· Bright Ideas · Money Saving Tips · My BEST Couponing Tip…From A Former Coupon Queen!

My BEST Couponing Tip…From A Former Coupon Queen!

Yes, believe it or not, I once was one of those crazy ladies you see on “Extreme Couponing”. Well OK, that’s not entirely true. I like to think I was the Queen….but in reality I was more like a Princess…or maybe a maidservant to a Princess. But either way, *I* thought I was pretty good at it. I even have pictures to prove it! See???

couponing 2 couponing

These are some hauls from Walgreens and Albertson’s from a few years back. I don’t remember particulars but let’s just say there were serious savings involved! I’m still a big believer in the money you can save with coupons! There just came a time when I simply didn’t have time to do it anymore. (hmmm…that’s about the same time I started this blog. Go figure!)

Any serious couponer will tell you….it takes a lot of time to work the deals! There’s the clipping of coupons and organizing of coupons and then studying the deals and deciding which ones to go for and which ones to pass on….and that’s just the tip of the couponing iceberg! Not to mention all the running around to different stores to get the best deal at each.

I don’t want this to come off as a coupon-bashing post at all….because it’s not! If you are serious about cutting your food budget…you definitely can save a lot of money! But like most things in life…there are trade offs.

Even though I don’t do the extreme couponing anymore…there are some things I learned from the experience that I continue to do that really help trim the grocery budget and don’t take a lot of time.

You hear the word “stockpiling” alot when it comes to couponing. Some people have developed some serious stockpiles through couponing. Here are just a couple I found online.

Benefit of stockpiling: you can basically “shop” at your own “store” for free! You are well-prepared for emergencies. (job loss, food shortages, etc.)

Drawbacks: you need a lot of SPACE to STORE all that stuff!

So, no, I don’t have a stockpile anywhere near the size of these….but I have started my own mini-version of “stockpiling” and it goes like this:

Step One:

Find a website that matches up store sales with available coupons.  There are lots out there. I happen to use GrocerySmarts.com, but there are others like CouponMom.com; TheGroceryGame.com; TheKrazyCouponLady.com, etc.

Every week they will post a list with the sales available at your store (or whatever store you choose) and the coupons that are “out there” that match up with the deals. This is invaluable! It would be almost impossible to keep track of this stuff on your own. GrocerySmarts.com even has a rating system (1 to 5 stars) to show what are the really hot deals. 5 stars means….time to stock up!

So, a quick scan down the list and I find one of our personal favorites on sale….Crest Pro Health Toothpaste! Ever since I brought this home the first time…my husband won’t use anything else. Such a toothpaste snob. ;-)

Anyway, that toothpaste ain’t cheap! unless it’s on sale and you have a coupon as well.

Step Two:

Since I don’t personally clip coupons anymore….I head on over to ebay.com to find the people who DO! After a quick search for “Crest coupons” and I find this coupon clipper selling 20 – $.75 off 1 Crest toothpaste 4.0 oz or larger coupons for $1.25!

The trick here is to check the ad the first day it comes out so you will have time to receive the coupons in the mail before the ad ends!  Not a big deal though. These coupon “sellers” are very aware that these deals are TIME SENSITIVE and will send them out promptly. At least that’s my experience. And if the store happens to “run out” of something while you wait for your coupons to arrive in the mail….you can always get a “raincheck”.

Warning: I am about to attempt to do math…nobody distract me! This could be dangerous!

  • Regular price of Crest Pro Health Toothpaste (according to ad) $2.69 ea.
  • Sale price $1.69 ea (when you buy 4 or more)
  • Minus your $.75 cent coupon = $ .94 cents each! Now…you paid $1.25 for the coupons so you have to take that into account, but if you use all 20 coupons…that’s a savings of $15.00!

So you could conceivably get 20 tubes of Crest Pro Health toothpaste for $20.05 (if you add back in the cost of the coupons)….a savings of $33.75! AND…you won’t have to buy toothpaste for a very long time. And that my friends is stockpiling!

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Bright Ideas

  • I noticed most of the things you purchased with your coupons were unhealthy items just like I was doing 20 or 30 years ago since I was only interested in saving money and not in keeping healthy–Since then I only purchase organic and eat more fruits and vegetable and try not to eat anything from a box, can or any processed food. Wish I could say it was 100% but am not.

