I take my coupon book with me whenever I leave the house and it has been a real money saver. I had to go to Kroger and pick up a few things on Monday and ran across some clearance items that I had coupons for, Oil of Olay and Gillette Body Wash cost me ZERO. Cheerios were $1.49/box and I had $1.50/3 so I got three boxes for $1 each.
Kroger has a clearance area like most stores. It's off the beaten path so you may have to search for it. I check it everytime I go in to Kroger. If your coupon is for more than the clearance price, then they will only give you credit for the clearance price, but free is free in my book.
CVS has their clearance at the front of the store and I have found that the clearance items vary from store to store as does the percentage of markdown. The CVS I go to most often had 75% off summer items and another one that I just happened to stop in had 90% off the same items. Don't be afraid to shop around. I didn't have to go out of my way to compare prices, I just had to stop by and see. CVS will also only give you credit for the clearance price if your coupon is for a higher amount. Also I spend a little time scanning the aisles for clearance stickers, it only takes about 30 minutes but it is worth the time when I score a really good bargain.
Walmart has clearance section, but I have found that even on clearance Walmart still thinks a whole lot of their items. They don't really care if they sell them or not because after so long they will donate the items to Goodwill to sale.
At Target you just have to watch the aisles for clearance items.
Walgreens also has clearance and depending on the store, the clearance items may be aisle to aisle or they may have a section for clearance. Again it only takes about 30 minutes to scan a store for clearance savings.
Rite Aid has their clearance items mixed in aisle to aisle also, but they also have end caps toward the pharmacy that have clearance items on them. I have found a few items on these in the past.
Remember, your coupons DO NOT say "Not good on clearance items" so don't let the stores intimidate you into not using them. If you have a problem, always have them call a manager, most stores don't want to lose your business and remember they get reimbursed face value of the coupon plus a handling charge,