October 21, 2014

What’s The Best Store To Start Couponing At?

Jan 11, 2011

I asked my Facebook followers to ask me their couponing questions the other day and the question that was most popular was:

“What is the best store to start couponing at?”

I think that is an excellent question and it actually has multiple answers. Which store I recommend depends on how new you are to couponing.

True Coupon Newbie

If you are a True Coupon Newbie – meaning you have never used a coupon in your life – then I suggest you start couponing at the store you usually shop at. Kroger, Walmart, Target, it doesn’t matter. It helps to be familiar with the store and their policies, so stick with what you know. If you don’t know your regular store’s coupon policies, then you need to go to customer service and find out if they double coupons, on what days they double, and if they have any coupon limits or restrictions. Once you get the hang of using coupons at your regular store, you can move on to other stores you have in your area.

Beginner Couponer

A Beginner Couponer is someone who has used a couple coupons here and there (but usually forgets them at home) and doesn’t really understand how these 50¢ coupons can end up saving you hundreds of dollars. Is that you? Then I recommend couponing at your best local grocery store. I do not recommend starting at stores like Target or Walmart because they do not double coupons. Find out which store near you doubles coupons, if there is more than one then choose the one with the lowest everyday prices.

For my area, it’s Kroger. They double/triple coupons, have awesome sales, and their everyday prices are lower than the other grocery stores in my area. If you don’t know much about your local grocery stores, then it might take a little research. Ask couponing friends in your area which one they like the best to get a good idea of which one to start at.

Couponer in Training

If you use coupons regularly, but aren’t seeing much savings, then you are a Couponer in Training. You’re disciplined and dedicated enough to do it, you just don’t understand the mechanics yet. If that’s you then I suggest dipping your toes into the wonderful world of drugstore couponing. CVS is the easiest to understand, so I recommend starting there. This is what worked for me – seeing I could get items completely free made me instantly ready to learn more. I don’t know why it works, but shopping at CVS just seems to be easier for some people to grasp than trying to get their everyday grocery budget lowered.

Once you start getting all your shampoo, toothpaste, and other toiletries for free, it will give you more wiggle room in your budget to build your stockpile. Once you build a stockpile, your grocery bill starts going down significantly. It’s sort of a cascade effect. Plus, if you start shopping at a drugstore, shopping at a regular grocery store will seem like a walk in the park after that!

Which store did you start couponing at?


Comments

  1. albertsons when they used to triple up to 75 cent coupons. loved it!

  2. I actually started at Walgreens. I didnt have much choice though, as I live in a small town, and I dont have a Kroger, or CVS, or Rite Aid! I have a walmart, that i refuse to go in lol.. i think they pump a gas in the store that makes people stupid when they enter! they just wonder around and have no respect and are extremely rude.. so i avoid it! Then, I have a local grocery store, that isnt too low on prices, and doesnt double coupons. Then I have the cheap grocery stores that sell mostly off brand items and there are no coupons for most of their stock! OR I can drive about 30 minutes to my nearest Schnucks, get decent pricing, name brands, get to use my coupons, but they only double up to $.40… so I am pretty stuck on what to do! Any suggestions!? But if you read and follow my blog at http://2workinon3.blogspot.com/ you can see that I did AMAZING yesterday at Walgreens!

  3. I would call myself a couponer in training; I started about a year ago at Kroger. I’d like to begin Walgreens couponing, so I read the Walgreens101 blog. The register rewards confuse me a bit, though. You don’t have to use the register rewards the same day, do you? How long are they good for? Thanks!

    • @Eve, Walgreens is probably the most confusing :( Once you figure it out, its fine, but the RR can be complicated. You can only use 1 MC per item and the RR count as a MC so to use your RR you have to find an item that is on sale and maybe there is a Walgreens coupon to use, then you can use a RR to pay. The RR print out at the end of your order, so unless you do multiple transactions on the same day, you have to save them for your next trip. They usually are only good for 2 weeks so pay attention! It will also only give you one RR per item (i.e. when soda was .99 and you got a .99 RR back, it will only give you 1 per transaction back..so if you buy 4 2 liters at .99 in one transaction you will only get one .99 RR). I hope this all makes sense. Good luck!

