Guide to Extreme Couponing
If you are new to the couponing world or have wanted to start couponing and didn’t know where to start then this is the place for you. I, like many of you, started couponing because I saw people on a T.V. show save hundreds of dollars on items by using coupons. I set out on a quest to teach myself how to do this on my own. I have learned a lot along the way, and now I am excited to share the things I have learned with all of you. Below you will find a Get Started Guide to Extreme Couponing. This guide will get you started in the wonderful world of saving money through coupons.
Where to find coupons:
One of the best resources for coupons is your local Sunday Paper. Each Sunday you should be able to score tons of coupons in your paper. I recommend buying at least 4 papers per week. This way you can buy more than one item when it goes on sale. You can also get a preview of the coupons that will be in your Sunday Paper by going HERE. It’s always good to see what coupons will be available, so you will know how many papers to buy.
Extreme Couponers buy large amounts of products when they go on sale. This will require large amounts of coupons. If you are not happy with buying a few local papers there are several places online where you can order coupons. Try searching for the coupons you want on Ebay or order coupons through a clipping service like Coupon Dede. If you are not happy with spending money on coupons hit up your community. Talk to local stores and see if they will let you have unsold papers on Monday morning. If you are really brave you can try your hand at recycle bin diving. People throw away thousands of dollars of coupons into recycle bins each Sunday and Monday. Dumpster diving is a favorite method for obtaining large amounts of coupons for extreme couponers. Please make sure you are not breaking any laws if you are planning on using this method.
There are several places to find coupons online. Coupons.com, Red Plum, and SmartSource are some of the biggest sites for online coupons. These coupons can be printed at your home computer, but these sites limit the amount of any one coupon you can print. These sites only allow you to print off two copies of each coupon per computer, which can be really annoying if there is a good deal you want to get.
Extreme couponers use multiple computers to print out coupons from these sites. The more computers you have, the more coupons you can print.
Some magazines have coupons inside. One of the best Magazines for coupons is All You. This magazine can be found at your local Walmart and has tons on coupons in it every month. In my opinion this magazine is the best magazine source for coupons. Other magazines have a few coupons inside, but All You is usually loaded with coupons.
Extreme couponers may buy more than a few copies of this magazine every month. Better yet, you can subscribe to All You to get it even cheaper than you can find it at Walmart.
In Store Coupons:
There are not too many coupons that can be found in stores, but with couponing becoming more and more popular stores are starting to get the hint. Look for little machines located among the shelves called blinkies. These machines often blink a small light to alert the customer of a coupon.
If you are trying to be an extreme couponer, take more than one coupon from the machine. They are there for the customer and free, so help yourself. Don’t go overboard though. Only take the amount you think you will use. Remember that there are other couponers too, so be courteous.
Know Your Stores Coupon Policies:
Each and every store you will shop at has a different coupon policy. Before you shop make sure you review the store’s coupon policy to know what is and is not allowed at your local stores. You can look on our home page under the “coupon policy” link to see the complete coupon polices for some of the most popular stores. If you need a coupon policy for a store that is not listed, just Google it.
Extreme couponers print there coupon policies and take them with them to the stores. These come in handy if you run into a problem using coupons in your store. Some stores or cashiers have no idea what their corporate coupon policy actually is. If you have the policy in hand, you will have a better case when pleading your side of the disagreement.
Getting the best deals:
My #1 tip to extreme couponing is let the couponing websites do the work for you. There are hundreds of couponing sites out there, most of which do weekly coupon matchups for you. Search the web for your store’s matchups and see what items are on sale that week. These matchups also provide you with what coupons go with each deal, so you are sure to be getting the best price.
Extreme couponers scour the internet for the best deals. They have several couponing sites that they frequent for the latest deals. Another good way to stay on top of things is on Facebook. Find some couponing blogs you like and follow them on Facebook. This way you will be able to receive up to the minute updates on all the best deals out there. You can follow us on Facebook HERE.
Plan it out:
Having a plan is so important when it is finally time to shop. Know what you are buying and how much it is going to cost before you even step foot in the store.
Extreme couponers have their shopping trips planned down to the penny. They make a list that includes the product, the size and description of the product that is on sale. the size, the regular price, the sales price, what coupon they will use, how many coupons they will use, how much they will spend out of pocket, and how much they will spend in total. These elements are important to write down in case you have to adjust your game plan while at the store. With all this information you should be able to adjust your calculations quickly and effectively if need be.
Take your coupons with you:
It may be a good idea to take some extra coupons with you to the store. You may want to get more products than originally planned once you get to the store and see what you are working with.
Extreme couponers have binders full of coupons they take with them to every store. Having every coupon with you allows you to have your coupons available if you spot an unexpected deal that is too good to pass up.
Being organized when using coupons at the store is very important. It not only helps you but your cashiers as well. If you need to, stop for a minute before you get to the register to take a last minute inventory of the items in your cart and your coupons.
Some extreme couponers have their transactions seperated into envelopes for added organization. This way all your coupons are in one place and are easy to get to when needed.
Dealing with Coupon Conflict:
All couponers know there will be times when you will run into trouble using your coupons. The most important thing to remember when this happens is to be nice and courteous to store employees. There are many factors to consider when there is a conflict with a cashier or other store personel over a certain coupon. Just remember that they have a job to do and have feeling too.
Extreme couponers know what is right or wrong when it comes to store coupon policies. If you feel like you have been treated unfairly, call and talk to someone at the corporate office of the store you had the problem with. This may be the best way to get a problem solved if you are continuing to have issues shopping with coupons at a particular store.
Creating your Stockpile:
Once you start finding deals and using coupons regurally, you will need to have a place to store all your extras. If you are planning on starting small then you can clear a shelf or set aside a shelving unit for your couponing items. A rule of thumb is to accumulate enough products to last you around three months at a time. Some non-perishable items will last longer. The idea is to limit the amount of waste you will have if a product expires before you can use it.
Extreme couponers, on the other hand, devote an entire room or more to their couponing products. They stock up as much product as they can when they can and have tons of stuff. If you are going down this road it is important to remember that you can only use so much of the stuff you get. Why not give away some of your excess to people who are in need. Donate items to local shelters and food banks. Supply your extended family with products. It’s always good to help out when you can. Karma works both ways!
Use Your Head:
Lastly, I would like to caution everyone on the use of coupons. Coupons are great, but it is possible to get sucked into a world of greed and excess if you are not careful. I have learned that getting great stuff for free can be very addictive. Most people, myself included, get a rush from all the deals you can find by using coupons. Some people can become consumed by this world to the point where their main focus in life is to find the next best deal. It is also possible to spend more money using coupons than you normally would if you didn’t use them. People go to extremes to buy tons of coupons, or they think they have to buy every item that is on sale. Deals run on a cycle and most products will be on sale again sooner or later. There is no need to buy so much of any one thing. I mean think about it. Can you actually use all that stuff? Where are you going to put all of it if you buy tons of stuff every time you shop? It’s unnecessary. Stocking up is fine, but there should be a limit. Use your head!
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