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How To Coupon Well Without Being "Crazy"

As I'm getting a reputation for being a relatively crazy coupon lady, I've been starting to learn about the other side of the fence- NOT being so crazy about coupons. To me, this idea is ridiculous, but after spending some good quality time with my mom friends I learned a lot of reasons why some people just AREN'T so crazy about coupons. There really IS a way to take advantage of grocery savings without spending as much time on it or being too aggressive. But WHY are some people not such a big fan of coupons?

  • They are brand faithful to certain products.
  • They don't have time for all that clipping.
  • They can't find coupons for products they want.
  • They buy all generics.
  • They buy the myth that you can't save much with coupons.
  • They believe using coupons means you don't have money.
  • The area they live has limited competition and therefore a limited amount of coupons available.

These are some of the most common reasons people don't use coupons. It may seem easier to just admit defeat and toss the idea of coupons out the window, but I have come up with a system that can take a lot of the stress and legwork out of coupons and help you to save $.

What if you don't "need" to use coupons? The reason I started couponing was because the money didn't exist to pay full price. If it does exist, ask yourself this: What if I saved $20 each week using coupons?

$20 x 52 weeks= $1,040

What could you use that money for?

  • Annually paid expenses such as insurance
  • Vacation
  • College fund for kids
  • Investments
  • Extra mortgage payments
  • Debt Payoff
  • Savings
  • Car Down Payment
  • Christmas

Imagine eliminating some of these items from your budget altogether just by clipping a few coupons! And it's a fair trade for about 30 minutes of your time each week.

So how do you coupon without being CRAZY?

1) Shop from the sales ad. Circle any items you are going to purchase this week, and any brands you are willing to try. You can view store deals at for most regions and the best deals are going to be listed, along with where to find coupons for those items. Most store websites have a shopping list tool that you can print, which lists each item by the aisle, and will automatically print any printable coupons available for the items you add to your list.

If you're willing to pay a monthly fee, though, you can try sites like They do offer a free 4-week trial. It basically does everything for you, but it does cost you about $5 each month. I have heard good and bad reviews on this. I can say that I feel more accomplished doing the work myself, however, if you just want to save without having to do the work, this may be a good option for you.

2) Search coupon sites like and for coupons you know you can use. You do have to pay a handling fee, but it is usually only pennies per coupon, such as $.07 for a $.75 coupon that will double and yield you a $1.50 savings.

3) Stock up on regularly used items at the lowest price you can find. There are some items that don't have a shelf life and can't be frozen, but those that can, such as soups, sauces, seasonings, pasta, meats, cereal, snacks, and so on, are worth buying in bulk. If you find block cheese at a low price (usually cheaper than sliced or shredded) you can shred it and put it in freezer bags. But don't try to freeze block cheese, because it crumbles when it thaws.

4) Take advantage of OYNO (On Your Next Order) Catalina deals and try to match it with coupons. For example, my store was offering a deal where if you bought 3 Pillsbury products in one order, you would receive $1 off your next shopping order. I used 2 $.30/2 coupon to buy the smallest cans(5) Grands! Junior bisuits ($.86 each) totalling $2.24, less the $1 OYNO (you can consider this cash back) and I paid $.31 per can. But don't buy something you won't use just to get the $$ back, because that's not a savings. Just pay close attention for deals you can take advantage of.

5) Make a Menu Plan. If you base it around what's on sale and what you have on hand, you only need to buy additional items to fill in the blanks. After your list is made, search the coupon database @ Money Saving mom for any coupons for those items. It takes a little bit of practice, but I was $3 under weekly budget the first time I did this and only use 4 coupons!

Couponing does train you to think outside the box, and you can easily save time and money by just using these tips. You don't have to be obsessive, or aggressive, have a huge coupon box or binder, or buy all kinds of things you don't want. But with a small amount of effort, and setting goals for yourself, you will have that extra $1,040 in no time!