I Got $99.62 for $11.42 in Groceries & So can You!

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I've had several emails after my Homeland post asking how I saved so much money and if I had any good advice about couponing, so I decided to blog a series on  how to coupon.  Every Friday I'll be blogging 1 of 10 consecutive lessons on couponing and by time we're done, you'll be ready to save mega bucks too!


Lesson 1- Coupons: Where to Find Them

Sunday Paper–  There are several places you can obtain coupons your best bet is the Sunday paper.  Every Sunday (excluding holidays) there are usually two coupon inserts, the Smartsource and Redplum.  Once a month (the first Sunday) there is third insert from Proctor & Gamble.  Occasionally, there will be an extra Smartsource or Redplum or inserts from other companies such as General Mills, Campbell's, and Kelloggs/Keebler.   You want to obtain at least 5 copies of each insert. You can do this by asking your friends and relatives to save them for you or if you subscribe to the paper ask your paper carrier for his extras (they just toss them).  If you have a paper recycling bin near you, ask permission to get the extra Sunday papers (this where the carriers toss them ).  You need the extra copies for stockpiling.  We'll discuss stockpiling in later a lesson.

Online–  Printables or IP coupons as they're called are fast becoming the way of the future as far as saving money at the store.  There are so many sources  for coupons online, almost too many to mention here.  A lot of times manufacturer's will offer coupons on their website but your best bet for coupons are from the following:

This list above contains  just a few of the places you can find printable coupons but it will get you started.

Grocery Store–  Grocery stores can be a treasure trove of coupons if  you know where to look. Here's some places to look for coupons when you shop:

  • Store ads- many stores will have manufacturer's coupons or store coupons in their weekly ads or have special coupon fliers in the store.  Usually you'll find them on display near the entrance.
  • Peelies-  Manufacturer's will often place coupons right on their products that you can peel off and use.  Peelies can be on boxes, cans and even frozen foods.
  • Tearpads- Another way manufacturer's entice you to buy their products is to send pads of coupons to retailers.  Stores then place the coupon pads near the intended product for you to tear off and use.
  • Blinkies- When my grand-kids were little they were fascinated with these things.  Blinkie machines are found in the grocery isles, have little blinking red lights and automatically spit out coupons.  Blinkies however, are usually low in value and state do not double.  My store doubles coupons so I don't use a lot of these. But don't discount blinkies, especially if the coupons are for something you regularly use. Your store may clearance something down that you can get free with a blinkie.
  • Wine Tags- If your state allows wine to be sold in stores (Okla. does not) then watch for coupons hanging around the neck of the bottles.  Most state you do not have to buy wine to use them.

Magazines- More and more magazines are placing manufacturer's coupons in their issues. The best magazine hands down for coupons has to be All You.  All You Magazine can only be found at Walmart or obtained by subscription.  Each issue has over $40.00 in coupons!  Right now you can get a FREE 2 issue trial of All You Magazine by clicking  HERE.

Blogs and Message Boards–  Follow a blog or  join a message board to keep up with all the latest coupon deals.  They do all the work for you by searching out places to find coupons such as facebook, manufacturer's websites etc. and posting in their blog or message forum.

Ok, now that you know where to find coupons go out and get 'em!  Next week we'll cover how to organize and store those great coupons you've scored.


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  1. Just starting this today. I am open to any suggestions. Just me & my husband but trying to get my kids involved. In this economy we all need this. Thanks for your work on this site. So far very easy to navigate.

    1. Hi Jackye…do you live in or around OKC? We offer coupon classes to help you get started. Our next open class will be at the Edmond Walmart at Danforth & Santa Fe on 3-12-11. Watch for the sign up …we’ll be posting it soon on the blog.

