Recently I had a friend come up to me and ask, “How much do I have to pay to get started couponing?” At first I didn’t understand the question and then realized that like so many non-couponers, my friend was under the assumption that learning how to use and access coupons requires a lot of money just to get started.

Can my friend "afford" to be a couponer (and can you)? Here's a list of costs to help you determine if it's possible.

1. The cost of learning how to coupon.

New to couponing and feeling a bit overwhelmed with the lingo and policies? Have no fear, newbie—we’ll teach you the essentials of extreme couponing for free in just 10 days. In our Beginners section, you’ll learn everything from stacking to coupon organization. And since I know you’ll be hungry for more savings knowledge, check our Hacks page daily for new advice.

 

2. The cost of accumulating a supply of coupons.

Couponers do need access to coupons, but spending lots of money for at-home publications is not the only way to amass a supply. RedPlum, SmartSource, Coupons.com, and our own KCL coupon database provide a nearly endless supply of coupon-printing possibilities—for free!

You may want to subscribe to a few choice publications for at-home delivery, but this isn’t necessary. All you have to do is buy Sunday papers (since they have inserts)—a $2 publication is easily going to net over $20 in usable coupons!

3. The cost of finding deals.

KCL helps you manage your time by doing the work for you. All you have to do is find your store on our site to see available deals. For example, if you love Target, click here to see all the current match-ups. Not only will you find the hottest deals listed, you’ll gain access to direct links to free coupons as well as additional ways to save at that particular retailer.

And because I know how much you love social media, I would highly recommend following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Surround yourself in savings, my friend!

Related: Top 5 Mistakes New Couponers Make

4. The cost of printing coupons.

Before printing the coupons from your Coupons.com queue, hover over the “Print” button and right click. Select “Print…” and change your color settings to save on colored ink.

If you’re concerned about saving on paper, know that we frequently post penny deals on printer paper (like this one). You should also wait until you have three coupons in your queue before selecting the print button—that way, you’re taking up the entire page instead of just the top third.

5. The cost of building a stockpile.

By stockpiling while something is at a rock-bottom price (know your stock-up prices with our free Stock-Up Price Sheet), you won't have to pay full price when you run out and need more of it. Since you’re getting more of a product than you normally would at one time—aka stocking up—there’s the possibility of spending slightly more money in a single shopping trip than you’re used to.

Just remember – you won't have to pay full price when you need it. Instead of running to the store when you’re out of something, simply walk over to your stockpile and grab products you got for pennies.

6. The cost of gasoline to travel from store to store.

As a couponer, you may find yourself driving to stores you never used to go to in order to take advantage of a deal. You may find this thrilling and discover a whole new world of savings opportunities. You may not. If you’d rather not drive around town, try price matching. At stores like Walmart and Target, just show the cashier the lower price of an identical product either online or with a printed ad, and feel confident knowing you got the best price in town

What do you think: can you afford to be a KCL?

Related: 7 Easy Tips for Building a Better Stockpile