Extreme Couponing: Ten Steps to Coupon Success

Ten Steps to Coupon Success!

Dear $uper $aver,

I just watched the show “Extreme Couponing” and I was reminded of your coupon escapades when you visited Portland, Oregon many years ago and spoke about coupon shopping at a local event.  I remember you shopped locally on TV and got an impressive savings by using your coupons ($350+ worth of groceries but you paid about 12 cents I think!)  What do you think of the shoppers who save thousands of dollars in one shopping trip? How do they do it? I was a 29 year old mother of three when I first heard you speak.  Now I am a 50-something grandmother—still clipping coupons I might add. I was happy to run across your blog.  –Marion O’Brian, Miami, FL (formerly of Portland, OR)

Coupon Success Comes from Step by Step Progress….

Dear Marion;

How great to hear from you and thank you for remembering my shopping trip to Portland! Actually, I enjoyed watching the episode of “Extreme Couponing,” and I did think that the program lived up to it’s name: Extreme.  We are bombarded with so much information in today’s world of super-hype and super-technology, it takes an extreme or shocking example to get our attention.  However, I think there is a great lesson to be learned by the program: No matter what your age everyone loves a bargain! I think that all of the shoppers set the bar high and each provided interesting examples of what can be accomplished if you have a good system in place, stay consistent and don’t get discouraged.  However, any viewer who would come away from the tv thinking they could grab a few Sunday supplements, download a few coupons and charge into a store and save $1,000 is bound to be disappointed.

Yes, I have been guilty (and proud of it!) of “Extreme Couponing” to the point of delighting in more than $800 worth of coupon savings in one shopping trip and lining the walls of my garage with free rolls of Bounty Paper Towels.  After all, who needs insulation, right?  When I was a junior high school teacher I actually got enough free bread, sandwich meat, peanut butter and jelly and condiments to make sandwiches for 200 fellow teachers when we walked a picket line during an unfortunate teacher’s strike.  I still think that “Extreme Couponing,” is a great attention getter and offers an example that many consumers can follow on a smaller, more consistent scale. The key to saving money with manufacturer’s coupons is like anything else; Balance.

extreme couponing tips jan leasure coupons

$uper $aver Jan Leasure & her Extreme Coupons!

Extreme Couponers follow the same guidelines that regular shoppers do but on a larger scale; In our current economy it is more important than ever to utilize saving skills in every area of our lives.  Couponing is just one of them, but since such a huge portion of our after tax income is spent on food and personal items, this is a great place to start.

Manufacturers DO want consumers to redeem coupons, it moves products. Coupons are the only form of advertising to give something back to the consumer.  To get started, try these simple steps:

1.       Make a master list of the 100 or so items that you regularly use in your home. How many of them are products that offer coupon discounts?

2.       Make a habit of saving the coupon inserts and store flyers from the Sunday & Best Food Day papers.  Ask your family and friends to save them for you. No need to make Dumpster Diving for coupons (re: TLC), they are everywhere.

3.       Organize Coupons by product type.

4.       File Coupons In a manner that make it easy for you to find them when you need them.

5.       Make a List by product/store aisles on an envelope to save time. (More than one store, use more than one envelope)

6.       Put corresponding coupons into each store envelope. This helps you save time.

7.       Avoid Impulse Shopping-“IS” adds 10% + to your bill.

8.       Take anything if it is Free- but, any number of items that are more than what you need for the next 8 weeks, PLEASE DONATE!

9.        Save Your Receipts so that you can keep track of your savings. This is a great motivator.

10.     Don’t Get Discouraged; Keep a positive attitude and just think of your coupons as Monopoly Money.

Time is precious. Keep in mind that couponing is a skill like any other that takes some time and education.  If you can dedicate 90 minutes – two hours a week to familiarize yourself with the system, you could be rewarded by a ten – 20% savings on your grocery bill each week! At the end of a year that could equate to a trip for a family of four to Disney World! What is your goal for your coupon savings?

Marion, if you will forward your land address to me I would love to send you a free autographed copy of The Coupon Encyclopedia! I have to do something just for you remembering my trip to Portland!

Share your savings tips with me.  What do you think of Extreme Couponing?


  1. Chris says:


    Nice article. Me and my wife have a family of 3 children and have decided to start couponing to save money. We live in Oregon and have found out that the only stores who offer double coupon days are Safeway, Albertsons and Thriftway. This morning I purchased a few of the Sunday papers and found out that most of the coupons are only for 5-8 days and highly limit their usage (only 2 coupons per purchase, etc…). How do you go about saving 20% off your grocery bill if you cannot combine coupons or use more than 1-2 per purchase? Thanks and have a great day.

