Eight Tips to Couponing

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If you are new to Frugal Coupon Living, take a look at Frugal Coupon Living’s Features as well as the printable store feature.

1)      Stay Organized

Overall organization is critical to maintaining sanity and realizing long term value.  There is nothing worse in couponing than going into a store unorganized.  Have your list, your coupons, and know your sale.  Leave the rest in the car.  A little prep work in needed before you hit the stores.

2)      Know the Code

There is a secret formula.   A sale + a MFR (manufacturer) coupon + a SC (store coupon) + a CC (competitor coupon)  = freebies, moneymakers, and cheap items.   When possible combine these things.   In addition to the secret formula, you need to know the acronyms (see my side bar for examples.)

3)      Be Flexible

Break from brand loyalties, there are a lot of great coupons out there if you are willing to try new things.  You will find when combining coupons you end up buying most of the brands that are most expensive for the least amount of money. Don’t worry about having to only buy the generic items.

4)      Learn to Stockpile

When there is an amazing sale combined with a large coupon you must stockpile.  Know your store sales, how frequently things go on sale and then save enough until the next sale.  This might mean you need several copies of a coupon…getting multiple copies of newspapers is a good idea. A general rule of thumb is one copy of the paper for as many people in the house – four people in the house would mean four Sunday papers. If you find you are in a time when you can not coupon as much, cut back to two papers. You at least one two papers, so during B1G1 sales you have a coupon for each item.

5)      Reward Cards Are Your Friend

Many stores offer great incentives only for those who are reward card holders.  Sometimes it is best to get reward cards of stores not even in your area because some stores will take those competitors’ coupons that might come to your address for being a club/reward card member.

6)      Understand the Fine Print

Make sure you read the details so you truly understand what is on sale and what items for the coupon will work.  Most manufacturers display the most expensive item on face of the coupon.  Consumers look at the picture and select that item.  If you read the fine print there might be a cheaper item for which you could get the discount (one example is a trial size item.)

7)      Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

Frugal Coupon Living has done the work for you.  Don’t get stressed trying to plan your shopping list.  Use this website to see what is on sale each week and what is matched to a coupon.  If you do not have the coupon, don’t buy the item unless your family is in need (sales are good, but they are even better with coupons.)  Look at my shopping lists then create your own list.

8)   Manage Your Time

I realize that gathering your coupons, list of sale items, etc can take some time and can make going to the grocery store difficult. If you are strapped for time, I encourage you to shop the B1G1 sales, items that are significantly reduced, and at least take along printable coupons attached to the lists provided on Frugal Coupon Living. Sometimes, I personally find, hunting for the coupon in my coupon binder can be more difficult than just selecting print on my computer. Do the best you can and don’t be hard on yourself for what you didn’t’ do, rather rejoice in how much you did save!

Related Posts:

CVS 101

Walgreens 101

Couponing Acronyms and Explanations

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  1. Thank-you – this is the first time I ever saw your website. Printing coupons for the buy one get one free Publix cereal sale was so easy. I will be checking back every week.

  2. Deb Bridges says:

    Could you please explain something to me? I have a BOGO MFC and a store near me is offering the item for Buy One Get One 1/2 off. Can I utilize the MFC for free items?

    • Frugal Coupon Living says:

      On a B1G1 50% off sale, your B1G1 coupon can swing either way. You will either get the 50% off item for free or the item you paid full price for free. Most cashiers should honor the more expensive item. You will not get both free though :(

  3. How do I find your shopping lists? I can’t seem to navigate this site to find them. Thanks!

  4. Ruth Bascom says:

    I’m trying to print your shopping list sample and a publisher announcement pop out instead. Is there anyother way to print your sample?

    • Frugal Coupon Living says:

      Shopping list sample? I do not see that link on this page. Can you please share with me where you are seeing the Publisher Accoutrement Pop Up instead?

  5. So some stores take Manufacture coupons for value of $1 ?

  6. Elizabeth E. says:

    I really wish FCL did weekly shopping lists for Giant Eagle!! None of the grocery stores on this site are in my area (NE Ohio)!
    Other than that, this site has helped turn me into a couponer!!

