Using Coupons To Save Money When Stockpiling Your Homestead Pantry

Extreme Couponing: Learn How to Be a Savvy Shopper and Save Money

Using coupons offers an opportunity for huge saving on food that you should take advantage of.

According to Wikipedia.com, a coupon is “A ticket or document that can be exchanged for a financial discount or rebate when purchasing a product. Coupons first saw widespread use in the United States in 1909 when Post conceived the idea to help sell their breakfast cereals”. So the concept is nothing new.

When I was in my early teens, I remember my mother clipping coupons from the Sunday paper; she would organize them in a small purse that she kept just for the purpose. She would wait for double or triple coupon deals to be advertised, and then she would go shopping.

I remember one time she managed to get over $260 worth of stuff for less than $10 – I was impressed.

I’ve used coupons to save money and stock up on survival supplies and food for several years and the saving can really add up fast. I’ve used coupons to save when buying everything from canned foods, tissue paper and toothpaste to dog food.

Now with the age of the internet, there is no need to clip coupons from the Sunday paper (but you still can). Now you can easily find discounts for virtually any product by simply going online and printing them off with your home printer – two of my favorite places for this is Coupons.com and MyPoints.com.

No, using coupons doesn’t emit the typical perceived image of a survivalist, but it sure makes a lot of sense from a financial stand point.

I think the main reason a lot of people avoid using coupons is that they are afraid of looking poor (even if they are). This is nonsense, and really, who gives a rat’s behind what the person waiting in line behind you thinks. I don’t. If they don’t like it they’re free to move over to the next checkout lane.

Stop worrying about what other people think – trust me your life will be better when you do.

Before you can start using coupons to save on your survival supplies, you’ll obviously need coupons. Coupons are all over the place you just have to know where to look.

The bulk of mine are printed off from the web or clipped from the Sunday newspaper. I’ve worked out a deal with a local store owner, where I get the papers they don’t sell for free. I often get ten or more all loaded with coupon inserts.

The vendor only has to send the header of the papers that didn’t sell to the publisher to get credit for unsold papers because the newspaper doesn’t want the old papers back and could not care less what the vendor does with them.

If you don’t want to buy the paper and getting a local vendor to give you the leftover papers isn’t an option, you can often get the paper and the coupons for free by asking friends, neighbors and relatives who buy the paper to pass it on to you when they are done reading it.

It’s common knowledge among couponers that some of the best coupons are found in print magazines, coupon mailers, food packaging inserts, and grocery store receipts.

Once start clipping and using coupons you’ll need to a way to stay organized. You’ll need to be able to find what you’re looking, when you need it, and to know what you have so you can avoid letting your coupons expire without using them.


I use a recipe box with dividers and sort by date and coupon type. For example; canned foods, deserts, over the counter meds, staples such as beans, rice, and oats, dog food, kitchen supplies such as dish soap, bath supplies, such as soap and toothpaste etc.

Working out a system to stay organized isn’t difficult, but it will go a long way toward maximizing savings and lessening your frustration. You can buy ready-made coupon organizers but I prefer my box because it was free. I go through my coupons once a month and weed out coupons that have expired or that I no longer want to use.

When using coupons you’ll be tempted to buy stuff that you really don’t need or never intended to buy, just because you have a coupon for it. Don’t do it. Unless of course, you can get it free. If you start buying stuff you don’t need just because you have a coupon for it, you’ll end up losing money.

Be sure to check prices before you buy – keep in mind that even with coupons, some brand named products can cost more than generics with coupons. Never buy a more expensive product because it has a brand name on it, many of these are from the same companies as their generic counterparts.

Watch for sells and stock up on items that you use that are on sale, especially when you have coupons for those items. Remember; some stores offer “Double Coupon Sales” or even “Triple Coupon Sales” that actually doubles the value of the coupons you have, such offers can lead to huge savings on the items you need.

And don’t overlook rebates and refund opportunities that are sometimes offered by-product manufactures – most manufacturers require you buy the product then mail in the cash register receipt along with the UPC barcode from the product. Keep these organized and send for the rebate or refund asap so you don’t forget and possibly let the offer expiration date pass.

20 Comments

  1. I do!

    Now the Monopoly game pieces are giving me free products, from stuff I’m already buying! $56 may not sound like much, but it’s put money other places.

    Same with using my Cabela’s points to get product cheaper or free. This week alone I got a 17″ propane portable griddle and a bacon press due to points and coupons.

    • JP in MT,

      Now the Monopoly game pieces are giving me free products, from stuff I’m already buying! $56 may not sound like much, but it’s put money other places.

      Everyone talking about these game pieces is killing me, LOL. None of those around here; but, it’s good to see others can utilize them for savings.
      And anyone who things $56.00 is not much must be voting for Nancy “crumbs” Pelosi.

