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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Here's a realistic view of couponing and how to get started.  This can be so helpful!

Now that season one of Extreme Couponing is over, I thought we would take a week and actually teach you the “real” way to coupon!  Most (if not all) of this has been covered over the years on Southern Savers, but it never hurts to have a refresher.

Can you do what you saw on TV?

Yes. But do you really want to?  Sadly, watching an episode of Extreme Couponing won’t teach you much on how to save on your entire grocery and household budget.  You will be a pro at buying Powerade, Rolaids and floss though!  If you’re goal is to go into a store and get $1000 in groceries for $8, that’s pretty much all your gonna be able to get.  Your family however is not gonna be happy if this is dinner.

Remember that what you watched were planned and calculated trips where the goal was to spend nothing.  In reality we should aim to save 50-70% off ALL of our purchases each month.  It is very easy to do, just make sure that you are starting first with a realistic approach.

Check out this recent trip for me.  We got a ton of produce, meat and even paper goods.  This is an awesome trip!  It would never be “TLC worthy” because I spent money, but we got a ton of stuff that we needed and still saved 60% or $93!

How do we get started??

As I talk to groups and just different people around town I keep getting the same few comments.  “I see what you save every week but I just can’t figure out how you do it” or “Can you just come shopping with me once?”

Here is my secret: If it is not listed on Southern Savers for that week, I don’t buy it!  It’s a pretty simple secret.  To be able to shop this way I had to build a stockpile.  When something is listed on Southern Savers as a great price I don’t just walk in and buy 1, I go in and buy enough of that item to last me until the next time I am going to find it on sale again.  Generally that is about 6-8 weeks.  Remember everything listed on Southern Savers is a rock bottom price for that store, so if it’s on the list go ahead and grab it if you need it.

The concept of making a grocery list of things that you are out of, is the way that grocery stores want you to shop.  Publix even has nice little shopping list pads they will send home with you.  If you are out of an item then you are going to put that item into your cart no matter the price.  If I ran out of peanut butter for example, I would go out immediately and buy it no matter the price or else lunch as we know it would stop in our house.

If you are just starting out then continue to make a list of what you need, but along with your list add in the items that are on sale this week.  I don’t care if you just bought it at regular retail price last week, odds are you didn’t buy enough for six weeks, buy it now on sale and stock up so that you don’t have to get it again in a couple of weeks.  Slowly you will find that your stockpile is growing and your “needed shopping list” is shrinking.  It will take the full 6-8 week sale cycle before you will have everything you use on a regular basis stocked but once you reach that point it is a wonderful day.  Now you are no longer at the mercy of the regular retail price and you can name your own price for everything you use.

One disclaimer – only stock up on items that you use.  Even though I make the lists for you, I only end up grabbing maybe 12-15 different items on a normal trip.  If you buy everything just because it is 25¢ you will save nothing in the end.  One exception, if the store is going to pay you for an item (overage) then grab it and think of charities that can use it.  The local shelters here are in need of everything from coffee to toothbrushes.

A Few Couponing Tips:

Don’t ever skip a week of shopping. I know you don’t really need to ever go shopping now that you are stocked, but if you skip this weeks sales remember that most of these items won’t be back on sale for a while.  Do you really have enough to get you through another entire sales cycle?

We do not have any brand loyalties
and we also have no random eating quirks so we are open to most everything that comes on sale.  I had never purchased Sara Lee sandwich bread before but when they put out a coupon making it FREE, it became our bread of choice that day.  Turns out it was some of the best bread we had ever eaten.

If a price is the best you are ever going to see then buy more
.  If something you regularly use is significantly below it’s regular rock bottom low price then grab more than 6 weeks.  Don’t go insane, but getting some extras is going to save you more.  An example for us: My husband likes to make one type of cake that calls for sweetened condensed milk.  During the holidays I can find it for FREE with coupons so I stock up to last most of the year since it only goes to a crazy price once or twice a year (a years worth is maybe 8-10 cans).

Where to put it all once you get it home:
We thankfully have a decent sized pantry but there are other great places to stick stuff.  Put shelves in under stairs or over washers and dryers, get storage bins and put it under your bed.  Canned goods and other non perishables will be fine in your garage.  Sort out your items and store like items together.  We have a personal care stockpile in our bathroom, a cleaning goods stockpile in the laundry area and food in the pantry.  I also have a separate freezer in the garage that allows me to get more frozen items.  If you only have one freezer/refrigerator though you can still get a lot in there.  Freeze things flat (like paper – smash hamburger meat down etc.) get the air out of bags.  If you do have a second freezer area remember that the more you put in it (i.e. the more you stockpile) the cheaper it is to run your freezer.

Common Couponing Excuses

“I can’t do this because there is just me, or just two of us”
That’s just what you tell yourself, maybe it makes you happy.  I would say you could do this even better than me with just one of you.  Where I need to buy 6 boxes of cereal, you might only need 3.  I buy 12 lbs of hamburger meat you buy 3 lbs.  Your monthly bill could be a fraction of mine and your storage problems non existent.

“The things that I buy don’t come one sale”
Everything in a store comes on sale at some point, even if it is a few pennies off.  There are also great coupons out there for a wide range of items.  If you are in love with some random item from France, then save on everything else so that you can afford a few splurges.  If you truly watch you will see that even Kashi pita bread and probiotic yogurt go on sale.  Will you save as much as a family that doesn’t go organic?  No, but you will still save.
For more information on getting started check out:

Learn to Coupon
Getting Started Video

Tomorrow… Gathering and Getting More Coupons.

    • Jrosscoups

      I'm so glad Extreme Couponing isn't the norm! I'm afraid it has given a bad name to couponers. Those who empty the shelf or display basket….give me a break. Think of others–don't be greedy. Remember there are others who are in need.
      My daughter and I have been couponing together for just over a month–we're now saving an average of about 65%. We love it–she does more of the strategy! I love it. Thanks for all you do to help us out!

      • Ljthomas103

        Thanks for a great article Jenny.  The shows are so unrealistic.  Who needs 90+ bags of croutons!  I'm grateful when I save 50% of my weekly shopping bill and can still feed my family healthy food.  I am getting better and better as I practce.

    • Golden279

      I consider this “Real Life” extreme couponing. :) It works!!

    • JHNabors

      Thanks for this – I am forwarding it to my mother who wants to get started saving but she's a bit overwhelmed thanks to that dumb show!

    • happy03

      Hubby and I just started couponing last week and we are amazed by how much we can save. I never use coupons before because I thought, “eh, only save me couple cents” but I just didnt know how to do it. The extreme coupon show, I admit, inspired us to do it. I never even imagine some people are actually doing this. The show may have inspired us to start coupon shopping but we never expected to saved that much! Im just being honest and I told my hubby to not expect that I would only pay $2 for a $200 grocery! haha But our last recent trip to Kroger, we paid $1.08 for a $30 bill and I thought that was crazy! Most of it was just the tax! Thanks alot for all the info Im getting from your website!

    • Bee

      I have read/watched all of the site's tutorials, but it's great to have a refresher-thanks!

      My biggest problem right now is figuring out what the new “rock bottom prices” are. Since the first of the year, groceries have been going up and what I thought was a “buy” price before is a price I likely will not see again (ex. ground chuck). Sometimes it's only .50-1.00 more than before, but it has messed me up in that I don't know whether to buy or not.

    • LindaAnne

      Thanks, Jenny!  We sure appreciate all the info on Southern Savers!  It has really made a difference for the better in our grocery budget.  Thanks for all the time you and your team spend making it easier for us to be wise stewards.

    • Reagan

      Jenny, thanks for such a wonderful article.  Please also note that some of the practices on the show are unacceptable.  My coworker, who's been doing this almost as long as I have, had her inserts stolen out of her paper in her own driveway.  If you are stealing inserts, you may as well be stealing the items off the shelves…it's the same thing.  And have courtesy for other couponers by not taking ALL the items off the shelf.

      • Beck

        Someone stole my whole paper last week!  It's insane and making the rest of us look bad.

        • Sharon

          Stole your paper???  They only cost $0.99, for goodness sakes!!!  That's insane.

          • Beck

            Here in Atlanta it's $2.00 for the Sunday.  I thought it was crazy that because I wasn't out there first thing to pick it up that it gave someone the right to steal it!

    • Just like to say thank you. The extremers on the show made me curious and sites like yours help us coupon and save money on a regular weekly shop. We are brand loyal in this house for some things, but I even find those on sale, so it's not really a big deal.. my biggest surprise was the savings at the drug stores too.. its very addictive!

    • Couponkimf

      THANKS JENNY THIS WAS GREAT FOR ME. I am new to this and it gave me hope

    • Jana

      <3 LOVE this post Jenny, thank you!  I am going to use some of this when I get together with my group next week to give the newbies some hope and focus!

    • AmyQ

      Thanks for all your encouragement! I went shopping with my mom yesterday to CVS. Amongst many, MANY other items, I bought a pamper's box, a tub of similac, and two refil huggies wipes all for $22, and if I hadnt forgotten about $2 of my ecb bucks, I would have paid only $20 dollars! AND we brought home $24 in ECB!!! I was so excited, and she was amazed! In total we saved 70%!

      thank you so much Jenny! I tell EVERYONE about your blog, and as far as I know, everyone in our “No-so extreme couponers” group at church, they're now all followers as well!

      God bless you Jenny!

    • connie

      Before I started couponing at the beginning of May there was so many things I wanted to buy, but just didn't have the budget for. I'm not going to give up food for my kids so my house can smell like a mountain spring. Now that I am couponing I have all these extras food, health & beauty, and my house smells like a bed of flowers.

      My 12 year old son just said to me yesterday he was so glad when I started watching that Extreme Couponing show and decided to start couponing. I asked him why and he said because now he gets all this good stuff. He was of course eating butterfings I bought $1 a bag and drinking V8 Splash that I got for barely over $1 a bottle.

    • sharon

      Thank you so much, it is so nice to here someone coupon in the real way!

      I have difficulty knowing how much of something to buy at a time. I only started couponing around the first of may, so this is all pretty new to me.

      Even though it looks as if you have done a match-up on the entire flyer, are you saying that you only list the best prices? I have compared some of match-up prices with your buy now price list, and they seem to be higher??

      I have listened too and read all of the info on your website.

      Thanks again,

      • That’s what I was wondering…I understand the “stock-up” acorn symbol, but do you mean you don’t put up everything in the ad, only the “rock bottom price?”  As another reader said, prices are going up now so I can’t tell what the rock bottom prices are anymore!

      • Kristina Mccurley

        Look for the cute little acorn icon next to an item.  Jenny marks it that way when it's at a stock-up price – meaning buy as many as you will use in the next 6-8 weeks because it's not likely to cost less than that.

    • sharon

      Jenny,Thank you so much, it is so nice to here someone coupon in the real way! I have difficulty knowing how much of something to buy at a time. I only started couponing around the first of may, so this is all pretty new to me.Even though it looks as if you have done a match-up on the entire flyer, are you saying that you only list the best prices? I have compared some of match-up prices with your buy now price list, and they seem to be higher??I have listened too and read all of the info on your website.Thanks again,Sharon

    • Tmcalister

      Jenny – Thanks for posting – When people ask me about that show I often tell them probubly more than they want to hear. That show makes me sad. Having people equate shopping with “a high”… “like crack…” makes me sad. I think your aticle makes great points and shows that most people do not buy 110 bottles of gatorade every day nor get a high from doing it!

