Apr 052011How To Tuesday: Extreme Couponing (Part 1)

Topic: How To Accumulate Coupons

If you’re here after watching the show on TLC called Extreme Couponing, I’m here to help you learn how to use coupons to maximize your savings. Keep in mind it’s not practical for beginners to try to copy exactly what you see on TV. The Extreme Couponing people have lots of experience. They spend hours and hours planning their shopping trips. And they aren’t buying real foods like meat, dairy and product.

But not to fear, you can still save 50% or more off your grocery budget.  Check out all the posts in this Extreme Couponing series and you’ll be couponing like a pro in no time! I’m always adding more tips for couponing success so if you see something that hasn’t been addressed, let me know and I’ll try to cover it soon. Plus Follow on Facebook for great discussion and more tips for success!

Since you actually need to have coupons to go coupon shopping, I thought I’d review some of the many resources available to find coupons.

:: Newspaper Coupons

Each Sunday, you will find coupon inserts in most metropolitan newspapers. Each of these inserts have a name and feature different brands,

  • Smartsource – This insert comes almost every week and carries major national brands.. You’ll find coupons inside from different brands including Kraft, Nabisco, Betty Crocker and more
  • Red Plum – This insert also come almost every week and carries major national brands. You’ll frequently find brands like Lysol, Woolite, Reach, Listerine, French’s and more.
  • Proctor & Gamble – This insert occurs monthly. Inside you’ll find coupons for specific Proctor & Gamble brand products like Olay, Tide, Pampers, Bounty and more.
  • General Mills – This insert occurs once a month or less. You’ll find coupons inside for specific General Mills brand products like Pillsbury, Cheerios and other cereals, Betty Crocker, Cascadian Farm, Green Giant, Yoplait and more.
  • Parade Magazine – Occasionally you’ll find a random coupon or two inside Parade Magazine in your Sunday paper. It’s not a traditional coupon source but worth a flip through.

I get a Sunday only subscription to get the inserts. Some people buy their paper at a dollar store. Others only buy the paper on weeks with multiple inserts. On Saturdays I provide the Sunday Coupon Preview so you can see how many inserts you’ll find and what coupons will be available.

:: Purchase Coupons

Some people don’t like to subscribe to the newspaper when they only buy a few specific products. Also, newspapers often have different coupon offerings in different regions. To solve these problems, many people purchase coupons. There are quite a few coupon services available.

  • Coupon Clippers – Buy individual coupons. You can buy multiples of the same coupon but there is often a limit. There is also a minimum order requirement and a handling fee. Despite these costs, it is often worthwhile to buy extra coupons if you’re looking to build your stockpile.
  • Coupons by DeDe – This is a great source for individual coupons as well as whole coupon inserts. If one insert has quite a few coupons you like, it might be cheaper to buy the whole thing instead of the individual coupons.
  • eBay – Purchase coupons from eBay cautiously. Sometimes people photocopy coupons and try to sell them as legitimate coupons. Check the ratings of the seller and make sure they don’t have complaints.

Purchasing coupons is actually illegal but coupon clipping services get around this law by stating the coupons are free and you are paying for their time to clip, sort and mail.

:: Internet Coupons

The Internet is a great resource for coupons. You can find lots of high value coupons. The only caveat is that many stores restrict printable coupon usage. Some stores won’t accept them. Other stores won’t accept them if they beep. A few stores don’t allow coupons greater than half the value of an item. And some stores have no requirements. Your best bet is to check out your individual store’s coupon policy before you go.

Here are a few of my favorite online coupon resources. You may need to download special software to access the coupons. This is a safe download.

You can also find coupons on a company’s website or even their Facebook page. Check out my printable coupon section for all the recent printables. Keep in mind printable coupons are only available for a limited time and reach their limits quickly.

Though easy to do, please keep in mind that photocopying coupons is considered fraud. Most computers are only allowed two prints. If you need more than two coupons, try using another computer like a friend, neighbor’s. Or go to your local library. While it may be tempting, photocopying coupons hurts everyone in the long run because stores further restrict the usage of these types of coupons. Be an honest, ethical couponer – don’t photocopy!

