Frugal Living, Shopping 

How to be a Hardcore Couponer

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You know those stories about people who walk into a grocery store with a fist full of coupons and walk out with a cart full of food, paying about $1.56 for about $156.00 worth of food? I’m not one of those people. It’s not because I have anything against hardcore couponers, I think they deserve a lot of respect for their organization, creativity and discipline, it’s just that I don’t have the time it takes to do hardcore couponing well. That and when I look at the coupon inserts, I see a lot of products I normally wouldn’t buy on a daily basis (a lot of prepared foods, microwavable meals and the like).

So how do they do it? Well, back when Fatwallet had a coupon section, I read all of it to figure out how these hardcore couponers did it. Basically, they keep the coupons they collect filed in a very well organized way; then they scour the local circulars to see where the coupons could be applied towards sales for the most benefit. Knowing which stores doubled or tripled (or more!) coupons made it possible for a savvy consumer, which all hardcore couponers are, to get products for absolutely nothing. Then, they would strike.

To get more than the typical consumer’s share of coupons, hardcore couponers resort to other means such as trading in online forums, joining coupon clubs, and dumpster diving. Dumpster diving isn’t as disgusting as you would think if you consider that if you live in an area with recycling, the inserts are going to be with other paper (not typical waste) products. You might even find a magazine you want to read. 🙂

There are other little tricks of the trade (such as sending in complaint or compliment letters to manufacturers in order to get free coupons) that I don’t know about but if you do and don’t mind sharing, I’m sure everyone would love to hear it. Thanks!

{ 11 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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11 Responses to “How to be a Hardcore Couponer”

  1. Steph says:

    You can also buy coupons off ebay. Of course, you’re not buying the coupons, you are paying for the time and effort of the person selling. I have done it a few times, but only with items for which I need multiple coupons. For example, my husband carries Campbells soups for lunch every day at work. There were coupons a few weeks ago in the circulars, then I bought 20 more $1/3 coupons for about $2 on ebay. I have already made back my money and saved more on the soup, since Publix and Food Lion both had the soups for 3/$5. Works for me! Also, coupon sites such as and are also worth checking out!

  2. Angie Buckley says:

    I have just started couponing hard core about 2 months ago. it really isn’t that hard once you figer it out. I haven’t have to resort to getting them off e-bay or dumster driving yet. Some newspapers will let you have the old papers w/ coupons in them just for asking. I have stock piled a lot of coupons and here in about a week I will be doing my first amazing shopping trip spending pennies on the dollars. I will post my results if you would like me too. 🙂

  3. echidnina says:

    I couldn’t do it. I have a friend who runs a blog about couponing, and shows off what kind of mega deals she gets. I’m a little jealous when I see the kind of money she saves, but then I think about all the time she spends doing it.

    • Janet says:

      can you tell me what her blog site is so i can learn how to coupon?? I would really love to find a good blog

  4. mrs.shoe says:

    Hi, I was wondering how do you combine coupons? and like what stores allow it cause I live in NY and don’t know if it varies from state to state? I’m new at all this and I’m very interested in learning how everything works so if anyone can help me Please and Thank you very much.

  5. 123B says:

    I would like to put the time out for doing this but i just have to learn how.

  6. Amber says:

    Im wanting to start doing this as well. My mom and I are willing to put in all the time and hard work needed to do so. Any information on where to start or the best way to find the best deals please feel free to share. Thank you!

  7. shannon says:

    I’m so thrilled with what i have seen on extreme couponers!!! I’am dying to learn how to become a hard core couponer or even an extreme!!! I just need some advice on how to get started, because i tryed and its not working out like i expected. So, if someone can give me some advice on how to get started, that would be awesome!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    just please tell me how the copons work like when you go in the store a lot of one thing. THANNKS SANDY G

  9. wendy says:

    I am on a very tight budget, coupons certainly do come in handy. I try to get them any way possible. Appears company want you to spend more money on products 3 or 4 on an item with 50 cent doubling, or 1 dollar even which is not doubled. The supermarket has already flagged me, saying must buy two item qualify for benifit in savings. You can’t spend over dollar on coupon to use it for reduction. apreciate any good ideas could help me improve use ith coupon ect, the interested in great advice. Wen item you want arenot on sale, and coupons say must get two items, cost you morein money. How can consumer save money at market and get ahead.

  10. Erin says:

    I have not been coy pining long. I do use to see the match ups. She even gives the option to search by state, so no matter where you live you can find great deals. The trick to couponing is when something goes on sale and you have the coupons to match with the sale they are really cheap. You buy enough to last for 3-6 months. Most stores run on a 3-6 month sale cycle, meaning what is on sale one will generally be on sale again in either 3 months or 6. This is the reason people buy several newspapers each Sunday. You should google for a stock pile price guide to let you know the rock bottom price for almost everything this will help you understand when to stock up. Understand while there is a ton of money to be saved not everything has coupons to go with it. Don’t get discouraged this can be an exhilarating experience.

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