The Art of Clipping Coupons

Updated on July 25, 2011
K.A. asks from Blue Bell, PA
8 answers

Hi, does anyone have any advice on how to go about the best deals at the supermarket when using coupons. I saw an episode on Ellen a few weeks ago where they had a mom aka the coupon diva say she has saved hundreds of dollars at the supermarket every time she goes shopping. She had a cartful of food and paid little to nothing for them. Does anyone know how to do that? If so, let me know.

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answers from Phoenix on

I have tried to do it but it seems like way too much work and then I was forgetting to use half of them! Now since I tend to buy the same things I just keep my eye on them and buy when its on sale. Like tuna was .40 so I bought about 20 of them! they won't expire or go to waste and luckily I have a large pantry so I can do this. Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Austin on

It helps to have grocery stores in your area that will double or triple the coupons. That's usually how you end up with items that are practically free.

My husband used to do this a lot. He is good at numbers and it was almost like a game to him. He would spend a lot of time clipping and sorting the coupons by location of the items in the store. He would memorize the prices of different items at different stores. Sometimes he would trade coupons with other people to get the ones he wanted. It would take a really long time to check out.
Now that the 4 grocery chains near us have stopped doubling and tripling coupons, he's cut back on it. We're trying to buy more fruits and vegetables instead of packaged products. He still memorizes prices and plans which items to buy at which store each week. He evaluates whether the store brand is cheaper than using a coupon for a name brand.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

What you're talking about is called "Extreme Couponing" and requires work and your time, lots of it. I just read an article yesterday about a young woman who has amassed many boxes of diapers because they were a good price, stores them in her parents' home, yet she is not a mom, or even in a relationship. Yes, she gets good deals (as many people do when they do this) but I think you mean you want to save on things you'll use.

For practical couponing to save money on family needs get your local newspaper on Sundays for the coupons, and Wednesdays for the ads. Make a list of what you can use from the ads that week, and be willing to make changes to what you may already have planned for the week. If something is a good deal and you can match it with a coupon, yay!

Don't ignore "paperless coupons." I live near a Ralph's (Kroger's in some states) and they have been running fantastic offers for "Buy 10 and Save" paperless coupon specials. A month ago I stocked up on Juicy Juice boxes, if you bought 10 they were only $1.49 for the pack. Two weeks ago it was Capri Suns $1.49 for a 10-pk, and with summer here I must have bought 20 boxes. They also had Banquet TV dinners for $.69, I don't know how many multiples of 10 I bought of those, but with summer here and not wanting to heat up the kitchen I bought LOTS of them on 4 or 5 separate shopping trips! Right now they have Propel water for $.49 and Vitamin water for $.75, I drink both so stocked up. They also have many other food items included in the specials, from mayo to salad dressings to soda to Pringles to Velveeta mac and cheese, etc. And last night I used my Catalina's there, the coupons that print out with your receipts. I got a Sobe Lifewater, and 2 big boxes of ice cream sandwiches for about $2. Catalina's can really add up the savings.

Target and Walmart offer coupons sometimes on their sites, I picked up a free 8-pk of Jif-to-go with a Target coupon they mailed to me. Sam's Club and Costco do this as well for their members. I also "liked" Hunt4Freebies and Frugal Girls on Facebook, they list printable coupons and special coupons put out by manufacturers promoting their products. I've gotten coupons for free hair products, cleaning supplies, free makeup items, etc.

One more area that i used to overlook is Kohl's. They often place $10 coupons on the front page of newspapers that you peel off. I found one last week for $10 off a $30+ purchase and put it aside. Then I received a $10 Kohl's cash card in the mail good on a $10 or more purchase. They both were valid starting Wednesday and good on most items in the store (they list the exceptions), and I read the fine print and they could be used together. So I went shopping last night for my little guy and found Carter sandals, regularly $29.99, marked down to $14.99, 2 tank tops marked down from $13 to $5.20 each, and a pair of shorts also marked down from $13 to $5.20 as well. This brought my total to $30.59, but with my coupon and card I only paid $11.42 for $68.99 worth of merchandise!

Hope this helps, feel free to PM me if you have any questions : )

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I've done extreme couponing before. All in all, I don't figure its worth my time. If you get part time job and spend as many hours on that part time job as you do cutting and sorting coupons, etc., I think you'd save more money paying for your groceries out of your paycheck.