  2. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Chris! Where do you live in Oregon? $uper $aver was a feature in the Portland Oregonian for more than 20 years. First, thanks for the compliment on the article. Second; Saving 20% isn’t at all impossible if you follow a system and stay consistent. When I used to come to Portland to shop at Albertson’s, Safeway and Fred Meier stores, there weren’t such stringent limits on coupon usage. To give you a store specific answer I would have to really read the coupon policy of the store in question. However, all stores should follow the GENERAL rules for manufacturer’s cents off coupons. You cannot combine MANUFACTURER’S coupons, however, you CAN combine a manufacturer’s coupon with an IN STORE RETAIL coupon that is store specific and store sponsored. You can of course also combine a manufacturer’s coupon with a store sale. I would like to give you a more specific answer, so to start with I am going to have $uper $aver Dawn e-mail you a PDF of my e-book, 13 Steps to Coupon Savvy that gives a step-by-step approach to making the best use of manufacturer’s promotions. Then, if you would e-mail Dawn your land address, we will send you an autographed copy of THE COUPON ENCYCLOPEDIA which has more suggestions. There are ways to save up to 80% on your grocery bill but we want to go for a more consistent 10 – 25% on items for which manufacturer’s promotions exist! Send your info to: Dawn@jan-leasure.com

  3. Angela says:

    Wow!!! You’re the original couponer!!! Thank you for your video on the right! Loved it!

  4. Jan Leasure says:

    Hey Angela! Thanks for noticing–that is a kick; We have to original videos up for a look at coupon promotion nostalgia and to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same. As the site evolves I will get out new videos of shopping trips, tv appearances, etc. If you watch the Donahue clip, you will see that I was on the panel with a “coupon nemesis: who actually blamed me & other coupon shoppers for the National Debt because we didnt “buy generic” — still laughing at that one! Please stay involved and share your tips with us!

  5. Stacy Whitmore says:

    I have a very hard time using coupons where we live. Albertson’s here will not double coupons and will not take coupons printed off the internet. We also don’t have a Sunday paper. They do have a few coupons that are in Wednesdays paper. The only real savings I get are from using my Albertson’s Store card. What do you suggest?

  6. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Stacy; I have a lot of ideas that I can share; Where do you live? I would be interested in talking with the manager of your Albertson’s store re: their coupon policy. I have shopped in Albbertsons and used coupons successfully. I am going to see that you get my e-book “13 Steps to Coupon Savvy.” I will also investigate your local area for potential savings. Please stay in touch!

  7. C. Wease says:

    I have a big problem with organization, especially splitting orders to get the best deals at the register. Do you have any suggestions for this?

    Thank you SO MUCH for helping me!


    Cynthia Wease

  8. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Cynthia; I think what you mean by organization is for example if a manufacturer puts a “limit” on the number of items you can purchase? Or that the store makes you purchase items by group in order to take advantage of the savings? If there is a limit printed on the coupon for a posted in store coupon policy that conflicts with possibly a “no limit” coupon, we have to abide by the more limiting policy of each store as long as it doesn’t legally conflict with the rules set by the manufacturer. Sometimes we have to make individual purchases in order to meet the manufacturers pre determined rules for the particular promotion. Here is an example: Back around January, Walgreens had a special offer providing a FREE Old Spice Body Wash (I think about a $10 value) if you purchased a “group” of qualifying items. Basically you spent $10 and got back $10 worth of merchandise. I really liked the promotion so I came in armed with ten coupons for the free item, prepared to buy all qualifying items, most of which I had individual coupon discounts for; However, even though the coupon had no “limit” restrictions on it, I had to purchase (at the request of the store manager) each “group” of items separately in order to take advantage of the offer. I know this isn’t a good answer, but I think I am answering the question you asked; I want to get you a copy of my e-book, “13 Steps to Coupon Savvy” because I think a more detailed answer is in order. There is a lot of information on organization in this doc. If I misinterpreted your question, shoot me an e-mail at jan@jan-leasure.com.

  9. Jenny says:

    I have only couponed on a small level in the past. I cut the coupons I planned on using and then went to the ths store. Recently my husbands hour where cut at work and I am finding to instead of living paycheck to paycheck we are living into to the next paycheck. I was watching an episode of extreme couponing and while I think having SUCH a large stockpile is a bit much. I am inspired to stockpile the things that we can and plan meals with store sales. I am not above shopping a several stores, especially if the store will give you something for shopping there.