    • @Eve, Eeesh… I avoid Walgreens at all costs. I started couponing about a year ago and got sucked into the whole drugstore game. WAGS became way too time consuming (matching the right # of items to cover the # of my coupons), then I would get there and they would be out of something so my plan was ruined. If I managed to still make a purchase, the cashiers were always extremely rude. And my RR were only ever good for 7 days, and many of them expired before I could make it back.

      CVS is my favorite drugstore. Never have a problem shopping there. Extrabucks are easy to earn & use. And the cashiers are ALWAYS friendly!

      http://www.thriftyclipper.blogspot.com

  4. I agree with everything you said. I love your site!!

  5. I’ve been using coupons as long as I can remember, having been well trained by my father when I was growing up. :) I used to do the sale matching/coupon stuff at Wal-Mart. And then I learned all about how to save save save at the grocery stores and I just jumped in to shopping everywhere!

  6. I’ve always used coupons at Meijer (here in Michigan) but never really did the drug store thing. I started officially couponing using your site and a local one in October. Since I’ve always used some coupons and shopped sales and bought store brand when possible, I will probably never get my grocery budget in 1/2 (and my stores don’t double) BUT I have gotten down to about a 30% savings. My grocery/diaper/toiletries and cosmetics spending is now $200-$250 per month for a family of 4 (with one in diapers) and I’ve been doing this for less than 3 months, so I’m very pleased with my results! CVS is my favorite drug store…the ECB have the longest expiration dates of any of the drug stores!

  7. I go through the drugstore flyers, find which ONE has the most items I want that week, and then go from there. This week, I went to Walgreens – spent $14.72 and saved $25.40, so I was pretty psyched about that trip. But I will do CVS or Rite Aid, depending on the items, sales & coupons I have.

  8. I started couponing with CVS because I could go there on my lunch, without my kids, and focus on just toiletry items. The grocery store seemed overwhelming to me because there were so many items, and coupons to choose from.

    Once I got the hang of CVS, and it seriously didn’t take more than a couple transactions, I started expanding to the other grocery stores. I absolutely agree with you. If you can CVS, the other stores will seem like a cake walk!!

  9. Rhonda Hall says:

    Since our drugstores are within 2 minuts of each other and the grocery store just a mile up the road, I hit all 4: Walgreen’s then CVS then Rite-Aid then last stop Kroger’s..I have it all planned out , (much thanks to your website for helping me with this..) and can be in and out each one in about 20 minutes except for kroger’s..I usually average over $200 worth of goodies for less than $75…and sometimes way less than that…
    So far, ours are all friendly as I have given most of them some extra coupons I have so they are eager for me to come in and give me the scoop if I miss something..

  10. I have been couponing/refunding/rebating since 1971 when as a new bride I had to do it out of necessity to make ends meet. My goal is to save a minimum of 50% off of my grocery bill but it mostly ranges up to 85%. I spend allot of time asking manufacturers for coupons and only get them for items that we actually use. I blog about allot of products and manufacturers are willing to give me free products and coupons to help promote their items. If you get a product and you like it, let the manufacturer know. Even if you don’t like it, tell them why.

    • That’s awesome Molly. You go girl! I can’t even imagine how much you have saved since 1971. Do you have any idea? I wonder… has coupon gotten easier since then or as I suspect, much more confusing?

