Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Save tons of money with real extreme couponing.

Okay, so far we have the basics understood and you’ve got your coupons, now lets put it together.

I need to use these coupons and sales to get everything my family needs, not just have some crazy amount of toothpaste and starve because we still can’t afford food.

To truly start to feel like it is coming together is going to take time, about 6 weeks to be exact.  Each week you need to pull up the list on Southern Savers for the store you shop at and purchase anything on the list that you will use.  Get enough of those items to last you 6 weeks, because they will not be back on your Southern Savers list for a few weeks.

For the first few weeks you will still have items you need.  Remember that anything you need that is not on sale is full price and is going to hurt not only your budget but also your savings totals.  For these items buy one weeks worth only.  Hopefully soon you will see them on sale and can stock up then.

Each week you keep buying six weeks of the sale items that week and one week of your “have to get” items.  Week by week your needed items list will get smaller and smaller as you slowly stock up.  Also week by week the amount that you save will start to go up.  By week six you should be seeing that 50% saved or more!

If your stores are not listed on Southern Savers, open up your weekly ad.  Circle everything in the ad that is buy one get one or all the items that are 40% off or more.  Now open up the coupon database and look for coupons just for the items you have circled.  You’ve just made your own store list!

Remember:  To truly save money you have to still focus on what you are buying.  If you begin buying everything that is a great deal even though you don’t really need it in your house you really aren’t going to save any money.  Just because something costs 50¢ doesn’t mean you have to get it, if you continue not buying it (as you always did before coupons) that is 50¢ saved!

A few tips to save even more:

Buy any item that makes you money. It’s just that simple.  If you see that vitamins are going to be on sale for $2.50 and you have $3 in coupons, that means in most stores that you will get 50¢ off your total purchase.  That becomes 50¢ off your milk, meat, produce… In the end donate the items you don’t want.  We keep a box in our pantry and when I get home if items were purchased that we won’t use they go straight in the box.  When the box is full give it to the homeless shelter, food bank or even take it back to the grocery store most have donation bins right there!

Utilize rain checks. Most every store offers rain checks on deals in their weekly ad.  For grocery deals the store doesn’t need to be out of every item, just one variety.  This actually makes getting a rain check pretty easy.  Head in to grab Pop Tarts and there are 23 (or some other crazy number) different flavors.  Odds are one of the types you wanted will be out.  You are still able to get a rain check, and don’t have to make your kids suffer through some horrible type.  Tell customer service in most grocery stores what you were wanting and they will write the rain check.  Most stores will write the rain check for the entire brand, not just the flavor you wanted.  So now I could come in and get any kind of Pop Tart I wanted.

Special days to shop and extra incentives.  Many stores have senior shopping days, special sale days or even incentives to use your own shopping bag.  Take a few minutes to get to know the folks at your store and just ask!  They will give you the scoop on anything they offer.

    • Donna in SC

      Thank you Jenny for all your hard work.  It's really a blessing to so many!
      Donna in SC

    • Celen

      Thank you for taking the time to educate us new beginners! 

    • newbiecouponer

      Jenny, thanks for everything that you do!  It is greatly appreciated :)  I have recently started couponing and all of the information and videos that you offer are amazing.  I made my first CVSing trip last night and spent $1.23 on a total bill of $30! It was so much fun and I bought things that I know I will use!  I couldn't believe it when I finished. Thanks again and keep up the GREAT work!

      • Teri

        NewbieCouponer, what did you buy from CVS?

        • newbiecouponer

          Hey Teri!  I bought two tubes of toothepaste, schick quatro refill (4 count), large bottle of H&S two in one, and a twelve pack of diet coke! I had so much fun!  The coke didn't get me bucks back, but it was my treat :)

    • Catherine Taylor

      Thanks, Jenny!  I've been trying to figure out how to make my own sale list, and 40%/BOGO was what I had come up with myself!  You rock socks!

    • kelly

      just curious if there is anyone in southern mississippi trying to learn to coupon like I am.

    • Danyeln

      This is such a great series Jenny!  Thanks so much for taking the time to educate people.

