I love to coupon.  Not only is couponing helpful for keeping our grocery bill down, but it makes me happy to see my purchase total go down.

 I got interested in couponing after watching "Extreme Couponing" on TLC.  I started buying 2 Sunday newspapers every week, and kept my coupons in an envelope.  I was able to save a little bit, but not a whole lot.  I didn't know where to start with really getting the savings to add up.

Then I found afullcup.com.  It is what I believe to be the best website for people who want to learn how to seriously coupon.  The website breaks down couponing basics and then is divided up by store.  Members post how they are using their coupons by writing in what sales match up with their coupons.  It's a great place to figure out what coupons to use and where.

Now that I have been using coupons for quite a while, I feel like I have gotten pretty good at it.  I always carry my coupon binder when I go shopping, just in case there is sale or clearance items that I don't already know about.

My coupon binder
I find it helpful to keep my binder organized in categories. Most of my coupons still come from the Sunday paper, but I buy 10 or more at a time, assuming the coupons are worth it.  My local Dollar Tree carries the paper, so I usually purchase from there.  Otherwise, I order coupons on Ebay.

Since I don't want to end up having a hoarding problem, I'm not extreme in my couponing in terms of buying stuff just because it will be free.  If I see something is on sale that I want, I'll order coupons just for that item, but I will buy a lot of it.

My favorite stores to shop at are Walgreen's, Target, and Kmart.  Here's why:

  • Walgreen's rewards program allows you to earn points and also has register rewards, both of which you can use like money there.  Also Walgreen's has their own coupons which you can stack with manufacturer coupons to double your savings.   
  • Target has promotions that allow you to earn gift cards, which can be used for anything there!  They also have their own coupons which can be stacked with manufacturer coupons.  (You won't ever have to pay for razors again! There are almost always Target razor coupons that match up with manufacturer coupons.  It's even better when they have the gift card promotion, so you can make a little extra money for your other groceries.)
  • Kmart's rewards program earns points, which can be used just like money there as well.  They also double up to 5 coupons up to $1 for their members when the purchase total is $25 or more.  
I frequently get out of these stores for little or no money.   Here are a few of my recent favorite purchases.
50 cents each thanks to Kmart's double coupon policy

29 cents each at my local grocery store

on sale for $2 and I had a $2 off coupon = free!!!

Retails for $24.99 each.  I found them on clearance and with my coupons I paid $.24 total
 My favorite coupon tip: When there is a buy one get one sale, you can use a coupon for each product.  This means doubling up your coupon on the price of just one product.  Ex.  A product costs $2.99 and you have a $1 off coupon.  With the buy one get one sale, you use 2 coupons and pay $.99 for both products.

Couponing isn't for everyone.  It's time consuming and at times can be confusing.  I think it's fun and it really does save my family quite a bit of money.  Maybe you'll find it worthwhile too.

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