    I found you save in the long run as you do not buy this and that because it is NOT organic and there is plenty in the organic produce to keep me healthy–thereby saving money in health care. And just because something is organic does not make it a healthy product. If it is not from the produce section– read the label. If it has soy, canola oil, sunflower oil, sugar of ANY sort (with the exception of ‘real’ stevia), or any other ‘poison’, it is to be avoided.

    Also one can call or email many of the people who supply the produce or other organic items and get coupons for them, They are more than happy to supply you with quite a few coupons.

    Think of all the items you purchased this week at the grocery store. How many of them would you be putting back if all you purchased were ‘healthy’ or organic products. You would be saving a lot of money. And in exchange you could be buying organic produce–lots of fruits and vegetables and other healthy items.

    • Veronica, if you look at the date this post was written, you might have na better understand about the items I have in it. This post is from 2012. We have thousands of posts and don’t always update every one. I certainly shop differently now.

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  • Wish I could find a matching site that did my grocery stores. I live 250 miles from the nearest “big city” they use for matching. Sigh. I still use a free one that matches Walgreens…. Our only nationwide pharmacy/store I can get matches from. One day maybe…

  • I am a new coupon clipper and amazingly it doesn’t take me much time at all! The most I’ve ever spent in a week is 2-3 hours depending on the good deals of the week. And yeah, 0.94 is a decent price on toothpaste, but I’ve regularly seen it go down to anywhere from 0.50 to free after coupons.

  • I am a couponer (not a crazy one, don’t have time with 6 kids) Buying coupons online is pretty risky in my opinion. Why and how does someone have hundreds of these coupons laying around? There are people who MAKE fraudulent coupons and sell them, so I would advise anyone buying coupons to do so with extreme caution!! You can be charged with fraud for using them, whether you knew they were fakes or not.

    There is also a huge benefit to using the printable coupons listed on shopping sites!

  • The biggest problem with couponing/stockpiling is that it’s the same bad-for-you stuff that’s on sale every couple of weeks anyway. So what if you have 400 boxes of hamburger helper and 50 tubes of toothpaste? Never see coupons for produce or anything that’s really good for you. Not once have I had the privilege of viewing a stockpile and noticing anything but processed boxed and canned foods. Unless there’s a nuclear winter, there is no real reason to put this stuff in your home, let alone your mouth.

  • Many stores now have a limit on how many of their products you can buy. Also, you really do have to have a large, dry space to hold everything. I had many items stored on heavy duty shelves in my garage, but hurricane Sandy took care of that for me.
    So much lost in 1 storm.

    Now I buy up to the limit in the store (usually 4 at a time) and am happy with that.

  • Thank you for providing me a way to stock up on products I need without having to spend hours clipping coupons. I just don’t have enough hours to clip coupons and search for all the best deals. I like that you have brought everything into one place and made this so easy that anyone can really pick up and start doing this.

  • thank you, I am 19 and a college student all off on my own.I have been couponing for over a year now and I know that without it , I would have been eating straight ramen everynight and taking wads of toilet paper from every public bathroom in sight!a lot of articles about stockpiling sound as if people are hoarders, which isn’t true of most of us.granted, I don’t buy 20 tubes of toothpaste at a time, but my methods are essentially the same; find the best deal and get the amount I feel I need until the next sale rolls around.

    For those of you just starting out, it is challenging, and it does take time to fully understand the do’s and don’ts of couponing, but if you stick with it, you will understand how rewarding it can be. and no, you don’t have to buy 20 tubes at a time, you can go a couple times a week, or price match at a store like walmart, or even bring a friend and share the wealth.

    I can understand if couponing just isn’t for you, because it is a huge task, an art even.When you get good at it, you will totally brag about it.you’ll know you’re a crazy couponer when you have everyone over to look at your stockpile of twenty toothpastes. although they will be intrigued, they just wont understand ;]

    a very helpful blog for me was krazycouponlady.com

  • Can you actually buy 20 of one item using 20 identical coupons in the same transaction? That’s what I don’t understand about stockpiling. How do you get away with using so many coupons in one transactions for the same product? I thought coupons usually say one coupon per item or something like that?