    I am having a hard time finding a system so that I do not miss a coupon I want to use. Any ideas?

  10. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Jenny; There are a few thjngs you can do; It isn’t necessary to “stockpile” to save money or be efficient at using coupon discounts. I was in your situation actually when I was doing more “extreme” shopping trips. My husband and I were both teaching for the same school district and the teachers went on strike. I had shopped several weeks before and purchased enough bread, bologna, peanut butter & jelly, to make sandwiches for more than 125 teachers . (I had frozen my extras so it really came in handy.) In order to get more coupons for what you really use in your home I DON’T recommend the extreme ideas like “dumpster diving” for coupons. What I did then and now is trade coupons with a few other shoppers. I have pets, my younger friends have babies; They give me the pet coupons, I give them the diapers, etc. No need to set up special events” to do this–exchange envelopes at church, carpooling or other social events. To keep track of coupons so you don’t miss a sale or special, file them by category.

  11. Summer says:

    Hi Jan, i feel as though it is almost impossible to coupon in Oregon. There are so many rules! I live in Sherwood. Do you have any more tips to share?

  12. Adrienne says:

    Hi Jan,
    This is all great stuff, but I’m having a hard time applying it to nearby stores in Miami. Publix has recently instituted limits on everything and no accepting competing coupons, I don’t live near any stores that double coupons. I have Publix, CVS, Walgreens and Target to choose from, basically. My husband and I both work more than full time, but I’d still like to use some of the techniques I’ve heard you talk about. It just seems so time consuming and I find myself just buying the buy one get one free items so that I can move quickly through the store. I know I could save so much more, but I don’t want to go to numerous stores to do it. Suggestions with our limitations in Miami?

  13. Annette says:

    Hi Jan

    I live in Miami as well and I find it very difficult to make the best of my coupons with stores like Publix. Also, I have a situation where my daughter has food allergies and most of the food I can buy thats free of any allergen ingredients (soy, peanut, dairy) is in whole foods which is super expensive. Help!

  14. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Sara; I recently got some info that said that both Safeway and Albertsons are offering some level of double couponing in stores in your area. I am going to check this out and get back to you. There have always been a lot of ‘basic” rules governing coupon use because of course they represent $$$! Individual stores then also set up additional boundaries or “overlays” so shoppers don’t “over benefit” from the deals. i do what most coupon shoppers do. 1.) I find the stores offering the MOST consistent low prices in my area, then I try to both give them my business AND USE my coupon discounts there. 2.) The best way to not let the rules get in the way is to not get discouraged and (I know this is difficult) try to learn the rules of the stores where you shop so you don’t waste time. More on this subject later! Thanks for writing Sara; PS: I have shopped in Portland in both Safeway and Albertson’s and I was able to work within the confines of their system to save.

  15. Jan Leasure says:

    Dear Annette; First Kudos on living in Miami! I’m in Chicago and it is still cold and damp here! When buying basic staples that you use in your home where the allergy situation is not an issue, following the basic, “13 Steps to Coupon Savvy,” (sign up on home page) has some tips that will help you save time as well as money. For example, I file my coupons by the aisle of the store they are stocked in instead of the way I use to “file by pile”! That helps me save time because i make my list the same way. I am so sorry about your daughter’s allergies; I have some myself–no peanut and my dad suffered from both food and drug allergies, like simple aspirin so I can relate. Have you ever taken a look at the site, http://www.peanutfreeplanet.com? I think it is a great resource for parents who have kids with peanut allergies and they also offer direction on how to save on specialty items as well. Let me know what you think.

  16. Jan Leasure says:

    Adrienne; I can relate on the long hours. I know this sounds crazy but the busier you are the more you have to look at your money saving programs like using coupons as a form of money saving recreation. I try to earmark my saving s for special things to reward myself like long term, a vaca, or short term a manicure & pedicure or a massage. That being said, it is a pain but you have to work within the limitations placed on couponing at each store. I do a lot of shopping at Walgreens, CVS & Target myself for items like non prescription items, make up, hair things, snacks and sometimes cleaning products, pet foods and a bottle of wine now and then. I shop primarily with three things at these stores: 1.) Their store flyer, 2.) Their in store special coupons AND the corresponding manufacturer’s coupons and 3.) a list specifically for that store. I make the list on an envelope (one for each store) and put THEIR coupons inside so I don’t miss anything. This doesn’t make the restrictions any easier but it makes it easier to save within their rules. Also, do you and your husband shop together or split up the list? Either plan helps making the shopping more fun and less drudgery–unless hubby is an impulse shopper! ;)