:: Other Sources

There are tons of other sources to find coupons. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Magazines – The best coupon magazine is All You. It’s chock-full of coupons every month. You can typically find at least $60 in savings inside, sometimes as much as $100. Parents magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Kraft Food and Family and Woman’s Day also have coupons in them fairly regularly.
  • Store Coupons – You can find store coupons everywhere. These coupons are available online, in the Sunday newspaper, in their weekly sales fliers and also in coupon booklets available in stores.
  • Peelies – These are coupons that are stuck to packages or products. I’m sure you’ve seen them in the past. Remember to play nice, don’t peel off all the coupons. Just use the one on the item you are buying.
  • Blinkies – These are coupons that pop out of the dispensers located in the grocery store aisles. Again, be nice and only take coupons for what you are buying. Don’t clean out the dispenser!
  • Catalinas – These are the coupons that print out with your receipt at the grocery store. Sometimes these are item specific but other times they are money off your next purchase.

These are just some other sources. You can also get coupons from free sample offers, in your doctor’s office, from home mailers. Coupons are everywhere. Just keep your eyes peeled!

You can always find great coupons in the Saving with Shellie Coupon Database. There are newspaper coupons, internet coupons and other types of coupons listed to really help you save.

Tune in next Tuesday for the another Extreme Couponing installment. It’s all part of How To Tuesday!

Experienced Couponers: Chime in! What is your favorite coupon source?


  1. NATALEE says:

    Good Afternoon Shellie How do I subscribe to All you mag…

    • You can click the link in the post and buy it from Amazon. Or wait and see if you can get a deal on it. All You Magazine deals are very few and far between though.

  2. not an experienced couponer since I only have about a year under my belt but I love the coupon database you have! i always go through my whole grocery list and search for as many things as i can, sometimes get surprised with great coupons i find!

  3. Marion Wachsmann says:

    Do you a source for the Austin paper? Or do you get it delivered? I can’t find it discounted any where.

  4. Marion Wachsmann says:

    Sorry my comment did not make sense!

    “Do you have a source for the Austin paper?”

    • I subscribe on Sunday only. I always forget to buy it on Sundays. I’ve heard you can get it at Dollar Tree for $1 but I rarely drive that far away on Sundays.

      • I dont know the first thing about how to shop and get items for free or for pennies as I see on TV. I would like to meet or see someone shop here in Georgia. I am willing to drive to almost anywhere in GA to learn how to extreme coupon shop. There was a lady name Stephanie Barr on extreme couponing that lives here in GA. Is it possible that Stephanie or someone like her would take out the time to show someone like me how to save and stock pile. Please give my email to someone in Ga. that can assist me in this challenging task.

      • candace says:

        please call ur dollar tree first because some dont carry the local papers

  5. The local paper (Gazette) often has coupon inserts. The Red Plum mailer usually has restaurant coupons. Also, love the CVS coupon machine.

  6. How do you double coupons?

  7. dont many coupons have a disclaimer, not good with any other sale or coupon? how is the way to get around that?

    • You can use coupons on sale prices. There is no exclusion for that. The only exclusion is to use one coupon per item purchased. So you can’t use two manufacturer coupons on a single item. And you can’t use one coupon and try to have them scan it twice for two separate items.

  8. Veronica says:

    Hi Shellie I’m a first timer to all this fun couponing , where or how can you check to see how many cuoponse your able to use and where can you use them? I live in Austin,Tx.

  9. I am so very excited that I have found you, I am getting to confused of all the websites out there to get coupns for. I have just started my couponing and it has gone very well thus far. My only issue is that I would like to get more of the sunday adds. How can I do that? Also I watch the shows and I see people use 40 coupons of the same product and get these Items free. What the heck am I doing wrong. lol I would really like to know how to get things for almost nothing? My firsy visit I saved over 100 dollars so I am doing something right, But I really want to figure out how to save and get more, like useing two differant coupons for the same product. I am happy to find this websit it is very informational and with having you there to answer questions is going to be so helpful. Thank you
    A new couponing sister~

    • The only way to get more Sunday coupon inserts is to buy more papers or purchase them from one of the services I listed above. Good luck!

      • Lisa Mittler says:


        I am a newbie at couponing and found your website very informative Can you please provide the Sunday ervices for newpaper coupns.

        Thank you

  10. lucia ceja says:

    hi i was waching litttle clips of extreme cooponers i would to now to get stuff free or almost free i have never really used coupons

  11. How do u extreme couponing ,I wanna learn and save money ? Please help .

  12. How do u double coupons?

    • Crystal says:

      Some stores double or even triple coupons. In Austin Randall’s is a place that doubles coupons pretty regularly. Sometimes they will triple coupon up to a certain amount and the same goes for doubling, its only up to a certain amount. I think generally doubling is on coupons up to $0.50, so you’d get $1 off.

      • Do all Austin-area Randall’s stores double coupons? And do they do it every day, or just on certain days of the week?