      • yes one coupon per item.. but most stores say LIMIT 4 IDENTICAL COUPONS PER SHOPPING TRIP. sure you can have 30 identical orders but a store manager can give you a problem about it. Plus who has time for all that hassle? If you do.. more power to you. I don’t.

  • So, if I meet up at a church with lady friends and we swap coupons, this is illegal? My only thought about buying coupons online is that the shipping costs would void all “savings”. Since I don’t use that many paper towels or suchlike, I stockpile foods that my family likes. If you use a simple FIFO system (first in, first out) to keep your stocks up to date, you waste nothing. I also use a system I do in a notebook. Get an ordinary notebook, and down the first margin, write the days of the week plus the letters B, L, D for each day. B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner. Alongside the B’s, write what you want to have for dinner, being mindful of what is stockpiled, and what you will need. Do the same for the L’s and the D’s. Whatever you think you will need, write this in the right hand margin of the page. This is your grocery list. On grocery day, go through your coupons, select the ones you think you’ll need, and write the letter “C” next to that item. No forgotten ingredients, no waste of what you have on hand, and no forgotten coupons! Simple.

  • Jillee and everyone else, I use ZipList.com, yes there is a VERY useful App for that. It puts a grocery list, recipe box and meal planner all in one! For instance, usually Sunday’s I’ll go to Ziplist.com, search recipes, add them to my meal planner for the week, send the ingredients to my “shopping list”. My local store (Kroger) is listed on the site so I am able to see what’s on sale on my shopping list. I go to the store using my app, my list and the deals all on my phone (Android). Love, Love, Love this site/App. This is One Good Thing! I wish I got paid for promoting this site…I have told several friends and they all love it.
    Oh and Jillee, thanks for all you do. Your daily One Good Thing email is always welcome in my inbox.

  • I would LOVE to start couponing and stocking up. my problem is that I live in an extremely rural area and can’t go to a bunch of different stores to get the best deals. the nearest walmart is30 miles away. if i wanted to go to bigger city to have a wider array of choices, I’d have to drive for 50 miles, and would have Walmart, Cub Foods, or two other local stores to choose from. and with gas almost $4 a gallon, I’d have to factor that into my costs. But I do print coupons from the web and that helps, but only when I can actually get them and use them.

  • I have a question….Why not donate stuff to churches who have days where they potluck feed the poor. All things have an expiration date and no one family can go thru all of that stuff in those photos before the expiration date. Also most things on sale r close to the expiration date so hence donate!

  • What about coupon fraud? I have gotten so “gun” shy about purchasing coupons on Ebay. There was a scare back in the summer that caused me to quit purchasing coupons on Ebay. I don’t want to be fined or apprehended for using a “fraudulent” coupon that I had purchased via Ebay. If you could share a way for us to know how to spot the fakes I would surely appreciate it as I have stock piled in this manner for quite some time and absolutely do not want to go back to the other method if necessary. Thanks.

  • my question is, if someone is just asking for payment for time for cutting and mailing, then why is each coupon a different price, it don’t take any longer to cut a .50 coupon then it does for a 1.00 coupon. i have seen prices differ quit a bit in price. and places them up for bid, you are then selling the coupon. and for sites selling just the coupons have them all price one set price, you are making money on them. a complete set of coupons cost about 1.00- 2.00 from most sites that don’t clip.

    • I had asked the exact same question to a seller, Joyce. She told me this: Higher savings coupons are harder to find, therefore she has to drive farther, search harder and pay more for gas, internet usage, etc.,to get those higher priced coupons. Sounded like a stock answer, but the do seem to have answers for every questions I’ve asked. I still won’t buy them, because it does say “transfer” on the coupons, and no matter how you *cut* it, that’s transfering.
      Truly , in this economy, I can’t blame people for trying to save money, I just can’t excuse my own behavior if I think something’s wrong. A lot of people don’t, so who am I to say?
      Happy couponing to all! :)

