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Extreme Couponing: How to Realistically Save On Your Grocery Bill!

Pam.Iorg


Lately I’ve been hearing some comments from people who wish they could save more on their grocery bill.  One of the problems I think some of our Coupon Virgins are having is that they have set the bar too high!  With TLC’s Extreme Couponing, we see people that have a large bill and end up saving 90-99%.  It makes us all think this is the norm, and then we  wonder why we aren’t doing it every time we shop.  What we don’t see is that they have worked for weeks on that one trip–saving catalinas and coupons and then building their shopping list around those savings.  We have also seen some shoppers buy tons of mustard or Maalox just because it is free, and it will bring the bill down.  While most of us won’t be saving 90% on our  grocery bills every single week, there are some things we can do to substantially lower our cost for food.  Since I started couponing, I have had a “busting at the seams” pantry, and no one ever whines, “There’s nothing to eat around here!”  It has literally changed my life.  Here are some suggestions to help reduce your grocery bill: 

Buy in quantity when a product is cheap. Note that we show you when the price is at a stockpile price by using these symbols: (3 month or less stock up price) and (four months or more). The picture above is of some of the items I always have in my stockpile that I have bought at stockpile prices or received for free. 

Under $1:
Cereal
Peanut butter
Crackers
Cookies, brownies, and cookie mixes
Granola bars
Chips
Salad Dressing
Shredded cheese (some is frozen)
Bagged candy
Pasta
Rice mixes 

Under $0.50
Canned goods including soup and vegetables
Fruit snacks
Condiments
Crackers, cookie mixes, brownie mixes and cake mixes 

Understand that all those free or extremely cheap toiletries and household items we buy were usually part of our grocery budget. Having a good stockpile of these items automatically reduces our household budget and allows us to put that money back into groceries. 

When meat, including lunch meat,  is at a stockpile price, buy it, and freeze it for later. Cheese and milk can also be frozen. In my  freezer I have chicken, ground beef, cheese, french fries, hashbrowns, ice cream, frozen vegetables, frozen smoothie mix, freezer jam I made for cheap, and other items I bought in bulk at krazy good deals with coupons combined with store sales. 

Buy fruits and vegetables in season and plan meals around what’s in season and what’s on sale. 

Use coupons from your coupon binder on everything you buy. If it’s just for $0.25, it’s still a savings, and it all adds up.  If you are lucky enough to live in an area where they double or triple coupons, then you can really save!  And I’m jealous if you do! 

I know you can significantly reduce your grocery bills by following the suggestions above.  Good luck!  

Have you noticed a difference in your food bill since you started couponing?

196 thoughts on “Extreme Couponing: How to Realistically Save On Your Grocery Bill!”

  1. Kelly

    Great post! Thank you….As someone who is trying to lower our costs at the store and couponing more and more, it is so helpful!

    1. I agree! Good post! It is inspiring to see those huge savings, but I feel like I am dang successful with 75% off, but would love to get even better. So thanks for the encouragement :)

    2. Kathy

      I am so GLAD to read this Post. I am back into couponing. When my kids were little I did it all the time but with just the hubby and 1 daughter still living at home I got away from it. But since we had to sell our farm and my hubby had to get a NEW job monies have been TIGHT! So back into couponing I jumped in BIG time. I usually would spend $400 a month in groceries. But now I match coupons with sales and I spend about half of that.Now that my stash is building I am VERY picky as to what to get,but if I can get it for .99 or below I am THRILLED. So the last week my Bill went from #90 to $48. Needless to say I was PROUD of myself. I am not doing the TV version of saving but I am building my stash up slowly. When can veggies are on sale .50 or less I stock up on them even if I do not have coupons for them. I just cannot beat that price. I make my own Spaghetti sauce each fall so I stock up on the ingredients to make it when they are on sale.
      I feel better after this Post and reading what others have said. If I can cut my grocery bill in half I am HAPPY. If I can get it higher so be it but for now saving $30 or more is FINE with me.
      THANKS KCL for all your helpful advice and hints

    3. Jennifer Townsend Vera

      I am new at Extreme Couponing and I have a question.

      Where do you get coupons for actual “Food”? I have tons of other coupons, but cannot find them for food.

      1. I found some in the circulars for 5/1

    4. I just wish I knew what stors she shopped at, we have some of the same stores here , but don’t get those kind of saings.

    5. mike

      I’m having trouble here in southern california seeing a significant savings on the coupons i’m using. is there a special trick to getting rasonable savings at the checkout counter. i’m new to couponing and have a decent plan and cloip on the weekends and computer. i’m just not sure if i’m doing it correctly, Can someone in California give me some help…

      thanks,

  2. Ruth

    My husband does the weekly grocery shopping. I do the “Krazy Couponing”. However, last week he said he only spent $35 at Fry’s. Less than half what he normally spends. And NO I don’t have a year supply or something I don’t need, just because it’s free or cheap.

    BIG THANKS for all your help!

  3. Vee

    I have absolutely seen a big difference in my monthly expense. I am currently saving 50% on almost all trips and some trips I save a lot more like 90-100%. It takes time to learn what a good price in your area is and to accumulate enough coupons to do this. I just went to target and saved about 50% and that price included 3 packs of meat and no coupons for the meat.

  4. Summer

    I have! My first trip I saved only $36 out of about $200 or so, and I was pretty disappointed, because I ran around for 5 hours getting everything. After I learned how to read the ads, clip EVERY coupon even if I don’t think I will use it myself (donate it if I don’t), find the facebook sites for products I use, find all the different coupon sites…I started saving more. I tend to save about 50% of my grocery bill. And it’s not just groceries. I started using restaurant.com to get cheap gift cards to eat out on. I use i-phone apps that provide more deals. For mother’s day, we are using my gift card I paid $4 for, so for about $24 we are eating for half price. I also signed up for movie places, and last week my family of 4 went to the movies, each had their own popcorn, drink, and candy, and we only paid $37! $37 of course that I saved from coupons in my grocery shopping!

  5. laura

    I think it would be interesting to see an episode of Extreme Couponing happen in Southern California where there are no double or triple coupons ever. I would love to see how much one can save out here. This week Albertson’s is offering to double a coupon up to $1. Wow only 1 coupon. I really hope some of the stores in So Cal will go back to the double couponing they used to have. This would help all of us out extremely…

    1. Hailey

      I totally agree about the double/triple coupons. I live in Austin, Tx, and there are NO stores that double here. The closest store that doubles is a 2 hour drive away, and with gas prices, unless we are going that way for a reason, it’s not realistic. I would like to see the regular savings, too, without double coupons! :)

      1. Marissa

        Hailey, I live in Kyle & I know that Randall’s doubles & triples coupons one identical coupon per transaction. I’m still new at couponing & it will be two months that I’ve started using coupons. I mostly shop at HEB b/c it’s only 5 minutes away but have you tried Randalls?
        I make a trip to Austin once every two weeks, so I think I’m going to take advantage of their double & triple coupon policy. HEB is SO strict with their coupon policy.
        Thank you Krazy Coupon ladies for all your hard work. I have learned so much & I have a good stock pile since I’ve started almost 2 months ago. They’re mostly non-food items but it’s definitely cut down on my grocery bills by at least 50%. =D

      2. Keeli

        Hailey,

        Actually Randalls doubles at $0.50 cents and triples up to $0.39, but Randalls sometimes is still too expensive even if it’s on sale. I live in Cedar Park and that’s what my store does. I find my best deals at Walgreens and CVS. I’ve got a lot of things for free at these two places.
        Good luck!!

      3. Jen

        I live in Austin, TX. I do some of my grocery shopping at Randall’s, which is a Safeway store. Therefore following the Safeway posts on KCL will help you find the good deals. I know that Randall’s will triple coupons up to $0.39 and double coupons up to $0.50. This is for the first identical coupon, so if you don’t need to combine identical coupons to get the deal, it pays to check out more than once.

        For example, the other day I used 2 $0.30/1 Haribo coupons on the $1 Haribo Gold gummy bears. If I had checked out with one transaction the total would have been $2 minus $0.90 for the first coupon and minus $0.30 for the second coupon for a total of $0.80. Instead I checked out with two separate transactions, so my total was only $0.20.

        Hope this helps!

      4. Hailey

        Thanks for the tips on Randalls! For some reason I thought I had seen that they didn’t double/triple, so I’m glad to know they do! :) I’ll have to try it out soon! So far, Walgreens has been my best bet, too.

    2. Venessa

      I think the same thing about Vegas. I watched the show and didn’t believe it so decided to try it myself. We don’t get double or triple coupons, and most store frown when I hand them my stack. They must think, hey you live in sin city why would you use coupons? In the end I’m still glad I tried it because I can save 40-70 persent. I wont be stopping any time soon either it too much fun finding the deals! :)

      1. Felinda

        I totally agree with the above responses. Here in Northern California (Sacramento) there are no grocery stores that double/triple coupons.

      2. Breakaway

        Yah, I am in the Sacramento suburbs like the other person who replied, and no stores double here. I just hope Felinda isn’t the one cleaning out all of the Citrus Heights Walgreens.

        As for Vegas cashiers giving ridiculous looks…. if any place in the country should be open to couponing, I would think it is Vegas.. they have been hit hard by the economy crash! (I am from there and have family there).

      3. Amy D

        @ Venessa -
        I also live in the Vegas area. I haven’t had too many bad experiences w/ couponing out here but agree w/ you about double-coupons! it stinks!
        I am orginally from PA and our grocery store doubled coupons up to .99 so this is so different for me – also the fact that the prices are higher here.
        The economy has been hit here so bad that I do think stores want the business but I never seem to see stores hurting for business either – they are always pretty busy/steady for the most part.
        Target is my favorite store although I have been going to CVS and Walgreens a lot lately. My only gripe is that Target always seem to be out of stock on sale items and I live right by it and go several times a week. I’ve checked at least 4 times for the Aquafresh training toothbrush and it has been out for two weeks. I was able to get one a couple weeks ago and thats it. They are still on order – if you see a grey dot by the price sign, its on order. Sorry to ramble…just nice to see another person from vegas.

    3. cassandra

      missy eby on i think the 2nd show when it started up that lived in auburndale FL she saved around 98 to 99 % she lives in florida and we do not get to double or triple coupons here either…. it is do-able… mostly look out for bogo sales … thats how to save here and use 2 coupons even on your free item

    4. Esther

      Laura,
      Have you tried Ralphs Grocery store, they double up to $1.00.. while it does have its $1.00 limit, I find that I save a lot of money there.

      1. laura

        Thanks girls for all the tips on double couponing. I usually shop at Stater Bros because it is the closest to me and the deals are great with coupons but I want to save more”foodwise”. However I am going to try Ralph’s and see how well I can do. I had no idea they still doubled their coupons. The household/hygene items are what I save BIG on though. I have paid a little under $10 for almost $500 worth of items since I started couponing April 18th. I have always used coupons but not to this extent. I feel like I’m totally doing my part at home even more now then ever before by saving so much money while adding more to my stock pile…

    5. Erica

      I live in Southern California, and my Vons and Ralphs double coupons. Granted, its not ALL of them.. but even one helps! If you have a Stater Bros. near you, they usually have good deals that combined with coupons end up being really great deals(especially with their 75 cent sales)! I got the Wheat Thins sticks for $.49 a week or 2 ago!

