If you think you just can’t get your grocery dollars to stretch far enough, you’re not alone. The cost of groceries, from food to health and beauty aides, to cleansers, is enough to strain the best of budgets. But eating well and staying healthy doesn’t need to break your budget. The articles on Grocery Coupon Guide are designed to provide a variety of alternatives to decrease your expenses. From the basics of finding and using coupons, understanding how they work, and applying them for the best value, as well as getting the most from rebates, stockpiling super deals, and understanding how the industry works, we hope to inform you, guide you, and inspire you.

Every cost cutting measure may not be right for you. Not everyone has time, energy, even space, to maximize their savings. But you can reduce your costs, using the methods that are right for you. You won’t become a super saver overnight, but you can start saving immediately, and add new techniques that are appropriate for you.

Need some inspiration? Come on my Shopping Spree where I show you how I received $338 in retail price groceries for $27. Before you shake your head and believe that it is impossible, read through – it took organization and time, but anyone could have done it.

The first step is to start with the Wednesday newspaper, and sales flyer. Time to make a list…sales only. What is worth looking at? Make no commitment to purchasing anything, just note any “good” prices, or anything you know for a fact you need to buy (perishables, produce). Note any special “additional” offers, the “buy 10 get $10 back”, or “free with purchase”. Again, try not to assume you are going to buy any item just because it’s a “good” price.

The next step is to walk over and open the refridgerator. What do you need, what do you have room for, what needs to be tossed (do it now), and how can you rearrange what you have to fit the most in. We usually need fresh soy milk, creamer, produce. I’d really like fresh salads this week. Broccoli and carrots are generally our least expensive default purchase, although even frozen vegetables pass for a week if the prices on fresh produce are high. Check the pantry, cleanser area, laundry, and personal care items, too. I need laundry detergent and it has to be Cheerfree since we’re allergic to anything else. Well stocked on other items, but I will check on some of the sales.

Next, match up the coupons you currently have with the offers and your immediate needs. Hamburger Helper is $1 on sale, a good emergency staple, but not critical. Add on a $1 coupon, which makes it free, and mark your list to be sure to pick it up. Is something you “need” not on sale? Keep it on the list, and check prices in the store. If prices are too high and it’s not critical for the next 7 days, try to pass it up and hope for a better price next week.

If it’s something with a high price, has no sale, no coupon, and is not critical, cross it off the list.

Personally, I don’t make a meal plan before I shop. The sales and savings drive the meal planning later, with a bit of creativity.

Now, to the store. I have a short list, a few notes, and my ever present coupon box. Even though I sort out coupons I know I want to use with sales or critical items, there may be additional clearances or unadvertised sales that I want to take advantage of…with the best deal using the coupon.

Now, to shop.

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  1. Thank you for posting this aluable information. I have always tried to save even though I hae only had to purchase groceries for just myself at times. I enjoy entertaining and cooking for my family and clients and I can “splurge” someplace else if I “save” in another area. Do you hae a list of sites where you consistently get certain coupons and rebates and do these companies e-mail these to you after you have contacted them or do you need to continue to print them? Thanks for your help!!!!


  2. Sorry, I didn’t check my typing and my “v” is sticking. Puff, my Bulldog, decided to sit on my laptop!


  3. where do you get these coupons ?
    i live near st. louis and i NEVER see what you are talkin about $1. off food coupons

  4. Thanks for the example of how to save big – my grocery bill has doubled since we started trying to eat more organic/natural foods. I look for coupons and use them always, but have never seen any for the amounts shown. Can you follow up on the rebate given at the Costco, was that a store incentive or how did you get it? Thanks!

  5. Please can you tell me what where do you get your coupons, I really need to do this! my husband will be jobless soon.

  6. One thing I wished I knew is which stores will double without a restriction on the amount…
    Most retailers only go to 1.00
    It would be so much easier if they would actually double and not go up on the price when there is a 2 for 1 sale……..

  7. We’ve done a few articles on where to find coupons. I’ll work up another one. For now, start with the Sunday paper, which often has coupon catalog “inserts” published under the names SmartSource, RedPlum, and PGBrandSaver. You can also look for coupons in stores, especially on promotional displays and in little machines located next to products. Also, be sure to check out websites for your favorite brands; they often have links to printable coupons, or to request coupons by mail.


