tips for the first-time couponer

As I made my list for the grocery store this weekend, I thought of a few tips I have learned over the years.

- If you're a new couponer, don't expect to come away with big savings at first. It takes a while to get into the rhythm. After a while, you'll know what a good price is and what coupons are actually available and you'll be shopping like a pro.

- Start small. Don't go to every store you ever heard of just to save money. It's overwhelming. Focus on one or two stores to get going. I'm a Publix/Kroger shopper b/c they are close together and close to my house. CVS is a great one, but not close to me.

- Decide what you have room to stockpile and what you're willing to stockpile. I stockpile small non-perishables and toiletries. I find I get the best deals on things I use most often and it's worth having on hand. I never know quite when my husband is going to run out of deodorant, so it's good to have a back-up. Plus when they are buy-one, get-one free at Publix and I have a coupon, it's a great deal!

- Shop the sale ads. Be prepared to go into a store with a list. Make your list and pull out the coupons you have. I put a star by my items on the list so that I know I have a coupon. It's great if you can only shop from a list, but I usually can't resist the temptation to put an extra item or two into the cart. Try to plan your meals from the sale ads. I'm not willing to give up everything I crave, so I usually try to plan two meals based on the ads and the rest what we want.

- I don't devote more than 30 min - 1 hour a week to making my list, organizing my coupons and preparing to shop. Any more than that, and I'd just get frustrated and quit. I also work a full-time job. Some folks may have more time on their hands and that's great - I just like to keep it simple. :)

- Use what others have prepared for you. There are lots of great online sites out there devoted to couponing. Don't be shy about using their lists to make your own - that's what they're there for. In a future blog, I'll tell you about some of my favorites.

I'm going to stop here. I am really cheap passionate about saving money where I can, so I could write for days. Clearly. I know there are a million couponing blogs out there, but I'm going to try to keep this going and see if I can help you save a dollar or two.

Please share any tips with me that you have! I can always improve! By the way, I think it would be fun to track the amount that I'm saving with coupons/sales in a little tracker on my blog. Does anyone know how to add that feature?

Learn more about how I coupon here.


  1. Great post!! i though about trying couponing but I got really overwhelmed!! This all makes sense and perhaps Ill give it another try - i also passed in on to my friend who is getting ready to start...

    If you get a sec, pop on over to Little Brick Ranch to enter my new GIVEAWAY!!!


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