Welcome to the Living Well Spending Less FAQ page!

We do our best to respond to as many questions, comments, and emails as we can, but unfortunately, there are many times we simply can’t get to them all. Even so, we do love reading all your questions and comments, and even if we can’t always answer directly, we do hope you’ll keep ’em coming.

In the meantime, here are some answers some of our most frequently asked questions:

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What is Living Well Spending Less all about?  

Our mission at Living Well Spending Less is to encourage, inspire, and empower our readers to strengthen your budgets, reach your goals, achieve your dreams, and serve your communities. All of our resources, articles and products are written and created with this in mind. Our goal is to help make life a little simpler so that you can have more time, money & energy to do all those things your really want to do. Ultimately, our philosophy is that a life well lived isn’t so much about what we have or how much we spend, but who we are.  You can read more about LWSL here.

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I am new to this site.  Where should I start?

If you want to know a little bit more about who I am, where I’ve been, and how I tick, you might want to start by reading my depression story and how I finally found financial peace.  Where you should go after that will really depend on what you are most interested in. If you are looking to discover some new easy, budget friendly recipes, you may want to check out our Food Made Simple section. On the other hand you are looking for more personal inspiration, you might want to check out our Life Etc. Section. If you are looking for practical tips to get your home in order, you should head over to our Home 101 section. If you are in need of financial tips, you will definitely want to spend some time in our Smart Money section. Be sure to also check out our shop for a variety of incredible resources that will help you implement the helpful ideas found here at LWSL.

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I signed up for a challenge but I am not getting the emails. Can you help me?

Please note that our emails come from “Ruth Soukup” and NOT “Living Well Spending Less”—this confuses people sometimes! Also, be sure to check both your spam and “promotion” folder for your confirmation. 98% of the time, the email will be in one of those two folders! If you still don’t see the email within 15 minutes of signing up, please email us at admin@livingwellspendingless.com.

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I love your site and I want to help support it—do you accept donations?

While we do not accept donations to this website, we are grateful for our reader support! We invite you to support us by purchasing our products in the shop, and by sharing word about our site with your family and friends.

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Is Ruth available to come and speak at our event?

Ruth is available for a limited number of speaking engagements each year. She speaks on both personal and business topics. You can find more information about booking Ruth on her speaking page HERE.

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How does this website make money?

Living Well Spending Less Inc. is a for-profit S-corporation. On this website, we generate revenue in a variety of ways, including through advertising, sponsored content, affiliate links, and by selling our own products. You can read more about our advertising policies & our full disclosure HERE.

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How do I advertise on LivingWellSpendingLess.com?

Please refer to our advertising page HERE.

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Can I link to an article on your site or share your content in a print publication? 

Please refer to the Living Well Spending Less Copyright and Reprint policy for all questions relating to reproducing content from the site.

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Where can I find you on social media?

We highly recommend that you connect with Ruth (@RuthSoukup) on Instagram or on Periscope, as that is where she spends the most time! That said, you can also find Living Well Spending Less on Facebook and Pinterest.

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I want to save money with coupons, but I don’t know where to start.  Can you help me?

Yes!  Start here, with the LWSL Beginner’s Guide to Coupons.   It is an eight-week course that breaks down the whole process into manageable “baby steps.”  However, please note that coupons are not the only way to save money on food!  If you are not sure coupons are for you, check out this post on how to cut your grocery bill in half.

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How can you use so many coupons at one time?  Mine all say “One Coupon Per Purchase.”

A single item is considered a “purchase,” so “one coupon per purchase” really just means you can use one coupon per item.  Every once in a while, a coupon will state “one per transaction,” in which case you will only be able to use one at a time.

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How do you save money on meat and produce?

Honestly, I save the most money on meat by not buying a whole lot of it.  I am vegetarian, and while my family is not, we do eat several meatless meals per week.  If cutting back on meat is not an option for you, then try to save on meat by watching prices and stocking up as much on possible when there is a good sale.

For more ideas on saving money on meat you can reference this post 7 Easy Ways to Save Money on Meat

As far as saving on produce, you can check out my tips here for 7 Ways to Save on Produce.

