Beginner’s Guide to Coupons: The Getting Started Cheatsheet

Homework?  Ugh!

Here are some couponing tips to help you get started – a cheat sheet, if you will.

Please note that while I have compiled this list of links for your convenience, you are welcome to gather your items from any place that you desire, and I encourage you to repurpose any items that you may already have at home.

To make your life easier, I highly recommend signing up for Amazon Mom.  It is free to join and you will qualify for free two day shipping on almost everything sold directly from Amazon.com (but not from third party sellers.)  If you are anything like me and dread taking your little ones from store to store, it is a very convenient alternative to running errands, especially since Amazon‘s prices are often better than anywhere else and in most states (including Florida) you don’t have to pay sales tax

So, your first step, if you haven’t done so already, is to sign up here for Amazon Mom.

Once you’ve done that, you may need some of the following items to set up your coupon organization system:

FILING METHOD:

-A Portable Hanging File Box

-16-20 Hanging File Folders

-Couponizer Book( This product is currently out of print) OR Coupon Sized Expanding Accordion File

-Label Maker (optional!)

BINDER METHOD:

Qubie Coupon Organization System (not available through Amazon).  Read my review here.

PRINTING COUPONS:  Finally, for printing coupons, I strongly recommend investing in a black & white laser printer (if you currently are using an ink jet printer.)  It will pay for itself within just a few months.  I use an older version of the Brother HL2240 Black & White Printer, which I purchased for less than $100 and have been very happy with it so far.

Affiliate links may be used in this post. Printing a coupon or ordering a product through this link may result in a commission, which helps pay for the cost of running this site and keeps the content free. Read my full disclosure policy here.

{ 155 comments… add one }

  • Kristy April 7,

    Just trying to get started on this couponing, I’m nervous about it but i really need to get this to help out not only myself but other members in my family that need to save money.

    Reply
    • Ruth April 8,

      I hope this site helps you Kristy! Couponing might seem scary at first but it really is a lot of fun.

      Reply
    • gabrielle March 26,

      Im nervous too i feel like im just gonna pay more not less. Most stores in the area im at does not double coupons anymore so its gonna be a tough one.

      Reply
  • Amanda April 8,

    Saw your clips on youtube and was happy that you have a website that I can go to. I’m new at couponing so it’s great to find out new tips!!

    Reply
  • Kim April 13,

    I really enjoyed your youtube videos as well. Im starting to coupon, this is my second week so I have been all over the internet looking for information and your website is helpful. I also have babies, a 1 year old and a 2 year old. My problem: my boys eat their cookies too fast and don’t allow me much time to shop. Do you do most of your shopping alone?

    Reply
    • Ruth April 13,

      Unfortunately no, I do most of my grocery shopping with kids in tow. I do try to hit the drugstores on Sunday evening when my husband can watch the kids. It is a little rough but it can be done. I have found that it helps to be ultra prepared so that you can get in and out as quickly as possible. That is hard at first but as you continue, you’ll find you get faster. Good luck!

      Reply
  • grace April 18,

    i just started couponing and your youtube and website s so helpful!

    Reply
  • Linda L. April 21,

    I have to say your information is very helpful. I have been watching Extreme Couponing on TLC the past few weeks and I try to take in a couple of their pointers out. Now tomorrow I am planing my first trip out with coupons and I am confused about if the store is selling the item as 3/$5.00 and I have a coupon for that item but for 2/$1.00 off. How do I get the most out of my coupon plus what they are selling the item for?

    Reply
    • Leslie April 25,

      Linda,

      If the store has a 3/$5 you can buy just 4 of that product and use 2 of the $1 off 2 and that would give you a savings of $2.00 and would pay just $4.66 for 4 items which makes each one about $1.15.. hope this helps

      Reply
  • kat April 21,

    Why won’t grocery stores take printed coupons?

    Reply
    • Lilly May 12,

      I haven’t had a problem using printed coupons.

      Reply
    • violeta October 30,

      because the stores sometimes recieve vast amounts of fraudulent copies :(

      Reply
    • HEATHER December 10,

      any store will take printed coupons as long as they have a expiration date on them

      Reply
  • katie April 21,

    i am from a small community in union co. kentucky i would love to have someone to do my couoning with, with experience to help guide me through the process. i have seen the tv show and i don’t work so i have lots of time to devote, just need guidance. thanks for this program but i would love to have a partner.

    Reply
  • Kimmy April 27,

    Hi Ruth,
    I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have and are doing to help so many people save money. We are living in a world (now more than ever) where every dollar counts. I became disabled about 4 years ago and am now living on a very fixed income. I have always wanted to learn how to coupon, and have even tried it a few times with no success, however, thanks to your devotion, patience, and ability to explain the process where it can be understood, I now have the hang of it!! I am saving money every week and I know that it will only get better as I learn even more. Thanks for your videos, articles, and also for your time.
    Have a great day :0)

    Reply
  • Tracy May 3,

    Howdy Ruth,
    I’ve enjoyed using coupons and saving money for about 22 years now. However, I have learned sooo much about organization and optimizing savings from your websites and youtube videos. My father inspired my use, and has been my source of coupons…up until about 4 months ago. The Kansas City Star has stopped delivering the Sunday paper to my parents and the town they live in, which is about 2 hours from the city. I live even deeper in the “sticks”, so no Sunday papers in my town either. : (

    I have a few questions: 1)Do you have any suggestions on how I may get my hands on the redplum and Smart Source inserts? 2)The hometown market where I shop is owned by IGA, do know how I might find match ups for this store?

    I truly appreciate the time and effort you have put into teaching myself and others how to utilize coupons in a way that benefits shoppers the most. I’m happy to see the pride you express when the total is revealed; you have perfected the art of couponing! Thank you for sharing your techniques, tips and hints, they will surely pay off for anyone who follows them.

    Reply
    • Ruth May 3,

      1.) You could try ordering them each week on Ebay, but that is often a rip-off. You might have more luck just preparing your lists as early as possible, using as many printable coupons as you can, and then ordering the specific coupons you need each week from a clipping site. I have used The Coupon Clippers a few times for some hot deals and my coupons always arrive very quickly. 2.) I’m sorry, I don’t know of any matchups for IGA. You can do your own matchups by using the coupon database at http://www.savingwellspendingless.com.