      • Sonshine2402

        I agree. Some of the people shown definitely have some shopping addiction problems. And some priority problems. Who needs 100 bottles of hot sauce? Well, perhaps they are going to donate some of it to a food bank, but for people who need food, is hot sauce really a top priority? Or candy? Or as you said, Gatorade? That time, money, space, whatever might have been better spent on something more nutritious. Just my opinion.

    • Jodi Mcdan

      thank you jenny for all of your hard work. i attended your workshop in newnan ga and really learned alot, although i would say i'm not the sharpest when it comes to couponing! i really have put ALOT of time into it. i have really enjoyed couponing so far, though! just thought i would report that i went to publix this morning and feel like for the first time i really “shopped” properly! i used your lists and almost everything i bought i had coupons for. i saved 47% on my total! i am pretty pleased with myself!

    • Sonshine2402

      Thank you for the encouraging article. I, too, feel that the Extreme Couponing show is unrealistic and makes couponing more difficult for the rest of us. Where in the world do these people find stores that will allow them to clear their shelves and then cheerfully accept $1000.00 worth of coupons? I've found that since the show has come out, stores are more strict about their coupon policies and not as eager to accept coupons. I feel that the show implies that you must be a failure if you can not get all your groceries for free. That is simply not reasonable. You sometimes must buy things that aren't on sale or for which you do not have a coupon. Still, you can save substantially on most things you buy.  I've been couponing for a while now and consistantly save 50%-60% and have a moderate stockpile for my family. This is a wonderful “security blanket” in these difficult economic times. Thank you for listening to me rant. I appreciate blogs like yours that take a realistic approach to couponing and make saving easier for the rest of us.

    • Vjcpurple

      Thank you, Jenny!! I have used your website for over a year and check it two to three times a day, plus Twitter. It is just my husband and I. I am a diabetic and my husband is sensitive to certain Health and Beauty products, so Extreme Couponing on TLC does not fit me. Majority of the items they purchase we cannot consume or use, but I have learned how to get the best deals by using your methods and coupon links. Thanks for all your hardwork. I have saved hundreds of dollars. You are a blessing.

    • Megan Babinski

      Great article! That made me feel good that I save what I do. The Extreme Couponing was a bit over the top. I like the idea of donating alot of that…but come on, thousands of items??? It's not Y2K. :) Thanks for all you do!!

    • Vjcpurple

      Oh, and the Brothers laser printer deal was a life saver for printing coupons. Found this deal for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. RaceTrac gas station sells the Sunday paper for $1.00. Happy Clipping!!!

      • Frugalmomy

        My Walmart sells the Sunday paper for $1 also!  I just signed up for a whole year of home delivery of the Sunday paper for $40!  (Wish it was the AJC; ya'll are very lucky to get such great coupons!)

    • Cooperpi6

      I just started the first of this month and I have saved so much!  But I bought $2.99 Dial body wash at Walgreens with $2.00 off coupon making it .99 cents.  Walmart has it this week for $1.97 and I could have gotten it free!!! Yikes!  I think it also takes being watchful and remembering prices.  Sigh, I have a TERRIBLE memory!  But I've learned so much!  Thanks Jenny!

    • Couponing_princess

      i found this very helpful but still feel as if i cannot save money and become a better couponer. my husband, myself and my son live off 1 income (my husbands). he gets paid bi-weekly and were living paycheck to paycheck basically, after bills we have a couple hundred left to use for 2 weeks for food and gas..plus my son is an extremely picky 3 year old that seems to only like items that i have never seen on sale ever…..maybe im making this more difficult than it should be..still frustrating

      • Thuggiebear

        I thought the same thing in the beginning.  A huge help to me has been joining coupon-swap groups.  We have one in the neighborhood and I started one at work.  It's a great way to meet other couponers, get free coupons and learn about those “hidden” sales.  I have a picky-eater, too (she's 2) and a 9 month old.  We live on one income as well.  The ladies in my swap groups are older, so I get tons of baby food/formula coupons.  It also helps that some of them are single, so they looove all the makeup coupons and air fresheners and I LOOOOve all the diapers coupons.  Keep at it.  One other thing is that I only shop at the Publix down the street.  I save on gas and time.  You can add that to your savings, too.  I've gotten to know the employees there and they tell me when a good sale is coming up.  Good luck!

      • Jennb2005

        A huge thing that has helped many that I know is to eliminate your 3 year old to dictate your shopping. Buy what you want and what you want her to eat. HIDE EVERYTHING ELSE!!! She will eventually get hungry and start eating what is around. Then you can start reintroducing “snacks/treats” as rewards for good eating behavior. I know its hard to mentally grasp but it happens quicker than you think. My nephews were the same way! Within a week they had both learned that you eat what is given to you or your go without, which i know is how I grew up and its definetly how most of parents grew up. Sometimes we just have to get back to the basics. Hope this helps.

      • Frugalmomy

        We are a 1 income family also and have been where you are.  It is tough, but matching coupons to sales can really help.  Ask your neighbors and friends and people at church to save any coupons they come across.  Also call or write the companies you are brand loyal to; a lot of times they will mail you coupons. Like the last reply, I pretty much only shop Publix (I did buy formula and diapers at either Walmart or Target) and save well.  Also, if you shop Target, don't forget to always scan their endcaps for clearance.  I've gotten some great food and baby deals that way too!

      • Vjcpurple

        I have been there. Hang in there. Keep working at it. Gather coupons at all times. When you see the coupon dispenser in the store for an item you use, get several and wait on the sale. Watch for coupon magazines. Make sure you grap at least 4 of them. While I am shopping, I shop for coupons. Like Frugalmomy said, ask people for their coupons. You will get the hang of it. The best deal is having a store coupon, manufactor coupon, it is BOGO and your favorite cashier is on duty. See if you can find a coupon buddy. It takes patience and work

    • Beth

      Thanks!  I love it!  I keep telling people I coupon realistically!  I buy meat, veggies, fruit, & eggs!  Recently I only saved 65% on my shopping trip at Publix and I thought it was a great deal!  No, I didn't save 90% and my friends and family were like why not.  Well, I bought fruit, veggies, grapefruit juice, lunch meat, and eggs things you don't see a lot of coupons for along with the bogo deals that I had coupons for.  I've saved a lot of money using you site!  Thanks for all your hard work!

    • Debra Howard

      This was very helpful.  I only started using coupons a few weeks ago and I was feeling discouraged, but this reminds me it will take a while to build things up.

    • Mscism1

      Do you have to have a color coupon to scan @ stores.  I use black ink only, trying to be frugal.

      • Sylvia

        I used to think the same, but stores do take black ink only, and you are right it does save.

      • Ferrugiae

        Not only do I print coupons with only black ink, the paper I use the most is the backside of the schoolwork my children have brought home…I have four kids so there is a LOT of paper :) I hate waste! :)

      • Amy

        Only one store near me requires color prints on full, uncut pages. It's a hassle to say the least. Just ask your main stores if you can print in black only and see what they say. Many will take black and white IP but please remember not to photocopy them (or remind friends you give them to not to do so).

    • I have so enjoyed your website, particularly because I can make a printable shopping list with coupon matchups. I've only been buying the Sunday paper regularly for the last two months, so I miss some of the good deals. Still, I went to CVS yesterday and managed to spend $42.69 out of pocket with a retail value of $116.40! That's a savings of 63%. If I hadn't been so adamant about purchasing the items for the gas card promotion, it would have been an even better trip.

      Although I only shop for myself and my cat, I really appreciate what you do. I've been able to use the extra money to add to my savings account, which is fairly small. I'm a grad student, so I can't spend a lot of time searching for deals or spending a lot of money. Your website has allowed me to find the balance so that I save time AND money!

    • Penny

      You are fortunate to have no “eating quirks”. We have real “quirks” They're called allergies, which lead us to brand loyalties because other brands aren't “safe” for our “quirks”.  Couponing becomes more challenging and complicated with allergies in the mix.

      • Bee

        I don't believe Jenny intended for an eating idiosyncrasy to be equated with a genuine medical problem, such as allergies. I took it to mean that some people only want one brand of mayo or peanut butter and won't eat other brands (or a similar situation). Many people have allergies; it's not really that uncommon anymore and manufacturers respond to that call. I've found many items on sale that are tailored to specific health-related lifestyles. I get gluten-free coupons sent to me from Kroger, for example.

        Also, I believe that Jenny means for each of us to save in the way that is tailored to our lifestyles. She even mentions organic couponing.

        If you go to the store and spend $50 and use $10 in coupons on items you would purchase anyway, isn't that money saved? Isn't that $10 you wouldn't have had?

        Jenny cannot do our shopping for us; she can give us a model. It's up to each of us to personalize that model.

      • mamabelbel

        We have one family member who has to eat gluten free and has some other issues.  I have found that I can still save money but it is harder for sure.  I have found some deals by emailing or calling manufacturers of products we can use and requesting coupons.  My HT carries a decent amount of gluten free items and super doubles has helped me out.  Watching for sales and stocking up has been huge.  I focus on saving in areas like paper products to try to make up some of what we spend in food.  The family members without allergies get some really crazy lunch choices sometimes cause we have to make up the difference somewhere!

      • J1234

        I also have a child with a severe food allergy.  Do I save as much as someone else who doesn't need to buy specific food?  No, but I make it my buisness to save on the other things that are not an issue and still manage  30-40% off my bill.  This site has really helped.  Example, my son can't eat ice cream but loves Italian Ice, it went on sale and with a coupon was 49 cents.  Was not the normal  brand we used so I called the company, it checked out and I bought 6 boxes.  That should last us the summer.  When I visually saw how cheap it was, it was worth my time to call.  Sometimes it isn't an option to be calling companies all the time but I figure 30 to 40 % at the end of the week is still in my pocket and I am satisfied.  Also you can try calling some of the companies that you use all the time and see if they can send you some coupons.  In reality, couponing is more work when adding a special diet in the mix, but everything food related is more work for us.  Good luck

    • Penny

      You are fortunate to have no “eating quirks”. We have real “quirks” They're called allergies, which lead us to brand loyalties because other brands aren't “safe” for our “quirks”.  Couponing becomes more challenging and complicated with allergies in the mix.

    • Shannonw1983

      I love couponing but its getting to the point that its frustrating. Most of the time when I go to buy a product the stores are out of it and dont know when they will get it, so I miss the deal. I try to go when the day when the item goes on sale but its hard with two kids. Just like ht is doubling to 1.98 this week and if you dint get there by 6:00 in the am its gone cuz people are already gotten everything and I can't get my kids out that early. So I get discouraged to even keep couponing, but I will keep trying.

      • Kb239

        Yes, unfortunately the really extreme couponers buy up all the great sales before the rest of us can even get the list sorted out.

      • Sandym25713

        I was having the same problem in Greenville NC….finally i asked what nights they stock the shelves and i go that morning….beleive it or not I go on Tuesdays and find almost everything I need

      • This happens to me too. Most stores around me are 24 hours & stock at random unknown times. That or a drug store only restocks once a week. I make it there on time after restock, yet everything is gone. I live in a small town with limited stores, so I understand getting frustrated.

      • PS

        Check and see if the store(s) will issue you a rain check. Many stores will do this and then you will get the sale price when they get the item in.  If for some reason they don't get them before the rain check expires talk to the store manager and ask them to either extend the date or see if they can special order it for you.

      • Vjcpurple

        See if they will issue a raincheck at Guest Services. The raincheck is usually good for 30 days.

