Coupons 101: How to Get Started

By Becky Anderson

If saving money with coupons sounds too good to be true, I can promise you, it isn’t.

Have you thought about using coupons but aren’t sure where to start?

If so, consider this crash course in couponing as your life preserver.

These basic steps will help you save hundreds of dollars every month.

Shop with a plan
Even without using coupons, planning your family’s meals around only the items that are on sale will save you a bundle. If you shop without knowing what’s on sale and what you really need, you will not only spend more money but also will be more likely to buy unintended items.

Where are the coupons?
Coupons are everywhere, you just have to know where to look.

  • Printable coupons from websites such as,, and
  • Social networking sites such as have great coupons if you “like” a manufacturer or company.

Organization is key
You can organize your coupons in an envelope, coupon binder, file box, accordion file, etc. Find a method of organization that you will use.
Coupons won’t save you money if you don’t use them or can’t find them.

Doubles anyone?
Many stores offer “double coupons” mean-ing they will double the amount of a coupon up to a certain amount, typ-ically  turning a 50-cent coupon into $1 savings!

Most stores will allow you to “stack” coupons, meaning you can use one manufacturer coupon and one store coupon per item.
If that item is also on sale, you could pay next-to-nothing or even get the item for free.

If you’re ready to save even more money, it’s time to stockpile.  Since you’re buying only what’s on sale, it’s smart to buy more of that item so you won’t need to purchase it when it isn’t on sale.

Most items go on sale every six weeks, so if possible, buy enough to last your family until the item is on sale again.

If you apply this stockpiling theory to foods that can be frozen and non-perishable items, eventually you will have everything you need to make any meal, right in your own pantry.

Becky Anderson is a Lexington native and a stay-at-home mom to two children. She learned about couponing as a child from her mother and saves hundreds of dollars every month on groceries, toiletries and fun. Info: