Save Serious Cash: Secrets of Couponing

If you could save hundreds of dollars and stock up on the products you truly use in your household, wouldn't you do it? That is what I was thinking as I watched this show on TLC called Extreme Couponing. It profiled four people who use coupons to save BIG time off their grocery bills. I'm not talking just a few bucks either, I'm talking HUNDREDS of dollars in one trip. I was astounded to see how one woman racked up a $600.00 total and after coupons were scanned, walked out of the store paying something like $2.64. Yes, you are seeing that correctly! Some of the things I learned by watching the show and also by doing some of my own research, were really surprising to me and I am excited to pass it on to others who may not know.

coupon clipping
coupon clipping
Get your scissors out!
Get your scissors out!

I had tried clipping coupons in the past but it just got to be a chore that didn't really save much money but the "extreme couponers" as they called them on this show did it a totally different way. For instance, I bought one product at a time because I assumed that you could only use one coupon at a time for any product but apparently this isn't so. I saw these people use 10 and 20 of the same coupon. So you can buy as many of that product (along with coupons savings)as long as you have the corresponding number of coupons for that product. I hope I'm not confusing you!!  Also, I never really took the time to watch for double coupon days at local grocery stores but apparently, in some stores even if a specific product is on sale, you can still get it at sale price AND get double coupon savings AND use the stores customer loyalty card to save additionally. I ignorantly assumed that you could not do this type thing but all these four people got MANY free products just by using the double coupons and combining that with in-store sales,etc.  I recently learned also that some stores will let you use an in-store coupon in addition to a manufactures coupon. Honestly, in my past dealings with coupons, I just assumed you couldn't buy sale priced items with coupons and especially not doubled coupons or combined with other deals. Apparently, I have been wrong in my thinking.  What I learned after this show is quite literally that it doesn't pay to be ignorant about coupons. You DO have options when it comes to coupon savings, you just have to KNOW your options.

So, you may ask why would anyone want to use 10 coupons for the same 10 products? If you think about it, it makes sense. If it's a product you know in the future you will buy over and over, it's a good reason to do it. For instance, I use Secret deodorant and lets say I have 10 coupons saved for it and I notice the local pharmacy or store has a sale on Secret and I have the option to buy the deodorant at sale price plus save additional money using the coupons, in the long run I'm saving big money plus I will have a stock at home and won't have to worry about running out of deodorant for a quite some time. Sounds pretty darned good to me. Just think about all the products that you can save money on by doing this. I am thinking about toilet paper, toothpaste, soaps, laundry detergent and really just about anything else you use and have coupons for. I just have to shift my thinking a bit and use a different strategy when shopping for groceries and toiletries. These extreme couponers had a stock of many things that would last them for years to come which really, if you think about it, is a pretty smart thing to do if you have the room to do that and you actually USE the products.  That was the only thing on the Extreme Couponers show that didn't really add up to me.  I mean, who needs enough deodorant to last three lifetimes?

coupon organization file
coupon organization file

This is pretty much what I have learned so far from the show and also from my own research. The first thing to do is get your hands on as many coupons as you can. Sources are rummaging through newspaper recycling bins, having friends, neighbors and family members save coupons for you. You can go on the internet to several different free coupon sites and print out the ones you want completely free. You can also apparently buy coupons off Ebay and there are even online coupon clipping services where you can order/buy coupons. They list quantities of each coupon they have available which are already clipped and ready to be sent per your order. On the sites I checked out they did limit the quantities you can buy of some coupons. It is recommended to get a binder with tabs and plastic sheets with pockets (like for baseball cards) and file your coupons according to different categories like frozen foods, toiletries, canned foods, etc. Then look for the store sales. You have to be diligent in watching but it will pay off when see something on sale that you also have a coupons for.. this is why many get multiples of the same coupon so they can stock up on that particular product and save big time when the time is right. Also, if you are just starting out, it may be a good idea to take some time and call all your local grocery stores ( even in close surrounding towns) and see who does double or triple coupons, on what days and the details of their double and tripling policy. It's definitely worth a little extra gas money if you are going to save some serious cash. Once you have an idea about which stores honor double or triple coupons, you can watch these stores for sales and plan to do a shopping trip during the time of that sale if they have the products you use and have coupons for at sale price. I learned that apparently a lot of stores actually do double coupons but do not advertise it. Be sure not to forget about your local Walgreens and CVS as they have frequent sales as well. I also learned that even if it's a buy one get one free sale, sometimes the coupon can still apply and of course don't forget to apply your customer loyalty card if you can. So there is much strategy involved in this method of shopping but the end result is extremely rewarding.


Anyone can do this but you don't have to do it on the scale that the extreme couponers do. You can save a substantial amount of money if you will just put a little effort into it. One of the ladies on the extreme couponers TLC show worked a full time job and did this on the side as a hobby, yet a very serious hobby and she said she has lots of fun doing it. So don't think you can't do this because you have a full time job. It just depends on what effort you are willing to put into it. This has really has definitely sparked my interest and I already have my binder ready to go with a few coupons in it. I don't want to do it on an extreme scale but I would like to save money and stock up on things that I truly use and buy over and over again like diapers, baby wipes, soap and things like that. That was my beef with the show.. To me it makes sense to make sure and STAY focused on things you actually use or need instead of buying things just because they are on sale or you can save tons of money.  What good is it to save money on it if you aren't even going to use it? In the past I was tempted to use coupons on things just to try them out because I could save a little money but really I'm just throwing money out if I'm I don't really need it.  Figure out what brands of products you use without compromise, what brands you will compromise on, or products that you will use any brand of. For me, I will only buy Dawn dish washing soap, with diapers I will buy either Luvs or Huggies diapers and as far as bath soap goes, I'll buy pretty much any major brand. We all have those products we are picky about using and also those that it doesn't matter much. Keep this in mind when deciding which coupons you want to save and use. Be sure and read the coupon well and make sure it can be combined with other offers and can be doubled or tripled. Pay attention to all the details. There are a lot of different coupons out there with different rules and restrictions and also the stores have rules and restrictions. Figuring this stuff out ahead of time will help avoid any headache at the checkout counter.

coins add up to big cash savings
coins add up to big cash savings

So, have I inspired you to gather up those coupons, get your scissors out, research stores and start saving some money? I hope I have at least been able to make you think about it. I'm sure you probably agree that the prices these days are outrageous and grocery bills add up quickly. This is a way that over time you can really save some money that could be better spent on other things like family activities, clothing or whatever. If your household is anything like mine, you rarely do have extra money for anything else besides the necessities. Stocking up isn't something I had ever thought about but I would be willing to build a small stock of things we use if I'm getting a heck of a deal on the stuff. Besides, going to the grocery store isn't my most favorite thing to do, maybe it would save me some trips to the grocery store! I am a stay at home mom so I do have some time I can put into this and I'm excited about all the things I've learned recently. I'm motivated to get started and see just how much money that can truly be saved.

I would love to hear any comments, tips, ideas, or tricks that you may have about using/saving money with coupons. I am definitely no coupon expert. Just passing on some information that I have recently learned about and am excited to pass it on.  Before I end this hub, I want to recommend a website called Couponing 101. This is a awesome website I found that really explains it all when it comes to coupons. She explains many surprising things that you can do with coupons and it really helped clear away the confusion for me. This is great, valuable information if you are truly serious about saving money with coupons.


Good Luck and Have fun!

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Comments 30 comments

dorine 5 years ago

i watched the show just a few hours ago and was absolutely amazed! I never thought coupons could make that large of a difference i've always cut a few on things i need and like you had mentioned never realized i could use them on sale items or pairedwith instore coupons....on the episode i saw on woman spent around$ 1500 and walked out with the store giving her a$ 50 gift card be cause he saved so much that she got paid to take a bunch of free atuff home! it's great! I how ever didn't understand how she obtained this, so thank you for simplifying this and helping me understand im deffenately going to give this a try. I will how ever admit i still don't know why people would stalk up on years worth of diapers just because they can get them free when they don't have children....but to each their own...thank you for the great post it was very helpful.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Mandeeadair.. Thank you for the comment! So glad that I could be of help. That is my main goal in writing is making sure to write in a way that people understand and not confuse. I appreciate you letting me know this! Take Care :)


Mandeeadair profile image

Mandeeadair 5 years ago from California

Great hub! I needed this information and you put it in a way I understand :)!! Thanks!


Fluffy77 profile image

Fluffy77 5 years ago from Enterprise, OR

Thanks, I have known a few people who do this all the time. I always wondered how, this cleared it up pretty well. I might have to give this a try now sounds very cool actually.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for reading, John S.. I appreciate it.


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Nice hub. Yes, I use coupons as well. In fact, I can't remember the last time I paid full price to have my car wash.

Thanks


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

amelia mcgrath, Thank you for reading! The best way to have coupons sent to you is to subscribe to the newspaper for home delivery..They usually are in the sunday paper. If you live outside of the US I'm really not sure. Hope this helps some!

P.S. You could also sometimes go to certain manufactures websites and sign up to have coupons sent to you in the mail. Places like Procter and Gamble, etc..


amelia mcgrath 5 years ago

wher do i go to get the coupons that vi can get sent out in the mail to me im happy i join .


