How to Start Couponing and Things You Should Know

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Start couponing or extreme couponing can be a ton of fun, but if you’ve never done, you may need some help getting started.

Couponing has been around for over a hundred years!  Ever since people are starting selling things, they started offering discounts to entice people to buy. Lots of things have changed over the past hundred years, and these days it’s all about online or app-based coupons.

People ask them self all the time, how can I start couponing?  Now for those of you who are doing it already, you might think that’s a ridiculous question.  Did you know that there are plenty of people who have never seen or used a coupon?  I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

So for all of those who are new to the concept, get ready to learn how you can to save money only by using free coupons that are available every day for pretty much every item you can imagine.  So if you are ready, let’s start couponing.

How to Start Couponing for Beginners

Step 1:

Above all, we have developed this simple step by step guide to how to start couponing to save money.  If you’re new and never clipped a single coupon, you don’t need to worry.  We’ll walk you through it. We’re first going to get you up to speed by getting so essential startup task out of the way, and then we will jump right into the where, what, how, when and the most important why components.

You will need a little time to get acclimated, but if you follow step by step and stick with it, you will be a reasonably seasoned pro within a couple of months or so.

(Start couponing) Getting Ready and Organized

So there will be a couple of straightforward things you’ll need to do before you get into the actual couponing game.  Being organized will be a big key if you want to be able to maximize your savings and be able to make the process smooth and quick.

You will want to be able to have a way to quickly view all your coupons and know which ones are valid and where you can use them.  You may need to spend a couple of bucks, but most people will have the essentials already at home.

You’ll actually want a pair of scissors, some paperclips or binder clips, a printer at your home or perhaps you can use the one at work if they don’t mind, all the flyers that come in your mailbox every week,  your local Sunday newspaper, and most importantly some type of container to organize and start couponing.

The organizational aspect is the big thing that will be your priority.  Many people use a simple index card box with tabs, and some use a clear plastic flexible receipt or bill organizer.  You can find the best selection at your local office products store, such as Staples. Also, see significant collections of these types of small organizers online.

You will want to find whatever method you feel works best for you but be sure to be patient and flexible as you may want or need to change as time goes.  Trial and error and small adjustments will eventually lead you to your best way of managing these physical printed and clipped coupons.

(Start couponing) Learn to Talk the Talk

Step 2:

Firstly, You might find this hard to believe, but there is a little bit of speciality jargon involved in the couponing niche.  We have put down some of the most important terms that you will want to familiar with, so take a look below and be sure you understand the difference as some of the names look a bit similar.

Term: Cut-n-Clip Coupons

These are the ones that most people over forty envision when they think of coupons.  These types of cards in any printed publication and flyer or promotional print material.  Some of the best coupons can in Sunday newspapers.  These days you can even print out your coupons and clip them out from the printed sheet.

Term: Store Coupons

These are similar to the types of coupons we just mentioned, but they have one unique difference.  Some of the tickets you will find will be “sponsored” or produced by a particular store or chain of stores, and you will only be able to use them at their store.  Be sure you look at the coupon closely, and if you see “store coupon” printed on it, then it is only for use in the store identified on the card. This step is the third part of starting couponing.

Term: Online Coupons

These are coupons that you can only use when you purchase the product via online shopping.  Often people also use this term to refer to a card that they find online and then print out, but those to as “printable coupons.”  You will see those in the next term. This step is the third part of starting couponing.

Term: Printable Coupons

These coupons are any coupons that you find online or sometimes through an email that is sent to you or even in a mobile app.  You will need to print them out and take them into the store when you walk in to shop for the item.

Term: Manufacturers Coupons

These are another type of coupon.  You may find these coupons in some or all of the places we have already mentioned but you may find more of these types of tickets by visiting the actual food manufactures website.  These coupons will be for many of the foods that these large food product manufacturers make for various brands.  So, you can use these at any store.

