Couponing 101

New to couponing? Start here! (Seasoned pro already? Scroll to the bottom for a list of resources.)

First things first: This ain’t your grandma’s couponing. We all watched our parents and grandparents clip coupons as children, and yes, we still use those same types of coupons today. But with the internet and smartphones, the world of couponing has evolved far beyond just cutting coupons from the Sunday newspaper.

These days, couponing is all about getting products at rock bottom prices by combining multiple coupons, deals, sales, etc. at once. So where our parents might have used a coupon to save $.50 on a $3.00 box of cereal, making that cereal $2.50, we are going to use a $.50 coupon when the store already has that cereal on sale for $2.00 plus we’ll use our smartphones to get $1.00 cash back in a rewards app. Suddenly, that $3.00 box of cereal only cost us $.50 total.

Lost yet? Stick with me. I promise this gets easier.

Let’s look at that cereal deal again, but this time, here’s a detailed breakdown of the math:

Regular price  $3.00
     Store sale discount -$1.00
     Coupon discount -$.50
Pay at register  $1.50
     Rebate from phone app -$1.00
Total cost  $.50

As extreme couponers, our goal is to find deals like the one outlined above, and then stock up on as many of that one item as we need to get through several months until that type of deal comes along again. For my family, I usually stock up on 4 – 8 items at any given time. A larger family might want to stock up on more. And remember, this isn’t just for families! Anyone can save money with couponing, whether you want just one box of cereal or 20 boxes. But you will usually get the most bang for your buck by stocking up on as much as you’ll need for a few months, that way you never have to pay full price for that item. Just “shop” your stockpile when you are running low, and then replenish your stockpile the next time that same deal/sale comes along!

Ready to start couponing and want more information about exactly how to get started? Check out the links below!

Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide

Cash-Back Apps

Frequently Asked Questions

Example Deal Breakdowns

Stockpile Price List

Couponing Resources