      1. maria

        Vons and Ralphs in southern cali. do double up to 1.00, at vons they will only do it for one like coupon and at ralphs for 3 “like coupons” however I believe people misunderstand that and think they can only use 3 coupons on a trip or that only 3 coupons total will be doubled. I keep reading from discouraged couponers that no where in southern cali will they find doubles, its a matter of looking and understanding policies. Also i suggest for people to check out non chain stores, some of those supermarkets do true doubles for coupons including 1.00 dollar.

    6. amie

      I live in Florida and we do not have any stores that double or triple coupons. I have 2 grocery stores that will take eachothers coupons ( its not very often that either puts out any coupons of substance, however) I have an average savings of 60-85% which has helped our budget drastically. In fact, the moth of March, I spent roughly $275 and saved roughly $715! This is for a family of 5, including a 12, 7 and 1 year old. As well as 2 dogs. I havent added up april yet. Some months are better than others but I just have to get a little more creative with my shopping at the grocery stores as well as CVS and Walgreens. It is totally doable, though!!!!

      1. Lisa

        I totally agree.

    7. Carrie

      Where are you in So Cal? Both Ralphs and Vons still double coupons. I normally shop Vons and just started realizing that they only double the first of like coupons. So if you have more than one of the same coupon you have to do separate transactions. But, I just came from Ralphs today and they are still doubling as well.

    8. Brooke

      The episode that featured the woman in Florida did not double or triple. No stores double or triple here (Albertsons does but RARELY, same with KMart).

    9. Heather

      I’m so glad to see a fellow Southern Ca girl! My kids want to know why we don’t save like the people on TV and why we don’t have a stockpile like them. Wellll, our prices are extremely higher, our coupons aren’t as good which means they don’t go as far, and our stores don’t double! Ugh!! It’s depressing but I have still managed to save a ton of money since I began couponing. By the way, all the Ralph’s in my area double up to $1.00 so every little bit helps! Thanks for your post KCL!

    10. Stacy

      They do double coupons at Ralphs. I bought 16 boxes of pasta & 4 boxex of ceral for free today.

      1. What coupons You use? If you can tell us, Please!!

    11. Rondi

      I agree! I live in Washington state and NONE of the stores around here double or triple. The only store that does is Albertsons, but they only double three coupons that are up to a dollar, hardly worth my time there unless I want to do one transaction after another and that store is so far out of the way (I live in a very rural area w/ no commercial stores what so ever) it just doesn’t make it worth it. I just read about a woman on here whose WALMART has double coupon days! I have NEVER heard of walmart doubling coupons, none of ours do. I would love to see the “Extreme Couponing” show come up here and do an episode. Another problem for me is that since I DO live so far out of the way, I don’t have the time or the money to drive over an hour into the grocery store every time they have a new sale. Once a week tops, but our stores tend to have two different sales at two different times of the week. It’s so hard to keep up with lol! But I did find some amazing deals at RiteAid this week, I was SUPER happy w/ that. w/ my rewards credits for my next trip into town, my purchase was entirely free!

      1. Bridgette

        May 11th is the show with 2 people from WA state. I live here as well :)

    12. Bridgette

      They don’t double where I live in WA and next week’s episode will have 2 WA people so hopefully that will help :) I hate how all the people on Extreme Couponing can double coupons as well!

    13. Kelly

      I think someone should do Northern California. It is really hard to get good deals up here. Especially if you don’t have a major grocery store in your area. I would like to go to Safeway but it is 45 minutes away. Walmart, Foodmaxx, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aide, and Winco are the ones close by. But don’t really want to go to all these stores especially if driving to another town just to save a few pennies. One day…..

    14. Stephanie

      Laura-

      Where are you in SoCal? I’m in Hermosa Beach and I do see some coupon doubling at Ralph’s and Von’s near here, plus they also round coupons up to $1 (for example, if you present a $.75 coupon, $.25 is also taken off as a bonus.)

    15. My Ralph’s doubles and I’m in LA….but I agree with you, saving is really hard in this state. Even “freebies” really aren’t for us, since our tax rate is so high AND get it charged on pre-coupon price. Food luckily isn’t taxed….but this post shows how hard saving at the store is. Still, a penny saved is a penny earned :)

    16. Debbs Seattle

      Very excited to see next weeks (?) episode of EC on TLC. Amber is a local Washington State coupon guru and our stores do not double except Alby’s which limits us to 3 doublers per transaction.

      With that said, today is day 6 of week 5. I have devoted all my time to learning this SKILL. Yesterday, I had a well plotted trip for grocery only – no drug store stops. Best stop was number 2 of 3…..value $149.65 OOP $36.86 (and they missed one coupon for $1) for a savings of 81%. This provided me 3 – 1 year stockpile items and a few items of 2 each.

      Stop #1 was fresh meat on a great freezer stock up price of $1.99/lb. And stop #3 was 6 jugs of juice, 6 peanut butters and freebie candy (which I never bought before, but will get now for free).

      BUT I finally have proven to myself that the 80%+ grocery savings is doable where there are no double coupon stores. The stockpile is the only way it will happen..You cannot buy for the week, even with coupons and achieve it.

  6. Summer

    Oh, and I do think that price comparing against “sale” prices and what you could find cheaper at say Wal-Mart is a great idea. I find that sometimes Kroger’s will have refried beans “on sale” for 10/$10 when Wal-Mart’s everyday price is already $1/1.

    1. Kristi

      Yes, but even though that is Wal-Marts normal price, they do not double coupons but Kroger will! (in my area anyway)

    2. Rebecca

      Also, walmart will pricematch competitor ads themselves. So one week their beans might be $1.10/ea, but then when a compititor has them 10/$10 then walmart will do a rollback in their system to get them to $1 or less.
      I used to work in a couple different departments on the grocery side and someone would always compare prices with the competitors and adjust pricing for the week, and then go to the other stores and check item prices that weren’t on sale either to see if prices needed to be lowered.

  7. Tammy

    I have noticed a huge difference and now my friends and co-workers are jealous. I do have to woork hard to get those savings, but it is worth every penny saved.

  8. diane

    I just started couponing a couple weeks ago but I have already seen tremendous savings! I have been focusing on Target and occasionally will get some things for a deal at wal-mart. I am going to do my first drug store shop this week at Wal-greens…eeek! I agree that if you are tryng to keep up with those people on the show, it would be discouraging! I figured out very fast that if I only bought those things on my “deal” list then I would leave the store with having spent little to nothing! However, since I am new and don’t have a stockpile yet, there are still things I need that I am going to have to buy without a coupon or sale. I know eventually I will be able to wait to buy those necessary items because I will have them in my stockpile! Thank you for all you do! It has helped me SOOOO MUCH!!!

  9. Elisabeth

    OMG, yes, I have noticed a HUGE difference since I began couponing. I started about 9 months ago and love it! Similar to the show, I save about 90-95% but I split up my transactions and trips into more managable $200 precoupon totals instead of $1,000 precoupon totals. I just don’t have the patience for that much planning and such, I have three kids and would need to get a sitter just to do a massive trip like on the show. I do several smaller transactions every week, where the precoupon total is around $200 and I pay like $15 or so. I can handle the stress from that but a massive trip would have my bloodpressure through the roof! lol. But yes, definately worth doing and I would like to encourage the newbies because when I first started I was only seeing about 75% savings. As your stockpile grows, you will have more money to throw at those AMAZING deals and start seeing higher savings percentages!

    1. Terry

      I recently started couponing. I don’t think I’m doing it right. How do you actually do the extreme couponing? I need all the help I can get. Thanks!

  10. Nessa

    I started couponing 6 weeks ago and have already saved over $600! I typically save 50-80%. I haven’t made a single charge on my credit card either! I have a bit of a stockpile going and the whole family chips in to help me! I have learned several things:
    1. Coupon time is family time–we spend more time together even if we do all have scissors in our hands and the kids like going to store and don’t hassle me to buy things that aren’t on the list
    2. I don’t have to live with credit card debt–I have already put a pay down plan into effect and hope to pay off all the credit card debt in 15 months
    3. Showing others how to help their families save money is more rewarding than I ever imagined
    4. Those woman with the binders and huge piles of coupons wandering around the store are Krazy—-Krazy like a fox!!!!

    Thanks to this site for all the help, encouragement and resources!!!!!

    1. Laura

      Nessa, you are SO right. My children and I spend lots of time together cutting and organizing coupons. They are such a BIG help. When my husband is home from work he loves to look through the ads forawesome deals and this is fun time we share as well. I LOVE my folder filled with free stuff and tons of savings. My children are learning on how to save with coupons. It is a great feeling…

  11. valerie

    the post mentions extream couponers have planned their trips for weeks. my question is how can we get a hold of a weekly ad a couple of weeks ahead to plan for THAT specific trip?

    1. XH

      you can check out http://www.iheartriteaid.com, http://www.iheartcvs.com, and http://www.iheartwag.com for upcoming ads and updates. i love that site because if an item is not on sale this week, you know you’ll find it on sale the next.

      1. Chelle

        Thank you so much! Now I can plan my trips a bit further in advance. =)

    2. Merla Wilkerson

      I was wondering how they plan their trips weeks in advance. #1 if they have to order coupons for a specific product, how do they know in advance that item will be on sale?? I am Sooo confused by this. I think others are too, that are just starting out. Thank you for all the great help.

  12. Since I started being a KCL, I have saved roughly 50%. And you know what? That is AWESOME by me! Slashing that budget line item in half gives me money to put into OTHER budget line items….whether it is paying off debt, saving for a new car, going on vacation or getting a massage!

    I don’t expect to get 90% savings on the majority of trips. But I think anything less than 50% is still spending too much! (Amazing how just a couple of trips to the store with sales and coupons can change your whole perception of how much is “too much” to pay!

  13. Michelle

    Thanks for putting out how to realistically save. I’ve been wanting to coupon for a couple of years now, but have been basically overwhelmed and not getting how to save on groceries (perishables). Just started couponing and this helps to keep things in perspective and not to get to discouraged if it takes a little longer.

  14. Kristen

    I have been a couponer for years, but KCL has really helped me step up my game! I have only been on here for a few weeks and my stockpile is already twice as large. I love saving my family money. Thanks KCL!

    Do you have a list of stockpile prices for everything? That would really help in knowing when to buy a lot or when to wait.

    1. Lisa F

      I agree with having a price list for stockpiles. That would be SO helpful because I am always afraid I will use my coupons and then a better deal will come along! LOL! In the meantime though, I started my own list with what I am used to paying, then each time I find something for cheaper I update my list so my personal stock up price goes lower and lower while I learn.

  15. GREAT TIPS! I loved your feature on the TLC show and have been reading you for a month or two.

    In the last two months I have been couponing (in California in an extremely expensive area with no doubles) I have saved an average of 45-60% on my weekly grocery bills. I can’t believe how much I am saving!

    I get frustrated (and sometimes yell at the TV) when I watch the Extreme Couponing show because it seems like most of them double or the rules from our stores here just don’t apply. Like no overages, doubles and other rules. Still even without all the “extreme” measures our family is saving a bundle!

    I really want to thank you for providing good and HONEST information to your readers. We appreciate it and my family is eating on the cheap without sacrificing good options.

    1. My situation is similar to yours in CA, Bay Area. No doubles, no overages, no nothing but high prices. I get upset when I see how great other people can do, but need to remember that they sometimes have extra advantages.

      I keep a spreadsheet of my coupon savings and it helps to point out that I’m still saving about $30 average per trip. Not a ton, but it certainly adds up. But I’m also only buying stuff on sale or sometimes Target has a cheaper every day price, so I’m also saving in that respect even though I’m not logging that on my spreadsheet. Together, I know I’m saving money on my groceries. And I know that I’m still learning so it will continue to improve. I’m definitely going to beat last year’s savings of $2500 for the year.

