Monday, 28 September 2015

A Beginner's Guide to Couponing

Pile of British small change coins. Couponing is actually quite easy. If you can operate a pair of scissors and a printer, you could be saving a surprising amount of money every time you shop. In the photo is the result of my coupon shop last Friday 25/09. With a recommended retail price of over £83, this shop cost me just over £23. So, I thought I would share with you some of the tricks I've learnt, as well as some of the mistakes I've made, in my efforts to save money. I hope it encourages more people to have a go and save some money, it's definitely worthwhile. Below are the facts and figures for my latest venture, but first, here are my top tips for a successful coupon shop!


Read the terms and conditions carefully. Stipulations such as '1 per transaction', can really make a difference to your maths, especially if you need to use more than one coupon against a multibuy promotion.

Keep an eye on the expiry dates! Ink costs money and you won't be saving anything if you can't use your printed coupons because you left them in your handbag too long!

Use MySupermarket to compare prices. As illustrated below, it's well worth sniffing out products already on offer, in order to make the most of your coupons.

Get organised. Make a detailed list, including product, amount required and which coupon and try to keep the coupons you are going to use separate to save time at the check out.

Stockpile. Particularly on toiletries that don't really have a shelf life, or longlife products, such as tins, it pays to buy a few if you see an unmissable deal. I'm buying as many Fruit Shoots as I can at the moment, as we always take them in the car for long journeys and you can't go wrong at 10p a bottle! (see below)


Buy things you don't need. If it's something that won't get used, or you are just buying it because you have a coupon, it's not a true saving!

Buy more than you can consume. If you will be throwing a lot of it away, because it spoiled before you could eat it, that's not a saving either!

Buy a more expensive brand, if it will end up costing more. Sometimes, using coupons, you can get a better quality product for the same price as an inferior one, which can work out cheaper as they often last longer. However, do your sums carefully, as sometimes it looks like a good deal, but might still work out more than your usual brand.

Shop at busy times, if you can avoid it. Processing a lot of coupons can take a while and cause a hold up at the checkout, especially if they don't scan properly, which sometimes happens. You are more likely to get help putting them through correctly if the staff aren't really stressed with a huge queue!

A selection of British groceries, illustrating how to save money on your shopping
All of this for just over £20!

The 150g Tyrrells Crisps were reduced to clear at 55p, with an RRP of £2.19. Covent Garden soup have a £1 off coupon on their website, and it’s currently half price in Tesco at £1.17, so that’s a great deal. My favourite coupon at the moment though, came from the Tesco Clubcard website and offers 60p off a 4 pack of Fruit Shoots. These are also half price at £1, so that makes them 10p a bottle! You are only meant to use one per transaction, but they don’t seem to mind if I do a few at a time.
If you sign up for their newsletter, Danone email you five coupons, ranging from 25p to £1 off a selection of their products, including £1 off Activia Intensely Creamy (half price in Tesco at £1.14) and £1 off Actimel Kids Yoghurt Drink (Half Price at £1.19) Yoghurt tastes better when it’s only 3.5p a pot!

My favourite coupon site at the moment is Caring Everyday. It’s really easy to use and useful coupons are emailed monthly. I used it this week to buy;

Listerine Smart Rinse (RRP £4.40) for £1.50
Listerine Total Care (RRP £4.40) for £1.50
Johnson’s Baby Oil 300ml (RRP £2.00) for 33p
Johnsons Bedtime Bath 300ml (RRP 2.00) for 33p
Johnsons First Touch Baby Shampoo (RRP 2.49) for 66p
Johnsons First Touch Baby Body Wash (RRP 2.49) for 66p
2 X Johnsons Facial Wipes (RRP 3.05) for £1.50

My husband has an account as well, so we can pool our coupons and use them against the multibuy offers. For example; the mouthwashes were on offer at 2 for £5. Using both coupons, one for each product, subtracted £2, making them £1.50 each.

Some supermarkets offer meal deals which are always worth a look. I saved £4.50 on a joint of beef, herb potatoes and cheesecake. It is only really worth having if you would have bought it anyway. Except cheesecake. Cheesecake is always acceptable! 

I hope this will demonstrate how easy it is to save money on your groceries. Below are links to some good coupon websites to start you off, but don't underestimate the power of the search engine if you are looking for a coupon for a particular product. 

Caring Everyday
Tesco Clubcard



  1. I love getting everything as cheap as possible - love cashback sites too

  2. I love watching Extreme Couponing on the telly - the savings that US shoppers seem to make on their shopping is CRAZY, I'm never convinced we can do as well here, however, I think your post has proved otherwise!!

  3. What a fantastic post and especially with Christmas coming up really useful

  4. I try and use coupons when we need something, but mu mantra is it isnt a bargain unless we need it!

  5. I love how the Americans do couponing and like Michelle I used to enjoy watching Extreme Couponing! I'm amazed you did so well in the UK, I always feel like we can never match their crazy prices!

  6. Some brilliant tips here - it's also worth mentioning that you can often get cheaper brands even taking into account the savings so definitely still look at the other brands even when you have a coupon x

  7. I must admit I thought couponing was a bit of a thing of the past in the country as I rarely seem to see them these days, but I hadn't realised there were so many available online.

  8. Thank you for all this coupon in advice, I haven't used coupons in a while because I keep forgetting to look for them and then when I do remember it's for products that I wouldn't normally buy (although a great price) and so wouldn't save me money. I must try harder and check out other websites to find things I would use, thank you for the links to check it out, will be using them today!
    Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x

  9. Great post! I love a good bargain! Some great advice here

  10. What an amazing bargain! Especially the fruitshoots. I always forget to use coupons I'm given when shopping, or they tend to be something I don't buy, however looking at the sites you recommended, I think they might actually have some I could use! :) x

  11. Oh I love that couponing is coming over here, I've watched it become huge in the US and would love to have a go!! Thank you for all of the tips!

  12. I love the idea of couponing! I always get a buzz knowing I've made a saving on something :) x

  13. I love saving money- what a fab post! xxx

  14. I think this is a fab idea, never done it myself but hats off to all that do it!


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