Basic couponing is a great way to save money, but if you want to save a lot, you have to get more extreme. Extreme couponing uses many coupons and other saving techniques to acquire a significant number of products at a deeply discounted price. Discounts can range from 50% – 100% off the purchase price. Keep in mind that this is not couponing for beginners. Extreme couponing is a great way to save money, but it is not for everyone. In this post, I consider what to consider before becoming an extreme couponer. The couponing tips below are not in any particular order – but they will kick-start your education on how to coupon, so read on for some extreme money-saving details.
Do you have the space to become a couponer?
To get significant savings through extreme couponing, you must buy in bulk – that’s just extreme couponing 101. In addition, these purchases need to be stored somewhere. If you have the small square footage to work with, this may be a problem as the products take up space in your home. Like all hobbies taken to the extreme, extreme couponing can be a lifestyle commitment as much as anything else. Be honest with yourself about whether or not your lifestyle can accommodate extreme couponing.
Do you have the time and money for couponing?
Most extreme couponers dedicate a set amount of time each day or week to go through coupon offerings. But you also have to know where to find coupons. Extreme couponers peruse newspapers, magazines, couponing websites, email subscriptions, and apps for savings. Check out 6 of the best Apps for Couponing. The level of dedication to saving money can take up hours.
Another factor to consider is the time and gas money or transportation fare needed to shop at multiple stores that offer these discounts. Many extreme couponers can save enough money to make the cost of gas or transportation negligible. It depends on what is important to you.
Do you know the terminology?
If you follow other extreme couponers, you may come across unfamiliar terminology. Understanding couponing lingo will make your shopping experience a more pleasant one. Below are ten standard couponing terms:
|Stackable coupons||You can use a manufacturer’s coupon and the store coupon for added savings. Stackable coupons can cost a product close to $0.00 if used correctly.|
|Double coupon deals||When a coupon is worth, twice its value, a coupon for $1.00 off will be $2.00 off during double coupon deals.|
|OYNO (on your next order)||Also known as a Catalina (not to be confused with the island just off the coast of Southern California), this is a checkout coupon you can use for money off your next purchase. These coupons are printed on the bottom of your receipt.|
|MIR (mail-in rebate)||The manufacturer offers a partial or full refund when a certain quantity of their products is purchased. Rebates are mailed after the customer sends the manufacturer proof of purchase.|
|Coupon inserts||These are coupons that appear in other places like newspapers and magazines.|
|Peelie||Adhesive manufacturer coupons are found on products in the store.|
|BOGO (buy one get one)||BOGO deals require purchasing one item in exchange for receiving the second item at a deep discount or for free.|
|Rain check||A written slip that you can request from a store when a sale item is out of stock. When the store restocks the article after the sale period, a rain check entitles you to the purchase for the previous sale price.|
|eCoupons||eCoupons do not require printing and clipping of coupons. Instead, they are downloaded onto your store loyalty card or other apps on your cell phone.|
|Tear pad||A pad of manufacturer coupons is found near a product on shopping aisles.|
Are you flexible on when to shop?
Saving money through extreme couponing can be a thrill. However, knowing that other shoppers may not share your enthusiasm for saving money is essential. Using multiple coupons when shopping can hold up the line at stores. So, avoid shopping during peak hours and be friendly and respectful to the cashier and customers behind you at checkout. You can also let the other customers behind you know that you will be using many coupons that may hold up the line.
How you organize coupons makes a difference. Here are three collaborative organization techniques and their benefits and drawbacks:
- Organize by expiration date: organizing coupons by expiration date is quicker, but it’s harder to find the coupons you need promptly.
- Organizing coupons by category is time-consuming, but it’s easier to spot the coupons you need.
- Organize by category: then expiration date: this method is the most time-consuming but provides the best results. By organizing by type and date, you can quickly find the necessary coupons and ensure you do not miss out on deals.
Is brand or store loyalty important to you?
The main objective of extreme couponing is to get the best deals for the least amount of money. If you prefer one brand or store over another, you may find saving a lot of funds difficult. If you strongly prefer certain products, make a note of it and watch for deep discounts, then buy in bulk.
Do you need or want the item?
If you save money on items you will never use, this is a cost to you, not savings. Therefore, the main rule when learning to become a couponer is always to ask yourself whether you need or want the item you are purchasing. This is even more important when couponing because it is easy to be fixated on saving money and dismiss this crucial question altogether.
Who knows? Perhaps these savings could go back over time into investments you wish to make. For instance, why not save the money on unnecessarily expensive brands or impulsive purchases now when you could wait, save and spend this money at an excellent appliance store that helps you outfit your kitchen and service your needs for a long time in the future?