  2. I am intrested in couponing… Any helpful info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    1. Hi Samantha, Do you live in the OK area, if so check out our coupons classes listed under the coupon class tab. You can also check out our lessons under the coupons tab. Our coupon classes are about 2 hours long so I can’t list everything here but one piece of advice I can tell you is get at least 5 copies of the coupon inserts from the Sunday paper from friends and family. When you see toothpaste really cheap or free with coupon buy 5, not just 1. Put those away and by the time you go through the toothpaste it will be on sale again and there will most likely be coupons again. Stores sell in cycles and coupons are put out in cycles. Do this with all your health & beauty, canned goods, toiletries etc. As your stockpile grows your weekly grocery bill will shrink because you got all the stuff you use either free or cheap. Pretty soon all you will be spending money on is perishables and you can find coupons for meat as well as produce to use weekly. Stock up when things are cheap so you don’t have to spend much later. Just don’t go overboard buying so much that it expires and gets wasted. Buy only what your family will use before it goes bad. Hope this helps!

  3. I have climbed on board. I live in Blanchard and our grocery strore will not allow you to use the printable coupons. I have been going to Norman to shop but I really need to start saving locally too so that I do not have to drive very far to pick up the one or two items that I need. I just picked up 2 of the sunday paper. It is a start. I could use all the help I can get. I just afford the gas of having to drive to Norman more then once or twice a month. Any tips or tricks would be appreciated.

    1. Get as many of the Sunday coupon inserts as you can from friends and family etc. At least 5 copies of each. Then, when you see something on sale at your local store cheap or free and it’s something you’ll use buy 5. Put the extras away to use when you run out. Pretty soon you’ll have a stockpile of stuff that you got cheap or free and you’ll only need to get the perishable stuff at the store. This will save you time & money. Having all that stock on hand will allow you to only have to go to Norman once or twice a month. It takes a little time to build up a stockpile but once you do it you’ll be set! By the time you run out of something the store will probably have it on sale again. Sales tend to run in cycles. Good Luck!

  4. Good afternoon, Im so new this couponing. The printable coupons, do you have to have a certain printer for this, or can I print black and white? Im clueless. mahalo

  5. We buy most of our groceries at Aldi’s and they don’t have all name brand items, which save us money. But, we also have to go to Food Lion for some other items that we use some brand names. Since Aldi’s does not have a lot of the brand names, we can’t use coupons there. We do try to use any coupons that we can at Food Lion for toilet paper, pet food, butter, etc. because we do like certain brands in these cases. Is there anyway to save more here? Thanks!

    1. I was hoping for a reply! I am in the same boat as you are, Julie, Only I live in Vermont and my stores of choice are Aldi’s #1, Walmart #2, Price Chopper #3 and when I’m desperate I go to Shaw’s. We buy our things very similar to you, Julie and I would like to figure out how I can save more money other than going to Aldi’s.

  6. I am starting to coupon. Im a stay at home mom and every little area we can save we can. Im new at this so any tips or anything i would really like! I live in the southern OK area so anyhing extra help is greatly apreaticated.

    1. Hey Lynzie, what town do you live in? We are starting to hold coupons classes in lots of different areas in Oklahoma.

  7. I don’t understand how to use enough coupons to get an item for free. I thought if a coupon says 1.00 off you usually still spend 2-3 dollars. Can you help me understand how to do what ya’ll are doing. I do not live in OK I am on an army base in Missouri. Thank you for the help. By the way, we only have a walmart in this town.

    1. Mary, it depends on how much the item costs before the coupon. If you find toothpaste on sale for $1.00 and you have a $1.00/1 toothpaste then it’s gonna be free. You can get free stuff at Walmart too. You just have to know what items are on sale or what Items will be cheap or free and what coupons to use. You find that out by following a blog that posts all the free and cheap deals in your area. You can click on the “find my store” at the top of our homepage and then click Walmart. This will bring up the most recent free and cheap stuff we’ve found at Walmart. Your Walmart’s prices may differ but a lot of the stuff will be the same, you just have to check your store. Be sure to pay attention to the date the post was made so that you don’t read something that’s out dated. Now our Homeland here in OK doubles coupons up to $1.00 so we get a lot of stuff free that way. For example, Homeland may have pasta on sale for $2.00. If I have a $1.00/1 coupon it will double to $2.00 making the item free. Hope this helps!

  8. Hi,
    I am wondering if it is possible to do the couponing thing even if you don’t live near a metro area? Where I live, we only have 2 grocery stores, Walmart, Aldi & Walgreens. I would really love to get into couponing, but is it worth my time in a smaller area?

