couponing 101: the lazy woman’s guide

I’ve gotten SO many requests for a couponing post (after bragging about myself on social media outlets) that I thought I’d share my approach with you today.  If you glean anything from this post it should be this:  Any amount of money you save is just that – MONEY SAVED!  Don’t get overwhelmed and think you have to become the crazy coupon lady.   If you save $1, pat yourself on the back.  You saved!

I myself am a LAZY couponer! I (usually) don’t buy the newspaper and there are some weeks where I don’t save a single cent.  Even being lazy, I save roughly $2,000 every year by couponing.  I hope that by sharing my process with you today, you too can save some money for your family and take that Disney/Vegas/Paris vacation you’ve always dreamed about.  (or at least take your honey out to Fuddruckers.)  Here’s what I do:

How-to Guide to (lazy) Couponing

Step 1: Go to Southern Savers

Southern Savers is a FREE coupon matching site designed to make the entire process EASY and STRESS-FREE.  Jenny, the founder, takes current sales ads for grocery stores/drugstores/etc and matches coupons with the items on sale.  The site ( also has a Coupon Database that you can use to search for any coupon that you might need.  For instance, let’s say you just ran out of Cascade.  You can go to the database, type in “cascade” and the site will tell you if there’s a coupon out there (either in a newspaper or hopefully, online to print).

Jenny also has some amazing resources for newbies on her site.  Check these out!

Step 2:  Pick a store

I have two stores where I frequently coupon – Bilo and Ingles.  Southern Savers covers those ads for me.  NOTE: if S.S. doesn’t offer ad matching for the stores that you frequent, you can do this on your own.  It just takes more work and organization.


Step 3:  Coupon Match

Once you’ve picked your store ad, go through and start making a list of the things you need.  If it’s in the ad, it means it’s on sale, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should buy it.  I try to make 80% of my purchases based on the idea that it’s A) ON SALE, B) has a matching coupon and C) we will use it!

Coupons can be found EVERYWHERE!

  • Newspapers
  • Online (,,,
  • Manufacturer websites
  • Catalina print-offs (at the cash register)
  • In-store
  • Coupon reward programs (Ibotta, SavingStar)

** has some WONDERFUL online coupons that you should check out too!**

If you see a coupon for THINGS YOU NORMALLY PURCHASE, snag it!  I keep my coupons in a binder and take them into the store with me (whenever I remember).  I’m also signed up for Southern Savers “New Coupon Alerts” so at the end of everyday, I’m sent an email with new coupons (usually printable).


Step 4:  Print/clip your coupons

I use cheap paper and black and white printing preferences.  I also print double-sided when I can.


Printing FAIL!  When I tried to feed the paper back into the tray (for double-sided printing), it snagged.  I was still able to use the coupon since the barcode was intact.


Double-sided printing


Clipping coupons

Step 5:  Go shopping!

Once armed with my shopping list and matching coupons, I head to the store.

This coupon organizer is my very favorite!!  Perfect for couponing and reasonably priced!


Coupon shopping trips usually take me about 10-15 extra minutes than if I were to just go in and grab some items.  I try not to take the kids but that isn’t always possible (free in-store cookies help this process.)



Purex:  On sale for $2.50.  Had a .50 coupon that doubled, making my purchase price $1.50 for each!


Deodorant:  On sale for $2.99.  Coupon for $2.00 makes it .99!


I try to buy organic when it’s on sale – this organic broccoli was only .19 more expensive than traditional.  Tip:  If you want to start buying more organic products, START COUPONING and use the money that you save to put towards that goal.  We always buy organic milk and eggs with coupon savings.


Bilo had a great sale on pork loin (which I buy and slice into pork chops – WAY cheaper).  Originally $24.15, on sale for $9.85.  Matched the sale with a catalina that I’d gotten a few weeks prior and made it $7.35 for quite a bit of meat!


**Download Ibotta! 

It’s a free couponing app that offers real money coupons in exchange for a little bit of your time (taking polls, watching 20 second videos, etc).  The best part is that you can pair Ibotta coupons with other coupons (printables, catalinas) and save even more money!  Angel Soft was on sale for $3.99 – I used an $1 instore coupon plus my $1.50 Ibotta coupon, making my purchase price $1.49!