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I don’t have a big family.  Can I still benefit from using coupons?

Everyone can benefit from using coupons!  It doesn’t matter if you are single or have a huge family, have dietary restrictions or eat mostly organic.  Granted, the degree to which you save might not be as significant as someone (like me) who is very strict about buying and eating ONLY what is on sale, but any savings is better than none.  You can still use the methods and techniques outlined in this site to buy the things that are right for you and your family, in a quantity that is reasonable for the size of your family.  Saving $25 a week of your groceries will put an extra $1,300 a year in your pocket.

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What do I do if my coupon expires before I can use it?

Don’t expect to use all your coupons.  Don’t even expect to use half of them.  The key to extreme coupon savings is matching up a coupon to a great sale price.  Lots of times, a coupon will expire before a sale comes up.  And that is okay.  More coupons and more sales will come along, and there will always be more match-ups.  But if you want to do something useful with your expired coupons, consider donating them to the troops, who can use coupons expired up to 6 months at the Commissary.

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I am afraid to print too many coupons because printer ink is so expensive!  How can I save on printing coupons?

If you are serious about saving money with coupons, then I highly recommend investing in an inexpensive black & white laser printer.  I personally use the Brother HL2140, but you can purchase the slightly newer Brother HL2240 on Amazon.com for less than $100.  A high-yield toner cartridge costs about the same as an ink-jet refill, but will last anywhere from 4 months to a year.

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How do you organize your coupons?

The way I keep my coupons organized has evolved over the years, and will probably continue to evolve as time goes on.  I started by using a Couponizer book ( currently out of print), then, as my coupon supply got larger, eventually switched to using a filing system, which I wrote about (and made a video about) here, where I filed my entire inserts by date and then clip only the ones that I needed for a particular shopping trip, based on my coupon matchups.  I would still use my Couponizer ( currently out of print) to store my printables and loose coupons.

Some time ago I decided to try out the binder method, which I wrote about here. While I liked having all my coupons in a portable, ultra-organized format that I could take with me everywhere, I found that clipping ALL my coupons every week was just too much maintenance for me.  So now I use a hybrid system that combines the Qubie binder method with the filing method; I use the Qubie to store all my printables, loose coupons, and any super high-value coupons that I notice when the new inserts come out on Sundays.  Then I still file the whole insert by date and find the coupons that I need when I make my shopping list.

Don’t be surprised if the way you sort and organize your coupons changes over time too.  For more information on where to find these items, go here.

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I don’t understand all these acronyms and abbreviations!   Can you please translate?

Click here for the Coupon Lingo Guide.

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I’m still only saving 30-40% at the grocery store.  How do I save more?

Mega-saving (70-80% or more) on a regular basis takes time.  You need to first establish a plentiful and varied stockpile, as well as a good supply of coupons.  You also need to commit to buying only what is on sale each week.  A few non-sale–especially milk, eggs, dairy, & produce– or impulse items will really affect your bottom line.  I personally almost always buy milk at CVS using Extra Care Bucks, and I usually buy eggs at Walgreens using my Register Rewards.   But be patient and consistent, and you’ll get there.  And remember, ANY savings is better than none!

Click here for a more in-depth article on maximizing your coupon savings.

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.

{ 28 comments… add one }

  • Cheryl gibson February 17,

    I live in Knoxville TN. I cannot find a store that will take triple coupons. Kroger is the only store that will take double coupons up to 1.00. I cannot figure how to cut my grocery bill more than 29%. What am I doing wrong or how can I save more? Any ideas?

    • Anonymous February 17,

      Same here, different part of the country. I also would rather be healthy with less money.

    • Mike February 23,

      My wife and I are also new to this, but we have been able to save between 50-60%, really our average is about 50.75% savings. Not having a Kroger near us, we do not know a whole lot about them or their policies. I would say that’s one of the first places to start, either by contacting their corporate office or the local store’s manager. One of the things we have found out is a store near us will accept Catalinas that print at their competitors’ stores. Now, I don’t want to take away from this site’s visitors, so hopefully the owner, Ruth, will chime in and correct me if I’m wrong and she does put up deals with different stores, but if not, you can google ” Coupon Matchups”.

