One of the hottest money-saving trends going right now is extreme couponing. In fact, there’s even a popular TV show by that name. When you watch that show, you see happy shoppers strolling their local store aisles confidently selecting items from the shelf that they know they can save money on because of their careful planning.
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You may be curious about how to begin extreme couponing and get the kind of results you see these savvy shoppers experiencing. First thing you should understand about this activity is that this is a way of life. You need to be completely committed to online couponing in order to be successful on this level. They make it look so easy on TV, but as you’ll see, anything that takes you to the extreme can also be filled with hidden pitfalls. CBD Oil Online Discounts Seligman.
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Many extreme couponers use coupon clipping services to increase their chances of saving more money. The clipping services are a third party between you and the manufacturer that created the coupon. While you can get these coupons for free, the clipping services charge a fee for the convenience of making coupons available to you. The average fee per coupon is $0.2 to $0.50.
If you plan to print coupons from online sites like other extreme couponers, keep in mind that you’ll need to spring for extra printer ink for this as well. Some people even have more than one printer to handle all of their printed CBD Oil Online Discounts Seligman.
Buying on Impulse
Stores arrange the items on each aisle in a certain way in order to make it tempting for you to buy items that you may or may not need. Stores and manufacturers make more money when they put up a “special sale” tag on an item. CBD Oil Online Discounts Seligman They cleverly know how to lure you into making an impulse buy.
It’s common to see products advertised as being a fantastic bargain if you buy 2, 4 or 10 at a time. Extreme couponers especially love these types of deals. They often fill their carts with these multiple deal items and are totally stoked at the steal they are getting.
Except that the actual products may not be the healthiest choices for you or your family. They may also be something you just don’t really need. It’s easy to get swept up by the extreme savings so much that you end up spending money on stuff you ordinarily wouldn’t buy.
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You have seen the shows where people are saving tons of money and getting products for little to no money. Wouldn't we all love that? I thought it was impossible until I got started in couponing and realized that I too could be stocking my cabinets full of household items for little money. So I decided to help others save money too by putting together 7 Easy Steps to Successful Couponing.
Gather your coupons: This can be done by buying your local Sunday paper for the coupon inserts. You can also get some from neighbors and family to help you get started. Buying multiple papers helps you to build a larger collection quickly. You can get coupons in various locations once you learn the basics.
Clip all the coupons when you first get started. This will insure that you have them all in case you come across a really good deal at the store. There are many ways to 'keep' your coupons but this one is the easiest when you are staring out. There are different theories to this philosophy which will be covered in future articles Clipping or Saving.
Organize your coupons: Organize your coupons into a 3 ring binder with baseball card type plastic sheets. There are several ways to prepare your binder...see article: Preparing Coupon Binder. This binder will become your newest best friend.
Study the sales ads: Study the ads of your local stores to find great sales that match up to your coupons. This seems tedious at first but will get easier with time. There are shortcuts to this step which will be covered in the future article Matching Your Coupons To Stores.
Learn the lingo and Store Policies: You will notice when getting started that there are a lot of acronyms used in couponing. ECB, RR, SS are just a few that you will see when reading through things on the internet. See Couponing Lingo 101. It is also important to know the couponing policy for each store. Print out a copy for your 3 favorite stores so you have them with you if a sales clerk isn't up to snuff on the policy themselves. This is key!
Visit websites: Visit the websites of your favorite stores in order to find Store Coupons that match your manufacturer coupons. They can be used together for added savings at most stores. This is called Stacking Your Coupons. You can also visit the manufacturers websites and Facebook pages to get added coupons.
Go to the store and try it out! This is probably the hardest step for me because I was very nervous and excited when I did my first few transactions. It may be easier for you to take a friend or family member with you the first few times so that you get more comfortable with coupling. Always take your coupon binder with you just in case there are additional items on sale that you have a coupon for to save money.
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So you've probably seen the TLC show, Extreme Couponing - well, this article is NOT going to save you that kind of money. But hopefully, you'll find a few tips that can save you some cash the next time you go to the grocery store.
- Shop the Sales - When I make my round through the grocery aisles, I don't shop for what I need. I shop for what's on sale and I adjust my needs accordingly. So if spaghetti sauce is buy one get one free (BOGO), then my kids have spaghetti that week instead of tacos.
- Know the BOGOs - Grocery stores like Publix, Winn Dixie and BiLo offer Buy One Get One (BOGO) free specials on a weekly basis. But who wants to visit each store website to determine what BOGOs are the best? Couponing sites like SouthernSavers.com research all of these specials for you, so you don't have to waste time determining what to buy each week.
- Collect Coupons from Your Sunday Paper - I usually get two Sunday papers so I can have double the amount of coupons. You have to be careful though because every once in a while, there are NO coupons in the Sunday paper. So if possible, pilfer through it before buying two.
- Save big with BOGO Coupons - The real savings come when you can use a coupon for the BOGOs. Many grocery stores double coupons up to $.50. So if you have two coupons for a BOGO item, then you can use one coupon for the item you're paying for and another coupon for the item you're getting for free. If it's a $.50 coupon, then the store will automatically double it. Which means you're getting two items, but only paying for one and you're saving $2.00 on the only item you're paying for. It's a sweet deal!
