able to understand and read straight
    through; it was extremely clear and the examples really helped. Great article.

    I pay for articles written and posted in
    financial blogs.

  • Salvador Antonacci

    Thank you for the information. It sure will help us safe thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1557220821 Verne Vandygriff Doyle

    We live in a rural area and only have Walmart to choose from. Am I reading correctly that Walmart doesn’t want to bother with coupons. What is everyone’s experience with Walmart?

    • Safetyman446644

      I have only begun to coupon, however walmart has a wonderful advantage that i am sure the will abolish soon. Walmart will match any competitors price! So, find the best deal online for any store and they also honor any coypon. Bam! Now you can just shkp at walmart with any store sale and any store coupon plus manf coupons. I saved 50% last weekend without a single coupon. Imagine what i could have done if i read this first. Hope this helps.

    • Moomaid

      You want to shop at Walmart!! They are the only store that gives you overage in CASH!! Do I need to repeat that?? Overage in CASH!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1557220821 Verne Vandygriff Doyle

    I would like to add a comment here as well. Please donate any pet items you are able to get for free to pet shelters or pet rescues. They are always in desperate need. Even your left over newspapers for the pet cages. Thank you for your local support.

  • Pt Su

    the problem with extreme couponing i see on tlc is what they get the most quantity of is often candy or junkfood. Honestly then it doesn’t matter how much you save if those products end up negatively impacting your health. The show often just generalize them as “food” but don’t mention what kind of food it is. Occasionally I see them getting frozen food or mac n’ cheese or something then that’s fine and I wouldn’t mind stockpiling those. But if it’s 500 candy bars then I wouldn’t even want to donate them to charity.

    • Turtlebaby90

      well true but they also coupon other things as well if you look at their stock piles carefully.. junk isn’t the only stuff they get… the stuff you just described was just what they decided to get on that certain day. others buy stock loads of soups and one time i saw someone stock up on pasta noodles. i’m thinking they more than likely but the junk for snacks and stuff..and knowing how big those piles get, they probably don’t eat them every hour so its not impacting their health. candy and chips are only bad if you abuse them. its not the food choice its the people themselves..

      • Turtlebaby90

        buy*** not but lol oops

  • Roger

    David, Thank you. This was easy to understand the in’s and out’s and gave me more confidence to go out and try it. I’m a 41 yr old man, suddenly out on Workers Comp and saving money will help me big time get through this period. I did a test drive at my local Stop and shop here in Massachusetts with just a short list. Total savings was nearly $19 on a $78 shop. That’s awesome for 2 reasons; one I never used coupons and depended on sales and stop and shop card to get deductions and 2, it forced me to buy only what was on the list so I could compare savings accurately….and this prevented me from buying unnecessarily and spending $100+ as I normally do. Thank you again.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Good Luck Roger,

      I wish you the best on your couponing ventures!

  • Jennifer

    oh no it says i’m an extreme couponer! haha. I really wish I would of read this when I first started.. i figured out things on my own. I use the binder but lately the inserts I clip have been placed into envelopes and grouped by what is in them.. while my binder sits half empty in my totebag. I need to get a little more organized. Thank you for the extra information I really need to PLAN my shopping trips. I agree with the “coupon high” of a really good deal. Those target clearances and coupons.. LOVE it.

  • Tina

    thank you david your article is very helpful because i am trying to figure this out because like many others i did not know 3/4 of this stuff, as far as the coupons go though i dont ever find them for the items that my family uses and when you do you have to buy 4 boxes of cereal to get 1 dollar off that is a waste especially when cereal is 3.50 or more a box, i will tell you i tried this one time not extreme but probably a level one and i did expirence some great savings but i keep going back to aldis you can save some money there and you dont need coupons although im not sure they even have coupons for there stuff, and just a fyi places that have those cards like shop n save fuel perks you can go to red plum. com and smart source and upload the coupons onto your card. anyways thanks again for the great tips i am going to try to figure this out

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Awesome Tina!

      Thanks for the comment. Keep at it.. you’ll get there!

  • Moffittchuck

    I want to know how on tv people can use like 20 of one coupon on something. I have found no place around me that will do that. Most places will only double up to 20 coupons total and only 3 of the same kind. Any help would be great.

  • Drichards

    I have been skeptical about couponing. I am a working wife and mother that just cant seem to make ends meet. I felt like couponing was one more thing to add to “my plate” of to-do’s. After reading your artical i feel like i have wasted way to much time being negative about couponing. Thank you for putting this into plain english so i could understand it and make a difference for my family.