        • Bridget

          At Harris Teeter, rainchecks are good forever! It is great because you can hold onto them until you get a great coupon and a super double or triple event to combine them with :)

      • See if you can ask the manager when they restock the shelves in the middle of a sale week.  I never go to Harris Teeter on Super Double Wednesday when it starts because I can't find it.  Turns out they restock for the weekends on Friday afternoons, so if I go on Friday night I get virtually all that I wanted.

      • Some stores also allow substitutions if they are out of an item. Depending on the deal, I prefer substitutions because at least I walk out of the store with something and I have one less coupon to keep up with.

    • Gloria

      Hey, I could not get the Learn to Coupon link to work.

      Thank you for your site. I am new to couponing (about 3 wks now) so all is very helpful.

    • Kathymomto3

      Thank you very much.

    • Couponcraze

      I'm grateful for this article.  I burst into the couponing scene after watching Extreme couponing. The most frustrating thing was seeing their carts were full of excedrin, vitamin water and toothpaste.  There was an absence of milk, bread, eggs, fresh fruit that we need and buy on a regular basis. I have noticed the savings but i don't think i'll be buying 200 cans of dog food for a pet we don't even have.

    • Couponclipper01

      Cant wait for tomorrow's post, Gathering and Getting More Coupons!

    • Couponclipper01

      Cant wait for tomorrow's post, Gathering and Getting More Coupons!

    • Kristina Mccurley

      This is exactly the information that I try and share with “non-believers” like my mother and grandmother.  They feel that it's just not worth it, or worse yet, think I am spending more because I am shopping more often.  I send pictures to them with my totals and they still don't get it.  I guess some people just like to waste money!  Thanks for posting this and I can't wait to read tomorrow's.

      • Bee

        LOL There are those in my family who will never get on board either. They like their brands too much and let's face it: grocery shopping is not hurting their budget very much.

        However, a lot of people are prone to buying extra each time they set foot in a store, so if that's their habit, then they are better off consolidating their trips and saving once every week or two weeks as the case may be. When you aren't in the store, you are guaranteed to spend no money.

        I have to pay tax on everything, so even free makes me consider whether it's something I can actually use.

      • Agh092362

        I can't get my mother to understand she needs to buy a paper (or two) each week. She looks on this site and if there aren't any coupons for that week's sales she won't buy a paper! I keep trying to tell her that weeks coupons may not be used for something on sale for a week or two, but she won't listen. Then, when I get 5 of something for free, she's mad because she didn't buy that paper that had that coupon.

        • Bella_trentavasi

          My mother gets mad that I don’t take her shopping and basically load her cart. She buys the coupons and leaves them sit until they expire, then blames me for the fact that she isn’t getting free items or saving money. I pointed her to this website and she still says, “Why can’t you just get me the list and take me shopping?”

          Then if I do go shopping with her, when we check out and the total comes down to two or three dollars after a cart full of free or really cheap items, she’ll get irate and say, “That’s NOT free!” She knows about the tax, she’s used coupons on and off all her life, and she’s still getting the savings… ?

          Some people just aren’t cut out for couponing. I understand your frustration, believe me. Maybe they will come around eventually…

    • Frugalmomy

      Jenny,  Thank you for all you do!  You have helped me take my couponing to the next level and save my family soo much!  I hope TLC doesn't renew the show; it really does give us couponers a bad rap.

      • Bella_trentavasi

        I believe I heard that they’ve already planned another 12 episode season. I just hope if they do, they are more selective about the people they document.

    • EWags

      I've only been couponing since the beginning of the year but I am amazed at how much it has changed.  I now eat out rarely.  I always have options of what to fix for a meal.  I never have to run out to the store to pick something up.  I also have plenty of cleaning supplies and hygiene products.  I can't understand people who say they don't have time or can't find what they want on sale.  They are just too lazy to try!

      • Kristina Mccurley

        My husband and I would eat out almost every night and I hated shopping for groceries.  Now, it's my favorite Wednesday night and Sunday morning rituals.  In the 6 weeks that I have been couponing I have saved my family hundreds of dollars – quite a lot of it just cooking at home!

        • karen

          that is awesme!

        • Shakemawilson3

          True.  I have to plan for 90 meals a month.  Anytime I think aout eating out and the cost of it, I turn to my stockpile, where there is no shortage of options, and my kids and I have  a great meal and money saved in our grocery envelope.

      • Good point. You do need to invest some time up front, but I think you save time in the end because your shopping trips are planned and you're not wandering the aisles trying to grab something at the last minute. Also, when I'm tempted to eat out, I just take a quick glance in my fridge or freezer and when I see how packed it is I think “we have got to use some of this food!”

      • Holly

        I disagree that people who say they don't have time are too lazy to try (though the part about not being able to find what they want is indeed crap).  I have two small children and teach high school full time, in addition to a ton of other activities with church and my community, and I do indeed find that my couponing ramps WAY up in the summer when I have more time on my hands.  During the school year, I am definitely not able to get the number of good deals that I would be able to if I just had a little more time.  I mean…I guess I COULD–if I wanted to skimp on sleep and stuff. :)  The fact is, couponing DOES take time, even with an awesome site like Southern Savers as a guide.  I actually had to have my husband (an IT director) build me a coupon database, because my Sunday inserts (Chattanooga) are so radically different from what is listed (75% of what Jenny lists is not included on the actual inserts that I have), and I end up spending hours cross-checking the coupons listed on Southern Savers against what I actually HAVE.  Hopefully this will cut down on my required time, but either way, couponing takes time, and though it's well worth it, if you don't have the time, you just don't have it.  I don't think it makes a person lazy if they don't have tons of extra time to devote to couponing.

    • Whitney

      I am new to couponing, but in the article it talks about stocking up on items. Do you have to have a coupon for each item that you purchase?

      Ex: If I am buying tomato sauce, and I have 1 coupon for that. Can I purchase 5 cans under the same coupon?


      • DKSaver

        No, only one coupon per item.

      • Rudydoescakes

        You will need five coupons.  Every item you buy needs a separate coupon:)

      • Appleshell

        The only time you can use one coupon for multiple items is if the ONE coupon you have says that you have to purchase that many items in order to get the coupon discount. Ex: buy 8 Yoplait yogurt cups and get .40 cents off.  Otherwise, you'll need one coupon per item.

      • Mary

        It would depend on what wording was on your coupon. If it said $1.00 off 5, yes. If it said $1.00 off 1, no.  Once you learn the meaning of the language on the coupons, it becomes much clearer. Unless the manufactors change the wording on them to something  we have never saw before! LOL

    • PS

      Extreme Couponing show has given a bad rap on couponers.  Many of the people on the show NEVER ever shopped like they did when they were on the show and they even said that.  Now that this show has come out many stores have changed their coupon policy and not for the better.  All because of a show that billed all couponers as almost like hoarders.  This is NOT the case with real couponers.

      • This will blow over in time. I remember sometime back in the 90s extreme couponing was a fad for awhile and stores changed their policies to protect themselves. I quit using coupons for awhile because it wasn't worth the hassle for the paltry savings. I did just as well buying store brands or just shopping the sales (this was before great websites like this one to help me locate good matchup deals). Eventually some stores started to offer more attractive coupon policies and other stores fell in line to compete. We're just at the low end of that cycle right now.

    • Shernocka

      Great information I am just starting out, this helps me think in reality terms not the omg can I do that terms

    • Packofwises

      Thank you for this. I can't tell you the people that come up to me, when they see my binder, and say, “Hey, have you watched that couponing show. I bet you save like they do!”  Well, NO I don't. for one, where I live, it's not possible, our stores limit coupons.  Plus, I need other things besides 100 bottles of Powerade, as you stated.  Thanks again.

    • I would also add that a GREAT way to get some higher value coupons is to call the companies that you enjoy. Tell them what a great product that they have, but unfortunately, it's price is too high, doesn't come up on sale as often as you would like. Then ask if they have any coupons they could possibly send to help. Many companies will do this for you and it doesn't have to be a negative experience. If fact, if you call up a customer service rep and give them a GOOD story, you are making their day better, too. After all, many only hear negative stories about how they found something in their yogurt or something.

      Just ask, don't demand, and don't expect it. If they give it, great. If not, you tried.

      • Angelascoupons1

        I have emailed two different companies and both time received coupons (and once samples).  It really does work!

    • Kellygray114

      Good Info! I have started couponing since the show also. I would love to buy 800 worth of groceries and only spend 4 bucks. But its not realistic. I just want to buy the things that I need, and save money.I only have been at it for 3 months and my grocery bill has dropped tons.  My last trip I saved about 90 bucks, which is awesome I am super happy with that and starting a stockpile finally.

    • Allison Huffstutler

      I just tried the “Rock Bottom Price” hyperlink and it couldn't find the page…could you please fix that?  Thanks!

    • Julia

      My Husband  loves coming to the grocery store with me and I hand him the coupons of the things we place in the cart.  Then when we are walking out after payment-  he will always ask, “How much did we save this trip?” 
      It's nice to have someone there with you to share the joy!!  Thanks Southern Savers, Jenny, and the whole family of members- for everything.!!!

      • Vjcpurple

        You are so luck your husband like to shop with you. I leave my husband at home. He is not patience and loves to shop off list. I end up spending more money with him. So, on the sofa he goes and I go shopping alone.

      • Jenna

        My husband comes with me too! He always wants part of the list to speed up the trip, so I give him a list of things that aren't brand specific (i.e. fresh fruits and veggies) and things we regularly buy. He loves watching the price drop when I hand over the stack of coupons to the cashier!! Thank you Jenny for creating Southern Savers!!

    • Couponcrazy23

      Thanks for this article.  I think I'm doing ok buying items at stores like CVS and Walgreens but I'm not doing well in at Kroger or other grocery stores.  I live in Illinois so your site doesn't help me with Kroger here because the coupon rules are different. They seem to limit things more. I love your site, I feel it's the best one out there and it has helped me save a lot of money on personal items. So thanks for your help!

    • Crafty_cat_86

      I “only” save ~40% at the grocery store…it's a bummer.  Thing is, we have a LOT of brand loyalties (“you're not saving any $$ if no one eats it”) and limited space for stockpile stashes.  Buuut, I average 95% at CVS, and 75% at retail stores (gifts, clothes, etc.), so I can take it.  The thing I love about couponing is that my pantry and bathroom are full of more and better items than they ever were before and I have money in my budget LEFT OVER at the end of the month, instead of coming up short.  So, coupons=awesome!

    • M Sevy

      I sure wish you did Safeway and/or Giant Grocery Stores.  I'm from Maryland and can't find anything like your site for my grocery stores.  I love your CVS, Rite Aid, Target, and Walmart deals though!!  Thanks for all the help!

      • Crafty_cat_86

        I'm from MD too!  after searching long and hard, my favorite site that does northern regional stores is forthemommas (dot) com.  HTH!

        • M Sevy

          WOW – thanks!!

    • karen

      Awesome reading!

    • Angel

      I too, am not a fan of the show “extreme couponing” but I do consider myself a extreme couponer. Last week, I had a buggy full at Kroger for 50.00 and a buggy full at Publix for 50.00. That included 10 1/2 gallons of milk, meat, toilet paper, soda, chips and much more. I do not want 300 boxes of anything, just to have to build on to my house to store it. Common sense!!! We were born with it, we just need to use it.  I have cut my weekly grocery bill in half and I have double the selection of groceries to choose from. I have been doing this weekly for a year and a half. If your new, hang in there. It gets easier to do, and less time consuming as you learn it. I would probably cry though if I didn't have southern savers for my guide. Thanks Jenny, I appreciate all that you do.