But is is thrilling to get $300 worth of groceries for $20 . . .

Good luck to you and yours.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Time = $$$

I got slammed the other day for bringing up that point.

Yes you can save $$, you can also save $$ if you simply shop smart.

The TV show makes it look easy. No way would stores in our area carry out some of the transactions that are done on TV. Also... A mom in the outskirts of the Dallas area was arrested for stealing coupons from the newspaper machines. Guess she saved a lot of $$. I hope she stocked up nicely because now she has lawyer and court fees.

In NO way am I implying you are that extreme. It is like some people get a high off how much they get but in the grand scheme of things, we all pay more due to coupon fraud, courts, etc

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

1. buy at least 2 newspapers every Sunday, clip and swap the rest with others.

2. go online and join online printing coupon sources like,, etc. You will be allowed to print 2 coupons per item. It is illegal to copy coupons. Coupons are like money. Each printable coupon has it's own unique code printed on it.

3. join blogs that are sent through email to give hints and where to some extra coupons. You can go to their web sites to ask questions as well.

4. sign up for newsletters for the many specific items you regularly buy like General Mills, Spray and Wash, Prego, Hunts, etc. You will get their newsletters and some will send coupons directly to you. Again, you will get 2 prints per coupon. Most sites will make you wait a while before allowing more prints, maybe months.

5. find your area grocery stores that allow double coupons. This is where you can really save. Most stores will allow you double coupons up to .75 - .99. Know all your stores coupon policies. Check around. Get the sales flyers from each of the stores you would shop from and watch the sales. Coupons usually are put out when there are sales coming up. Some stores will only double the first coupon, some the first 4, some are unlimited. Call and know your store's coupon policy before shopping.

6. Get all your area grocery store bonus cards so you will save more when they have their sales. Many sales can only be gotten with their savings cards. Many can be signed up for online and mailed to you. The others you'll have to go directly to the store and sign up. Very much worth that! This way, if you happen to stop into a store to pick up milk you can do a quick walk by the sales displays and see what they have and see if you can match some coupons with it while you're there.

7. you will find more advanced tips as you go along. Do not get frustrated and do not think you aren't doing enough. Keep it simple in the beginning until you get used to things and add a little more here and there as you get more comfortable. After your first month you should be able to save at least $30 each shopping trip in coupons alone, but don't be upset if you don't. The idea is to wait until an item is on sale and then slap that coupon on top of it, hopefully doubling your coupon if you have a store nearby who doubles.

8. Carry your coupons with you every time you leave the house. I have a large purse so my coupon holder fits in there and stays in there. If I happen to be at Walmart shopping for clothes I'll do a quick run through the grocery aisle to see if I have any coupons to match up with some sales.

Remember, the women you see on TV, like on TLC's "Extreme Couponing" are just that, extreme cases and is NOT the norm. You'll find some who seem more concerned with building a "stock pile" than anything. That's becoming obsessed when you have an entire room or garage taken over by our bargains. I go along with the "normal couponing". I refuse to feel defeated by those who happen to do such extreme work to save so much. These people have this as their job taking up 30-60 hours a week in coupon work. I have a life with 4 kids still at home. I'll coupon but to a point! LOL I will not "dumpster dive" for coupons. I'm not that desperate as that can be gross. Years ago we had to dumpster dive for boxes when we were moving. My husband and I got scabies from that! Ewww!

Again, start simple and slowly work your way up to what you feel comfortable with. You don't need a big binder to hold coupons. I just ordered a coupon holder with an extra wide bottom to fit mine through The last time I went regular grocery shopping I saved over $60 in coupons (no doubling at my military commissary) and that did not include the sales that was on as well. Many stores will list on your receipt your coupon savings, sales savings, bonus card savings, etc. When that is all totaled together I have saved nearly $200 compared to regular prices. I figure, if I can at least save enough to fill up my gas tank then I'm doing ok, lol. Oh, and don't forget some stores offer money off gas if you have their bonus cards!

Good luck!

K. B
mom to 4 including triplets


answers from Erie on

i do some couponing, but definitely not "extreme" like that new show. i think since that show started airing, that alot of stores have changed their policies on coupons (at least in my area they have). i clip coupons for stuff I use, make a list every week (including menu planning) and only buy what I need. I find this saves me more money than buying stuff i don't need just cause i have coupons. plus i don't have too much room to store pantry items. :) but again, that's just me! lol

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