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 the guide for you. It’s totally doable to score big savings on the things you’re already buying, and you don’t have to devote hours of your free time to do it.

With these tips in mind, you’ll just need a few minutes to start couponing the lazy way.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get so good at it that you’ll want to add more deals and stores to your list as time goes on. But I’ll warn you now: couponing gets addicting once you start seeing your savings!


1. Use the Krazy Coupon Lady app and let us find the deals for you.

someone holding up a phone displaying the KCL app

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

The Krazy Coupon Lady has a whole team of couponers who are in the aisles of the most popular grocery stores and retailers every day, looking for the best deals that we can match with current coupons and rebate offers.

Using the KCL app, you can put us to work by setting up deal alerts for all 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 your profile (in the upper right corner of the app), tap “Notification Settings,” then enable push notifications. You can select all the brands and product categories you love.

Download the KCL app now.


2. If you must buy newspapers, get them for $1.25 at Dollar Tree.

a person holding a newspaper outside dollar tree

Chances are good you won’t really need newspapers when you’re learning how to coupon the quick and easy way. Printable and digital coupons should be enough.

But if you really want to make use of newspaper coupons — or maybe there’s a heart-stopping deal that requires a newspaper coupon — get your newspaper at Dollar Tree.

Newspapers are only $1.25 at Dollar Tree (compared to up to $4!), and you don’t need a subscription.

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


3. Print out mobile coupons from at least two phone numbers to double your savings.

someone printing coupons from the mobile app

When you sign up with to print manufacturer coupons, you’ll create an account based on your phone number. Most coupons will limit you to just one or maybe two print outs.

But if you know another person who is willing to sign up and print coupons for you (a partner? your mom? maybe your kid?!), you can get more of the products when you go out couponing.

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


4. Use an accordion file folder or small envelope to hold all your coupons.

someone taking coupons out of their little folder

Since you’re not clipping every coupon out there, you don’t need a three-inch binder or baseball card sleeves. You really only need a small envelope (like these on Amazon) if you’re only juggling one to three deals, or a small accordion folder (like this one on Amazon). Staying organized before you get to the register is key to keeping your couponing stress low.

But if you already love the binder method, by all means, stick with it! You might even need a binder if you turn into an extreme couponer. But the big binder is really only useful if you’ve got a lot of non-digital coupons to organize.


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

a person holding an iphone with a coupon app in the dollar tree store

If you want to learn how to coupon the quick way, you’re definitely going to want to download a few cash-back rebate apps like Ibotta and Checkout51. Once you create your account for each app, you can unlock offers for items on your list before you even hit the grocery store. Take a picture of your receipt, upload it, and voila! You’ll have money in your PayPal account within 24 hours. Sometimes you just need to scan the QR code on your receipt. Even easier.

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

Another way to save after you make your purchase is with the Fetch Rewards app. Just snap a picture of your receipt and upload it to the app to earn points that you can later redeem for gift cards. You earn points just by uploading receipts; it doesn’t matter as much about 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).



6. Target, Walgreens, and CVS are the best stores when you’re learning how to start couponing. Pick one.

A person's hands holding a cell phone displaying 10% off Tide laundry detergent on the target circle app and a $2 off manufacture coupon, and a bottle of Tide liquid detergent in a Target shopping cart.

Most of the stores where you’ll be learning how to start couponing have their own loyalty program or app you can download. You’ll definitely want to get familiar with these so you can save money on top of coupons. Here are a few loyalty programs I recommend for beginners:

  • Target: Sign up for a Target RedCard to save 5% on every purchase. Then make sure you have a Target Circle account to access coupons. (If you’re not a RedCard holder, you can still get 1% back on all your purchases through Circle.)
  • Walgreens: Sign up for myWalgreens to access coupons and earn 1% – 5% back on all your purchases.
  • CVS: Sign up for ExtraCare to get coupons, earn 2% cash back, and access special deals.


7. Maximize your time by only focusing on deals for more expensive items like diapers and razors.

diapers in a shopping cart

If you really can’t be bothered with saving a few cents here and there, just change your couponing strategy a little bit. Household products are probably the most expensive items on your grocery list, so you’ll feel the savings more dramatically if you only focus on coupons for those.

Once you see some savings on items like laundry detergent and diapers, it’ll motivate you to keep couponing and saving even more money.

Here are a few household categories to get you started:


8. Use coupons with your curbside pickup orders.

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

A few grocery stores will allow you to use coupons for curbside pickup. Here’s a quick run-down of some of my favorites.

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

With Target, you can redeem digital Circle offers when you do Target pickup, but they won’t accept paper coupons at the curbside.

At Walmart, they won’t allow digital or paper coupons for grocery pickup, but you can link your Ibotta account to your Walmart pickup account to get savings that way. Just remember, if you’re a Walmart Plus member, you can’t redeem Ibotta offers and Walmart Rewards offers on the same order.

Walgreens allows you to apply digital coupons to Walgreens curbside pickup orders. And we make it easy to find them with our best Walgreens digital couponing deals roundup each week.


9. Refer to KCL’s stock-up price list and skip the “meh” deals.

someone holding their phone showing the KCL Stock Up Prices list

To get big savings with very little time investment, you can double-check deals against our KCL Stock-Up Price List (we’re working on a big update to it now!). That list of prices will help you know how to spot a really hot deal. That way, you can only go to the store for deals that are so good that you should buy a three- or six-month supply. (This is what our stock-up price list shows you.)


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

someone at target self checkout

Attention introverts: Some stores’ self-checkout stations will let you still apply coupons to your order!

Target, Walmart, and CVS self-checkout stations will let you scan paper coupons in addition to whatever digital coupons you have (for Target or CVS — Walmart doesn’t do digital coupons).

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.

walgreens clearance 90% off

While this is more of a hit-or-miss tip, it’s worth mentioning. Always swing by the clearance shelf when you’re at grocery stores or drugstores like Walgreens, Rite Aid, or CVS. Why? Because you can often find clearance 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 store gift cards to save an extra 5%.

Person looking at gift cards

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 can quickly add up when you combine that discount with other coupons and sales. is a great place to find discounted gift cards. Here are some savings I’ve seen in the past:

  • Rite Aid: 5% off store gift cards
  • Target: 3% off store gift cards
  • Walmart: 2% off store gift cards
  • CVS Pharmacy: 1% off store gift cards

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