Term: Register Coupons to Start Couponing

Many stores offer these types of coupons to customers as they go through the checkout line to pay.  Usually, these coupons on the back of the register receipt, and sometimes you can find some pretty good savings.  The downside is that they only give you these coupons at the end of your shopping trip.  It would be better for consumers if they offered them while checking out, but they are just trying to get you to return.  The term “Catalinas” is sometimes used to refer to these types of coupons.

Term: Aisle Auto Popper Coupons

These coupons are pretty cool and super convenient.  You may have noticed small boxes that jut out from the product shelves that have flashing red lights and automatically print or “pop” out a coupon as you walk by or anytime someone pulls a card out to use.  You don’t even need to do any printing for these new coupons.  I honestly love these.  I think all the tickets should be like this.

Term: Coupon Codes

These types of coupons are a little different as they are simple code numbers or alphanumeric combination codes for the coupon discount.  These are most common when you are shopping online or using an app online or even in a store.  Many websites provide these codes and manufacturers, and brands offer these codes on their websites and mobile apps.

Term: Coupon QR Codes

These are even more app-based coupon codes, but they are different as they have what is known as 3D images known as Q.R. codes that can be scanned or uploaded to get the coupon discount.  These QR Code discounts are becoming more and more popular and are likely to become the new standard.

Term: Cash Back

This term is not a reference to a coupon, but actual cash back offers that typically is issued during your checkout at the end of your shopping trip. Most often you will receive the money back on that shopping trip, and the cashback amount will be deducted from the total cash and help you to start couponing.

Term: Rain Checks

Sometimes the deals are so good that the products are completely sold out, but you can generally ask the cashier or the store manager for a rain check. However, rain checks are usually kept at the checkout stands and come in all colours, shapes, and sizes depending on which store you get them at.

For example, they will usually allow you to get the many sales or coupon items at the same price advertised or specified on the coupon once the thing is back in stock. start couponing

Term: Expiration Dates

Simple dates printed on cards that limit the timeframe that the card is valid.  Be sure to know the times and use the coupons before it expires.


Download the Couponing App

Step 3:

If you breathe air, you own a cell phone.  If you own a cell phone, you have downloaded an app before. Couponing is no exception when it comes to being able to find crowds of apps designed to cater to people who want to know how to start couponing for groceries or any other product you can buy.

Top-rated Couponing Apps

How to Start Couponing with Ebates

download Ebates app

Ebates is the mega-popular app that is being downloaded thousands of times a day.  The Ebates cashback site and their app pay people to cash back as a percentage of their total purchase made. You will be able to link your credit card with an Ebates account, select which stores you want to shop at, and then you’ll get cash back for purchases at those stores that you make on your linked card. ebates is a cool app, so check out the full rundown of how it works.

Ibotta – Best Start Couponing App

download Ibotta app

With apps, you will do pretty much all of your shopping online through the app, but some apps will also work when you walk into stores and shop.  Be sure to use your actual coupons when you buy so you can double up your savings.

Ibotta is not as much a coupon based app as it is an instant rebate based app.  With apps, you will do pretty much all of your shopping online through the app, but some apps will also work when you walk into stores and shop.  Be sure to use your actual coupons when you buy so you can double up your savings.

Ibotta lets you pick the items you plan on buying when you go shopping at the store and lets you watch a short video clip about the item and then have you answer some questions, and then you shop. But,  Be sure to get your register receipt and scan it with the Ibotta app, and you will get cash back you selected in the app and purchased at the store. See more at:  Read our Ibotta review here.

Get ibotta Here.

Checkout 51

Download Checkout 51 app

Checkout 51 works very much like the Ibotta app. They always have up to date products listed on their site and app on Thursdays so the app before you head out to the store. Checkout 51 is also a structured rebate app, but it has tons of different products than Ibotta does.  Your best bet is to download both and make some comparisons before you shop.

How to Start Couponing – Finding Those Coupons

Step 4:

Finding the Coupons Quick and Easy

Since we’ve been writing an article for people who are new and just getting started, we know that part of the most significant challenge at first can find all of these coupons. It is effortless to find the tickets because they are everywhere.  You just never noticed them before.

