If you’ve ever seen the show, Extreme Couponing, you’ve likely experienced some moments of jealousy when you see people with cart after cart exiting a store with a total bill of $2.30. Most of us would like to be this savvy when shopping for our groceries and personal care items, but we have little idea of how to start.
The fact of the matter is, couponing can save you some serious coin, if you know what strategies to employ. There is a lot of time and effort that must be factored in to finding the right coupons, combining with store savings programs, and organizing everything so it doesn’t take hours to get through your purchases. You must ask yourself if it is going to be worth your time to pursue the savings. To become an “extreme couponer”, consider using the following strategies to get the most bang for your buck:
Ensure that you actually need the item
The purpose of most coupons is to make an offer that is “too good to refuse”. Savvy couponers know that they really aren’t saving any money unless they actually need the item. There is no need to purchase 36 packages of C batteries unless you know you can use them in the future. Make discriminating choices with respect to the coupons you choose to use, and start seeing savings.
Use technology to get more savings
With the evolution of technology and the internet, there is no need to hunt and peck through the Sunday paper anymore for the coupons that you need and want. Plenty of websites exist that offer coupons by search, so looking for exactly what you need is a snap. There are store apps that exist specifically targeted to their merchandise; Target and Whole Foods are just a few of the stores that offer couponing apps to loyal customers; take your phone shopping with you and see the savings.
Check clearance aisles and marked down carts
What if the item that you’re looking for has been marked down on clearance, allowing you to save even more money? Take a peek through clearance aisles and marked down carts to see what kinds of treasures you can find at bargain prices.
Find out what store coupon policies are before shopping
Some stores offer “Double Coupon Wednesdays”, where you can double the savings on a coupon or pair it with a manufacturer’s coupon to see even more benefits at the checkout. Some stores might have certain restrictions on the number of times you can use a coupon, or the number of items it can be applied to. Finding out ahead of time what kinds of policies exist will help you avoid some unpleasant surprises when you’re ringing up your final bill.
Have coupons ready at the counter
Time is money; have your coupons ready and organized for the cashier; they will not only appreciate your readiness, they will be more likely to tell you about little known specials that exist to save you even more money.
Think of couponing as a sport; try not to take it too seriously, and take every “mistake” you make in stride, knowing that with your new knowledge you’ll be saving more and more at every store. …