        • They triple coupons up to $.39 and double coupons that are $.40 to $.50. This is done automatically at the register every day.

  13. candace says:

    i would like to know how to organize the binders and how to label thebaseball card holders and what is on the speadsheets i hear about i love couponing it is so much fun and we are feeding 4 house holds for under a 100.00 a month

  14. Jessica says:

    Goodafternoon! i just had a question i am dying to start saving with coupons i have two kids now and its crucial that i save money! I was wondering if you knew of a resource were i dont have to print coupons out because i do not have a working printer at home and i do not get the sunday paper.

    • You can print coupons at the library. You can also walk around your neighborhood on recycling day and see if you can grab some coupon inserts that way. Or you could always ask neighbors and friends to save theirs for you. You can also buy coupons from the resources I listed in the post.

    • linda newsome says:

      i go to the libary, where i live the copies only cost 10 cent a copy, i hope that this help u out.

  15. Michelle says:

    I’m just starting out and have a few questions. I don’t understand how they get so many things of the same thing when the coupon says one coupon per purchase. That kinda confuses me. And where I live none of the stores have double coupons so am I gonna be able to do this.

    • Michelle, I emailed you with some answers to your questions.

      • Hi, after watching the show ‘Extreme couponing’ i am eager to start saving big on groceries. I’ve started printing off coupons etc but Im not seeing as big results i.e saving only a few dollars due to the limits on the coupons and/or store… Maybe I dont fully understand how its done but could someone please explain to me how? Or would i have to buy 50 packs of everything and make 5 different transactions like they do on the show to save that kind of money??
        Your response will be greatly appreciated.

        • Liz – They waive the limits for the people on that show. You’d have to do a gazillion transactions if you want 50 packs of everything. Read Part 5 of my series about when to use your coupon. The link is at the top of this post. That might help you know when to maximize your savings. Also, be patient. It takes 6-9months to build a good stockpile. Contrary to what they show on TV, it’s not something you can do in one shopping trip!

    • I am no stranger to using a coupon or 7 when I go shopping, but as I watch the extreme couponing show I was wondering how they are abe to use so many of he same coupons. It intrigued me to go an look at my coupons I had laying around and they do say limit one coupon per purchase… does that just mean that if you buy 5 of the items you can use 5 of the same coupon? I live in iowa, I don’t even know if any of the grocery stores around here do the double coupon thing, how can I save without this awesome convinience?

      • Read the “Understanding your Coupon” post listed at the very top. It will tell you what all that fine print means. But one per purchase means you can use one item on each item purchased. So if you purchase 20 things you can use 20 coupons. Also, read the post “All About Coupon Stacking”, also at the top. It will explain how you can still achieve extra savings by using a store coupon and a manufacturer coupon on a single item. This is great for people without doubles.

  16. Delilah says:


    • Delilah, I take you step-by-step through the whole process. Couponing is not an overnight solution. It takes time so you need to be patient. Read this post and then read the follow up posts to learn how to use coupons to save money.

  17. Want to extreme coupon but the stores here dont double,what do i fo?

    • You can still get lots of great stuff on sale and even free. You just have to be more creative. Read more of my Extreme Couponing series. Just click the link at the top. Part 4 tells you about stacking coupons at Target, CVS and Walgreens to maximize savings.

  18. Bernalyne sales says:

    Hello. I too have the same questions, how do I start? Alot of stores will not allow you to double, and they only allow one coupon per item. Is thay good? I truly would love to do what people are doing on the show ‘extreme couponing’. Please email me. Thank you!

  19. Dee Lee says:

    Hi, I’m always watching the show “Extreme Couponing” . I have been cutting coupons but not really seeing any savings from them (well, a little savings). I would love to learn how to do couponing the right way, where i can see the savings (like $100 or more). Could you PLEASE email me how to couponing the right way especially since I’m really just starting. I would greatly appreciate it. I’m a single mother of twins and I really need to save some money. Thank you!

  20. antonette page says:

    i live in california and i would lov to learn how to start coupoing and build my on stock pile and save money for my family is there any one who will take the time ouy to share how they got started couponing thank you

    • Brandie says:

      I also live in California and am interested in learning how to coupon to the fullest if you get any information would you please email me our ask them to ?