  • Nanakat1963

    We are about to be evicted from our apartment. I need to learn to extreme coupon. We have 4 cats and no kids

  • Annie

    I have been watching extreme couponing on tlc and i found out that if i can save alot of money if my grocery stores around here will double coupons but i dont believe any of them do. Haveing a nine month old son I need to save all the money that i can after reading this articale i can better understand how to go about couponing. I might not become an extreme couponer but i no that if i do it right i will come close. Thanks Alot David.

  • Lexinsam05

    I finally went out and bought 2 Sunday papers so I could get double coupons, I organized them, cut them out, but then i went through the grocery ads from the paper to see what i could match up, and the only thing I found was a sale on dish soap for .88 – .50 coupon making them .38, so I got 2. Whoo Hoo, but now I have an entire binder full and have no clue what to do with them because I cannot find sales similar to those to match them, and still have yet to figure out how to get TP for free, i’ve tried all the methods of store coupon and manufacture coupon, sale price, it still comes out to be like $6, what i would normally have spent. What I’m saying is I have the ambition to coupon but I feel like i’m going backwards or hiting brick walls and my end grocery bills are they same even when I give the cashier 10 coupons.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Lexinsam05,

      Instead of looking for SALES to match the coupons you have…. it’s easier to look for COUPONS to match what’s on sale this week.

      If you’re buying 2 papers a week, and you are organizing your coupons well… then you’ll soon have 2, 3, 4 weeks worth of coupons saved up.

      Then… when a sale comes along for a product you want, like toilet paper, then you can grab your coupons and go.

      If you’re only on your first week or so… there might not be much you can match up… but after doing this for a while, you will find a sale that matches up with a coupon you collected a month ago that hasn’t expired yet.

      What I like to do when a product is on sale, is type that product name in the coupon database on HotCouponWorld, they’ll tell you where and when the coupons for that product were available. That way you’ll know if you have it in your binder already.

      Keep at it.. it takes time… but is well worth it!

  • Tgalloway29

    Hello are there any groups in the Atlanta area! if so please let me know i am looking to get started. I am looking to do a food drive for the eastern region that got hit by the hurricane and i would like some help as far as someone showing me how to get started Couponing Thank you so much

  • stupidcomments

    im disabled and new to this coupon stuff, my question today is- our local kroger always shows these 10 for 10 sales. but at 10 dollors for each thing you need still adds up, how do you turn these 10 for 10s into a better value. thanks

    • Karolmahle

      If you can get a hold of 1.00 coupons for these 10 for 10 you can get all for free, I do this all the time, if you have anymore questions feel free to email me [email protected]

  • JustSayenYO!

    Ive been giving this extreme couponing some thought over the past couple of months but have always questioned how it would work or fit its way into mine and my families busy day to day life. Ive taken all that it comes with (the pro’s and con’s) into consideration and the only concept im still left with is, “well saving money when possible is worth the time that will be spent”. And then i tell myself “Time IS money”. I havent yet given it a try but def. want to start this coming Sunday when i can purchase my sunday newspapers. My husband thinks im crazy and will only be waisting time and money spent on newspaper and travel. I would KILL to prove him wrong with successful grocery trips as an extreme couponer.

    • Dcole6

      You are going to prove him wrong. My husband is very supportive of me and my couponing, he brags about how much money we save, how we can help family members with the extras, etc. You hang in there, you will not have to say I told you so, he is going to see it for himself.

  • Monica

    I am watching Extreme Couponers on tlc. I am a substitute teacher while I am currently in grad school. My husband is a factory worker. We are living paycheck to paycheck and it is still real tight. I am weak in math skills and was wondering if there is anyone who lives in my area that could help teach me to be an extreme couponer. I live in Clyde, Ohio but will shop in nearby Fremont or if the better deals are in Bellevue I will go there. Please if you live nearby please email me at [email protected] Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003821175726 Leigh Thomas

    I am new to using coupons (less than a month). I have actually been watching my sales ads for a few weeks, finding/printing off i-net coupons and started 2 newspaper subscriptions and preparing myself for that trip to the grocery store with binder and list in hand. Along with mixed emotions from fear, nervousness and excitement. My little binder is relatively full. Anyhow, 2 weeks ago I went to my local Kroger. With my Kroger card, and coupons my bill before any discounts/coupons was about $150. After everything was applied I saved $49.95. My first time ever using coupons and I was extremely happy but at first I was extremely overwhelmed putting it into action. I did end up paying $102 out of pocket. I just remember the savings that I had received. I try to budget for a family of two in the home, but my husband is a truck driver and those expenses add up as well. I had to do something for my family because of the bills we have to pay each month. It seems like we have more going out than coming in. That seems to be common in this day and age. Afterwards I ended up going to my local Dollar General. Because I no longer have the receipts (I wasn’t thinking) and I remember I had a savings of $15 and ended up paying $19.70. My first time and these numbers have not left my mind. This is something that I remembered. That day was VERY challenging to me. I ended up spending 4 hours at Kroger and 1.5 hours at my Dollar General. I know some of this is not relavant, but wanted to share my own experience.