    • Thanks for this great series of posts. I've been using your site for a while, but I'd forgotten some things and its been a great refresher. Question for you, do you have a list of stores that will give you the overage (to use towards other purchases in the same transaction). I know that Walmart does this and HT does not, but I'd love to know about other stores. It seems like most of the coupon policies don't address this. Thanks!

      • Rgnurse911

        Publix in GA does.

    • Sdilda

      Your site is the best around! I follow 2 other blogs also but neither of them help me near as much as yours. I love the shopping lists, coupon database and tips!!! My husband & kids thank you too!!!

      • newbiecouponer

        The coupon database always freezes my computer…any suggestions?  I'd love to use it too :)

        • Jerry

          It froze my computer, too, until I upgraded from Internet Explorer 7 to IE8.

    • Newyorkisrael

      hi
      i realy learn a lot from your posts but i dont feel i can get there
      we keep kosher an i shope at publix so i am not talking about meat that i buy elsewhere i talk about everyday items
      i stock pasta juice and cereal but not coffee oil tuna tomato paste are this ever go on sale? cause i coupon for about 5 weeks now and still have to buy items retail price

      • Ann

        Coffee, oil, tuna, and tomato paste are on sale at publix a lot.  As someone mentioned before, you have to shop every week until you get your basic stockpile.  Then you can choose which weeks to shop.

      • Winkinatya79

        Hi there. Tomato paste is BOGOF this week, two different brands. They also usually have one brand of pasta BOGOF each week too (Ronzoni, Mueller's, Barilla). Try their websites, and you can usually print out coupons for them, then get two boxes for about .30. ( = Hopefully you will start seeing things you need on sale.

    • Elizabeth Eretto

      I'm brand new to all this and after seeing Extreme Couponing feel inspired to start couponing myself!

      How many copies of the Sunday papers does everyone recommend getting? Some people say 2 and others say 10…that's a lot of papers…I just don't want to overwhelm myself again (I tried to coupon about a year ago and got so confused and overwhelmed I gave up :()

      I can't wait to take your workshop in Jacksonville, FL in July!!

      • Pcarmi

        I always buy at least one or two and the first week of the month, I buy four because there are usually more coupons that week.  Look at the list that Jenny posts at the end of each week to see if the paper will have a lot of good coupons that week…then decide!

        • Lisakathleen

          I usually only do 2 but I have family coming in ( alot of family) and so I get 4 papers now. I think 2 paper for a family of four and then 1 more paper for each 2 extra you get….4 people = 2 papers, 6 people = 3 papers, 8 people 4 papers, ect. That is how I determine mine.

          • Elizabeth Eretto

            thanks for the tips. We're only 2 people (me and my mom) I sometimes feel like I'm out of the demographic b/c I'm not a stay at home mom but I want to do everything I can to learn how to do this before I have a family..plus I have a ton of debt…if I can save money on grocerys I can pay more debt off faster!

            • Rgnurse911

              I have a family, life and am not a stay at home mom either.  I work hard and long hours but find time to do it and it is worth it.

            • Senoia mom

              I work full time, commute, and my kids activities take a lot of time.BUT  I always find time to coupon. It is VERY worth it!…and once you get the hang of it, it doesnt take a lot of time. This website is a HUGE time saver for me!

          • jenandtim

            I usually try to buy them in even numbers since so much of what I buy is buy one get one free.  This means I usually buy my items in even numbers so I try to have an even number of coupons.

      • Moore0902

        It really depends on your family size and how many people will be using the products you buy. I buy 5 papers and depending on the coupons alot of the time I buy 10 papers. But I have me and 3 children in my home. Along with the 3 teen neighbors that I feed very often. And I also coupon for 5 other households (family) and 2 neighbors some of the time. They cant seem to get the couponing down or have enough patience for it so I do it for them. Therefore, I need alot of papers! And the good thing is, I can use all their computers to print coupons also!

