Part Eight: Taking it to the Next Level

beginnersguide_400_coupons

Congratulations! If you have made it this far and followed along each week of this Beginner’s Guide to Coupons series, then I have great news: You are officially no longer a beginner!

All this crazy couponing stuff that seemed so complicated and overwhelming at the beginning should be starting to come a lot easier and more naturally now. You are probably starting to get pretty good at finding deals all on your own, and you may even be offering tips to your own friends and family who are wondering how it’s done.

(If you are new to my blog or new to couponing, I strongly recommend that you start with Part One  before reading any further.  It will all make a lot more sense that way!)

From now until eternity (or until you win the lottery and no longer care about saving money), your weekly “assignment” will be pretty much the same: grocery shopping, drugstore shopping, maintaining your stockpile, and keeping your coupons organized.

As long as you stay committed to doing these things, you will probably continue to see your weekly and monthly out-of-pocket expenses drop while your average percentage of savings increases.

Now that you are no longer a “beginner,” there are a few more things to keep in mind in order to take your couponing to the next level:

1. Non-sale items will kill your percentages.

You probably won’t be able to avoid having to pay full-price for things every once in a while, but to see savings above 70% at the grocery store, almost everything you buy will have to be on sale or bought with coupons. This is why stockpiling is so important–buy as much as possible when it is at it’s cheapest, and there will be fewer things you have to pay full price for.

2. Change the way you plan your meals.

This is a hard one, especially if you are a decide-what- you-want-to-eat-make-a-list-and-then-shop kind-of person. In fact, I still struggle with meal planning, and find that most of our meals these days are planned about 5 minutes in advance.

Luckily for me, having a nicely varied stockpile helps keep things fresh, and there is always something to choose from. If you are a planner, then try to plan your meals for the week around what is on sale or already in your stockpile, thereby minimizing the number of non-sale items you need each week.

For great ideas on cooking from your stockpile, you can check out my Stockpile Meals series at:

http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/category/favorite-posts/recipes/stockpile-meals/

3. Work the drugstores.

It takes practice and planning to get really good at drugstore shopping, but the savings you can find there will make such a difference to your overall bottom line. Not only is it possible to save 90% or more on all your family’s toiletries and health-care items, you can also use your drugstore dollars to buy always-needed grocery staples (like eggs, milk, butter, & bread) that don’t often go on sale.

4. Take advantage of seasonal sales! 

Back-to-school time is an incredible time to stock up on office & craft supplies (not to mention school supplies) for the whole year. After-holiday sales are also a great time to get what you need for next year at rock-bottom prices. Planning ahead will save you money in the long run.

5. Stay organized.

A little bit of effort each week to keep your coupons and stockpile organized will save you much aggravation and help keep you motivated to continue saving money. Setting a regular shopping schedule can also help. The more couponing becomes just a natural extension of your day-to-day life (and less of an “effort), the easier it will be to continue.

6. Don’t burn out.

Deals come and go, and there will always be more. Don’t kill yourself trying to keep up on every deal or hit every store every week. You will end up with way too much stuff, and you will be exhausted and frantic from fighting a losing battle. Don’t freak out or feel like you’ve somehow failed if you do have to spend a little more an item.

Find a few great websites (like mine!) to keep up on, but don’t waste hours each day trying to find every deal. Successful couponing is a cumulative process, not an instant fix. Figure out how much time you have to spend each week on searching the net, gathering coupons, and shopping, and then stick to that time limit.

7. Share the wealth.

Extreme couponing puts you into a unique position of being able to get a lot of stuff–food, tolietries, medications–for very little money. You will probably even find that you end up with more than you need, but there are many, many people and organizations that could use those items.

I strongly encourage you to find places to donate your extras items. Shelters, food pantries, or charities like Operation Christmas Child are all great options, but there are many other ways to give as well.

So even though you probably don’t need it, I am going to give you one more assignment, but one that you can continue to repeat each week, until it becomes like second-nature.