    • http://www.moneycrashers.com/author/davidbibby/ David Bibby | Money Crashers

      Leigh,

      You are doing very well! It gets easier the more you do it. Pretty soon you’ll just naturally be saving money because of all the effort you’re putting in now.

      Good Luck!

  • GLENDA

    I want to know how on tv people can use like 20 of one coupon on something. I have found no place around me that will do that. Most places will only double up to 20 coupons total and only 3 of the same kind. Any help would be great.

    • Debbie Moore

      You have to split your purchase into all separate purchases. Like if they allow 3 coupons of the same kind, then in each separate purchase, use the maximum coupons allowed. Then go onto another purchase and again use the maximum coupons allowed. And on and on until you get what you want. Just remember they have to be separate transactions. Hope that helps. I am in the learning process also!

    • Dcole6

      If I were only allowed 20 coupons doubled. I would make several orders. I do that here with some stores. I ran into the restriction also. When I spoke with the manager, she said not all the employees understood the rules and she put everything through without any problems. I have even taken my order to the car and returned to finish shopping for what I wanted, now you are a new customer.

    • sofia

      yeah i agree

  • Koehlermj09

    i really appreciate this is big savings for my family i hope i get fast and save money for my 4 childre and help my daughter for her college

  • Sue Mathes

    I’ve been watching extreme couponing for about 6 months…I’ve tryed to do some couponing, but i don’t get very far. I just have one newspaper and a few coupons off the internet, I’m disabled and living off my disability. So if there is someone in my area that could help me learn to coupon i would really appreciate the help. I live in Baltimore, Md..if you could e-mail me at [email protected], i would really appreciate it. I usually shop at either Wal-Mart or Food Depot…Thank You

    • Karol

      I also get coupons from Ebay, only from the high rated sellers, for things I use a lot, I have been able to stock up on things for free in some cases this way, getting 20 at a time, recently I was able to get about 140 folgers coffee stick boxes, each with 6 or 7 sticks in them for free, of course I did this over several trips, I also live in Md.

  • Lisasecord

    THANK YOU for penning all of this to paper in an uncluttered and complete article! I have been a self-taught “Level 4″ couponer for about 10 years. Every tip you gave is totally spot on. I am an office assistant, my husband has been unemployed for the better part of two years and not collecting unemployment and I don’t get child support from the father of my two kids. I somehow keep the family afloat and cars paid up on under $40,000 a year. Couponing saves me from having to stand in line at the food bank again or apply for government assistance. Just follow all the tips here and YOU CAN DO IT!

  • jeannette

    i really want to learn how to do couponing is there anywere to go learn this,and can u send coupons in the mail as i dont have a printer and on low income and can use them, thx

  • holly

    i live in rothbury michigan and all the store do not have very good deals with coupons and we dont get very many coupons and they dont have double coupons in my area please help and give me some ideas maybe that will work

  • gina

    I LIVE IN FLORIDA CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME ON HOW TO DO THIS WITH THE COUPONS AND HOW I CAN SAVE $$ ARE EVEN GET FOOD FOR FREE I HAVE 2 KIDS AND MY JOB ISNT DOING VERY GOOD WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET PLZ EMAIL [email protected] ARE CALL ME 813 447-7808 MY NAME IS GINA THANK YOU

    • Karol

      Gina, If you have a Publix nearby, call them and ask what competitor coupons they accept, for example when I lived down there, my local store accepted Target winn-dixie, sweetbay and maybe a few others, each store is different, you can use the publix cpn say for spending 40 get 10 off, along with sweetbay’s 5 off 30, just have to spend at least 70, actually just have it ring up that much before coupons and use the in store by the door coupons, in ad cpns and manu. cpns all together, I have walked out with bags of groceries paying very little, sometimes just tax. Now I am up north where we can double coupons so I can still do good, the store ad also have cpns, when what you want is on sale with the coupons you can stock up on whatever you know you will need, some things I do get at Aldis if I know there isn’t any coupon like their brand of cream soupd, etc. I hope this helps, I just saw this so I don’t know when you posted, I save several hundred a month with my couponing, don’t forget CVS, I most always walk out saving a bundle and get back the ecb’s for next time and I get the $4 off 20.00 cpns to add to it.