      • Teresa

        Regardless of how many you get make sure that all the coupon inserts are in the paper if you are out buying your paper.  It's no fun finding out that they are missing when you get home.  If they are missing in a paper that you have delivered make sure to have your account credited.  At this rate, I'm never going to have to pay the N&O again.

        • I'm having the same issue with the N&O. They can't seem to get their stuff together!

    • Sara Kathryn

      Hey Jenny,
      Thanks so much for posting this series it has been great to learn. I have been following your site for a while but it all seems to click now!! You are such a blessing to my family!

    • Maggie

      Thank you so much for this series! It's really helpful.

      I have a question along the same lines. How does shopping at Publix compare to shopping at Walmart, assuming I follow your strategies of stocking up every six weeks on the sale items at Publix? I'm unsure whether it would end up being cheaper than Walmart or not.

      Thank you for your help!!

      • Elizabeth Eretto

        I have kind of a similar question because of where I live we have Publix, Winn Dixie and Food Lion and I feel like Publix is the most expensive of the 3…

        • Juliandrea06

          one good thing about publix is that they accept competitors coupon,see your publix for list of stores that they would accept competitors coupon.  if publix did not release any coupon for that product, try to search target (you can do that through their website), or winn dixie for coupons, then instantly you get extra savings aside from manufacturer's coupon. remember, always try to have a pair of coupon for each product that is on sale (don't from them on regular price).

      • peanutsmommy

        I just started doing publix, and before I caught on I never went in there because their regular prices are so outrageous. I still only get whats on rock bottom prices and that I have coupons for, and a store coupon or target coupon for it too makes it even better. The last few weeks Ive made a trip to kroger too to get my must have stuff. Because walmart doesnt really have any incentives (except price match and that they have all that other stuff you might need) I dont usually do groceries in there.

        I have a very tiny stock pile started (think 4 mac and cheese, 3 body wash type thing) but overtime Ill have all my sides for dinner and my must haves will just be meats, bread, milk before long.

        Its hard to try it for just one week because youve got to be consistent, Ive gotta go get toilet paper cause I havent seen it on sale recently, but Ill know to stock up next time.  Best advice is to start small and enjoy it, Ive been having a lot of fun!

        • Rgnurse911

          Cottonelle is on sale this week at Publix.  Good price and there is a printable coupon.

      • Nancy Baldwin

        I have always thought that Publix was very expensive and could never be cheaper than Wal-Mart.  However, this summer, I have started carefully watching their Buy one , get one free deals and matching those sales up with coupons and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I have saved.  The other nice thing about Publix is that they publish lots of their own coupons.  You are allowed to use their coupons AND a manufacturer's coupon together, so the savings really add up.  I have saved 50% most weeks at Publix.

        • Cristal Hughes

          Like you I thought the same thing before going extreme with my coupons. I have been able to leave the store paying nothing for my items at times. I use a coupon plus Publix coupons on everything whenever one is available and most of the times there isn't a coupon but the buy 1 get 1 sale makes up for not having them. My over 50% saving is done on 85% of my shopping trips at Publix.

      • Senoia mom

        Before coupons, I only shopped at wal mart. I have always liked Publix's stores better.(they are always clean, friendly employees, and a nice selection of product) But I only went in when I didnt feel like dealing with Wal Mart, or to pick up b1g1 items occasionally, because everything was so expensive.
         Now with coupons, I shop mostly at publix. I do go to wal-mart occasionally, but only to buy things Publix does not carry.And the kicker: I SPEND LESS THAN HALF of what I used to! AND I get to shop in a store I enjoy!…WOW!
          I also get to try products I probably would never have bought, for free or almost free. I very rarely make a trip to the store for something I was out of. In fact, I don't remember when my last trip was….Hmmmm…maybe February?
         Like Jenny says, if you stock up at rock bottom price, and buy enough for 6 weeks,you will save money. It will take a while to start to see the true savings. I actually spent almost the same amount at first. Once I had my stockpile established, I can REALLY see the savings. It's really nice when My family requests some particular item for dinner, or a snack, and I have it on the shelf!
        Hang in there! …you will start to see the savings soon!
        PS:
        I bet Wal-mart misses my money, and probalby wonders where I went.

