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10 Tenets of Extreme Couponing

Posted on by admin | in Housekeeping

Thanks to the show Extreme Couponing, more consumers are gaining an interest in saving money by clipping truckloads of coupons. At the same time, the coupon landscape has changed at many stores due to the program’s popularity and consumers’ zeal. Even though things have changed, you can still manage to save quite a bit of money by taking your couponing to another level. If you are considering extreme couponing, these are ten of the rules you should keep in mind.

  1. Be Patient – How much time it takes will completely depend on you. If you live by the saying, “time is money,” then you may not want to devote several hours to finding and clipping coupons. Be reasonable in your time allotment. It doesn’t do much good to take a lot of time away from your family to find bargains. Be prepared to spend around four or five hours a week clipping coupns, organizing them and shopping for your bargains.
  2. Be Ethical – Fraudulent use of coupons can get you in big trouble, so don’t decode your coupons. If you read the small print, you will find that using the coupon for something other than what it is meant to be used for is committing fraud. Some coupon classes will teach you how to decode your coupons, but it is unethical and illegal.
  3. Be Fair – Some extreme couponers will clear the stock of an item in the store. That’s a pretty selfish thing to do, since bargains usually come around at least every quarter or so. Even though you may be able to clear the shelf with your coupons, think twice about doing so. Is it really necessary?
  4. Get Organized – Extreme couponing calls for extreme organization, or at least a reasonably organized system. There are a wide variety of coupon organization systems available. Find one that works for you, then keep your coupons categorized and up to date. One thing you want to avoid is getting to the check-out with all of your items, only to find that some of your coupons are out of date.
  5. Think Outside of the Print-Ad Box – It’s not just a matter of looking at the ads in the Sunday paper anymore. With extreme couponing, you may find yourself going to extreme measures to get your coupons. You can ask friends and family members to give you their extra coupons, you can enlist the help of coupon clipping services or you can buy coupons for a few dollars. Coupons are also available online at manufacturers’ and stores’ websites. You will often find coupons on their Facebook pages, too.
  6. Stock Up – Extreme couponing is all about saving money, and one way to do this is to stock up on a good deal until it comes around again. If your store allows you to purchase more than one item with the coupon, by all means stock up on what you need. Keep in mind, though, that unless there are only a few items on the shelf to begin with, you probably don’t need to clear it to get what you need for your family. You don’t have to stock up for years or decades – only until the next good deal comes around. As an extreme couponer, you should have an idea how long that will be; usually four to six weeks.
  7. Shop During Off-Peak Hours – Since you are doing more than the average shopper, you will most likely take more time at the cashier’s stand. Rather than ending up in a frustrated bundle of nerves or watching others impatiently waiting in line for you to finish with your business, shop during slower hours. That way, you and the clerk will have plenty of time to work through the transaction.
  8. Be Familiar With Store Policy – You don’t want to come up to the check-out counter with a cart load of goods, only to find out that store policy limits coupon use to one item per customer. Oftentimes, cashiers aren’t totally familiar with the policies and will not bother to check if you are right or wrong. If you have a copy of the store policy with you and a problem comes up with the cashier, you can politely show that you are in compliance. You can usually obtain a copy of the policy online or you can ask the manager for a copy.
  9. Use Original Coupons – Stores will most likely not accept photocopied coupons, so don’t even try it. It isn’t worth the embarrassment. Keep in mind that if your coupons even look photocopied, the store may not accept them.
  10. Be Realistic – Extreme couponing can certainly be a lot of fun for those who enjoy bargain hunting. With that being said, keep in mind that your main purpose is saving money. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. Take everything into consideration. Very few people will manage to save 90% off their grocery bill when buying things they actually use on a regular basis. If you’re savvy and diligent, consider yourself fortunate if you cut your grocery bill in half.

Now, gather those coupons together and start racking up the savings!

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One Response to 10 Tenets of Extreme Couponing

  1. Kari Ann says:

    Great Post, I have definitely seen a lot of changes since TLC’s Extreme Couponing show came out. I always advise ethical couponing to my readers and hope that one bad apple does not ruin the bunch.