    • Heather

      Hey Gina are you Deborah related??

  • Martha

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. Wow, I have a lot to learn. I’ve always worried about the amount of money I spend on groceries, but clipping coupons seemed a bit of a waste. Thanks to your tips, I think I can try some new things. Even if I’m only able to cut my bills by 1/4 at first, it’ll be worth it! I’m going to see what I can accomplish. With the rising cost of food, we can no longer afford to buy groceries at retail. You are so kind to share your knowledge with us.

    • Clara Grano

      wow i just done my first couponing yesterday i loved it but would like to know how u get coupons on meats and vegetables ..this is a wonderful thing im on hard time need help this sounds great

  • Karl-ormerod

    Hi guys my name is karl ormerod and i live in greater manchester in England and i’m just wondering if me and my family can coupon here in england

  • Debbbie

    I LIVE IN MARYLAND CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME ON HOW TO DO THIS WITH THE COUPONS AND HOW I CAN SAVE $$ ARE EVEN GET FOOD FOR FREE I LIVE WITH MY SISTER AND THERE IS 5 OF US WE NEED ALL THE HELP WE CAN GET PLZ EMAIL [email protected] OR CALL ME 240-751-3709 MY NAME IS DEBBIE THANK YOU

  • SAMANTHAGRAYS

    I HAVE ALWAYS USED COUPONS BUT SINCE LAST WEEK I STARTED XTREAM COUPONING AND IN THE PAST 2 WEEKS HAVE SAVED OVER $400 ON FROCERIES, HAIR COLOR, MAKE UP LIGHT SWITCHES (DESINER ONES PAID .39EA) NEW LIGHT FIXTURES ECT. BEING A SINGLE MOM OF 3 TEENAGE DAUGHTERS I NEED ALL THE SAVINGS I CAN GET….

  • Anjela

    Thank you! You explained it so thoroughly and I am so ready to get started…. Thank you so much for providing this information for FREE! You are a blessing :)

  • Ramona

    So, I am a mother of four. We live in the great state of Oregon. I have a friend who works at Safeway and she says there are some laws in OR. that won’t let you “extreme” coupon shop, although you can get some pretty good deals. She says there are at least 6 to 8 people she knows that come into her store and coupon some pretty amazing deals! How can I find this out? Is it because of the no state sales tax? Thanks for any input.

  • http://twitter.com/cookathomewitus Cookingathomewithus

    I started cutting coupons about 6 years ago. I came across a message board searching for free items and a lot were coming from this website called “The Grocery Game”. I signed up for a free trial and I was hooked. I use to buy 5 papers a week and I had a huge stockpile. Your website is so informative. I recently got back into couponing after a 5 year hiatus. I have been back only 3 weeks and I do not have to buy an hamburger helper for my family or shampoo or conditioner for the rest of the year. I plan on asking my co workers to give me their Sunday paper inserts in exchange for an item that i purchase each week. It cost $2 for Sunday paper. I buy 5 at a time so that is $10 each week, but still the money that I am saving in the long run is crazy. I picked up 30 bottles of powerade at .59 cents each. Then I got a rain check at another store since I went their and they were sold out. 2013 is gonna be a great year. Thank you for this wonderful article.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandy.smith.1029 Brandy Smith

    I tried to use coupons out of the newspaper but it say one per purchase? How do I get to use several

  • Chino

    im having a hard time understanding how to do coupon savings can someone help? please

  • http://twitter.com/gfsdebtrelief Ruth Adorno – GFS

    Somebody should make an infographic
    on this page. Talk about a comprehensive outline on saving money
    through coupons.

    I just did a financial post on this exact subject the other day. We were
    talking about saving money in an emergency funds account, while also
    saving another 10% in a savings account.

    The topic came up about people not having any extra money to save. Our
    answer was to save money by using coupons at the grocery store, along
    with many other ways to save money.

