It’s nice to find a coupon for a food or toiletry item your family uses often. Just knowing that you’ll save a little when you go to the grocery store could serve as a small motivation as you do your weekly shopping. However, if you truly enjoy saving money and need to find a way to help your family stay within budget when it comes to your grocery bill, extreme couponing is a great idea.
Chances are you have seen a reality show or two that followed a person on an extreme couponing journey, since the trend is pretty popular nowadays. These individuals often save a considerable amount on groceries, and some end up getting shopping carts full of food without having to pay anything at all!
Of course, successful extreme couponing takes some skill and effort. These tips are helpful if you’re just getting started.
Decide Where to Get Your Coupons
Choose whether you’ll get your coupons primarily from the newspaper or an online source. Every once in a while, you’ll find a coupon that comes with a product you buy. The store where you shop likely provides a coupon flyer that you can pick up at the store as well. Since everything related to this process is based on finding useful coupons, it is important to know which sources work best for you.
If you decide to get your coupons online, Ruth Soukop suggests in an article for Living Well Spending Less that it will be wise to purchase a black and white printer. This will keep you from over-using the printer in your home office, and is a more affordable alternative to using colored ink.
Collect and Organize Coupons
Now you’re ready to start clipping coupons. If your goal is to enjoy huge savings on your grocery bill you will need to collect a lot of coupons.
You may want to purchase a portable file cabinet or accordion folders in different colors so you can organize your coupons. Or, store the coupons in a binder so they’ll be easier for the cashier to scan once you get to the checkout line. Organize what you find in a way that is easiest for you. For instance, if you have family members with special dietary needs, file diabetic or gluten-free breakfast food coupons separately from other coupons that offer savings on general breakfast items.
Buy What’s On Sale
Most people create a grocery list every week or so and include items that simply need to be restocked. Once the shopper arrives at the grocery store, he/she may find some, but not all of the items on sale. When you’re extreme couponing, it’s best that most of the items in your cart are sale items. If you can, make sure all of your items are on sale. Keep in mind that this may mean having to buy the grocery store brand of items you buy regularly. This way, when you add the coupon to the sale that the store is having for the item, you may receive it for free or at least at a very low price.
Since buying what is on sale is the best way to save money with extreme couponing, you’ll need to start planning your meals around the coupons you find. This can be a challenge at first, but once you start building up a stockpile of certain basic food items like rice, pasta or certain fruits and vegetables, you can be more creative with your meals.
Tamiya King is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including health, beauty, fashion, marketing, cooking, and getting out of debt. Her passion is writing articles that get shared online.