Beginner’s Couponing Guide: $125 Worth of Freebies

Beginner's Couponing Guide

So, I am still a newbie at couponing, but get this – in my first 20 days, I have bought $126.55 of products for only $1.69.

This was on practical items like laundry detergent, toothpaste, and bread. My family uses them, so why not get them for free? I’ll show you my “stockpile” and the couponing strategies I used, so that you can do this, too!

Extreme Couponing: How to Start as a Beginner

Before we go any further, let me start off by saying that I am completely new at couponing. It has been a skill that I have wanted to learn since my old roommate used to bring home loads of useful items that filled up our cabinets for less than $5. I finally had time this last month and I would say it has been successful so far.

My Beginner’s Stockpile

Extreme couponers typically have what they call a stockpile. When they see a deal, they take it and accumulate these massive piles of items from non-perishable food to hygiene products that fill entire rooms. They buy items at rock-bottom price in the hopes of eventually using it or giving it out.

While there were so many great deals that I passed up over the past 30 days (or missed because of inexperience), I was very practical with what I purchased. I only bought items that my family would use or if it was a Moneymaker item (more on this below).

My free “stockpile” from the past 20 days of over 30 items consists of:

  • 2 Dozen Eggs
  • 1.5 Dozen Eggland’s Best Eggs
  • 2 Gallon 2% Milk
  • 1 Orange
  • 3 Bananas
  • 2 Loaf of Orowheat Bread
  • 1 Loaf Psst Bread
  • 1 Loaf Vanderkamp Bread
  • 5 lb. Bag of Potatoes
  • 2 Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce 28 oz.
  • 3 Orgain Protein Bar 4 ct.
  • 1 Barilla Traditional Basil Pesto Sauce 2.8 oz.
  • 2 All Laundry Detergents
  • 2 Monks Vinegar Cleaning
  • 1 Crest Scope Mouthwash 33.8 oz
  • 1 Oral B 3DW Luxe Soft Toothbrush
  • 1 Crest 3DW Radiant 6.4 oz.
  • 2 Gold Bond Powder, Travel Size
  • 8 C Batteries
  • 1 DuoFusion 20 ct.
  • 3 Dulcolax Items

As you can see, a lot of my stockpile consists of everyday things to use like milk, bread, and toothpaste. We have used the perishable food items and with the rest, I have begun “stockpiling.” I put this in quotations because that’s not my goal, but it’s a by-product of getting all these good deals.

I often will skip over deals for hair care products, processed food, and free pharmaceuticals to keep my life a little more pure, but if you use items like these daily (no shame at all!), you are going to save a lot of money with the easy couponing strategies I used.

So, whether you would like to get the items I got for free or you just want to save money on every day products that you use, look no further than my couponing strategies. You will save tons of money with it.

My Couponing Strategies

Over the course of the month, there were 3 strategies that I used to coupon. I checked The Krazy Coupon Lady site periodically to see what the experienced couponers did throughout the weeks, used cash-back rebate apps to receive money back on useful items, and chose to carry out moneymaker deals to pay for things that I would later have to pay out of pocket.

1. The Krazy Coupon Lady

My biggest help this past month was The Krazy Coupon Lady website. I would look over it most days where more experienced couponers post new deals. The site will have headlines like “Buy 4 Sale at Safeway: Free S&W Beans!” (which is Vons in SoCal and I am so going to get some CHEAP beans) and then it will tell you how to do it using sales, manufacturer coupons, store coupons, or cash-back rebate apps.

It has all of the up-to-date deals on the main page and then even breaks the deals down into stores, category, coupon type, or the amount you pay for the deals. I like to scour the Moneymakers under the Deals tab.

I know there are a lot of other great couponing websites, but I thought this one to be the most organized and easy to follow.

2. Cash-Back Rebate Apps

Get this – I made a total of $56.75 from the rebate apps Ibotta and Checkout 51 over the last 20 days. And yes I received CASH back. I found quite a few apps that gave rebates, but I like to keep it as simple as possible, so I only used 2 cash-back rebate apps. Plus, the posts from The Krazy Coupon Lady most often includes these 2 apps.

Both apps are great to have as you shop because they have items, refreshed weekly, that you can receive cash back on once you upload a proof of purchase and hit $20. I wasn’t even aiming to hit the mark, but easily surpassed it as the month went on.

The first app was Ibotta which gives you money back through a PayPal account. By unlocking an item’s deal (it’s easy – you just answer a simple question or read a piece of information about the product) and then uploading the receipt, you get cash back that ranges from $0.25 to about $5.

You can get cash back on unique buys, like staying in a hotel or purchasing off of iTunes, or on more typical buys, like any brand of eggs or milk. I received a $10 Welcome Bonus from Ibotta after my first receipt upload and a $2 boost bonus after uploading my first 5 rebates (which the Any Brand deals do not count towards).

Ibotta also has challenges that you can complete with friends. I signed up with Facebook, so whoever is active on Ibotta with a Facebook account contributes to bonuses.

The second app that I used was Checkout 51. This app sends you a check once you choose to “Cash Out” after you hit $20. It has great deals on things I buy weekly like Oroweat bread. It also has a Pick-Your-Own-Offer deal which gives you a choice between a few vegetables or fruits to get money back on. Combined with Ibotta, it helped with many of the Moneymaker deals that I made.

3. Moneymakers

I got paid to buy a majority of my stockpile pharmaceuticals. We don’t typically buy these because we choose more homeopathic methods. I made money on them though, so I decided to buy.

For example, I had a $4/1 for ANY DulcoEase Stool Softener product. I paid $1.44 in store for the product after using the coupon. Then, Checkout 51 had a $4 rebate on Dulcolax as long as it was a 25 count or larger. So, I made sure I bought a DulcoEase Stool Softener that was at least 25 count and after paying $1.44 at the store, I received a $4 credit to my account from Checkout 51 – making it a $2.56 moneymaker.

That might seem ridiculous to do all of that work for $2.56, but then it paid for an out of pocket cost like $2.30 for the 2 All Laundry Detergents (after coupons). While that is not much to pay for detergent in the first place, I got it for free since I made extra with the Dulcolax moneymaker deal.

This was my typical finding throughout the month: items that I would have bought anyway tended to cost a few dollars even with coupons and a few times during the month, an item that I didn’t necessarily need would be a moneymaker to cover costs. Using this strategy, I was able to get necessary items for free.

Exactly How to Coupon

Couponing is great. Everything in my stockpile list was completely free. The money that I would have normally spent on the neccessary items went back into my pocket for weekly groceries. I also got to try items that I never would have tried otherwise, like the Orgain Protein Bars which are vegan.

Additional to the free stockpile list, I saved more money on milk, bananas, oranges, potatoes, and bread throughout the month from other deals from the rebate apps.

To save more money, I will definitely keep using my methods to coupon. To get the spreadsheet so that you can get a guideline of exactly how I saved $125 with coupons and to get a savings template of your own for your couponing, check out the Beginner’s Couponing Guide.

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