      Reply
      • Christine November 20,

        Well I’m new, I was reading threw comments, couponmom.com has a cool tool where you pick you’re state, and store, and it tells you what sales they have and what coupons are available for that week for printing. It’s pretty useful for me. (however I live in the suburbs, & have very national stores) however, i will say this, I believe they have IGA on there because I think I printed out quite a few coupons for an iga shopping trip, though we don’t have many IGA’S around here anymore.

        Reply
      • Tammie March 28,

        You can go to theqhunter.com and order as many inserts as you want and if you are patient and wait a few weeks until after they come out, you will get them pretty cheap! ;) An added benefit to this sight is you can often see what the insert will hold for coupons before they even come out!

        Reply
  • Nancy May 3,

    Hi Ruth! I am new to couponing and came across your youtube vids (for normal people, lol.) I just started about 3 weeks ago and we usually spend $300+/wk for my family of four (which I don’t understand b/c my kids are 4 and 7…out of diapers, but not teenagers!)

    Anyhow, I loved that your vids were geared toward real people looking to save a few bucks (and not hoarders who are willing to spend $ on products they don’t need or use just for “the thrill”) unless of course, they are donating these items!

    I watched your beginners guide which is super helpful however, I have a question concerning organization. So far, I have been using a large accordian folder for my Q’s, paper-clipped together by catergory (unfortunately, I have clipped most of my Q’s so far and now there are Q’s everywhere, lol!)

    My question is how do you efficiently match up your Q’s with the weekly circulars? I have tons of clipped Q’s, but even if I don’t clip them and keep the inserts intact (12 wks worth) how can I match up 12 wks of coupons with the 5 stores I shop at during the week? Do I have to go through each circular with each coupon 1 by 1? I can usually (vaguely) remember most coupons I have, but this task seems impossible! I was wondering how you keep track? The thought of a Q spreadsheet seems so time consuming, but I feel like…How else can we keep track of all the Q’s and match them up with the weekly sales? I have been shooting for around 3-5 inserts/wk…I wanted to know your thoughts/strategy on this. Thanks so much, Nancy

    Reply
    • Ruth May 3,

      Nancy, to find the coupons you can go to http://www.savingwellspendingless.com. I post coupon matchups each week for about 30 different stores nationwide. It has printable lists so that you can just check the things you want to buy, print your list, and find all your coupons. If you are planning on using a filing system, I recommend not clipping them at all and just filing the entire insert by date. That way you can easily find what you need and clip only when you need it. However, the binder system also works well if you like to clip.

      If you are just getting started, you should check out my Beginner’s Guide to Coupons here: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/beginners-guide-to-coupons/thebeginners-guide-to-coupons-2/

      Reply
      • Tammie March 28,

        Ruth I have watched all your videos at least twice each! I am still navigating your website and I wondered do you show the results of your shopping trips? I like to come home and put it all on the table so I can see all I brought home for the tiniest amount of out of pocket! I dont know that your videos displayed that. Thanks for your inspiration!

        Reply
  • Linda Nicolls May 5,

    I’ve started my coupon clipping I’m excited to learn how to save money!

    Reply
  • Yvette W. May 11,

    I live in Massachusetts. I went to my Stop & Shop and they told me, that I can only use up to 4 coupons for the same type of product. So I cannot buy more than that amount! Do you have different laws in Florida?

    Reply
    • Sheri May 12,

      Just go back to the store the next day or later that week and use 4 more coupons.

      Reply
  • Sheri May 12,

    When purchasing a printer for your computer – always check what kind of ink it needs. There are some that only need a color and a black cartridge. There are others that need more than that. You can also save on ink if you change the properties so that it prints in only black. Call Office Max, Office Depot, and Walgreens. See if the ink cartridges are re-fillable. I have an HP Deskjet F4435. The black cartridge is $15 and the color is $30 new. I get them refilled for $10 and $15.

    Reply
    • Myra June 18,

      Hi Sheri,
      I have an HP 310C or something like that and the ink for this printer is really expensive (even just for the black!) What I did was I ordered a refill kit from eBay which cost $5.99 – free shipping. It included 2 small containers of black ink and some little tools & stuff to refill the cartridges with. I tried it out already and it prints just fine! And it didn’t even take a whole container to fill up the cartridge so I should be able to refill it about a total of 8 times with the 2 containers of ink that I received.

      Reply
  • Ashley Fraser May 18,

    I have a question for Ruth and I may be getting ahead of myself since I am just wanting to start out, but Im going to ask this question anyways..

    How do you save money on meat products?? I’ve looked for coupons on meat on some of the websites, but I can’t seem to find any?? Just a curious thought.. :) THANKS!!!

    Reply
    • Kayla March 18,

      Ashley Fraser I have only found a couple of coupons on meats. the ones I have found are on http://www.Coupons.com so far I’ve only seen coupons for chicken. there’s one for a whole roaster chicken, and the predue perfect portions chicken breast, and predue chicken tenders etc. you bake in the over. I hope these little bit of coupons helps you some.

      Reply
  • Lynn May 31,

    Thanks Ruth for this website! And your videos “for normal people”! Love them! I have 3 daughters (7yo, 6yo and 3yo) and I almost always have to take the 3yo with me to the store and many time have all 3 with me. Our trips never take less than an hr, sometimes creeping up on 2hrs. So it was refreshing to see that others take kids (sometimes have meltdowns) and are still able to use coupons and save money. I have just started couponing although I have clipped for years but not used more than a few sporadically and never saved much money with them. I have my file box all set up, I had an old one that wasn’t being used so I just took out all the junk that was in it and found some hanging file folders in my husband’s office and I’m all set. :) I have a small accordion file (from my previous couponing attempt ;) ) . Do you take it with you to the store or do you take out the coupons you are going to use? I have seen several methods, people who take a big binder, the accordion file, and others who use envelopes with only the coupons they are going to use. The latter seems easiest to me, especially since I will usually have kids with me. But what about those good clearance deals that you run upon at the store? I am so full of questions. :)

    Thanks again for your organization that helps us get organized!
    Lynn

    Reply
  • SHERI DOLL June 2,

    I wanna say thank you for all the hard work u have put into helping others. i haven’t gotten to try your methods yet but feel better knowing that I’m not the only one out there who wants to save and to help others. so thank you from all of us.
    sheri

    Reply
  • Taisha June 2,

    I have really picked up so much in the last few days with the help of ur site and some others. I thank you so much and look forward to whats to come.