Week 8 (and beyond) Assignment: 

1. Make your list, gather your coupons, and go grocery shopping according to the guidelines from Part 3.

For me it is helpful to pick one day of the week to do my weekly grocery shopping. (I always go on Thursdays, the day that the new ad begins.)

If your stockpile is full, just stick to the very best deals or the items that you really need. Go to more than one store if you like, but don’t feel like you have to.

2. Make your list, gather your coupons, and go drugstore shopping according to the guidelines from weeks 5, 6, and 7.

Again, you may want to pick a set day to do your drugstore shopping–Sunday is usually best to make sure the deals are still available. Be sure to plan your transactions in advance, and watch your OOP costs.

3. Keep your stockpile organized.

Maintain your system when you put your groceries away. A little effort each week can save you a lot of hassle and a big mess later on.

4. Keep your coupons organized.

If you are using the hanging file system that I recommended in week one you don’t need to keep more than 12 weeks worth of inserts. The easiest way to do this is to have 12 folders for inserts and fill them up each week, making sure to label each one with the date.

On the 13th week, replace the inserts from week #1 with your new inserts, change the label, and then page through the old insert and clip any coupons remaining that have not yet expired. (There will probably only be a few.) Then file the clipped coupons in your Couponizer book or small accordion file.

At the same time, take a minute to file any random loose coupons from your “to-sort” folder, and remove any expired coupons. This weekly organizing process only takes about 10-15 minutes and will keep your whole system running smoothly.

If you are using the binder system, be sure to spend time each week clipping, sorting, & throwing away expired coupons.

BGTC Wrap Up

And believe it or not, that’s it!

If, after all this, you are still struggling, I encourage you to go back and re-read the series from the beginning. There may be something you missed the first time around that will all become a lot clearer upon review. If you have any specific questions or comments feel free to visit www.livingwellspendingless.com and leave a comment under the corresponding post. I read each and every comment I receive, and even if I can’t always answer each question individually, there is often someone who can!

Live Well. Spend Less.

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.

{ 61 comments… add one }

  • Dextane' April 17,

    Love the series Ruth, it really helped me get started now I can go to the store and wing it on a few unknown sale items and still save a lot of money. You’ve been really helpful these past 8 weeks. Thank You

    Reply
  • Kris April 20,

    Ruth – Thanks so much for all of your good tips! I did my first shopping trip today, and saved 60%, which I was happy about for the first one! I’m wondering – do you have a tip for the easiest way to watch the expiration dates on the coupons?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ruth April 20,

      Not really…just be sure to check the ones you plan to use before heading for the store!

      Reply
      • Tanya April 24,

        I read somewhere that a lady uses a color coded system with highlighters! She has a chart in the front of her binder and highlights the expiry dates according to her chart!

        Reply
    • Stephanie September 10,

      I use the binder system. I bought a pack of 12 tab dividers and labeled them one for each month. I also bought business card (instead of baseball card) sleeves… Not a big difference. But the tab dividers organize my coupons by month. I also keep sheets of notebook paper in the very front of the binder and as I collect coupons, I write the name of the item, what the coupon price is (for example– $1.00 off or $1/2) and the coupon expiration date. This helps me because I would get confused on which brands I had coupons for and while they expired. For example, I would see that Dove body wash was on sale and I THOUGHT I remembered cutting a coupon for it… I would then SEARCH AND SEARCH AND SEARCH for it, just to find that it was a RIGHT GUARD body wash coupon that I had cut. OR that the Dove coupon I was remembering was from the prior month! By keeping a list of the specific item name, money off, and expiration date, I can then scan down my list to find the item, and easily see what the deal is and when it expires. And if I see it expires, say, October 18th 2012, then I simply flip to the October tab divider and find that coupon! Hope that helps! :)

      Reply
  • kathleen May 8,

    this week was my very first week of collecting coupons and printing them reading your blog .. i am hook on TLCs new show Extreme Couponing.. and i am very proud to announce that i saved 65% this 1st week!! woohoo .. thanks so much for your help . you have made it so much easier and yes it is very important to be organized!! i feel awesome and cant wait to go shopping again this week. it is a big difference for me because i dreaded the thought of any kind of shopping period! and now i am hooked!!!! if i can do it anyone can for sure thanks again so much!!!