  8. I also want to know how and where you got the $176.21 in rebates. That is confusing as you did not explain.

  9. I was really surprised you were able to come out ahead with cash back on that one purchase, I guess that was because of the rebate. Most stores will make sure you do not get anything for free, much less get cash back!

  10. just wondering to switch to Cosco yr prescriptions , how do you get the 2% back do you have to use a master card or credit card of some type?

  11. To get cashback, you do need to be a member. Even without the membership, though, the prescription prices tend to be lower than most places, especially on non-generic brands.

  12. loads of them—just go to the tab at the top of the page for GUIDES, and you will find online sources as well as other ideas and tips.

  13. It became necessary for me to start using coupons again since my husband got laid-off and went without a job for almost a year. I find TONS of them on line doing google searches. Since there were many 100s of coupons I found large envelopes or files no longer worked, it took me HOURS to locate the Q’s that matched up to sales etc. I have found that that a large binder filled with the sheets of plastic pockets that people use to collect their baseball cards is the simplest way to know where to find my Q’s. In between categories I put title sheets such as “dairy products” or “beverages” and slip them into a sheet protector. This $20.00- $30.00 investment for material is beyond worth it.

  14. Nicely written and documented.
    Planning the trips is key.
    Buying the newspapers or getting them off a friendly neighbor.
    Knowing your needs versus wants.
    Be ready to pick up unexpected bargains IF you need the item and it fits your lifestyle.

    Looks like a hyper tension diet full of sugar.

    I know a super coupon clipper, and 80% of the great deals are often new items, highly manufactured.

    Do not think you are saving money by using Cost Co’s or BJ’s. A way to look at this is for example: $40 per year membership, say 10% savings. You would have to spend $400 each year to break even (40 divided by 0.1), then factor in driving which in 2009 the Federal government standard mileage rate is 55 cents per mile! (includes insurance, registration, maintenance, gas, depreciation, etc)

    A final tip, use non-recyclable grocery bags, my store gives me a nickle for each bag I use.
    Best Wishes, Mike

  15. I did not see the one thing I was looking for: where to get coupons.

    I never use coupons because I’ve never found any for stuff that I can actually use.

  16. I never used coupons because I didn’t have time but now I have time because I found sites that do the work for me. I just have to purchase the Sunday paper each week and I end up saving between $50 and $100 each shopping trip. I am just learning so I know I will be able to do even better once I learn more. Also, check out faithfulprovisions.com – It is free and the lady who does it sends out e-mail notices every few days with great deals she has found and awesome information. I did a lot of my kids Christmas shopping through her deals and spent very little. I have loved this. Hope you all have as much fun with it as I have.

  17. Hi, I’m wondering if you are monitoring these emails, I have written comments twice and they aren’t showing up. Am I writing something that is not allowed? Please let me know – thanks.

  18. Where do you get grocery coupons consistently for $1,00, $2.00 and above? I rarely see a grocery coupon for that amount. Also, I don’t know of any stores here that double coupons.

  19. Your information helped me to start saving. So far I have started with the Wednesday paper. But the idea of waiting untill something is on sale if you really don’t need it right away caught me by surprise. Good idea.


  20. Great job at the supermarket but I think the rebate should fall under the same perameters as your own first guideline: Most “super saver” results are based on hundreds of dollars saved with all the free product coupons they have accumulated over a year. The annual Costco rebate is an annual accumulation of savings over a year and yes it should be factored into the annual grocery budget but should not be used in your example.

  21. I find couponing sites have been very helpful to me. It has helped me to cut my grocery bills by at least 25% consistently each week. Wonderful–good luck!

  22. I wish I could find coupons and/or coupon sites. But so far, I haven’t found anything I can use.

  23. I’m just curious: why do supermarkets place items on sale? Isn’t it because they want to get rid of it as it is getting old/stale? If that is the case, wouldn’t buying those affect your own health? Using coupons is probably different..

  24. @John

    There are a huge number of reasons. Mostly it is to attract shoppers to the store with the knowledge that most will buy other things while they are there as well to make up for the loss leaders.

  25. Could “flash” please explain the cash back/rebates at Costco? I thought no stores gave cash back when the coupons are greater than the purchase? And $176.21 worth of rebates? Really??

  26. I get redplum inserts on sunday. Occasionally I will see a SS insert. How can I go about getting inserts mailed directly to me.