    • I live in a tiny apartment…. if I can stockpile for 6-8 weeks without toilet paper walls and canned veggie hedges in my way, anyone can!  Be creative!  Good refresher Jenny!

    • This is an excellent post and a great summary of the most basic tips!  Thanks for writing something that doesn't make all couponers sound like hoarders who need counseling.  :)

    • vtthomas

      Thanks again Jenny for ALL you do!!!  Couponing has changed my life in so many ways!!  I am a married mom of two, and couponing has allowed our family to live off of one income.  The first time I used my coupons, and learned to shop the way you describe (buying at rock bottom prices, using coupons, and stockpiling) was a huge revelation to me!  God is good!  He has given us great resources (yourself included) to be able to make life a little easier.  Now I am home with my little ones and we are working on getting out of debt for good!

    • Mandasparkle

      Great post Jenny, thanks for sharing!

    • Kb

      super great! and great answers for the “I can't do that coupon thing” comments.

    • Jdfoust07

      Last week I had to run to Publix when I had a houseful of unexpected grandchildren.  I didn't have my coupons with me so I only bought things on sale but just used tearpads etc. I found that day.  I still saved 30% but my cashier told me if I was interested in couponing I should log on to Southern Savers!!!!  Ha!  She had just started there and had not seen me dragging my husband around the store with two baskets ande a fistful of Qs every Wednesday!

    • Jdfoust07

      Last week I had to run to Publix when I had a houseful of unexpected grandchildren.  I didn't have my coupons with me so I only bought things on sale but just used tearpads etc. I found that day.  I still saved 30% but my cashier told me if I was interested in couponing I should log on to Southern Savers!!!!  Ha!  She had just started there and had not seen me dragging my husband around the store with two baskets ande a fistful of Qs every Wednesday!

    • Susan

      I see a lot of health items in Jenny's photo including produce, meats and bottled water. Have you noticed that many of the shoppers on the TLC show are buying  A LOT of processed and junk foods for themselves and their children including candy, soft drinks and sports drinks all high in sugar and sodium? I'm all for saving money with coupons, but is it really worth their's and their children's health to feel like they have to buy unhealthy foods just because there's a coupon for it?

      • Yes. They are buying a lot of junk. But remember what Jenny said. The purpose of the show is to have these people buy a ton of stuff and walk out paying very little. If the candy bars are free that week, they are going to buy it for the purposes of the show. I hope  they don't do that when the cameras aren't there.

        • Alan

          I just wonder how much of the stuff they put back after filming is complete. It all seems scripted to me. I couldn't go to Harris Teeter or Lowes Foods in my county and get anywhere near what they have in their cart, mainly because of the coupon limits on the policy. 20 coupons will double per day/per card. I would have to setup 10 aliases/cards to get close to what they are doing.  feel like they fill the carts just for ratings, and then probably put most of it back after the filming is done.

      • Angelascoupons1

        Yes….and unfortunately, many of the people on TLC are extremely overweight.  You can definitely coupon and still eat healthy.  I even have a friend who has to eat gluten-free…she said she didn't coupon b/c the items she buys never have coupons.  I sent her an email the other day b/c I just got a message about a gluten-free item that had a coupon!  And I've seen more.

        The only thing I wish we saw more of is coupons for fruits and vegetables – they are sparse.  But at least if we save on the other items, we can spend on the fruits and veggies.

        • Susan

          I have some food allergies so I buy my produce from the local farmers market and free range chicken/meats at Whole Foods. For me, it's worth paying a little more money for these particular foods. I always use coupons (at Harris Teeter) for household items, health/beauty products and non-perishables such as coffee, olive oil, pasta… and the savings are enormous, especially on double-coupon days. :)

      • Right, like the one episode I saw where the woman bought something like 60 packages of candy. If that's just a one-time thing, okay, but if she buys that much candy all the time I sincerely hope it's with the goal of being the best house to visit on Halloween!
        I think that was the same episode where the woman bought a bunch of couscous and admitted she had never cooked it before. I like couscous, but not that much!

    • Chesser6

      I have 3 in college and couponing has allowed us to stock their pantry and ours for much less. Making it easier to pay for books and such. 
      Your site makes it so simple. My children use to make fun but now they have caught the fever of saving money. THANK YOU!
      I am now using the list to help stock our school health room. Because of cutbacks there is no money in the budget- but looks like they will have all that is needed.

    • Shakemawilson3

      Thank you so much for sharing this.  I am a single mom with 3 small kids.  I have been couponing about 6 weeks after praying to the Lord and asking Him for a way to keep food on my table without having to visit the pantry at my church every month.  Since then we have more than we need and can also give items to the pantry.  I may never be on tv but I have been saving about 65% on my total grocery bill.  Thanks, Shakema

      • Corleyresearch

        Your post is so nice to read! I often think that if folks did coupon like this that they might not have to use a food bank or go on public assistance. (don't get me wrong, if one ness to, then they should) but couponing helps.

    • les from bama

      Great uplift………thanks for the encouragement

    • Wish another network would pick up a show documenting the “Real” Extreme Couponers out there…. Guess it wouldn't be as thrilling :)

    • wonderful! cant wait for tomorrows post!

    • Truly appreciate the link, the site and the work you do. I'm into about 6 weeks of couponing, building up a portfolio of coupons and my stockpile starting to take shape. I have been doing most of what is said in this link, but reread to make sure i wasnt missing anything. Refreshers are always welcome. In the middle of planning for my next HT run with super double coupons. Thanks, this site has become one of my daily go to links.

    • Steve M.

      The guidance you give is both sensible and reasonable.  I have been using your site for about a year and a half now.  50-70% is reasonable, when you buy meat, milk, bread, produce and other “real” food.  Its cool to get stuff free — mustard, catsup, and even hot sauce.  Cheap pasta is great too.  We have a few brand loyalties, but we stock up when they are on sale, eat something else or just “get over it” this time.

      It gets pretty easy to use an alternate brand or product when the regular retail price feels like its a crazy price to pay.  It is a little difficult to get started, but it doesn't take too long if you work at it a bit.

      “Extreme Couponing” is extremely unrealistic as you aptly pointed out.  It is clearly staged — how could it not be — picture your local store letting a camera crew wander around without advance warning — it would never happen.  134 packages of anything on the shelf — not too likely/

      The couponers on that show apparently live on hot sauce covered candy.  Good thing they can also get indigestion meds to go with it.

    • letisof2006

      I am new in your site and just started couponing, great explanation and thank you for helping everyone saved some money! ;)

    • NewMommy

      Great article Jenny!  I love you keep it real — I was just thinking this morning that I don't need any more ketchup :)  but I do need more dinner food!  Thank you for keeping grocery shopping with coupons realistic, you are right, my family would not be happy with crackers, mustard and gatorade for dinner!! I love your site Jenny, thank you!!

    • Jillsjunk135

      I have a quick question. I have been doing this for about a year and a half, and I have been very successful. My question is this. How many newspapers do most of you buy? I have been buying between 4 and 6, depending on how many I can get of the Charlotte Observer or the Atlanta Journal. I live in Greenville, SC, and most times I can find the Charlotte, and sometimes I can find the Atlanta. Is purchasing these bigger papers worth the difference in price? The Atlant is $3.00, and I usually pay $1.00 for the Greenville.  Just curious as to how others do it.

      • Jillsjunk135

        I have a friend who says she buys 20 papers a week? Is this necessary, or is it overkill?

        • cg

          Sounds like overkill. If she is paying full price for all those papers she needs to factor in the cost of her papers into her weekly grocery budget, otherwise that is a false sense of getting things for cheap or free.

        • Bella_trentavasi

          I think it just depends on how much product you need. If that friend is buying for a family of four or six people, I don't see that as being unreasonable. Even if she's a single person, I wouldn't say it was overkill, so long as she's buying what she needs and/ or donating. I've had people look at me and shake their heads when I buy my ten papers. What we've all got to remember is you never know who all someone's buying for.

      • Almsw119

        I have heard to buy one for each person in the house.  So, I buy 3 on weeks when the coupons “look good.”  I always buy 2 for the B1G1 deal!

      • Frances

        Try to find several friends who will save their inserts for you.  When I am taking the recycling, I see if inserts are on top that I can use.  Order coupons you truly need off E-Bay or from one of the coupon services.  I can't imagine buying 20 ($20+/week in my area) in papers a week and trying to keep up with the inserts.  I usually get 6 inserts a week from friends.  

        I also use printable coupons.  I have four computers that I can print from.

      • Cmsh05

        I buy any and all household needs (cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc) and food for a budget of $75 a week (this includes gerber brand kid snacks that are easy to eat for my 11 month old) for a family of 4 (myself, my always hungry husband, and two young boys). I am no pro, but I only use two papers. My own and my mom's. Where I live you can only use two of one like coupon.

        I guess it depends on your local stores, how tight of a budget you have and how much time you have to invest into clipping. I work full time and enjoy playing with my kids, so clipping 20 coupons of one item or running to 5 different stores on my “free time” is just not my idea of fun.

      • Cmsh05

        I buy any and all household needs (cleaning supplies, toiletries, etc) and food for a budget of $75 a week (this includes gerber brand kid snacks that are easy to eat for my 11 month old) for a family of 4 (myself, my always hungry husband, and two young boys). I am no pro, but I only use two papers. My own and my mom's. Where I live you can only use two of one like coupon.

        I guess it depends on your local stores, how tight of a budget you have and how much time you have to invest into clipping. I work full time and enjoy playing with my kids, so clipping 20 coupons of one item or running to 5 different stores on my “free time” is just not my idea of fun.

      • Tricia

        I generally buy 5 extra if the coupons are really good – meaning I have at least $3 of coupons I KNOW I'll use. I'll use far more than that, really, but Sunday papers run 99 cents at Walgreens, and if it's a P&G week I have to pay the full $1.50, so I want at least double that in guaranteed savings. I know which items are likely to go on BOGO at Publix, and with 6 papers I can get 3 deals, which is generally enough to hold my family of 7 till the next sale cycle.

      • Aprillove4171

        good question, i too am curious ! Well, personally speaking, i don't buy ANY newspapers. maybe i'm too cheap to spend the $ 2.00 for the paperbut really, my neighbor's caught wind of me needing coupons and give me a set or 2, then i load the kiddies in the lil red wagon and go next door to the apartment complex and search some recycling bins. Lots of people toss them, CRAZY !!! i usually get 6-8 sets of coupons each week, which is just what i need to stockpile with the sales at Publix. Some of my friends and neighbors like giving me my coupons, so they can hear my stories of how much groceries i can get for the cheapest price !!!

      • Alan

        For our situation, we buy one per family member,(that's four papers. I was getting the Greensboro paper (Sunday only) until I started to compare it with Burlington (my home town), and I don't see a big difference in the coupon amounts, and both have the same inserts. I'm going to compare Charlotte to Burlington this week just to see if it's any better. With Greensboro being one of the larger cities in NC, I thought the coupons would have larger values but, that's not so. Just compare your local paper to Charlotte and Atlanta (slowly and side by side), and you may find you don't really need to buy the bigger city paper after all.

      • Kathryn

        I buy depending on what is in the paper every week. If there is not a lot I know I will use, I buy 2. If there is a week with a ton of great stuff, I will buy up to 10. It all depends on what you can and will use and every family is different.

