How to Start Using Coupons| Where to Begin

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by on April 7, 2011

How to Start Using CouponsHow to Start Using Coupons

I get the question “Where To Get Coupons?” or “How do you start using coupons?” a lot so I wanted to provide some tips on where to get coupons, how you can organize them and start using them to help you save.

I also asked my Facebook fans what couponing questions they had (and received some great questions!) and one of the main questions was how to start couponing. How can you save at the grocery store? How do you extreme coupon? How can you maximize your savings with coupons?

Where To Get Coupons? | How Do You Extreme Couponing?

I know many of you are new to couponing (especially after watching Extreme Couponing)  and so I want to help you out with some couponing basics.

So, How Do You Start Using Coupons?

1. The first step is to start to collect coupons. Where can you do that? The easiest way is from your Sunday newspaper. Each weekend, there will be between 1-5 coupon inserts available. Those inserts usually are the Smart Source, Red Plum, P&G (once a month), or General Mills. Each week, I post a preview of the coupons, so you can decide if you want to buy additional papers that week.

Do you need to buy additional papers? No – and usually I don’t because I have found different ways of getting more inserts. You can check out my 10 Tips to Increase Your Coupon Stash for some ideas.

The other main way to get coupons is by printing coupons. Not only are there great printable coupon sites available (, SmartSource, RedPlum, etc), but many companies release printable coupons on their Facebook page or direct website.


Some of posts you might want to read include: Tips for Coupon Printing Problems and How to Save on Ink & Paper.

Plus, I post all the HOT printable coupons that I find each day, so you can make sure to find them fast. Make sure you subscribe to my FREE Email Updates and Facebook to stay up to date.

2. Use the Coupon Database to find coupons that you want for products that are on sale at your local store. The database tells you if a coupon is available, the expiration date, any limitations, and where you can find that coupon. You can also read how to make your own coupon match-ups HERE.Coupon Holder

3. Organize your coupons so that you can use them when you need them. There are many different ways to organize your coupons, and I have a couple different ways that I’ve done it – with a coupon binder or a coupon folder.

If you are looking to purchase an organization system, you can find some nice deals HERE.

Confused by all the Coupon Lingo? Here’s an explanation.

Hopefully this has given you a good start, I have more questions that I will be answering as well. If you are confused by anything or have a specific question, please feel free to leave me a comment or contact me so that I can help you. Until then – have fun couponing!

Next Steps. Read these Articles to help you on your Saving Journey:

Are Coupons Worth Your Time?

Are Coupons Just a Manufacturer’s Gimmick?

10 Do’s and Don’t’s to Using Coupons

Is It Ok to Copy Printable Coupons?

What Does Coupon Stacking Mean?



Like these deals? Don’t forget to sign up for the Saving Cents with Sense Newsletter to find deals, coupons, and money saving tips in your mailbox each day. You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest This site uses affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


  • Sara Ellis

    LOVE this! i’m sharing it with my Plaid Punch page and my ThredUP group :)

  • Kay

    I’m also a new couponing person. I hear how people uses their coupons to get items for free. I just don’t understanding that. I stack coupons, 1 manufacturer coupon and one store coupon but nothing ever is free. Not even if it is on sale. I might get it 1/2 the price if I’m lucky. So how is people getting items for free or better yet making a profit off of an item for the profit to go towards another item? How does people have 300.00 worth of groceries but only pay a few dollars for it?

  • Lori

    How and where do you get free incerts? I read that you get some from the recycling bins. Where?I order 2 papers, I also get some from my family. But, I have 6 boys and am always needing more food which means I need more coupons!

  • Melissa

    Thanks, Sara!

  • Melissa

    Hi Kay, it is definitely possible to get certain items for free. One example I posted today is for skittles at Target:

    Not all stores allow overage – but when they do, that is a great way to help reduce your cost, too. For example if you have a $2/1 coupon and the item is on sale for $1.50, if you have other items in your transaction, the $.50 would apply to them.

    Most of the transactions you are seeing on Extreme Couponing are not reality, though. It is realistic to expect 40-60% savings on your grocery bill when you are using coupons.

  • Melissa

    Hi Lori, I have asked neighbors, friends, family – my husband has even asked people from his work if they are getting rid of the ads. Many people toss those inserts, so they don’t mind passing them along.

    The other thing to remember is that many of the coupons in inserts are also available to print, especially at the beginning of the month, so printable coupons should help, too.

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  • Michele K

    Hi Melissa,
    I have been couponing for awhile now and developed a really neat organization system that was , for me, absolutely free ! I took an older Trapper Keeper that zips and added the trading card sleeves to the one side. I fold the coupons so the face is seen when flipping through and the back shows the face value and/or the expiration date. They are organized according to department with color coded flatters (that can be removed to change names if needed). The keeper has a handle and strap so I take it everywhere! The left side has a mesh zipper that I store a calculator,pad and pen (great for the store sales that are 10/$10 to keep track of the # of items). I also keep store flyers in it so I can price match :) I really hope this system can help another because it has been such a great way to keep everything together and organized (even in case the keeper goes flying across the parking lot, lol)

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  • Chrey

    Hi Melissa,
    Thank you for this post! I am not new to couponing, but I am always looking to learn new things in order to stretch my family’s budget farther. Keep up the awesome work! :)

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  • Desiree Hsu

    Hello,I want to know how to post a giveaway. i have a giveaway for Mother’s Day . look forward to your kindly reply.Thanks

  • Charrell

    the p&g website does not allow you to register. it stops at the password part, no matter what combination your type in. this is not the first time i have tried and it continues.

  • courtney

    How do I look for coupons to get mailed to me?
    That’s from frys foods store.

  • Melissa Hurst

    Make sure you have a Fry’s card and then register it online. You’ll need to make sure your address is current and then they will send coupons.

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