Introduction to the Extreme Couponing Class

If you’re like me, you’ve heard it all before:

Coupons don’t work…
Coupons take too much time…

Although I have always been good at saving money, I thought coupons were a time-waster. That was a few years ago. Now, I know that coupons do work; in fact, they get me hundreds of dollars in free items every month!

These days, I am almost never pay for toiletries, makeup, some medicines, household items, non-perishables and other essentials sold at your favorite drugstores and supermarkets…And there are thousands of individuals like me everywhere.

This could be you…

Do you want to learn this not-so-secret trick to getting hundreds of dollars in free items every month? I learned from the best, and now I want to teach you.

It’s free! The next class starts Monday June 26.


The Introduction:

What is the purpose of the 10-step Couponing Course?

The premise of a coupon is simple. You get a coupon, you use it to save money. However, many people believe you can’t really save much money with coupons. These naysayers, you see, simply don’t know how to use them correctly. It’s time that you start reaping the rewards that thousands of thousands of Americans are enjoying – free toiletries and household items.

What you need if you want to participate:

1. You need to want to do this.

To me, this is fun. It’s also one of the best kept secrets about saving tons of money every month to free up your budget for fresh food items and other things on your list. I love getting tons of makeup, toiletries, face washes, razors, toilet paper, candy, non-perishable food and regular household products free. Now that I hardly ever pay for anything at CVS or Walgreens, it’s almost painful to watch all those people shelling out 20 bucks for shampoo. But heck, this whole couponing thing might sound like the most boring thing on the planet. If that’s you – don’t do it!

2. You need these items:

– A box or drawer you will devote to this project

– A marker or pen

– A notebook

– Envelopes

– A calculator

– A Sunday newspaper every Sunday

3. You need to commit to doing these 2 things every week if you want to see success:

– Come to this blog at least once a week to read what your directions are for what you need to do this week to get your free items.

– Go to Walgreens or CVS (or both, if you get excited by all the free stuff you are getting) that week following the directions.

Didn’t sign up yet? Just click here — you’ll get the first class sent to you Monday morning!

Week 10: Coupon Class (3/22)

You’ve made it! After ten short weeks, you’ve learned the nuts and bolts of couponing!

If you didn’t manage to read all the Monday classes, you can always take part in the next  free couponing course, starting in two weeks!

Go here to learn more.

As we come to the end of this session of the ten week couponing class it’s time to reflect on all that you’ve learned, and what things are still puzzling or problematic to you. Specifically, I’d like to touch on three main themes that you should remember to keep in mind as you move forward. For those of you who are interested in taking part but haven’t yet had the chance to do so, there is a new class starting next week – so don’t worry. As always, the coupon class assignments are delivered on Mondays, and the rest of the deals and freebies come throughout the week.
So what do we want to review about couponing today?

There are three main ideas that will be coming up for you in the near future that I’d like to highlight today. In each of these three areas, you will see that gaining as much mastery as possible will benefit you enormously.

1. Stockpiling: The purpose of couponing, as we have discussed, is to always buy products at their lowest price point. You can do this by combining coupons in ways that take advantage of both manufacturers’ coupons, store coupons, and/or store deals. However, in order to truly get the lowest price on items, you cannot wait until you need something to buy it. Instead, you have to be constantly planning and looking towards the future to anticipate what you may need in the future. A frugal shopper knows to keep his or her eyes open for great deals, and snag them when they are at their best ever. Then, you can store the items until you need them. This is an important practice, and will always remain a keystone of your couponing life if you moved forward. 

2. Unadvertised Deals (a good eye gets the deal): Another important element to couponing is remembering that there are many spontaneous or unexpected deals that are truly amazing, and well worth taking advantage of. There are a couple key ways to always find those unadvertised deals:

  • Make sure to scout the clearance shelf. Combining manufacturers’ coupons with clearance items is an amazing way to score near freebies!
  • Ask the manager if there are any unadvertised specials this week. Sometimes it helps to just ask someone who works at the store if there are any other deals that may not be listed in the circular that are particularly hot.
  • Always bring all your coupons with you. Although early on in the class I made it clear that you should only worry about the specific deals assigned for you to do that week, in moving forward you want to be prepared to take advantage of spontaneous deals. The way to do that is to make sure that you have all your coupons at your fingertips.

