How to Coupon

Modified: 

Get Started

  • Start keeping coupon inserts from Sunday’s paper.
  • Check out my blog for the latest printable coupons, and visit the printable coupon websites listed on my Find Coupons page.  Print the coupons that you know you’ll use.
  • Start organizing your coupons!

Organizing Coupons

  • There are a couple different ways that people organize their coupons; you have to choose what works best for you.
  • Option 1:  Clip every coupon from the weekly inserts.  Then, you can file them alphabetically or by category in a small coupon accordion for your purse or a binder with baseball card clear inserts.
  • Option 2:  Do not clip any coupons, but instead keep entire coupon inserts each week.  (This works best for me.)  Then, when you are looking for the best deals of the week you can check my blog or other deal sites you go to and see which coupon inserts the coupons you need to pull are located.  You can keep your inserts in a binder or an accordion file.
  • I have a large zip binder where I keep my coupons.  In one section I have the coupons that I have printed out, and coupons I have received in the mail, organized alphabetically in baseball insert sleeves.  In the next section, I have clear sheet protector sleeves where I put each weeks coupon inserts by date and insert type.
  • Insert types are abbreviated on my blog, and most couponing and deal sites, you’ll need to learn those next.

Coupon Abbreviations

  • PG = Procter & Gamble-P&G puts out a monthly coupon insert that you will find in your Sunday paper.  Procter & Gamble is a corporation that owns many popular brands such as Pantene, Charmin, Bounty, Dawn, Cover Girl, and many more.
  • RP = Red Plum-Red Plum puts out a weekly coupon insert that you will find in your Sunday paper.
  • SS = Smart Source-Smart Source puts out a weekly coupon insert that you will find in your Sunday paper.
  • OOP = Out of Pocket-This refers to the price that you are paying MINUS the coupon value. (example: XYZ Cereal is $2.00, you have a coupon for $1 off XYZ Cereal, you will pay $1.00 OOP)
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One (usually B1G1 Free) If you buy one product, you get another one of the same product free.
  • NLA = No longer available – Refers to coupons that are no longer accessible.
  • Once you have collected your coupons, you’ll need to start checking the sale ads every week for the best deals.

Sale Ads

  • Each Sunday paper will have sale ads for major grocery and drug stores in your area.  Personally, I always pull the CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Kroger, Target, and Walmart ads.  (Publix comes on Wednesday)
  • You can browse through each ad to see if there’s anything you need, and if you have coupons to pair with the sale items… OR you can visit my blog to view the best and cheapest deals of the week paired up with the coupons to use with them!
  • Once you’ve decided what you want to buy, you’ll need to build a scenario for the store before you go shopping.

Scenario Building

  • For beginner couponers, I suggest using one of my simple scenarios before you get in to building your own.  Drug store sales can be a little confusing, but if you start with just a couple items and coupons at a time, you’ll learn in no time!
  • Download my Shopping List to calculate the total OOP expenses you should pay when you go to the store.  This way, you will have a ball park idea of how much you’ll be spending before you go.
  • For Target, Kroger, and Walmart:  I usually just make my shopping list in my Shopping List spreadsheet to get an estimate of what I’ll be spending.  (Unless it’s a Kroger Mega Sale)
  • For Publix:  I type my Shopping List with the items I think are the best deals.  My Publix accepts $5 off $50 Star Market coupons, and I also have $3 off $30 Publix coupons, so I make sure that I meet those totals BEFORE COUPONS in my shopping list.  (and I always have back-up items in case they are out of stock.)
  • For Drug Stores:  I type out the items in my Shopping List that I think I want to buy that are cheap and that I have coupons for.  Then, I break my shopping list into multiple transactions.  The reason for this is because all 3 drug stores have sale items that will print you drug store money for you to use in the store.
    (Example:  Transaction 1 – ABC Iced Tea is on sale for $2, you have a $1 coupon, you pay $1 OOP, BUT you receive $1 drug store money back.  Transaction 2-Shiny Toothpaste is on sale for $1.50, you have a $.50 coupon, you use $1 drug store money from transaction 1, you pay $0.00!!)

Extreme Couponing

  • If you truly want to see the highest savings, you’ll eventually have to start only buying items that are on sale AND that you have a coupon for.
  • This is possible because when you see your favorite items on sale, you’ll need to buy at least a couple week’s worth of the product to hold you over until it goes on sale again.
  • Not only can you buy your favorite items on sale, but you can STACK a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon at most stores!

Example of Coupon Stacking:

Example of using a B1G1 coupon, and another coupon on 2 products:
(The reason this works is because ABC Cereal #1 is $1.25 with $1.00 off coupon, and ABC Cereal #2 is $1.25 minus the B1G1 coupon, which makes it free!)

My Top Couponing Trips

  1. Get Organized!
  2. Start Simple!
  3. Do your research – on sales, coupons, and store coupon policies… before shopping!!

Make sure to check out Saved By The Sale on Facebook and Twitter!


Leave a comment

You must be connected to post a comment.