    Thanks so much,
    Katie :0)

  9. Is there a website that you can see if it has coupons that go along with the deals going on at your local grocery store?

    1. Yes there are…..where to do you live? If you live in the Oklahoma area we post all the deals for our stores.

    1. What major stores do you shop at there? Maybe I can find a blog for you. We post Target & Walmart grocery deals.

  10. We have walmart,King Soopers(Kroger) and Safeway(Kroger),Thank you that would be awesome…. Im just starting to try this out and im still a little confused on it all but im determined to figure it all out!!!! Lol

    1. Hey Monica…..you might try DealSeekingMom.com I know she does Kroger. You might also google “kroger grocery deals in Denver” or any other store you go to and it may bring up websites that cover deals in your area. Good Luck!

  11. I am looking forward to couponing, I would love to save some money on my weekly food bill. thanks Jim.
    P.S. Also I liked what you had to say about TLC not showing the real truth about couponing.

    1. You can if it’s a store coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon. You can’t use 2 manufacturer’s coupon on 1 item 🙂

    1. One per purchase means 1 coupon per 1 item……can’t use 2 of the coupons to buy 1 product. If the coupon says “1 per transaction” it means you can only use one of those coupons per shopping trip.

  12. I started clipping coupons last week and went shopping only to find I didn’t use one of these coupons because the store brand was cheaper than
    the name brand even with the discount from the coupon . Two hours of my time wasted what gives ? how can you really save with coupons

    1. Yes you can definitely save with coupons, I and many, many others do it all the time. You just have to know what’s on sale at your store and what coupon to use and where to find it. That’s where we come in. I don’t know where your from so I can’t tell if looking at our store deals would help or not. But if you live in OK all you have to do is click on “find my store” look at the weekly ads and use the coupons listed. Also, you might want to read our lessons on couponing, especially the one on shopping with coupons as it will explain what stockpiling is and how it can save you a lot of money. I very rarely find the store brand is cheaper when I combine a coupon with a sale, especially if I’m shopping at a store that doubles coupons. I’d be glad to help in any way I can to get you started saving money. Let me know where you’re from and what major stores are near you and if we don’t post the deals for those stores maybe I can find a blog that does.

  13. ok..so I am trying to print coupons off of the internet but they never seem to be as easy as a click of a button. They redirect me to other sites that require more information that I need to sign n/sign out of and before I know it I have a HUGE headache. I only have a small window to do”Couponing” in so I need it to be effectient and timely. I can not keep do this!! Something that is suppose to save me so much $$ should NOT be this stressful!!!

  14. We want to start couponing but live in Lowell, AR, where Wal-Mart is so prevalent. I don’t think they give double coupons, do they? Won’t it be hard without double coupons?

    1. Not at all Barbara….I get lots of cheap stuff at Walmart and Crest Foods and neither doubles! Just check out our Walmart deals under “find my store”. Now prices won’t be the same at all Walmarts but should be close and may be even cheaper in your area since Arkansas is the “home” of Walmart LOL!! Remember, Walmart gives overage now so you can save even more there!

  15. Im losing my mind trying to find coupons onlin e that match sales. I have been on here for hours. Please help.

    1. Hey Carla, what store are you looking for coupons for? If you live in OK you’ll find the weekly store deals and where to find the coupons under “find my store” If not, you can find a list of online coupon sites by clicking on “coupons” then “printable coupons”. If you can give me a little more info I’ll try my best to help:)

  16. just stumbled on this blog to find some help in couponing..looks like some great tips! looking forward to starting!!!

  17. I am new to this whole thing. I do my shopping every two weeks at a King Super store and then in a town even further away at Wal mart, safeway and albertsons and I have member cards that I download digital coupons for, but I haven’t found a store yet that doubles coupons here in Wyoming.