3. Streamlining Your Couponing System: As you move forward to become lifelong couponers I wanted to encourage you all to be thinking about what works for you and what doesn’t work for you in couponing. Over time, this will help you develop a personalized, streamlined way to both store, cut, and use your coupons in a way that is most efficient for you. People take part in couponing in different ways, and I wanted to give you the two main ways that individuals approach couponing:

  • Cut all your coupons and put them in a divided folder system that you can take with you to the stores
  • Store all your coupon inserts whole in a binder and carry this entire binder to the stores when you coupon.


Which one appeals to you?

It’s okay if you are not sure yet, and I would encourage you to keep trying different methods to see what best appeals to you. Ultimately, this is the best way to find out what system works for you. Finally, I wanted to ask you personally how you are feeling about your couponing skills? Have you been able to make great strides in your family’s budget? I’d love to hear more thoughts from you readers that have learned things during this course, or those readers who still have more questions. As always, I’m here via email to answer any queries you may have at savingmoneyplan(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks for taking part and happy couponing!

Week 8: Coupon Class (3/8)

It’s week 8 of the Free Coupon Class at Saving Money Plan and this week I want to talk about places to find more coupons.


Once you start getting better and better at using coupons to get free items or to even make money on your purchases, your next big question is: Where can I find more coupons?

This week I want to look at a few resources that many couponers rely on and talk about why each resources is important.

The Top Six Places I Get My Coupons

  1. My Sunday Paper. I’m not sure anything is better than this old-school method!
  2. All You Magazine. I love this magazine, and the coupons it holds within its pages are hard to beat. Either buy one-off issues, or invest in a subscription to get it delivered to your door. Right now you can get a subscription at the never-lower price of $.70 per issue if you use my special code here for Saving Money Plan readers. Read more about why I like All You Magazine, and what you can find inside here.
  3. I’m not sure there is anything better online than (at least in my mind)! They are the main site I regularly peruse to find printable coupons. You simply download a quick program so that they print correctly, and you’re ready to go. In general, you can print two copies of each coupon per computer you use. [If you have any trouble printing the second copy, the easiest thing to do is hit “back” on your browser during the printing process.]
  4. Smartsource. Either with the Smartsource circular in your Sunday newspaper or through their online database here, you want to make sure that you keep up to date with the Smartsource coupons.
  5. RedPlum. Like with Smartsource, RedPlum delivers both Sunday newspaper inserts and some online deals here. These are the bread and butter coupons you’ll want to always have access to.
  6. CellFire. Coupons delivered to your phone? What the what??! It’s true – cellfire is a great way to get great coupons that come right to your phone, no clipping required. They only work at certain stores, but if you’re a regular shopper at those stores this is a great program for you. Read more about CellFire here.

The biggest thing to remember when trying to find good resources for your coupon clipping needs is that multiple sources of coupons combined together works best. Don’t rely only on your Sunday paper, or only on to deliver what you need. Instead, pull together multiple strategies to get the best stockpile you can.

Stayfree Money-Maker at CVS!

Thanks to Deal Seeking Mom for a great Money Maker on Stayfree Pads at CVS!

Buy 2 Stayfree Pads (14-24 count.) at $3.89 each, Get $4 ECBs (Limit 2)
Use 1 $1/1 Stayfree printable
Use BOGO Stayfree coupon from 1/3 RedPlum insert
= Money-maker of $1.20 on each transaction.

Do this twice, make $2.40 and get 4 packs of Stayfree pads free

Week 6: Coupon Class (2/22/10)

Welcome to Week 6 of the ten week couponing course!

It’s a great week, and you’re about to get over $62 of items for less than $5 at Walgreens!

If you aren’t part of the couponing class, go here to learn more about my free couponing course.

This week we’ll be working on CATALINAS and REGISTER REWARDS. Although we have explored some of this before, it’s a good time to go back and make sure you understand exactly how register rewards and catalinas work.

What is a Catalina and/or Register Reward?

A catalina is essentially a coupon that is automatically printed out at the register when you buy a certain item. At Walgreens, these are called Register Rewards. Like other deals, you can find out about Catalinas in a store’s inserts or at a money-saving coupon blog like Saving Money Plan.

The big thing to remember about Catalinas/Register Rewards is that they count to the machine as a “coupon.” Let’s say you are buying 1 item. If you are already using a manufacturer’s coupon then your Register Reward will “count” as a second coupon, meaning the register will think you are using two coupons for one product, and won’t allow the transaction. The solution is to buy a really cheap item (a piece of candy, say), called a “filler” by most couponers so that you can get the one coupon-to-one item ratio back.

