How to Coupon for Beginners

By Kylie Ora Lobell · June 01, 2023 · 7 minute read

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How to Coupon for Beginners

Coupons have been around for a while and by the thousand (if not million) for good reason: They can help people like you save money at the supermarket, drug store, clothings shop, movie theater, and other popular locations.

Not only can you find coupons in the newspaper and your mailbox, you can likely download them from websites and social media accounts as well.

If you’re ready to save some dough, here are simple tips on finding, using, and maximizing your money with coupons.

Where to Find Coupons

A great way to begin couponing is to scan your kitchen pantry and bathroom cabinet and make a list of the products and brands that you purchase regularly.

You can then start looking specifically for coupons for as many of those items as you can. Here are some key places to look.


Even in today’s digital world, it’s still worthwhile to go old-school and check out the Sunday newspaper coupon inserts.

What makes newspapers such a rich source of savings is the fact that they offer a wide variety of different types of coupons, including product coupons, manufacturer coupons and competitor’s coupons.

If this week’s paper has a lot of good coupons, consider buying extra copies. Dollar stores often sell papers at a discount and can be a good place to stock up. But even if you have to pay full price, it could still be worth it.

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Magazines are still around, and can be a great source of coupons, particularly manufacturer coupons. You may want to flip through some of the magazines stocked at the checkout aisle next time you’re waiting in line at the supermarket.

Some women’s magazines even put together an index of all the coupons that each issue includes.

To up the odds of finding coupons for products you enjoy, consider browsing magazines that reflect your lifestyle.

Based on what you find, you might decide that getting a subscription (which is usually low cost, and a better deal than buying single issues) could be worthwhile.


If clipping isn’t your cup of tea, you can print coupons from websites that aggregate coupons, such as , retailmenot , and valpak . These sites make it easy to search for and find deals.

Another online resource is P&G Everyday . This site offers printable coupons exclusively for Procter & Gamble brands (e.g., Crest, Pampers, Tide). You will need to create an account before you can print coupons.

You may also want to look at the list of items you typically stock in your home and head to the manufacturers’ websites.

Many companies have coupons you can print from their site. Some also reward you with coupons if you sign up for their e-newsletter.

Store sites are also worth checking out. Many grocery and drug store websites offer both manufacturer and store-specific coupons.

You may even be able to download these coupons directly to your store loyalty card, and redeem them simply by presenting your store card at checkout or possibly when ordering online.

Some department store sites also offer printable coupons and savings passes you can use that same day in store, and you may also be able to sign up to have coupons emailed to you directly.

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Inside Stores

Many grocery stores, drug stores and supercenters provide coupons in circulars and flyers available inside the store. These can be a great place to find coupons that you’ll actually use.

You can also often find printable coupons in the red kiosks situated through the store, as well as coupons on the products themselves (which you can clip at home and use next time). You may also want to check for coupons at the bottom or back of your receipts.

Recommended: Tips on Saving Money Daily

Coupon Apps

Some stores, such as Target, have their own app that you can download to your phone and then show at checkout for discounts on items you are buying that day. These offers can often be combined with manufacturer and store coupons to create really good deals.

There are also cashback apps, such as ibotta and Checkout51 , which allow you to earn cash back on many of the products you buy.

All you have to do is link your loyalty card to the app or snap a picture of your receipts. Once you earn a certain amount (such as $20), you can redeem your cash back.

💡 Quick Tip: If you’re creating a budget, try the 50/30/20 budget rule. Allocate 50% of your after-tax income to the “needs” of life, like living expenses and debt. Spend 30% on wants, and then save the remaining 20% towards saving for your long-term goals.

Keeping Coupons Organized

Coupons aren’t worth anything if you don’t have them on you or you can’t find them when you need them.

If you use paper coupons, a good first step is to find a way to contain the chaos, such as using zip-lock bags, a binder, a coupon wallet, a recipe box, or any other storage container.

The idea is to simply have a single landing spot for all coupons. If possible, it’s wise to file them away as you get them, so you don’t have a big mess to deal with all at once.

You may also want to come up with a filing system, such as grouping coupons by grocery category (e..g, dairy, produce, frozen foods), or by aisle, or by coupon expiration date.

It’s also a good idea to go through and edit your collection periodically. Stores typically don’t take expired coupons, so it’s best not to let them eat up space in your filing system. Consider setting a certain day each or month to go through and purge.

If you use coupons via an app or other electronic means, it’s wise to have the app downloaded and open when you are ready to shop to make the experience as smooth as possible.

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Maximizing Your Coupon Savings

Shaving off just a little here and a little can be nice, but may not make a major change in your buying habits, but the real savings that comes with couponing is when you combine coupons with other coupons, as well as other sales offers.

Here are some tricks:

Matching Coupons to Sales

In order to really save money with coupons, you ideally only want to use them on sale items that won’t make you blow your budget.

You can hold onto a coupon until the item goes on sale, or if you see that a store is having a sale on something you buy regularly, you can then check the store circular, manufacturer’s websites, or your app to see if you can find a manufacturer’s coupon for it.

💡 Quick Tip: When you feel the urge to buy something that isn’t in your budget, try the 30-day rule. Make a note of the item in your calendar for 30 days into the future. When the date rolls around, there’s a good chance the “gotta have it” feeling will have subsided.

Stacking Coupons

This means using more than one coupon for the same item. For example, you can significantly increase your savings by combining a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon for the same item. You might be able to then amp up savings even more by using a cashback app.

Keep in mind that not all stores allow coupon stacking. You may want to review each store’s coupon policy to see where you can employ this trick.

Using Competitor’s Coupons

Lots of stores accept competitor coupons. It’s a good idea to find out which ones in your area do, and then work those coupons and sales to your advantage.

The Takeaway

Using coupons can be a great way to save money on the products you love, and help keep your everyday spending in line with your budget. You can often find useful coupons in Sunday newspaper circulars, magazines, coupon websites, as well as store and manufacturers’ websites. Coupon apps can also help you find coupons for your favorite products quickly.

To really rack up savings with couponing, it pays to go beyond just using a coupon here and there. Consider combining a manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon, a sale, and a cashback or coupon app.

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