Extreme Couponing is a term that defines coupon users who take their savings to an extreme.
Rather than saving $10 or $15 on cart of groceries, (which would seem great to many of us) extreme couponers want to challenge how close to free they can get with the most amount of groceries.
Here are 30 things you should know that the extreme couponers already know.
1. It takes a lot of homework to get to the point of extreme couponing. Learn how to coupon and work your way up.
2. Be grateful when you save a little bit of money- it’s better than paying full price.
3. When you pay less than you save in one transaction, that is considered to be a huge score.
4. TV isn’t always what is real. Remember, things can be staged and there are advertisements where you least expect them to be.
5. The shopping hauls that you may see on TV are usually ‘one of a kind’ and the couponing expert scoring the haul will usually be the first to say so.
6. Coupon greats know that there are several easy places to find coupons: the Sunday paper, online, and from the manufacturer.
7. Other places to get coupons include the store’s website, facebook and possibly the best, online databases.
8. Couponers will often use online coupon clipping sites to get additional coupons. The cost of doing this may be worth the time saved in the long run.
9. Beware of auction sites who sell coupons, according to the experts.
10. It is very rare to find a coupon for a FREE item. Most stores will not accept them as “FREE” usually is a red flag for counterfeit.
11. Counterfeit coupons is big business. Make sure you aren’t using any.
12. Coupon fraud is a big deal. Use your coupons exactly as they state they must be used. Why go to jail over a coupon?
13. Before you head out to a store, find out their current coupon policy. If you cannot find it online, call the store manager and ask.
14. Many stores have an additional way to save by using your phone to load coupons on to. On the downside, many of these are not stackable.
15. Learn the coupon lingo.
16. Being able to score $1200 worth of groceries for $100, like you may have seen on TV or elsewhere, isn’t always possible in all locations. If you notice, these people are shopping at certain stores, which have more liberal coupon policies such as doubling and tripling coupons. Not everyone has this in their location.
17. If you are planning to purchase A LOT of items, call ahead first. Not only is it the courteous thing to do, it can make your shopping experience more efficient if they are able to prepare your items for you.
18. Be organized with your coupons. Have an organized location to store them.
19. Be organized with your shopping- plan ahead by going through the ads and matching the coupons with the ad prices. This is part of homework and can be easily done online thanks to sites like this one.
20. The secret to extreme couponing is to match your coupons to sale items. This is why couponers will have a lot of coupons and they study the ads.
21. Don’t forget to factor in the money you may also get back in the form of ‘bucks’, and ‘bates’ with your receipt. This is where the ‘oop’ out of pocket spending scores can come from.
22. The person who rings you up at the store is your friend. They have the power to make your transaction more or less successful. Be nice to this person.
23. Stockpiling items is the secret to many couponers. This means buying sale items with coupons in bulk and storing them away.
24. Most coupons and deals regenerate every 3-6 months. Many stockpilers will use this a basis for how big their stockpiles are.
25. Know the difference between stockpiling and hoarding. If you are faced with a 10 year supply of an item you will never use and it is taking up valuable space, consider donating the items to an organization who can use them. It can be a deduction worth something in the end.
26. Bond with other coupon users and share tips. It can become a fun hobby.
27. After a period of time, successful couponers learn when their favorite products go on sale and when the coupons for them are available.
28. Your stockpile area should be well organized and be in a cool dry place. You wouldn’t want your treasures ruined by water.
29. Couponing can save you a lot of money on items you usually buy. They can also introduce you to new items. Buy what you need and learn how to lose that brand loyalty on occassion.
30. Have a goal to keep you going. Some people coupon to get out of debt or to purchase something big with their savings.