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Miki, Thank you for the link and the nice comment.. I will definitely check out that link for sure.. can't wait to read your new couponing hub.. Take care!


mikicagle profile image

mikicagle 5 years ago from Oklahoma

I absolutely love your hub and was planning on rewriting one of my old couponing hubs for the upcoming hubpages contest. Our local "Money Saving Queen" offers tips and tricks on one of our local news stations every morning and her website is chock full of great information; you can check it out at MoneySavingQueen.com. The one thing that I love is that she matches up the weekly grocery sale ads with coupons so you save a ton of money.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

You are welcome, crystolite... thank you for reading.


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Nice hub,thanks for sharing.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

cvillelady: Thank you for stopping by and for the comment! I'm going to check out WeUseCoupons.com. I haven't done much with the coupons online (though I know I should!) and there seems to be LOTS of sites out there. I've mainly been clipping inserts and watching sales papers. Thank you for this great info!


cvillelady profile image

cvillelady 5 years ago

Jamie, I haven't seen the TLC show but I believe Nathan Engels was on it. He owns the site WeUseCoupons.com. One of the forum leaders Amanda was on the show, too. I follow the forums for the stores I shop and get coupon matchups in advance. Since I'm in VA, I usually get to preview the store flyers from TX a week early so I can prep my coupons. I don't cut them out until I know exactly what I need. This helps when you see people refer to the coupon inserts by date. My favorite stores are Harris Teeter, Kroger, and Target.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hi SJKSJK, you said in your comment, "I always clip coupons and then go to the store and forget to sue them." LOL! Sue them or Use them?? I'm sure you meant use...just kidding with ya. It's funny what you come out with simply by switching up two letters in a word!

Anyway,I know what you mean. For a while I got free coupons off the internet for stuff and when I got them in the mail I had them all gathered up in my purse and I don't think I used even ONE of them before they expired. I kept forgetting I had them.

Thanks for reading!


SJKSJK profile image

SJKSJK 5 years ago from delray beach, florida

I always clip coupons and then go to the store and forget to sue them.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you, kaiyan717!


kaiyan717 profile image

kaiyan717 5 years ago from West Virginia

Great ideas for a very big expense.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

stephhicks68: Thank you for reading and for the nice comment!

Donna: So glad that I was able to inspire you with this.. every little bit saved helps, I think. :0)


DonnaWallace profile image

DonnaWallace 5 years ago from North Carolina

Thank you for the great hub on couponing. It's amazing how much money people can save simply by cutting coupons. You've inspired me to pay more attention to those tiny slips of paper that I usually just toss in the trash.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Time is money and I find that the investment that is required to save a few dollars may not always be worth it. Yet, I know people can save a bunch on their groceries. I don't think I have the patience to shop like that - helpful though!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Yeah, Ms._Info, it was pretty extreme yet fascinating that people apparently do save that much money. It did teach me a lot about coupons that I didn't know and inspired me to give it a try on a much less extreme level. Do try to see the show.. it is quite interesting. Thanks for reading!


Ms._Info profile image

Ms._Info 5 years ago from New Jersey

I've never seen the show, but I do clip coupons, however not to the extreme you describe above. I am totally happy with saving a few bucks here and there, but would love to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of stuff for just a few dollars. Hmm, I guess I need to watch the show.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Yes, Nina, I totally agree! I am excited about it!!

Mr Tindle.. thanks so much for reading and voting!!


Mr Tindle profile image

Mr Tindle 5 years ago

Interesting hub, voted up!


Nina Todd 5 years ago

I saw the show over the weekend as well and what caught my attention was the giving to the Food Shelf. Due to financial concerns I've had to seriously decrease my donations to charity - but this is a way that I can give to the food shelf and homeless selter without going broke! My granddaughter and I have decided to take up the coupon hobby - anything we save on that we use the extra goes into the vacation account. All the freebies (or near to free) items go to charity. Win, Win all the way around!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks deberon!! It's kind of exciting thinking about it, huh... that it really is possible to make a difference with coupons. I've been obsessed since the show.


deberon profile image

deberon 5 years ago

I just saw the show over the weekend and on Sunday began hunting for good coupons and store sales. It will take a lot of time to really benefit but I am going to give it a try!

Thanks, Jamie, for another great hub!


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you Karen.. I really was surprised to learn some of these things. I guess the key is how much effort your willing to put into it. Thank you for reading!


Karen Wodke profile image

Karen Wodke 5 years ago from Midwest

I always wondered how people did it who claimed to save so much money using coupons. Thanks for a very informative article.

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