    Reply
    • Ruth May 9,

      That’s awesome! Way to go Kathleen! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  • Jaime Jackson May 17,

    I have been couponing for years (before couponing was “cool”) and friends marveled at my savings. I have moved 3 times (now living in Orlando) and have recommended your guide to many friends as it seems to be the most CONCISE guide I’ve seen. (Some people just try to tell beginners waaaaaay too much!!)
    Anyways, love your site and your videos.
    Your Savingwellspendingless.com site has made my transition to grocery shopping here at Publix SO MUCH BETTER. My first visit there, I was SHOCKED with the high prices, but now, I routinely save 50%.
    Again thanks for “keeping it real” with both of your sites!
    J.

    Reply
  • melissa b May 24,

    Hello,
    Im new here. Im glad I found you. Thanks for all your help. Since losing my job of many years, I now have a new focus… I try to get a great deal. I s there any way to get a real coupon for potterybarn? Thanks for couponing 101..you rock!

    Reply
    • Ruth May 24,

      LOL, I love Pottery Barn too! If you sign up for their credit card they will send out coupons fairly frequently AND you get 10% back in reward dollars.

      Reply
  • alex May 26,

    ok, so i have followed your guidelines to the letter, i have everything organized i make my list, i get everything planned out, i even recon the stores prior to shopping. But, every time i go to check out i get the exact same thing, “you cannot use more than one coupon, or the one from the ad is actually a MFR coupon so you cant use the RR, or other catalinas”. So i very politely apologize for any confusion, and i then interject that what they are saying goes against the coupon policy regarding their store. Once i do this a manager is called instantly. I’m treated as though i am trying to scam the store, and the manager after much debate simply says that the ultimate rule comes down to them, and they say NO! I don’t have many options as i live in a small city. This also means that every time i go to the store there is only one cashier and one manager on duty. This means that i don’t have the option of trying another person. IMHO, i feel like I’m having to literally FIGHT to do this, then when you add in the time i put in doing research, clipping, and finding my coupon stash, my opportunity cost, and psychological cost is just too high. Unfortunately, I’m going to just stick to SAM’S club from now on.

    Reply
    • Stina April 7,

      I would call the corporate hotline or email via the store website to customer service. You can get a letter and coupon policy on corporate letterhead mailed out. Even though each store has the ability to use disresion in regards to the policies, it is deciding weather or not something is allowed with in the set policies, not weather or not to follow them. The corporate customerservice may ask for the managers name and store#, so be sure to have both. Most info can be found right on the reciept. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Lametrice June 2,

    Hi Ruth, Could you please answer Alexs question ?because i’m seem to be having the same problem get turnt away at the check out and i also live in a small town . thanks yours truely to be a AWESOME couponer !!! LOL

    Reply
    • Amber November 13,

      keep a copy of thier coupon policy with you. you cant use 2 manufactures coupons on the same item. unless it is an amount off of 2 or more items such as a buy one get one. I find a lot of the time if you meet with the store manager and ask for a copy of the coupon policy and ask all questions you have regarding thier store. They remember who you are and tend to not just send you away. If there is another town near by try checking out thier selection of stores. I travel 15 minutes to go to a target and 10 minutes to go to walmart. I know, what about the cost of gas? I save more money at the stores then i spent in gas. i hope this helps

      Reply
  • Zee June 4,

    Thank you for all the great advice! I started shopping with coupons 2 months ago when my husband lost his job. I was at home recovering from surgery when I saw the Extreme Couponing show on TLC and I was hooked! I live in a condo and every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I go through the recycle bins for the tossed coupons. I also have my co-workers collecting them for me so my stock is plentiful (I have a 2-inch binder full and I already started my stockpile). I started off a little slow but now I am averaging 50-70% savings. I was searching for information on how to do it better and I came across your terrific site which has taught me a lot and confirmed some other things I kind of figured out on my own. Keep up the great job!