1.) Check Your Mail

Most people in this country flyers crammed in your mailbox at least once a week. You can quickly scan these flyers and find some pretty decent coupons. Beyond the standard bulk that everyone gets, you may be getting some great tickets in your mailbox from stores you already shop at and perhaps have credit cards.  These can be great coupons so be sure you don’t just toss things out before you comb through everything.

2.) Recent Inbox Emails

We know how many emails you are getting, and we know you probably already spend way too much time dealing with your email. We all hate junk and spam mail but if you are like most people you can probably skim through it pretty quick and find some fantastic legit coupons that could save you $20, $50 or more so take a minute each day to be sure you’re not trashing some significant savings.

3.) Store Flyers

Every store has a stack of flyers at every entrance and exit.  Make sure you grab one every time you run into the store.  Take a quick look, and you will find coupons right inside of these flyers.  Many stores will also have coupon catalogues that they keep on the baggers end the check stand so be sure to ask a cashier real quick and help you to start couponing.  (Also be sure to find out if they have a special day during the week when they offer double or triple coupons)

4.) Coupons on the Box

So many people miss these coupons.  Lots of times, you will find small coupons that are taped or stuck on the product packaging that you can peel off and use right then as you checkout.  Sometimes they will say “on your next shopping trip” so make sure you peel them off before you get to the register and hand them to the cashier with the rest.

5.) Local Newspapers

We have already mentioned this a couple of times, but since you can find such amazing deals, we want to point this out again.  Sunday newspapers are a little pricey, but sometimes you will find coupons that can save you $20 to $30 and more so it is worth it to spend a couple of bucks if it’s going to save you that much and help you to start couponing.

6.) Finding Coupons Online

Be sure you check out the websites of your favourite stores as you can find some coupons that you can download to your smartphone or print out. However, most major stores have their app, and those apps will with a coupon after coupon, make sure you have enough memory for all those apps on your phone.

Product manufacturers will also often have great coupons on their websites as well so take a little time to visit those sites before you shop  Big manufacturers like Proctor and Gamble have tons of deals that we all use day in and day out so check them out at P&G Every day.

There are even websites that are specifically just for coupons.  Check out this list of the top coupon websites:,, &

How to Start Couponing Review

Well, we have covered all the basic that you will need to get up and running so from this point on it is just a matter of following the four necessary steps above.  We suggest you save this link and even print it out if you need it.  You can use the printed list as your visual guide as you work each step, and once you with each step, check it off the list.


How do You Start Couponing Final Thoughts

Couponing Just Requires a Little Practice and Patients

One of my good friends said maybe they should make one of those books, how to start couponing for dummies. So,  I still haven’t looked to see if they do have one, but you don’t need an entire book on the subject.  It comes down to a few simple basics.

1. Couponing does take a little time, so be patient and make sure you practice the steps we gave you.

2. Have a little fun with it. I have saved about $3,000 in the past year or more just by following the simple steps we outlined.

3. Preparation equals relaxation is my motto.  I don’t mind the process of spending 15 or 20 minutes a week on it because it helps me save time when I do go out and do my shopping.  It helps me to makes shopping enjoyable.

4. Less is more sometimes, so don’t go overboard.  Only keep and use the coupons that you will use.  I have seen people that their coupons were expired well over three years ago.

5. Plan your shopping out and know the store policies regarding coupons. Also, This will take a little extra time to get it all dialled in, but it will make the process something that you will stick with and enjoy.

6. Just do it!  How long have you saying to yourself, “I want to start couponing” or asking, “How do you start extreme couponing, It’s time to stop asking, and start saving!

Have fun and Happy Couponing!


brittani rad
Hi, I'm Brittany! Mom of a baby girl, my passion is writing blog posts about how to make money online, save money and helping others to learn how to find coupons online.
brittani rad
Hi, I'm Brittany! Mom of a baby girl, my passion is writing blog posts about how to make money online, save money and helping others to learn how to find coupons online.