  • I used to live in a house that didn’t have a pantry. I had to use just the cabinets in my small kitchen for all my food, dishes and paper products. I have always loved to stockpile extra food and use coupons, so I had to come up with something since I didn’t have enough space. Luckily the utility closet (where the heater, water heater and water softener were located) was pretty big. I got wooden bookshelves that was 6′ tall and had shelves that were 8″ wide. I put them against an empty wall that allowed 4 feet from the heater and other utilities. I was able to put 6 of the bookshelves in this closet. I was able to store my extra food, rarely used dishes, and products like tp, paper towels, sandwich bags, plastic wrap and trash bags. I have since moved from this house to one with a small pantry, but I really miss that space. I always look for unusual places to store things because of this. :)

  • I have a concern that couponing has led to a diet that is filled with processed food. If you save money on ketsup instead of putting a tomato on your burger, i don’t feel it is saving. Hamburger helper I save a ton because I would not buy it, same with ragu, instant oatmeal, rice-a-roni and on and on. You can save with toilet paper, laundry soap, dish soap but I frown on paper towels (I do but them but a roll lasts a month or more.) Save more, STOP buying filler “food”.

  • My computer has had to block 4 threats from your site. Just letting you know. What do you do on ebay when you want X amt. of coupons and their is 4 days left and you have to bid. Do you have to bid on all your coupons.

  • I, too, live in an area where nothing ever seems to go on sale. We have a Wal*Mart and a Food Lion (The prices at FL are OUTRAGEOUS) and while I occasionally find a coupon I might use, the off-brand is always cheaper than the price of the item with the coupon. I rarely buy name-brand food (unless the alternative is really poor quality) and it makes it frustrating when I try to find ways to save money for my family through the food budget. We eat meat two or three times a week, don’t buy anything from the deli, and don’t keep snack foods or sodas. I hardly ever buy convenience products because of price and dubious ingredients.

    However, I’m glad to see that some are able to buy in quantity the products that their families use. Keeping my fingers crossed for coupons someday!

  • I would love to get started couponing, but i’m so dumb at it. I agree that I don’t need things that I will never use but I know my church will need help this winter and I would love to do that and help myself also.
    Nancy Goodlett

  • I’ve watched the extremem couponing shows before and I am impressed with the stockpile that some people have. What would be even more impressive (and valuable to the couponer) is collecting up “free” or cheap items and donating them to homeless shelters, food pantries, etc. Then, not only are you saving money while couponing, stocking up, and giving back, but you also get a tax break on the value of the donated items (and save even more money).

  • The only problems I have with all of this, is the fact that people have become so into couponing that they clear the store shelves leaving nothing for other people. Stuff that people might need, and dont have time to run around to other stores. Also..why buy coupons? Seriously? They come in your paper, and you can usually find them online to print. If you cant..its cheaper and faster to just go buy another paper. My last and biggest pet peeve about couponing…I refuse to buy a product I dont like, want, need or use. Im not doing it..even if its free with a coupon. If I dont like the product then its a waste of money.

    • Kristen,
      I have many friends that “extreme” coupon and when they get free or really really cheap items (for pennies) they donate to local shelters for homeless or battered women. I don’t extreme coupon really but I have had extra coupons and actually donated much of the food for our teacher’s appreciation lunch that way.

    • KRISTIN ,










  • Thanks for all the money saving advice and tips! I hate going grocery shopping like twice a week. I need to start paying attention to deals and coupons and start stocking up.

    I had an idea for how to keep track of expiration dates. It may be common sense, but someone mentioned trying to keep track.. First in, first out. Put the newer stuff behind the old, to make sure who ever is grabbing off the shelf knows to take the first item because it will expire sooner.

  • I am trying to stockpile and pay close attention to sell by or use by dates. I use coupons and very grateful for them. I can’t drive so don’t always get to stores during sale times. But have managed to get good bit of Scott
    TP stocked and it sure will not spoil. I wrapped carefully and store certain things in freezer like flour, corn meal. I stock more so in Hurricane season which is now. Also I am having left hip replacement the 10th and will not be able to get out and about so stocking for that too for my mentally challenged dau and I. God bless all and good luck on saving good bit, PattiG in VA

  • […] is a good choice and easy to find pretty much anywhere. I already had this box from my former “coupon queen” days, and I’d recently purchased some new file folders in hopes of figuring out some sort of […]

  • Hi, having read the feedback from Christchurch after their earthquakes…and seeing supermarket aisles after the event…are your supplies safe in the wake of a natural disaster. Not just food but your precious items as well.
    1. is your shelving firmly attached to the wall (along with your tv etc – a toddler died from falling large screen tv and others were injured from falling bookshelves etc). Chimneys were a really big risk too.
    2. what is stopping your products falling off the shelves, some or many of them getting ruined or mixed .