  17. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Summer; It is so ironic that you say it is now so difficult to use coupons in Oregon. When my column appeared in the Portland Oregonian for so many years, i would often come to Portland on behalf of the paper and hold seminars and meet with my readers and shop the local stores. I have a prediction; I have been using manufacturer’s promotions like coupons to save money since 1978 and have written about it since 1980. During those years I have seen fluctuations in the economy and as a result there have been HUGE changes in the ebb and flow of what manufacturers and retailers offer in terms of discounts and coupons as well as how we can use them in the stores; For example, when the economy sucks like it does now, there are more offers and the rules start to loosen up; when times are good, prices are high, there are fewer deals and less coupons. I foresee a barrage of money saving offers growing as this year progresses and as a result I think that smart retailers will work with the promotions and loosen up their guidelines making it easier for us to save money. They want our business and that is the only way to really draw us in. In the meantime, the bet advice or tip I can give you is to not be discouraged, try to work within the system and by all means keep track of you coupon savings; It is hard to stay enthusiastic fifty cents at a time. But if you keep track of your savings see what you have after 30 days and treat yourself–OR–pay your electric bill1 ;) Thanks for writing Summer. ;)

  18. Felicia says:

    Hi! I live in northern WI and would LOVE to learn how to save money with coupons! We have a VERY limited selection of stores where I live! With a family 0f 6 I need some MAJOR help!! Thanks!!

  19. Jan Leasure says:

    Hey Felicia; I am going to forward you 13 Steps to Coupon Savvy to help break down the steps that you should follow that might help you save some time and money by getting better organized.

  20. Heidi says:

    Hi. I live in Louisiana and the only store that doubles coupons is an hour away. Worth the drive but what if I plan my shopping trip and things are not in stock? How do I make sure they will have what I need and quantity? Also, I Made my list of items we buy but seems like not Manu things I see coupons for. I went to a few sites to email them and they state they cannot send coupons thru mail. Most say watch in Sunday papers but I seem to see the same types of coupons. I’m doing good with deodorants and stuff like that between cvs walgreens and rite aids reward points but I’m seeming to have trouble with groceries.

  21. Jan Leasure says:

    Good Day Heidi! There are a lot of factors that can make it worth while to travel an hour to a double coupon store, even if it is an hour away! First, you don’t say which store it is, but what is their policy? 1.) POLICY: Will they double any coupon and follow the traditional one coupon per item standard with no other restrictions? If so then it would certainly be worth it. 2.) INVENTORY: Find out if they do carry what you regularly use. Do they have a website? Do they have in store flyers with name brands and aisles listed? This is sometimes a way to have hard copy of the basic items carried in the store. 3.) COMMUNICATE! If all else fails call your store, list in hand and ask the service desk if they have the items you want to purchase. Stores with good customer service will be happy to look in the computer to see if they carry an item. Just use discretion and keep the questions down to 5 – ten items per call. –Jan

  22. Ashley says:

    Okay this is so crazy to me! I am watching Extreme Couponing on TV and every time I watch it, I am blown away! I have googled how to coupon and it seems like I just really have no idea where to even begin. How much do you spend in Newspapers, coupong website subscriptions (is that how those work? Time spent on cutting coupons, organization, etc. I work 40 hours a week, my husband is in the Navy. If you could give me some help I’d appreciate it so much. I’d love to not spend $200 + at the store and come home feeling like i’ve bought nothing. AH!!!!

