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Welcome to the frugal life and the world of couponing! Here are ways to keep up with the deals at Frugal Living NW:

:: Subscribe to our email digest — once a day, you will receive an email with the previous 24 hours’ posts

:: “Like” us on Facebook — we often post deals on the Frugal Living NW Facebook Page that don’t make it on the blog

:: Follow us on Twitter

We talk a lot about couponing on this site and if you’re new to this way of shopping, it can be confusing. Use this page as a way to familiarize yourself with the basics of using coupons to get the majority of your food and household items for free or nearly free.

Why coupon? Simply, to save money. And you can save a lot of money if you start shopping strategically. We don’t use a manufacturer’s coupon on a regular priced item. That’s silly. You can always spend less buying generic at WinCo or Super Walmart.

Instead, we use manufacturer’s coupons when you can get the name brand for less than the generic equivalent at one of the 2 W’s. You can do this by combining that manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon, store promotion and/or rebate. That’s strategic shopping!

Every week, we will tell you the deals at stores in the Pacific Northwest. And we’ll tell you how to do the deals, where to find them, give you links to the printable coupons and do all the math. All you have to do is grab the coupons and hit the store!

We cover the following stores at Frugal Living NW:

Be sure to read the comments as well as the posts — our readers are great at trying out deals and reporting their findings!

Are you totally overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? You are in the right place! We work really hard at making the deals doable for both the advanced couponer and beginner. If you’re brand new to the Frugal Living NW world, do the following:

:: Absolutely nothing. Just read the posts. Familiarize yourself with the language (decode all the acronyms here) . Get comfortable with the scenarios. And wait until you find a deal that you are actually excited about and on something your family uses.

:: Do one deal and only one deal. Seriously. Go to the store and buy the one product. Walk out of the store having paid $.06 for a box of cereal. Let yourself get excited. If you try to do too many deals in your first trip, you will be overwhelmed, mess something up and walk away discouraged.

:: Start “playing” one store. Become an expert. Try out different types of deals. Fail a couple of times and recover. Hit a couple of different locations to scope out the most friendly stores and cashiers. This could take from one week to a couple of months.

:: Add another store to your game once you’re comfortable with the first. Again, become an expert.

:: Rinse and repeat!

Once you’ve tried out all the stores, you will eventually settle on one or two of your favorites. Work these stores regularly and add the others when they are having a deal you just can’t pass up. Remember, no one is shopping at every store and scoring every deal. There’s just not enough time and most of us don’t have the energy to do that.

Most importantly, do what works for you and your family! You are not in a competition with us or any reader. All we want is for you to be excited about contributing to your family’s financial goals!

Other helpful resources:

Coupon Database :: Find the coupon you’re looking for, right here on Frugal Living NW!

Saving Money on “Real” Food :: grains, meat, dairy, produce I and produce II.

Frugal Family Fun :: Ideas how to save money while hangin’ with the family.

Frugal Recipes

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