    Reply
  • Jocelyn June 3,

    Hello,
    I think your blog is great – and I thank you for all your helpful tips! I just need a little more help…I’ve been couponing for years, but SERIOUSLY trying to save money for about 1 month now. So, I have a dilemma and I’m wondering if you can answer… My local store has several ecoupons available right now that I added to my store card, which are pretty much identical to many of the coupons I clipped from the inserts this time…. However, those items ARE NOT on sale in their circular this week… Should I buy the items anyway because I have an ecoupon, and other manuf. coupons that double?? Or should I be patient and wait til those items hopefully go on sale to capture all three potential savings – if they’re all still available??
    Thank you!!

    Reply
  • Nancy June 5,

    I am brand new at couponing! I am excited & nervous about it!! I just want to THANK YOU for all of your valuable knowledge & help. I printed out your free book & have just finished the first assignment. I ordered the Qubie because this feels like it would be the best method for me, as I work full time on the “grave yard” shift !! I have time on Sundays to clip & file the coupons in the binder, which for me would take time, but I also think it will save me time!! I’ll keep you posted!! I Love your wesite! Keep up the great work & God Bless You Always!!!
    Nancy B.
    From Beautiful Cape Cod MA

    Reply
    • Amanda August 5,

      Hey!! I am also a newbie, where did u find the free printable book on here?? I guess I am over looking it!!lol please help..

      Reply
  • Debbie June 18,

    Hi Ruth, I am also a “newbie” I only have to shop for myself and my husband, but would like to be able to also keep stock for my grown children who are also raising children and struggling with jobs and college, my dilemma is this: I am a stay at home wife/grandmother and my husband is unemployed at this time so our budget is like non existent. Thus the reason for wanting to start couponing. I could really use some good tips for stockpiling on a budget and still being able to feed my husband and myself while developing a stockpile on a very strained budget. Our income is only $209 per week. so we have no money whatsoever left after bills. We do receive SNAP benefits (foodstamps) right now but our monthly allottment is only $231 for two people which figures out to be about $7 per day total or $3.85 per day per person. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I am so grateful for you and your knowledge and your willingness to help others learn to save money on their food. Thanks so much and may the Lord continue to bless you, so you can continue to bless others.

    Debbie

    Reply
  • Roberta Dato June 28,

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you Ruth for your wonderful websites I’ve been tying to coupon and the first week was very promising I saved up to 80% at the drugstores. My question is on the deal that Rite Aid is having for Nivea Skin Care for B2G1 Free, I also have a manufactuer’s coupon for the same deal. How does this work?

    Reply
  • Sara June 30,

    Ruth- Your website and videos are awesome! Thank you so much : ) I too have little kids. They both HATE to shop, and you have given me great tips on how to be prepared so I can get in and out quicker.

    Reply
  • Paula July 26,

    I am going to begin trying to do couponing. I have read step one and am going to do the homework you have assigned. My main question is, I live in a small town where the grocerie stores offer no rewards cards of any type. Would it be better for me to go out of town where there is a better store to shop? I live just outside of Ft. Smith, AR?

    Reply
  • Michelle October 4,

    Trying to get started in couponing, and just wondering about the meaning of the coupon phrasing, for example I have a Right Guard manufacturers coupon “save $1 off any Right Guard TD5 Deodorant or Body Wash with the purchase of two or more items”

    So my question is: what exactly does “with the purchase of two or more items” mean? Is it any items in the store OR is it specifically another two or more Right Guard item purchase other than the coupon items.

    Reply
  • Brittany October 12,

    I am trying to figure this out im so lost. I live in Ohio and I am having trouble finding out what stores are having what deals any advice? oh and what if the coupons say limit one coupon per transaction? I’m so confused!

    Reply
    • Anonymous October 30,

      Brittany, you can go online and google or bing your supermarkets, then click on the “find store” tab and type in your address or the town that the store is in. Select your store and go to the local ad. It should give you the same as if you had picked up the flyer at the store. If it is one coupon per transaction then you can only get what the coupon specifies

      Reply
  • suzanne October 13,

    Thanks for all the info. Very excited. I tried to print coupons from the recommended sites and I can’t get my computer to print. The sites want me to keep installing the coupon printer software over and over and over again. Even my computer friends can’t seem to figure out what is wrong. Any suggestions????

    Reply
  • Laura October 23,

    Hi thanks so much or the advice.I’m only 13 but,i still want to save money(including my mom).I’m very excited.Wush me luck!!!! :)

    Reply
  • Tasha October 25,

    I have been couponing since May of this year, and I feel like I am stuck. I see others that are getting way better deals than I am. I live in a small town in NC and I have to order whole inserts online to be able to have at least ten of each. I know that stacking coupons is great and have multiples of coupons is a must too. Do you have any suggestions on sites or anything I might could do that maybe I haven’t thought of. Thanks for what you do,
    Tasha

    Reply
  • jacinth finch October 29,

    I am so thankful for this very, very informative step by step lesson on coupon shopping as i am from the caribbean and have family back home who can really make use of the food..I would really appreciate it more if i can get one or more of these kind ladies work along or go grocery shopping so that we can have a practical and help and encourage each other.please feel free to share my email so that i can get some help. thanks again!!!!!!!!jacinth

    Reply
  • couponerwannabe November 7,

    Just getting started. Thanks for this wonderful website! I’ll let you know if it works for me.

    Reply
  • Julia November 19,

    I am so glad I found your website. I have been very interested in couponing for a long time now. I just moved to a new state, but I am afraid I won’t be very successful at this because the Safeway here doesn’t double coupons per say. For every coupon you bring them it is equal to $1 and that is all. Do you have any suggestions for me. All we have here is Safeway, Walmart, Bashas, and IGA.

    Reply
  • LaReina November 19,

    Ruth,

    Your website is awesome!

    Wanted to alert your followers that the Amazon Mom program is currently suspended. They can get on the wait list to be notified if and when the program is reactivated at http://www.amazon.com/gp/mom/signup/info?ie=UTF8&ref_=amb_link_353937502_2.

    Thanks!