  21. Ashleigh Chute says:

    I am a college student who is sick with an autoimmune disease and I need need need to save money on these things so I can afford my medical bills. Please Please Please explain to me how I can do this.
    Thank you,

  22. debby minnehan says:

    I live in colorado and i would lov to learn how to start coupoing and build my on stock pile and save money for my family is there any one who will take the time ouy to share how they got started. i am a hands on learner and needs a very patient person and then we cold work togeather.
    please contact me

  23. I have ways been a save, I haanve always used coupon. But, after looseing my job,I would like to become an oupon expert. How, does the buy one get one free work, when the store have it,and you use your buy one get one free.

  24. Sparrow says:

    Hi, I’m wondering. I’ve heard Walmart takes all coupons, but I’m confused about one main thing.
    If you have a coupon for say,
    Tomato soup – $1 off.
    Does that mean per can? Or can I buy five with a dollar off each?

    • If you want 5 cans, you’d need 5 $1 off coupons. If you only have 1, you can only save $1 on a single can.

      • If the coupon says $1 off 5 cans, it means buy 5 for a total of $1 off…or equal to $0.20 off each can. Most coupons for cans are this worded this way: $1 off 4 cans of tuna, for instance, means $0.25 off each can…but you must purchase all 4 cans to use the coupon.

  25. Sparrow says:

    Sorry typo.
    I meant,
    Does that mean for one can? Or can I buy five with a dollar off each?

  26. Hi Shellie,
    Newbie couponer here. Just have what I think is a very basic question. I know that stacking is using a manufacturer coupon coupled with a store coupon. And I know that the inserts are mfg coupons, correct? My question is, how do you go about coupling it with the store coupons? Do you have to go to the store to get their coupons, bring it home to clip and go through it, or do you do it online? I am loving your site and am going to bookmark it, I’m looking forward to learning more here! Thanks SO much!

    • Lisa – Most of the time insert coupons are manufacturer coupons. But sometimes you’ll find Target or other store coupons in the Sunday inserts. All of Target’s in-store coupons are available online. Walgreens has their both in the weekely ad and in a monthly coupon book by the door. Safeway has theirs in the weekly ad so you can check online before you go to the store. Some people also get these ads in the mail. I try to provide the best stacking opportunities for you. When you click on the Target store deals, Walgreens store deals or Safeway store deals I tell you when there is a stacking opportunity.

      • Hi Shellie,
        Thanks so much for the quick response! Since I’m a newbie, and I shop mainly at Target supercenter, I’m going to start there with couponing and getting to know the store in this way. So, I’ll get the inserts from the Sunday papers, and hopefully a Target insert as well. Plus check online at Target before I go. Hopefully I’ll get the hang of it soon!
        I had one more question if you don’t mind. How long do sale items stay on sale typically? Is there some sort of cycle, like an item going on sale on a Monday and staying on sale a certain number of days? Or is this just kind of random?
        Thanks so much again. I appreciate your help!

  27. Michelle says:


    Thank you for doing this – your site is my favorite! I am a newbie as well and the problem I come across is all of the limitations on products. I still have no idea how to get toilet paper, paper towels or detergent for FREE like some people I see. Like recently my husband and I went to Harris Teeter, I had him get a cart full of stuff and I got a cart. I used 20 coupons on my purchase and then he tried and they wouldn’t accept ANY from him! Apparently it is only 20 coupons per household allowed. Maybe because I live in the DC area, I don’t know, but the stores here are STRICT! Any hints?


    • It is nearly impossible to get TP, Paper Towels and Detergent free. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten them free. I try not to pay more than $2 per 32 load bottle of detergent or $3 for a 32 load bottle of Tide. For TP, I look at the square feet. If the packs is 359 sq ft, I try not to pay more than $3.59 for that package. I just move the decimal two spots to the left. That idea works with paper towels too.

  28. SHAWANDA says:

    I am a newbee at this = I did see the extreme coupon show on television == I just want to know are these evemts true ? If so I’ll be writing back to learn how to do the same

  29. April Marie says:

    I am new to this as well and would like a bit more information as to how to get started. I am lost when it come to tring to figure out how to double and triple coupons. The only stores I have by me is a jewel,target,walmart,food for less, save alot, ultra and dominicks. So I understand I need to buy the sunday papers and to go to the recycle place to pick up papers as well.I am only in it for certin things but will pick up what ever I can get to give to those in my family who can use it. If you could please email me more information to my email address I would be grateful. 🙂

  30. Mathree says:

    I am very interested in learning to coupon

  31. janella davis says:

    i am interesting in learing how to collect and spend coupons

  32. I’d love to walk away from the HEB paying next to nothing for deodorant, TP, paper towels, dish soap and the like, but nearly every coupon I have is a buy two and get x amount of cents off…seriously, where is the free option in that?