      Same with using my Cabela’s points to get product cheaper or free. This week alone I got a 17″ propane portable griddle and a bacon press due to points and coupons.

      I don’t shop at Cabelas a lot since it’s over an hour drive; but, credit card points have bought us a lot of things since we run quite a few of our day to day operations on one credit card. We only use the card to purchase things for which we already have the money, and pay off the balance in full each month. Each dollar we spend is worth a point and those points are worth a penny in gift cards, so 2500 points gets us a $25.00 Home Depot gift card. Over the years, those cards have purchased a new refrigerator, a new washer & dryer, and paid for about 25% of the 3 exterior doors and storms we purchased last year.
      Anyone that offers a coupon or other discount is IMHO fair game for us to exploit , eer… utilize, LOL

  2. I love couponing, rebates and sales. I base much of my shopping on these. I even have a coupon source starting on October for 15% off a box of ammo. In 2016 I saved over $3000 because of coupons, specials, and sales. 2017 was a little lower at $2600 but every little bit helps.

  3. I have used several coupons, but, buy one get one free is my favorite…….

  4. Thor1,

    Yeah, those are great!

  5. I love couponing but unfortunately where I live the newspapers don’t seem to have as many coupons in them as they used to so the internet has become the way to get those coupons for the things I buy. If you have a Dollar General near you check them out. This weekend the ones in my area are having a 50% off clearance sale – if something on clearance was marked $1.00 this weekend it would be 50 cents. If you can manage to find a coupon to match the item you will really save big. Sometimes I’ll go ahead and buy something I wouldn’t normally buy but feel I can donate it to a charity or keep it for barter later – but those times the item is purchased at a deep discount

  6. As everyone knows I LOVE couponing don’t forget to check for coupons on the item themselves I’ve found $1.00 off of a box of granola bars before with the granola bars on sale so double my money General Mills, usually does that. I had a package of Stayfree pads, that were on sale for $3. 19 with a $2.00 coupon on the bag, I was able to grab the only two left with the coupon on them so for $1.19 for 32 pads so 64 for $ 2.38 that was a great deal. But make sure you read the fine print I had 2 Ricola cough drop coupon $1.00 off of two bags, they were on sale 2 bags for $3.00 minus the $1.00 is $2.00, but I could only use 1 coupon per transaction so it can be a pain to do 2 or 3 transaction with the coupons, also because computers do not do math like humans the coupon may not work unless a cashier, plugs it in I had a coupon for $4.00 off 2 bottles of shampoo the shampoo was 2 for $7.00 – $4.00 makes it $3.00 so $1.50 each bottle right???? No the computer put it in at $3.50 a bottle and refused to take it because it did not make since to the program so the cashier, had to over ride it to make it come out correct. I always go around 9 am so I don’t get the lunch rush or dinner rush, trying to shop and head home, going in the morning means less people, less stress on you the cashier, and any other person that is waiting. Make sure all coupons are in date, the correct product, size and amount needed to make it easier on you I would say I might run into trouble 1 time a month and usually it’s the computer not liking a coupon. Just today I had $46.00 in grocerys with my club number, coupons, I dropped it to $19.46. Not to bad.

    • mom of three ,

      As everyone knows I LOVE couponing don’t forget to check for coupons on the item themselves

      We purchase cat food and litter and rather large packages of toilet paper, and these quite often have a coupon that can be torn off & used at checkout. What we do is plan our trips to allow enough time to actually look at the items instead of just picking them up on the run. We’ve also on occasion seen things like a 20 pack of TP and a 24 pack of the same TP for the same price. That’s a no brainer id you pay attention.

  7. I remember my mother clipping coupons from the Sunday paper;

    My mom was also a coupon person and also tried to shop not only with coupons; but, at places that gave out the old S&H Green stamps; but, that was a long time ago. The main thing I remember about the stamps is that they were compiled in books so mom could get stuff she wanted, even though my siblings & I pined over neat things in that catalog. And then there was the time spent licking the stamps and filling the books, since we were evidently too stupid to wet the stamps with a sponge.

    Coupons.com and MyPoints.com.

    The DW subscribes to Coupons.com; but, I didn’t know about the MyPoints.com, Thanks for the mention.

    No, using coupons doesn’t emit the typical perceived image of a survivalist, but it sure makes a lot of sense from a financial stand point.

    I’ve never worried about perception with coupons or at our age, asking for the senior discount. As old Ben Franklin said: “A penny saved is a penny earned” and I suspect he wasn’t even taking into account the taxes saved.

    Stop worrying about what other people think – trust me your life will be better when you do.

    With certain exceptions, I’ve done that most of my life. It may not get you involved with “the in crowd” but, IMHO they are overrated.

