Couponing & other Frugal Tips

Getting Started


  1. Collect coupon inserts  – Buy multiple papers (I suggest buying papers in increments of 2 for BOGO      deals) 
  2. Print Coupons from the internet - (2 prints allowed per phone number) I only print as needed or for high value coupons.
  3. Sign up for Store Cards or rewards programs-Some stores only allow you to receive savings by using a store card or mobile app. There is no fee to sign up.
    1. CVS Extracare card- register online to receive extra coupons       sent you’re your inbox. Rewards       are linked to an individual card.
    2. Walgreens  Balance Rewards – receive points for products purchased and special saving for members.
    3. Kroger Plus card – Clip Ecoupons online and load straight to your card. Get fuel points for every dollar spent and track your balance       online.
    4. Remke Pump Perks– Link to a Speedway card for fuel points. 
    5. Meijer MPerks – instead of a card, your account is linked to your 10 digit phone number and your selected PIN. You can clip store coupons online and redeem them at the register by entering your info on the keypad. These mperk coupons can be combined with MFR coupons for double savings.
    6. Target Mobile – you can sign up to have coupons sent directly to your phone via text. You can scan your bar code directly from your phone or print from link and bring to store and use at register. These can be combined with MFR coupons for double savings.
  4. Develop an organization method 
    1. Binder
    2. File box or Envelope Method
    3. File cabinet –this is the method I prefer because it fits best with my lifestyle. 
  5. Setup an email account strictly for couponing as most sites require you to set up a free account to receive a printable coupon. Sign Up for multiple product email lists (Keebler, pampers, huggies, Kroger). They will send you email alerts and coupons as well as let you know of upcoming deals. 
  6. Create a spreadsheet or grocery list that works for you to keep track of what items you are buying as well as      the coupons you will be using for those items. 
  7. Use the Coupon Database to compare the weekly sale items to the available coupons. Put these deals into your weekly spreadsheet or grocery list.
  8. Sign up to get “Sneak Peaks” of ads sent to your mailbox. CVS,  Remke, Meijer will all send you the ads a few days before they start in the stores. 
  9. Create a space for your stockpile and keep it organized. It will be growing before you know it! Put new items acquired to the back to keep things from expiring. 

Shopping How-To


  1. Stockpile shopping should be kept separate from regular shopping to avoid any confusion in your mind or at the register (once you become a pro, you will start blending your shopping trips). If you have overages using your coupons, you can then go grab meats, fruits etc. to make up for that overage. Another good reason to keep a sheet is so that you know if you will have an overage ahead of checkout time. Some stores will not give you credit for those overages, but you can apply that overage to other items.  
  2. Create a list based off the deal alerts and  your research of the ads. Make sure to put down details on what coupons you will be using so it is easier to track them in the store, as you shop. 
  3. Organize your spreadsheet by aisle and then keep your coupons in that order as well. Organization makes shopping trips much easier, saving you time. 
  4. COUNT YOUR TOTAL COUPONS- this way you can check that the total coupons scanned match how many you gave the clerk. It is easier to correct a mistake right away than to come back later.  I like to watch each coupon as it is scanned to make sure that coupons double if they are supposed to and each coupon is scanned correctly.
  5. Keep Like items together in the cart and put them on the register belt the same way. If you can keep these items in sync with your lists, it is easier to watch the prices and make sure they are right and keep you on your budget. 
  6. Let the cashier know up front that you will have many coupons and ask if they would like them up front, with the items, or at the end. For coupons that let you try a product for free, the cashier must enter the price of that item when scanning the coupon. I like to keep these items at the end of the belt so that it is easier for the cashier to look up the price on the screen.
  7. When doing multiple transactions, keep in mind that you may need to go to the end of the line in between transactions if the line gets too long.  Be courteous of others in this way and by not cleaning out the shelves!!! 

Invest in a cheap printer (like the Brother HL-2140) consider refurbished ink cartridges to save money also. You will be printing a lot of coupons! 



  • SS - Smart Source Insert(may vary by region) 
  • RP - Red Plum Insert(may vary by region) 
  • P&G - Procter & Gamble Insert(may vary by region)  
  • GM - General Mills Insert(may vary by region) 
  • K-Kellogg’s Insert (may vary by region, usually found 1 or 2 times per year) 
  • Pep-Pepsico Insert(may vary by  region, usually found 1 or 2 times per year) 
  • CPN or Q= Coupon 
  • DND = Do not Double (Some coupons have this printed on them) 
  • BLINKIES = Smartsource coupons found in the stores near products.  They are called blinkies because of the red light that flashed to alert you to the coupon (these coupons can be used at any store that accepts manufacturer coupons). 
  • MFR - Manufacturer Coupon 
  • IP or IPQ = Printable coupon from the internet 
  • CATALINA (or Cata)= Coupon printed at register with your receipt. 
  • SC - Store Coupon 
  • GC= Gift Card 
  • B1G1/BOGO - Buy One, Get One 
  • WYB - When You Buy 
  • MIR - Mail in Rebate 
  • $1/2 RP 11/4 - $1 off 2  Coupon, Red  Plum insert from 11/4 insert 
  • OOP - Out of Pocket 
  • $1.50/2 - $1.50 off two items 
  • ECB or EB - Extracare Bucks (CVS) 
  • WAGS - Walgreens 
  • IVC - Instant Value Coupon (Wags) 
  • RR - Register Reward (Wags) 
  • Stacking-when you use a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon to get  double savings. 
  • Tear Pad- A pad of coupons or MIR’s near a product or on display. (these coupons can be used at any store that accepts manufacturer coupons) 
  • RC = Rain Check (given out by some stores when they are out of the sale product.  You must obtain the rain check to get the sale price at a later date). 
  • PEELIE = Coupon you can peel off a product to be used on the purchase of that product. (these coupons are intended for the purchase of that product from that store and it is frowned upon to take these coupons for use at another store)