    1. Veronica, it’s nice to have a store that doubles but can save even if you don’t have one that does in your area. I shop at Walmart and Crest Food here on OK an neither one doubles but I get alot of cheap and sometimes free items at each. Find the cheapest store in your area and check their ad every week to see what you can get with your coupons:)

  18. Hi. I am new to couponing, Didnt think I needed to but my sister was diagnosed with cancer and her 2 kids now live with me. I went from being a single eating out woman to “insta-mom”. I live in Jax fl and shop at Wal-Mart but willing to venture out to save. Any tips and help could and would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi! If you’ll click on “coupons” at the top of the blog page and then click on “how to coupon” you’ll find a wealth of info on couponing. The first 3 lessons are for beginners. If you have any questions on anything just let me know.

  19. Hello, this is a great site! I live in Canada though and am having trouble finding coupons. Any suggestions? Most of the coupons I print off say valid in usa only.

    1. Try googling “Canada grocery coupons” It should bring up sites for you to print or find coupons.

  20. Hi I really want to start couponing, I live in Fort Worth Tx any clue as to where to start. Please guide me thanks.

    1. Myra the best thing I can do is tell you to read the first 3 lessons on couponing we have listed under “coupons” then “How To Coupon”. Those lessons are for beginners and will give you some tips on finding, organizing and shopping with coupons. If you have any questions just let us know 🙂

    1. You can only use 1 manufacturer’s coupon per item. If your store as their own coupons they will usually let you use a store coupon + a manufacturer’s coupon on the same item:)

  21. Hey I just started getting the sunday paper and in each of mine I have only had one insert in each one is there at least two everytime? Am I just missing one or something? Thanks

  22. Cool do you remember if the last two sunday papers only had one? I live in OKC so it is the daily oklahoman. I probably just missed them or something. Do you know where I can subscribe to the Sunday paper I tried to find it online but I can’t find it? Thanks

  23. I got a deal on the Oklahoman by calling the circulation dept. They offered me one year for $20.00 for the daily paper, which was a lot cheaper than just the Sunday paper. I guess this was a special from a flyer they were circulating. Just an fyi I hope helps anyone looking to get a subscription.

  24. i have a question, i live in wyandotte oklahoma and am new to couponing, i have been doing alot of online reading about how to use it to its fullest advantage and i came across several blogs saying that people who use coupons to “the extreme” are criminals committing coupon fraud, but is it fruad when the coupon says ANY of a certain brand and you choose the size that would make it free? they were complaining mainly about the tlc show extreme couponing, and one person even said that getting an item free with a coupon is stealing even though the store does get paid the amount of the coupon from the coupon maker, oh and some stores like walmart now offer cash back when the coupon is worth more than the cost of the product at their store and this lady said that was stealing to, i just want to know what you think, and what would your advice be to someone who gets accused of this stuff

    1. Getting an item free with a coupon is not stealing or coupon fraud unless you did something dishonest to get it like use a coupon that wasn’t good on the item you bought. If the coupon says for example, $1.00/1 ANY Tide then you can use it on ANY Tide. It’s not stealing to get overage at Walmart…if it was stealing Walmart wouldn’t do it. All you can do is just ignore people who don’t know what they are talking about. As long as you know you are being honest that’s all that counts. Stick with our blog….we’ll keep you on the right track and show you how to get legitimate deals LOL!!

  25. I am just starting out at couponing and i baught a sunday paper last sunday but there was NO coupons in it! How many papers should I buy? And how many coupons should i collect befor starting?
    Im really wanting to do this but i have never even used a coupon befor!
    Any help or hints would be very helpful!
    I have been doing a lot of reading on couponing but im still stuck.

  26. I do want to start saving on my grocery bill, but I don’t see much in coupons for a lot of the stuff other than cleaning products I actually use. I rarely buy canned food, processed meats, dry pasta, soda and other like beverages. How can I save on products such as fresh produce and meats. Some of the coupons for meat products you have to use in combo with a sauce etc. that I will not use. I know I can give it away, but then I will be paying a discounted rate for a product I do not use and although I can give it away, I still have spent money on the product.
    Any help with this is great. I don’t want 20 cases of Gaterade or 100 boxes of pasta.