    Reply
  • tina June 23,

    Hi Ruth,

    I just wanted to let you know you’ve helped me a great deal with getting started in couponing. Your videos are down-to-earth, educational, and fun. Both your blogs are wonderful. Please keep up the good work as you’re efforts and vibrant spirit are very much appreciated!

    Reply
    • Bill March 3,

      I could not agree more!!!

      Reply
  • Angie July 4,

    Your lesson plan is amazing! Although I’d already been couponing for 3 months when I found your website I still learned a ton! My problem is my savings are consistently only 40% at the grocery store. I think what’s killing my percentage is purchasing meat. Any suggestions for saving in that department? I only buy what’s on sale…

    Reply
    • Angela April 2,

      The only way you can cut down in that department, is to simply eat less meat. Getting protein from things like beans and rice is just as satisfying, cheaper, and mixes things up. It’s an all win situation.

      Reply
  • Connie Brannen July 9,

    Thank You from the bottom of my heart. I have never came across such descriptive info,on how to even begin to learn the extreme couponing tips. You are totaly Awesome to me and very many other women also,

    Reply
  • Sue K July 27,

    Love your sight! Love the videos!

    I’ve been a fairly good couponer for about five years starting with The GroceryGame and moving to SouthernSavers three years ago. I’m disappointed if I don’t save at least 50% at Publix (my goal is now 60% including all FOOD for our family of four.) Love Rite Aid and CVS and feel like I rob them each time I go!

    My question to you is that after reading and watching all you have posted, how do you purchase meats?

    Reply
  • Kelly August 5,

    My Meat Solution: I don’t have kids, but I do have a hungry husband who loves meat and we entertain a lot. Our solution is to purchase a “Family Freezer” meat pack from a local butcher (chain). I never thought this would work, but what we found is that we NEVER waste meat (aka: let it go unused in the fridge due to busy schedules) and ALWAYS have something to thaw from the freezer! My parents bought us our first pack and it surprisingly lasted 1.5 months ($75) since we mixed in a lot of stockpile meals. (We also find good hot dog deals for cookouts). They have a rewards program and many BOGO FaceBook deals as well that keeps it fun. =)

    Reply
  • Stefanie August 12,

    Hi, I am week two and am a little overwhelmed with the number of websites and printable coupons. I have spent about 4 or 5 hours searching etc. I don’t want to be overwhelmed so is the idea to find the sale items and then try to find coupons to match (beyond the weekly paper inserts). Also it seems as if alot of the inserts are only good for about 4-6 weeks at the most 8 weeks. Should I use a smaller system and how do you know what you have if you don’t flip through the hanging file folders. HELP!!

    Reply
  • Lani September 11,

    Something else to add to the meat discussion is at Safeway the markdown their meat and seafood on their sold by date at 5pm-ish. I usually go in there a few days a week and checkout their clearance for meat and seafood and get if for 50% off and just package it in freezer ziplocs (if I want it in smaller portions) and put it in the freezer for when I need it :-) I’ve never had any problems with bad meat and this especially a good deal when the meat is on sale and it gets put in the clearance bin! I live in Oregon but I’m assuming all Safeways prob do this and Fred Meyers does too but i think they only do 30%. Hope this helps!

    Reply
    • Ruth September 11,

      That’s great advice. Thanks Lani!

      Reply
  • Mike September 11,

    For those who are looking for a laser printer to save on printable coupons, Officemax has an HP on sale this week for $99.99 marked down from 149.99.

    Reply
  • Sindy September 11,

    Lately, I noticed an “R” after where you find the coupon ex: SS 8/28/11 R. What does this mean because when I go look for the coupon it’s not there! hELP!!!!