    Newbie

    Reply
    • violeta October 30,

      i just signed up….well sort of, i stopped bc they wanted my cc info and wanted to charge me after a 3 mo. trial period

      Reply
  • Chrissy November 20,

    Okay I’m a newb. Completely, I literary got excited the other night, (which was the first time I ever used a coupon on grocery shopping ever) I ended up saving a total of 74.63 and spent approx. $75 outta my pocket, so I saved almost 50%! I was stoked, however; I did realize that If i were going to keep on couponing, as I’ve caught on various shows, I would need major help! I google’d and found you Ruth, which I must say you’ve got it laid out quite nicely, you start it out slow and I’m one of those people who just need it step by step sometimes, especially when it takes organization, because I know my organization, wont work… I haven’t seen my desk at work in 4 years, it’s just papers.

    Point: As many have said Thank You, I know it must of took time to put this all together, but I’m really glad you’ve taken that time to share your savings, and tips and even put a beginners guide to couponing, because I have complete faith that in due time, I will be saving good money doing this, Plus my kids like cutting coupons on, I’ll just use them now :)

    The new Coupon Diva!
    Chrissy

    Reply
  • TERRI December 11,

    How can I get target coupons to work?

    Reply
    • ind January 2,

      Find a male cashier (young). When I go to Target, I look for a young male or a somewhat younger female cashier. Read the print on the Target coupons because most of the time you can only use one per transaction. And then learn to do more than one transaction.

      Reply
  • lisa December 19,

    Hi im new i would like to no where i can get a price list im just trying to save little poor mother in need to save thanks for your help

    Reply
  • Ana December 27,

    Hi,
    I’ve actually used my coupons about two or three times overal, but after a few attemps to the store and the store wouldn’t take more than two coupons per item i stopped using them, i guess you can i say i gave up to easy on the couponing because of the turn downs i ran into, though my husband is only the financial support of a family of 4 and me not being able to find work makes it harder for us to provide just enough for ren, bills, food and our home products, not to mention our personal hygine, thus being said we really cant afford it anymore, but my goal is set after Ruth’s help and advise!! I will go back to couponing. THANK YOU, RUTH. My only problem is whe’re do i go to do my shopping, in california its really hard to find grocery stores to shop with multiple coupons for one item, PLEASE i need to know!! PLEASE HELP, SOMEONE KNOWS THE ANSWER TO MY QUESTION. Am open also for any advise or give advise if i can help. GOD BLESS YOU RUTH AND ALL OF YOU. EMAI IS linares.m._.07@hotmail.com

    Thanks you, :0)
    Ana Linares

    Reply
  • Ana December 27,

    I live in Panorama City, California!!

    Please tell me whe’re in California I can shop with multiple coupons per one item. I run into this alot. I havent been able to find a store where i can actually do my shopping and put my put away coupons that i have into use. Please HELP.

    God bless you all!!

    Thank you,
    Ana linares

    Reply
  • Jordan Pedersen December 30,

    I am a 17 year old girl and have always watched extreme couponers. I have always wanted to be one, to help my family save money, as well as myself when I go to college because out of state college and grad school cost a lot of money even with scholarships. Everyone has told me that I will never be able to do it. I just never knew where to start. When I found your website, I was amazed how you broke it down week by week and gave amazing tips. My mother and I are getting ready for our first large shopping trip today. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you! Now I won’t be living off of spagattios all through out college!!!

    Reply
    • violeta October 30,

      or maybe you will live off of spegettios if you have a huge stockpile lol

      Reply
  • Alex January 5,

    I am really looking forward to this! I just moved with my husband to another state and finding a job in this area is hard, so it will nice to be able to help out with expenses in any way I can, at least until I substantial work. I know how be organized and I love anything to do with math, so hopefully this will be something I am good at! I just didn’t know quite how to get started but this broke at least the first step down nicely!

    Reply
  • cindy February 18,

    what do they mean by “like and match”

    Reply
  • Ra February 24,

    I live in New Zealand and want to do couponing But have No idea where to start Or if i can here? If anyone can give me some ideas or feedback i would grately appreciate it :-)

    Reply
  • Teresa May 28,

    I have been looking for a group how will work with a newbie. I have been looking in my local news paper, but nothing has panned out yet. I can accross this site and its been very helpful. I started the first homework assignment today. The only thing I need to get is the printer, but my lazer Hp will have to do for now, I have everything else to my surprise. I am in the southern New Jersey area looking to join a coupon group. If I can get the hang of this I am going to start my own group. But for now I am taking baby steps.

    Reply
  • mindie July 6,

    I’m just so nervous and anxious at the same time to start couponing. but it seems easy but hard I’m really looking forward to doing couponing. Ruth your information has helped me!! do you have any recommendations for me when couponing that have helped you?

    Reply
  • Madeline July 29,

    Thanks for the Start-Up tips. I’m going into my senior year of high school and look forward to starting a stock pile that will save money in college. I’ll be sure to stick with this system and see how well I catch on.

    Reply
  • Crystal July 29,

    help!!!!!!! im not understanding this. im new at this and i dont know how to use coupons!!!

    Reply
  • Sara August 26,

    Hi Ruth!
    I am new, and I have been taking notes!:) It sounds really fun, but I have a few questions. How big of a stock room should I have? And is it okay to do a shopping trip every 2 weeks? These are probably really dumb questions but I don’t know the answer to!

    Help!

    Thanks!

    Sara

    Reply
  • shern dixon September 22,

    I need all the help that i can get from anyone please help,my kids and i need yalls help

    Reply
  • Sharon November 5,

    I’ve wanted to get into couponing and missed the classes that my church had, but I just sat up a binder method for me to start couponing. I pray that as the weeks go on the couponing pays offl

    Reply
    • Maria December 23,

      I just read online at anethor site that the currency holders are bigger then the baseball card ones and they stick out further on the binder and cover the tabs. Is this true of the ones you have? The other ones had an actual paper insert in them so they were not see thru.

      Reply
  • Karen Brady November 25,

    I’m excited!!! I can save with coupons but I want to have a stockpile! LOL this is going to be really helpful!

    Reply
  • Ryan Nicole November 26,

    I’m very excited about trying this out! I want to save money on everything, but how in the world do these extreme couponers get free toilet paper and paper towels? The only coupons I’ve been able to find on paper products are around $.25 off or so. How does anyone do that?