    • Katkoupon

      Anyone know of any “Special days to shop and extra incentives” at Kroger or Food Lion? I will try to remember to ask on my next trips, just wondering if anyone knows. Also, which stores offer discounts for using your own shopping bags? I thought Kroger did, but I was told no at the store. Thanks!

      • Proudlyamom

        Target gives .05 off your purchase for using your own bags.  I wish all stores did this.  I usually take my own to avoid having to “do something” with theirs later.

        • Rhonda

          Bilo does too!

          • Miss_afb

            thanks i just called my bilo and they say that yes they do give .05 per bag yeah. to bad i didnt know that an hour ago. i just left there and spent $43.26 for $111.62 worth of groceries. i also saw a sign when i was there about seniors savings but i did not pay close attention.

      • Teresa

        I live in Raleigh and the Kroger stores here give you ten extra points when you bring your own bag in, i.e. 10 cents toward your quarterly gift certificate.  Whole Foods also gives 5 cents off for using your own bag.  I usually get about $20 worth of beer and stuff from the hot bar and get 5 cents off.

      • cahugh4

        Our Kroger's have senior discount day the first Wednesday of every month. Seniors on this day get an addition 10% off their entire order. I usually go with my Uncle and use his card to get the discount. However, Beware!, because Krogers on this day are exceptionally crowded and overwhelmed. Usually the Seniors will come in and take all the deals (with and without coupons) so be prepared!

      • Rgnurse911

        Target gives like 5 cents per bag that you use of your own and CVS has a tag you can scan when you use your own bag and for every 4 scans you get one ECB.

        • Kaela

          where do you get the tag or bag to use at CVS? So to be clear- every time I scan this tag or bag (4) times I get $1 ecb back? Thanks for any help.

          • Bamasaver

            Tags are normally near the registers somewhere…you can use any kind of bag that you already have.  The tag can only be scanned one time per day to get credit–after every 4th scan you'll get $1 ECB.

    • Sosorozo

      I am writing in defense of Publix. Would one really shop in Winn Dixie in FL? Most of their stores look like a third world country and their employees make one lose faith in mankind. Publix has awesome sales and lots of store coupons that can be combined with manufacturers coupons. Most importantly, the stores are CLEAN and they have NORMAL employees. Winn Dixie…..never!

    • laneysmom

      My hubby will ONLY eat Raisin Nut Bran.  It is NEVER on sale and I can NEVER find coupons.  That cereal is almost $5 a box!!!  Am I missing coupons anywhere, or do any of you ever find it on sale?

      • Mcleodsc

        No I have not seen any coupons for it. Why not try to buy items to get overage at Walmart and use the overage toward the cereal?

      • sarah

        You could also try writing to the manufacturer (or call) Kellogg's, Post, etc. and explain how much your hubs LOVES the product, and mention that any coupons would be wonderful!! Often times, they will send you some in the mail, I've even got coupons for a FREE product, not just $ off.  Can't hurt to ask! :)

      • Sillysnicks

        Maybe you could use some ECBs left over from CVS to get a box or 2.  I know I always have a few bucks or UPs I use to get things that never go on sale or to purchase extra newspapers.

      • ChrissyPunkin

        Check the coupon database when you are looking for a tough-to-find coupon.  I just went to it and typed in General Mills and there is a coupon for $1 off 2 cereals, including Raisin Nut Bran, in the Smart Source insert 5/15.  It expires soon, 6/25. 

        Also, you could order them in bulk from Amazon.

    • Peggy

      Be sure to calculate tax before you buy a “money maker” that you will never use.  I have to pay 7% on non-food items and it can sometimes add up to a sizable amount.

    • Too many coupons

      Without having to look at each coupons expiraction date and looking through each circular, when is it generally ok to discard a SS or RP flyer, 6 weeks?  8 weeks?  12 weeks?  My pile has gotten really big!

      • Danielle

        Somewhere on here i have read that you want to keep the inserts for 12 weeks.  At the end of 12 weeks I go through the inserts and clip the few that may not of expired if I will use the products.