      I think I need to improve on cooking from my small stockpile, using catalinas towards meat and produce (when I can get them) and only buying things at super low prices, if I can hold out. Anyways, I am having fun trying to beat my own best trip and it’s an affordable “hobby”!

  16. Whitley

    My Question about what you see on the show is this: When you see the people taking 100 items on things like powerade or detal floss, do they really have that many coupons or even if they were BOGO Do they have 50 coupons or how do they manage that?

    1. Angela

      While some of them seem to get most of their extra coupons from neighbor donations or dumpster diving (ick), a lot of people also buy large numbers of the same coupon from web sites like The Coupon Clippers. One thing the show should do a better job at is explaining the out of pocket costs of these people in terms of buying coupons, buying ink and paper for web coupons (assuming they didn’t find a way to get it for free!), buying multiple copies of the Sunday paper, etc.

    2. Cassandra

      they are able to use 1 coupon per item if they have a $1.00 off coupon and the items are usually 2.00 but they are buy one get one free they use 2 coupons and get them both free…

      i bought shout stain remover.. for 2.99 BOGO and had 2 $.55 cent coupons so i got 1.10 off the 2 of them so i paid 1.80 for both of them or .90 cents a bottle …

  17. Amy

    Does anyone know if a blog that matches coupons for Wegmans or Tops…we don’t have the grocery chains that are on this site in upstate NY.

    1. Lynnette

      I know, I also live upstate NY. Havin’ a hard time finding things around here. Wegmans doesnt even have name brand things in there circular, mostly just wegmans brands….

    2. michelle

      Amy..I live near Buffalo NY and also shop at Tops and Wegmans. One site that I really like is CouponsDealsandMore.com The website is created by someone local (ny I think?) and covers stores like Tops and Wegmans! Another one is afullcup.com. This site covers many stores including Tops and Wegmans! I know it is hard to find sites that cover stores in our area so HTH!

      1. Lori

        To the ladies in NY, check out CouponMom.com. She lists stores sales by state and store. I bet they have your store listed. It always seems very thorough!

  18. Jen

    I just started couponing about 2 months ago. The other day I was armed with my normal budget money for groceries. Before it would give me maybe 3/4 of a cart. Now?! I filled 2 carts! I was so excited with myself!!! :)

  19. Leni

    I just want to say, I am brand new to this and starting off very slowly. I was so happy today, went to Walgreens bought 2 Rite Guard deodorant at $2.99 each, use a BOGO coupon from the Sunday paper and got $2.00 back in a Walgreen coupon. Two deodorants for .99 cents!! One step at a time for me! Thanks for all the hints!

  20. Jazz

    I’ve clipped coupons since college but have really changed my strategy thanks to your website and the show. My husband has been amazed by the free items that I have been getting. I showed him the free razor and Breathe Right strips that I got at Rite Aid today and he was excited. I have become a little obsessed but it really has helped our family budget. This article helps a lot because I have been saving a lot of non-food items but I want to have a stockpile of food. I have managed to get a small stockpile for cereal and bread.

    I cannot wait to see my pile grow!

  21. Lori

    I will say that I was pretty discouraged at first. I was at a ceiling of about 58%… now that I have a stockpile of all things and I can just shop the sales- I have a coupon for everything I buy and I am at 73%… I would still love to be lower. But I think I am not buying when the price is the lowest on some things because we just go thru it too fast with 4 kiddos… like fiber one bars and such… but it’s still such a savings!! Thank you for all your hard work and help each and every day!!!!

  22. Catherine

    This was a great post! I have noticed a big difference in my shopping, as someone who was struggling to make ends meet it is nice not to hunt around to try to come up with something to eat for my family of four. I have a full freezer of things that we will eat and use as well as other items in the pantry. I am blessed to have found this way to expand my budget and to be able to buy brand names. I only have one store that doubles coupons so I find it hard sometimes to get totally free items but I still think paying a very low amount is still worth it and money in my pocket I wouldn’t have had before. Thank you so much for allowing my to feel so blessed!

  23. Amanda

    I have been using coupons for a little over a month. I dont ever get a huge % off but anything is good to me!!! Where I live there is a a tiny grocery store that doubles coupons but its 30 mins away. Then there is the commissary on post that never has good sales like BOGO and they dont double stack or anything there. There use to be no tax which was good but they have a service fee now which isnt too bad though. But Im not too disapointed though cause money is being saved so its ok.

  24. mrshall

    I love this article. I wondered the same thing myself. Part of me feels like the extreme couponing show is going to really ruin it for people like me that are just trying to shop smart, save a few bucks and feel good about doing it. I am not looking for anything extreme nor can I do anything with 76 boxes of stale cereal, or 52 jars of mustard (which the hoarders really should have donated). I love this site because of the practicallity and it reduces some of the time it takes me to make a grocery list. Thanks for the article it definetly made me feel like I was on the right track to saving a reasonable amount of money and not wasting anything that I buy.

  25. Corey

    Thanks for this! after seeing the show on TLC, i wanted to try to reduce our grocery bill. i know i probably won’t ever save like they were, atleast not right away. but i am trying to learn to stock up on cheap things and to get a hold of all the coupons i can!

  26. Thanks for posting this. So many new couponers, myself included sometimes feel that we can build a huge stockpile overnight. That’s just not so… Even if I go out about shop the great deals and freebies, I still need to buy protein and fresh produce for our weekly shopping. I do my shopping 2 weeks at a time and plan all our meals and snacks. I try to keep my grocery shopping under $200 for the month. My DH and I checked out separately. We still ended up spending $95 total, but we each saved 50-55% on our checkout. I was pleased with that because it was all stuff we needed included a few extras to go in our stockpile.

    1. Rachel

      $200 is a pretty impressive monthly budget! I think $95 for a 2 week trip is AMAZING. Good job.

  27. Nora

    I wish the show would show (as others have said) more economically challenge cities/towns. Like Southwest MO/Southeast KS area.

  28. Kaylee

    My first trip I saved $53.25 off a $226 bill, which ended up right at 24%. I thought that was really good. I’m building my stockpile, and like the KCL states, the first week is more expensive. I have a good stockpile of toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, and spaghetti sauce going. None of my stores double or triple coupons either, so my goal every week is to just match the sales with coupons and not buy without a coupon. I base my meals off what is on sale or what I have a coupon for, compared to regular prices. I am planning a large Walgreens trip where I should save over 75% and get a great stock of items.

    Oh, and Whitley, usually they order them from a coupon clipping service online which I am just trying out for the first time. If you are getting something dirt cheap or free, it’s worth the $0.20 handling fee! :)

  29. Shana

    I love your blog, it has been so helpful, I refer to it every day. Thank you for all the info and pointers! The other night my husband (who usually teases me about my new obsession) even found some online promo codes for stuff he wanted to buy and saved 20%! It is important to realize that you just won’t get everything for free and it does take significant work to be organized to save the maximum amount, but it is worth it.

  30. Cyndi

    Thank you SO SO SO much!!!! I am still a work in process when it comes to couponing and with that I don’t always feel like I have done my best, especially when I watch the show. I have worked hard to build a stockpile of items that my husband and I use most often especially when it is on sale for dirt cheap or I have coupons to add to it. I am definitely seeing a difference in my grocery bill and although I still use my full grocery budget, I find that I am less stressed about buying the staples and can add more fresh items to our diet. That for me has been a lifesaver. Thank you for publishing the information you do, it has been so helpful for me the past 6 months.

  31. nicole

    When fruits and veggies are at there low price stock up for the year. I always buy cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, ect. when there at there low price blanch and freeze them for the year. It saves alot not having to buy it off season. :)

    1. Lisa

      What do you freeze your veggies in?

    2. Lisa

      What do you freeze your veggies in??? If I use plastic or gladware….how long will it keep?? Thank you!

  32. Bailey

    I have seen a huge improvement in our grocery bill, we used to spend over a hundred dollars at just one store each week and we typically hit two stores; so that’s about $800 a month. Now we go to 4 or 5 stores a week and spend less than $100 total. We are slowly seeing our stockpile increase and we’re getting ready to donate a load on May 14 to Stamp Out Hunger (leave a bag at your mailbox for the postal workers to pick up).

    Also, I watched Extreme Couponing last night and I loved Chris. It amazed me how his total was absolutely nothing. I know that it isn’t a typical trip or anything, but I love how he does it and donates so much. Last night they said just during that episode he donated thousands of dollars worth of stuff (including almost 200 pairs of jeans he got for free)! I think it would be great if the Krazy Coupon Lady could do a piece on him; hopefully he has a website set up as well!

    1. Elisabeth

      I agree!!! Lets get Chris on KCL! I just looove him & his wife’s personalities!

  33. Marni

    Thanks for this article, we had to start following a strict budget in January, so I started couponing and also meal planning both of these together has meant staying in our small grocery budget and having a meal on the table each night and leftovers for lunches. It took awhile to get going to have the coupons we use but once you get to that point and start matching coupons with ads it feels so good. We live in a small town with one grocery store, but about once a week we go to a bigger town and then I price match to WalMart. I tried for a couple weeks to Walgreens shop and go store to store, but since it is a limited trip for me and then they don’t have those items the frustration was not worth the savings. I had read on here that you suggested to try and stay with 1-2 stores, that works best for us. We don’t hit the 90-95% savings we usually average 45-55% per week but that helps greatly. So it has been about 4 months and I’m hooked, I told my husband when we “extra spend” I can’t help thinking if I had a coupon I would of felt better or we could of used that money on more grocery deals. I purchased a few weeks ago my first items that they paid me, Frego cheese sticks -.17 a piece (thanks to this site) and recieved our first free items this week. I love it and love telling my coworkers, to them I am the KCL!!! Even inspired a few of them. Thanks again!!!

  34. Samantha

    I dunno where else to post this BUT if you go to the mission tortilla facebook page and upload a cinco de mayo party picture you can print off a .75/1 coupon. Good on tortillas, chips, dips, taco shells or tostadas.

  35. Camie

    I too have seen that using coupons saves Big time, however 3months ago I thought I was doing great. (50% -65%)..but now I’m saving even more.(80%- 90%) It is something that you get better at as time goes on. Unfortunately, the show is going to end up hurting us rather than helping. My Kroger cashier said today, that they are talking about limiting the # of coupons you can use per item per trip. I hope not, as they do double here in Illinois! But if your just starting out, don’t give up unfortunately we have all bought mistakes. Keep clipping! Oh and ask everyone you know for their unwanted coupons…its easy to collect 20 + just by word of mouth.

  36. Dawn

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve printed the list so I can compare and know when something is a great deal when I’m in the store. I’ve definitely seen my pantry volume and it’s a great feeling.

  37. Tamara S.

    Thanks for all your hard work gals!

    I’ve only been “serious” about couponing for the past 3-4 months but already I can tell a huge difference in our stockpile. I can only imagine what it will be like a year from now. I think the biggest thing for me it has made me much more cognizant of what a good price on an item is. I’m still working on it, but am much more educated about it than I used to be.

    We also don’t have double coupons around here but usually there are at least 2-3 grocery items that are a killer deal that week. So I’ll stock up on those items. For example I used to have to pay for pasta. Just this week I doubled my supply because with the sale and coupons it was completely free! Now I don’t have to buy pasta for at least a year.