    Reply
    • Alice December 19,

      I think it means Regional. Not all Sunday papers have that coupon. Am I right?

      Reply
  • Jamie September 15,

    How do you know when you can use 2 coupons on the same item in one transaction? Your great! Thank you

    Reply
    • Ruth September 17,

      As long as one is a store coupon and only one is a manufacturer’s coupon, you should be able to stack it. You can NEVER use 2 MQs on a single item. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Soledad Castro November 3,

    Hi Ruth,
    Your website is awesome and very helpful. This is 2nd week I am getting ready to go shopping. I live in S. FLorida Broward county i haven’t found any stores which double coupons. Does any one with more experience know a store in S. FLorida. ?
    thanks.
    Soledad

    Reply
    • Anonymous September 3,

      Publix is a great place to stack coupons. In Collier County, Pulix allows you to use 1 Manufacturer coupon, store coupon and competitor’s coupon per item. They usually list which competitor’s coupons they accept. If there is any confusion Publix is usually great about answering questions and explaining their policies and how to stack coupons there.

      Reply
  • Karen December 4,

    I have just read you whole site this morning. I noticed in your coupon database that there is a store called Publix. We do not have one around here. I have never heard of it until now actually. We do have a Walmart though. Can I use Publix coupons and deals at Walmart because they are suppose to match every store….right?

    Also, I am still trying to figure out the database. I am alittle confused about it. Is there a way to search more than one store at a time and see which has the best deal on a particular product?
    Thanks for that guide,
    Karen

    Reply
  • New to this KIm January 18,

    Hi, Thanks for sharing you coupon experience here on your site. I learned a lot of valuable information. I was wondering if there were any active groups that are in my area that we can help each other. Maybe coupon together. I think a few heads is better than one. I live in Brevard County Florida (indialantic) if anyone is interested in clipping/shopping together. Any tips would be great. Thanks again! Happy Couponing!

    Reply
  • christine January 29,

    Hi quick question….

    This week at Jewel they have a sale for certain products if you buy 10 of that item. For example if you buy 10 bottles of wishbone dressing you get 50 cents off, making each bottle 99 cents. I have a few coupons for wishbone dressing that says if you buy 2 you will get 65 cents off. However the coupon says limit one coupon per purchase /quantity specified and maximum of 4 identical coupons allowed in same shopping trip. Does this mean I am allowed to use all four of my coupons if i purchase the required 10 botles for the jewel savings??? please help….

    Reply
  • Dave Corner March 19,

    Thanks for the post. Will read on…

    Reply
  • Tracy November 23,

    Ruth,

    Thank you for making shopping with coupons so much easier. I just started and I was a little confused at first. My first excursion I saved almost 50% . That was before reading your beginners guide. I’m know my next shopping adventure will be much easier. I was told by the cashier at the Publix I shop at that their store accepts Target, Sweetbay and Winn Dixie coupons along with a Publix coupon and a manufacturers coupon on one product. Talk about savings! I also found out that you use your $5 on $50 coupon before you use your coupons. And do all your coupons at the end of your transaction. If you use your coupons before you start your transaction they are taken off the total first so you have to spend more to get to your $5/ $50 total. Question, I am unable to print Sweetbay coupons. When I hit print coupons I get a pop up that says printing coupons but it never completes. Can you help me?

    Reply
  • Laura January 8,

    Thank you for your great site! With the new year here I’m ready to try this again and not become over taxed with it!; but now I need to know How do I save on meats? Thank you for all of your help!