        • Michele w

          I do the same as Kathryn.  I subscribe to one newspaper so when it hits my driveway Sunday morning, I scan the coupons and decide how many more I'm going to purchase, somewhere between 1 and 5.  I always end up with an even number for the BOGO sales.  :)

      • cg

        I buy 1 if none of the coupons look that great, 2 if there are 1 or 2 coupons I'm hoping end up matching up with a sale, 3 when there are P&G inserts (I am brand loyal to Tide detergent-sigh! lol) and 4 or 5 if there is a guaranteed moneymaker in it (i.e. something that is already on sale or going on sale that week that I know will get me some overage). However– I buy the $1 Saturday or Sunday AJC that is sold on the side of the road (yes this is legitimate business that the AJC does). I would have a hard time buying more than 2 if I was paying the full price. I didn't realize until recently that many people do not live close to the $1 paper locations.

        • cg

          I should also add that most weeksthe Smartsource insert ends up either as an extra in my junk mail or in a plastic bag thrown on my driveway, plus my mother saves me any of her coupons that I don't want, so even on weeks that I only buy 1 paper I end up with 3 of the same coupon, and then on weeks when I buy 3 or 4 I may end up with 5 or 6 of the same coupon– if these items become freebies I feel really lucky!

      • Diana

        I have 2 Sunday Post and Couriers delivered to my house.  It only costs me $1.50 more to get the extra paper and I pull the Q's and give the paper to my mom.  She only reads the Sunday paper and did not want to subscribe.  Seems to be plenty for my husband, grown son and I.  I have even been able to get stuff for my daughter who is on her own, mother and sister with printables. I <3 couponing and am thankful for this site!  THANKS JENNY!!!

      • Nonccoupon

        I started by buying 2 AJC’s, but now I realize that I can get the best bang for my buck when I purchase 3 papers.  I think it really depends on how many people you are shopping for because the more you buy the more coupons you need.  Happy Couponing!

    • Ucmba97

      Thanks, Jenny for all you do. These refreashers are very helpful.  My husband and I do not have cable.  We just recently watched a couple episodes of a reality show about Hoarders.  This was all I needed to see.  A stockpile is one thing, but once you see the other extreme end of the scale where hoarding is concerned, you will absolutely never want to let your stockpile get to a point where items are expiring, not buy things even at $0.25 just because you can. 
      I didn't used to get excited about rotating my stockpile, but now I faithfully do it once a month, and easily label things with dates, so I know when to prioritize using a shelf stable staple.
      Thanks again. YOU ROCK!!

    • Almsw119

      Thanks Jenny!  I found your site 15 months ago (when my daughter was born, and I was overwhelmed with new kid costs), and it has been a God send!  i like to think, if I can get toothpaste, deodorant, bbq sauce, etc, for essentially free, I have room for the added costs!  Thanks!

    • GREAT Jenny! This is truly the way couponing should be!  That show irritates me to no end because it is very unrealistic, in my opinion!

    • Tina Gammons

      Thanks! I was told about your site, through a friend at church, and I really enjoy it!  Thanks for all the good information.  I'm a new couponer and I have to buy food for a family of 8, and every bit of savings I can do helps!  Thanks again.

    • Savannah

      I have been looking at this website for a while now and im afraid everybody else in my county is too!! I always go by your prices, make me a list and head to the store, but no matter which day i go whether its the first day or the sale, the second, or the last, most everything on you website is gone!! I have seen all the Episodes of extreme couponing, and i know you can “pre order” items, but if i am only going to buy 4 of them, i dont think they will let me pre order, and dont want to waste the time! Any advise? I am getting frustrated because i need some of these items, but i can not ever get them because people go and buy the whole stock of them every day!!

      • tarabj

        Rain checks.

      • Unretail

        Some of the Walgreens and CVS's in my area Cincinnati are starting to catch on and preorder a little more. Not much though, like cereal and grocery items in general 5 or 6 pieces and the shelf is empty. It's really a loss for the pharmacy chains that don't carry enough stock. Maybe we should order inventory for them.

      • Couponjennychef

        Get rain checks.  You'll get the sale price and quantity you want.  Just make sure you get the item(s) before any coupons run out! :-)

    • Nonccoupon

      Thanks Jenny you are the best!

    • Coulbourn23

      there was a comment on one of these about where to buy individual coupons. other than ebay, anyone have a favorite place to buy coupons, not the whole insert, just the coupon?

      • msgee613@aol.com

        I just read a blog where the couponing retailers (ebay and others) have to stop distributing and selling coupons.  Referring to the ones that can be purchased w/out the actual newspaper. Apparently the 3 insert providers (you know who I'm referring to) is filing suit against those that allow for the sale of coupons.

    • Coulbourn23

      there was a comment on one of these about where to buy individual coupons. other than ebay, anyone have a favorite place to buy coupons, not the whole insert, just the coupon?

    • Coulbourn23

      there was a comment on one of these about where to buy individual coupons. other than ebay, anyone have a favorite place to buy coupons, not the whole insert, just the coupon?

    • Coulbourn23

      there was a comment on one of these about where to buy individual coupons. other than ebay, anyone have a favorite place to buy coupons, not the whole insert, just the coupon?

      • jmomof3

        I like to use thecouponclippers.com

      • Erin

        google couponclippers I use them and they are great!

      • LissaIrwin

        dede coupons! i love them. i only buy 4 whole inserts from 2 diff papers…red plum and smartsource…i think anymore than that is just nonsense. I wish i could get these in my papers here at home…but they arent offered in my area. No choice but to order them

        • Cvchessor

          those are all available on line free,,google them

    • jmomof3

      Thanks Jenny for all you do! I do have one question though. How many papers do you buy? I have heard it is best to buy one paper for every person in your household. However, we are a family of 5. I like to buy an even number of papers for the BOGO deals at Publix. Would you suggest only buying 2 and then using a coupon clipping service for the rest? Thanks so much!

    • Couponjennychef

      That was very informative!!  Thanks for sharing your expertise!


      I have to agree w/Jenny about letting your GOAL be to save between 50-70% each week, and weve been able to do that for awhile now!! I have to say though, when this show first came out, I was like I want to get ALLLLL that for next to nothing!!! But then reality set in…lol…Im a married , mother of 3 w/the 4th baby on the way ANY DAY NOW…lol….and our goal for a weeks worth of groceries, toiletries, and baby items is $60-$70….if you can set your OWN goal and stick to it, it really doesnt matter what someone else w/a completely different plan on “Extreme couponing” does, it just matters that you were able to feed your family of 6 for $60 or less!!!!!! THANKS JENNY FOR EVERYTHING!! :-)

      • Missy

        We watch the Extreme Couponing, mostly out of curiosity.  I have told my husband several times… all they bought is powerade and some deodorant. what good is that gonna do?  I love couponing, though that show has made it less fun b/c the shelves are bare now.  Thanks for this run down though Jenny.

    • krisd

      Thank you for the refresher! I have been couponing for about 6 months and I am seeing my stockpile grow. I can't wait to read “Gathering and Getting More Coupons” tomorrow.

    • Shawnfullcircle

      Hey Jenny, thanks for what you do!
      One question.  You get coupons from so many different places. It seems lately that I don't have any of these. Do you have a database that shows me the different places I can sign up for. To receive coupon books/coupons

      • Yes, the coupon database is in the upper right hand corner of the website. It is an invaluable tool here.

    • cg

      Thank you, Jenny! For the first 3 months of couponing, I was actually spending about the same per month on groceries for the two of us. BUT, I was building my stockpile with that money. Now after 6 months of true couponing, I've dropped our budget by about 60%, but the amount of things in my pantry has skyrocketed! 30 boxes of pasta at a time in my pantry instead of 5, 20 cans of soup instead of 2, 10 jars of pickles instead of 1, 6 boxes of brownie mix instead of 1, 10 bottles of oil instead of 1, etc. I'm still learning hwo to judge exactly how many of an item I need til the next time it goes on sale (for instance the last time Duke's Mayo was on sale I bought 4 jars, well I could have just bought 2 because it is on sale again this coming week). But it has been so much FUN to watch my budget go way down, but the amount of food go up! (And the quality– I used to buy almost all “store brand” items, now I buy 99% name brand items! Love it!

      • I started writing the date I opened items to gage usage.  I kind of knew but get out a sharpie and put the date you start using right on it so you know.  I did this with laundry, dish detergent, shampoo and conditioner, etc.  I started about 3 months ago too, I agree I am not spending less but I am getting a lot more for the same money.  I also am working on a “master cooking list” this would be the top 50-75 recipes I make a lot from sides, to salads to entres and desserts. This is to help me identify items I go through a lot of, like canned tomatoes, we eat mountains of them, this way I know what make sense for me to stockpile.  I could probably buy 50 cans and go through them in less then 3 months, knowing this helps in planning as well.

        I had for most of my adult life about 20 years rarely cut coupons, really just no motivation but why not save money and just be more aware, seems silly I did not start before.  I would stock up on sales but really obvious for me items.  I will say we eat a ton of produce items and am pretty picky about meat, and rarely buy processed meats so that will not likely change a lot, more aware for sure.

    • Msgee

      I live in the Altanta Metro area (Stone Mountain) and I can no longer find the guys on the corners that sell the $1 AJC on Saturdays and Sundays.  I am quite disappointed by this.  Have you guys had the same to happen?  Not to point fingers, but I wonder if reaction from the show “Extreme Couponing” is to blame for this.  I even noticed where many stores are now changing their coupon policy.  Bad news for us who have been doing it in a fair, fun way all along.

      • peanutsmommy

        agreed, up here in Cobb, I rarely see them like I used to, if at all. It used to be every weekend on multiple corners!

      • Julianne

        I was buying New papers at the dollar store for a buck plus tax, I live in The Birmingham area and The Birmingham New has a deal called the Bargin mom…or something close to that….I only pay now .55 per Sunday paper for 26 weeks. comes out to $14 and some change. You can get as many as you like I did 5 total. $71.40 I believe I had to pay up front, but I did the math with the dollar store and I am saving on gas every Sunday PLUS no tax and a big $100 savings. You might want to look into the ATL News paper if they offer something like this. I hope this helps : )

        • Ansley

          Oh I just got that deal. I didn't know you could get more than 1. Thanks!

          • Bamabobbie

            Please give me info on how to get this.  Thanks.

    • msgee

      Jen you are a “Gem”.  Thanks for all you do!

    • Julianne

      Thank you Jenny for all your help! At first my Aunt told me about your site, and I was so nervous because I didnt want to think I was paying really nothing and getting to the check out and having to spend money that I didnt have. I have learned so much from your site and reading other peoples comments has taught me also! I agree with most people at first i was getting body wash after body wash and toothpaste LOL and my boyfriend was saying when are you going to come home with FOOD! : ) But little by little going to publix we HAVE FOOD!! : ) Watching the show…Extreme Couponing….was just so silly! Those women and men really had tons of items but only 4 maybe 7 different items, and on a smaller scale going to publix i really only have 5 to 10 items but I get 6 weeks so they last not 10 years…. : ) I couldnt be happier really seeing the saving, and really excited about shelves my neighbor is building for me to help store things that I am keeping/USING. My grandma's church has been so thankful on all the giving and I have been only doing this since end of April this year! YOUR THE BEST!!!!

    • Tckcrowe

      This is awsome.. thank you so much

    • Candy

      A great way to coupon and not hoard!

    • Amy B.

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!  You are just a wealth of knowledge and such a great help to a newbie like me.  Thanks Jenn!

    • shops2much

      If I only use the strategic coupon methods you have posted for dog food, I will save big time.  Earlier this year I was able to score several months worth of dog food for about 1/4 of what I would normally spend..
      My point is we can choose what part of our budget to focus on and add to it as we go. Start out with dog food, ad laundry supplies, personal care ectt…
      So thank you for getting me started and for the money I have saved on dog food , beauty supplies and for what I will save in the future.