    Reply
  • Kaylynn November 27,

    Hellooo! I have just started my process to become an extreme couponer and I’m already happy with every thing I’ve read! I’m so excited to start saving! Especially since I’m moving away from home next fall to go to a university, so I need to save as much as possible!
    I was a little over whelmed at first when I thought about trying out couponing butttt now that I have read some of your tips on here, well, I’m just super ecstatic now! :D
    I’ve been taking notes like crazy, highlighting, color coordinating, writing a list of things I need to get started! I lovvve to be organized anyways with my school work so I’m hoping the skill will just kind of slide over to couponing for me (:
    Any whooo, I just wanted to say thank you sooo much for creating this site! It has definitely given me the push to do this! I’m 19 years old and I’m ready to start saving for the rest of my life from here on out (:

    Reply
  • Rebecca Austin December 2,

    Hi, I was told about your site by my sister who is married. I am trying to learn some life skills to eventually live on my own and I am trying to learn how to shop and use coupons on my own. I am happy you have this guide and i look forward to using it.

    Reply
  • Paula December 10,

    Hello Everyone, I was wondering if anyone has tried signing up for amazon mom without having to pay $79/yr? I tried signing up last time and it says its $79 a year, not free :(. Pls let me know whats up, Thanks!!!

    Paula

    Reply
  • mimi December 20,

    Hi Ruth! I just found you in YouTube and was thrilled to read your website as well! I am very new in couponing, and I’d like to learn more how to save money for our family of 6 and be able to give more for charity (women’s shelter ). I love your low-key style of extreme couponing, I can totally relate. I saw once the TLC show, but it looked too freakish to me. I always shop with kids, all 4 of them or with 3-year old twins. Organization is MUST! Thank you for showing that it is doable even with kids and being a normal, God loving and caring person! Blessings!

    Reply
  • Tesla December 29,

    I’m trying to get into couponing because being a younger mom and trying to go to college is wearing away my already small bank account. Yet I dont understand how to get the free/cheaper items, or how getting a lot of certain items can help me save, especially since most coupons on things I actually use have the limit one coupon per purchase or transaction thing. Is there a way to get around this?

    Reply
  • Latrise December 30,

    I have just begun to get organized to start couponing. I am really excited about starting this and really need this to make a difference in my lifestyle. I thank you for these beginners steps posted on your blog helping me to establish my own system of couponing and making a change for the best.

    Reply
  • faye January 3,

    how often do you go to the store? and im still not sure how to come out of the store with -.33 …lol!!thanks for guide.

    Reply
  • Sophia January 12,

    I can not thank you enough! I had no idea where to start with all this and you answered my coupon prayers. Keep up the amazing and helpful work
    xo

    Reply
  • joann January 13,

    I have a question, I am trying to save money. When you clip the coupons can you use more than one coupon towards the item? One more , when you use the coupons is it better to find the items that you have coupons for and just use them?

    Reply
  • Tina Gardner March 20,

    Super excited that I found this site! I really need to save as much money as I can and create a stockpile. Our finances are very tight and I really need to learn to do this. Our Son is in the Army and set to deploy in the fall and we need to save money so we can see him before he goes. I have cut all of our bill we no longer have TV in our home or Interner (I use the internet at my Mom’s home!) so the grocery bill is the last thing I have left to cut. Thanks for putting this together! Hope this really does work so I can see my Son!

    Reply
  • Claudia March 21,

    Hi, I’m 13 years old and am trying to save my mom some money on groceries. If you could step by step comprehend couponing I would greatly appreciate it(in a 13 year old perspective). We usually spend about $100 a week at the super market with enough food to last week. If I become an extreme couponer I will never have to complain that there is no food in the house. Oh and if you could explain the doubleing coupons thing I will appreciate that as well.

    Thanks,
    Claudia

    Reply
  • Shannon April 9,

    Hey! Im Shannon and im currently in college and trying to save some money! I have a full time job and part time school. I just wanted to drop in and say thank you for posting this and helping me out with saving some money! I am just barely starting but I definitely plan on seeing this trough. Again thank you!

    Thanks,
    Shannon

    Reply
  • Nicole April 12,

    I am brand new at couponing…i’ve done the whole clip coupon and leave them at home method for a couple years now, learned that from my mom! But I need to start saving money and I figure this is one of the best ways! I live in the Temecula/Murrieta area in CA, and I need advice on which newspapers are the best to get and should I subscribe to getting them, or just buy them from the store every week??
    P.S. Ill take ALL the advice I can get, so knowledge away!
    :) Please and thank you!

    Reply
  • Felicia April 18,

    I’m literally beginning my coupon journey tonight and I’m super nervous. I have no idea what I’m doing, but being a mom of two and the only one working in the house I need to do something about lowering our household item cost. Hopefully I can catch on quickly [=

    Reply
  • Mac April 22,

    Thanks for your beginners course. My wife works very hard and my disability income is only a tenth of what I used to
    make.before having to retire. This looks like an answer to prayer for me to be able assist in our bottom line. God bless
    you and your family!
    Sincerely,
    Jeff (Mac) McConnell

    Reply
  • Amy May 8,

    I am new at this couponing business, and have found that my biggest hurdle, so far, is getting the coupons to print on my computer. They all require a toolbar and these toolbars seem to be connected to Malware that is bogging down my system. Is this the case for most? If so, how do so many people coupon and not go crazy? I am using the most popular sites like coupons.com. I just don’t know what I may be doing wrong. Any advice?

    Reply
  • Paula May 13,

    Hi! I’m a college student that’s trying to prepare my heart and my habits for God-centered wise spending in the future. I love reading your blog because its so great to learn some tips since I wasn’t raised by my mom. I’m trying to make a binder from scratch since its cheaper than the Qubie system, but I’m having a hard time coming up with categories. What labels do you separate your coupons into?
    Thank you for your wisdom!

    Reply
    • Anonymous June 5,

      My Categories:
      BAKING – cake/cookie mixes, supplies
      BEVERAGES – Juice, lemonade/drink mixes, pop/water, coffee/tea
      CANS – fruit/veggies, tomatoes/salsa, soups
      CEREAL – cereal, granola bars, oatmeal, poptarts
      CLEANERS – house/dishes, laundry, air fresheneres
      CONDIMENTS – salad toppings, sauces, seasonings, syrups, sandwich spreads
      DAIRY – cheese, yogurt, sour cream/cottage cheese, produce
      FROZEN – dough, breakfast, fruit/veggies, ice cream, meals, pizza
      MEAT – breakfast, lunch/deli, hotdogs/brats/sausages, fresh meat
      PAPER – kitchen, bathroom, baby, medicines, misc.
      SNACKS – candy/gum, cookies, chips, Nuts/Fruits
      STARCHES – bread/bagels/tortillas, rice/pasta, refrigerated dough
      TOILETRIES – body wash/deodorant, dental, face, hair, lotion, shaving, feminine
      OTHER – everything else..