    Reply
  • Lisa April 2,

    I soooo appreciate this information. My work hours have been slashed from a full 40 hour all benefits employee to a 16 hour per week part-timer with NO benefits. Since I’m no longer earning the money, I feel like I shoukd help save it! I have a question…. I’ve been using coupons.com and the other web-sites you mentioned in your blog and I’ve noticed on these sites ads for higher value coupons. There appears to be a monthky or annual cost of joining this higher value coupon website. My question is: Do you recommned sites such as this? Are these sites worth the $ potentially saved? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

    Reply
  • Dawn April 19,

    I haven’t read through everything yet but I am very excited to learn how to be a better couponer. Right now I save a few dollars but nothing major. I am wondering where I can get coupons for meat. My husband is a meat and potatoes guy so I buy a lot of meat. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • TyvaCouponMom May 28,

      Im a new couponer too but what I have learned is for somethings I dont see coupons for, I try to go thru the manufactureres website. I emailed Gwaltney Meat products expressing how much my family love their productas and they sent me coupons. I also went to other meat websites that let me add myself to a mailing/emailing list. I hope this helps.

      Reply
  • TyvaCouponMom May 28,

    I LOVE this tutorial and I really appreciate. I have only been couponing for a few weeks but one of my questions is, or maybe its a request, but could you post a tutorial for spoting the OVERAGE PRODUCTS? What products are more likely to contribute to it? Im more interested in mastering an overage in my shopping so I can get fresh fruits that are not normally on sale. Thanks!!!

    Reply
  • Justventing September 25,

    Back when I was responsible for a 4 person household (only 3 years ago but still being in the divorce process makes it seem like it’s been 30 years), couponing was a great $saver. Even when there were two of us (my oldest daughter moved with me) I was able to continue couponing although to a lesser extent. However, now that I’m an empty nester, and still in divorce without any settlement, couponing seems to have become a thing of the past.
    Your tip at week 13 to switch coupon inserts seems a bit off. I’ve found that I have to go through the inserts when they arrive due to expiration dates. Nowadays I find that many of the coupons in the inserts expire at the end of the month that the inserts are published (particularly P&G products) but also most others. Most coupons without expiration are for products that you wouldn’t purchase very often and rarely use, like batteries, bug spray, firelogs, lightbulbs and the like.
    The other reasons couponing has become nearly useless for me is the recent (past few years) changes in manufacturer’s marketing practices in relation to coupons.
    1. The savings % has dwindled. If a coupon can’t save you at least 10%-25% it’s pretty useless. Many mfg these days offer these measly coupons. Particularly P&G products. I saw a recent coupon for Kleenex. The coupon required you to purchase 3 boxes or 2 multipacks and the coupon was only $0.25. Another example, a $1/4 coupon for cereal. I couldn’t use 4 boxes of cereal in a year. Moreover, a good cereal goes for around $4-5 per box and even if on sale for $1 off that’s still $3-$4 per box. If you are required to buy 4 boxes that’s $12-$16 and then you save only $1. That’s only a savings of 7-8%.
    2. Similar to #1, is the requirement that you must purchase multiple items, and if the coupon says $1/3 you cannot use three coupons. This is great if you can use that much product, but for empty nesters it really is useless. I’d be pleased if the manufacturers offer (and some do) two coupons at similar % savings. One for say, $2/2 and another for $1/1. If it is a product I use and buy often, I’d purchase 3 (only if they were on sale, of course) and use both coupons. Otherwise, if on sale and depending on the price after coupons, I’d use one or the other. What I find, however, is that the coupon for purchasing multiple product is a lot higher value than the single purchase coupon. For example, save $2/3 and another coupon offers savings of only $1/2 or $0.5/1
    3. Short Expiration dates. My favorite coupons are those with no expiration. In days gone by, most coupons had no expiration. Nowadays, the mfgs are cutting expirations to 3-4 weeks at the most in order to get you back more often.
    You can get good savings at CVS, but overall, I found that I save more by using mfg coupons at Walmart and occasionally at Target. My gripes with CVS: A) The expiration date on their kiosk coupons are way too short, B) the ‘regular everyday price’ on most items is WAY higher than at other stores, c) Coupons sent to my CVS Extra card or from the in-store kiosk can only be redeemed with my card . So I cannot share my coupons (for items I don’t use) with friends or family who would use those items. D) If an item is BOGO, most stores will sell you one at 1/2 price. NOT CVS. You must buy two, and if products are priced at say, $2/3.99 you have to buy 2 to get the sale price. E) most of the ‘extra buck rewards’ products are priced so that you have to buy much more than the advertised sale items in order to get the extra bucks. For example, say you get $5 extrabucks when you purchase $15 Pantene products. Pantene is on sale at 2/4.99 so if you didn’t have a coupon you would have to purchase at least 7 pantene products because 6 products would only equal $14.97. The 7th would also be regular price so you’d have to spend approximately $19 (plus tax) to get the $5 extra bucks. Now lets say you had 3 coupons, each $2/2 pantene products. You would have to buy about 9 products (8@2/4.99+1 regular price of about $4 = $23 less $6 in mfg coupons) at $17. Then considering the $5 extrabucks, you’ve saved $11 off $23 (and then addback the tax). You had to purchase 9 bottles of shampoo or whatever and didn’t meet your 50% criteria.
    I’d buy more at CVS if they would price their products at an even amount. For example, charge $4 instead of $3.99 or $10 rather than $9.98. This ‘just below’ pricing is a long standing marketing ploy, but really, how many people are fooled into thinking that the product is $3 when it’s a penny away from $4. If the Pantene products were 2/$5, I could buy 6 of them at $15, get my $5 extrabucks and use my $6 mfg coupons, and in effect I would have purchased $15 of products for $4. (plus tax of course). Even better is knowing that I saved even more considering that their ‘regular everyday price’ was higher. Now THAT would more than meet the 50% criteria!
    SURE, I could give away most of what I get nearly free with coupons, but part of saving money is realizing that you cannot always buy in bulk – and extreme couponing usually involves buying in bulk. Being on an extremely frugal budget, there’s not any extra $ to spend stockpiling for items I cannot use now or in the near future.