  11. trying out says:

    I am wanting to start couponing due to financial reasons but its kind of hard when I dont know all of the rule… Like how many coupons can be used for one item, when it says save $1.00 on 5 (does that mean you can only use 1 coupon per 5??) Also its hard to start with so little money to shop with in the first place. PLEASE HELP

    • @trying out, Yes a coupon for $1 off 5 means that coupon attaches to all 5 items. Just start small, only use coupons on the items you’re already buying. Then you will start to get room in your budgeting for stockpiling which will free up even more money. :)

  12. Margaret says:

    Hi I want to start couponing, recently lost my job. I have been clipping the coupons, but I am confused when I read some of the MFR coupons, It says”Limit one coupon per purchase of products. Limt 4 like coupons in the same shopping trip. Could you please explain how this works, because I am totally lost.
    Thank you I appreciate your help with this

    • @Margaret, that just means that if you buy 1 bottle of shampoo, you can only use one coupon for that shampoo, but if you buy 4 bottles, you can use 4 coupons, 1 for each bottle, but no more than 4 coupons in one transaction. There are exceptions to the one coupon for each item. Some stores allow you to ‘stack’ coupons meaning, you can use a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon even if the manufacturers coupon says 1 coupon per item. Target is one.

  13. I started couponing at Walgreens and now they all know who I am haha

  14. I live in a small town with only Safeway or Bashas… do you have any tips for either store? (such as policies or coupon stacking) Thx!

  15. Hi. Ladies I’m new to the couponing world. I’m so con fussed about the whole process but very excited to learn and learn well.I clip my coupons put them in my binder now I’m at a stand still. Don’t know what store to go to or which coupons to use at the time……any advice will help PLEASE HELP

  16. I started couponing…everywhere. I just started a few weeks ago but I just take what coupons I know we will use, grab my sales papers and try to match up coupons for sales or my manufacturer coupons with store coupons. This last friday was my first official shopping trip with coupons and making a list and buying things on sale and my total went from it’s usual $70 to $50! I bought fresh fruits and veggies and meats too not just processed “junk” food.

  17. I am just starting out and doing some research and I need some help… The only store in my area that doubles is meijer and you can only use MFC and the in store coupon the other that does a good deal is walmart with the price match….do I just use the the coupons for the ones that are on sale? I have a family of 5 and want to learn to save money HELP>>>>>

  18. There are no stores in my area that will double or even triple any coupons on any days. The closest store is 45 mins away and they are much more expensive when I look at there online flyer.

  19. Hi ladies maybe men!!

    Ok I am new to couponing. But pretty confident with monthes of researching. I have found a coupon b1g1 up to 1.19 for Pedigree Canned Dog Food 13.2 or 22 oz. If I find a store sale that has them B1G1 free does this mean FREE FREE?? How about 5 for $3.00 how much? And how about B1G1 50% off? I am trying to donate to a shelter my dog is on prescription diet so I can’t give to him. Oh and I have like 30 of these I could still go to get 100′s of them I found a RedPlum dump stash.. Please these expire 7/31 I want to help the shelter. I’m in No. California if someone saw a sale I didn’t.

    • @Melissa, For B1G1 coupon on a B1G1 Sale – you get both free! For a 5/$3 sale – buy 2 (you can buy just 2 and get the sale price) and use your b1g1 coupon to pay just $0.30 each. For a B1G1 50% off sale – I don’t recommend using your coupon. The cashier will most likely enter the lowest priced item (the 50% off one) as the “free” item so it’s the same as paying full price for one and getting one free.

  20. I cant seem to find any store in NM that offer double couponing? Can anyone help

  21. Can anyone help me find a store in NM that takes double coupons?

  22. addie robbins says:

    i go to cvs but last couple of trips where very frustrating due to the fact they always run out of items even the am when sales start clerk dont want to honor their ad or the coupons if the picture does not match even when other types are mentioned on said ad or coupon and lately have attuide when hand over coupons and cvs bonus bucks

  23. Hi everyone,

    Well I am starting fresh and new meaning I haven’t even clipped a coupon yet!! I am desperate to start learning how and where to go. I live in ny and I find some stores when I walk in say we accept coupons or double coupons and stuff like that I just need a muse pretty much to guide me. This site is amazing so far I have learned to get started clipping and organizing I’m just not confident yet in actually going into a store and using them. PLEASE HELP!!!