    As I have started looking into preparedness it stands out that everyone has their neatly stocked shelves, but in a disaster there may be explosions, earthquakes etc that make your house move…if there is any risk where you live, please think of how safe your products really are. Are heavy or breakable things low? What stops them falling off the shelves when a shake happens (for whatever reason). Are dry good protected from wet goods if they all land on the floor. If floods are your issue are your precious supplies where they will stay dry. Think about shellac on the labels so they stay dry and don’t come off.

    • That is actually a great point! I live in Northern Va and have started building up our stockpile for emergencies (using coupons and local sales). We had an earthquake in 2011 that was a little alarming. Not because it was big, but because it was unusual in this area. So thank you for bringing that up. I would hate for all my hard work and money to be wasted in a true emergency.

  • What on earth is the “Coupon Information Corporation”? I think that Kels opinion is just that- an opinion. Here is another side to that post. http://www.couponallies.com/coupon-allies/buying-selling-trading-coupons.html

    I don’t like hoarders, but I just don’t see anything wrong with giving someone a coupon, someone mailing me a coupon, or buying a diaper coupon from someone that doesn’t need theirs. As long as you are following the law (not using coupons for the wrong items, counterfitting coupons, etc) what is the problem?

    Great post, Miss Jill! Thanks for breaking yet another thing down so that it’s not overwhelming. :)

  • Cathy – Not everyone stockpiles 150 bottles of ketchup, to give an actual example of the ridiculous. A 3 month storage is really minimal if you are stockpiling for emergency preparedness, 6 months is better, and 12 is fantastic. I’ve known families who’ve lived on their food storage due to unemployment, and I compare that to my friend who thinks storage is somehow bad, yet every time a hurricane comes through, she is running for the store. No one is suggesting you store things you don’t use, but it is common sense that if you get deodorant, shampoo, or toothpaste for free or incredibly cheap and buy ahead that in the long run you will save big bucks over the person who waits until they are out of those items to shop. There is no right or wrong way, but besides a real budget-stretcher, the stockpiles are preparation for emergencies.

    Sharon – Yes, you have to have a coupon for each item. People who buy 6 of something and save so much are using 6 coupons or 3 BOGO coupons. I buy 2 Sunday papers, but there are people buying several papers or getting coupon inserts from family, co-workers, or neighbors. If you miss a Sunday paper, there are also sites that sell individual inserts. Yes, this violates coupon rules, but I’m explaining how some people have so many of the same coupon.

  • I totally wish I could get into couponing. It seems so different here in Canada than it does in the States…Most stores here never have in store coupons or stuff like that.

    • I feel the same way Patti. I read these sites all the time and it drives me crazy. First our food prices are higher and then there are rarely store coupons. In addition, I don’t think there is a single store that allows stacking or doubles the coupon. Even our coupon sites seem much smaller. I find that sticking with the no name brand saves more money than using a coupon on a name brand. I am sure these are good tips though for americans.

      • A LOT of our stores do not have store coupons either…or doubling. This is the trick: Clip your coupon, wait until the price goes down as low as possible(you’ll learn the lowest price after a short while) and then go to the store, get the sales price and then use your coupon on top of that for maximum savings….Also watch for low prices on items that do not typically have coupons….

        It’s that simple. Most grocery stores have sales cycles….For example, some store will ALWAYS put their Goldfish crackers on sale for $.99 at least once a month….(no coupon needed)….So when I see that I’m getting low, I grab about 6-8 packs of these….these are normally $2.19…..so if I just wait, I can get them for $1, and then I grab as many as I need for 3 months(they stay fresh and my pantry still looks neat)….so I’m paying up to $8 every 3 months and I never run out….