      Hope that helps!! :)

      Reply
  • Jae Bea May 28,

    Im starting off too. Im a new mom, there are four adults and a baby in my household, and we need it alot. But I’m still not sure where I can find so many coupons other then online. -_-

    Reply
    • Di Anna May 30,

      Jae Bea,

      Once place you can look for coupons other than online is to check with nearby gas stations, stores, etc that sells newspapers. Ask them if you can have the left over Sunday inserts… Remind them that they will still get credit for the paper, because all you are taking are the inserts.. Most places do not have a problem doing that. You will have to wait until just before the Monday paper delivery…..

      Reply
  • Di Anna May 30,

    I have been couponing for about 2 years now… On average I save $500/month. We spend about $300/month on groceries and I need to refrigerators to keep everything in and am currently in the process of buying a deep freeze.

    I sit down with the sales papers, see what’s on sale that I need. See if I have a coupon for it and I paper clip my coupons to the sales paper of each store and I have what I want circled and written down. I also write down the sales price and subtract my coupons, that way I know how much I will be spending. And it lets me know if something didn’t ring up correctly.. Always watch the cashier while they are ringing up products and coupons!

    Reply
  • Fernando June 2,

    These are hard times and Myself and my family are in need of help. The local stores around me are, Save Mart and food for less ( for produce). For boxed goods and canned we have walmart and target, not super, walgreens and k-mart. I don’t know the policy of these stores on coupons, which would be the best one to go after? I live in a very small populated town. Would it be smarter to go to a super target or walmart out of town?

    Reply
  • Jennifer June 10,

    I’ve seen a lot of stores that are now limiting coupons to 6 per visit. How can you get around that?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup June 12,

      I have not seen that Jennifer! Is it 6 per item or 6 total?

      Reply
  • Kelly June 19,

    I really love your blog, very easy to understand and it is very helpful. I had a question about Amazon Mom (which I just signed up for) can you use coupons with Amazon or no?
    Thanks for all the great information!

    Reply
  • Anonymous July 7,

    I am so excited getting started it looks really simple and I am follow step by step and I am praying I can do this!!! Thank you for your help!!!!

    Reply
  • Emily July 8,

    I am a beginner couponer and I have yet to do anything. I just read the First Step article and am excited to start saving a lot for my family. My big question is what coupons do I start keeping? Any coupons I find? Or am I looking for particular ones/kinds? Maybe its not as difficult as I’m making it in my head.

    Reply
    • Amanda August 5,

      I am having the same problem!! How do I know which coupons to clip and keep?? I am new as well and I am confused!!!!!! Please anyone with advice help!!!! lol

      Reply
  • Kelly July 27,

    My family really needs to save money and I came across your blog…. this sounds great to do. But, I’m only nineteen, how am I suppose to do this? I’ve tried finding coupons online but everywhere I go wants you to download something or enter a mobile number, which doesn’t seem right. I’m terrified I’m going to be spending more money than I make trying to do this. I mean this is intimating trying to help my family save money god know we really need too.

    Reply
  • Penny August 21,

    Hi Ruth, Thanks so much for this web site. I am new to couponing. I have tried off and on for years but have never been successful. I’m hoping your 8 week course will help.

    Reply
  • Nikoal September 26,

    If I start learning how to extreme coupon what are some items I can save money on besides food items?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup September 26,

      Nikoal, you should definitely be able to save on toiletry and cleaning items too!

      Reply
  • Megan October 22,

    I have heard a lot of the Coupon web sites can have viruses attached to them so i am so iffy on downloading them … What do you think?

    Reply
  • Maryanne October 30,

    I am new to this, I have always used some coupons but very little. I am going to give this a shot because I need and want so many things for the house we just bought. If I can cut my grocery bill in 1/2 it would benefit our household so much!

    Reply
  • Danielle October 31,

    I am looking to start couponing for myself, my neighbors and the food bank. I want to go all out like the people on the show. I’ve ordered the organizing system suggested in Week 1 and I’ve started clipping coupons from every online source I can find. I have already run into a problem with Kroger not accepting black and white coupons, they say they have to be in full color just like they are on the coupon sites, this is not in their coupon policy but trying to point that out just got the manager angry. Do grocery stores actually lose anything when couponers come in? As far as I know the manufacturers of products reimburse the store, so it’s like the store isn’t losing anything. Please let me know :)

    Reply
  • Nia Girl November 6,

    Well here goes….I just read Part One: How To Start in your Beginner’s Guide to Coupons series!
    I’m excited and nervous to try this, but anxious for my first attempt!
    My reason for exploring this “hobby” is that we will soon be a family of TWO retirees. My husband retired from the AF in 2010 and took a contractor job in order to work while I was still active duty. He has done an impressive job of paying off all our debt, except the mortgage, prior to my retirement (projected for 2015) and we will soon be living on a very much reduced budget than we are used to.
    We both want to reward our combined 40-year commitment to our country by NOT WORKING for at least a year. That’s our reward….time off. In order to make that happen, without sacrificing the way we live, we have to change how we spend. I think Extreme Couponing is the way to go!
    We’re not looking to stockpile massive amounts that will eventually expire before use, but we will shop smartly as if they don’t. The plan for the items that may expire before use is to donate them to Veteran’s Village in Las Vegas, NV!
    What a perfect way to give back! Snip, Save, and Share! I love it!
    Thank you so much for showing me the way and wish me luck on my adventures!
    I will report back after my first attempt to let you know how successful it was!
    Nia Girl

    Reply
  • Chelsea Leilani November 23,

    I just turned 20 years old a few days ago and I have been living on my own since July 4, 2012 after graduating high school! I was living with a roommate and now I live alone with just my kitten Bruce Wayne! I need to start couponing now because my budget is very, very low! Thank you for making this because I was in solid need! I’ve been researching my store’s couponing policy. They double coupons automatically up to $0.99 a coupon! You’ve been so helpful- tomorrow I’m going to be walking to the store to get myself some papers and start clipping! Thank you so much!