  27. Remember one thing people.Most of the off brand good’s are canned in the same place as your big name brands and all a company will do is change the name of the lable it’s the same food.Foud this out after working in a canning plant.I may not find coupon’s for off name brand’s but I’m buying the same thing for 1/2 the price and getting 2 for what most people are paying for one. Also check out your local Dollar store,Look to see what sub.brand a major brand may own the off band is just as good!

  28. I like the idea of using two coupons, but don’t most coupons say “1 per customer”, so you can’t use two on a BOGO free…

    Unless most stores don’t follow this rule?

  29. I live in a small town, and the only grocery stores we have is walmart(where i refuse to go), Country mart; a typical low key small town grocer, and Aldi – where they have very low prices, but dont accept coupons.. any advice?

  30. Melissa: Ever read “Tightwad Gazette”? Might be a better fit for your situation, and compliments everything in these articles very well.

  31. Hello,
    Is there anyway I could get coupons mailed to me? People dont really save when they are wasting ink to print out the coupons.

  32. Jennifer: It depends. Got to do the math to see if printing works for you.

    Laser printers are BY FAR less expensive per page than inkjets or laserjets. We got a nice used HP laser printer for $50 off Craigslist. HP laser printers are solid.

    You can also buy coupons on eBay; my wife does it all the time.

  33. Don’t throw away expired coupons. Militarty Commissaries overseas except coupons up to 6 months expired. Please check out couponing.about.com/cs/aboutcouponing/a/militaryexpcoup.htm to send your expired coupons to others who can use them. =)

  34. I was wondering if they would mail coupons to my house.I am on a fixed income and I want to become an extreme coupon clipper/saver. I want to be able to stack coupons what is the best way to do this? I will be shopping at a Kroger store, which is about an hour drive for me.So the more coupons I have the better.

  35. I personally have problems using coupons here in Louisville Ky. I’m 52 years of age and have been using coupons since I started buying any thing about age of 13. Yes,I had a full time job at 13.

    Over the year I have gotten five desktop pc totally free by rebating. Free dvd players and other items. But these deals are far and few in the p[ass years. But back to my problem,Target is the number one problem in using coupons,even ones from their own website. Yes,they claim they dont have to take any printed coupons from the internet. In fact they will bar you from making a mulituple purchase if they feel the item is going to be free. And have called police claiming internet coupon fraud on some coupon lovers!

    Where can I find a copy of the ferdeal coupon laws?

  36. I highly agree with your plan as I never shop without coupons. My last grocery trip I saved 54% off my grocery bill. I have never shopped without coupons but that was my best trip ever. It CAN be done.

  37. Hey, Can someone help me with understanding what coupons and deals are the best to do? I would love to be able to spend 300.00 and only have to pay 25.00 dollars out of pocket… I just need it broken down to me, in steps…WhAT STORES USE DOUBLE COUPONS?

  38. Your best bet is to contact Target headquarters and explain what is happening at your local Target store so they can retrain the managers and cashiers.

  39. I am new at couponing and am very impressed with the savings I hear everyone recieving. HOwever, the only coupons I ever come across are for deoderant, body wash, toothpaste, etc. Where do you find the everyday FOOD item coupons?

  40. i do not have the same stores here in rural jasper tn.i have a walmart,ingles cvs anda mom an pop store a publix but an ho lo 45 mins driour away and a bve very fer coupons available i really need to find coupons free ones to stack with my sundays circulars.not much in them either.i am close ot being a food bank recieptent i am on a small s.s.i budget.can u pls help
    and iv learn a lot today from you exceot where do i find the coupons to stack>??
    sorry newby and desperate

  41. Coupons are a great way to save money at the supermarket. If you utilize the newspapers, internet, and manufactures they are great ways to save money. Also, using the buy one get one free is fantastic. Only purchase items that are on sale and use a coupon with for the item.

  42. this is a farce, I have tried using these so called coupons and have never in my 66 yrs have been able to get 150. dollars worth of food for 75.00
    What do you do get coupons from the factory”?? or print them up yourself”

    I would really like to get 200 dollars worth of food for 25.00 I hear people doing this but have NO clue as how and where to get these coupons…..
    J ust like the P C H games claiming to give people 2 million dollars It is fake.

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