Oddly, you’ll feel much more satisfied knowing that your efforts contributed to a new piece of equipment you may not have owned otherwise. Savings take action to curate, but they’re always worth pursuing.
Ready to start couponing?
Now that you know the basics of becoming a couponer, it’s your choice how extreme you want to go. And bear in mind that couponing – like anything else – will have its ups and downs, but if you stick with it – you can save impressive amounts of money.
Many people do not use coupons because they find the exercise of clipping to be time-consuming, bothersome, and the very idea overwhelming. But they are missing out. Couponing is an excellent way to save money and get your hands on some goodies for cheap – even if you never dip your toes into extreme couponing. You may be wondering, “how do I start couponing?” The answer is right here, right now. We’ve got some couponing tips to let you know how to start couponing.
Where to Look for Coupons
Most people do not know where to start. To find the correct coupons, you need to know where to look. If you are getting started, check out Extreme Couponing to learn how to save thousands. Otherwise, your mailbox is a great place to start; it is filled with newspapers and flyers. Usually, coupons are delivered towards the end of the week since companies anticipate that families will likely shop on weekends. I routinely collect flyers from stores I typically frequent. Then, I put the flyers on my counter table and make time to go through them in the evening when I am relaxed.
I love online couponing websites. Online couponing websites are another place to find great coupons. These sites offer various store flyers for you to browse on and also allow you to add coupons to your ‘coupon cart,’ save them and print them later. For example, EBiz lists the 15 most popular couponing websites in the United States and Canada. The EBiz site tracks the average number of visitors per month on each couponing site, so you know where most people will get great deals. For example, Groupon (offered in Canada and the United States) ranks first, with over 30 million visitors each month. You may want to check out Extreme Couponing Canada for’ Canadian-centric’ coupons.
Many of the couponing sites also offer a free mobile app version of their website that you can download onto your phone. Once you have installed the app on your phone and logged into your account, you can browse through the flyers and coupons and load new coupons as they become available. Magazines are also great for finding coupons. You can find good deals and save money by using the coupons or special promotional codes sometimes given out by the companies selling a particular product or service. Here is a list of magazines that offer coupons and significant savings. Now that you know where to find coupons to help you save money, let’s look at how to make clipping coupons effective.
How to Make Couponing Effective
Some people find it too time-consuming to actively be on the lookout for flyers, collect them, find time to browse through all of them, and clip the ones they want. I use all the above methods to find coupons and great deals. If you don’t want to bother yourself with flipping through pages and paper, I recommend downloading mobile coupon apps like Save.ca and Groupon, to mention a few.
Mobile apps are user-friendly and easy to navigate because they are streamlined to display the coupons better than computers. Many apps allow you to swipe through multiple pages of products in seconds. In addition, the apps will enable you to select coupons you would like to add to your cart. This information is saved in your account so you can log in to your computer and print out the coupons you want. I use mobile coupon apps because I find the layout less overwhelming. I can browse through the coupons while in transit or during my downtime. Since I use my mobile phone for almost everything, I find mobile apps efficient.
How to Keep Your Coupons Organized
It may be that you find couponing to be a bothersome task because you have not developed a sound system to organize them. Whether you clip coupons directly through browsing newspapers and magazines or rely on online websites and mobile apps for your couponing needs, you need a filing system that is easy to use and works for you. One of the best tricks is to use an expandable coupon organizer or the trendy deluxe expandable coupon organizer.
I sort my coupons into categories: foods, home décor, hygiene products, cleaning supplies, clothing, entertainment, eat-outs – and so on. My most extensive coupon collection comes from grocery items. In this category, I expand my list into sub-categories; dairy products, meats, vegetables and fruits, non-perishables, and frozen foods. When you use online couponing websites or mobile apps, usually, the coupons are stored and arranged by category; when you print them and cut them out, they are easy to sort and file accordingly.
Once you have established how to organize your coupons, you must decide how to store them. You can keep your coupons anywhere as long as you know the details, such as the expiry date and other special conditions that may apply.
Here are a few items to consider using when creating your coupon filing system:
1) Expandable folder- if you want to do extreme couponing, then an expandable folder will provide more than enough room to store your coupons by category. The folders are available in various designs and sizes.
2) Protective sheets and a binder- this is another suitable method to file your coupons because it is inexpensive. However, be careful how you store your binder – the coupons may slip through the top.
3) Business card holder books: Though archaic, the partitioned inserts provide a way to catalog and retrieve coupons in a simple manner. Business cardholder books come in different sizes. They are a relatively secure tool that makes coupons easily accessible.
In couponing, to catch the best deals, you need to be willing to go through the process of looking for the coupons, selecting them either by clipping them out with scissors or storing them online. In addition, you must have a way that is easy for you to utilize the coupons promptly. Couponing works; it saves money!