      • Ladyincntrl

        And remember you can send your expired coupons to military overseas and they can still use them up to 6 months AFTER their expiration date.

    • Jenny thanks for doing this series. I was getting overwhelmed with so many coupons. This has been really helpful.

    • Cristal Hughes

      Has anyone ever froze Smart Balance milk? Publix has it on sale 2/$4 and by using my $1.00 for each it came out to just $1.00 per half gallon. The brand I use is fat free so I'm wondering does that mean if I freeze it the fat that you usually see want be there. Is that right?

      • 05jacksmom

        I have frozen milk before and it does fine.  I have found that the Smart Balance dates are about 6 weeks out, though so you may not have to freeze it.

        • 05jacksmom

          I meant to say i have frozen milk before.

    • Kiadavis002

      i am new to the couponing…..so if i purchase one item(for example, a box of cereal) on sale, i can use one coupon for that item. or can i use 2? i know you can use a manufacturing coupon plus a store coupon…right?

      • Kellygray114

        I have found I can only use 1 coupon per item.

      • ChrissyPunkin

        You can use one store coupon and one manufacturers coupon per item.

        It's a little different if you have a coupon like the Smucker's one I used today at Publix that was $1 off 2 sundae toppings.  I bought two toppings and used the $1 off 2 manu. coupon.  I can't use any more manu. coupons for those two items.  However, I was able to use two store coupons from the Yellow Advantage flyer (found next to the circulars at the front of the store) that each said $1 off 1.  It was a great deal!

        • Futuremrshenderson

          I am new to couponing too and I didn't know if all stores have the coupon flyers at the front of the stores? I have always wondered how to get them? I shop at bi-lo so it would be great if they offered it!

    • Kellygray114

      So my ? is… I look weekly in the ads and circulars and cut the coupons I need. But when I get to the store, I find that so many more things are on sale than what was just in the ad and have not had the coupons to get it. So I then end up making another trip or two to get those on sale items. Do u think its best to clip all the coupons you have on the items that u use the most, and keeping them in a binder so u can see all that u have and still keep the circulars for items that I dont use but could get an overage on?

      • Loyal2disney

        That is exactly what I do.  I cut all coupons of items that I get on a regular basis and put them in a small coupon binder that is small enough to keep in my purse.  That way I've got those with me in case one of those items is actually on sale but wasn't listed in the ad.  Then, I also keep a 3-ring binder with all the inserts for items that might be free later or money makers.  HTH!

    • GTM2006

      Your website has really saved our budget! I shop usually for every two weeks at a time and used to spend anywhere from 275-300 every two weeks. Now I usually spend about 125-150 for every two weeks!!! I have developed a little stockpile by buying enough to get us through til the next sale. I used to clip coupons but never cared like I do now. My husband even loves how much money we save and that there is always a variety of stuff and flavors of things that its never the same stuff anymore. Thank you so much for how much you have helped us!

      • Jac_coupon

        If your only buying one every two weeks your missing out on sales for the week you don't go shopping.

        • GTM2006

          no I'm not missing out on the sales because I still look at the ads and that 125-150 includes the things I buy between those two weeks. So all in all I spend about 50-75 a week broken down. Bu

    • kauai_sand

      Please start doing lists for Fred Meyer.

      • Tiredmommyof8

        and Piggly Wiggly.

        • Ladyincntrl

          I really wish there was a Piggly Wiggly one.  I use the 5 coupons a day=5 Greenbax.  So I stop on a daily basis with 5 coupons that depend on their weekly ad (and either take advantage of free food or free gas!).  And it would be helpful if I had Jenny to help me save even more money there.

    • purpleflower

      This is where I was missing it. Thank you Jenny. Renewed and starting fresh.

    • Onestupidme

      Why would you buy something, if your not gonna use it, even if its free. You're taking it off the shelves for people who actually want it. You need to teach people to stop clearing the shelves of stuff and not to be hoarders. It is getting really ridiculous.

