Stephanie Nelson | 

How to Start Couponing When You Have Zero Time

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If you’re wondering how to start couponing when you simply don’t have any extra time in your day, this is for you. It’s totally doable to get big savings on the things you’re already buying, and you don’t have to devote days and days to it.

When you have these tips, a few minutes here and there should do it to start couponing the lazy way.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get so quick at it that you’ll want to add more deals to your list as time goes on. I’ll warn you now: couponing is addicting because of the savings.


1. Use the KCL app and let us find deals for you.

A person's hands holding a cellphone displaying the Krazy Coupon Lady mobile app's page for Kellogg's deals in front of a cart full of Kellogg's brand cereal.

Finding good deals is the hardest part about learning how to start couponing. But hey, we do that for you!

KCL has a whole team of couponers in the aisles of the most popular grocery stores and retailers every day, looking for the best deals we can match with current coupons.

Put us to work for you by setting deal alerts for the brands and products on your shopping list.

Every time we see something with a crazy-low price, you’ll receive a push notification. To turn alerts on for a brand or product (like “Nike” or “laundry detergent”), go to “Notifications” in your KCL app settings, enable push notifications, and select all the brands and categories you love.

Download the KCL app now.


2. If you must buy newspapers, get them at Dollar Tree.

A person's hand holding a stack of coupon leaflets and a newspaper in front of a Dollar Tree storefront.

Chances are good you won’t really need newspapers when you’re figuring out how to do couponing the fast way. Printable and digital coupons should be enough.

But if you really want to use newspaper coupons, or maybe there’s a heart-stopping deal and it requires a newspaper coupon, get your papers at Dollar Tree. They’re only a dollar (compared to $4!) and you don’t need a subscription. This makes Dollar Tree ideal for the random weekends you want a paper.

Here are more ways to get cheap or free Sunday newspaper coupons.


3. Print mobile coupons from at least two phone numbers.

A person holding a cell phone displaying the app and printed coupons in front of a printer.

When you register with to print coupons, you’ll create an account based on your phone number. You’ll be limited to a certain amount of opportunities to print coupons.

If you know another person who is willing to sign up and print coupons for you (a partner? your mom?), it’ll be easier to get more of the products when you go couponing.

One big warning: Don’t print P&G coupons until the day you’re using them. Most P&G coupons expire 24 hours after you print them. Timing is key here.



4. Use an accordion file folder or small envelope for your coupons.

A person's hands holding up a small file organizer and a couple of coupons in front of the conveyer belt of a grocery checkout lane.

Since you’re not clipping every coupon, you don’t need a three-inch binder and baseball card sleeves. You really only need a small envelope (if you’re doing a quick one to three deals), or a small accordion folder.

(If you love the binder method, you do you! Plus, if you turn into an extreme couponer once you figure out how fast you can do this, you might need the big binder.)


5. Download Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Fetch Rewards to get cash back after your purchase.

A person taking a photo of a Target receipt through the Checkout51 mobile app's scan feature. On the table next to the receipt are various grocery items including Triscuit crackers and Bounce dryer sheets.

You don’t know how to get into couponing the fast way unless you’re using Ibotta and Checkout51. Before you hit the grocery store, unlock offers for items on your list inside these apps. Take a picture of your receipt, upload it, and voila! You’ll have money in your PayPal account within 24 hours.

It takes just a few minutes to scroll through the offers and determine if you want to redeem any of them.

Another way to save after you make your purchase is through Fetch Rewards. Just snap a picture of your receipt and upload it to the app.

With Fetch Rewards, you earn points by uploading receipts; it doesn’t matter as much what you buy. One thousand points are equivalent to $1, and you can cash out for gift cards once you earn 3,000 points (or $3).

Learn everything you need to know about rebate apps.


6. Target, Walgreens, and CVS are the best stores to begin at. Pick one.

Two women walking down an aisle at Target, looking at the selection on the shelf. The woman on the right is pushing a Target shopping cart and the woman on the left is carrying some products in her arm.

Most of the grocery stores you’ll be learning how to start couponing at have a loyalty program or app. You definitely want to get familiar with these so you can continue to save money on top of coupons. Here are a few loyalty programs to consider:


7. How to start couponing and maximize your time: Focus on deals for expensive items.

A woman standing behind a red Target shopping cart, holding a container of tide pods, with other laundry products in the basket.

Why? Household products are probably the most expensive items on your grocery list, so you’ll feel the savings more dramatically.

When you see the big savings after you cash in on items like laundry detergent and diapers, it’ll motivate you to keep couponing and saving money.

Here are a few household categories to get you started:



8. Use coupons for curbside pickup orders.

A woman in her vehicle handing coupons to an employee and the fred meyer grocery pickup location

A few grocery stores allow you to use coupons for grocery pickup.

Hands down, the most coupon-friendly curbside pickup store is Kroger. You can use paper coupons and you’ll get a traditional receipt. (This means you can redeem Ibotta offers too!)

You can redeem digital Circle offers with Target pickup, but not paper coupons. And you can link your Ibotta account to your Walmart pickup account to get savings that way. (Walmart won’t allow digital or paper coupons for grocery pickup.)


9. Refer to KCL’s stock-up price list and be snobby about “meh” deals.

a person highlighting the stock up price list in front of a shopping cart filled with cereal boxes.

To get big savings with very little time investment, double-check deals inside the KCL app against the KCL Stock-Up Price List. And then, only go to the store for deals that are so good, you should buy a three- or six-month supply. (This is what the stock-up price list shows you.)

TIP: If you see a killer deal on Tide and you need a few more coupons to stock up for three or six months, just ask your friends or relatives to print some for you.


10. Go ahead and use self checkout (even with coupons!).

A woman scanning a bottle of laundry detergent at the Target self-checkout kiosk.

Attention introverts: You can coupon at some self-checkout stations!

Target, Walmart, and CVS will let you scan paper coupons in addition to whatever digital coupons you have (for Target or CVS).

Just be aware that your coupons may cause the register to beep. The beep doesn’t mean you’re in trouble — it’s supposed to do that to let the cashier know you’re using coupons.

This is a good option if you don’t want to interact with a cashier and you prefer to go at your own speed.



11. Always visit clearance sections at drugstores and grocery stores.

A person's hand holding a bottle of Burt's Bees Baby shampoo & Wash in front of a shelf at CVS.

While this is more of a hit-or-miss tip, it’s worth swinging by the clearance shelf when you’re in Walgreens, Rite Aid, or CVS, because you can find items for up to 75% off retail price.

Even if you’re not fully confident with couponing at drugstores yet, you can sometimes stack a coupon on top of a clearance item and get it for even less (or free)!


12. Pay with discounted gift cards to save an extra 5%.

A person's hand holding three Target gift cards in front of the checkout counter at Target.

Arm yourself with discounted gift cards for the stores you plan to shop at, and you’ll save money on top of other coupons and discounts.

A 5% discount alone won’t feel like huge savings, but just like with a Target RedCard (5% savings), it adds up when you combine it with coupons and sales.

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