    It’s common knowledge among couponers that some of the best coupons are found in print magazines, coupon mailers, food packaging inserts, and grocery store receipts.

    Recently our local Rural Electric Coop magazine had some free harbor freight items coupons so I was able to get another free digital multimeter. It’s worth looking everywhere.
    We also get a plastic bagged dropped off once or twice a month with coupons for local stores and that has saved us and the vendors money, since sometimes it gets us to visit stores we don’t generally frequent. This can work for everyone and is well worth the little time it takes.

  8. I have some friends and co-workers who are young mothers who are quite good at coupons. I mostly do the BOGO at the local Winn Dixie with their card. Also, my bank debit card has a rewards program that I have gotten some nice prepper related stuff when redeeming. I do like to find clearance sales at Dollar General.

  9. I have saved a ton of money by using coupons over the years. Don’t forget the store cards too, electronic “coupons” from the stores have saved over ten percent on grocery items for my family. When you purchase $200 bucks worth of groceries, then that $20 pays for most of a tank of gas. On top of that, the store gives you 10 cents off per gallon for every $100 you spend in the store (if you purchase their gas, which is the lowest priced in town).
    If you print your coupons from a web site like coupons.com, print in black and white and you save yourself a little money that way too as color ink is more expensive than black ink. The store doesn’t care.

  10. New Commenter so be nice HAHAHAHA:

    I’m not a Coupon Cutter, BUT I never but anything that’s not on sale even Fuel.
    “Not on sale I don’t need it”, I’m a HUGE advocate of “Use one, Buy two” and “Store what you eat, Eat what you store” if only on sale.
    Guess I’ll take a look see at coupons, cant hurt and saving $$$ is what’s it’s all about now days since there is no ‘Inflation’, right?

  11. Just another force multiplier for those want to prepare. Good article.

  12. I used to do store demos where I would serve food or hand out coupons and/or free samples. I was always amazed at the number of people who refused the coupons or samples. But I think the thing I shook my head the most at were the people who weren’t interested in the buy one get one free. They were buying the product anyway but “didn’t” need the free item. I always shook my head and thought they effectively were paying double for the item they were buying that day.

  13. suzy q,

    the thing I shook my head the most at were the people who weren’t interested in the buy one get one free. They were buying the product anyway but “didn’t” need the free item. I always shook my head and thought they effectively were paying double for the item they were buying that day.

    While I personally have too much pride to take welfare or food stamps / SNAP EBT card unless I was really starving, since there is a bit of stigma attached to those transactions, I have always partaken of any offer that saves money. I think some people are perhaps too prideful or maybe see themselves as above others to take advantage of discounts. Most local fast food restaurants here offer a “senior” discount of some sort, which the DW & I always ask for. It can be anything from 10-20% off to a free “senior” (small cup) soft drink at Wendy’s. Wendy’s also has a URL for a survey on their receipt, and if you take the survey and write down the number it gives you, that receipt and number gets you a BOGO on their sandwiches. It’s limited to once per 30 days; but, every little bit helps. I often see other people in line who are obviously older than me who don’t even ask for the discount. I’m not sure if they have a reason or just forget.
    My kid sister is retired Army and lives and works in Key West where she is rehabbing a house. The materials discount she gets at Home Depot has saved her tons of money on her remodel.
    Any offer that is legitimate is just one more way to manage your cash.

  14. TOP,

    I agree that it’s good to ask for discounts that you rate. I almost never do. I’m too ingrained in the police “you do not ask for discounts” mindset. At my department, that was viewed as graft and just not done if you wanted to keep your job.

  15. It’s sad that couponing isn’t more prevalent and that coupons ‘aren’t what they used to be’… Used to be you could stock the pantry up quickly by doubling and tripling coupons. You just don’t see doubling/tripling anymore, at least around here.

    There are still good coupons, especially for those with kiddos. If you can get it cheap with a coupon do it! It’ll come in handy somewhere, sometime. Waste not! I talked about filling your food storage with food purchased with coupons here: https://www.survivalfinds.com/food-production-preservation/use-coupons-to-fill-your-food-storage.html

  16. As you say, coupons are only beneficial if it’s a product you use or it’s to get something for free. Several of the products I buy don’t have coupons because they are store brands. Sometimes the store will offer additional discounts with their frequent shopper cards though. For those items I do find coupons for, I try to wait until the product is on sale to use the coupon.

    Yes, mypoints.com is an excellent source, since they give points for coupons used. Swagbucks.com is similar and affiliated with mypoints – they also have coupons.

    Once I qualify, I will do all my shopping on Wednesdays as that is the senior discount day at Kroger. In the meantime, I’ll keep couponing as best I can.