Want to be a Crazy Coupon lady and save loads of money on your shopping? Here’s my guide to getting started with Coupons
Before you get started with using Coupons it’s really worth looking at your overall shop to see if there are any areas where you could be saving money. Learning to coupon is great but you need to have a good attitude to saving money on your shopping to begin with or you might start to feel it’s not worth the effort. Couponing can take up a bit of time – which is why I only coupon for about a third of what I buy – the rest is usually either supermarket basics or from the reduced section.
To get you started here are some of my best posts on saving Money on the weekly food Shop
- 17 Top Tips for Saving Money On Groceries in 2017 and 18 Top Tips for Saving Money in 2018.
- Round Up of all my best posts for Saving Money on food – Including Guides for Lidl & Aldi, Sainsburys, M&S & Waitrose and Co-op
- Saving on food when you’re Vegan and Saving on food when you have Allergy or Intolerance
- Reduced Food and Why you should be buying it and the Big Christmas Eve Shop
Now, here’s my guide to getting started with coupons
Using coupons is a great way to save money on your groceries and has really helped me stick to my £50 a month grocery challenge which you can read all about here.
I know a lot of people have seen the US television programme Extreme Couponing and thought ‘I wish I could do that here in the UK’. Although it’s not quite possible to go the lengths of the American show here, it is still possible to get some amazing discounts on your shopping using a coupon or two (or three or four or five).
In 2015 did an online shop with Sainsbury’s where I was able to stack several discount codes with a new online customer code and cashback. In the end the £60 shop cost me nothing, I only had to pay the delivery charge. While some of the offers I used are no longer running it goes to show that extreme couponing is really possible in the UK. Combing discounts and waiting until products go on offer are great ways to maximize the value of your coupons and this shop was a great way for me to get started with couponing.
Getting Started with Extreme Couponing
Here are the best places to download and print out coupons at home. There are loads of places to find coupons online from various brands – try typing in the products you love into google and see what you can find. Be sure to read the T&Cs of your coupons and remember to use them while they are still in date!
If you don’t have the facilities to print out coupons at home, then don’t worry, there’s lots of things you can still do. There are several phone apps available that can help you cut the cost of your grocery shopping. You simply buy the product listed then upload a photo of the receipt for a part or full refund on what you have bought. Some of the offers can be redeemed more than more once which is great for stocking up. You can find my post all about shopping apps here.
I would also advise starting small and gradually building up to bigger and bigger coupon shops. Even a small coupon shop is awesome if it’s saving you money.
Newspapers and Magazines
Newspapers and magazines are great places to find both coupons and conditional spend vouchers (eg. £5 off a £40 spend). The supermarkets free in-store magazines often have coupons for money off products so I always make sure I pick up more than one, meaning I can take advantage of coupons more than once. Check the leaflets and flyers that come through your door too, I seem to get regular conditional spend vouchers from Farmfoods and Iceland.
If you’d usually spend over £50 at Farmfoods take the £5 voucher off your shopping then put £5 on a gift card – you won’t notice it but if you do it every week/month you’ll be sorted for next Xmas (I know farm foods don’t sell gifts but it could give you a free normal weeks shop in December and then you could spend the normal shopping money on presents elsewhere!) obviously this could be applied to vouchers at any supermarket.
There are several phone apps available that can help you cut the cost of your grocery shopping. You simply buy the product listed then upload a photo of the receipt for a part or full refund on what you have bought. Some of the offers can be redeemed more than more once which is great for stocking up.
The shop pictured below had an RRP of around £13 and was completely FREE. It includes chocolates, pudding, chicken fillets, fizzy drinks, alcohol, and baby food. As you can see the majority of the products are branded too. This was all done using shopping apps which you can read more about here.
Checkout Smart is probably my favourite of these apps as it seems to have the most offers and is the easiest to use. I think it has the most freebies too! Find it here
Clicksnap which is linked to the cashback site Quidco and the Topcashback app also have good grocery offers. As the Checkout smart, quidco and topcashback apps sites are all linked you will need separate receipts for each offer you intend to claim from each app.
Shopmimum – works in the same way as the other apps listed above. Use my code KMFUKCCQ for a free bar of Green & Blacks chocolate when you sign up (registration must be via the app and not via the website)
GreenJinn – is similar to the above apps, it tends to have fewer offers but is still worth checking out. You can combine offer from this app with the others at is totally separate. It only covers Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
02 Priority – is an app for customers using the O2 network and is great for freebies and treats. You show a code on the app instore and the item is free or discounted. They have lots of great freebies from places including Hotel Chocolat and WH Smiths. If O2 isn’t your current mobile provider you can get a free simcard to use here
I also use the My Supermarket app to check and compare prices before I go shopping or you can find the website here
Till Split Coupons
These are the coupons that the till ‘spits’ at you when you finish your transaction. These can be for a multitude of things including conditional spend coupons, extra reward points, free products or money off an online shop with that retailer so they are worth hanging onto and having a good look through when you get home
Asda price guarantee
Asda have a price guarantee that states they will be at least 10% cheaper than any of the other big supermarkets. After your shop at Asda pop the code from your receipt onto their website and if they weren’t cheaper than another supermarket they will give you a voucher for the difference. You must have 8 comparable items in your trolley for this to work.
It can be a bit daunting when you first start couponing but there are plenty of great pages online to help you get started and that will keep you up to date with all the latest coupons.
I find it helps to make some notes before I go, listing the exact size and product name I need for cashaback or a voucher to work, which items need different receipts and which supermarket to but each item from. Initially extreme couponing can take a bit of time and shopping around to get the best deals, however I think once you get the hang of it can be a very rewarding way to save money. It’s also a great way to get free items to donate to charities or local food banks. Last year I took part in a campaign to provide extra food banks in the run up to Christmas. Couponing allowed me to do this without having to spend very much money at an already tight time of year. You can read my post all about it here.
Planning on trying a big coupon shop for the first time? I’d love to hear all about it!