    • Cvchessor

      isn't having to buy coupons defeating the whole idea and purpose of couponing? you can go to name brand web sites and print coupons from them, stores have coupons on their website like walmart and target etc. google free coupons or coupons and sign up for all kinds of free coupon websites..if i have to buy coupons then i quit..just my thoughts

      • Candice

        It depends. There is a product that my kids love that is too expensive to buy without coupons. I have bought 20 ($1.00 off) coupons for approx $3.00. I still save $17.00 to buy the products. I look at it this way. If I buy a weeks paper and the coupons that were supposed to be in there aren't, then I have practically wasted that $1.50 x's however many papers were bought. (sometimes the coupons are mostly mail order stuff or the coupons expected are not in my area). However, if I strategically buy a few coupons I know I will use, I save money in the long run. I do not buy coupons if the price is too high and I will not save in the long run though. It still costs money to print coupons too.

      • RunninMom

        I agree; however there is ONE item I would consider going to a 'Coupon clipping' service for and that is yogurt.  I can find only one brand that doesn't use Aspertame, and that brand isn't on sale as often and we can eat it!  We're trying to cut back on ice cream and other desserts, so fruit and yogurt parfaits have been a great solution for us.  I haven't actually used such a service, but I'm thinking about it for the yogurt!

      • Tiredmommyof8

        I purchase clipped coupons for items that I really want/need more of. I usually buy 4-6 newspapers a week but sometimes I want/need more of a particular coupon and printing them is not an option. I am not a hoarder but I am trying to feed a large family and we eat at least 2 packs of hot dogs a week. We are brand loyal to this particular item and when the Oscar Mayer $1/1 hot dog coupon came out I knew immediately I needed many more of those coupons. I was sure someone would have them on sale so I bought 60 of them for around .08 a coupon. It was totally worth it because I was able to get the Premium hot dogs for just over .60 a package. They won't last long here and because it is summer they will be eaten even quicker because we cook on the grill a lot. There are some items that we use a lot of and often it is worth it for me to buy clipped coupons in order to get more at the lowest price (sugar, bacon, hot dogs, cereal, canned fruit, laundry detergent).

        • squirrelhater

          The one thing I've never done is bought coupons-didn't even know you could buy like 60 of anything.I do buy either 0,5,or 10 papers every week depending on what's in them…where's a good place to buy them?Specifically?

          • Tiredmommyof8

            I didn’t expect to just walk in and buy that many so I placed a special order with the manager.

    • Diana Swallow

      AMEN what good getting $1000 worth of stuff for $8 if all you have to eat is kitty litter!  I tell my friends who claim they don't eat foods that there are coupons for that you can use the couponing to stock up on toiletries so you can put that money towards the higher priced organic foods, you can eat better without changing your budget if you're saving money somewhere!

    • Lisa

      Thanks so much for the refresher!  Watching Extreme Couponing made me crazy!!!  I knew it did not apply for us but was frustrating trying to convince myself that I am on the right track – even if I don't buy 55 bottles of hot sauce or 99 sports drinks!

    • Michelleg372

      Thank you for the wealth of iformation..Considering that my family live in Port charlotte
      Fl  none of the stores double or tripe coupons here.If they did I could have major stock pile bubt since we dont..its weekly shopping trip on the best sale item is what we get

    • Sueann Crawford

      Your “Learn to Coupon” link isn't working!

    • Kdeitrick35

      Thanks for posting this Jenny! Since the show started, I am constantly asked “Are you one of those ladies??” My answer is no, my goal is to buy enough for my family until the next sale (usually no more than 6) and leave enough for other fellow shoppers to enjoy the deal! Thanks to you and your wonderful site, I consistently save 60-70% each week!! Thank you for being a blessing for so many of us.

    • Kathy Lester

      Thank you and God richly bless you for this website. You have helped myself and perhaps thousands saving money as we all go through this hard economic time. I cannot thank you enough!

    • Shanti Pena

      Jenny, I have to say..Your site was referred to me by “Couponing to Disney”.  I started my quest to save money late January when money was becoming extremely tight in my household. We barely had enough food to feed a family of 6 let alone pay our monthly bills.  So i started out small  and slowly added to our pantry. I used your shopping list and matched everything up. We now have our pantry stocked with cereals, rice, pasta, sauces, snacks and more to last our family about 3-4 months.  I am so greatful to our weekly match ups! You just dont know. I have shopped this month or bought any newspapers, cuz i was very sick. Now that i am feeling better, i plan on starting again. The girls at the local Walmart and CVS wondered where i was hiding. They said they were happy to see the local coupon lady back in the store to share the secrets to good couponing! I just direct them all to your site! Thank you again!

    • awesome post…

    • Karmah60

      Thank you for covering this.  I always wanted to know how to save, but I get so confused as to how it's done correctly.  And the show really doesn't tell you anything, other than making the people on it look like crazy food hoarders.  I don't see the point in having a garage full of things I do not use.  What's the point of having 50 bags of kitty litter if you don't have a cat, or 100 packs of diapers with no baby?  It's insanity.  So, thank you again for your realistic approach.  I look forward to more posts!

      • Kitty litter can be used to clean up spilled motor oil, for traction when it is icy outside, and to absorb odors, usually in places like refrigerators. 100 packs of diapers and no baby can be used for an upcoming planned pregnancy or adoption, donations to women's shelters, or baby shower gifts.

        It is never a good idea to make assumptions about people's lifestyles.

        • Chelseastegall

          I think the point was to leave some for people who actually need it. Stocking up is great but others would like to share in the savings too.

        • Aking3

          Thats not realistic though unfortunately….saving diapers for years before even getting pregnant, do u really want those touching your babies skin?

          • There are so many terrible things in disposables to begin with that the shelf life is the least of your worries.

            Disposable diapers have a shelf life of about 3 years before the elastic starts to break down.

      • Primstitcher

        I understand what you mean..possibly referring to the show with the twins which one has no children. I think they are buying these items because they are free or MM (money makers). A friend, who is mentoring me, eyes MM to help pay for the items she needs. She did this the other day and turned around and gave the Ivory soap to a woman we just met who has a son with allergies and can only use Ivory. In my opinion, that was a good thing and something she does often. She does not care to keep these items and gives to those in need. She helped herself and blessed someone else!

    • Carolyn

      Thank You for this…I am new to couponing only a month in so far. I was feeling like I was doing something wrong as I have only been saving an average of 50% each week. I can say that my stockpile has grown and I'm very proud of it. I would like to be able to get more saving each week I guess as long as I continue to do everything I'm doing and continue learning more I will get there. In my short time of couponing I have already got really irritated with shelf clearers. I understand if you need it you get it but really how many tubes of toothpaste or soup can one person buy. things do go bad or take on the smell or taste of the package they are in. Be courteous to other shoppers, we ALL would like to get a great deal.

    • Jo R

      Thanks Jenny for pointing out the obvious- when you “extreme coupon” you wind up with mustard, floss and cat food- hmmmmm- what's for dinner? I save so much money by following your lists of B1G1's and sale items. I also pair up q's but If it's not on your list- usually I don't buy it. You always list produce, dairy and meat sales – so we always have fresh food! My stockpile is growing and I am proud to use my coupons!! I may not be saving 80% on each bill but I am still seeing a big difference in my total and we have what we need and will use!

    • Lydia

      Love the article… Thanks so much… Way more doable then the unrealistic goals I got from Extreme Couponing.. I actually can't watch that show its so frustrating!!

    • Kh

      Thanks so much for bringing this up…I love the new show but its unrealistic and I hate that they HOARD so much when others are in need and there are good charities out there.

    • Bargainqueen7

      Great post and tips, even for an experienced couponer.

    • Breezymom247_2

      I love your site and all your tips for the “real couponer”!! Oh, and I'm a beginner!

    • This is a fantastic post!  Really sums it up and makes it a realistic goal!

    • Candice

      Thank you for all of your help! I have averaged 56% savings since I started in January, including some clothes and toys.

    • Angel

      I am new to this and wondering what websites are great to print off coupons? 
      Thanks for the post and help!

      • Anonymous

        Jenny has links to the major sites on her Printables page.  They are Coupons.com, RedPlum and SmartSource.  There are also lots to be had on Facebook.  The best thing though is to sign up for Jenny’s daily email coupon roundup.  Every day she emails with all the newly available coupons out there to print.  That way if you see something good you make sure that you get a print before they run out.

      • Kristy

        I usually wait and print when Jenny posts the coupon matchups on this site that way I never waste ink.

    • Jaime

      Thank you for this. I caught a couple of episodes and was thinking I wasn't doing enough. I have been couponing for about two years. I got a little lazy when we moved to a new area and had a new baby, but I am back on track, with your help of course. I do get frustrated at the shelf clearers as well. I don't buy things I wont use ordinarily, but in a family of 5 now, ages ranging from 1 to 14, I need alot and can only afford it through coupons. I think the show has made using coupons more popular and why its so hard to find the items I need now adays. I can't go into any store where I live and not see a woman with her binder.Thank you again for all the great advise. I now know that my 60-70% savings a week is actually pretty good :)

    • T Otts

      Absolutely AWESOME Jenny, I get all of these comments from people who see how much I save and then they want me to “teach” them how and I don't mind if they are willing to listen but if not I simply do the best I can and send them on their way.

    • Michelle

      I tracked my savings in that spreadsheet for exactly 1 year and thanks to your site and some great friends, our family saved 33% avg.  I don't think that's bad overall for my 1st year and I don't plan to track anything for that length of time again.  It was fun seeing my progress but I don't see the need to keep up with it.  Anyways, thanks again for taking the time and managing this site for all of us. :)

    • RunninMom

      Hi Jenny,
      Just want to THANK YOU so much for helping my family to save, save, save!  I used to use coupons years ago, then gave it up when our family life just got too crazy.  At that time, I figured that my time was worth a lot more than the meager $6 – $9.00 I might have saved on a shopping trip, as we didn't eat many processed foods, and I had my hands full home schooling our son, who has special needs.. That may have been true BEFORE I discovered your website!   My Pastor's wife put me onto your great site, and I've been using it for about 5 or 6 weeks now.  At the same time, I happen to see a few of the Extreme Couponing episodes, which amped my motivation.  Yet, I'd get a sick feeling when I saw an “Extreme Couponer” pick up a display and empty the entire contents into their shopping cart.  (They could re-name those episodes “Extremely Greedy Couponing.”)  YOU, on the other hand, have given me the tools that I needed to make this work for our family.  I've been saving anywhere from 33 – 50% on my grocery expenses, and have been able to stock up on things that would be very beneficial in an emergency… something I've been wanting to do for a long time.  THANK YOU Jenny, for all your hard work, and for sharing it with the rest of us!  Blessings to you!

    • Tranmatt

      Thanks! I've done some pretty good shopping trips lately, but my husband doesn't understand why I'm not getting 1000.00 dollars worth of groceries for 4.00 bucks!  I've told him that's not realistic… I'll make him read this! :)

    • lisasmith1019

      This is a great article you posted Jenny!  I just was with friend today trying to help her get started

    • Juneandcasey

      great article, thank you so much!