  24. does anyone know if kroger double coupons?

  25. I started at Kroger and am new to couponing as well. I can’t seem to find the coupons I need for the 10/10 sales.

  26. I made my 4th “extreme” coupon ing purchase today. $98 worth of stuff for almost $40. I had never really shopped at drugstores, but for coupon ing, I started at CVS also! It is way easy and when you see your savings, it makes you feel empowered to save more and to be able to move on to the grocery stores. I always had thought WalMart was cheap but not anymore… now I know it is possible to save a ton of money by matching sales ads with mfr coupons, store coupons, and store cash back! I am now addicted and have about 80 pages of clipped coupons all categorized by type, in the little baseball card holder slots! It’s fun to let my kids help with clipping and matching with ads. I work part time so I have some time for this money saving hobby and it also teaches my kids that taking some extra time preparing to shop can save a ton of money!

  27. I live in Delaware and we have a Rite Aid on every street corner in my area. I absolutely agree with the
    philosophy of using drug stores first to get a nice warehouse of free everyday essentials. My first big scores were toothpaste and children’s cold medicine. This gave me some confidence in my ability to use the system and get comfortable gameplanning trips so when I made the big trips to the grocery store I had some experience. Also it eliminates that unexpected purchase of necessity at full price when someone in the family runs out of a toiletry. That gives a lot of leeway to spend on things you want if you stock up for things you need for dirt cheap.

  28. Pretty excited about my shopping trip today! I went to a VONS here in california, and bought 170.00 worth of groceries for only 91.00! This was my first trip actually trying to cut my grocery bill down by any amount possible! I didnt use any coupons except for $5.00 off my total purchase! It got me very interested in couponing just not sure about how everything works!

  29. I just started couponing and wanted to share my first experience with it. I had set aside about $500 for my groceries like I do every month. I had clipped out 2 weeks worth of coupons (bought 5 newspapers each sunday for the ads) and clipped away. My first shopping trip total was $418.00. I only spent $35.00 and got to try new products. So with all the extra money left over, I can now start saving for something I thought would never happen…. I’m saving for a house!!

  30. So after reading this site and posts I think I will be trying out couponing and starting at CVS. We have a tight very tight budget and just last night my friend bought us groceries. It’s been a lot of years that I have actually worked full time, I only work part time and the summer months I am off. We live pay check to pay check. One pay check of my husband’s go to the mortgage. If any suggestions/tips please let me know. Thank You!!

  31. I think rite aid is a great place to start. You have to wait a day for their up rewards to hit your account which can be annoying. They have something called video values where watch a short video and get additional rite aid coupons. Between the up reward, video value, digital coupons, and sales I have a nice collection of basics. You also earn points towards getting 10 or 20 percent off the who store. These points come off your pre coupon totals and prescriptions full value(not copay) so it’s obtainable. Good luck!,

  32. Is Fred Meyer a good place to coupon?

  33. Hi , I live in Maryland , can somebody tell me which store is good to do coupons, we have giant , Safeway, food lion , Walmart, whole food, tomorrow I will get a Sunday news paper , I use coupons for my next visit to the store, thank you so much for your help.

  34. Hi, question what means doubles coupons, it means that I can use one coupon for two identical tines or what? , thanks so much :)

  35. Hi, what means doubles coupons, why people do more than one transaction ? , do I have to have more than one card store to buy in one store to do more than one transaction, thank you so much for your answer.

  36. does anyone know where is a good place in S.Cali (San Diego/ Riverside area) to coupon?? I am new to this and being a single mom of I need all the help I can get on Saving on my monthly grocery bill! Thanks!!

  37. Hi I live in Arkansas, and I am a beginer, I want to know what store I should start at out here?

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