Couponing, Need Some Tips!

Updated on October 24, 2011
S.M. asks from Lansing, MI
13 answers

Ok, so I watched the extreme couponing show last night, and even though it frusrtates me because these people still get mad when they have to pay $5 for $800 in groceries, I would still like to learn how to do some of the tricks they use. So, can anyone tell me how to do it simple? I work full time, so I can't devote days to planning a shopping trip. But I would like to learn how to take the adds and the coupons and others stuff they do to bring my bill down!! HELPA MOM OUT!! thanks ladies!!

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answers from Savannah on

I asked a similar question a while back and one response was to use It has really helped out!

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answers from Minneapolis on

As a cashier, I can tell you that couponing DOES work. Just last week I had a lady come through my line. Everything she bought had a coupon to go with it. She bought 10 of these toilet cleaner things, which are normally around $10 but were on sale for $3.97. She had a $4 off coupon for each of them. So she basically gained 3 cents every time she bought one. Her total before coupons was close to $70. After coupons, it was $6.50.

A few months ago a different lady came through my line. She price matched everything, and had a coupon for everything. Her total before coupons was $70, but after coupons it was 50 cents. Then she got pissed off because she had calculated it to only be 30 cents. Lol.

Anyways, definitely use price matching to your advantage.

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answers from Charleston on

I saw that episode last night too and it makes me angry that they make this seem like a reality. It's not. Here's my answer to a similar post from a few weeks ago...

That show is STAGED! Please read this link:

I coupon, and this show makes all of us look like crazy hoarders. I never clear shelves, never buy 50 of one item, and I have never paid that little for that much. The show's producers clearly "cheat" the system. Why on earth would you need 50 bottles of laundry detergent? There will be a show out eventually on couponers who have turned hoarders. It's ridiculous.

First if you're going to do it right and ethically, you need a class or tutorials to get started. Go to that link and there are video tutorials to help you get started. Second, most important thing in my opinion, is to only shop for things that are on sale. Pair the sale with coupons. Never pay full price for anything. The only thing that never goes on sale in my area is milk.

Stores are changing their coupon policies and limiting what they accept because of this stupid show and how it affects their business. Too many people are cheating the system and the stores are sick of it because they lose money when people use fake coupons.

Good luck!

@Shawna - I didn't mean to imply or insult anyone that you could not learn how to coupon on your own, only suggested that a class or the FREE tutorials on the link I posted would help explain the details and nuances of how to get started and get great bargains. Sorta like you suggested the and her rules in your post. I did both - a $10 class and the free tutorials, and I've more than recouped my $10 on the cost of the class - I've been doing coupons for 1.5 years, and save anywhere from 50%-75% on each shopping trip. Happy Day!

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answers from Detroit on

I agree that this is difficult to accomplish extreme couponing at our area stores here in MI. For example: Kroger will not allow you to use an electric coupon and manufactures coupon for the same item. Meijer will only let you use a certain number of coupons, the mega bucks coupons are only allowed per transaction, and the computer catches the expired coupons. I can only think of two stores in the Detroit area that does allow double coupons.

The only store I get away with using more than one coupon for the same item is Meijer and Target, when they are busy; the cashier is in a hurry to check you out and does not look for duplicates. Target is the best place to get items for free as they have good sales; clearance (purchased outdoor landscape lights for .75 cents each.) Target sends you their own store coupons (you can use manufacture coupons also for the same item) and you get 5% off per visit.

I do save about $30 per store visit with my coupons; I get a lot for free. I do have a hefty stock pile thanks to coupons. I work full time, so I use my lunch hour to cut coupons, price/item match with area stores, and plan my Saturday morning adventures.

The extreme coupon show does cheat and stage their shows.

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answers from Dallas on

I use

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answers from Denver on

I've found I can reliably save $10 to $20 a week if I use coupons - a little more because I now buy all my groceries at Target and got the Red card - so I get 5% off every purchase on top of the coupons.

I try to use coupons on items that are already on sale - double up if I can (occasionally I"ll get a buy 3, get 1 free, and then have a coupon off 1 of those items) but unless you are eagle eye and watching the grocer at all times I wonder if the coupons really stack up like that.

That said - i don't think those shows are realistic and the amount of stuff they buy seems greedy and unnecessary - but I'm happy to save $15 if I can - over the course of a year that's almost $800!

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answers from Detroit on

You won't be able to do anywhere close to that here in MI. Not remotely possible.

Our grocery stores don't have 'deals' where you get X amount off if you spend X amount PLUS double/triple coupons PLUS one coupon covers more than one item.

Also, what they DON'T tell you is how much time is spent looking for these coupons. How much they spend in printer ink for online printable coupons. Or how much they spend on the extra special coupon sites. Or that they will sometimes go through garbage dumpsters for coupons that others have thrown out. Or how many newspapers they buy and how much that costs.

And without planning a shopping trip, you can't save much money. You need to know what's on sale and when and be able to get online to download coupons to Kroger, K-mart, Meijer, etc 'savings cards'.

P&GEsavers is a free website. I'm trying to remember the name of the other site I use. I never pay for a site.

You can go directly to a brand site. Like if you know you always use (for example) Bounce, you can go to their site and request coupons.

I've sent emails complimenting a brand something and they send me a large packet of coupons for everything that brand is associated with.

And I shop at 3-4 stores when I go. So I HAVE to plan.
For what it's worth, I work full time, I have 2 kids (3yr old boy and an 8yr old girl), and I do ALL of the shopping and anything associated with it.

