How To Start Extreme Couponing
Have you ever thought about getting into extreme couponing? I’ve never done it but I find the concept really intriguing.
Luke Strauss is here today to teach us about how extreme couponing works and how to get started.
After reading this, I’m adding getting an “overage” on to my list of life goals for sure. Enjoy! – Disha
In these uncertain times, many people are making changes in their lives to save money. These changes often include cutting back on credit card spending, buying clothing secondhand, and limiting unnecessary water usage.
Many people don’t realize they can save big on another necessity – groceries. With extreme couponing, people can save hundreds of dollars a month on groceries… and sometimes even get their groceries completely free! All of the money saved on groceries can be used to help pay off other stressful expenses – like student loan debt or credit card debt– faster.
Extreme couponing can seem like a daunting task. It requires patience, practice, and lots of research. Many wonder, where extreme couponers even get their coupons?
Let’s dive into some tips and tricks to help you become an extreme couponer and maximize your savings.
Learn the Terms and Tools of Extreme Couponing
It’s important to get familiarized with the common couponing lingo so that we know which coupons will save us the most money and how each coupon works.
For example, mail-in rebates will not apply at the register, but instead, will get refunded from the manufacturer after sending in proof of purchase.
We will also need to gather the right couponing tools to help us find coupons and keep them all organized.
Here are some tools to gave on hand:
Weekly store ads
The local paper
Prepare The Coupons
Once we have finished gathering all of our tools, it’s time to start finding coupons that work for us!
It is important to look beyond the Sunday paper to find the best coupons. Subscribing to various local and national magazines is a great way to find coupons. In the digital age, there are also many websites full of coupons ready for you to print or scan using a smart phone. It’s as simple as googling “coupons for [insert favorite item]”.
It is also important to note that each store has different policies. It’s in our best interest to read over each store’s coupon policy before going shopping. Check out the store’s sales ads, as these reveal what sales are already occurring, providing the perfect opportunity to stack coupons on top of a store’s sales and maximize the value of our coupons.
Next, use a binder to organize coupons based on store and category. This will make the shopping experience much easier when scanning the aisles for favorite goods. The cashier will appreciate you for making the coupon process seamless at checkout.
In-Store Best Practices
Now that we have our first round of coupons ready, it’s time to take a trip to the store for a test-run – just be sure to avoid peak hours. Shopping at non-peak times gives us plenty of time to look around and get a feel for what we need to be doing, without the stress of crowds. Now, we can stroll around with our coupon binders in-hand.
When extreme couponing, prepare to sacrifice brand loyalty. Be open to new brands, as this is key to maximizing your savings. Who knows – you may even find a new favorite!
Using more than one coupon for an item and purchasing in bulk will save us money. Buying in advance will help us avoid paying a higher price later when we desperately need the item.
Extreme couponing is about getting an item we will use at the lowest price, rather than restocking items at the time we need them most. It’s a good idea to prepare some garage space ahead of time to store these bulk items.
That being said, it’s also important to avoid buying items just because we have a coupon. If no one in the family eats instant mashed potatoes, we shouldn’t buy instant mashed potatoes. Ultimately, we’ll just be wasting our money and taking away from other consumers. If a deal is really too good to pass up, consider donating the items to a local food bank.
Advanced Strategies for Extreme Couponing
There are a couple tactics that truly separate the regular couponers from the extreme couponers. One such strategy is aiming for overage. Every extreme couponer’s dream is to have the store pay them for shopping there.
Overages will most likely happen when we:
Use a coupon on a sale item
Use coupons with buy one get one (BOGO) deals
Stack manufacturer and store coupons on the same item.
Another tactic extreme couponers use is writing directly to manufacturers. Often, when people write to a manufacturer about how much they love their product, the manufacturer mails back coupons as a token of appreciation.
Another fact to consider is that name-brand items often have more coupons available than generic items. Always consider this and look for a coupon before assuming the generic will be the more frugal option!
Ultimately, extreme couponing is a learned art and like every other skill in life, practice makes perfect. If we take time out of our day to learn store policies and find coupons, it can really pay off.
Check out Capital One Shopping’s visual above for more tips to help you become a seasoned couponer.
Luke Strauss is a content creator at Siege Media. He primarily covers topics related to finance and wellness. When he’s not writing he enjoys exploring, making music and spending time with his friends and family.
Standard Disclaimer: Not meant as individualized medical or financial advice. TFP has not monetary relationship with Capital One Shopping or Siege Media.