  7. I am noticing that the rules seem to be different in FL than anywhere else. I have four options for grocery shopping where I live: Wal-Mart, Aldi, Winn-Dixie and Publix. Do any of them do double coupons or CC in FL? How do I get the most out of my couponing in such a restricted state?

    • Frugal Coupon Living says:

      Most Florida Locations do not double coupons. Publix does take competitor coupons and Walmart and Target match competitor ads.

  8. Ashley says:

    Where do I get coupons from besides the newspaper. Can you suggest a safe site to use? They all want you to download something and I am always leery of it. Thanks.

    • Frugal Coupon Living says:

      I add links on this site to places I know are safe and use myself.

  9. Shawn Jefferson says:

    Hi, I’m a military spouse and I shop at my local commissary. Do you know how the commissary honors coupons? I’ve heard they take CC, living OCONUS, they take coupons up to 6months after expiration. Basically, are you at all aware of how the coupon system works inside the commissary or should I just go to me local FoodLand or SafeWay to get the best deals? BTW, commissary is already inex

    • Frugal Coupon Living says:

      Safeaway has some great days, I would consider doing other locations like Safeway, CVS, and Walgreens.

  10. Shawn Jefferson says:

    Inexpensive and everything is tax free. Does that really make a huge difference when it comes to couponinf. I’m very new at this and would love to start saving the family more money, when I can… Any help would be appreciated. Thank You

  11. Shawn Jefferson says:

    Ok, I’ll look into them, I’m in Hawaii and live on base. A lot of the products off base in regular supermarkets are ridiculous with the prices. I’ll give that a try, thank you so much. I’ve been watching extreme coupling and I love it love it live it… I just won’t go to the extent of clearing out a bedroom to make it my own mini grocery store lol

    • Frugal Coupon Living says:

      hawaii could be a bit of a different story cause of the price for the food to travel from the mainland to you guys.

  12. Melissa O says:

    I have gone through most of the coupon sites here and as I have been printing my coupons they all say “one coupon per perchase and cannot be combined with any onther coupon”, how do you build a stock pile if you can’t bundle. I truly need couponing 101. Is it one coupon per item only, no other coupon accepted per per transaction?

    • Frugal Coupon Living says:

      One coupon per perchase and cannot be combined with any another coupon” means one coupon PER item. You can print this coupon a few times and use one per item.

  13. when you have a coupon that says save 1$ on 2 boxes of cereal can i use a coupon for each box?

    • That means you’ll save $1 on 2 boxes of cereal or $.50 on each box. Does that make sense?

  14. Shannon says:

    hi! if you check out thefrugalgirls.com they have a ton of discounts listed for military

  15. Cynthia says:

    Hi, just want to give you kudos on your site. I’ve been looking and reading on many, many sites recently and find that you speak my language! Your posts ar easy to understand, and you specifically detail how to ethically utilize coupons. (not saying that others do not, just that your verbiage seems to be direct and honest). Thanks.

  16. These tips are essential for saving money. I’m always look for new ways to save at the grocery store.

  17. the commissary honors the coupons at face value even after the date exp. I am unsure on doubling but do know they do this much. Which is why we send all our expired coupons overseas to be used by someone rather than throwing them away

  18. Donna, do you have an address where they would go because I was once told to mail them to the military but didn’t get an address. I’ve got a bunch.

  19. Missluna says:

    omg your tips are so helpful thankyou! ima beginner couponer and it takes alot of time . but its definitly worth it. so far only this month ive gotten FREE: lipgloss, 2 nailpolishes, eyeliner, $10 credit to a store and peanut butter my family loves. im just beginning so this is nothing compared some of the stuff ive seen the extreeme couponing get. but hey its a start and your helpful tips on here are freaking GREAT! thanks a bunch

  20. I pickied up on the peanut butter sales, and even bought 20 coupons on eBay for just a couple dollars. As school gets closerl peanut butter prices go lower and lower. With my purchased coupons, store coupons in the store flyer and doubler coupons, when the sale got own to $1.4I each I bought tons of p-nut butter – saved 81% yesterday! I’m a newbie couponer so this felt GREAT!
    Thanks for the good info.

  21. Sandy Leach says:

    Are there any classes in Tallahassee? Or one on one help. Struggling realtor with kids….i need help.

    • Frugal Coupon Living says:

      right now just online help. utilize the facebook page too for other readers to help.