Most people who use coupons are not extreme couponers and only manage to save a few bucks off an order, even after putting in a ton of time planning and preparing everything. Understandably, the extra effort involved without a major reduction in prices can be discouraging.
Extreme couponers, however, do it differently. Simply collecting, clipping, and organizing coupons, and then taking them to your local grocery just doesn’t cut it, especially if you want to see those massive reductions in the 75-90% range that most extreme couponers look out for. Avoiding the many mistakes that people make when it comes using coupons can help you shave off those additional pennies – or dollars – from your purchases. Consider applying these couponing tips to get the most from your coupons and, hopefully, bring out the inner extreme couponer within you!
6 Must-Haves for Extreme Couponers – Save BIG Now
Find Coupons Everywhere
Extreme couponers make it their habit to find coupons everywhere. Usually, you can grab your fair share of coupons in Sunday newspapers, and if a newspaper contains some great coupon deals, consider buying multiple newspapers just for the inserts – while certain stores don’t let you stack coupons on one product, you can use them on multiple products for additional savings, especially if the item is on sale. Major supermarkets also carry in-store magazines that have coupons inside, and moreover, they are free, so make sure to grab more than one.
Also to note, manufacturers and brands love customer feedback, so if there are any issues with an item, just let them know, and you are more than likely to be rewarded with a bunch of coupons. Be vigilant before throwing away any products wrappers, too, since some items have coupons attached – you can also check for them right at your grocery store or supermarket and if the savings look good, just buy them. Finally, look out for people who throw away their coupons – many do so in stores, so just pick them up and use them yourself!
If you thought that coupons are only available in newspapers and magazines, then you would be amazed at the amount of coupons available online. By joining company Facebook pages, checking out brand websites, or signing up for product newsletters, you can be assured of gaining access to tons of coupons delivered right to your inbox – just print out the coupons that you need and you are good to go.
On the other hand, the Internet is full of coupon websites that usually offer insane savings. While most online coupons are redeemable only at online stores, certain coupons can be printed and used at physical stores and supermarkets. Bookmark popular coupons sites and check them out regularly, or simply subscribe to them, and you are sure to find some amazing deals on a continuous basis.
Organization is Key
All extreme couponers have one thing in common – organization. Don’t ever throw a coupon away under the impression that it won’t give you a good deal, since you never know whether you might need it later on. Keep a coupon binder at hand so that whenever you come across a coupon, you can quickly have it sorted out by category, product, or brand – this allows you to instantly access your coupons whenever you need them instead of having to go through every insert.
Also, make it a habit to throw away coupons that expire, since you don’t want to accidentally take with you an expired batch to only find out that they no longer work. All coupons have an expiration date stamped, so you can take your extreme couponers organization skills further by placing the oldest coupons — if you have multiple coupons of the same type — at the top of the heap so that you get to them first.
Don’t use every coupon as soon as you get your hands on one. Some coupons don’t really give you a great deal, so purchasing an item just for the sake of using the coupon isn’t going to cut it. Either wait for a sale on the item that would result in real substantial savings, or simply pass on the deal — even if the coupon expires soon, just let it.
Purchasing products with just 20-30% only lightens your wallet and prevents purchases on other items that would actually save you a great deal of money. On the other hand, even if there’s a sale going on, the savings may not simply be worth it. If the sale price and coupons combined doesn’t result in real savings, focus your efforts on other products.
Make it a habit to not use your coupons on full-price items, since this defeats the whole purpose of extreme couponing – wait for a sale before putting in your coupons to use. You must, however, remember not to just use any sale as a means to use your coupons. Keep a maximum and minimum price point so you can make up your mind right away whether you want to go for a purchase – use the maximum price point to only buy one or two products at most and the minimum price point to really go to town.
If an item falls within the minimum price range, just use it to stockpile on items, and if you have multiple coupons, use them every time. Also, don’t be afraid of overages – most groceries and supermarkets don’t give you any cash, but instead applies the surplus to any other items in your cart. So if you have an item that you really want that’s not at the price point you normally would pay, use overages to your advantage and have prices reduced drastically.
Put Aside Brand Loyalty
Brands are something that most of us are attracted to. It doesn’t always result in real savings, so if you want to get the best deals out there, you have to focus on the price and not the brand – unless it’s something that you really want! Brand loyalty isn’t just limited to a product, but also where you shop. If you visit only one supermarket chain, then you are sure to miss out on all those great deals put out by the competition.
Most coupons also work at competitor stores, so if there’s a great sale going on in another supermarket, just put loyalty aside and go there. Some stores do include loyalty points to keep your business, but if there’s the potential to make even greater deals at the next store, don’t let those loyalty points stop you from visiting it.
Double-Check What You Buy
Extra “big” value products aren’t always the cheapest, especially if you have access to multiple coupons. Instead, consider buying multiple smaller versions so that you can use your coupons separately on each product for massive reductions. While it’s a good idea to stockpile on items that fall into your minimum price point, be mindful of any perishable products that you purchase. If they expire soon, stockpiling on those items isn’t going to be useful.
If you get a great deal on a non-perishable product, by all means, go for it, and don’t be embarrassed – it’s great knowing that you have spares to go around! Finally, make it a habit to stack coupons – while stores don’t let you stack multiple coupons onto a single product, you can, however, use both a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon that when combined, produce phenomenal savings. You can almost always grab store coupons in your local supermarket or grocery store’s weekly flyers.
Know Your Store Well
Knowing the policies of a store or supermarket inside out can help extreme couponers get better deals than what you thought was possible. If a store, for example, matches prices with its competition, you can be assured of a sale if the store next door puts up a sale as well. Certain stores accept competitor coupons, but some do not, so you also have that vital knowledge in hand when it comes to switching stores.
Also, certain stores give rain checks on out-of-stock items – even when they are on sale – so you can have your order secured when the next batch arrives. Most stores also offer rebates for certain in-store items, so you can get even more savings in addition to using both store coupons and manufacturer coupons. Be sure to not miss out on any rewards cards that a store may have on offer — you also get the added benefit of receiving more coupons in the mail.
image via couponbuffer.com
To Sum Up for All Extreme Couponers
Going to the extreme with your coupons isn’t an easy undertaking by any means, but the time you put into getting those great deals do result in significant savings for you and your family. Use every method available to acquire coupons, have them organized, and go for only the best deals – put brand loyalty aside, and know your store well beforehand.
Doing your homework – organization and planning – goes a long way to becoming an extreme couponer. Have your price points in hand before you go out, and don’t dwell in stores too long – you might be tempted to buy unnecessary stuff. Finally, make sure that you look at the weekly advertisements put out by the stores in your area to stay-in-the-know about any deals so that you can always be prepared.
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