    I also agree with an earlier commenter who stated that there are rarely coupons for items her family uses, considering most coupons are for packaged products full of ingredients a lot of us don’t want.

    Anyone know of any good sites for single people, vegetarians, etc… who want to use coupons efficiently? I, and many others, sure would appreciate the links, if you know of any.
    Thanks for reading my comments.

    Reply
  • webpage October 4,

    It’s difficult to find educated people about this topic,
    however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

    Reply
  • sony headphones October 20,

    I enjoy reading through an article that will make men and women think.
    Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

    Reply
  • thomas November 3,

    Thanks love this

    Reply
  • Raymie November 8,

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful information!!! I just decided to try couponing this week but there is so much information out there that I was getting overwhelmed! This guide was very helpful and I cant wait to get started. Thanks again and I’m so happy to have this website. Looks like there is so much to learn on here. I’m excited :D

    Reply
  • Lauren December 1,

    I’m so excited to have found your blog. I’ve really wanted to start couponing and had no idea where to begin. Now it doesn’t seem so intimidating!

    I just have one question: what do you do about things that expire more quickly, such as meat and produce? Do you buy those in large quantities as well, or as you need them? And if you DO stockpile them, how do you go about storing them? Especially produce. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Terry Chan December 22,

    Thank you, Ruth, for sharing such a wealth of information. I pray blessings over you many times over for what your site does to help families live well and spend less. I am delighted that you encourage your readers to be courteous to the store workers. I am also delighted that you encourage us not to be hoarders and to share the wealth by giving our extra items to those in need. God bless you and your family!

    Reply
  • christina December 30,

    I have not started yet but I am making a lot of notes. I have seen many shows on tv and got hooked. I found this site to be very helpful, but a have a question that mite sound stupid ; well you only can have one coupon per item is what I am told…so how is it that you can buy so many of one item?