      I’ll give you an example of something we did just a week or two ago with one of our stores which accepts Catalinas from competitors as long as it says “Manufacturer Coupon”. We went to Walgreens and got a bottle of the new Chloraseptic Warming Spray, they had it priced at $3.99 and you got a $3 coupon that printed out from the Catalina machine. We then used a $2/1 Walgreens Coupon and a $1/1 Manufacturer Coupon making our out of pocket expense $.99 and we got a coupon for $3 off our next shopping order over the amount of the coupon. We used that at the local grocery store that accepts them. So, we got the Chloraseptic spray plus $2 worth of groceries for free.

  • Anonymous March 16,

    How do you know what quantity of each item to purchase?

    • Jonathan January 5,

      Answering Basic Questions About Using Coupons From A Former Cashier

      Most coupons have very fine small print listing the max quantities available of the desired object. It is generally located under the sale price of most coupons. At times, manufacturers neglect to put the limit of how many items you can buy on the coupon. If this is to happen with you, then generally it means only one item per coupon.
      As a former cashier I’ve seen people bring in multiple coupons for just one item. Usually with most coupons it is best to get a deal on just one item with the coupon and not use multiple coupons since the item on the coupon is usually expensive since manufacturers will limit the size of the product to a greater size. Some manufacturers that didn’t do this would be subject to multiple coupons being used to buy sample sizes.
      Also, another tip is to remember the expiration date since it can be embarrassing going to the checkout with an outdated coupon offer.

  • Anonymous April 7,

    I was just wondering, can you print coupons in all black or do you have to us color and black?
    Thank you

  • Camille Duckworth June 5,

    I just came across your blog today and LOVE It! As a homeschooling mom I found that section particularly entertaining and helpful, but after you raved about how you coupon and think everyone should coupon I had to check out this little corner of your world! So question is, when you say coupons are great, you love couponing, it’s the best and everybody should coupon, are you really meaning everyone? Because honestly? When we talk about balance in life, I’m afraid couponing takes too much time to allow balance in my life. I have 5 kids (and obviously I said I homeschool) and have found that I best save my time and my money by shopping once every two weeks (when I have more storage space some day it will be monthly), I shop at Wal-Mart (gasp…it’s there or Fred Meyer in my town) and figure I can in one shopping trip get everything I need for my family at reasonable prices. OR I could coupon, go to multiple stores, multiple times, using many different sites and newspapers for coupons and using lots of my time to organize them….to hopefully save money. PLEASE tell me that I have it all wrong cause I would LOVE to save money without spending my precious family time on something slightly less important. In the mean time I’ll continue to enjoy and be inspired by everything else you post about on your blog!

  • Lynlee October 5,

    Ok so for the manufacture’s coupons I found many of the same ones on different sites. Can I double them up on one item or do I have to buy one item and then use one coupon? How can I use 2 or 3 or 4… coupons per one item?

  • Kathy H. February 1,

    If you have an item that cost $3.00, then a coupon for .75 ( that’s states, save .75 on two) My store will double the coupon to $1.50. Can you use 2 coupons for that item?

    • Ruth Soukup February 3,

      Hi Kathy,
      You would need to purchase 4 items to use two .75 cent coupons.
      Hope this helps!

  • ariana March 2,

    HI! I’m working on organizing my coupon accordion and are having trouble trying to decide what the categories should be. I was wondering if you could share the categories that are in your couponizer booklet?

  • jera March 23,

    So I am trying to fallow all your advice and read the questions others have asked. However I am stuck on what coupons can be stacked. If i have a coupon for $ off of three items and another for $ off two items I am gathering that I would need to buy Five alltogether to use them is that right? If you have the off so many items can you then stack it with a off single item and not need to purchase additional items? I hope I worded this correctly! Thank you in advance for the help and time spent!!

  • Shannon S. April 3,


    I live in Baltimore, Maryland- Arguably the worst location to live in for couponing. I’m having such a hard time with the stores in my state, and what they accept. It seems all of the amazing stores that enable couponing, are all south. Any advice you have for me?

