...still working on it, but here it is for now...

Steals and Deals
(my successful shopping trips with coupons) 

Couponing Rule of Thumb
I first began couponing when I saw friends starting it to save money. I also got more excited about the idea when I saw the show Extreme Couponing. However, I believe most of those people go too far with couponing, even if it's for a good deed. If there is a good deal, you shouldn't have to worry about a shelf being cleared!...But enough on that. People always ask 'Heleen, how do you do it? How do you save so much money? What is your secret?' Well, it is hard for me to explain to them because it isn't really me doing the work. I follow others who find the deals and then just match up to that. In no way do I go searching at stores for the deals myself. I am no means an extreme couponer or have a stockpile which can name me as a hoarder. I simply find deals which my family would use.

Now, where I find my information is simple. There are tons of sites out there, especially depending on the area you live in. Some blogs and sites pertain to certain states or certain areas within states. However, for the most part, I look towards The Krazy Coupon Lady and Coupon Connections for my insight. They find all the good deals around the areas. For example on the location aspect, the person who runs CC is based over here in Western Washington. When in doubt, start googling couponing blogs and such. That is actually how I found some of the sites I visit. They basically scope out the deals (whether they do it themselves, find out from other sites, or have their readers help out).

Here is what I do to find my deals:
- Scope out my couponing sites (as mentioned above).
- Buy a few copies of the Sunday paper 
(For this area, I try to get The Seattle Times vs The Olympian because it has more to offer).
- Print out coupons online at, Redplum, Smartsource (there are lots of other places).
- Do a quick look through on the coupon inserts to see what they have to offer.
- Keep updated on those said coupon sites for special deals.
- Match coupons to deals in stores and shop!

Now for more in depth, I used to shop at Walgreens and Rite Aid, but their shelves are always cleared early (since it is hard for me to get there asap with my son). Now I mostly go to Albertsons, Target and sometimes Walmart or Safeway. That is just my personal choice on stores. Albertsons has these doubler coupons called Twice The Value (TTV) coupons, which double any manufactured coupon up to $1.00. I only go there when they have their TTV coupons because that store can be a little on the spendy side. You get these coupons in the Sunday paper and I usually find out when they have them on said couponing sites. They always know the deals ahead of time. Depending on where you live, your stores may double or triple coupons. However, around where I am, Albertsons is the only place who doubles and only when they have those TTV coupons out. You can also stack manufactured coupons (ones you print online or get in the paper) with store coupons (Albertsons, Target and Safeway are the ones I use). For example, Target has their own coupons which come in the mail, sometimes in the paper or easiest - online here. You just have to be careful becuase some of the coupons listed are manufactured ones. If your couponing site has them listed, they may show which are target and which are manufactured coupons. Before I confuse you more, try visiting TKCL's Beginners Page for a more in depth and easier view. I learned a lot from that as well!

Have any other questions or any comments? Visit my FAQ page or head to my contact form and ask! I'll try my best to answer!