        My husband is addicted to coffee….so a while back Starbucks coffee was on sale for $6.99(regular $9.99) all the time here….and there would be a $1.50/1 coupon, making these $5.50…that’s a good deal…so I would buy my husband 10 packs…these last about 3-4months….and I’ve saved $45……he also won’t be tempted to stop at Starbucks and buy their coffee because he makes it here at home and takes it with him in a starbucks thermos that I bought him for $10….(if you bring these empty bags to a starbucks, they will give you a free cup of coffee, fyi)

        You can also shop clearance and use coupons on THOSE items, saving much much more money…!

        See? That’s all you do…!

  • I never would have thought to “shop” for coupons on ebay. Interesting, but I bet it is illegal no matter what the seller’s disclaimer says. I was wondering how people get that many of the same coupon, other than buying/stealing that many newspapers….

  • Just a little something from the Coupon Information Corporation on buying coupons from ebay or any other website that sells coupons:

    “The sale or transfer of coupons is a violation of virtually all manufacturers’ coupon redemption policies. These policies are generally printed on the coupons or are available from the manufacturer upon request. Any sale or transfer voids the coupon.

    Persons purchasing coupons have often been associated with organized criminal activities. They often purchase the coupons as one aspect of a scheme to defraud the coupon issuers/manufacturers, usually by seeking to redeem coupons without purchasing any products. Individuals selling coupons to such crime rings have been charged with and convicted of criminal violations.”

    “What about selling “the service of clipping coupons” or an envelope that “just happens to contain coupons”?

    Individuals selling or auctioning coupons often know that such sales and auctions are in violation of the terms and conditions of the coupons. As such, they may include an invalid disclaimer, such as, “I’m selling my time to clip the coupons, not the coupons themselves. Such disclaimers are invalid and do not provide any legal protection to either party. Such obviously invalid disclaimers merely serve to prove that the seller/auctioneer knows that their illicit coupon sales are inappropriate, wrong, and subject to civil and/or criminal penalties, depending on the situation.”

  • I also don’t understand stockpiling! I would NEVER use that much stuff!! I do stockpile a few boxes of cereal,but that is about it! I just have a hard time understanding the obsession of having that much backstock..I mean like the one person said where are you saving money on stuff if it expires and you have to throw it out?? I was told to have a stock pile for about 3 months..???

  • I have a store that I always shop at in Wisconsin, And twice a week they have double couponing days. You get to double the price of 5 coupons up to a $1 in value! In yesterdays shopping trip I got 2 cans of beans, a thing of Ocean Spray Sparkling juice for free!! I use a site on FB called Wisconsin Coupon Clippers, they have the store that I use listed and all of their deals and what the deal will be after coupon!! :)

  • Stocking food is a great idea, but I am concerned about the ‘use by’ dates. Most things don’t have a shelf life of several years. flour,cereal, bisquick, pasta sauces, mac and cheese, etc. If not used by date, throw out? that is not really saving money. even water has a date, not sure why. I would like to stock pile, for 5- 10 years or even longer. How do I do this and still have Good food to eat?

    • Wanda,
      I’m a couponing stockpiler. You stockpile nonperishable items, such as toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, soaps, dishwashing liquid, detergent, toothpaste, toothbrushes, diapers, wipes, gifts, toys, giftwrap, Christmas cards, clothing, school supplies, etc…
      For the perishable items, you only stock up for a limited time….We can do cereal every 6 months, meats for 3 months, bread 2 months, butter, yogurt and cheese 3 months, pasta 6 months, etc.

      So, I started couponing and stockpiling last August/Sept and I was basically done by Nov 30th. I haven’t bought thoe toiletry and household items since last Fall…and I grocery shop once every 3 months for perishables……since I only need certain perishable items, it takes me about 1 hr every 3 months to gather everything, and then I’m back to relaxing and cherrypick the other deals based on what I want or have the willingness to partake in.

      It’s freed up so much of my time for my family, myself and hobbies. I have more mental clarity and I am happier because I’m not trudging to the grocery stores every month(I used to shop for the month in one 2 hour trip) spending $450……
      I go every other week for milk, fruits and veggies and that takes about 10 minutes…..
      I haven’t bought a paper since this past Spring, and the only reason it took me that long was because I promised the sales guy I’d keep my subscription for 90days….

