How To Extreme Coupon Like a Pro
It seems like extreme coupon clipping is all the rage these days, even finding its way onto a hit TV show. Some savvy shoppers find ways to save hundreds at the grocery store, even whittling their total down to practically nothing, one coupon at a time. While it may seem daunting to apply these coupon clipping methods into your own shopping habits, we have some handy tips so you can extreme coupon like a pro.
- Start small: Don't try to go extreme all at once. Take it step by step, rather than show up at a checkout with 50 coupons on your first try.
- Never pay for coupons: There are plenty of Web sites these days offering free coupons, like CoolSavings.com, so take advantage. You can also surf Sunday newspaper ad supplements for coupon savings; ask your neighbors for their unwanted papers, or raid a recycling bin or two.
- Get organized: Always create a shopping list and have your coupons and shopping strategy ready before you even enter the store. Use an expandable coupon binder to sort coupon inserts by date, categories and expiration dates.
- Talk the talk: Get familiar with coupon lingo and policies. Are your coupons stackable? (This means you can use a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon.) Do stores in your area offer double coupon deals? (At certain times you can use a coupon and it'll be worth twice its face value.) You'll also want to get a handle on pricing. A "sale" doesn't always mean significant savings, so start keeping track of how much products typically sell for.
- Location, location, location: Where you shop is a key factor in making the best use of your time and coupons. Only shop at locations that allow coupon stacking and combining coupons with in-store offers. You can call ahead of time to make sure your local store allows this.
- Loyalty rewards: Join a membership rewards club. These programs are usually free and have many savings perks, like rewards points, cash back programs, and double points for every certain amount you spend.
- Don't be greedy: Only shop for items you actually need, products you can stock up on that aren't perishable, and those you can donate. Remember, a bargain is only a bargain if you can actually use the purchase—otherwise, it’s just hoarding!