Guest Post: 10 Newbie Extreme Coupon Mistakes to Avoid

I’ve been using coupons for three months now and wrote this at the 30-day mark to help other beginners. I just wanted to share ten mistakes I made my first month trying out extreme coupon shopping!



  1. 1. Didn’t read the coupon. Coupons are tricky! The fine print for one juice coupon read: “Excludes Orange Juice Varieties.” I’ve also been tricked by restrictions on size (re: 24 .oz minimum for ketchup) and the amount needed to purchase (re: coupon was for 2 bags of sugar).

  1. 2. Didn’t look for what is NOT on the coupon. If the coupon is for anything that is produced in a travel size, it could be a great way to make money or get a free product. Check every personal care product coupon for the words “excludes travel sizes” or for certain size exclusion. If it’s not there, you have coupon gold!
  1. 3. Mixed up pharmacy hours with store hours. For whatever reason, search engines and company websites often post the pharmacy hours more prominently then the store hours. I’ve missed some great freebies from CVS because I thought the local store opened at 10 am when it actually opened at 8 am. I kept wondering why they were out of stock of all the advertised deals. Two hours makes all the difference when it comes to getting the hot deals. When it doubt, call the store.


  1. 4. Thought Wal-Mart’s price match deal was the answer to world peace. While it is at times useful for cutting down on multiple trips, Wal-Mart’s price match deal should be used only when you don’t have a coupon but need the item anyway, or when your coupon is at least $1 already. I didn’t realize my local Kroger, Meijer and Biggs all double coupons up to a dollar! I lost a lot of savings opportunity my first week because I decided to match competitor ads instead of shopping directly in their stores.


  1. 5. Thought Wal-Mart accepted competitor coupons. I know the sign says it, but they don’t really mean it. If you read the fine print, the competitor coupon must specify the exact price (which is the same really as ad matching). If Target is giving you $2 off shampoo on a coupon—it’s a no go to use the coupon at Wal-Mart.


  1. 6. Didn’t save enough coupons. So you think “I’ll only probably need only one of those, so I’ll just clip one coupon.” Big mistake! If you don’t have at least two coupons, you’ll end up loosing out savings on Buy One Get One (BOGO) sales!


  1. 7. Thought it would never go on sale enough to beat out the generic price. Best advice a blogger gave me was that if it’s something you would use if it were completely free…save the coupon! You never know! I’ve MADE money on brand name contact solution—something I never thought possible!


  1. 8. Subscribed to only one blog. At first I started following one coupon blog—it seemed to have it all! But no one blog will catch every good match-up and some are slower to post match-ups for certain stores. You can maximize your coupon/sales awareness by keeping tabs on 6-12 good coupon blogs. Facebook, Twitter or RSS feeds are the best way to get up-to-date coupon match-up alerts.


  1. 9. Printed every available coupon. Many times the coupons online only match what you already have from the paper. I’ve printed way too many coupons (major waste of ink) that I didn’t need—because I didn’t check my coupon inventory first.


  • 10. Thought the blog world was the limit. I always scan the printed or online ads for all of my local stores in case everyone is missing something. It happens! I scored $1.29 children’s vitamins at Meijer after using layered coupons (store & manufacturer) on a BOGO sale. I never saw this match-up posted anywhere!

And remember that you may have coupons others don’t. I scored tons of great baby coupons when I went in to meet my daughter’s new pediatrician. Only I can match those up!


About the Author: Brooke  “We are down from $200 to $100 a week on food and I never pay anything most toiletries/personal care items!”


  1. Raven In A Blue Room says:

    great advice

    another mistake I made was to NOT hand in a $x amount off your total purchase coupon (I always see safeway having $10 off $75 or more purchase) at the beginning of your transaction.

  2. I have another to add…my mom called last night. She made a major newb mistake…forgot her coupons! I told her to get a binder!

  3. Laura L. says:

    I am a newbie myself, so this advice is really helpful! Thanks!


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