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 Supai.
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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 Supai.
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 Supai 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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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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Perhaps you've seen one of those television shows wherein a shopper uses an incredibly large amount of coupons to bring her grocery bill down to just a few dollars and cents at checkout. "If I can do it, anyone can do it!" this person exclaims, and we do want to believe her. Who wouldn't want to save money at the food store? However, the people who save the most money generally spend quite a bit of time gathering coupons, organizing them and strategizing their shopping trips. Getting the kind of savings by using coupons that you see on TV may not be possible right away (and you may not have quite as much time to invest in couponing), but using coupons will save you money. Start small and then build up as your schedule and desire permit. Use the following 10 tips as your guide to making coupons pay:
1. Pick a store. Choose the food store that you most often shop at to focus your couponing skills on first. It can be too overwhelming for a novice couponer to keep track of all the sales at all the stores in their area and coordinate trips to all of them. Usually, stores also have a minimum purchase amount to obtain sale items.
2. Familiarize yourself with your store's coupon policy. Every store has its own rules regarding coupons. Stay up-to-date on the store's rules and you avoid wasting your time planning purchases around coupons that your store will not honor.
3. Sign up for coupon websites. Open a free email account just for this purpose. If you search "couponing," some of the top sites should come up. Join their mailing lists to receive free, printable coupons. Also join sites for products that you use regularly and know you'll be buying. These companies appreciate brand loyalty and regularly offer coupons for their products on these sites; diapers, cereal and laundry detergent are just a few that come to mind.
4. Have a simple system. Most serious couponers have large, impressive-looking binders jam-packed with coupons in clear plastic sleeves--leave these systems for the future couponing you. Just starting out, all you really need is a small accordion file or plain envelopes (whichever you already have on hand will do). Don't make the mistake of spending your future coupon savings on today's coupon organization system.
5. Link your system to your store. Use one file slot or one envelope for every aisle in your chosen store. File your coupons according to aisle and also write your shopping list by aisle. Keep one envelope or file slot open for the coupons you know ahead of time that you'll be using, but always bring all of your coupons with you every shopping trip.
6. Start clipping. If you're already receiving coupons with your newspaper, start with those. Perhaps a friend, relative or neighbor has coupon inserts that they don't want or need. If you choose, you may want to start purchasing the Sunday paper for the coupon inserts. However, if you're just getting started, don't buy multiple copies of the paper for the inserts or coupons from a clipping service. If you do not make use of these extra coupons, then you've wasted money instead of saving it. The coupons you will have on hand just from the paper and from the web will be enough to get you started.
7. Stick to a schedule. Choose one day/evening a week to "work" on couponing, i.e., clipping coupons, printing coupons from websites, filing, checking your store's circular, etc. This ensures that you'll never miss a great deal.
8. Keep track of your time. Be sure to note exactly how much time you're spending on couponing and shopping and compare this time spent to the amount that you spent just on shopping alone. This gauge can help you decide if using a lot of coupons is worth your time and effort.
9. Keep track of your savings. This combined with tip no. 8 will help you to decide whether or not coupons pay for you. If you're really not saving that much money and spending more time than you'd like trying to, maybe couponing isn't for you.
10. Purge regularly. Nothing is more frustrating than having a great coupon (which will double!) matched to a great store sale item, only to find out at checkout that this great coupon has expired! Incorporate a check of expiration dates into the schedule that you have established to be sure that this never happens. Keeping coupons in order of oldest to newest (within their respective file) can also help.
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In these tough economic times, there's nothing wrong with saving a buck here or there on the staples that keep you and your family comfortable. Couponing has been around for ages, but recently this money-saving practice has gained the national spotlight, which is causing a lot of people to want to learn how it's done. There are dozens of how to couponing books, courses and websites that show eager consumers the abc's of couponing.
On the surface, couponing seems pretty simple in that you find out where you can get your hands on coupons, then clip or print them out. Each week, the manufacturers of your favorite brands of perishable and non-perishable items offer coupons to lure you into the store to pick up an item you can save money on. And, at its core, saving money is what couponing is all about. When household budget's are tight, it can be an exciting feeling when you save 30-75% off your grocery bill.
TV shows, books and seminars about extreme couponing have helped fuel the current coupon craze. Extreme couponing is for those who have the time and energy to collect and use coupons in a manner that saves them a ton of money at the check out counter. I'm sure you've heard about those people that show up at a store with their stack of coupons and shopping list, only to leave with a full cart while spending next to no out of pocket money.
While this is admirable, the average shopper simply wants to save a few dollars here and there by taking advantage of coupon savings. Sure, you want to save money on your regular shopping excursions, but you're not looking to make couponing your life.
Here's 5 Rules for Using Coupons Wisely:
Rule #1: Get Coupons for Things You Actually Use
Clipping coupons can be so much fun that sometimes people overdo it and choose coupons for products that they don't normally use or need. Getting excited because something is on sale is not really going to save you money in the long run. What's the point of buying a brand of cereal that no one in your family likes simply because there's a $1.50 coupon?
Likewise, stocking up on a six-month's supply of cake mix is excessive, and prevents you from using that money on other items that may be more practical. Before you clip that coupon, take a moment to think about how you'll actually make use of this item.
Rule #2: Use Coupons When There is a Sale
You'll get more "bang for your buck" with a coupon when that same item is also on sale at the local store. Check your store's weekly flyers for special sales and then see if you can find a coupon for that item. If so, you're in luck because you're going to save twice as much money. Also, check to see if your store has a day when coupons are worth double their value.
Rule #3: Check Your Store's Coupon Policy
Stores that accept coupons have various policies, and you can't assume that you'll be able to use your coupons in one store the same as another store. It's a good idea to visit the store's website and print out their coupon policy. Bring this with you whenever you visit that store to shop. This way, if there are any disputes or questions concerning your using a particular coupon, you can whip out their policy on the spot. Familiarize yourself with the policy and know ahead of time if there are certain restrictions on coupons.
Rule #4: Keep Coupons Organized
It's important that you separate and organize your coupons neatly so that you can find them when needed. No use in having a bunch of coupons that are laying around in a big pile somewhere. Purchase a labeled index card file or a binder and put plastic baseball cardholders inside. This way, you'll be able to see the actual coupon and the expiration date clearly. Also get a portable pouch that you can carry your coupons in when going to the store.
Rule #5: Be Vigilant at the Checkout Counter
Some checkout clerks are great when it comes to processing coupons, and others...not so much. Make sure you have handed the cashier all of your coupons and that each one has been properly scanned into the register. Sometimes a clerk will balk at accepting a certain coupon or refuse to accept all of your coupons on an item. This is where your knowledge about store policy comes in handy. Clerks can be wrong on occasion, so if you feel that your coupon should be accepted, don't make a scene. Instead, calmly ask to speak to the store manager and show them your printed out store policy. The manager will check to see what is the correct coupon policy and hopefully things will be resolved in your favor.