Couponing 101: The Coupon Newbie Quick Guide For Finding Deals

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Since I started couponing again a lot of folks have been asking for me to bring back my couponing 101 post where I (attempt) to teach those interested on cutting their household grocery spending budget in half. 

Now I only say attempt...because explaining couponing is 10 times harder than the actual act because there are so many rule, variables and we even have our own lingo. But trust me once you get it, you'll never forget.

So to try and avoid information overload, I have condensed a few of my old blogs to give you new couponing hopefuls the basics that will help get you started!

Please note all information below is based off of my own experiences and the lessons I have learned while couponing. My information is limited to the stores that are accessible to me aka I have no knowledge on kroger, public or other deep south stores also by no means am I an expert and I am always still learning =)


Before anything, any good couponer must know the basics... do you get all those groceries for so cheap: I coupon fool! IM BOUT THIS LIFE. Long gone are the days of the little old ladies with their six or seven coupons in line getting milk and eggs. Couponers are millennials, they are hard core and they are serious about their savings! Carts full, binders stocked with coupons and ending balances as close to zero as possible! 

Get with it.

What should I buy: Its honestly up to you. However my one suggestion would be...dont...go...crazy. Sometimes when couponing you can get caught up on the deals and wind up with a shit ton of stuff you're never going to use. Currently I clip coupons for things that I ACTUALLY need and I ACTUALLY use. For example, for certain products I'm "brand loyal" so just because there is a coupon and a deal on zest soap, i'm not going to clip it because I know when it comes to store brands I only use Dove or Caress. 

I focus on none perishable items, cleaning products, bath and body items, vitamins or things that I KNOW normally cost an arm and a let but are on a bomb deal.

Where do I get coupons: This honestly is the one question EVERYONE ask's me and it baffles me every time. Coupons come in the Sunday news matter where you are. Some areas do get different coupons than others and some stores have their papers a day early on Saturdays. Otherwise coupons can be printed offline HERE and HERE or you can find tear pads in stores with coupons. 

Where do I start: While I shop at multiple stores like Shoprite, Giant, Harris Teeter, Target, CVS and Walgreens when couponing. Personally I think as a newbie you should focus on learning how to coupon at one store while you get comfortable with things like mapping out deals, check out process and learning coupon policies. Couponing is like a sport and a first year quarterback would not walk on the field calling audibles without learning his position would he?

Learn your stores coupon policy: The easiest way to avoid issues and disappointments at check out, is to learn your stores coupon policy. Thats it...just learn it .

Couponers to follow on Insagram for deals


When you start to follow couponers on instagram, you'll start to notice little abbreviations or directions given by the couponers that may not make that much sense. Thats because we as couponers have our own lingo, below you will find the most used abbreviations or phrases and their meaning.

Scroll Back: This is used on instagram when a couponer has posted details for a deal previously on their instagram. To find the details scroll back on their feed.

Run Deal: This means that this deal could be on an items that is very low in stock or that the deal is for a limited time. More often then not this type of deal is a glitch. Either way if you want it honey get off the couch and run!

Glitch: This means a store or website messed up on their end and the deal is normally better than it should be.  Glitch deals are normally run deals and whatever extra savings you get from the deal will be over as soon as the store realizes their mistake.

NLA: No longer available, normally referring to a coupon that was printed that can't be printed anymore.

YMMV: Your miles may vary, meaning you may or may not be able to get the deal based on your store or area. 

IP/Printable: Internet printable, a coupon printed from the internet.

MFC/MQ: Manufacture coupon

SS: Smart Source, which is an insert in the Sunday paper.

RP:  Red Plum, which is an insert in the Sunday paper.

Catalina/CAT: A coupon that prints out at the register after a purchase.

Tear pad: Tear pads have coupons on them and are found in stores near products.

Peelie: Coupons that are found on products that you peel off.

Blinky: Coupons that are found in machines that blink and are located next to products.

OOP: Out of pocket, meaning the total cost that you spent on your products after coupons.

Haul: What you purchased on your couponing trip. Normally displayed in a picture.

PM: Price match, meaning matching the price one store advertises at another store.

RC: Rain check which is a voucher that will extend the sale longer than it is going on due to the store being sold out of the product you were looking for.

WYB: When you buy meaning you get an extra deal or savings, when you buy another item. Ex. get a $5.00 gift card when you buy two of the same items.

BOGO: Buy one get one free.

B1G1 50%: Buy one get one 50% off.

TQ: Target Coupon


Finding deals can be the hardest thing to do as a newbie or even as a retired couponer coming back in the game (wearing the 45 lol). 

I 1,000% felt the struggle when I was trying to make my come back. I actually had coupons collecting dust for about a month prior to actually getting back out there all because I just didn't have the time or want to search for deals like I used to. 

Luckily there are sites that provide you with weekly match ups to the most popular couponing stores. So as you build your couponing knowledge and during those weeks where you just don't have the time to do your own match ups you can use these resources.

However, if you are dedicated to doing your own thing and writing out your own match ups. Feel free to use the sites below see weekly sale papers...some sites even provide sale papers weeks in advance.

Welp, there you have it loves. 

While I did give ALOT of information these points and resources are really the bare minimum you need to get started. In the comments below, please let me know if you have any questions about what I covered and also let me know if you would like more couponing post!

Until Next Time,
XO DeAnna


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