    I also try to embrace the motto that just because its cheap or free it doesn’t mean I need to feed all that prepackaged crap to my family. I’d much rather pay full price (season or non season) for fresh produce, fresh fruits, bread, OJ etc and save on the other things when I can. We use the community co-op for our fruits/veggies quite often but I still have to fill in the gaps quite often.

  38. Nikki B

    I am not the best couponer. I’ve had a few missteps and not the best at confronting cashiers when things aren’t properly scanned but I must say: having a small stockpile and saving 30-60% every time I shop is great for the bottom line in my household. Store matching will be a thing of the past in the near future so the folks in the South and Midwest should live it up while they can…being from Northern Cal, I have never seen a store match coupons and have never set that as an expectation.

    Best of luck to everyone shopping!!!!

  39. AJ

    This is slightly off track, does the Duggar Family on TLC use coupons?

    I saw an episode on Oprah months back and I don’t remember them using coupons.

    1. Jennifer

      WOW…they should but I don’t know that they do. I think they do quite a bit of shopping at Sam’s and I don’t know if they accept coupons. I live in Arkansas and love watching the show. Hopefully they have heard of KCL because they would definately benefit!

    2. Christine

      I wondered about the Duggars too! I actually started watching their show to see how they organize and save money before Extreme Couponing came along!

  40. Diane Lloyd

    I got my General Mills Groupon box today!

    In it they give a website of http://www.everydaysaver.com/groupon
    There are coupons on there I have not seen on other sites in the past week.

    Happy couponing!

  41. Susie

    Thank you for all your encouraging words. I’ve only been at this a couple weeks and am seeing minimal savings at this time. I’m not trying to have a 90%+ savings, but I’d settle for at least a 40-50%. I’m clipping, ad surfing, and price matching. We do have one store that doubles coupons up to $1, but that store is too expensive, and I wouldn’t see a savings even with double coupons. I have to keep telling myself, any savings right now is good, especially in this economy.

  42. Cynthia

    I’m a pretty thifty shopper but only save a few dollars in coupons per week. Mainly due to lack of coupons for things I use & smaller town where sale items are already cleared off the shelf but I am thankful for your website & every dollar I do save. Love your post on coupon matchups I would have othewise missed. Thanks!

  43. Danielle

    I really like this article. I am new to coupons and I tend to beat myself up when I save 50% of my grocery bill. I always think I could have done better. Glad to know 90% isn’t the norm! I will appreciate every penny I save :-)

  44. Kristen

    I recently had someone post an article on my facebook page about “why they DONT coupon” The article went on and on about it being completely unhealthy and only processed foods are what coupons are for. I have to say, I’ve fed my kids unprocessed foods for years…and I continue to now that I coupon. I dont understand NOT couponing at all, even if it is just for paper goods/cleaning supplies (90% of my couponing is that) I will never have to buy razors again after this week! LOL
    and you would be AMAZED at what you will save buying grass fed cattle in bulk. It’s still probably more expensive, but getting a freezer and freezing meat probably saves you $100′s if not $1000′s a year!
    And I did not know you could freeze milk! Now I”m going to look into that!! THANKS!!

    1. Natalie

      LOL… I will never have to purchase a razor EVER again either. Seriously, I must have like 8 years worth.

  45. Nika

    I have seen our grocery expenses cut down somewhat, however I must say that the reason we are saving money is that I have slashed our expenses on household and beauty products. That means we have more money to put in the grocery budget, but I am learning that we don’t need the extra money. I stockpile cleaning and health and beauty items when I can get them free or dirt cheap. I also stock pile things like granola bars, pasta sauce, condiments, and canned goods. This means we don’t spend as much OOP during our regular grocery trips because we don’t need to buy the things that are in the stockpile. The health and cleaning product stockpile has helped TREMENDOUSLY. I now spend less than half of what I used to at Target because we have a surplus of many items at home – lotions, toothpaste, detergents, cleaners, and the like.

    My family eats very healthy so there is no mac and cheese and Hamburger Helper at our house. All meals are made from fresh meat and produce. I am lucky enough to have a great produce place near my home, however we don’t have an extra freezer. If we did, I would go crazy stocking up on freezable meat and produce which I usually buy as needed.

  46. Jennifer

    I have been extreme couponing for almost 2 months now. I have been very proud of myself for mastering Wal-greens and now I am working on Kroger! I have been averaging about 60% savings at Kroger. The 40% comes from those things that I still “need” and extras that my husband or daughter throw into the basket. My goals for the next month are to continue to stockpile the non-perishable items and wal-greens goodies, and then to leave my hubby and daughter at home!!! Maybe I can get a higher % but I am very elated at what I have been saving so far.

  47. becca

    Thank you for such a great post. I’m still new at couponing and was wondering if there was something wrong with my plan. I have gotten out of a store for 80% off, but I was only buying specific sale items. When i need to do my regular shopping I’m saving about 10%, and that’s good. that is 10% I didn’t have before. Your web site and information is all so helpful for those of us trying to save some money and start a stockpile!

  48. K

    I would LOVE to see how people save on healthy food or ingredients. I have not seen ONE of the Extreme Couponing episodes feature anyone who buys healthy foods or fresh produce. Everything is prepackaged, or precooked and highly processed. I try very hard to use coupons and usually save a fair amount but mostly on non edible things like shampoos, body washes, toothpaste etc. In the food dept I save very little.

    1. Katie

      Whole Foods (if you shop there) has its own coupons for organic or non-processed items. Remember, everything has a brand- if you love bananas, write to Dole and see if they’ll send you coupons. Morningstar farms, Boca burgers, etc all have company websites!

      Sometimes I’m frustrated that I can’t use coupons because I won’t buy cr@p food, but I am better off *not* buying potato chips for $0.50 a bag. Buy what your body needs, not just what’s on sale.

    2. Brooke

      I agree that it is a little disheartening to see people “stock up” on such unhealthy items. The majority of coupons that I use are for toiletries, household items, and ingredients (such as sauces and whatnot). Through starting “couponing” about a year ago, however, I have found amazing ways to save on meat and produce using the basic foundations and principles of couponing. I explored many stores I don’t usually shop at and watched and recorded prices for months. I have found one store that consistently has the best sales on meat and produce- AND they double coupons, score! Had I not taken my time with learning the ins and outs and really exploring, I probably would have never stepped foot in this particular store…now it is the only place I need to shop! I shopped their monthly 2 day sale today and purchased enough food for a whole month, including meat, for around $150! AND with VERY few coupons! So it is possible to lower your meat and produce costs as well, it’s just not going to happen over night. Dedication and hard work are all it takes! :)

    3. Debbs Seattle

      After 5 weeks, I have decided that toilettries are something I will not pay real money for again.

      So if I just remove 100% of those costs from my annual budget, I am saving $600+ a year.

      Now if I take the grocery items I can get free or nearly so, pasta, rice, condiments, peanut butter, juice, and anything that sits on a shelf with a long expiration date…I can see another $500 a year.

      And cleaning and household, tp, paper towels, dish soap, laundry…I can add another $1000 savings.

      So to say you can only save a little bit of money on ‘garbage food’ is so untrue.

      I find it a lot easier to spend $3/lb on meat knowing I got all the above for nearly free.

      Last month my tally was $1467 value and $345 OOP for all my combined shopping for the month. And I donated $182. Well worth it for me!

  49. Cheryl

    I started couponing a couple of weeks ago. I’ve saved lots of money….but in the respect that I have got a lot of things for cheaper than usual. But I still spend money on those items. My question is, how long does it take for you to see a drop in your actual grocery budget. Because right now I am getting more items then I used to…but I’m still spending the money. I’m assuming that will change over time. Any tips?

    1. Elisabeth

      Cheryl, I had the same problem at first. I think the excitement of couponing is hard to control at first and you get everything you can get your hands on, which is still spending the same dollar amount but getting more to show for it. The cut-back for me came when my stockpile got to be substantial enough that I was limited for space. When all my kitchen & bathroom cabinets got full I had to cut back. Now I ONLY get it if it is over 75% off and will only “stock” at the 90% range. That way I am not overflowing with stuff! As a result of limiting myself to a MINIMUM of 75% savings, I don’t get as much. But that’s ok because my stockpile already has enough to sustain us. I do average a 90% savings week by week. But only because I’m well-stocked. Does this make sense?

      1. Cheryl

        That makes perfect sense-once I get a decent stockpile I’m sure I will put on the breaks a bit more.

  50. Natalie

    Thanks for writing this! I *think* that Ralph’s (in So Cal) doubles coupons, but I generally do not shop there, so I have to investigate the policy. One of my stepkids works for Albertson’s so I receive 15% off their store brands, so we save alot there.

    My starting out goal (I have always clipped the coupons, never really concentrated my efforts) is to “save” more thank I spent. This is really easy at Walgreens for sure, but It’s hard at the grocery store when you have to mix the things that you HAVE to buy no matter what that there are never coupons for and are rarely on sale with smokin deals. I am not buying 100 mustards, I thought that was the dumbest thing ever. Who the heck will eat all of that. I hope they donated it, and that it won’t go to waste. That clearing the shelf thing is a little selfish as well. If there are 100 mustard or whatever, can you just leave 10 for someone else :)

    I do have a question about all this stockpiling… expiration dates. Have you written on this topic already? For instance, if you have 50 boxes of cereal it’s pretty hard to eat them within 6 months, and it’s just cereal, so unopened and stored in a cool dry place couldn’t you really go 3-6 months longer than the exp date?
    I swear growing up we ate campbell’s vegetable soup that had been in the pantry for as long as I could recall…

    1. Debbs Seattle

      Search the web for more on actual expiry dates. yogurt will keep 4 weeks beyond the date. most labels say best when used by.fresh meats say ue or freeze by. mfgs have to place best buy dates to limit liability when in fact they are still good after dates. even my local news channel did a piece on it. search out more data online.

  51. Starr

    Thanks so much for your site. This is only my 4th week couponing and I have gone from saving about 40-50% each trip to saving around 60-70% each trip, but I live in an area where almost every store doubles and triples, but without this site I would have never made it this far. My pantry, freezer, and bathroom closet runneth over already. My husband really thanks y’all too. The number one thing I tell people that ask me my secret, is KCL!

  52. KJ

    Today in the checkout line, the lady behind me saw my binder and says “Are those your coupons”? When I said yes she proceeded to ask me if I’m one of those “Crazy coupon people from the TV show”. I laughed and told her not yet, but working on it!

    1. Teresa

      Cashier asked me if I was “one of those coupon people like on the show” and let me know that Vons would never accept all those coupons and I was only to use 2 like coupons. In the past I could use 3 like coupons, so I wont be checking out through her line again!

  53. shannon

    thank you! i like to watch the show and see how much they can save, but the thing that i don’t like is that they don’t tell you which store it is, or give you any tips or tricks other than “pair sales with coupon match ups”…which we all know that much already..

  54. New2This

    I started couponing a few weeks back and have saved a lot of money already building my stockpile with health and beauty products. Although I havent been able to find a lot of coupons on actual groceries I have found a few and planned my meals around that. I have also been searching for good deals by reading the store ads and finding sale prices rather than just making a list and heading to walmart. So far its worked and I continue to be “obsessed” with couponing. I am sad that my stores do not double coupons and hope to see an extreme couponing show where they will show a purchase that is similar to my shopping. Point is, although I havent found and saved on food items it has cut down my bill by not having to spend a lot on other items.

  55. Tanya

    I was very stressed in the first few weeks while checking out, lots of register beeps. Now, it’s getting better. I’m addicted for sure. I like my new hobby and it’s saving us money too!

