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 Cortaro.
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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 Cortaro.
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 Cortaro 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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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.
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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.
5 Dirty Secrets of Extreme Couponing
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!