Five Things a Coupon Newbie Should Know

The following is a guest post from Ruth at Living Well Spending Less:

Hi everyone! My name is Ruth and I blog about the adventure of finding style and luxury on a budget over at Living Well Spending Less. I am so happy to be guest-posting here today! One of my favorite ways to save money is with coupons, and while I’ve been using coupons for a long time, a recent visit to my sister in Washington State reminded me how overwhelming it can be for beginners.

If you are new to using coupons, here are 5 things you should know.

1. It’s okay to have questions.

Everyone has questions. Lots of them! And honestly, there are no stupid questions because chances are that if you are wondering about something, then someone else is too. Blogs are a great place to learn about coupons because you can leave comments and people will answer you! It’s a beautiful thing.

2. Prices matter

Just because it is on sale, doesn’t mean it is a good price. When you are just starting out, it is sometimes hard to know whether something is a “rock bottom” price. You can download a free LWSL Rock Bottom Price list here.

3. Extreme Couponing has its own language

There are a lot of acronyms that go along with couponing. Here are just a few of the most common:

  • Blinkie or Tearpad-Coupons found next to products in store
  • BOGO or B1G1-Buy One Get One Free
  • MQ-Manufacturer’s Coupon
  • Peelie-Coupon stuck to a product package
  • PG-Proctor & Gamble Insert
  • Q-Coupon
  • OOP-Out of Pocket
  • RP-Red Plum Insert
  • SS-Smart Source Insert

4. Try not to go too crazy

Saving money is exciting and in the beginning, it is very easy to want to take on everything all at once. While it is great to be enthusiastic, try not to become obsessed. Don’t freak out if you “miss out” on a deal–more will always come along–and don’t forget to live the rest of your life in your quest to master the coupon world.

5. Take it one step at a time

In fact, I highly recommend that you take it slow! You will have much more success in the long run if you really take the time to understand the process and not get overwhelmed. Stay organized, start with only one store, keep your lists small and manageable. Remember, it is a process not an instant solution!


  1. ginny says

    thank you you…have a question….when do clip….when and how often to do your binder…..balancing those 2 without clipping everyday seems alot…tried not to clip that weeks insert but then i miss some deals not on websites….i shop once a week….again thank you for your time…

  2. Maria says

    What a great post! I have just gotten into this couponing thing and I am still absorbing and trying to take it slow. Thanks again.

  3. Ruth Jenkins says

    I have thriving business from couponing. I’m not the average couponer so I have to do things differently. I don’t use the binder system because it is just too curbsome for me to carry the binder to the store. With all the negative publicity couponers are getting fom the Extreme Couponing show, the binder is a dead giveaway. I also have too many coupons to fit in a binder. My first storage system in plastic storage unit that has 12 small labeled drawers, this is where I store the extra coupons and coupons I’m not sure I will use. My second coupon sorting system is a large photo box with categorized small individual cases, this is where I store the coupons that I know I will probably use. My final coupon sorting/storage system are large pencil boxes that are labeled for each store. On Friday I check the upcoming store sales and cut the necessary coupons for the next week’s deals and put them in the large pencil boxes for each store along with the printed deals list.
    It sounds confusing but it works for me. For example, if I find something on clearance, I can just ran to the car and get the coupon from the photo box. One needs to have a good memory to be a good couponer.