  56. Carol_R

    I do save money couponing but I’m a vegetarian so I don’t buy meat. Also, I don’t buy canned goods unless they’re BPA free. I’d rather buy frozen veggies which fortunately there are coupons for. With the past week’s super double coupons at Harris Teeter I stocked up on a lot of Seventh Generation cleaning products that with coupons ended up being free. Without super double coupons though I never could have done that.

    So many of the coupons though are for products I don’t normally buy. I also shop at Costco so for some stuff buying in bulk particularly with their store brand can be cheaper. It just depends what sales the other stores are having.

    Whole Foods does have coupons for organic products which is great since I like to eat organic whenever possible. Also, SuperTarget is stocking a lot of organic items in its grocery section.

    The show Extreme Couponing gave a false impression that you can get groceries for almost free which is bogus. You can reduce your bill substantially but every place around me limits the number of coupons on multiple items and they have limits on the number of coupons that they will double.

  57. Helena

    I’m fortunate enough to live in an area where we have a local store call “Rainbow Foods” that doubles 5 coupons (maximum value of of $1) every Wednesdays and Saturdays. This means an instant $10 off a purchase of $25 dollars or more if you only use $1 coupons as the first 5 coupons during your transaction. And recently, they have been doubling TEN (10) coupons on Saturdays so that is an automatic $20 off your purchase of $25 or more if you use only $1 coupons as the first 10 coupons. I LOVE it. When I first got started around December 2010, I averaged $12 for $30-40 worth of foods. Now, I can get $2 for $30-40 worth of foods with the 10 double coupons since I know more and have more experience. :) And I buy whole wheat pasta, pasta sauce, Green Giant veggies, steam fresh bags, cleaning products, oatmeal and salads when they have coupons out. I’m actually eating healthier than ever before because I can get things for FREE that used to be too expensive for me (veggies are expensive fresh so I use coupons to get them frozen which is good enough for me and my family). I don’t have a huge stockpile because my family (of 10) finishes everything within 2 weeks so it’s a constant war to find great deals but I enjoy it since I’m spending less than $20 a week to get over $100 worth of foods and it’s been a huge no-no for take-out or fast food restaurant since I KNOW that I can get more for $40 for the whole family for a whole week instead of a single night out now that I am couponing. Couponing is amazing and I pity those that take advantage of it to the nth degree by extreme stockpiling more than they need and leaving their items to rot away in their basement or garage AND those that think couponing is a waste of time. Boy, are they wrong. :)

    1. Nicole

      @Helena~~You must be from MN than….the closet Rainbow to me is about 40 minutes away. They are a higher priced grocery store I usually avoid them. I heard they doubled coupons, but that has always confused me. Until I actually walk into the store and have an employee explain it to me I think I will be confused for ever (i’m a visual person) lol I pretty much do all my grocery shopping at the Super Target with the 5% from my debit card and there already low prices I’ve done pretty well. I even work at a grocery store and I refuse to do me real shopping there. I buy sale things here and there, but I could never afford (even KCL way) to shop there.

      1. Helena

        @ Nicole
        Yep, I’m from MN. :) And I also live near 3 Rainbow Foods store so I’m fortunate. And yes, Rainbow Foods prices tend to be higher so I just go on either Wednesday or Saturdays (when they double coupons) to get my stuff for the week. They have great 10 for 10 sales that you use coupons to get for free. I also try to look for items that are $2.00 or less so that when I find coupons, you can usually get those for free. I also sign up for free coupons for companies to send me so that I can use them at Rainbows to get to the $25 require mark in order to double coupons. If you do multiple transaction, that’ll make the deal even better as you’ll spend less money out of hand since you’ll be doubling 2x as much coupons to save even more money.

        I literally study the Rainbow Foods ad and circle everything I need and things I can get for free so that I can stock up on foods. I’m going to Rainbow Foods this week and they are doubling 10 coupons this Saturday so that’s an automatic $20 off a $25 or more purchase if I use 10-$1.00 coupons. Here’s a shopping list of ONE transaction I intend to do this weekend to save money to help make it easier for you to understand how it works:

        Nivea Lip Care on sale for 10/$10= Buy 6 for $6.00
        Better Oats on sale for 10/$10= Buy 10 for $10.00
        So Delicious Coconut Milk on sale for $2.49= Buy 2 for $4.98
        Blue Bunny Ice Cream on sale for 2/$6= Buy 2 for $6.00
        Edy’s Shakes and Smoothies on sale for 4/$5= Buy 1 for $1.25

        Total of everything= $28.23 (not including tax).

        I’ll then use these coupons:
        5-$1/1 Better Oats Coupons= Minus $10.00 After doubling
        2-$1/1 So Delicious Coconut Milk= Minus $4.00 After doubling
        2-$1/1 Blue Bunny Ice Cream= Minus $4.00 After doubling
        1-$1/1 Edy’s Shakes and Smoothies= Minus $2.00 After doubling
        3-$2/2 Nivea Lip Care= Minus $6.00
        Total will be $2.23 (plus tax) for everything. Everything added up to about $.11 cents for each item which is awesome since ice cream for the kids are expensive these days and it’s Blue Bunny which I love.

        I was confuse with their Double Blaze promotion also but the more I shopped there, the more I learned to save. Plus, the cashiers are SOOOO nice. From my experience, they have never nitpick and also let all of the coupons through as long as it is not expire or say DO NOT DOUBLE. It’s my favorite store to use coupons at. HTH :)

    2. Nicole

      @Helena….oh yeah they have to double the 2 days I work huh? lol Just curious what city you shop in…..I would go to the Coon Rapids store (off main street) If I went. It’s good to get nice cashiers that aren’t bothered by our coupons. Makes it much easier. That is an awesome deal you’ll be getting it looks like. Are you able to get their ads a week in advance if you ask them or no? So the $25 mark is that just all your groceries before coupons?? I will have to start saving there ads out of the Star Trib and see what I can figure out. I go into Coon Rapids ever once in a while, so I’m sure it would pay off to do it even once a month. Thanks for the senerio (sp?) that did help. :)

      1. Helena

        @ Nicole
        (For strange reasons, I replied multiple times yet it won’t pop up. Weird.)

        Anyway, I live in St. Paul and go to Oakdale’s Rainbow Foods since it’s just a 5 minute drive on the highway from where I live. I go early in the morning around 6AM so that I can do all of my shopping in peace and usually do 2 transaction there. Going early in the morning is tedious but the service is awesome and there’s like, NO ONE in the store! Especially on crappy snowy/rainy days~ :)

        As for your other questions, I don’t ask for the ads in advance because I actually receive in the mail their next week’s ad on Saturdays. Does this happen to you? If not, I think it’ll be confusing to understand. So, to make it easier to understand, this Saturday, Rainbow will send me an ad through the mail for next week’s sales. This makes it easier to decide if I should wait for next week’s sale or just buy whatever this week.

        You can always check their online website (remove the parenthesis):
        www (.)rainbowfoods (.) com to look at the ad and prep for a trip. A great website that is based on local stores around MN is www (.) pocketyourdollars (.) com. This is where I go to get information on sales @ Cubs and Rainbows to help me save my moolah~. :)

        And yep, the $25 is the REQUIRED amount you need before you can have your coupons double. Make sure to always have the highest value coupons up first so that you save the most money.

        Some tips that I learned from experience:
        -If you can’t reach the $25 mark:
        A.) Just buy a gift card for the remaining amount left so that you can just roll the gift card onto your next purchase. This way, you won’t end up buying items that yo don’t want or are expensive just to double your coupons.
        OR
        B.) You can also grab several Star Tribune news papers for $.50 cents each on Saturdays to make your total over $25. This way, you can have more coupons to use and it’ll be much more profitable than buying a candy bar for $.50 cents.

        Another tip is to sign up online for free coupons for items! This way, you can use those coupons to get items for free and to upped your total to be over $25 without having to pay too much out of pocket.

        The best tip is to do multiple transactions during a single shopping trip. That way, you’ll have more doubled coupons which means more savings. It’s tedious but I usually don’t care as long as the cashiers are fine with it (which all of them are from my experience).

        I hope this helps you learn to shop at Rainbows a little more! I love teaching others how to shop there because it’s so much more easier than it looks and the savings are HUGE when you start knowing how it works. Plus, the DOUBLE DOUBLE Coupon is awesome! It’s going on this Saturday so 10 coupons will double instead of 5 for this week. That’s a lot of savings on foods. And you’re welcome regarding the scenario that I created. It makes everything easier to understand when the figures are all laid out so that you can figure how it works instead of just describing with words. It’s a lot of work but it’s so worth the hassle when you save a lot of money at the end of the day. It’s not always going to be a perfect shopping trip, but it’ll be worth it. :)

      2. Kris

        Minnesotan here too! I do Rainbow early in the Plymouth area each week and average 140 a week for 360 in groceries. Helena, you’re spot on!

        Also, Cub has been chipping in with some awesome deals with their saver booklets…

        I have 2 grown boys and ALL their friends come over or stay overnight for my arrival early on Saturdays to “HELP ME” bring in the groceries LOL. As they’re munching on something fresh from the trip, I explain what I paid for all the items. They’re college aged and my freebie CVS and Walgreens purchases are a God send for a few of them who don’t get as much assistance from their parents. One used my couponing for an economics essay. A few girlfriends are getting in the act as well.

        Another site to watch is pocketyourdollars dot com, she’s from MN and explains the best deals and uses the local inserts so you get exact deals along with coupon line-ups.

        My hubby and I went Saturday early. It’s actually been fun for us. When I parked at Rainbow, I hummed the Rocky tune for a second and we both burst out laughing. Also, made alot of friends that I see doing the same thing early Saturdays. We stop our carts and compare notes, give suggestions and share x-tra coupons. One gal I saw this week is having a grad party and I told her about the stacking deal on Chex Mix along with the 3.75 off next purchase of Coke products. She shared a few coupons :)

        In addition to your weekly savings at Rainbow, don’t forget about the money you save on gas at BP with your Roundy’s card. Last week I saved 1.10 off each gallon of gas in my Yukon (gas hog).

        And for those who live in paradise and don’t get double coupons…. thankfully I can add one more reason on the very short “why I endure Minnesota weather” list.

        It’s funny how I stumbled onto this discussion just after explaining to my son’s GF what the Extreme Couponing show as about and what they were doing to get their free haul. While I was giving her a Revlon Lip stain I’d just bought at CVS for 1.75 :) I appreciate the EXtreme Couponing show, but I do think it would be nice to do a series on the average couponer. 50% off 600.00 spent on groceries each month sounds pretty dang extreme to me!

  58. Kasee

    You know I use to shop sales and thought I was saving but now that I have added coupons to sales I am saving 50-60% which to me is great since none of my stores double…I do get great deals at drug stores so I think that makes up for what I don’t save at the grocery store

  59. Shanna

    Hey you wonderful KCL ladies!! I was wondering if you could do a post on price points? Like, you never pay over $1 for this or 50cents for that! You kinda did in this post, but if you could elaborate more I would so appreciate it. Because you are right, when I compare my shopping trips to EC shopping trips, I feel like a failure. But one thing is for sure!, I will never shop my old way again! I will always be a student of the Krazy Coupons Ladies!!

  60. Yolanda

    Thank you so much for this. I just started less than 2 months ago. My deep freezer had not been used for 2 months, as I could not even afford to fill my fridge. It is now full to the rim. Time and patience have been my strengths. I was able to set really low weekly spending goals and achieve them. I used to spend $300-$400 on just what we ate…now I spend about $200 on everything and it is actually enough stuff for months to a year in some instances. I will never be the same again.

