Re: using coupons
DEFINITELY make your own cleaning supplies! I started making everything myself, and you would not believe how much you save! And you get rid of nasty chemicals, and homemade cleaning supplies are just as effective!
I've been making all-purpose cleaning spray (simply water, vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice in a squeeze bottle, works great!!), I made a gallon of liquid hand soap the other day for $2, and a year's worth of powdered laundry detergent (I'm going to say more like 9 months for our family of 5) for about $25! The laundry detergent is fabulous - I'm a laundry snob and the homemade stuff smells great and works great!
As far as couponing, I follow cuckoo for coupons, and coupon divas. They do the matchups for you. Go to local stores and ask if they will give you the extra inserts - they just throw them out and most places will give them to you if they aren't already spoken for. I get all the leftover inserts from my DH's store. Then you just look online for the matchups - the couponing blogs do all the work for you!
I don't really coupon for food unless its coffee, creamer or yeast - most of the coupons for food is processed convenience foods, and IMO, not that great of a deal. But you can get stuff for practically free, when it comes to toiletries and health and beauty! This past week, I got 14 bottles of Tresemme shampoo and conditioner, 12 bottles of Clear shampoo for men, and 6 Oral B tooth brushes - I paid $7 total for everything! I kept most of the shampoo, and traded about 8 bottles of it for canning jars with a fellow couponing friend!