    Reply
  • Amber November 27,

    Hey, I just started reading up on your program and I noticed you “strongly” recommended investing in a black & white laser printer instead of an ink jet printer. Do you know the average amount a person would save by investing in a laser printer rather then using a generic ink jet printer?

    Reply
  • Brydgette Knirs November 30,

    Do I need a separate coupon for every item I buy? Also how do I know if I can double the coupon?

    Reply
  • donna December 1,

    I have a family of 4 including myself we live off 700.00 a mouth and after lights and rent we have very little left. I dont have my own computer or a pinter or anywhere I can use one. Please help so lost

    Reply
    • Audrey April 28,

      Most libraries let you use their computers and printers, some have a slight fee. Check Craiglist for the free stuff and see about donations. You can also hit their wanted section up and post what you are looking for and what you can pay/or not. Hope this helps. I too am just getting into seriously using coupons.

      Reply
  • David December 4,

    This is a great website! I have been wanting to really use coupons for years and like most people had no idea where to start. This was a great tool to get me started in the right direction. Taking notes and getting my system organized! Can’t wait to really get going and save money. Thank you for all this information and help!!!

    Reply
  • christine December 28,

    Hi, i am reading this for the first time and would like to find out which grocery stores everyone is using their coupons at i live in hickory, north carolina…we have lowes food , food lion, bi lo, walmart, kmart, galaxy,aldi how do i find out the store rules for couponing?

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup December 30,

      Each store should have a coupon policy listed on their website.

      Reply
  • Katrina December 30,

    For years I’ve been wanting to know how to do this, I’ve used coupons before but only on small thing. I didn’t know how to get started and who to talk to, I’m hoping your steps well help me get started and understand more about couponing. If there are any other tips please let me know, it’ll help me out a lot. Thank you so much

    Reply
  • christine December 30,

    how many copies of the same coupon can you print from your computer? where can i find this info ?

    Reply
  • Staci January 5,

    I am very excited to start saving money! I am nervous that it will take up a great deal of time though. I also am a bit worried about building a stockpile…my husband and I would like to just save money on weekly shopping trips and not buy anything we don’t need. Is this possible?

    Reply
  • kat January 5,

    Question: have you found an effective way to track your coupons? So you know which ones you have without haveing to search through them all?

    Reply
    • Anonymous February 10,

      I would love answers on this also my sister inputs hers one at a time on her laptop has 3 kids disabled husband an works 7 twelve hr days.

      Reply
  • Dal January 6,

    Hi Ruth,
    I’ve just had it with all the changes we are having in these times. My family and I are on a turning point, I’m a student, my husband has no job (small town) and we have three kids 6 years old and younger. I hope that your 8 week course will help give me an opportunity to try couponing for my family and hope it works out for us. Thank you for the information that you give out on your blogs.

    Reply
  • Linda Pryor January 11,

    Questions:

    1. Where do you get the best coupons?
    2. In my area some coupons state 2per customer? How does this work? How do u get just sayin 50 of these?

    3. All I want is coupons for things like toilet paper , paper towels, toothpaste, detergent etc. can u please help me. I am so interested I doing this.

    Linda

    Reply
  • Jessca January 12,

    Im trying really hard to coupon. I can’t seem to get the hang of it though :( I need to find a way to start this and succeed!

    Reply
  • Anonymous January 14,

    How do you find out if your grocery stores or which stores in your area double coupons and which day that they do it. Besides calling all of them and making a list.

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup January 20,

      You can usually find that information right on the store’s website.

      Reply
  • Makia January 25,

    Can you explain to me the bogo, for shopping at publix and having a manufacturer coupon as well.Thanks

    Reply
    • Ruth Soukup January 27,

      Hi Makia,
      When you are shopping at Publix you can use one coupon per item. You can use one manufacturer coupon as well as one Store coupon for each BOGO item.
      Hope this Helps!

      Reply
    • Sahar March 28,

      I am currently fhsiniing up my BA in Child Development and Family Studies and thus far I have only work with children from 2 weeks to adolescent while helping support their families. The Physician that I would want to work under is an Obstetrics (OB) because they are in direct contact with pregnant women and their children during pregnancy. I would choose this particular specialty for a variety of reason such as having the opportunity to see individuals become parent for the first time, seeing how much love is surrounded in the process, being there to help the mothers while there in a vulnerable state. One of my main reasons is because I think that the whole birthing process is fascinating and to be able to be a part of family’s lives while going through this process, I imagine to be extremely rewarding.A of physician specialty that I would least want to work with would be a psychiatrist. Although I believe that psychiatrist do some spectacular work and help a lot of people through difficult situations I personally believe that this job would be to emotionally draining and overwhelming for me. This makes me question whether or not I would be able to handle it. When I set out to do a job my goal is to do the best that I can and I don’t feel that I could successfully do this job to the best of my ability.

      Reply
  • Kim Enyart February 12,

    I guess my question is I really want to be able to accomplish what I have seen on Extreme Couponing. With three kids 16, 10 and 1 things get expensive as we are a family of 5. I have used a few coupons here and there but nothing big has happened. I have been researching for sometime now. If any ideas or clues that anyone has I would greatly appreciate it. I just need to know what to do and what I am doing wrong.

    Reply
  • Andrea white March 2,

    I have to say that i was completely new to couponing when i stumbled upon your blog and i must say i am very happy that i did!!
    I love your system, i love how you break everything down into really small babysteps because when i was doing my research the first few days.. cant lie i was begining to get a bit overwhelmed and even began wondering if it would be worth it anymore. But thanks to your helpful 8 week beginners guide to couponing i am now getting a much better grasp on the concept of couponing and saving money for me and my family.
    I am only up to week 2 but thanks to you and your wonderful program my coupon binder is pretty full and im ALOT closer to becoming a successful couponer.
    going to go on my first couponing adventure today and if all goes as planned i should be getting some really amazing deals today!
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Andrea white March 2,

      also, how exactly do you organize your coupons in your binder?

      Reply
      • Ruth Soukup March 4,

        Label your categories so it works for you. You might need a category for diapers or pet supplies. Think of your weekly list and create your categories from that. I’m also attaching a link to my FAQ page it has a lot of great tips and practical takeaways! http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/faqs/
        Good luck!

