Couponing for Extremely Normal People | How to Coupon Without Being Extreme – EP 39

We’ve all seen them on TV – holding up the line, filling their carts, handing over coupons, and walking out of the store having only spent .10 cents! While there is some reality to the crazy deals people can get through extreme couponing – today we’ll take a tempered approach and see what us frugal folk can glean from this practice. Join us as we talk about what’s worth couponing and what we should leave for TV entertainment. A.K.A. couponing for ‘normal’ people!

ModernFrugality: The shop at Modern Frugality has free and low-cost printables, resources, and ebooks to help you reduce your spending, minimize your stuff, organize your life, and meal plan efficiently. Whatever you’re looking for on your path to financial security Modern Frugality has some of it! AND Frugal Friends listeners get 50% off your purchase with code FRUGALFRIENDS19.

Junk mail: Ever been interested to see what the mailman brought you just to find your mailbox full of ads and unwanted promotional materials? It’s the original junk mail! You’ll probably never buy the things their pushing so here are some alternative ways you can use it: kindling for fire, crafting snowflakes, sweet paper beads, wrap gifts in it, or make paper mache bowls. There are dozens of ways you can waste your time reusing junk mail. Try one today!

Notable Notes:

What the Internet has to say:

  • This article from Thrifty Nomads offers a guide for beginners on ho- to coupon. It includes tips on what you need, how to get started, and pitfalls to avoid!

What Jen and Jill have to say:

  • Set aside time – this is a big one! There is a level of time investment if you are looking to participate in traditional coupon clipping. This may mean less time spent on Facebook and more time couponing!
  • Organization is key – isn’t this always the case?!
  • Find coupons through apps like:
  • Consider cash back sites like Ebates or Ibotta
  • Be aware of pitfalls!
    hoarding bulk items
    buying things you don’t need or want just because it was ‘on sale’
    couponing has the properties of being addictive but not necessarily beneficial (i.e. collecting things just because they are cheap)

More from the Internet:

  • This article from How Stuff Works gives 10 tips for things you should try, learn, or consider when couponing – definitely some great stuff to know in here!

More from Jen and Jill:

  • # 9 gives some important information about learning the coupon “jargon”. For instance, coupons will use acronyms! OYNO? MIR? BOGO? We’ll give you these three for free: On Your Next Order, Mail-in Rebate and Buy One Get One.
  • # 8 re-instills this idea of being organized! Coupons have expiration dates!
  • # 6 know your rights -this article recommends having the store coupon policy printed out. Jill thinks this is a little extreme.
  • Other tips we like: buying in bulk does help with savings, forget brand loyalty, forget store loyalty
  • Other places to get coupons include: leftover Sunday papers on Monday morning

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More about Couponing

Jen and Jill’s take:

  • We appreciate the perspective offered in this article and agree with the cautions about couponing possibly leading to hoarding (the antithesis to minimalism!)
  • Bargain shopping can lead to unwise choices – purchasing things you don’t need, or unhealthy options you wouldn’t normally buy
  • Beware of couponing becoming a time consuming obsession

Conclusion: couponing in moderation can be great for the wallet, but it is not always synonymous with frugality or minimalism!

31 Day Declutter Challenge
We’re still on our 31-Day declutter challenge. Join use and get yours at

Frugal Friends Book Club
It’s January and we are reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

  • If you want a free copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up leave us a review where ever you listen, screenshot the review and send it to We’ll select the winners at the end of the month.

As always, thank you for hanging out with us. We wish you a happy, healthy, and frugal new year. See you next week!

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