  23. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Ashley; I think that it is extremely important not to lose sight of the fact that “Extreme” couponing is just that EXTREME. First, please go to the front age of the site http://www.jan-leasure.com and sign up for my free newsletter. When you do that you will also receive a free copy of my e-book, “13 Steps to Coupon Savvy” (I am going to forward you a copy via your e-mail but you need to sign up to get the newsletter as well). As one of the very first “Extreme Couponers” –I was writing and clipping back in the early 1980′s – my best shopping trip happened when shopping with a friend–not for the cameras–and I got $800 worth of groceries and the store PAID me $72 to take the groceries home. However Ashley, it is REALLY important to understand that this was my PERSONAL best shopping trip. Like you, I was a young mother, worked more than 40 hours a week as a teacher and college instructor, and didn’t have more than 90 – 120 minutes a week to spend on clipping and organization. I think the “13 Steps to Coupon Savvy” will help you understand in a clear fashion how to get started and to take a breath so you don’t become overwhelmed. The short answer to your question is this: 1.) First, you should make a list of the items you regularly use in your household. When I started I didn’t have the benefit of a PC — I did it all by hand. 2.) Make one list for items that traditionally are supported by coupon promotions (household cleaners, pet foods, baby items, cereals, make-up, canned goods, etc.) Make a second list for items you never or rarely find coupons for. 3.) When you get your Sunday newspaper, clip out most of the coupons, whether you will ultimately use them or not. 4.) Sort the coupons by “group” (pet, baby, veggies, cleaning, etc.). 5.) Keep all coupons for items you use in one shoebox (that is just my suggestion, works for me) put all others in a shoebox you won’t be using. 6.) You want to get as many coupons as you can for items you regularly use so you can buy several at a time when the item is on sale, following the rules, using one coupon per item. You do this POSSIBLY buy purchasing more than one Sunday newspaper–so an extra $1.50 per week if the coupons are good that week. However, you get more coupons for items you use by TRADING the coupons you don’t need with people at church, on base, at school or at work for coupons you don’t need. I know it sounds overwhelming at first, but if you start a little bit at a time you should be able to save a minimum of 10% a week for every hour you invest once you get started and have a system. 7.) The most important part of this is to remain enthusiastic–make it a game and remember that the manufacturers really do want you to redeem the coupons. Please let me know when you receive the copy of “13 Steps to Coupon Savvy” and report back on your savings. Now I have a question for you, Are you able to shop on base at a commissary? If so, the Commissaries are usually far more lenient on coupon expiration dates. Check that out. –Thank you for writing! Jan

  24. Penelope says:

    I’m already discouraged, Oregon sucks for couponing. Do stores really exist elsewhere that allow the doubling of ALL coupons? Without wasting gas on a trip that allows just 3 doubled coupons (or 4 at safeway, but they only double those that do not exceed $.50) what is the best method of approach?

  25. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Penelope; I am so sorry that you are discouraged! To be honest, that is because some of my very best coupon shopping trips for me took place in Portland, OR. I visited several times a year in support of my $uper $ave column that appeared in the Portland Oregonian for — well a very long time. I am not familiar with the policies of all of the stores in Oregon, but my first suggestion would be to look up your local stores online and see if they post their coupon/double coupon policies on their websites. Because the policies differ so much it is good to be informed before you shop. In the meantime I am going to do some research for you to see if there are some more liberal policies around that can help you save a few more bucks! Try to stay motivated. I understand that you want to shop in a primary store to avoid wasting time and gas. I hope that there is a store that I can find near you that has a policy that is more in synch with your needs. I might also add, if a store has a really generous double coupon policy, but it is not in your general vicinity–maybe it is 45 minutes from your home; It can still be worth your while to shop thre if you are well organized and visit them once or twice a month to do your primary shopping. I did this for years and it might seem like it eats time and gas, but in the long run one round trip twice a month cost me a lot less than running out for things I forgot or ran out of because my store was “around the corner” THINK ABOUT THAT. :) I will be back in touch with more info. –Jan

  26. Pa says:

    Hi, I am in the process to learn how to save on a daily basis. I am only 21, but would love to learn how to coupon. I’ve been trying to coupon, but isnt sure if I can buy 10 items of the same thing with just one coupon. You see, I seen alot of people on facebook and out there that buys about 5-8 items of the same thing; so I wasnt sure if they are using just one coupon or are they using multiple coupons and I dont save alot when I go out couponing and thats a shame. Please help me out here. Is just using one coupon going to save me from purchasing the same item 6 times in one transaction?

  27. Jan Leasure says:

    You are getting started at the perfect age to keep track of your savings and see how much you save by the time you are 25! You go girl! Ok; YES you can purchase more than one item with your coupons simultaneously, however, depending on the rules for that particular coupon you probably have to use one coupon per item purchased. So, if you are purchasing Campbell’s soups that might retail for$1 a can, and you have ten 50 cent coupons for Campbell’s — each good for 50 cents off a can, you can purchase ten cans, using ten coupons and get the soup ten for $5 instead of the ten for $10 because you use your coupons. Let’s go one step further and say the Campbell’s soups are all on sale for half price or 50 cents per can. What happens then? You use your coupns and end up with ten cans of Campbell’s soup for FREE! (possibly just paying sales tax if there is sales tax in your state on food).