    Are there any experienced Austin, TX Couponers out there that want to take a newbie under their wing and show me what I am doing wrong?

    • Don’t shop at HEB for those items. You can get deodorant, dish soap, shampoo and most other toiletries for a rock bottom price at drugstores like CVS and Walgreens.

  33. I live in Austin, Tx and have come across a few stores that are changing their coupon policies because of the EXTREME couponing. I would def call your favorite stores or check out the websites for the most current policies. One of the Randall’s near me has limited the number of transactions and the number of coupons you can use. And I know that Kroger’s has stopped doubling and tripling coupons all together. I love using coupons and Dont shop unless I have a coupon but consider myself in no way Extreme. Thanks for your site!

  34. Since you are in Austin, do you do much shopping at HEB, I have found that they don’t like to stack coupons…am I doing something wrong? What are the best deals to be found at HEB? I sure wish they doubled coupons! I have a family of 6 & we are always strapped for cash—I would love to find a way to cut down our grocery bill. It would be so great if there was some type of extreme couponing class I could take, and go step by step with other beginners!

  35. Hi! Your site looks fabulous! I sent a link to my family in the states and they love it. Thanks!

  36. There are a few activities more honorable tan extreme couponing like, begging, theft, prostitution, Come on…You block the stores checkout lines. Good honorable people pay full price plus to pay for this obsessive/ compulsive behavior and you steal our time when we want to go shop. Get a therapist…join a 12 step program..get a grip!!

  37. Hi Shellie- my name is Mindy. I am a mom of 3 kids, 2 boys and a girl, ages 20, 19 and 11. I am also a Breast Cancer Suvivor!! Because of this I have NO extra money!! Can you please help me so I can save some money some how!?! Thanks, Mindy

    • Mindy, I cover lots of different stores in the Store Deals section. Pick one you’d like to shop at and then you can shop from the list I post. I make it easy and list all the coupons you’ll need and where to find them. Good luck!

  38. Help, I am a grandma who loves to help her 8 children and 12 grandchildren out when I can. I want to learn everything there is to know on how to Extreme Coupon (I am retired with lots of time on my hands 🙂 I know, if someone could show me the ropes, I could make a difference in their lives. Is there anyone in the Arlington, Washington area that would take me under their wing? I am having a hard time just getting started, I have the binder, and some inserts, but nothing matches up, and I can’t find a store that Doubles? HELP !!!

    • InSeattle says:

      Hi Diana,

      Amber @ http://www.Couponconnections.com covers the stores in the Washington area. No the stores there do not double although Albertsons does occasionally put out double coupons in the Sunday paper. You will have to match your coupons up with store sales to get the best results. On the website she posts what the deals are for the week so you know where to shop and which coupons to use. Good Luck!

  39. vicky brumfield says:

    Help Iam just getting started. I have a few inserts and a notebook but I dont know how to get it fixed where i pay little to none for my groceries and this would help all my family so much. I learn quick. Can you help?

  40. Hi! I want to get started on using coupons in the way I see it done on TV. I know that it wouldn’t be a show if these weren’t extreme cases, though. I live in Hawaii, and we do not have stores that double coupons. Any store we have here will only match prices from actual ads, not web site pricing, because shipping makes a difference over the pacific ocean…I guess…
    Is there a way to cut down the cost of my household goods here in a way that would help our family here? I mean, a $2 savings is still saving money, but the price of paridise is very high.

    Please guide me!

    Thank you for your time.


  41. I’m looking for someone in Austin Texas that can work with me as a team. I live in Kerrville about 97 miles from Austin, so I just cant just get up and cheack out prices in Austin. I would be willing to share my cupons half and half. I use to coupon years ago and I kinda miss it. I loved it when I had a huge stock. If anyone would like to work with me as a team email me at yvonnesbridal@ktc.com I’m nothing like the pepole on TV but watching the show I’ve learned a lot of new things.

    • Yvonne, I just found this website tonight and while looking through I found your post. I live in Austin…but I don’t really understand what you are wanting. I think you are asking for someone to basically give you a heads up on sales/deals going on a various stores in Austin? Since you are in Kerrville, how would you purchase anything from Austin? I’m more than happy to provide what information I have to you, but I do have a full time job so I’m not in all stores each week and don’t always know of everyone’s sales; other than from their websites or flyers. Just let me know what you would like help with exactly, and maybe I’ll be able to assist you!

  42. if any one has a kroger in their area they have the best deal on p&g products now.and you can and extra savings to your kroger card.i got tons of house hold items for nearly next to nothing