I have always been a big fan of coupons...when they are used the right way. Some people say they save a lot of money using coupons, but the truth is they are using coupons to purchase things they would not otherwise buy. That is not the proper way to use coupons.
In short, coupons are like using "free money" when they are used to buy things you would normally put in your shopping cart. Combine the manufacturer's coupons with store coupons, buy items when they are on sale and use the coupons during the store's "double coupon" day, and you can get some great deals.
My wife is the "coupon queen" in our house. I have literally seen her buy $120 worth of groceries for about $15 using coupons. When we left the store, we felt like we had broken some kind of law, but of course we hadn't. She also gets some great deals with her CVS card and "extra value" bucks that are printed on the store receipts.
Coupon usage is up these days, which is no surprise considering the state of the economy. I used to clip coupons from the Sunday paper, but to be honest many of the coupons I find in there now are for things I would not otherwise buy. I now pick and choose my coupons online, and I make use of the coupons and discounts available through UPromise.com, which also puts money into my kid's college fund. There are also many sites where you can find coupon codes for making your online purchases.
In short, use these methods for proper couponing:
1. Combine manufacturer coupons with store coupons and sales for maximum saving.
2. Don't use coupons for things you would not normally buy.
3. Search for coupons online.
4. Don't forget coupon codes for online purchases.
5. Find out the sales days at your local supermarket. At my local supermarket, the sales always start on a Wednesday.