  61. Michelle

    I have been couponing since the end of January and I really enjoy it. I’ve made mistakes, but saved a lot of money and tried to help others save as well by teaching them the stock pile method. Couponing has been good for me because it has made me feel more in control of what I’m spendng, I am able to give to my extended family and animial shelters, and I’ve learned to be more assertive with cashiers or managers etc. I don’t see grocery shopping so much as a chore anymore but a game and it’s much more enjoyable.

    I do have a question. I don’t understand when they say “the extremers” have been working on these for months. Most coupons don’t last months or catalinas either. A sale only lasts a week and in general unless these people know about them weeks in advance I’m not sure I understand how they plan for them months in advance.

    We have people in our town who CLEAR THE SHELVES like the messed up mustard lady but I don’t let it bother me. I just get a raincheck and get it later. And I still get the price I want. love it! I can only hope they are donating some of the items. It’s just a matter of thinking of others. Some people don’t know how to do that. I was buying papers at the local Dollar Tree on Sunday, my main reason for buying them because my Mom passed away this week and I wanted copies of the obit. Two “couponers” were standing by the papers talking about deals, noticed how many papers I was buying and then one of them said she only got 4 papers because she wasn’t a hoarder like “some people” and looked at me. I looked right back and told her although I was a couponer the main reason I was buying 12 papers was because my Mom had died and I wanted copies of the obituary and she shouldn’t assume anything about people when she doesn’t know what the situation is. I just thought that was so rude.it’s just a reminder you can never assume and mean girls often become mean women.

    1. Teresa

      one thing I have noticed is the actual cost of deorderant 5.50 is extream and good thing I can coupon it for 50 cents! 5.50 x 4 people in my house is 22.00??? Thats how much I spend on food for the week!

  62. belinda

    I’m so glad u posted this article. I was getting so frustrated with my shopping trips. I look at various pics and see 15 items and the poster only spent .11 on it or better yet made a profit on it. Anyhow, I think I have finally mastered CVS. Im really rolling the extra bucks every week. I have an awesome laundry,bodywash,toothpaste stockpile. Thanks KCL. But I need major help at the grocery store

  63. Michelle

    I luv luv this website. I would like to get an idea of what is a good stockpile. For instance a family of 3- how many detergents do you have, soap, toothpaste etc. would you mind sharing what you have so I can get a sense of if Im going overboard or close to being normal. Thanks

    1. Elisabeth

      Just get what you are comfortable with & dont worry about what other people think, whether or not you are going overboard. I know I will take some heat here but I have aprox. 30 laundry det, 40 toothpastes, and like 50 bodywashes for my family of 4. I am not comfy going any higher because of space issues for my stockpile. When I do find items that I am maxed out on for free or money makers I donate them to a crisis pregnancy center or a women’s shelter (depending on the item). You asked about those three items in particular and I know I will take some heat here. But my stockpile has been in progress for almost a year, not built overnight and I make special orders whenever possible so as not to clear a shelf. Bottom line is just get what you are comfy storing. :)

  64. Tara Kekahuna

    I am currently saving about 50% on my shopping trips. More when I’m at CVS or Rite Aid. Am EXTREMELY happy to be saving, period.

    ;)

  65. Michelle

    The one thing i liked is the mentioning of…even if you only have a .25 coupon, its still a savings. This is what everyone needs to remember. When you are finding great deals on health and beauty and household items, very little is coming out of your pocket. Which in turn helps you put money where it is needed most. I have been building my stockpile slowly thanks to my Walgreens 2 blocks away. They are often out of stock and i have the same problems everyone else has. But getting things for free and pennies is allowing me to get by as a single mom with 2 kids. I only had $14 in coupons on my grocery bill on sunday. But that $14 i didnt have to spend can definately go a long way. And i am starting to get myself to be able to use walgreens rr for my shopping there for the week without out of pocket expense. I have also been able to find great free and cheap items to use as gifts that i definately cannot afford. This website has helped me tremendously. My son would also probably like to thank you as he has graduated from child hygiene items to the “big guy” stuff as i have been getting it for free and he just loves it.

  66. Nicole

    Yeah saving on grociers is a bit harder so it definetly is nice to save a LOT on the other household items. I work at a grocery store as a Customer Service Manager, so I deal a lot with coupons and have learned so much more about them just from coming on your site. We usually have ads for the next week on hand, and we have no problem handing them out to customers who ask. (never hurts to ask your store if they are willing to do this) I was pretty excited this week we have the Ball Park franks on sale BOGO and they are $3.59 regular price…I’m sooo glad I didn’t jump at the chance to use my 4~$1.00/1 coupons I got a little while back from facebook. I did two seperate transactions and was able to get 4 pkgs of hot dogs for $3.18 or .79 cents each. Also this week we have an in ad coupon for select General Mills cereals and Fruit Snacks 4/$6 and than I printed 2/.55cents off 1 Trix cereal and 1/$1.00 off 2 GM cereals (from coupons.com). So I was able to pick up 2-Trix and 2-Cocoa Puffs for $3.90 or .97 cents a box. And they are normal size boxes too. That’s the cheapest I’ve ever gotten cereal before so when I go into work tomorrow I’m going to be doing it again. So it takes a little more work to get the grocery deals, but if you plan it well it should be no problem. Thanks KCL for what you do for us. It is not easy to do all of this and you make it so simple. As a busy mom of 3 I appreciate this soooooo much!

  67. Jamie

    I have noticed a lot of savings! We are a military family in the middle of a move (the movers come in 4 days!) I started couponing 3 weeks ago and I have already built a nice stockpile! I do have a few questions that I hope some of the more seasoned couponers can answer!
    1. Do you ever stop buying a particular item. For example, I now have enough razors to literally last be at least 2-3 years! So when the next great free razor deal comes along, would you still buyi them? Do you ever have too much?!
    2. It seems like the graet deals are mailny on toiletries and personal items. Is this just because that is what is cheapest now? LIke soups, I notice that a lot of stockpiles have lots of soup, but I am not seeing those deals. Will they come eventually?

    Thanks KCL for all of your hard work with this website, you are truely changing lives and I love it! Oh, any tips for stockpiling with the military?!

    1. Lisa F

      I am definitely not a veteran couponer. I have only been doing this about two months and I have wondered the same thing. What I **think** is that coupons and deals go in cycles at different times of the year. So you might have great deals on product X for a while then the deals move on to product Y for a while. I think that is why she recommends stocking up for 6-12 months, so that it gets you by to the next great deals. Anyone feel free to correct me if I am wrong!!!

      Also, regarding if you ever stop buying, my opinion may change down the road but at this point if the things I am good on are free I will still pick them up because my church frequently takes donations of personal care items for the local shelter and for their yearly mission trips to Mexico.

    2. Elisabeth

      Jamie, I too have tons of certain items. And when I reach that point, I only get more if they are absolutely free or money makers. And at that point I rotate my stock by keeping those and giving away as many as I just bought out of my stockpile. You always want your items to be fresh. So if I found free razors, like the noxemas at walmart right now, I would get as many as I have coups for and keep them. Say I got 16 packs, then I would go to my stockpile and remove and donate 16 packs to a crisis pregnancy center or women’s shelter. I don’t see the point of letting your coupons expire just because you have enough. Unfortunate people who have fallen on hard times would greatly appriciate your extra razors! :)

  68. Lisa F

    I always considered myself a pretty budget conscious grocery shopper but the things I have learned from KCL have helped SOOO much! Before couponing I was spend about $500/month feeding our family of seven and many of my friends didn’t believe I could do it. Now, after learning all the ways I can combine coupons I am saving around 50%-70% on my food trips and probably around 90%-95% on drugstore items. I, too, live in an area where they don’t double coupons and wish they would. =) Anyway, my husband thought I was nuts when I first started doing this a couple months ago but now he is so used to me saving us tons of money that when I only saved 33% at Target the other day (mostly because I bought some toys without coupons) he jokingly said, “33%? Slacker.”

    Also, I had to be proud when my 15yo son, when trying to convince me to buy a particular sugary drink I usually don’t buy, first presented me with a coupon he had found to get them 2 for $1!

  69. Nadia

    How do you find out which stores double around your area?

  70. Tammy

    One thing that I have found helpful is that when I make my shopping lists and gather my coupons, if I’m not saving atleast half price on an item, I don’t buy it unless I absolutely have to have it. I’ve been couponing for about 3 months, I shop once a month and I’m averaging about 63% savings overall.

    I really liked this article and will be sharing it with my friends/family that are just starting out on couponing!!!
    Thanks
    Tammy

  71. Coupon Virgin

    This was my VERY first week couponing. I guess I did okay dont really know.I dont get the math. I do get that you are charged taxes ours is 10%. For instance total retail value including taxes was 106.97 I made 46.77 out of pocket according to the receipts I saved a total of 89.39.The total amt of coupons and ecb I used 68.19. Did I do good? This is my first week so I would really like to know KCL.

  72. jeri

    I also live in an area that does not double and/or triple coupons (Seattle area). Albertson’s does sometimes have three coupons that can be doubled up to $1, but that’s it. Long ago I wrote to Safeway, probably 20 years ago, and asked why we don’t have double or triple value on coupons here, and I was told that they believed that they pass on good values to their customers, therefore, they didn’t need to double coupons.

    However, now that EXTREME COUPONING is on tv, and it seems like everyone wants to try it now, perhaps if everyone wrote to their local supermarket headquarters and asked for it, maybe they’ll give in to us. If one store did decide to double, I guarantee that they would have my business. Right now, my son works for Safeway and we get a 10% discount on all store brands. That adds up and helps, sometimes giving me a better deal than I could get with coupons. But if a different store doubled the coupons, I know for darned sure I’d get a better deal than Safeway gives to employees.

    Anyhoo, Let’s all bombard grocery chain headquarters with letters asking for doubled coupons. It can’t hurt!

    By the way, when you mention KROGER stores, is that the same as Fred Meyer? Fred Meyer carries KROGER products. Just wondering.

  73. Becky :)

    Thank you so much for this post! Much appreciated!!!! Sometimes i feel bad because I dont save that much money, but then I realize that I dont need 97 bottles of Mustard or need to go that extreme to say that I saved money. I’m really appreciative of all the tips, links and help that your website offer. Thanks! :) Have an awesome day because you ladies are AWESOME! :)

  74. Heather

    I just don’t know where certain coupons come from. I have never seen soda coupons…

  75. Tana

    Instead of looking at how much % off you save on a particular trip – just look at how much less money you are spending each month. I used to spend probably $800 a month for a family of 5 – not even sure how much because I did not pay attention. Now I am averaging around $300. My receipts show maybe 40% – 50% savings but I am buying MUCH smarter and 90% of it is on sale – also I am in Houston so no more Kroger double/triples. I am content with my $300 monthly bill :)
    As far as the Extreme coupon show – those trips are specifically planned out for maximum savings. You could do it too if all you bought was Excedrin, mustard and Powerade. None of those shopping trips contain a well rounded cart – meats, produce, etc. I guarantee NONE of those people save 95% every trip, except maybe the lady that cheats on the coupons.

  76. I think newbies get the wrong impression from statements such as “it’s *like* spending xyz.”

    A woman on another forum posted a photo of what amounted to (at least) $60 of goods purchased at Walgreens. On the image, she’d included text that said “All this for only $.03.” I assure you she didn’t spend three cents on that stuff… sales tax wasn’t being included and she was factoring in her future Register Rewards (nearly $40 worth of RR) as part of her cost.