    • Kelly

      Hi! Jenny! This is a great post. I am still trying to get in a good couponing routine. I started up last year and then got put on bed rest for a few months. But I have recently started again. my household has 12 people in it; 2 parents and 10 kids ranging in age from 5 mths – 14yrs. It is very hard to stockpile for 6 full weeks for that many people, because it would look like I am trying to be an extreme couponer because I would have to buy so much because they eat alot of food, especially cereal. Also because of monthly bills I am only able to shop twice a month for the things we need, i am hoping this will change soon, so I can at least shop for the rock bottom priced items weekly. I am looking forward to reading tomorrows post about gathering and getting more coupons. Our local newspaper only has about 1/4 of the coupons that you have listed on your wednesday posts.  And all of the bigger papers will not deliver to my area with coupons.

      • Kelly try seeing if you can get coupon inserts mailed to you through sites. i dont use them but have friends who do. i dont require that many coupons we have a small family but if you are stuck in a rut with only getting few coupons go to a coupon clipper site or an insert seller site.

        • Kelly

          thanks to both of you guys about the coupon sites. I have used one in the past but just wasnt very pleased.

      • Danyeln

        My local paper is sorely lacking in coupons most weeks so I turned to a clipping service.  I have been ordering from her just since the first of the year but I am so thrilled.  I generally order whole inserts because that is how I file mine but with you needing larger quantities you could order clipped coupons.  Her shipping prices are great and she doesn't have minimums for an order.  Oh the site is Coupon Beat.  I can't say enough good things about Crystal.

        • Kelly

          thanks for the information. I have used other sites and were not pleased. However I will check out this site

    • amy

      Thanks for the article Jenny i have a couple of friends wanting to start couponing. I sent them this article in an email!

    • Maria-Jose

      Jenny – I absolutely love your site… I've already shared it with two of my co-workers. Thank you for everything you do!

    • Jessicawingard

      Thank you for all the information you share. My family has saved so much money since I began couponing about a year ago. Now I am addicted! :)

    • Henleyinsc

      I love this about the extreme and not needing to be greedy.  I am 45 years old and my mom used coupons and I have ALWAYS used coupons myself when it wasn't cool and everyone thought if you needed coupons you must be poor.

    • Birdloverkim

      Your website is a great resource, so glad I found it! Thank you for taking the time to compile all this information for the rest of us. I wanted to start but it all seemed so overwhelming, you have helped my family out so much. Just found this site last week, so I have been learning and about to put it to work!

    • brooke

      GREAT post Jenny.. love it!

    • ashley

      Awesome information!!! I LOVE that you are so helpul and create these lists- you make my life easier! Thank you for helping me to convert to a saver!

    • Ijkfuchs

      Thank you so much for going through everything and sharing your secrets!

    • Squirrelhater

      I've been to Publix 3 times on this current sale,and may go again on Tues.I'm lactose intoerant,so I'm loving the $1 smart balance.i've always shopped frugally,but once i was disabled in 2006,it became a necessity.I remember the first”stockpile” was Tide clothes detergent and Finish dishwasher soap.I was hooked.I'll never forget when I first saw one of these websites-it's called the krazy coupon lady-during the summer of 2007-I told my wife,”Oh my God,there's a whole website full of people just like me..we're gonna be fine”.Later I found that I liked southern savers even better as they listed all of our local stores-and haven't looked back.I've been unable to work since 8/06.I never go to walmart(except for an occasional All You).I belong to no wholesale clubs.I only use a store brand if I prefer it.I have a wife and a 15 yr.old with a girlfriend and plenty of his band and baseball friends.I love to cook(have owned restaurants),so we very rarely eat out.With a small veg.garden and couponing,my total gro./drugstore bill is about $180-$200/month-thats gro.,paper goods,personal items-everything-and like jenny said-I don't have to shop now,but I do to keep stocked on our necessities,but on my terms at my price.The bonus is while I spent sometime feeling a little “useless,”now I'm the guy who keeps both sides of the family in free bodywash,shampoo,deoderant,vitamins,toothbrushes and paste,razors,peanut butter,etc.-and that's just this month.I personally will never shop retail again,and nobody hates those shelf clearing,hoarding wackos on TLC(and locally) more than I do.I've actually never seen the show because in 2008,I realized what a colassal waste cable/satellite tv is and that as long as I was throwing away $100/month on it I had no right to whine over the looming cost of college or my son's first car.I appreciate this site and those like it along with real,honest couponers.I really wish those cheats and frauds hell bent on wiping out the gro.shelves so thgey can take everything to a fleamarket or e-bay would suck it up and go ahead and rob a store,go to jail,and maybe not ruin everything for the rest of us…that is all.

    • guest

      This is great.  Can't wait to hear more.  I'm going to the Becoming Conference and am SO excited!  :) Thanks for all your work!

    • Clfpsych

      Thank you so much for the “realistic” information about “extreme” couponing!! 

    • Carla

      I love this!! The whole “extreme” couponing thing is so crazy!!! Saving money for our family on items we USE it what it is all about!!!

    • Senoia mom

       I was just discussing this very subject with a co-worker today who had seen extreme couponing for the first time this past weekend. A lot of us at work are couponers, who LOVE this site, AND talk about how crazy and unrealistic that show is.”… who REALLY needs 98 bags of croutons anyway?!”…I have lost track of how many we have “converted” so far.
       Thank You for everything you do. The lists are always great! …and save me a ton of time. It would be WAY harder to do it all by myself;)

    • Aoberson854

      I've watched alot of these couponers go into these stores and use for an example 25 coupons for mustard…. All the grocery stores where i live have a limit on how many coupons you can use????? The Harris Teeter is 3 per product and 20 per day????

      • holly

        HT is 4 of the like product and I think 2 of the same internet coupon. During super doubles it is 20 coupons that will double the rest will be face value.

        • Aoberson854

          Holly I went by Harris Teeter in Florence today and it's 3 like coupons per item but it can be different flavors or scents… But only 20 per day……

    • i love this site… if u notice in the first season of EC they would add that these people who shopped would spend on average 20-35 hours a week on coupons and hunting sales. they even showed that a lot of them were addicts! a lot of them had full time jobs too. for me thats unrealistic i dont care how deep the discounts are. and the fact that they dont think about how this could effect their family in the long run. i couldnt imagine working a full time job and staying up all night couponing and grocery store shopping just to get everything free. plus most of the stuff that they stock up on that its food wise is un healthy and not something i'm going to shove in my sons face b/c its free. i rather buy fruit and veg tables, price match, and the like. sometimes i'm lucky enough to find produce coupons!

    • Lacat

      Hi, Jenny, thank you for all your help on here.  I will be married 43 years this July.  I remember when I first bought groceries, it was $35, to start housekeeping.  That was way expensive back then.  I have used coupons most of my married life, but I have learned a lot from you.  Keep up the good work and God bless you and your family.

    • the biggest thing about this site which is so great is that no matter what level of couponing you do, you still save.. you get more products for your dollar! and its great especially when you go through toilet paper like no ones business =) i always jump for joy when i find toiletries listed on sale!!! =)

    • Kris1082

      Alright – so this is my question….When I was consistently attempting to only buy what was on sale like you say that you do I felt like I was coming home with a bunch of groceries but nothing that was actually going to make a meal
      I got so frustrated…Now I feel like I have gone the opposite extreme where I am planning a menu and not taking any coupons to the store with me….how do you find a happy medium where you are saving money with coupons but still coming home with food that will actually make meals for the week???!!

      • Julie S.

        What I usually do is make a couponing trip early in the week when all the sale items will still be in stock.  Then later in the week, I make another grocery trip for any other items I am going to need for the coming week.  This trip usually just consists of some produce and milk.  But I also get any other ingredients that I need for my meals for the coming week that I don't have in my stockpile.  And I usually make the second trip to Wal-Mart or Aldi.  I hope this helps!!

      • Rrbarr

        How much are you willing to sacrifice and how much are you wanting to save?  The answer to those questions will be your guiding force.  If you are willing to sacrifice now for extreme savings, then you will eat what you have with the sales, if that means eating pancakes for supper.  I did this.  I shopped only the sales for a solid year and was able to build a stockpile, but we ate whatever we had.  We didn't die and we saved tons of money to help pay off other accounts and also have a great stockpile.  I can make any meal whatsoever now.  It is soooooo totally worth it, but you have to be dedicated and disciplined.  You absolutely can do it.  It is very doable.  It helps to have support from your partner.

      • youngcouponer

        I have found that what works for me is I see at the very beginning of the sale (or right before since Jenny posts it a day or so before) what will be on it and I make a menu based on the items that are actually on sale.  e.g. last week the Voila frozen meals were BOGO at Kroger so I made sure that I picked up 2 of those to incorporate into my menu. I figured out that by getting the things that are actually on sale and tossing in a little something that I already have in my pantry turns out to be quite the pleasing meal. Also, if it helps if you get the items that are on sale and want to figure out what to cook with them, a lot of recipe/cooking websites allow you to type in a specific ingredient and it will pull up recipes using that/those ingredients. At first it was not easy, but now that I have figured it out I am able to get a 8-9 days worth of meals plus lunches for work for 8-9 days and still come out with about $60 in savings. I wish you luck on finding your happy medium.

        • I do the same thing – if chicken is on sale this week we just find interesting things to do with chicken! The stockpile does help here, even if it's small. For instance we made a great chicken meal for father's day with chicken that was $1.99lb from last week's sale, a can of diced tomatoes we got free with coupons weeks ago, a pkg of cream cheese I paid under a dollar for two weeks ago, and a squash from the garden. I made white rice with a mahatma bag I got free with a coupon last month! It helps to have that little stockpile of food you bought on sale already, so when you find meat on sale you already have “the rest of the meal”. I hope that helped!

    • Primstitcher

      Thank you soo much for the information that you share here. I hope to make it to your class the next time you are in Newnan. I have used your site loyally for the past 2 months now and it has helped me  tremendously. I am glad to know that I am in the normal percentage rank for savings! Woohoo!! Thanks to you and a new dear friend, I have managed to build a great stockpile of paper goods, personal items, and I have a full pantry and deep freezer…the DH bought one after seeing how much I was saving without a fuss! It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I have food to make healthy meals instead of spending $150 for just one week's worth of food! I got inspired by the show, but was turned off as I was learning nothing from “The Learning Channel.” I went on full coupon mode after my DH was laid off. I see this as a lifestyle and I have my children involved and learning…who already know that an item must be on sale and hopefully there is a coupon!

    • Sarah

      I agree with most of the stuff you have posted, but I do find it sometimes more challenging/pointless/annoying because I am only buying for myself. In just 2 months that I've been doing this, I now have enough toothbrushes,shampoo, body wash, makeup to last the rest of the YEAR (which is great, but now what do I do lol) and for groceries – the things I usually see coupons for arent too often things that I buy and like you said, unless it's giving overage it doesnt make sense for me to get it if its not something I would have gotten anyways. the main things I buy – deli meat, sandwich bread, cheese, butter, eggs, fruit, vegetables, milk, meat/chicken, and occasional frozen foods I like…these RARELY have coupons so I guess I should just stick with the rock bottom prices? the few times my grocery store does super doubles, almost all the items that I worked hard to plan for are out (even getting there 30 mins after they open) so it makes me not want to waste the time. the way I see it, if I'm only buying for myself it makes more sense just to work a few more hours which would cover the work I'm doing obsessively looking on websites, printing coupons that half the time cant be used b/c the item is out or the sale price was different, and driving all over. I think it DEFINITELY makes sense if you dont have a job or you have several people that you are buying for. I will still continue to coupon at cvs/rite aid because I think its fun and you can always get rainchecks, but each week there seems to be less items that I buy because more than likely I'm already stocked up! I wish there would be more grocery items at cvs/rite aid that you could score for free though! As they say, time is money and I definitely know that I have used a lot of computer paper, ink, gas, and time. like I said, it all depends how much you were spending before and how much you could save buying food that you LIKE, are going to eat, and relatively healthy. Its funny because I dont even use 1 bottle of mustard, ketchup, or bbq sauce even in a year, maybe 2 lol and things like bread tend to get stale before I'm able to finish it (have to eat a lot of sandwiches if I dont want that to happen). I hope this didnt come off as complaining just wanted to give a point of view from a single person!