Step 6:  See how you did!

Aside from organic broccoli and blueberries, every single thing I bought was on sale and had a matching coupon!  That’s the goal!  Please notice that this shopping trip wasn’t a MEAL PLANNING trip.  I went later in the week for items that we needed that for specific meals (and I made sure to check the S.S. Coupon Database before I went).  The items I bought during this particular trip were more pantry/stockpile items.




Loooonng receipt


By matching coupons with sale items, I was able to get $102 worth of groceries for $35 , a savings of 67%!!  Well worth my time (which honestly wasn’t that much).

And actually, with my Ibotta coupons, I saved $2 more dollars.



A few more tips:

Ditch the mega stores!  I used to have a Sam’s club membership but got rid of it once I compared the “club saving” price to my “coupon saving” price.  I save A LOT more money when I coupon in the grocery store!  You might think you’re saving money by buying in bulk but you probably aren’t.

Forget brand loyalty.  Sometimes the products that you love won’t have matching coupons or they rarely go on sale.  To save the most money, you might need to forget brand loyalty and go with another less expensive brand.  Actually, couponing should afford you a little wiggle room to be picky – for instance, I’m loyal to Burt’s Bees products (which rarely have high value coupons) but by saving money on other items through couponing, I can afford to splurge.

Stock up!  Sales are cyclical, about every 6-8 weeks.  So if your favorite cereal is on sale and there’s a matching coupon, buy as many boxes as you can!  (for printables, there’s often a two-print max per computer.  This means that if you have multiple computers in the home, you can print multiple coupons.  Make sense?)  Don’t be afraid to stockpile!


Couponing is totally easy and totally worth it.  Just start SMALL.  Pick one store ad and see what you can do with it this week.  If I can do it, you TOTALLY can!

QUESTION:  Do you coupon?  Love it?  Hate it?  What’s stopping you?


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  1. So I have a question, we usually shop at two stores Aldi’s and Kroger I know Aldi’s doesn’t do coupons (at least i think they don’t lol) and when we go to Kroger most of the stuff we get is kroger brand because it is cheaper then other brands (without coupons) but I was wondering is it worth couponing? Most the coupons I see are for things that we don’t really use or buy so I don’t know what to do.

    1. Great question!! It just depends on the week and the sales. my advice – check out and see what the store ad with coupon matches look like for the week!

  2. I got a question how do you use the coupons on bogo deals and are the websites you use for printing your coupons free ? Thank you I’ve tried this with newspapers and it was just hard for me to keep up :( & I have a family of 6 & it could really help if I could catch onto this coupon thing :)

    1. hey Michelle!
      Coupons on BOGOs are just print two (or one if you’re only buying one of the BOGO products – you don’t have to buy two to get the deal). Most sites will limit your printing to two. If you have multiple computers, you can print more coupons (sending to the same printer)./
      I use,, and a couple of others for free coupons! Hope that helps!

  3. I’m not sure if I’m totally in for the whole coupon clipping ordeal but I do like SavingStar, it’s a website and an app you can download on your phone, you add your CVS card, your safeway card, etc to it and then every time you present your club card to buy something with one of the coupons they send you, they save the info, credit you with the 50 cents or whatever you get and once you have over $5 on your account, you send it to paypal or your bank account or wherever. Talk about being lazy…works for me :)

  4. Love how you break it down. I am totaly going to try this. Gone through a lot of pages of people explaining it and didnt get much info. You did a great job or explaining it.

  5. I have a really dumb question. Im a fairly new couponer and decided to give this so called saving money thing a try. so my question is. i went to target with coupons for Tone body wash regular price is used manufacturer coupon that stated 1.50 off two but after i came home and checked my receipt i only have a discount for one bottle is that correct? or do i have to print one for each bottle? please help and sorry for the long question

    1. if it says that its 1.5 off two and two regular price are 2 dollars each then total, it is 4 dollars before the coupon, it will then take 1.5 off that 4 dollars making it 2.5 total, or 1.25 each but on the recipt it might just say 1.5 of one of them. it just means you have to buy two to get the discount.