      I love this tip…I’ve bought coupons online once from a clipping service, but I’m open to doing it again, especially when it’s time to stockpile again…!

      • Holy crap Nikki! WHERE do you live! No way could I get by on $450 a month. I spend about that much on produce alone!

  • I just have to point out that buying (or selling) coupons on ebay (or anywhere else) is a violation of the coupon and therefore renders the coupon invalid and using those purchased coupons is actually coupon fraud. So many people don’t realize that- see the coupon says “void if bought or sold”?

    Also, toothpaste is something we should never pay for! You can get at least 1 tube free each and every week at the drug stores. (CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, even Target).

  • Wait a minute… people will actually buy coupons from you on eBay? So the huge stack of coupons I have building on my desk that I don’t ever seem to get around to clipping could actually MAKE me money? Wow. I need to look into this! =)

  • Sounds like a great idea, and I have bought coupons before, but it makes me wonder where the seller gets all these coupons. I don’t believe for a minute they buy 100 or more Sunday papers. My door store ads almost always have coupons in them. They are delivered at the top of my street next to the mailbox “box” (mailboxes for all the houses are all together on a large panel at beginning of street. Everyweek, someone drives around the neighborhood and steels the coupons!!! Funny, whem there is a week with no coupons , the door stores are not touched!!!

    • I live in Phoenix. I just saw in the news, a lady was arrested for making counterfeit coupons and selling them. They said on the news, if you have to pay for coupons they are almost always counterfeit.

      • when you buy on ebay, you are paying for a coupon clipping service, not the coupons, just like you buy the sunday paper, not the coupons inside. there are some people who try to sell counterfeit printed coupons on ebay but if you stick with newspaper insert coupons, you should be fine.it’s not illegal and you will not be arrested or get into any trouble for ‘buying’ coupons on ebay. if for some crazy reason you ever come across a counterfeit coupon, and unknowing use it, or try to use it, you will not be in trouble.the authorities don’t want you, they want the people making the fake coupons.

  • The question that has always stumped me with all you stockpiling and coupon crazed people is….
    If I have one coupon for the crest toothpaste doesn’t that mean I can only buy one box of toothpaste per that coupon? Or, if I want to buy 20 of them do I need 20 coupons?
    I can never figure how you all save so much when you buy so much.

  • I have been using TheGroceryGame for over 3 years now! I can NEVER imagine shopping without coupons again! To date, my family of 4 has saved over $10,000 on groceries and feel completely blessed to have a healthy stockpile of food ready for who knows what! Thanks for spreading the <3 Jillee! I LOVE your blog!

  • I too am an extreme couponer (I think I wish I was) I have been thinking about this idea of just buying the coupons I NEED rather than spending the money on the newspaper only to get a bunch of coupons I don’t use. I TRY really hard to stockpile but I usually only have 2 coupons if they are from the newspaper or 4 coupons if I print them online. I think I may try this idea and see if it works better for me.

    On another note, There is a BOGO sale this week at my store for Ragu pasta sauce @$2.59 for 2. My store allows stacking so I have four $1/2 store coupons and four $.50/1 printed coupons. This would allow me to buy 4 Jars at like $.30 each which is AWESOME but then I only have 4 Jars of pasta sauce, not a very good stockpile. I was thinking of buying 10 jars even though I only have coupons for 4. I would be getting 10 Jars for $6.59 or just about $.69 a Jar. Still a pretty good savings in my opinion and I feel like I am getting a better start on a stockpile.

    I guess my point is that I don’t have to have coupons for every jar I buy if the deal is good enough to average out well. Thoughts?

  • coupons are an incredible tool used correctly, but always remember to doublecheck what you may read online. Not all sites(such as southernsavers) have correct information and if you're not double checking, then you end up the one at checkout embarassed. ;)

  • If you live in the south then southernsavers.com is an excellent resource. She teaches not to "clip", but a cool way of keeping the inserts and then she tells us each week where to go find the coupons to match up with the item. It's much easier that way – for me atleast :) BTW – NEVER pay for toothpaste….its's aLWAYS free :)

  • This is exactly what I do. I have been doing this for two years now! After about a year of craziness trying to coupon I switched to just concentrate on one or two items per week, saving my budget thousands!

