Now that you know many intimate details of my buying practices, let me tell you how coupons fit in to the picture. If I have a coupon that will get me an item free or very cheap, I will buy one even if I haven't used it before to see if I like it. I have found that most name brands are pretty good.
Some items that I am brand loyal to very rarely have coupons. At that point I need to rely on watching sales and store rewards to get the cheapest price. I will tell you a secret - not everything I buy has a coupon... SHHHHH!!!! Don't tell. Yes, I still have to buy certain items without a coupon, and I'm OK with that. Am I walking out of the store paying less than $1 and getting $500 worth of stuff? No. But I am still getting good deals.
Occasionally there are coupons for my brand-loyal items and when that happens I collect as many coupons as I can. Same for when that item goes on sale. If expiration dates are not a problem, then I STOCK UP on the item. At one point a few months ago there was a coupon for Vlasic Pickles. I got a ton of coupons and a few weeks later they went on sale and enabled me to get them for .67 cents. Well I bought about 14 jars. (For the record we only have 2 jars left - we are pickle people!)
So the bottom line is, you can be brand-loyal and still coupon, but the more items you are flexible on the better.