  • Julie April 18,

    Do you have to use certain coupons at certain stores? How do you know which store accepts the coupons you have? Obviously the coupons you get from Publix can only be used at Publix, but I am referring to those coupons that come in a coupon pack or the newspaper. Thanks for your help!

    • Ruth Soukup April 19,

      Hi Julie,
      You will want to ask each store for their coupon policy. It will usually include a list of competitors coupons they will accept. I hope this helps! :)

  • Chelsey April 20,

    If a coupon says “one item per purchase” up to 4 coupons per transaction does that mean i can only use 1 coupon per item and have to by 4 items so i can use 4 coupons for each transaction?

  • Amanda July 21,

    Hi Ruth,

    I’m trying to find where you post your own shopping trips to see what you saved and what coupons you used. I can’t seem to find the right section. Where should I look?

  • AnnaLisa July 24,

    Hi! I’m brand new to the coupon thing, but I’m having some trouble. I can never find coupons to print online! None of the websites I go to will let me have the coupons I want. And some of them take me to Facebook where I have to like the company’s page to get the coupon, and I do but it never gives me and option to print the coupon, or a link to a coupon, or anything. Please help me, I would so greatly appreciate it. Thank you!

  • Ja'Varis August 23,


    I am new to this. I am trying to figure out a way to print my online coupons? I have a Mac laptop and I have tried to install the printers that they are asking, but it still doesn’t work. Can you help please?

  • Maisa November 4,

    How do you print multiple copies of the same coupon with different codes?

  • Jane Plymouth November 24,

    Just letting you know that there will be a FREE Kindle Children’s Christmas book from the 24th – 26th of November. It is Nancy Isaak’s “Flight 308 to Christmas”.
    This is a charming Christmas tale of a young girl flying a small Cessna through the Colorado Rockies on Christmas Eve with a military vet flying in a Shepherd plane alongside, trying to talk her to safety.
    “Flight 308 to Christmas” is a family-friendly book that is safe to read to children who still believe in Santa Claus.
    Below is a link to the book.
    Thank you. Jane P :o)


  • Shryl Leonard January 23,

    Please add me to your email list. I’d love to get them! I’m reading your book and it’s rich with Godly wisdom. Thank you for sharing your gifts!

  • Sara February 28,

    I just found this site a few days ago and saw a “Beginner’s cleaning” series that had 4 or 5 parts including “laundry 101” and getting started on cleaning.Now I can’t find that series anywhere on the site. Any idea where it is listed? Thanks!

  • sharron March 14,

    I have foods stamps and only get 84.dollar for the month, I like using coupon, I would like to get 250.dollars worth of food with the 84 dollars. How can I do this? please help

  • Kim March 29,

    I wish you would put something in here about what “Thrifty Thursday” and “Weekend Wandering” are about. I’ve tried visiting these posts several times but the posts seem so eclectic, I’m not entirely sure what the general theme is. I would like if you placed a little quip introducing what these are when you write your posts, but if that would be too much clutter then perhaps adding it to your FAQ section would be great for someone like me who wants to understand but can’t find information about what these two series are and what they mean and how I could get involved. :)

    • Ruth Soukup March 29,

      Thrifty Thursday is a link up party. When a bunch of fellow bloggers link up their favorite thrifty, DIY, recipe and money saving posts. Weekend Wandering is a post that I create by selecting my favorite posts that are linked up to Thrifty Thursday. I hope that helps! :)

  • Holly September 10,

    Hi! I’ve just signed up for your month of no spending program. I’m a little confused though – I buy a lot of fresh produce and really only buy what I need for a week (even snacks are fresh). I’m not sure how what I have in the house could possibly feed my family of 3 for an entire month?! How does this work? Love the idea of this challenge. Thank you.

  • Holly Stewart September 15,

    Hi Ruth!
    I’m a big fan and want to start first by saying thank you for doing what you do!
    I just finished your book “How To Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul” and I have a question… Which form of business do you recommend – proprietorship or LLC? I know the pros and cons to each. But seriously, do authors and bloggers have to worry so much about being sued? For simplicity (and since I believe this will launch rather slowly) I am thinking proprietor / DBA. Just wondered what else you might give me to think about. :-)


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