      • Drseusnc

        sarah i understand your point. its just me, my hubby and a dog. we still go every week and get stuff from grocery and cvs/ rite aid. the things we get free we give to people that need them. it does take about 5 hours a week, but its been worth it for us especially being able to help others

      • Deanna

        I'm single too, have been working at temp jobs for a year and a half  and have been couponing for about a year.  I love it!  I feel like my quality of life has improved because I no longer scrimp and save, but use quality items and usually am able to try new things first.  I use my freezer a lot (freeze 1/2 a loaf of bread when you first get home and save the other half until you're ready for it).  I'm also on my second box of personal items for the mission in town.  The first box I 'splurged' and would put in items as long as they were under $1.  Now, I usually only put them in if they're free or under $.50.  I share with my mom on Soc.Sec. and another friend who hates to shop.  So I buy groceries for him, he takes me out to dinner, lol.  It works!  And like Jenny said, maybe I don't need to buy a dozen, but if I buy 2, that will get me through to the next time, whether it's 6-8 weeks, or 6-8 months… Couponing truly has changed my life for the better, even as a single person. :)

    • Lesa_s_wilson

      Thanks Jenny! I have been at it for 3 months and already noticed huge savings on the items we need. Great Tips.

    • Jewels_31069

      I am still a work in progress. But I do see results each time I go to the store of the savings. Thanks for the help you give up each day and every week. Great tips. :)

    • Cheyanne Allison

      I am so glad you posted this. I have not seen the show, and was curious about it. You have made me realize how silly it all is, really. I am glad to have not seen it now. I am a couponer by neccessity, not sport. Thank you so much for all you do. You're my hero, Jenny!

      • Cheyanne Allison

        as a PS, I didn't get to read this when you posted it yesterda, but I was very eager to, so I printed it and took it home with me (I do not have internet at home, but I will wednesday, thanks to the money I am saving couponing.) I read it last night and carry it with me in my binder. Next time someone asks me if I am”one of those extreme couponers”, I'm just going to hand them your article. Thanks gain!

    • Julierichbourg

      My husband and I watched the Extreme Couponing show and he wanted me to have results like that. I told him to watch and he will see they only get about 5 different items, none of which we must have in our home. They save a lot of money on that one trip, but I bet the very next day they made their real shopping trip of the week and saved only 60% as opposed to 97%.

    • Lopezshopping

      So far, I'm doing okay with the couponing thanks greatly to Jenny and this site.  Of course, there are still things that I'm trying to come to grasp with, and that is mainly how to go about buying enough to last 6 – 8 weeks, especially when I tend to only find one or two coupons for that particular item.  For instance, let's say that Hellmann's mayo is on sale and I have a coupon to get a jar for $0.99 after discount, but I only have one coupon.  I know I don't like the other brands as I've tried them (not everything store brand tastes good, and mayo for me is one of them. haha), but with only 1 coupon and a sale lasting only 7 days, how would you go about stockpiling?  Is this where people go “dumpster diving” for old newspapers that given Sunday to get as many coupons as they can?  I asked the gas stations here and they all say our newspaper company comes to pick them up in the evening.  I was curious as to what you recommend in stockpiling on items that you only have 1, or maybe 2 coupons for at best.  Thanks in advance…

      • Deanna

        If there's a coupon I need and don't have, I always check the coupon database to see if there's a printable one somewhere.  That always helps in a pinch!  But I have started to buy an additional newspaper on Sunday's (no dumpster diving for me, lol) to have the extra coupons.  I was printing out a lot and not using the coupon, making it wasted ink.  I figure if I buy an extra paper and use a couple of coupons out of that edition, I paid for the price of the additional paper.  I have a binder that I keep all the old coupon inserts in and then cut out only what I need.  I clean it out once a week of the oldest inserts (cutting out individual coupons that are still good).

      • jhoran

        It means you have to buy more newspapers or buy coupons from a clipping service.

        • Lopezshopping

          Are there any particular clipping services that you recommend that maybe you've used?  I had thought of the multiple paper purchase, but don't see buying more than 1 paper if the value isn't substantial given the fact that the paper is $2.00.  So far, I've only bought one paper twice.  The others weren't even breaking me even so I didn't buy them.  But the clipping services sound like an option if there are some reasonable and inexpensive ones out there.  Which do you recommend?  Thanks in advance jhoran.

          • you should try Walgreens or Cvs for the RRs or ECBs and use the them to purchase your papers… Only buying one paper is going to force you to purchase these items when they are full price..

        • Or go dumpster diving!

      • Mandi

        You have to buy several newspapers to get several of those identical hellman's coupons, so you can buy several jars. That's how you stock up!

      • Derrick6

        I heard a tip somewhere that really seems to work for me…. Buy one Sunday paper for each person in your household. That way bigger household needs more of each item and you have more coupons for that item. Now with that said on the rare occasion that there are extra inserts (i've seen as many as 5) I buy 2 extras. Also, I have heard that buying papers is getting harder and harder now that more are “Extreme couponing.. (LOL)” I have never had that problem as I have talked to the lady that delivers papers to a small local gas station and she leaves me extra papers there as she and the store owner knows that I will come buy them…. HTH

    • squirrelhater

      My rule of thumb-you know how at the gro.store they add up your coupons and add sale price savings for total savings at the bottom?I always figure that if my total savings isn't at least 3 times what I just spent(save at least 2/3),I'm not trying hard enough.I was actually used to doing even better,but my Publix used to take 7-8 competitors-now only 3.My favorite thing about this site is the early look at what should or shouldn't be in the upcoming Sun.paper-plan my whole week around that.Thanks, y'all at Southern Savers.

    • Tonya

      Thanks Jenny for doing this about couponing the right way.  I recommend your site to EVERYONE that asks me about how to coupon.  I will explain some and then tell them to start with southern savers.  I also explain that it took me about 3 months to actually build a stockpile.  I started doing this when I lost my job last year.  Going from a nurses salary (and yes nurses do get laid off) to just my husbands salary was totally rough BUT  a year later and I am still at home.  A very much needed rest and break since I have worked for the last 25 years.  Any way couponing has alllowed me to stay at home and spend time with my grandsons.   We are also going on vacation this year even with just being on one paycheck.  I will be taking groceries with me since I paid pennies for them and could not get them any cheaper in Florida.
      I have also taught my daughter who was married last Christmas how to coupon and she is doing very good with it.  Her stockpile is coming along very well.  She is into eating healthy and alot of organic but even with that she has been able to save.  She has in turn helped me to learn how to use CVS and Walgreens to save too.  We go weekly to these stores to stockpile on makeup, soaps, shampoos, etc.
      A VERY BIG THANK YOU for what you are doing!

    • Lopezshopping

      For others starting off, I highly also recommend joining the manufacturer's sites of the companies you know you buy with.  They tend to help out as well.  It doesn't necessarily have to be a manufacturer that's on a sales week, join them ahead of time.  Sometimes they throw out coupons that work well when a sale comes up that may not even be listed here.  Also, when you email the manufacturers with your thoughts and simply ask them if they have any coupons that they can send you via email or mail for you to try their items, or because you like their items, they help as well.  I got 4 coupons from Kellogg's for $1.00 off each on different products because I gave them my feedback.  I'm hoping that they'll use them and double them come this HT special sale coming up, even though the coups say do not double.

    • Lopezshopping

      So far with this site's help, I've managed to get 2 boxes of Mueller's pasta FREE, 2 Colgate toothpastes FREE, a box of cereal for $0.24 cents, a box of crackers for $0.99 cents, two bags of sugar for $0.99 a piece, and a few other things here and there for good deals.  I've made an excel sheet that I go to which lists the value of the coupon, the item it's for, and the date it expires, and I sort it by the expiration date.  When I go on this site every Tues. or Wed., I look for the coupons I know I'm going to use, and put them aside, and I'll go make my round to HT, and to BILO.  While I'm not making a grocery of $1200 for $35 bucks, it's good to know that I'm slowly on the right path of saving more and more… praying that these supermarkets don't start deciding not to use internet coupons anymore due to those people out there purposely scanning copies to use.

    • radvagirl

      On extreme couponing they refer to things that 'typically go on sale' each month of the year like bbq sauce is on sale now and you should stock up (not 50 jars though!). I was wondering if there really is a list of things that go on sale each month-like mega sale-like a yearly list?

    • Dwashburn9

      I thought when you see the little acorn symbol next to an item on a shopping list, that means the item is at the rock bottom lowest price.  Is that correct?

    • Very good advice. Although I would love to do it like they do on the show We don't eat candy, or chips or pop so it's impossible. We eat very healthy and hardly ever shop the inside aisles and I still manage to save about 30% on the average grocery bill. This is great for me!
      However I stock up on toiletries. We have 76 bottles of body wash in our stockpile right now. We donate stuff often and we love what we do. Our master closet isn't too happy though :)

      On the Extreme Couponing show (which I watch) companies send them coupons for free items knowing they'll be on the show. The stores don't give them limits knowing they'll get publicity, so yes they can save more and have “My Biggest trip EVER” because companies are allowing them to do so.

      It is easy to do it on your own. I can take a $220 grocery bill and make it $160 just by using some coupons and my loyalty card. It's really not hard.

    • highoncoupons

      I am so glad you broke it down like this.  My family (my mom, sister, brother, etc) don't understand why I just can't go shopping for anything in the store.  I tell them if it's not on sale or I don't have a coupon for it, then forget it.  You just have to be patient until it does. And you want to show others what to do, but they don't want to learn.

    • Mbbrockington

      What can I do about a particular item that my son likes but I have never had a coupon for it? I try to purchase it when it is on sale but I would like to know if there is an available coupon for this item anywhere.

      • Jinnybaker

        There is a coupon database on this website where you type in the item you are looking for and it will tell you if there is a coupon and where to get it

      • FreedomSpradley1

        Call or email the manufacturer and ask for coupons.  They will be glad to hear from you!

    • Ltyner

      Thank you for posting this. I have been couponing for about 6 months now. We went from spending around 250-300 per week on groceries to around 80-150 with an average savings of 66%. I enjoyed watching extreme couponing mainly for the comedy value. Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to the next installment.

    • Msowder15

      I am very new to couponing but anything saved is great news for me right now.  I have a family of five and my husbands work hasnt been great as he is in the construction business.  Your websight is wonderful and thank you!!

    • Madisam2

      Thanks so much for this blog.  As I watch the Extreme Coupon show, I can tell that it is not realistic.  Also, why would you buy 400 boxes of cereal that you don't eat.  I understand donating it to a food bank, but that is a bit much.  I don't know of a grocery store around my area that would let me “pre-order” such a large amount of a sale item.  I can see the stores and manufacturers now starting to put limits on coupon items to prevent this in the future.

      • Aoberson854

        I agree with you….

    • amillard

      My area doesn't seem to get all of the newspaper coupons that you post on your site.  Do you still buy enough of a product to last 6-8 weeks if it is on sale but you don't have a coupon for it?  I've struggled with this in trying to start my stockpile.

    • Angela Raine

      I'm trying to coupon and so fari'm doing ok my savings up to date at my local store is $415.97 as of the date on my last receipt

      Angela Raine