So here's some couponing tips and I'll let you guys know where I learned:
1) Go to a good couponing blog. I like one by the krazy coupon lady. Google it.
A good coupon blog will let you know where the sales are, and take a lot of time and pain out of planning.
2) Follow the blog long enough to learn the ropes. The key to couponing is to couple COUPONS with the store sales. So if Rite Aid is having a Buy one get one sale on pads (true story) and you have a B1G1 COUPON from the manufacturer...you CAN use those coupons to get 2 boxes of pads 100 percent for free after taxes.
3) Learn to combine coupons. At some stores like Target, you can combine one of THEIR coupons with a manufacturer coupon. I usually save 50 % off any Target transaction.
Example: 98 dollar receipt before coupons...after coupons....$55.00 out of pocket....and $20.00 back in Target gift cards for my next transaction. This was all food and laundry detergent!
3) EAT AROUND SALES AT FIRST. After you have a heck of a stockpile of food, you can pretty much eat anything you want, knowing it only cost you .25 cents a box/can or whatever.
4) I also suggest at first you don't clip all the coupons. Keep your 1, 3, 6...whatever number of inserts you get in a folder or paper protector, with the date on the front. THEN when a site says "Smartsource 3/3", you can just pull out that insert and find what you need easily.
A few more tips:
Printables are best done in grayscale so you aren't shelling out your cash in ink all the time.
The site I mentioned does a weekly "How to shop for free" with the best available coupons paired with the best sales....using that, you get a rolling rewards balance, which means LESS CASH OUT OF POCKET.
The site also does a weekly "Shopping for $5.00 or less' for each of the major stores...same deal guys.
NEVER PAY RETAIL. If you have a $1.25 bottle of Triaminic, when your kids are sick, you aren't shelling out $10.00 at the gas station at 2 am.
Doing this has allowed me to have a substantial amount of groceries in the pantry, and a full cabinet of soap, deodorant, razors...toothpaste and medical supplies, and even MAKEUP, all in the last three months. I have not paid more than 50 cents for toothpaste, for example, and most of it was free...and I won't have to buy more for maybe two years. Not only that, but we have a LOT more cash on hand in the week before payday. And most of it is due to spending an hour a week clipping and planning =)
Hope this helps.