  6. I have a really dumb question. Im a fairly new couponer and decided to give this so called saving money thing a try. so my question is. i went to target with coupons for Tone body wash regular price is used manufacturer coupon that stated 1.50 off two but after i came home and checked my receipt i only have a discount for one bottle is that correct? or do i have to print one for each bottle? please help and sorry for the long question

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Emily! The way that doubling works is that your coupons for X value can be doubled by the grocery store you’re using them at. Some stores double, some don’t. And some stores will double a coupon up to .50 while others double up to .60 (so you save $1.20). Hope that helps! Check with your local stores to see if they double!

  7. Love this – I am pretty sure my couponing could qualify as an Olympic sport! I love getting my coupons and then going to (love) or (another good one!) I also love “Iheartwags” or “Iheartcvs” for great strategies on how to pair coupons with great deals at those stores for the week. I have made money this way when I use store coupons, manufacturers coupons, and get back register rewards. There is also a “Iheartriteaid” as well. Crazycouponlady is another good one!
    Thanks for post!

  8. Love this. I just need to get more organized and get a printer that works. Our store lets us load coupons onto our shopper’s card, which is super easy…but I know I’m missing some that I could print off!

  9. This is SO amazing!! I wish couponing was as useful in Canada. I just know that we would NEVER have that good of deals. I use one Canadian coupon site, but it’s for natural brands and is a little limiting. At least it’s better than nothing though!!

  10. wow this is amazing!! i’m definitely not a couponer just because it overwhelms. if i have a coupon that i know i’ll use, i definitely use it, but i don’t plan my trips around couponing. hey we can all save a little money though so maybe i’ll take some time with this over the weekend. thanks for sharing! :)

  11. I really never coupon, so the fact that this is the “lazy” version and you’re still saving all of that money just amazes me. I’ve never even heard of that site before, but I just signed up for the “Daily Deals” email and I’m excited to start paying more attention. The extra time to get coupons definitely seems worth saving the money! Thanks for writing this up!

  12. Great post! I used to coupon, but with all of the organic/gluten free, etc. stuff that I buy, plus being crazy busy, I’d given up! But you’re right…$1 saved is still money saved. And Mambo Sprouts actually emails me coupons that I’ve just been too lazy to print out (not that is EXTREME laziness). I need to take that extra time! Especially since we’re really trying to save every dime right now that we can. Thanks! xo

  13. i am the same as you, I take full advantage of coupons but I don’t spend hours worrying about it and I don’t make myself crazy…but I do totally pat myself on the back every time I save!! Great round up of tips!

  14. I’m not much of a couponer but I try to plan our purchases and meals around what’s on sale. One of the stores I go to has a wall of coupons when you first walk in that I never look at, which I probably should change – the same store also gives you 2 cents for every litre of gas you buy at their gas station which is pretty neat…if I remember to take them into the store with me :)

  15. You’re good! I don’t coupon since I don’t like printing them myself. Ink is friggin expensive! However, if they come in the mail, I’ll totally take the time to cut them out, or if the discount is significant enough to justify my ink, I might print it.

  16. I really need to be better about this. I do the Kroger coupon online thing and get the fuel points. I hate shopping on the weekends because I really don’t have to and the amount of crazy shoppers is tripled, but I get double fuel points. I really try to be better. Thanks for the tips Lindsay! I’m gonna check these out and use a binder. Crazy coupon shopping, here I come!

  17. ‘ve bee couponing for about a year now and I LOVE it. I just did a few coupling shops — Target, CVS, and Harris Teeter — because I moved and had been holding off on stockpiling for a while, and I was able to save something like $130, including a handful of free things. And Souther Savers is definitely my favorite site.

  18. This is awesome! My boyfriend and I were just talking about how we really need to start using coupons, but we don’t get the paper either. I shared it with him! I think the toughest part will be convincing him that even though we have a coupon doesn’t mean we need it. ;)