    You will use the same strategy for other types of coupons; For example, save 50 cents on two cans or items means you can use ONE COUPON for EACH TWO ITEMS YOU BUY. Please shoot me an e-mail or a comment f you need more clarification!

  28. kendric Long says:

    Hey, I’m a 23 yr male from Portland Oregon and I too am intrigued at the opportunity at receiving products and the biggest discount possible. I’m just getting started and read all the posts and replies to familiarize myself with problems other people are having. How can I go about getting coupons in bulk and what stores should I shop at?

  29. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Kendric; As far as getting coupons “in bulk” I have always checked out the Sunday supplements and if there are a number of items in the paper that I know I am going to use I pick up a few extra papers that week. The trick is (I think) to clip out the coupons whether you will use them or not; I put the ones I will use in one shoebox when clipping and those I know I will not use in another. For example I am all about pet foods, cleaning items, produce, personal care etc. I am past the diaper/baby stage, but clip these for two reasons; I either give them away in an envelope with a baby or shower gift OR I trade them to people with babies for coupons for items I know I will use; deodorant, toothpaste, pet items, etc. As far as what stores you should shop at, this is determined by several things: 1.) personal preference, 2.) Where can you get the best deals? (always read the store flyers) 3.) Does the store have competitive prices AND offer unlimited or limited coupon doubling? Thanks so much for writing!

  30. Sherlei says:

    How do you coupon in a small town that does not have a Sunday paper? I save flyers that get mailed to me, but….. not much.. thanks

  31. Meribeth says:

    Hi Jan, I am a beginner as well. I loved the article and all the questions and answers. Truly helping a lot on my road to bargains. I was wondering if you found out more information for Penelope dated July 27, 2011? Also, besides shoe boxes what other methods of organization do find useful? I just signed up for your newsletter too and I am looking forward to reading your e-book to help me get started. Thanks for all your help.

  32. Jan Leasure says:

    Hi Meribeth; Thank you so much. Re: Penelope-I need to know more about Penelope’s community. I have visited Oregon (Portland & Eugene) half a dozen times & AT THE TIMES I WAS THERE there were some fairly generous coupon policies. However, these things change frequently, so it is important to really research your community (and surrounding communities) for the best deals. For example; I live in N. IL but sometimes shop in S. WI because there is a store with a very modest double coupon policy there, however, their prices are about ten – 20% lower on most items than my local stores. It is totally worth my gas to run up there every month. Penelope may have to do something like this to increase her savings. The store in my area is called Woodman’s. **RE: your question; There are a lot of different methods that I use for my coupons–however, I still use the shoe-box method (cardboard or plastic) when sorting the coupons. It is so easy to just toss them into a box with their category. When I actually file them however, sometimes I use a shoebox with dividers by category (aisle file) OR I use a plastic expanding file from Office Depot (I will post a picture of one in the article as an example). Did I mention the importance of keeping your identifying information written in Sharpie on your coupon files so that they do not get lost, stolen or left in a cart at the store and discarded? You are so welcome! ;)

  33. Jan Leasure says:

    Sherlei; Believe it or not it is not impossible to effectively use coupon discounts when you live in a small town. However, it is more challenging and you have to be sort of a money-saving CSI if you will. First–you didn’t indicate how small your town is or how far you are from a larger town–that makes a difference. I live in a norther suburb of Chicago so I have several hard copy newspapers available. What is the closest major city? Do you have a supermarket or do you have to go o an adjacent town to shop? Will your store allow you to use coupons printed from the internet? There are grocery coupons on many internet sites including mine; Red Plum, etc. Using social events (at school, church, etc.) to share & exchange coupons with other people is especially important when you live in a small town. Another suggestion is to shop less frequently at a more major store outside of your own community–although whenever possible I am a proponent of keeping the dollars in your own community whenever possible. Are there other readers who live in smaller communities and have tips for Sherlei?

  34. Brandi says:

    Hello my name is Brandi I have 2 small boys and just lost about half my business and have a huge mortgage I’m trying hard to keep the food on the table. I have read all your tips here and was wondering if you could give me some more. I have to buy groceries on $30 a week now when I was spending $100 a week. Any extra pointers would be great.

  35. Heather says:

    I would like a book im new to all this and would love to coupon.I have to kids and need to save money.

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