My mother was a coupon clipper. We would go to the local convenience store every Sunday morning and buy 4 or 5 newspapers and spend the day cutting coupons. I was a frequent helper, and I knew that clipping coupons helped us save money.
After getting my first apartment, I started buying the Sunday paper and clipping my own coupons. And what I found was that it would take me a few hours each week to clip and sort the coupons, then match the coupons up with the ads in the circulars in order to obtain the best deals.
Enter married life. And children. I no longer had time to run to the store and buy a few copies of newspapers and clip and sort all the coupons. I did not have an hour to an hour and a half to match up the circular with my coupons and make a grocery list before going to the store. Now that I have a house, husband, and babies to care for, traditional couponing went out the window.
I went to a seminar on Extreme Couponing. I learned SO much information from these wonderful ladies. For instance.
- There are two types of coupons. Manufacturer's coupons and Store coupons. What I didn't know is just about every store will allow you to use BOTH a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon on the same item. It's called stacking your coupons and it's acceptable at just about every store!
- If you purchase an item and your coupon is higher than the price of the item, stores may allow you to keep the difference! No, they will not give you money back, but if you buy an additional item, the difference will apply as a credit toward that item!
Extreme Couponing has become so popular that there are clubs all around the country to teach it and trade coupons. There are also lots of websites available that will teach you how to maximize coupons for the best deals.
I would have to say the best thing I learned from this seminar was to pay more attention to my local drug stores. Join their frequent buyer programs, pick up their circulars with the additional store coupons, stack them with your newspaper or printable coupons and in some cases, get what's called Catalinas or coupons good for your next in store purchase of ANYTHING in the store. Many times if you do all these things, you get your item for free!
Couponing has gone digital. Printable coupons are available from many reputable sources, but beware of a few scamming websites out there - you could end up in an endless website redirect loop if you get onto the wrong website. However, with the ability to search websites, search printable coupon sites, and search newpaper coupons online, the time to prepare to go shopping with coupons has decreased from 2-3 hours to 30 minutes to an hour. And the savings can be insane. I think I will do this!
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