      • Tiredmommyof8

        Are you suggesting that Jenny is teaching people to clear the shelves and be hoarders? She isn't. She is pointing out how to get other items with the overage. There is nothing wrong with buying something you don't use or won't use in order to get overage as that is how you get other items without coupons at a discount or for free. As Jenny stated above donate that unwanted item. That is what she does and that is what I would do in a similar situation. How many of you purchased the GUM PerioBalance Lozenges at CVS this week and didn't want or need them? I didn't but considered it and if I had done so planned on sending them to the Senior Citizens Center with my Mother-in-law to donate.

        • Peggy

          My problem with the GUM PerioBalance Lizenges is that you get a $15.99 ECB.  I find it hard to spend one that big so I wouldn't buy it unless I really wanted it for myself.

      • Oneuniquemind

        If it is something I will never use I will not take it of the shelf. However if it is something that I would never try due to retail price, then it becomes a great opportunity to try something new and test products outside your traditional comfrot range.

    • Janis

      Hi! I have just started “extreme couponing”, and this site has been extremely helpful!! This article was especially helpful, because since I am just starting out, I am in that place where I have a pretty good collection of coupons going now, and I am watching all of my ads and seeing all of the great savings that are out there, but I still need to buy the items I need on a weekly basis.  I went on my first savings spree this past Sunday, and while I saved a ton on what I bought, I still needed to buy a lot of my regular groceries, and it was a little discouraging.  But this article is very helpful, it does put the big picture together.  I really appreciate all of the great tips and links provided on this site, and have recommended it to all of my coworkers. Keep up the great work!

    • Tara

      Hi does anyone know of a place or a way to get those baseball card plastic sheets for coupons at? I have been couponing for a while but my organizatioon is terrible. I have tried just keeping the wholw inserts but that has not worked for me and I have tried a box with the  product label and exp (end of the month) nut now I am nt doing well with that either. any other ideas would be great! Thanks and God Bless!

      • Tara

        I got mine from Ebay.  They were a lot cheaper.

        • Tara

          Thank You so much awesome info!

        • Tara

          Thank You so much!

      • Kristen

        I got mine on Amazon. Also, office supply stores like staples sell them… I hear walmart & target keep them up front by the registers where they sell collectable cards :)

        • Tara

          Thank You I will check it out as well!

      • Qcortni

        I found them in Target and Walmart for about  5 bucks with the trading card stuff in the front of the store near the checkout aisles.

      • Ladyincntrl

        I am an Ebay shopper.  There is a store (pigletandmollys) that I ordered all the various sleeves for my book.  They have alot of different sizes, including the ones for the printed online coupons, which i need the most!  And they have great prices!!!!

      • Emersonfamily

        I bought mine at Target where the trading cards are located at the front of the store:)

    • Kp

      How do I get coupons from the recylce places?

    • Staciejade09

      I am in the Concord NC area and the Bi-lo here says that doubled coupons must not exceed the price of the item. Does that mean the I am not able to use these coupons or that I will just not make money off the product?

      • Serenemommie08

        I know that at the Bi-Lo I shop at in Kannapolis, NC, most of the time the whole coupon amount comes off of my entire order…only once did they only match it, but  doubled it up to the price of the item because the computer kicked it out. 99% of the time my overages get applied to my entire order. Hope this helps. Bi-Lo has been very patient with my coupons and it is now my FAVORITE store!!! Make sure if you have more than 10 coupons for an item on rain check, you ask them about a split rain check…you can't use a rain check twice unless it's split…

    • Ladyincntrl

      I am so new to this, and I am learning quickly…with the help of this wonderful site and friends that have been helping along the way…but with my family (my husband is in seminary and stay-at-home dad, I work, we have a teenage son, a 4 year old, and a 10 month old!!!!) we definitely need to save money while still getting everything we need on my small budget.  I need all the help I can get, but this is very confusing at times.  Is anyone else feeling like this at times?  That they are missing out on some items because the stores with certain bottom sales aren't in their area?  Or they can't get coupons???  How do you deal with these types of frustrations?