If you are on a tight budget, love hunting down bargains, and you’re extremely well organized, extreme couponing might just work for you. I am going to share some tips and tricks about couponing. I still enjoy going to Walmart and price matching everything. These tips will apply to that or if you want to go to different store for the deals it will work too. You can see more of my posts on couponing under my labels on Coupon 101.
You will have to be firm and polite. Extreme couponing can bring out the worst in some of the people you deal with, including cashiers, store managers, and other customers, so being able to maintain a smile, a friendly attitude, and yet remain resolved that you are entitled to use the coupons will be required of you. For some people, that kind of confrontation during shopping is the last thing they feel like encountering after confrontations everywhere else in life!
Understand how coupons work. There is a wealth of specific terminology and policies related to coupons that an avid coupon user needs to know in order to get the best deal. Keep in mind
Know if your coupons are stackable: This term relates to whether or not it’s possible to use the manufacturer’s coupon with the store’s own special at the same time, making for even greater savings.
Be aware of specials days: Some stores have specific days for specials and some will offer double or triple values for coupons. Knowing which stores do this, and when, will require some research beforehand.
Know the store’s policy and have a copy of it with you. This is simply a safeguard against cashiers who aren’t aware of store policies themselves and don’t really want to have to deal with your extreme couponing. It is far easier to say “we don’t accept that” than to go to the effort of ringing it all through, so be prepared to politely but firmly clarify the appropriateness of your coupon actions by pointing out the store policy. You will often find the policy online; if not, ask the store manager for a copy. THIS HAS SAVED ME SO MANY TIMES KEEP THE POLICY WITH YOU!!!
If you want more than one coupon from a particular publication, ask friends and family to keep copies for you. If you’re friendly with a local business that sells the newspapers, they might also let you have unsold copies for free. You could also call in at hotels, and cafes that throw out their newspapers at the end of the day and ask to collect them on weekends.
Don’t neglect the coupons found on the shelf with the product or those printed or stuck direct to the product itself. These provide an excellent additional source of savings.
Organize your coupons. The more successful coupon shopper places coupons in an order and a carrying device that makes them easy to get. My system is this if you click HERE
Plan your Menu around your coupons. It can be a good idea to spend a little time assessing the coupons you have before you against the meals you’d like to prepare for the week following. This way, you can make the most of the coupons without stocking up on what could well be useless items (in which case, you won’t have saved any money).
Be aware that grocery items go on sale in rotations, usually of about 12 weeks and they’ll often be on sale in several stores
Be brand flexible. Extreme couponing means that you need to be prepared to try a range of brands or store labels that you might not have used before.
Be polite and be considerate. Extreme couponing can drive the cashier and other customers to extreme annoyance because you are effectively holding up people by drawing out each coupon for each item in your cart.
Buy only what you need and will use. A bargain is not a bargain if you don’t need it. Keep that motto!