    This page just proved our hypothesis correct. We will have to share this
    with all of our community. This day and age every American needs to
    put something away in savings on a monthly basis or even better a weekly
    basis.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pepsicol Shari Green

    coupons are the best free is the greatest everyone has there opinions on what and how u should shop if u nedd to coupon then do it

  • Finny Fountain

    Your article has been quite informative. I’ve read a few other blogs and picked up bits and pieces, but your article put it all into perspective. I really enjoyed this. I was very unsure on how to go about this whole couponing, but now I’ve got a better understanding and feel a little more confident. Thank you, for your time and knowledge in putting this together.

  • http://www.sumocoupon.com/ SumoCoupon

    What a great article! I love the attention to detail and examples that make the theories you outline, applicable.

  • donna

    I am wondering how you use the coupons that you store in to bins most of the coupons I see have exspire dates on them so how do you do that. I am trying to start couponing but not quit sure how to start so any advise would help please .we spend about 150 to 220 dollars on shopping a week.

  • candy

    i like tou coupons because i live on one pay cheak a week and my money has to go me all week until i get payed again

  • Sherryl

    David.. Thank you for a great article! So much helpful information. I use coupons occasionally. I don’t really have the time to be an Extreme Couponer.. I tend to be more of the Coupon Deal Shopper. In California, however, most stores only allow you to use 3 like coupons in one visit. If you have more than 3 you have to return several times. I don’t have a problem with that if the savings are substantial :-)

    • Angel Oney

      One of our local groceries was only allowing 3 like coupons per visit, so I started taking only 3 coupons at a time with me. If there was something that was a great deal, I would be sure to make a second trip to guarantee I got this item for the great price. They now do 5 like coupons so I take 5 with me, which by the way I staple my coupons in groups of 5.

  • Jenelle

    Just wanted to let you know I have really enjoyed the articles I ready on extreme couponing that you have written. You are very thorough and clear, I appreciate all of that and the knowledge I’ve gained very much! Thank you!!

  • Stacy

    Thank you so very much for your knowledge your site is the best I have read yet again ty and god bless you and your family always

  • Mable

    I have ben trying to call these people because I have a very serious problem I found out has someone signed me up I did not know this until I got an overdraft from my bank.This an account that I had to use just for emergencies. I now have closed it. Why id I not get anything from this place I never received anything from them. When I tried calling the number given me by the bank it is answered by a automatic voice stating they. will call you back. They do not ask for a phone number they just hang up on you. I think they are a scam and all comments are written by them to sucker people in. I am contacting the federal government agency to see if legal or not. Thank You Mable

  • stephanie

    One question, Walmart only lets you use 1 coupon per item, how can i use multiple ones to save?

    • Debra Morgan

      Split up your order. If you have 3 coupons and have 15 of the item then make 3 different check-outs, so that you can use all 3 coupons on all 15 items. If it says only one per customer then have someone else go with you and have them use the coupon. Get a shopping buddy and you guys can split the total and the items.

      • dswinger

        I once got in line 4 times at a Shoprite can can sale when we were trying to stock our churches food pantry. They couldn’t say a thing because I left the store and loaded my car in between each. :)

    • MJ

      find stores in your area that double coupons

  • laceyrae

    thing is almost every coupons says limit one per transaction on the coupon but ill see these people on extreme couponing using 200 of the same exact coupon or 15 of the exact coupon. how is that possible when every coupon I ever find says “limit one per transaction” explain that to me?!

    • Angel Oney

      “Limit one per transaction” only means that one coupon can be used with one item, and must have an additional coupon for each additional item purchased. In other words if you have 5 Cottonelle coupons for .50/1 then you can purchase 5 Cottonelle with 5 coupons.

  • laceyrae

    and they don’t use multiple transactions either!

  • sofia

    i know like i want to do it to save money but i need a professional to teach me first.

  • sofia

    who can help me start being a couponer?:)

  • Angel Oney

    I do couponing, not extreme but I do purchase 5 papers each week, pending the number of inserts and coupons I will be using. I then staple the corners of each coupon I will use(makes for ease of clipping and sorting), then clip them. I personally only use one main store to do all my shopping, so my organizer is set up by the aisle (but also pays off for going to other stores aslo as the items are already grouped together in my organizer). After clipping, I arrange each coupon into order of the aisle. I then pull up my coupon chart on the computer. As I go through the chart I delete any expired, and remove them from my organizer. (I make this an easy step by printing my chart weekly after removing and adding coupons.This also allows for me to see what is exired without digging thru every coupon I have). It just as easy, as I put each aisle in order of date, starting with soonest to expire first. I then add the new coupons to my chart by the aisle, and print. I have an old 8×10 photo album holder that I put my coupon chart into, each page conatins an aisle, allowing for me to easily look at each page and see what I have without looking thru my coupons. If I get an item I then pull it from the specified aisle of my coupon organizer. I have found it cuts much time, altho it is a little time consuming adding coupons to the chart, but well worth it when it comes to planning a trip or doing the shopping for unadvertised and clearance items. Not to mention pulling expired items from my organizer without looking at each coupon’s date.