I also don't have the room for an entire grocery store in my house like these crazy 'extreme couponers' have.

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answers from Grand Rapids on

The other moms are right. It is near impossible to do in Michigan. I'm not sure what Lansing Meijers do - I think they double up to $.50 and only the first 2 like coupons or something like that?? I'm in Grand Rapids where Meijer does not double at all. If you can find a website that works for the coupon policy that Lansing has, that's best. I use because they are GR based so all the prices w/coupons are what I would save too. I don't buy a whole lot of processed food either (there are way more coupons for processed than fresh food) and the stores here will not give you any "overage" on your coupons (meaning if you have a coupon for $1 off something that's $.70 they won't credit you $.30 - you just get the $.70 off) so on a regular weekly shopping trip I consider it a victory if I manage to save about 30%.

I have 3 kids - one with special needs - so I am lucky if I get to more than 2 stores per week. Obviously the more stores you visit the pickier you can be on price. But factor in your time and gas money to see if it's worthwhile. I do most of my shopping at Meijer and then if there's something good at Spartan stores I'll do Family Fare or D&W. Meijer has which has coupons you print. You can sign up for where you can clip coupons online and then enter in your cell number at Meijer to get the discounts. If you sign up for emails from them or look on their Facebook page you can find links to the next week's ad on the Friday before so you can get a head start on what will be onsale. I tried to do Walgreens one time and the cashier AND manager told me I couldn't use a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon (which is wrong - you can do that) so I gave up on their good deals.

Check out these websites for printable coupons:
Lots of companies have coupons on their websites (ex: Sudafed, Kelloggs, Nestle, etc)

I'm with the other moms - that show is rigged - they have openly said on the show they call ahead of time to make sure the stock is available or order ahead - plus you can't double/triple coupons in Michigan like they can where ever they are. Plus they don't tell you how much they spend on buying coupons from clipping services, buying newspapers, paper & ink if they print coupons, etc. I'm placing bets on when the first extreme couponer will end up on TLC's other show Hoarders: Buried Alive.

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answers from Seattle on

I completely DISAGREE with mommyloveskids. You do NOT need to take a class or tutorials to learn how to coupon. I self taught myself how to coupon, I may not be extreme, but I get stuff for free or for $1 or less. Just in the past 4 months I have saved over 400-500 dollars just by using coupons. I strongly suggest you use or The krazy coupon lady site is a site built by one of the ladies that was on the show. She is very good at teaching your the rules and trade of how to do it. there is alot of information on her site. Coupons, sales, pretty much anything and everything for every store.

If you would like more information you can PM me. I would love to help. I have also started my own coupon club in my area and have helped about 25 ppl start couponing.

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answers from Detroit on

Use a blog or website that does the matchups for you. I use, as she is from the metro detroit area, so the grocery stores she lists are ones I tend to shop at.

You just need to start buying multiple copies of the Sunday paper (They sell them for $1 at the Dollar Tree, but you have to go in the morning cause they sell out!)

Here is my best piece of advice - Plan your menu for the week, write down the ingredients you need. Try to keep in mind what you already have. Then use one of the websites (like the one I listed above) that will show the matchups for sale items. Then, ONLY buy the stuff that is at an EXCELLENT price and you know you'll eventually use, and then the stuff you need for your recipes that are not on sale.

I admit that I have gotten caught up in the sales/couponing thing, and sometimes I think I buy more than I should just because I have a coupon & its on sale. Only stock up when its at a really good price....and most of those websites will tell you what a good price is.

Good luck!



answers from Detroit on

Hey Sara!
I use and as well as bargainstobounty for my meijer trips. What I do agree on is that Extreme Couponing is ruining couponing for the rest of us. Yes, the show is completely ridiculous so don't ever expect to do what they do.

However, I have been couponing for a little over a year now and routinely save 50-80% off my purchases. I work full-time and have three kids so don't have a ton of time to devote to this, but I actually find it to be a pretty fun hobby (it's like a game and I LOVE it when I get stuff for free. Those toilet bowl cleaners the pp was talking about? Oh yeah- I stocked up on those!!). You might get addicted to the 'Drug store game' (you'll learn about this on the websites)!! I know I have. I have made myself a pact now that I won't buy anything like body wash, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, deoderant, or toothpaste unless it's 'free' because I just have too much of it. I don't always save a ton on food purchases but I feel like I make up for it in saving so much on toiletries.
My advise is to visit some websites and find one that you like the best. I usually will visit these sites daily for a few minutes to see what is new and don't forget to read the comment section (people will post new deals that crop up during the week). Start saving your coupons (either gleening from friends/family or purchasing extra papers. I also use ebay) but find a filing system that works well for you or you will quickly get overwhelmed (I use the shoebox method). Stockpiling is also important. When you see a product go on sale and it's something you use often- buy as much as you reasonably can. For example- my guys use Crystal Light and recently Meijer had a good sale on it. Paired with coupons, etc it worked out to be about 1/4 the price so I bought about 40 boxes. Yes, my husband thinks I'm crazy BUT he's happy when he thinks we're out and I send him to the basement to get more!!
My biggest piece of advise is to start small. Don't go out with 20 coupons in one trip. You'll get frazzled and frustrated. PM me if you have any questions. I'm happy to help!


answers from Philadelphia on

(track this question) yea i wish there was a button called that, since there isn't i'm writing J. to track it=)



answers from Detroit on

I'm hoping to get some tips from your post. LOL...


Did you find any good tips? Hoping to get some myself





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