    This is dishonest.

    For those who are on a limited budget, “it’s like spending xyz” just doesn’t cut it. If I have $50 to spend in a given week, I need to make sure I stay in that limit – thus, I’m looking at my out of pocket cost, including tax. Unless Walgreens starts giving me RR in CASH, they simply don’t count. If I pay $40 oop and get $30 in RR, I *still* spend $40.

    When I see photos like that, I always make a comment and ask the poster to clarify ACTUAL cost. I’ve seen far too many newbies posting under these pictures and wondering why THEY can’t get $200 worth of goods for 25 cents!

  77. Mandi

    I have been using coupons since before I got married at 18, 12 years ago. I don’t know how to shop any other way. I won’t even buy clothes without coupons. But when I found this site last spring I still learned a lot. This was my first online coupons site and is still my favorite. I even have your book! Thanks for all you do. :)

  78. bobbie joe

    does anyone know of a how-to-coupon guide for meijer? it is the closest store to me and where i do most of my shopping. any tips would be appreciated!

    1. Katie

      I would recommend bargainstobounty.com. She does it based on Detroit area, which doubles. Mine in my area does not. But her matchups do help.

  79. I live in an area that we don’t receive a lot of the coupons. If I go to “The Cities” just over an hour away – their coupon books are like double the size… that and no grocery stores in town double coupons either. It would be easier to stockpile if we have those 2 things.

  80. Julie Hedge

    Thanks for this post! Very helpful…I also have a question. When a store says that they double a coupon up to $ .99, does that mean that if you have a $2.00 off coupon that it is doubled to $2.99? Or do they only double a coupon if it is $ .99 or less? I am still new to couponing and have already started stockpiling a few things like laundry detergent, toothpaste and cereal! I am in NC and we have one store that doubles up to $ .99 everyday and another store that doubles and triples sometimes. I also have two store cards for extra savings!!

    1. Tana

      It means they will double coupons $0.99 and less. You are lucky – no one around me doubles anymore.

  81. Helena

    @Nicole
    I live in St. Paul and go to Oakdale’s Rainbow Foods since it’s just a 5 minute drive on the highway from where I live. I go early in the morning at 6AM so that I can do my shopping in peace and usually do 2 transactions there. I then travel down the highway and go to the Rainbows Foods in Woodbury to do another transaction for items that I can’t find at the Oakdale Rainbows. Going early in the morning is tedious but the service is awesome and there’s NO PEOPLE in the store! Especially on crappy snowy/rainy day! :)

    As for your other questions, I don’t ask for their ads for the next week’s sales because every Saturday, I receive their ad for the next week’s ad. Does that happen for you? If not, I think it’s confusing, right? So, to make it easier to understand, this Saturday, Rainbows will send me an ad through snail mail for next week’s sales. This makes it easy to see if I should wait a week until the NEXT Saturday in order to get some items for a cheaper price or if I should go ahead and buy some things on THIS Saturday. Being so near to 3 Rainbows, in the morning, I buy things that are at the cheapest prices they’ll most likely be with my coupons and then go at night for the more expensive items after I look at the Saturday ad they send me in the afternoon and see that it’s a better deal this week than next week’s sales. You can always check their website for their ads at http://www.rainbowfoods.com/Shop/WeeklyAd.aspx. A great website based on the local stores around MN is http://www.pocketyourdollars.com where I get information at Cubs and Rainbows to help me save my moolah~. :)

    And yep, the $25 mark is the REQUIRED amount you need and then you just hand over your highest value coupons ($1 or less) to the cashier and it’ll doubled and then you hand over the rest of your coupons. When I first got started, I thought you had to have an ending total of $25 in order for the coupons to double but I was wrong. You just need the items to cost $25 and then you can start saving with your coupons.

    A great lesson I learned through my experience is that whenever I can’t reach the $25 mark, I just buy a gift card for $5 OR get the Star Tribune Early Sunday Paper for $.50 (on Saturdays). This way, I can just roll the $5.00 over to pay for my next transaction instead of buying something I don’t want (which is a total waste of precious money) OR get more coupons from the Star Tribune Early Sunday Paper, which is awesome with coupons on most Saturdays! One time, I got 5 Star Tribune for $2.50 (because I couldn’t find anything worth $2 to buy at Rainbows in order to reach the $25 mark) and they had the $3.00 Nivea For Women body wash in the inserts which was a great surprise when I got home. :)
    And you’re welcome regarding the scenario. I love to help others learn how to shop at Rainbows because I was scared to shop there also with the double coupons, $25 requirements, and how it work when I first got started. But it’s so much simpler than it looks and because Rainbows PROMOTE using coupons, the cashiers are so laidback and cool with it. It’s worth the hassle of prepping since I have saved so much money at Rainbows on their DOUBLE DOUBLE Coupon Blaze promotions.

    Hope this helps you learn the beauty of Rainbows double coupon promotions! And sign up for all of the free coupons you can get online! They’ll help you reach the $25 mark faster as “filler” items so you won’t pay as much out of pocket.

    1. Nicole

      @Helena~~Thank you so much for everything. You’ve opened my eyes to possible checking out Rainbow. I have some nivea lip care coupons and the better oats…..wont be making a $25 purchase I’m sure because I don’t have a lot of coupons for what I’ve seen on their ad online. But I can still get 5 free lip care items and 2 free oatmeals. So that’s exciting enough for me :) I don’t usually buy the early sunday cause it doesn’t always have all the coupons as the actual sunday star. I would love to pay the cheaper priced one but oh well. Thanks again!!!!

      1. Helena

        @ Nicole
        You’re welcome! I’m glad that I helped somehow.

        This week’s deal wasn’t so great but when a really good week pops up with lots of coupons, it’ll be a blast to go to Rainbows for freeies and great deals. :)

  82. Shannon

    I am SO thankful for learning how to do shop more wisely with coupons! Before couponing, I used to buy whatever we wanted/needed, without coupons and whether or not it was on sale. Now, I have a very hard time buying anything if it’s not on sale and I don’t have a coupon.

    I did my 1st “big” shopping trip at our local grocery store, and after much planning, I spent $119 and SAVED $219! That might not be a big savings to others, but it was HUGE to me and my family!

  83. Laura

    The show can be misleading in many ways. When they say that a couponer has saved their family $20,000 this year, that is ridiculous. None of ever would have spent $20,000 a year on groceries! They may haved saved $20,000 on thier purchases, but it’s not really $20,000 off your budget. They also show people who are taking away house space from thier familes to keep the stockpile. I think a stockpile should fit in a designated storage space and kids rooms shouldn’t be used to store hundreds of boxes of anything. They also profile people who say they spend over 60 hours a week coupon shopping. Sorry, but most normal people don’t have that much extra time.

    I will be teaching a class on coupon shopping at my church for a fundraiser for the women’s ministry department. The questions I am asked most before people sign up are…How much time does it take? And…What if I don’t have an extra room for a stockpile? I explain that the show is EXTREME Coupon shopping not just coupon shopping. The reality is a few hours a week can save you hundreds a month. Your stockpile is as big as you want it to be and saving 90% all the time is not reality. Some months are better than others, it depends on how much you need. It can also depend on the needs of your family. I don’t have to buy diapers and formula so my grocery budget cannot compare to a young mom’s budget.

    Some things I have learned are the first months may not show a great savings money- wise, but you should see more product in your pantry. No matter how old your kids are , get them involved. My daughter is moving out and is graduating from college. She just told her roommate she has to take my coupon class so she can learn to save money. Eventually, you will start seeing product in your pantry that you never bought before because they were those ‘luxury’ items. My family loves coupon shopping because those ‘luxury’ items are now regular items in our cupboards! My husband snacks on almomds and other fancy nuts, my grandkids get fruit smoothies when they visit and my daughter is using her favorite name brand shampoo. And those razors! So much better than those disposable twin blades we were using. All this and we still spend less money. Sometimes I feel spoiled when I see the high quality products we have.

    So all you new coupon shoppers..don’t get discouraged and don’t compare yourself to others. Do the best you can and find joy in any savings you can get.

    Thanks KCL, you really do make shopping easier for us!

    1. Jennifer

      Amen, Laura! I’m with you on every point.

    2. Debbs Seattle

      I disagree. I am a household of one. My boyfriend is here at least half time but has his own home. I spent roughly $1000 a month on food and household purchases. If I had children and he was here all the time, I could easily see $20k a year for how we live. I mean my Costco bill averaged $300 a month alone and a couple months $700.

      It just depends on how you live, and how you induldge on a daily basis.

      1. Heather

        YIKES!!!

      2. Heather

        YIKES!!! I’m at ~$300 monthly for 3 kids (2 in diapers) + 6’6″ hubby (eats a lot – lol) + me. At least 1/4 of mine goes to fresh produce.

  84. Chey

    I am loving this so far! I am 3 weeks into this and having a great time. I am saving 60% or MORE on health and beauty, and about 40% on actual groceries. No, it’s not free, but I am so thankful! I have a mini stockpile in my laundry room cupboards, and when I clean my garage, I’ll use that too (not kids rooms!!!). I really don’t think it is realistic to get EVERYTHING free, especially living in California in an area where food is EXPENSIVE! I figure though that if I save 50% on average, and buy twice the norm, I’ll have a year supply in ONE YEAR! I think it’s amazing. Thanks Krazy coupon ladies!

  85. mstew1973

    well i am a newbie to this coupon thing, but last week i was very proud of my self i had a 218.00 food bill and i saved my self 72.00 plus i got a 5.00 gift card. so out of pocket i spent 150.00. but i do have a question, what is a catalina? never heard of that and wasn tsure how to get it and if i could use it in my area…thanks krazy coupon lady for all the advise and help!!!!

  86. Jessica

    I have been saving around 30 dollars everytime i go to the store. But thats only buying little things here and there. I still cannot figure out where to get meat coupons and frozen item coupons:(.

  87. Ebony

    I started really putting effort into my couponing about a month and a half ago, since then I save between 50-85% on each trip! I notice that others stop and start when I pull out my coupons but I could care less. Being that i was hit hard by the slumping economy I had to find a way to “stockpile necessities” so that I can have on hand when the cash is non-existant…. I do believe that the extreme couponing show gets alot of beginning couponers confused and also set their expectating way too high! I live in south florida so getting stores to double coupons is a no-go but with planning and watching the sales I still manage VERY well! I will definately never stop couponing!

  88. Pat

    I am so glad I’m not the only one that doesn’t get doubled coupons, sometimes I feel like I’m the only one, ha!
    I started really saving money when I started following this blog and others. I missed out on so many deals because I didn’t remember I had a coupon in my stash for items that go on sale. My cupboards are definitely full!

  89. Leslie

    I just wanted to thank the Krazy Coupon Ladies for this awesome site and all of their help and insight! I started couponing in February of this year (and had NEVER used a coupon previously). Now, only 3 months later, i have stocked shelves in my garage and have consistantly saved $600/month from what we were spending before! Seriously…it has changed my life, i am hooked! And i couldn’t have done it without the help of this website! THANK YOU! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU!

  90. Pam-Iorg

    It has been a joy to read how KCL has helped change your lives by saving you money. Thanks to everyone for their comments!

