Have you ever watched the TLC show Extreme Couponing? If not - it is a show about how people spend hours and hours upon hours clipping coupons and saving major dollars at the grocery store. Some of these people have years worth of stockpiles of products that they have purchased for almost little to nothing! It amazes me to watch the show and see all these people walking out of the stores with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars worth of product and paying little to nothing for their purchases! How do they do this?
These folks take couponing to the extreme...they go so far as going from door to door asking neighbors if they have any coupons, dumpster diving for coupons or buying multiple newspapers each week. They then spend up to 40 hours a week clipping and filing coupons. This folks is a full time job! If you work outside of the home and want to be an extreme couponer - prepare to lose some sleep!
While I am all for saving money on groceries I do not see myself as one to dumpster dive for coupons. As a note - I need my sleep! So how do I do it?
I receive two Sunday papers (one from Fort Worth and one from Dallas) and get lots of coupons from this resource but I have also found that you can clip coupons online as well. Some sites offer some great coupons such as:
Passionate Penny Pincher
Money Saving Mom
There are many other out there but I have found that most of these sites have the same coupons. You can access these sites and print out the maximum number of coupons and use to your heart's delight!
Another way to optimize your grocery shopping dollars is to belong to your grocery store's reward program. By being a member of the store's reward program you can go to their website and add coupons to your reward card...no need to clip coupons...they are automatically added to your card! Another great feature of having a reward card is that the store tracks what you purchase. Do not be surprised if you receive special coupons in the mail for your favorite products!
I happen to shop at a grocery store that gives me $0.10 off per gallon of gas for every $100 I spend in a month. BONUS!!!
I spend maybe 2 hours at most per week clipping coupons and filing. Please note - I only clip coupons for products that I need or use. I do not purchase anything that I can not or will not use...even if it is free.
How do I store my coupons? Well - I have a zipping three ring binder (try Office Deport) where I use baseball card inserts to keep my coupons (try Walmart of Target). By zipping your binder you will not have a chance of losing your coupons. The baseball card inserts are perfect for keeping your coupons too!
The best way of using coupons is to follow your weekly grocery advertisements and pairing them with coupons. Try not to buy anything that you do not need...that is NO way to save $$$. Also try to buy items on sale. If you can wait another week or two for something that you use...chances are you will locate a coupon for that item in the next few weeks.
I will buy multiple items of products that I do use on a regular basis especially if it is on sale and I have a coupon for it! YET again...BONUS!
What is the most that I have saved? I have come close to saving 50% of my bill one time. I would LOVE to get that up to a higher number and who knows...maybe someday!
Another goal that I have is to go on a pay it forward shopping trip some day...I want to make an entire purchase and donate to a food bank!
How much have you saved with couponing?