    1. Olivia there are coupons for fresh vegetables and meat but they don’t come out real often. If you do organic there is a link on our website for organics. Just click on coupons and then printable coupons from drop down box and it will give you a link to organic coupons. Just watch our website as we post meat and veggie coupons when we find them. There is a coupon for $.55/1 Nature Sweet Cherry Tomatoes in the smartsource sunday coupon insert on 6-12-11. You might check and see if your area received it in your area:)

  27. we buy the paper on saturday and sundays but sometimes they dont bring coupons one time that happen because i did not check inside the paper know i check all the time especially on holidays we dont get only one booklet just like example detergent etc no food coupons thank for your help i am learning how to use coupons.

  28. I have a friend who now lives in Georgia who has started couponing and it made me want to get back into it (I just did really basic couponing overseas with our military commissary years ago). Anyway, she found that her Walmart there offers two papers for the price of one on Sundays only, but that not all locations do. Does anyone know if any stores that sell the paper offer a discount like that in the OKC (hopefully Moore) area? Thanks!

  29. I live in Augusta Ga and would like to start couponing.I would like a coupon buddy whom allready inton this to work with.ANYONE OUT THERE TO GUIDE ME………….

  30. i live in Georgia how many coupons are in the daily newspaper?
    i need some one to help me out.how do i contact the daily newpapers people so they can give me their extras?

    1. There usually aren’t any coupons in the daily paper, only the Sunday one. Since we are here in Ok, I’m not sure how many coupon inserts are in your paper. Usually everyone gets the same amount of inserts but the coupons or coupon values in the inserts can be different depending on where you live. The Newspaper companys only get so many coupon inserts to put in their papers so they don’t have any extras they can send you BUT if you have your paper delivered you can find out who your paper delivery person is and see if they can give you a few of the papers they have left over 🙂

  31. You know, my wife and I recently came back to “couponing” as a way to afford some of the basics like food and clothes, but over time, we have really come to love finding a good bargain out there. There was even more joy in finding the good deal….more so than the actual buying. We use groupon alot now.


  32. im want to start using coupons any tips on how i should shop .I stay in Sacramento Ca. And i would also like to know how can i get a price list of the items in the store or can i. Really want to learn……

    1. Unfortunately stores will not release a price list of all their items. You can try and see if you can find the items online from that store (if possible) but many stores online and in store prices vary. They do not release a price list since it would be too easy for competitors to price all their items lower. You can always start a price book and track the prices of the items you use most often. After a while you will be able to see when the highest and lowest prices on each item is and plan your shopping and stocking up accordingly. ~Princess Karen

  33. I’m staying in Gauteng province, and i want to start couponing and i always bought sunday paper which is called Sunday times but i did’nt find any coupons. Should i try buying even more sunday paper, If i find them How many should i collect before starting, which shops in Gauteng are using coupons.

  34. I’m staying in Gauteng province, and i want to start couponing and i always bought sunday paper which is called Sunday times but i did’nt find any coupons. Should i try buying even more sunday paper, If i find them How many should i collect before starting, which shops in Gauteng are using coupons. Please i need help. Or someone who’s already using coupons in Gauteng.

  35. I went into our local grocery store (upstate NY). They had a newspaper representative taking subscriptions. I subscribed for the Sunday only paper (which includes holiday’s too). It was $11 for 3 months and the representative gave me a $15 gift card for the grocery store + a coupon book for area restaurants and merchants.) Call your local paper and find out if they have any subscription deals like this.

  36. I live in Hugo. There is a Walmart and a Save-A-Lot. I am new to this and could use all the help I can get. Can I use coupons from other stores? The Daily Oklahoman isn’t even sold down here!

  37. I just got the itch to start today… I have never thought about this before but I am a stay at home mom of 3 with 1 on the way. we recently moved to Alabama so I have no clue as to what is around me or even how to start…. I am looking forward to reading around your page for help 🙂 thank you!

  38. hi, I live in lanhm, md and the stores are shoppers food warehouse, and safeway, walmart, giant food store. I mostly shop at shoppers and safeway. I don’t think safeway be doubling there coupons so im just trying to start but I need help bad, and fast. I will be doing this with a family member so I will explain as you explain to me and help me with websites that I can print coupon from. help thanks

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