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Extreme Couponing Without Being Extreme
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Extreme Couponing Without Being Extreme

By now, most people have heard of extreme couponing, the new buzz phrase made popular by TLC’s reality TV show “Extreme Couponing”. The show revolves around people who are fanatical about coupons.

I’m not saying that using your coupons to get the biggest price discount possible or even free products is bad but, what you see on the show is unrealistic. If you have ever watched the show, you will notice that processed food items account for most of the coupons they use to get their extreme deals. In addition, this craze leads to coupon fraud which in turn, causes many stores to change their coupon policies. Today, there are fewer stores offering double coupons than there were just 2 years ago.

As we struggle with a weak economy and soaring prices, we are constantly looking for ways to save money. You can, in fact, save money with coupons and sales advertisements without going to the extreme you see on TV. It does take planning and organization, but you can plan your savings in as little as 1-2 hours a week.

Start with picking up or subscribing to your area Sunday paper. The coupons and sales you find cover the cost of the newspaper. You can also print coupons on-line at sites like Coupon Mom, Coupon Cabin and Coupons . com .

Decide what day you’re going to devote time to your coupons. I do coupons on Sunday when I get the paper and on Wednesday when the local stores mail their circulars.

I start by clipping coupons for everything my family uses. The coupons we don’t use, I take to the store with me and put them next to the items they are for. I know some shopper would love to have them. I don’t believe that any coupon should go to waste. That’s like throwing money away. When I’m done clipping any coupons I find that are for the items on my shopping list, I write coupon next to that item.

Once I have my coupons clipped, I plan my meals then start going through the sales circulars, looking for the items I need. I list each store, what’s on sale, price, size and what page of the circular the item is on. I do not waste gas by going to each store. However, there are several stores that will match a competitor’s ad dollar for dollar. So, I go into one store each week, armed with my list of competitor’s sales. Then, if I can use a coupon with the sales circulars, my savings just grew.

Several stores have a price buster product each week. Recently I bought large packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese for .68 per package. This saved me over $1.00 per package so I stalked up. Cream cheese freezes great and I use it to cook with quite often.

Now that I have my necessities listed, I start looking for items we use that I want to stock up on. I do have a small stockpile, enough that it would see us through about 3 months if necessary. Everyone needs a small stock pile. There will be times you can’t get to the grocery store or don’t have the money.

In November I had 10 coupons for Campbell’s soups. A local store had a sale 10 for $10 throughout the month. This was a great deal and with the coupons, it was like getting 2 free cans of soup out of each 10 cans I bought. I stocked up on this item.

If you have stores in your area, that offer 10 for $10 sales, this is a terrific way to save money. Just make sure that the prices of your regular shopping place are not normally priced less than the 10 for 10.

Look for my next article in this series. I will be discussing ways to save even more by cooking and preserving your food and offer tips on meal planning and food preservation.

Street Talk

Thanks for these ideas and looking forward to reading your next article in the series :-)

  about 1 decade ago
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