    Reply
  • Krystal February 28,

    I have to say I loved the series! I couponed many years ago and had a wonderful stockpile started. We moved and I just stopped. I have been wanting to start again but was feeling extremely overwhelmed by all of it. Then I came across your website! I am loving it. My deal this week was a 94% savings at the grocery! I was thrilled, and all thanks to your great series!!!!

    Reply
  • Karen March 19,

    Thanks for your website. I am very new to couponing but I found using the small brag photo books help me. I made them for different departments and can flip thru them really quick. I like publix but you do pretty much have to limit yourself to sale items. Dont forget to ask them for coupons when you visit them, and go to the website for digital coupons. As to some of the people asking about saving on meat. I have seen Publix have $ off meat if you buy a cetain item. Winn Dixie sells mark down meat, and some of the privately owned stores. If you ask the butcher he/she will usually tell you the best day & time to check with them. Another idea for some…. I bought 20 $5 off/$30 (Winn Dixie) at ebay for $25.. And can use them at Publix. Made $75 before I ever left the house and that helps offset meat! Thanks for all your help. Still learning and have a long way to go…

    Reply
  • nancy April 11,

    ruth, I had a coupon for liquid Rolaid. On sale for 3.99 coupon was for 4.50 they would only give me 4.00 off . would not take the .50 off end of bill. This was a Shoprite. Why did they do that. thanks

    Reply
  • Ruth Soukup April 15,

    Hi Nancy,
    It sounds like Shoprite gave you the item for free after the coupon. You can ask the store for their coupon policy.
    I’m also attaching a link to my FAQ post: http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/faqs/
    I hope this helps! :)

    Reply
  • Kristin June 24,

    Hi! I enjoyed reading your posts. I recently took a position as a teacher at a school in Phoenix, AZ that primarily (60%+) caters to homeless students. 100% of the students’ families are at or below the poverty level. I was wondering if you had any tips about couponing for school supplies. Stores haven’t yet started their back to school sales, but I wanted to be prepared for when they do. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • Ginger June 28,

    Hi Ruth,
    I read your entire tutorial and it seems like a great way to get into this. But, right now it’s two of us, we are empty nesters and no grandkids at them moment. We would be doing a lot of donating, which is great. So I have question related to donations – when you value the products you donate for tax purposes, are you using the retail price, the sales price or the final net price after all coupons on the item to value your donation? I know that we could make a difference at women’s shelters, pet shelters, soup kitchens, etc., by donating what we won’t use, and/or excess quantities.
    Thanks for this great resource!

    Reply
  • maray July 30,

    How can I triple coupon?

    Reply
  • Jen July 30,

    Thanks for the information. I am curious as to where you stand with price comping at Wal-Mart and using the system in place with it. Wal-Mart also has a new thing, Savings Catcher that you do the following:

    -Enter the receipt number and date printed on the bottom of your store receipt.
    -Savings Catcher scans circulars from top competitors in your area for advertised details that match the eligible items on your receipt.
    -If Savings Catcher finds a lower advertised price, you get the difference on a egift card.

    Reply
  • Anonymous August 25,

    If the coupon says $1 off 3, I can or cannot use three of those coupons n those same three items?

    Reply
  • ashley August 28,

    Hi ruth I used your guide to get started it was great but I was wondering if maybe you could help me find a website that I can use to see sale match ups and get advice from as well as using your site but I have been looking for one that is closer to home I am in cleveland ohio and so far I have not been able to find a site that is good and close to home I know you have come across a few people that are doing this as well would any of them happen to have a blog and be close to my area that you would recommend

    Reply
  • Candace October 12,

    Hello everyone! I have not made my first trip to the store yet, but I have decided on some stores I want to shop at. In NC, there are stores called Harris Teeter. They double coupons up at $.99. Also, there is a store called Dollar Tree. Everything in the store is literally $1. If you can find manufacturer coupons, you can use them at this store and practically get everything for free or at least 50%-%75 off.
    Website: http://www.livingrichwithcoupons.com/dollar-tree-coupons

    Reply

Leave a Comment