  • Jill if you just type in http://www.grocerysmarts.com then you do need a passport code. If you access the site by way of http://www.utahdealdiva.com, there is a button on the right side a little way down that has the grocery smarts name on it. That's the way I access it. The passport code that you can see on the URL once going through utahdealdiva's site is g84cjw. You can then select your store. Utahdealdiva's site is helpful for local info on couponing and deals at grocery stores and other things happening around town that are family orientated.

    I personally like the "ALL IN ONE" option on the Grocery Smarts site because you can get all stores in one, "start" your list, then click on the RED STAR at the top to have it select just the "stock up items" and then go through and have it highlight things you don't want or need, when your done you use the "shrink" button to condense the list and you can print it from there and take it to the store. One fantastic thing about this is if you use Wal-Mart to price match you have all your info in one spot and its from an independent reporting site not just from memory.

    Many happy shopping days!!!

  • Wow what a great blog. Thanks for all the great info for extreme couponing. My daughter and I want to attempt a coupon based shopping trip just to see what is possible.

    • I just want to learn to stock pot things like detergent, shampoo , conditioner , cleaning supplies, toilet paper etc. can someone please explain how to do this? Thank you


  • I went over to grocerysmarts.com to check it out, and it said you need a passport code from someone who already used the site to access some of the features. Is that necessary, and do you have one? It seems like a good place to keep track of coupons. Thanks for the info.

  • Jill, one other thing about the grocerysmarts.com people…. yep you guessed it, there's an APP for that. Hey have an app for iphones or android phones and it is a DREAM. I still have to go to the web to print any internet linked coupons but it is WAY easy and fun and if your going to the store on a quick trip you usually have your phone with you anyway. I check the store that I heading to and pick up any 4 or 5 * deals at the same time. Good to know your a couponer even if its former.

  • Just a word about pasta products. Check the packaging carefully before you store these things for 3 years. If the packaging is not completely covered one way or another with cellophane the pasta WILL deteriorate. Cardboard just isn't waterproof enough.

    A solution involves using shoebox sized plastic containers and the plastic bags grocery stores use. Fill the plastic containers with pasta and put it inside a plastic grocery bag. Roll the bag up until it is somewhat snug but not really tight against the container. Use a curling iron at the highest setting to seal the thing.

    The pasta, oats, bulgur wheat germ, or whatever other perverted stuff you guys buy will stay good for ever. Further, you can use some and then replace the seal.

    Good luck

    • You must live in the frozen north. I live in Louisiana where we have 100 degree weather and 100 percent humidity in the summer and if you try to keep pasta, rice, oatmeal, etc. you can bet you will have bugs hatching in all of those within six months unless you freeze it, and last year I even had rice from the freezer that developed bugs even before the freshness date expired, so your claim that you can keep it forever doesn’t apply to the deep south.

  • I too use to run around like a chicken for years clipping, shopping 3-4 stores per week, etc… We have four kids and man can they eat. I saved a ton! I also have a friend that coupons and she and I would trade our coupons each week. I would clip what I wanted, she would clip what she wanted and then we geve each other the leftovers. She and I were/are the perfect coupon partners as we mostly use different products. For example, I buy very little packaged foods (cookies, hamburger helper…) and frozen "quick meals" (pizza, chicken nuggets (what are these things anyway??), hot pockets…). I have switched to mostly organic in recent years and it is harder to find these coupons so I do not coupon as much as I use to, but I still check out sales and decide if it is worth a trip to a store. I think that even if I were to become a millionaire I would still check out the coupons and sales each week. Why not save. Like your toothpaste example, it doesn't go bad and with careful planning I rarely pay more than .25-.50 for it. When I find it for this price I use every coupon I have. Same thing with shampoo. I think teenagers eat toothpaste and shampoo…maybe that is why they are surly sometimes???

    • Just wanted to let you know that toothpaste does have an expiration date. Who knew right!?!? I once read, or saw on tv (can’t remember which) that if you use toothpaste that was expired it could possibly be poisinous! I never researched it but we usually use it long before it expires. I thought since you have 4 children you may want check the dates on yours so you don’t get any sick kiddos! You could always use any old toothpaste to remove crayon marks on the walls.

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