Saving money has always been one of my hobbies.
It started as a necessity during my Penny Hoarding college years. I never grew out of it.
Why would I pay full price when — with a little research, patience and masterminding — I could pay a fraction of the cost?
For awhile, I was super into couponing. When I started to ramp up my coupon game, The Krazy Coupon Lady was my savior. I quickly learned the tricks of the trade, and my friends started calling me the Coupon Queen.
Thanks to KCL, I was able to snag a pair of $120 Sorel boots for $10. And a $40 cast iron pan for $16. I learned how to save 97% with CVS Rewards.
I even learned how to stack coupons, shop sales cycles, roll offers and use rebates to make money couponing.
Here’s why I love KCL and why you should check out the site if you want to learn how to save an impressive amount of money on almost anything.
1. Find Freebies Galore
Because so many companies want you to fall in love with them and become a loyal customer, the internet is littered with products free for the taking. All you have to do is give them your email and/or mailing address.
But who has time to find these freebies — or knows how to? Krazy Coupon Lady does.
The KCL team scours the web for freebies and posts them on their blog. Some freebies they’ve posted include free address labels, light bulbs, coffee and dog treats.
They also let you know the fine print, like if you have to pay for shipping or cancel a membership at a later date to avoid a subscription fee.
To get the scoop on all the freebies they post, like Krazy Freebies on Facebook.
2. Go From Newbie to Pro
The world of couponing can be crazy overwhelming with confusing lingo, coupon policies and restrictions.
While it is possible to pay next to nothing (and often literally nothing) at grocery stores, drug stores and online, you’ll need time to cultivate that expert coupon know-how.
To help get you started, KCL has an amazing free beginner’s guide.
The simple step-by-step guide breaks down different aspects of couponing and teaches you how to get organized and avoid mistakes. Anytime someone asks for my best couponing tips, I send them straight here.
3. See Only Deals You Care About
Most coupon websites post several times a day, making it tough to keep up with all the deals and promotions. Some of the deals are regional or may not be relevant to you.
KCL posts just as frequently — in fact, perhaps more than other coupon sites — but they make it easy to narrow down the deals to only ones you care about.
Because I’m not as aggressive a couponer these days as I once was, I limit my coupon wizardry to one store: CVS. I love KCL’s comprehensive CVS section and don’t need to look anywhere else to find deals.
The site also has sections dedicated to other drug stores (Walgreens, Rite Aid), grocery stores (Trader Joe’s, Publix, Safeway), clothing stores (Old Navy, JCPenney, Kohl’s) and more.
4. Let The Krazy Coupon Lady Do All the Work
You get the best deals when you stack a coupon from the Sunday circular with a sale.
But it’s unlikely this Sunday’s coupons will match up with this week’s sales. You might need to wait a few weeks for something to get discounted, creating a prime time to use a coupon.
You also need to remember to use coupons before they expire.
It takes a ton of time to scour every store’s sale ads and match them with the coupons you’ve got on hand. Fortunately, KCL does all that work for you. Each week, the site shows what’s on sale at each store and which coupons will score you the best deals. If a coupon expires mid-week, it’ll let you know to take advantage of the deal before then.
You’ll have to keep each week’s circular organized and become familiar with how KCL lists the deal combinations (For example, “RP 5/31” means the Sunday Red Plum insert from May 31.), but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy peasy.
The site even lists the final price you’ll pay, so you know exactly how much you can save.
I still can’t believe how much work must go on behind the scenes at KCL to match all the coupons and sales, but I definitely appreciate how much time it saves me!
5. Watch Deals Come to You
Saving money isn’t just about coupons. KCL also posts promotions, discounts and limited time offers from online retailers. I’ve scored great discounts that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise if I hadn’t seen them on the blog.
How does the team find so many great deals? KCL has a team that scours the web and a huge following of fellow coupon and deal fanatics. If one of the site’s fans sees a great deal, they’ll share it with KCL, which then broadcasts it for everyone.
The downside is these often go fast.
Exceptionally sought-after products might sell out in a few minutes because of traffic from KCL. Sometimes you get the deal; sometimes you don’t. I’ve been lucky enough at times to appreciate the broadcast deals.
6. Get Honest and Ethical Recommendations
Couponing comes with a stigma, which is unpleasant for anyone who plays by the rules. People see you with a stack of coupons and think you’re gaming the system.
Unfortunately, many couponers are dishonest and pull not-cool tactics to save an extra buck.
For example, some people photocopy printable coupons, which is usually against their terms and conditions. KCL discourages this. If you want more printable coupons, the site tells you how to get them legally.
It also discourages its community from being greedy and clearing out the shelves.
Though saving money is one of my absolute favorite hobbies, I don’t want to do it dishonestly.
I appreciate that KCL takes the same stance. It sticks to each store’s coupon policy and never recommends anything shady to get a deal. I trust that any deals on the blog won’t get me into trouble or make me feel queasy.
7. Get Inspiration From Frugal Entrepreneurs
Because I’m a natural-born storyteller and entrepreneur, I can’t help but love Krazy Coupon Lady’s origin story.
Founders Heather Wheeler and Joanie Demer were friends and young moms in Boise, Idaho, who wanted to save more money on groceries. They began to coupon before it was cool, then started a blog in 2008 to share their tips and tricks.
It picked up so much steam, they were able to quit their jobs and make Krazy Coupon Lady their full-time gig!
These women started couponing out of necessity and were able to make it work. I especially love that Heather became the sole breadwinner of her family and paid off more than $50,000 of debt in two years.
When Joanie’s husband lost his job and insurance, then her daughter was hospitalized, she was able to keep costs low through couponing while her family worked to pay the medical bills and get out of debt.
Save Money Through (Krazy) Couponing
Once upon a time, I visited KCL multiple times a day. Thanks to the website, I was able to get many of my necessities and a few fun non-essentials at a fraction of their full price.
Even though I still love a good deal, I’ve scaled back on my couponing these days. But I still have the coupon knowledge I gained from my dedicated KCL days and know exactly what I’ll need to do if I want to get serious about couponing again.
When I’m ready to dive back into extreme savings, I know KCL will be there waiting for me with deals galore.
Betsy Mikel is a Chicago-based freelance copywriter and brand content strategist. She loves biking all over every city she visits to find its best taqueria.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.