    • Stefanie

      i love your method! thank you for sharing. as i try to go the extreme route keeping up with “cleaning up” coupons has definitely been time consuming. i think i might add a column with the # of coupons per type to know quickly how many items i can pick up

  • Sam

    I am a little confused…when a coupon says “Save 90 cents when you buy FOUR boxes”…if the total price is $2, so four equals $8.00, does that mean your total will be $7.10, or will you be able to save 90 cents off EACH box?? The coupon also says one coupon per purchase, and no other coupon may be used with this coupon. To me, that doesn’t seem like much of a savings to have to buy 4 in order to use the coupon…

    • Danielle

      Sam, I don’t consider those coupons very valuable. There are plenty of great ones that are though! :-) I prefer coupons for savings off of a single item but sometimes the ones for multiple products are good, depending on the sale price. It takes a little time but once you become comfortable with it, you’ll see that it was totally worth all the time and patience. Good luck!

  • margaret

    i am trying to start couponing but everytime I try to print it don’t print a bar code or anything what am I doing wrong

  • Brandi

    Thank you For this information! I can tell you are a Christian man just through your writing and attitude!

  • Barry

    Because it couldn’t possibly be easier (and less time-consuming) to go out and get a job, right?

    • MJ

      This has nothing to do with having a job. There are people who like to save the hard earned money they have,

      • Barry

        My point is that people that do this ‘couponing’ spend as much time (usually more time) couponing as a normal person would actually spend working at a real job and earning more money than they would save by couponing.

        • TN

          As a SAHM, couponing provides benefits that a “real job” never could.

        • Barry

          Like?

        • Patty

          First of all Barry, how do you know how long people spend looking at sales, organizing coupons etc.? Some students, disabled or elderly people, and mothers of small children who aren’t able to work can use these ideas to save money. Would you rather someone just sit around smoking pot, receiving food stamps on your tax dollar and paying full price for their lobster and filet mignon? Why would you even care what other people do to save money? I believe this site is for people interested in starting out couponing, if you are not (obviously you are too busy with your job), take your negativity elsewhere.

        • DLWood

          Some people can’t work. My husband has been out of work on an injury for almost a year now. We have two toddlers and i can’t work because my husband is handicapped and can’t watch the little ones. And if i DO work my whole pay check goes to the babysitter/daycare. Couponing helps us stretch our money and i can do it at home with the little ones and not have to worry about them or my husband.

        • Barry

          Of course there may be situations where couponing like this makes sense, but I believe it’s obvious I was talking of people who are fully capable of working.

  • Kathy

    Watching the extreme shopping show, I have a question, if an item is price at $2.00 and I have a coupon that’s says $1.00 / 2, can you buy 2 and use 2 coupons on that? It seem like they were doing that.

  • Laurie

    Wow, this was good information! I am trying to become more of an extreme couponer but have botched it in several ways. (hey, I got cake snacks for 50c a box and a name brand detergent for $1.50) so that little taste makes you want more deals and to do better.

  • Sarah marry

    It’s so informative for me thank you for sharing this blog to us, i am new comer gathering information about all kind of coupons.

  • binah7

    I read this article today and decided to involve my husband to show him that this is possible, we picked up the Sunday paper and looked at the sale ads and coupons. I found purex for sale at CVS @ buy 1 get 2 free and there was a $1.50 off coupon, there was also a coupon for BE toothpaste which was $1 off, it was on sale for $4.99 and CVS gave $4 extra bucks with the purchase of one. I purchased the BE toothpaste with the $1 off coupon making it $3.99 received $4 etrabucks which I then used to purchase the purex with coupons I paid $00.84. I think I did pretty good for my first time, let me know if I could have done better. total paid $4.84, total saved $20.08

  • binah7

    I forgot to mention my husband was impressed and he says he is hooked :-]

  • loussaleem

    My Uncle
    Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
    with a laptop. visit their website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • james braselton

    hi there I am a master chief from halo universe our copons go from $0.01 too $google plix dolars rebates you never a had a googleplix dollar copon

  • james braselton

    halo credit cards are 77.7777777777777777777% cash back too

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