I’m New to Couponing. What Should I Expect?

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New to Couponing?

I'm new to couponing

With the insane momentum behind TLC’s Extreme Couponing, many people have turned to couponing as a new way to save in a tough economy. While the coupon game is nothing new, it certainly is “newly popular.”  I sometimes sarcastically think to myself that sooner or later there will be celebrity spokespersons for coupon use.  I wonder who would be the first?

As you begin this journey, there are a lot of things to consider.  However, most people are interested in the answer to three primary questions:

  • How much can I expect to save as a %?
  • How quickly will I begin to realize savings in dollars?
  • How quickly will my stockpile grow?
How Much Can I Expect to Save Percentage-Wise?

To answer the first question, once you begin couponing you can begin saving a fairly respectable % of your bill in short order.  If you have never used coupons before, this could even be a mind-blowing amount!  However, % saved does not equal $ saved.  Remember, when you first start moving into the coupon lifestyle, you are going to be working on your stockpile.  You will also not be buying “stockpile quantities” unless the items are at a “stockpile price.”  Because of this thought process, your order will contain those items that are going into your stockpile at a dramatically reduced price as well as those items that you need to continue to run your household on a daily basis.  At some point, those day to day items will join your stockpile, but only when they have reached the appropriate threshold.  For beginning couponers, I would recommend that your very first benchmark for grocery shopping be 40-50%.  After you have been couponing for about 12 weeks, you should begin to target savings of 65% or more.  After a solid year, the sky is the limit, but take it slow and set your expectations low.  Realistic couponing is not as sexy and glamorous as what you see on TV, but it is EXTREMEly effective.

Couponing Savings in Dollars
I'm New to Couponing - Percentage vs DollarsTo answer the second question, how quickly will I start to realize savings in dollars, you need to apply the same thought process that we discussed above.   Because you will still be buying items that you need to run your household until you get your stockpile up and running, your dollars saved will not be overly high either.  In order for you to begin saving serious dollars, you need to get into a position where you are buying less merchandise and saving a high %.  The only way that you will be able to buy less merchandise is by having a strong foundation on your stockpile.  For example.  I have saved 85% year to date at my primary grocery store, Publix.  I also have trimmed about $450 per month off of my grocery bill.  The reason that I am able to do this is because I am in full stockpile mode.  All I am doing is maintaining my stockpile while buying fresh meat and produce.

In order for you to start trimming back $ in your budget, you need to get to this stage.  My average grocery order consists of only 5-10 items total.  Yes, I am buying stockpile quantities of those items, but I am only buying 5-10 items.  For you to be able to get to full stockpile mode, you need to have been applying these principles for about one year.

How Quickly Will My Stockpile Grow?

Finally, many people are interested in knowing just how quickly their stockpile will gain traction.  The truth is, it depends on how hard you are willing to work at it!  If you start by mastering the one grocery store where you shop the most, then it will take you a little while longer to grow your stockpile.  If you are putting forth an all-out effort and hitting all of the grocery stores and all of the drug stores, then your stockpile will grow at a much more rapid pace.  Most people find that they are able to stockpile nearly all of their health, beauty and personal care items for an entire year in a matter of 2-3 months.  Certainly, you will be growing your grocery stockpile during this time as well so I usually tell people that at the end of 12 weeks, they should have a very good start to a stockpile that they can be proud of.

Soak In the Resources to Up Your Couponing Game

Did you notice a common theme when you read this article?  If not, I will give it to you now:  12 WEEKS!  You need to plan on really hammering this stuff for 12 weeks before you start looking for any kind of significant results.  This 12 weeks isn’t limited to collecting, clipping and using coupons.  In this 12 weeks, you need to become a student of the game.  You need to learn the ins and outs of the grocery business as well as the drug stores.  Utilize all of the online resources that you can find.

While we offer some good educational resources on our website, there are other places on the internet that will teach you other aspects of couponing that we may overlook.  At the end of 12 weeks, if you don’t have some savings to show and a baby stockpile to sustain your jump to the next level, look back over the previous weeks and ask yourself: Did I try hard enough?  Don’t give up!  Don’t quit!  This is not a hand-out.  You need to work to get the positive results you seek.  However, this community is here to help.  We will make it as easy as possible to get the information you need while teaching you the skills necessary to execute that information.


  1. dee tolles says

    I can tell everbody it does work. I use to be a couponer many years ago, but quit because I thought with just my husband and I its not worth it. Wrong. It is worth it. I have been at it for only about 4 weeks and without even thinking about it I have a pretty good stockpile. Each week I get a little better, thanks to the internet and this site along with the other sites I use. Thank you for all your knowledge. In these tough times it sure helps a lot.

  2. Roberta Negron says

    It is defiantly a learning curve! My first coupon trip hubby went with me, and while we were hugely impressed with out savings, looking back I purchased some stuff I do not normally use (but I sure am using it up now!) or that was not at a great price. Hind site being what it is, I am passing up on great deals because it is for things I do not need or have already been able to get a nice little stock pile of in the two months that I have been doing this. I think last week and this week were eye openers as last week I only spent $18 and this week has only been $20. We did get a boost with my mom bringing over her extra veggies from her farmers market shopping, and we have a couple of fruit trees out back that are producing like crazy. Has been a blast and while I’ve occasionally been able to hit 70% savings, I’ve been averaging 50-60% and am thrilled with that.

  3. I’m new to couponing as well! It’s just my husband and I right now; working on the addition(s). I just had my big 1st trip today to Walgreens and Target. I did well at Walgreens the other day but our local one was out of about everything I had coupons for so I went to store a few miles away. My total for the day was $86.69 (that was for both stores) and savings was $75.02. Now…..I’m not sure if I did okay or not…lol. Somethings I should’ve held off on I think but didn’t (as I didn’t have accumulated enough coupons). So…question (a silly one but gonna ask anyway); how is the best way to figure our your savings? I added my totals and then added the “savings” at the bottom of the receipts. Is this the way to do it or am I missing something? Any extra advise is appreciated!!! 🙂

    • The Wizard says

      You should jump on the Coupon Bootcamp webinar tonight. I cover my spreadsheets and then send free copies to everyone that attends. It will calculate your savings for you!

      • I’d love to, but we’re on Dial-up out in the boonies 🙁 so it would take FOREVER!!! BOO!!!

        • I found this formula on a website with an example: Would this be the right formula? I’m not opposed to doing it myself but want to make sure it’s right way. I put it my totals and it was 46% (not as good as I thought…hah), but I’m only beginning.

          From website: Here’s how to figure out what percent you saved on your bill.
          First, the breakdown: Example-
          Paid out of pocket: $94.47
          Total of Manufacturer coupons used: $78.00
          Total Store Sale Savings: $209.08
          Total Store Savings and Manufacturer coupons: $287.08
          Total Savings Percentage: 75%

          First figure out the grand total of your bill as if you didn’t use coupons or store sales.
          $381.55 ($287.08 + $94.47)
          Divide the amount you paid out of pocket by the total amount of saved (coupons and store savings)
          $94.47 (total amount paid out of pocket) / $381.55 (Grand total amount of out of pocket, coupons, and store savings) = .2475
          multiply that number by 100
          so……24.75 or 25% (this is the percentage that you paid for your groceries)
          subtract 25%-100%=75% (this is the percentage that you saved on your groceries)
          Total Savings 75%

  4. Is it legal to print out coupons from different zip codes? I live in NY and don’t want to get in trouble.

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