Another thing to remember with Register Rewards is that they are not just like ECBS at CVS. Yes, you do present them to the clerk like cash, but you cannot use a register reward you got on a shampoo deal to then buy more of the same shampoo deal. Instead, if you want to keep buying the shampoo deal, you’ve got to use either a different register rewards coupon (say for a soup deal), or cash! Finally, Register Rewards are set to print as one Register Reward for each item – so if there is no limit on the number of free shampoo you can get, you still must do separate transactions to get each and every register reward on each bottle!

Make sense? I know it may seem a bit confusing, but it’s something that you’ll get the hang of easily with a little practice.

Let’s get to the deals!

Here are the deals I want you to do at Walgreens:

1. Gillette Venus Embrace: Razor System or 3 pack disposable razors fusion MVP, power or manual razor system $8.99
Get $4 Register Rewards
Use $2/1 Venus Embrace or Spa Breeze razor (P&G 2/7/10)
Use Free Olay Body Wash when you buy Venus Embrace or Venus Breeze (P&G 2/7/10)
Use $4/1 Gillette Fusion Razor, exp. 3-31-10 (P&G 02/07/10)
Final price $.99 after coupons and register rewards

2. Goody Ouchless Elastics 27 pack $2.99
Get $2 Register Rewards
Use $1/1 Goody Product (RP 1/3/10)
Final price FREE after coupons and register rewards

3. Tylenol Cough, Cold, Sinus or Allergy Relief 20 or 24 ct.; liquid, 8 oz. $4.99

Get $3 Register Rewards when you buy 2 or more
Use any two of the following coupons:

$1/1 Tylenol Cold, Sinus, Sudafed PE or OM, exp. 4-3 (RP #2 1/3/10)
$3/2 Tylenol Cold, Sinus, Sudafed PE or OM, exp. 4-3 (RP #2 1/3/10)
$1/1 Tylenol Cold or Tylenol Sinus, exp. 3-31-10 (RP 12/6/09)
$2/1 Tylenol Cold Product printable
$1.50/1 Tylenol Cold Product printable
$1/1 Select Tylenol Cold, and Allergy Products, exp. 5-31 (RP 2/7/10)
$3/2 Select Tylenol Cold and Allergy Products, exp. 5-31 (RP 2/7/10)
$1/1 Select Tylenol Cold or Sinus Products, exp. 3-31-10 (RP 12/6/09)
Final price as low as $1.49 each after coupons and register rewards

4. Cold or Allergy Relief Triaminic: 14 pack, Thin Strips, liquid 4 oz; Nasal spray .67 oz, Theraflu: 6 packets, liquid 8.3 oz. 2 for $10
Get $5 Register Rewards when you buy 2 or more
Use any two of the following coupons:

$2/1 Theraflu printable
$2/1 Theraflu Product printable
$2/1 Theraflu Product printable
$2/1 Theraflu Product printable (IE) or printable (FF)
$2/1 Theraflu Caplets, exp. 4-4-10 (SS 02/07/10)
$1.50 Triaminic Product (SS 2/7/10)
$1.50 Triaminic Product Printable
Final price as low as $.50 each after coupons and register rewards

5. Joint Juice 30 ct.; prices start at $10
Get $10 Register Reward

6. Buy $10 or more Hershey’s Pieces 10-10.5 oz. $2.50

Get $5 Register Rewards
$1/1 Hershey’s Candy Pieces, exp. 4-17-10 (SS 01/31/10)
Final price $.25 each when you buy 4 and use 4 of the $1/1 Smartsource coupon above

7. Excedrin Menstrual Complete Express Gels 20 ct $2.50
Get $2 Register Rewards
Excedrin (SS 1/3/10)
$2 Excedrin printable
Final price FREE plus $1.50 moneymaker

Another good deal that does not involve a Catalina/register reward:

8. Right Guard or Dry Idea Antiperspirant/deodorant 2-4 oz.  B1G1
$2/2 Right Guard Product printable
$2/2 Right Guard Product printable
$2/2 Right Guard Product printable
$3/1 Select Right Guard/Dry Idea Products, exp. 2-27 (Walgreens, Feb)
= 2 FREE deodorants, possible moneymaker!

As always, make sure to post comments with any questions you may have, or email me, and then go on and get your free (and cheap) stuff!