When we lived in Miami I was a mad couponer. Groceries were much more expensive than previous places we had lived (and keep in mind, we moved there from China where groceries cost almost nothing). It was really disheartening to come home with a couple bags of groceries that somehow cost +$100.
I was chatting with a couple of friends from church about it and they all lit up like Christmas trees talking about couponing. I had seen some episodes of extreme couponing on TV but figured it was all bogus (and also, I didn't need like 500 free toothbrushes. I just wanted to save me and my family a little money on our regular groceries).
Anyway, those friends taught me a thing or two about couponing and away I went!
The nice thing about couponing these days is that so many people do it, there are literally hundreds of blogs that cover it, that you don't have to do any of the brain work yourself! You just go to the blogs, find the deals, go pick out the coupons and go buy your stuff. It really is that easy.
My favorite website is: Southern Savers.
For me it was the easiest to navigate around and has a good amount of chain stores (Target, Walgreens, Walmart, etc). If you explore her site for a while, she easily teaches you how to coupon, so I'll leave it to her HERE.
The idea is that you combine BOTH manufacturer coupons with store coupons when the store is having a sale on the item of purchase. The result? MAD savings.
It does require a little more planning and prepping and a shopping mentality shift. Stores usually repeat the same sales every 6-8 weeks so one thing you'll do is stock up on the items on sale when they are on sale- buy enough to get you through those 6 weeks until they are on sale again.
Since moving back to Utah, we've found that couponing is not so red hot here. What makes couponing so great in other states is stores that have Buy One Get One Free sales (aka BOGO). When you combine coupons to BOGO's-- thats the sweet stuff. That's how you get stuff real cheap or free. But, we still shop the sales and we still apply coupons when we can. With a little discipline, we really have quite a bit of money on our groceries.
Anyway, if you have specific questions, feel free to leave me a comment. Happy couponing!