Extreme Couponing 101

Saving Dollarsand Sense

Since the show Extreme Couponing first aired on TLC I know that there are many who are scratching their heads wondering  just how they too can get in on the craze and walk out of the store with hundreds of dollars in products without spending hardly anything.

You might be interested in reading my interview with one of the original Extreme Couponers from the show Nathan Engels A.K.A Mr. Coupon.

Because that first show was such a hit, TLC is bringing it back as a series beginning April 6th at 9 EST.  EXTREME COUPONING glances into the lives of the savviest shoppers as they plan and plot their way to unbelievable savings (up to 99%), while maintaining a stockpile, or sometimes an entire stock room, full of items that will keep their families fed for years to come.

I shared my thoughts on the dangers of Extreme Couponing after the initial show aired here.  As you can tell from my perspective it is not always a good thing to become an Extreme Couponer.

But with the right frame of mind and the proper motives you will be able to save thousands of dollars per year on your grocery budget with these simple steps.

1. Change your financial perspective

2.  Let go of being a brand loyal shopper

3.  Start menu planning

4.  Learn the coupon’s lingo

5.  Map out a plan of action

6.  Gather your coupons

7.  Shop at as many stores as possible

8.  Price matching, rain checks, and rebates oh my!

9.  Learn how to shop for FREE at the drugstores.

10.  Choose mark down meats and breads whenever possible.

11.  Utilize stock up prices for staple items.

12.  Don’t shop on empty.

13.  Buy produce that is in season.

14.  Keep a running list.

15.  Allow for wiggle room!

Over the course of the next several weeks I will go into detail more on each of the fifteen steps above.  Follow my lessons and you will be able to save thousands on your budget too!

If you have any questions at any time please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below, on the Saving Dollars and Sense Facebook wall, or you can contact me through my contact form here.

Please keep in mind that you may not become an Extreme Couponer the way you see on the TLC show, but you will learn how to save lots of money that you’ll then be able to use on other areas of you life like paying down debt!

I like to call it Expert Couponing!

About Kristie Sawicki

Kristie Sawicki is the author of Saving Dollars and Sense, where she blogs about Money Saving Ideas and Frugal Living Tips, as well the Best Coupons, Deals and Freebies around. You can connect with Kristie Sawicki on Google+ and on the Saving Dollars and Sense Facebook page.


  1. I think what frustrates me most in my area is we don’t have any stores that do the double coupon thing at all. Our Kroger used to then they stopped. That really puts a bind if it is something I use a lot.

  2. How funny, I just wrote about being coupon clueless on my blog today after seeing a preview for this show. I would love to start figuring out how to spend less money!

  3. I would love how to use coupons better, I really, well our family really needs to save money right now, this will be great!

  4. Debra Parker says:

    I wish there was a class to take in my area. I live in Howell MI. And even if there was a class hear i wouldn’t know how to find it.

    • Debra, I’m going to teach an online class over the next 15 weeks. I will post a new “lesson” each Tuesday showing how you can implement these 15 steps and become and Expert Couponer, so you can learn from home =)

  5. I am so excited that you are going to do a online class about couponing. I just don’t get it. So count me in. I thank you. SHerree

  6. I get frustrated because we don’t have stores that double coupons here. BUT this month I didn’t have to buy as much food because last month I was able to get some really good deals. I am still learning, but would like to know how to get the really great deals without double couponing.

  7. I am a stay at home mom of two and can’t wait to learn how to save my family money!!

  8. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for this “course”! :) Maybe this will be covered – or maybe it’s something you’ll have to answer by email – but how do we determine what a “good deal” is on certain products? I always feel like I’m WAY over-paying. (And yes, I realize this could vary by location!)

  9. I’m so excited for your class! I’m a newbie couponer and am only in the process of collecting my coupons and am not sure what to do next so I’m really excited. Thanks for teaching us newbies! :)

  10. I was really intrigued by the incredible savings of the “couponers”, but I was left a little troubled once I viewed their homes. It’s one thing to save your family money and create a food storage, but looking at their homes, their couponing looked more like an obsessive disorder.

    I grew up with two parents who were “Depression babies” and they had a pantry in the basement with two freezers. They never stocked beyond the four walls of this pantry and they never purchased far more than they needed simply because they got charge making a killing at the cash register.

    I want to be careful what I learn from these clever couponers, but I don’t want to lose sight of what it means to be wasteful and collecting more than I need.

  11. After getting hooked on the TLC program, I started to try to figure out how to do this and start some stockpiles on my small food budget that I spend a month with 6 of us. It took a lot of planning, I found myself really having to plan more, asking for coupons from neighbors, my family and friends, finally buying more papers so that I would have enough was a little more extreme to my liking, but I am getting the hang of this, I calculated my whole savings just this month and we spent $350.00 and bought over $900.00 worth of stuff. My kids granted will be eating a lot of hot dogs over the summer, those were one of my free items, but I think I will get better at it at time comes. Just keep trying, as long at it does not take over my garage and I can help more people in the process this will pay off! Thank God for a way to save and help people without breaking the bank!

  12. I have been watching the show! It would be awesome to save just 25 % or 50% of our grocery bills! I am a stay at home mom of 3 children, all in diapers, 2 and under! So any money saved will be well used! Last year when my husbands job was at an all time low; I was having a quite complicated pregnancy with our now 9 month old twins! So needless to say what money was coming in and would already be streatched too far was going no where since I was have to make a 2 hr trip to the Dr and a 2 hr trip back 2 to 3 times a week! We got really behind and I was worried about how we would keep the things we had, not destroy our credit, and still be able to take care of everything our children both needed and deserved! My children are everything to me and I would love to learn this handy little tool so that I am not in this situation again of having to choose between what the kids need and little luxeries in life that they would like to have! My husbands job has picked up THANKFULLY to God! God saw us through a very tough time with finances! I still feel this will be a great thing to learn as his job is very unpredictable and we could be in the same place in no time! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Can’t wait to learn your skills!

  13. I am not even sure where to start, literally! I dont even know where or how to get these huge books of coupons I see on the shows! I could really use some help with that!

  14. Heather S. says:

    I am a home school mom of 5 and I have just started couponing this week! I have been scouring the internet for printable coupons, websites, etc. I’m exhausted!!! I’m looking forward to your online classes because I really just don’t know where to start and I’ve had a very unrealistic view of couponing up until today. I look forward to learning how to save money for our family in a realistic way! Thanks :)

  15. Halie.Nicole says:

    After being hooked on the TLC show forever now , and seeing women of my town becoming great couponist I want to do it to. These days times are really tough on my family financially and I want to take a stand and help out. I have told many friends and family members about my new found passion for wanting to become a couponist, but they have all doubted me. I know I can do this I just need HELP. Any suggestions on where to start ?? I know im young but I am so incredibly interested and I am ready to prove my doubters WRONG.

  16. erica bogden says:

    MY question is where can i find a website that actually give you some direction or something along those lines of how to begin couponing, i mean i understand you gotta get some coupons but i just want to know how to begin and all those things? anyone know of a good website that will actually answer my questions? because we really wanna start couponing!!!!! thanks so much!

  17. I wish they would make more “Extreme Couponing” episodes. I think I have seen every episode at least twice. I am FAR from an extreme couponer, but I did save 20+% today at the grocery store. This is pretty good, because I am a perimeter shopper, AND I found some deals not in the flyer, so I didn’t have any coupons to go with the items.

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