        Reply
  • Nancy Friend March 3,

    I have been trying to coupon for a while, but I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of extreme couponing. I got a binder and had sorted my coupons according to what they were, but no matter what I tried I just could not save like the extreme couponers were doing on the show. I knew about some of the online sources for printable coupons, and have used them. But just tonight I saw a website where they tell you about how to extreme coupon in Florida. I just can’t seem to find that website again.

    Reply
  • Rosemary Bales April 17,

    Why do the coupon websites require you to install their toolbar? I would like to get the coupons, but I don’t want more toolbars plus every time I install a toolbar I end up with things on my computer that has at times taken a day or two to fix.

    Reply
    • Amanda August 5,

      Hello! I am having this same problem with the tool bars. It seems like there could be awesome coupons if I download it but I am scared of virus. Have you had any luck??

      Reply
  • shan'tel April 20,

    I have been trying to start couponing for years now, however I never seem to get past the gathering of coupons and cutting them out stage. For some reason I never have them while shopping. I find it encouraging that you have a step by step instructional, so that I may find out what I am doing wrong and hopefully start coupon in. I have collected 4 week worth of Sunday in certs and was just about to throw everything away before coming across your page…

    Reply
  • Bev April 30,

    Being a beginner I have no idea how to create my binder. how do I separate coupons? Do I put them in by dates and catagories ? Help! What works with the most ease?

    Reply
  • Michele Rodriguez May 22,

    This is my first week starting this. I live on Long Island in New York. Do you think this is something that would benefit me? I know that some states do not honor double coupons and such. Especially watching Extreme Couponing on TLC it seems like it is always in certain states.

    Reply
  • Lizzie May 24,

    I use a deskjet hp printer, And I buy ink refills instead of cartridges, is changing to a laser printer really going to save me money in the long run? Because I spend about .03 a refill for black ink. and about .05 for color refill.

    Reply
  • Jenaya June 3,

    When first starting to collect and cut coupon do you cut ALL of the newspaper coupons? or only specific ones? Also with online printable coupons do you print the ones out that fit your shopping trip for the day? or just print them all out at once?

    Reply
  • Amanda June 28,

    I’m really nervous about this. I’m a full-time nurse and in dire need to save money on groceries to put towards my student loans. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Well… Here goes nothing!

    Reply
  • Sarah July 2,

    Hi there! I actually decided to start couponing after watching one episode of extreme couponing in TLC on Saturday morning….hahaha yes, I’m being real, so I already collected the sunday newspaper and also got some printable ones, and checked a few people on youtube to kind of follow their steps since I’m a beginner, then in a video of one person that I started to follow,she sayd that we were ready to make our first shopping at CV’S, so I DID, and I was supposed to spent $5 and get $4 Extra Bucks, but it went totally wrong and I did got the $4 EB, but I spent $22 instead of the $5…SO I’m terrible and extremely scared to try again, but then I found you and so far, I love the “baby steps” guide. I also watch all your youtube videos, from 1-7, but now I’m in week 1 of the beginner guide, and I want to watch the #8 video along with next week class wich is the actual shopping experience, so I’m VERY excited and want to thank you for taking your time and help so many of us that are trying to survive this economy and provide for our families… xoxo

    Reply
  • Michele July 19,

    I live in Morris County, NJ. The cost of living is out of control and so are the food prices. I have been wanting to learn how to coupon the right way and this is the site to be on. Thank you for being here giving me the tips and know-how on using coupons. I am a nervous wreck doing this because I am one of those people who do not like food shopping at all! I am going to order the supplies I need to get myself in gear and learn the ropes of couponing the right way :)

    Reply
  • Anonymous July 20,

    My husband left me to be with another woman. I was desperate to get him back, I wasted so much time and money, I tried almost all possibilities to have him back and nothing worked, then a friend told me about Mr Robinson and i contacted him for his service, WOW!!!! to be honest, this man brought my husband back, i wish everyone who want his or her lover back to contact +1971512674

    Reply
  • Sandy July 30,

    I have been extreme couponing for several months and here are a few tips I’ve learned. First is to buy extra Sunday newspapers. I receive one Sunday paper and head out early Sunday morning to buy additional newspapers. I buy papers from another city because their coupons are better than my local city. This past Sunday I purchased 8 newspapers (total cost $16). There were 2 Smart Source inserts, 2 Red Plum inserts, and one P&G insert in each newspaper. I used 4 of the $2 off Tide coupons today so I recouped half of my newspaper costs on one purchase.
    There are several coupon sites that actually match up the coupons with purchases for you and require much less thinking on my part.
    You should purchase a notebook with plastic pages and dividers for couponing (purchased mine at Target). It helps not to have to sort through hundreds of coupons to find the ones you want.

    Reply
    • Amanda August 5,

      Thank you for your tips! I am new at couponing and I am confused about double coupons. Can you help with this?? Any advice would be helpful. Thank you in advance!!

      Reply
  • Juan July 31,

    Widow Dad with two teenage boys at home so i really want to learn this and know so far i see it happening with this web site.Thank you.

    Reply
  • Kendra August 4,

    I am 17 years old and I really want to start couponing for my family. I watch extreme couponing all the time but it looks so hard.

    Reply
  • Anonymous August 5,

    Where do you redeem coupons if it doesn’t tell you where you can use them? Can you redeem them at any store that carries the product?

    Reply
  • Amanda August 5,

    I live in Jacksonville, Florida and I am a mother of three and a full-time college student. I am trying to figure out where the best place to shop and save the MOST is….. I am a brand new coupon mom and I want to become EXTREME!!!! Any help, points, ot advice would be greatly appreciated!!!! Thank you!!

    Reply
  • best photo printer for event photography August 8,

    At this time I am going to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming again to read
    other news.

    Reply
  • Newbie August 9,

    This looks like such a cool website! I’m twelve and I’m just getting into coupons and this site is really understandable! Thanks Ruth! ♥ :)

    Reply
  • kia Hanible August 12,

    I am new to couponing. I am a little confused about the coupons that are $1/2 or off any other number of items. Please explain. Thank you

    Reply
  • Elise August 13,

    organize oh boy, i think that is going to be my biggest issue. i get side tracked easy and ahead of myself and then crash lol hope i can do this.

    Reply

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