- Save big with Manufacturer Coupons AND Store Coupons - Some stores offer their own coupons for various products. So collect the store coupon and then collect the manufacturer coupon (available in the Sunday paper and online) and use them BOTH for the same item. You have to be sure your grocery store accepts both, but most do. This can really compound your savings.
- Save money with Competitor Coupons - Know your grocery store's competitors. I shop at Publix and their main competitor is Winn Dixie. Sometimes, I shop at Winn Dixie (they have great meat specials) and when I do, I collect any available Winn Dixie coupons, because I can use them at Publix!! Publix will treat a Winn Dixie coupon as a store coupon, meaning I can use it AND a manufacturer coupon for the same item.
Couponing can be time-consuming, and honestly, I used to just go to discount stores to buy everything. It's less hassle and they do have "Low Prices." But when I compare the two stores, I save more and I get more for my money when I coupon at Publix. So if you have the time, try couponing. It provides huge savings and allows you to spend your money on other things...like going out to eat!
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Coupons are a great resource for saving money. Think of coupons as "free money". Would you walk by a dollar on the ground without picking it up? So why would anyone pass up "free money" in the form of coupons? The great thing about this method of saving money is that it is very easy and requires no special skills to get started. Items required for coupon clipping are a pair of scissors and the desired coupons. So, gather your tools and start clipping!
Generally, it is also a good idea to have some method of organizing your coupons. You can purchase a coupon organizer (typically found at craft and department stores) or create your own method of organizing your "free money". Once you have clipped your desired coupons, place them in a coupon organizer or place them in labeled envelopes. Titles for your envelopes can include: Today's coupons, Beverages, Snacks, Health, Beauty, Frozen foods, Cleaning supplies, Cereal, Entertainment, Dining, Dessert, Pets, Soups/Sauces, Condiments and Dairy. So where can you find these valuable items? They are all around you. If you like a particular brand or manufacturer, a visit to their website may also reveal coupons. Websites such are great sources. Typically, you have to provide an email address or sign up for a newsletter in order to receive the coupon. Sometimes, manufacturers will even offer free samples.
Tip: Did you know you can use more than one coupon on the same item? Use a manufacturer's coupon in conjunction with a store coupon for even more savings.
Besides manufacturer websites, some of the biggest sources of coupons include SmartSource & Redplum. These companies provide coupon inserts that can be found in your local Sunday paper, making it well worth your purchase. However, if you don't usually buy the Sunday paper don't fret! Some neighborhoods provide residents with free (well you paid for it with your county tax) local county or city papers and some editions are chocked-full of coupons.
Companies deliver deals right to your mailbox. Examples of offers include deals on automotive care, household maintenance, local drug stores and pizza parlors. Look out for special sales and promotions as well! If you live nearby two or more different grocery stores or retailers you may become the unexpected beneficiary of a "price war" in your neighborhood. Over the course of one month, my family saved $50.00 on our grocery bill as a result of a "price war". We were knowledgeable about the coupons because we had checked our "junk mail". So instead of tossing out those papers that gather at your front door and in your mail box, sort through it... you may be throwing away your "free money".
Tip: Look out for merchants that double and sometimes even triple your coupons' value.
Yet another source of coupons is the Entertainment Book. There is a book for most major cities. Although I typically I do not believe in paying money to save money, this book is a great value. These books can start anywhere from $25.00 -$50.00 or more. Do not let the price be a deterrent. Often times the Entertainment book website offers discounts off the regular price and may even offer free shipping. In addition, waiting to purchase this book 3-4 months into the year can be well worth it. The further into the year it is, the more discounted the book typically becomes. I encourage you to visit the book's website to get a preview of some of the discounts available in your area. Discounts include restaurants, movies, dry-cleaning, grocery stores and even amusement parks! I have found that the book often pays for itself after one or two uses. My primary piece of advice however, is to never pay full price for the book. Magazines are also a source of "coupon goodness". Who would have thought your magazine subscription would offer more than just relationship advice and celebrity gossip? If you order magazines or casually pick up one at your favorite store, count on saving money by clipping coupons; but don't buy magazines just for coupons. If you read them anyway, magazines are a great source of "free money".
I love a good bargain, so I never overlook store sale papers. I know that some shoppers may consider sale papers as mere distractions to the ultimate goal. But, please trust me on this. You simply have to grab the sale paper at the entrance of the store. You might feel ridiculous if you later realize that you could have saved 10% on a recent shopping trip because there was a coupon or special in the store circular. Some department stores even offer shoppers gift cards for purchasing certain items or for using their pharmacy to fill a prescription. The only way to be aware of these specials is to read the store circular or sale paper. When using your "free money" there are some important points to remember. Be sure to check the expiration dates on your coupons. One exception is the bedding and household apparel store, Bed Bath and Beyond. It does not matter how old the store coupon is, this retailer will accept it.
You may use as many store coupons as you have items to purchase (one per item). As with any coupon, always be sure to look for restrictions and specifications. Most importantly, only clip coupons for items that you already use. Buying an item solely because you have a coupon will cost you more money in the long run.
Tip: For extra savings, match your coupons with store sales for rock bottom prices!
-Written by Lisa Leslie-Williams
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