  91. Kimberly

    Two years ago my husband and I both worked and spent a$449.67/month average on groceries. We also spent about $150/month eating out (we love fancy restaurants). Two years and two kids later, with the push of switching to a one-family income and the help of couponing, our grocery bill is $267.21/month average with only about $30/month eating out. That $267.21 includes select toiletries (toothpaste, feminine hygiene, etc.) and was enough to stock our house with 6mo-1year of all canned/boxed foods and most toiletries. I used to shop all generic brands at Winco, and now I just feel sick to my stomach walking in Winco and looking at their outrageous prices. Who would’ve ever thought I would be buying name brand products at Albertson’s and saving money while doing it!

  92. Pandora

    Ok I’m relatively new at this,but have a couple questions…..
    How that heck do you get something for free when you have a BOGO coupon with a BOGO sale at the store???
    Next..I live in WI so we don’t have a Rite Aid or CVS by us anywhere and only have a couple grocery stores to choose from in my area,so how do I get a heads up about upcoming deals at my Pick N Save like you guys do for stores like Krogers and Safeway? And at Pick N Save they have Double Double Daze and double up to 10 coupons (up to $1) 2 days a week,but you have to have a total of at least $25 after all coupons/savings card.I’ve done ok with my savings so far,but I still have lots and lots of room for improvement!! I need all the help I can get! If anyone knows of anyone in the WI area who is able to help with this store…Please let me know!
    Thank you =)

    1. Tiffany

      Some stores have it built into their coupon policy (Rite Aid specifically) that you can use a BOGO coupon on a BOGO sale to get two items free. Basically, the manufacturer give you one for free, and the store gives you one for free. The store gives you one free, then scans the Q, enters the amount and gets back that amount as payment for the free item. Basically if the item is worth $5.99 you’ve got a coupon for $5.99 off one and then a free one from the store. Most stores don’t specify this rule though and it might vary store to store. You can get many things free from Rite Aid with this specification.

    2. Tiffany

      Do a quick search for Pick N Save coupon matchups or Pick N Save coupon deals. Someone out there’s bound to have something.

  93. Tiffany

    I saw something interesting today. A TON of coupon binders in my local Fred Meyers. Then I saw something even more interesting…..a VERY happy couple that cleared the shelves of about 50-60 Propel. And yet another couple with 25 toothpaste. Neat. I wish that darned coupon show would show that people should NOT clear the shelves!!!! I’ve been doing this for over 2 years at my local small town stores, and I have NEVER seen so much as another coupon binder, let alone 10 in the same store. That show has opened up doors that should have stayed closed!

    Thank you for not supporting or promoting shelf clearing. More of that show should have focused on how to get as many as you want without clearing the shelves!!!

  94. Pandora

    Tiffany thank you SOO much I found your information very helpful!!
    =)

  95. Alice

    Any good tips for couponing for organic foods in Northern (Bay Area) California? I just started couponing. Trying to accumulate coupons from different organic manufacture websites and Whole Foods as well. I do live near a Safeway and look at their website too. I’ve come down to comparing prices between Whole Foods, Safeway, Target, and Trader Joe’s. Any tips or advice? Thank you!

  96. christine

    I’m really new to couponing but thanks to the show’s tips, I have seen savings already! One other thing I’ve noticed is that by really organizing my menu and shopping list, I know now that I’m buying only what we need for day to day or for my little stockpile. Usually we’d just kind of shop and plan as we walked the aisles and we probably spent more than we needed to by not having a plan.

    I’m in Wisconsin so Pick N Save doubles the first three coupons two days a week. Most stores have a minimum non coupon purchase you must satisfy before you can utilize the store coupons, but hey you just have to do the very best you can! I might not be getting my groceries for less than $5.00, but I do know that I am getting the most savings I can for my area…hopefully by watching the show I can learn some new tricks!

    My husband always offers to hunt extra circulars for me through friends, work, etc. and my 5 year old shops with me and is my “Coupon Captain!”

  97. Amberly

    Joanie/Heather – I have to know. On a normal not extreme TLC coupon show following you around week – what’s your average savings? I live in KY where they do double coupons at Kroger. It’s the only grocery store that we have here period. I’ve been able to save but not get tons of stuff like I really would like to build my stockpile. And some of the sales I’m just not seeing the prices come down to a stockup price like you have said don’t pay more than this for this…. Another question is lots of talk has been going around about the family codes on coupons and people using the wrong coupons to get great savings – is it truly possible to save tons using the correct coupons and just matching them with sales. (I’m sure you’ll say yes but its frustrating to feel like that may be how some people(and I am absolutely NOT talking about you) on that show are doing that) Also when you all check out and everything ends up being free are you using tons of catalinas or just overages to account for the meat and produce etc. you are buying?

  98. Danielle

    Thanks this was helpfull I just lost my job and had to sign up for foodstamps I plan on going to rite aid because its right in town and I can turn plus up rewards into shampoo and toilet papaer and other things.

  99. Jody

    Great Post!

    What most stores do when you purchase and stock pile coupon items
    they offer rewards to come back and shop on anything in store
    that is what I am using to discount my meats,fruits and veggies (non-coupon) items

  100. Christina I

    How do I save when I buy my meat? I don’t think I have seen any info on this. Thanks for your help!

  101. Kris

    most meat at grocery stores are pre-packaged from Hormel and the like… Many coupon sites have dollar off coupons, saving you on those meat products. When you see an ad for 3.49 ribs, chops or roasts, see if you can’t see a label of the packet in the ad or stop by and check it out. I print out the meat coupons when I see them on sites like coupons.com and watch for those products to go on sale.

  102. Kelly

    I went to pick up a Sunday newspaper all excited that there was going to be some great coupons. We live in an area which has 2 newspapers. The Appeal Democrat and the Sacramento Bee. The Bee is the better paper to have coupons. And when I went to get one all the stores and the newsbox was empty. I think when your couponing was shown on the News this last week on Good Day Sacramento, everyone decided to give it a try. Even though I wouldn’t put it past anyone around here to actually follow through. I guess I have to get my paper through the mail. UGH!!!

  103. Rachel

    I’m still a rookie when it comes to coupons. I’m only saving about 50% per trip, but now I know my price points for purchase. I won’t buy cereal for more than $.50, or pay for pasta or toothpaste and so on. The best thing I’ve learned is to shop the day most of the meat is marked down for quick sale.

    1. Danyel

      How do u know what day they mark down the meat?

  104. Thanks so much KCL for all the info. I started couponing 5 weeks now and have found some great deals but I am not finding enough coupons to stockpile yet. I did get GM Honey Nut Cheerios for 90 cents, which is the cheapest I ever spent on cereal, tetley tea for a $1.00. I get so excited when I get any great deal even if it is a small amount. I would really like to know how many websites people get coupons from?

  105. Danyel

    I am just about to try my 1st couponing experiment today and I have a few questions. What is a filler and how do u know if u need one? How do u know if doing a different transaction will make the prices cheaper? Also where I live and shop there aren’t any stores that dbl/trpl coupons. And I never see meat or dry dog/cat food coupons, where can I find these? I live in south east Texas. Also I have noticed my Walgreens doesn’t give any future savings after paying at register. Am I missing something? Lol plz reply soon b/c I have been trying to get coupons and match ups the last few days so I am EXTREMELY excited but afraid I will do something wrong. Is it easier to ask cashier not to begin until I am ready because I have noticed a couple times I used say 2 or 3 coupons and they want to go back into the shopping bags to check for the items and they were always there.

  106. Elisabeth

    Question!!!

    Can someone answer this for me? What is the best way to print internet coupons? Do I just go “krazy” and print them all as they come out and print as many copies as legally allowed or do I only print what I *think* I will need/use? How do you krazy couponers do it?

    1. Crystal

      Elisabeth, I’m new at this too, so hopefully someone experienced will come along and offer their perspective also. Most sites will only let you print 2 coupons per computer. For most coupons, I have only printed the two allowed, but for toiletries, I have printed 2 from my computer and 2 from my daughter’s. (Do all teenagers take 2-3 showers/day or just mine?) I do this because 1)it seems that the big savings will most likely be in this area (non-food), 2)I don’t really intend to build a huge stockpile, just a reasonable one, and 3)I don’t want to spend all my savings on printer ink (haven’t found a coupon for that yet!).

      I started clipping and planning a couple of weeks ago and did my first shopping trip today. My plan said that I would save 75%, but some prices were not what I expected them to be, so I wound up saving 63%. Came here to confirm that was a good number and I’m feeling pretty good! Good luck to you!

  107. michele

    I agree with what others are saying. Stocking up on HBA items is fairy simple…its the groceries that I cant seem to get any savings on. I have found a few good deals, like last week, I got 3 boxes of Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal at Meijer for $1.00 total. That was amazing..but for the most part, Im not finding great food coupons or deals. And drinks. Ive even searched online for hours, and I cant find coupons for soda, vitamin water, gatorade, that I see couponers on TV getting 100 bottles of for free. ??!! Whats the scoop?

    1. Bonnie

      Google “Coupon clipping services” to find sites where you can purchase x amount of like coupons for everything from food to bug spray. The one that I use charges 5-10 cents per coupon depending on how recent the coupon is and/or supply and demand. I agree with an earlier post that the show misrepresents the bottom line cost at checkout when these costs are not taken into consideration. I have also purchased like coupons from E-Bay. These are sold to the highest bidder. An example of one I bid on yesterday (and lost) was a $5.50 bid on 8 free coupons for 20 lb. bags of Iams cat food, expiration August 2011.

      Would like to hear from others having trouble with WalMart’s coupon policies – they seem to change from day-to-day.

  108. Heather

    I went on my very first coupon grocery trip. I went to Albertsons with my twice the value coupons last night. I bought 2 packs bar-s bologna, 3 tubs country crock margarine, and 3 boxes Lipton tea bags. My total bill was $17 and change. With my store card, and a coupon for each item, and a twice the value coupon for each coupon I used, my final bill was $6 and change. I saved 64%. Though I did not buy very much, or stockpile anything, or have $1000 in groceries, I wanted to see what I could do, on my own just from what I have gathered so far by reading the coupons carefully. I am confident that I can do it on my own now, and save some major money. But now that I have found this site now I am completely fired up to do some extreme couponing! Once you start, you’re hooked for sure. Thank you for providing us “coupon virgins” with such a great site and advice to get started easily!

  109. tole

    hello all i live in Fresno ,ca an was hoping someone one here lives near me i cant seem to get any good deals if anyone one please any info will help im a single mom of 5 an d little in come thank you for any help you can give …..

  110. Beccap218

    How much should I be paying for toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, razors and toothbrushes??

  111. jmlarochelle18

    I am one of your Coupon Virgins. I am starting on my 3rd week. I was inspired by what I saw on Extreme Couponing. While I am THRILLED at what I have done in just a couple of weeks, I admit, I am disappointed with myself for not doing what I see on tv. This is just the post I needed to read. I need to lower my bar some, relax and enjoy…or I can burn myself out, feel like a failure and quit. I going with the chiiling out some.

    Thanks for your wonderful web site. I have watched the video on making a binder. I made mine…and I am loving it (I went with categories). I also watched the Rite Aid video. VERY helpful since before I watched it I didn’t understand their system.

  112. Sunnyp349

    im also new to this coupon thing , I have never used a coupon in my life but now i want to learn as much as i can… the only prob im having is finding an easy way to make a list for TOP FOODS? I do well with the B1G1 or 10 for 10. I just dont get how you all get so much so cheep , I have alot of coupons but its alway save a 1.00 on 2 then i get to the store and thay have deals that are not in the sales add?? by the time i get home to see if i have a coupon i cant remb what is on this sale?? HELP

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