How to Become an Extreme Coupon-er

By: Diy maven Apr 13, 2011

Have you heard about TLC's, "Extreme Couponing?" If not, here's a thumbnail: Savvy shoppers use coupons and loyalty cards to save hundreds of dollars on a single trip to the grocery store. Sounds like a great idea at first blush, but becoming an extreme couponer can unbelievably time consuming, and then there's the possibility of crossing the line to becoming an all-out hoarder. (When you reach that point, there's always "Hoarders".) But I digress. If you'd like to become an extreme coupon-er, check out these tips from consumer savings expert, Andrea Woroch. From getting started, to organization, to avoiding 'hoarderland', she has

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saving with coupons covered.

 

1. Start Small 
Don't try to go extreme all at once. Take it step by step, rather than show up at a checkout with 50 coupons and little idea what you're doing.

2. Never Pay For Coupons 
There are some things in this life you just shouldn't pay for, and a coupon is one of them. Paying someone to clip or organize your coupons defeats the purpose of living frugally. Instead, surf Sunday newspaper ad supplements for coupon savings; ask your neighbors for their unwanted papers; or dive inside a recycled dumpster or two. Also, free online coupon sites like CouponSherpa.com give consumers access to a multitude of coupon codes and printable coupons for thousands of merchants.

3. Get Organized 
A little organization can go a long way. Always create a shopping list and have your coupons and shopping strategy organized before you even enter the store. Use an expandable coupon binder to sort coupon inserts by date, categories and expiration dates. Transfer to a small couponizer only those you'll need for a specific shopping trip.

4. Location, Location, Location 
Where you shop is a key factor in making the best use of your time and coupons. Only shop at locations that allow coupon stacking and combining coupons with in-store offers. Don't be afraid to call and ask about policies before you show up. You don't want to wind up embarrassed at the checkout line with a handful of useless coupons.

5. Loyalty Rewards 
Always take advantage of club membership rewards. These programs are usually free and have many savings perks, like rewards points, cash back programs, and double points for every certain amount you spend.

6. Don't Be Greedy 
This is often where extreme couponers cross over into the world of hoarding. Only shop for items you actually need, products you can stock up on that aren't perishable, and those you can donate. Remember, a bargain is only a bargain if you can actually use the purchase. If your pantry has expanded into your living room and the kids are sleeping on rolls of toilet paper, you've probably reached hoarder status.

For more information about Andrea, check out her website. It's loaded with great money-saving advice. 

 

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I want to learn because I have 3 kids and 2 on the way and I'm trying to save money at the same time I have a job but I don't get paid that much and my boyfriend lost his job please help

What do u do if ur store dose not offer the reward card or they dont double the price of coupons.. I am in a area that has neither of those and i want to save money by usen coupons so someone please tell me how.

My parents used to organize their coupons in one of those accordian-style index card holders. They always shopped at the same store and had been for years, so theirs were separated by whatever aisle the product lived on. Worked well for them, but if you bargain shop at different stores, might be best to separate by type, like "cleaning products," "meat," "breakfast foods," "snacks," etc.

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To add to what anonymous said... also, do NOT clear out shelves of products.  Some of us actually only shop for what we need and just wanted to take advantage of the great deal on ONE box of cereal/detergent/tampons, etc... that you filled up your cart with because :::squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee::: it's free if you use these 98 coupons!

Despite the fact that you haven't had your period in 10 years and haven't seen your 4 year old since the Trix slide of 2004.

I would like to know how to organize the coupons, how do you keep track of what expires and when? What kind of catagories do you use? I can clip coupons all day long, but if I can't find them when I need them then they don't do much good. :-) Please help em figure this out. 

Anon--That is a GREAT reminder. Thanks for adding it to the list!!!

Even though "Be Considerate" shouldn't be something you have to tell anyone that's over the age of 4.. I wish it was something that was somewhere on lists like these.  I was a cashier at a health food grocery store a while back and people would come in at our busiest times of day with a hand full of coupons that may or may not be able to be used together, hold up the line, get rude with the managers, and basically embarrass themselves in front of a slew of Sunday shoppers.   If you're going to be adamant about paying $1.50 for $100 worth of groceries because you saw the lady on TV do it, consider not holding up the line and being nice about it.  Don't shop at peak hours if at all possible.. So you've saved $10,000 this year in groceries.. if you were rude and unbearable while doing so you've lost a ton of karma points.   Use these great tips with kindness people!

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