Getting Savvy with Extreme Couponing
Since extreme couponing can get be a bit too extreme for most people, the savvy mom will find ways to work it into her daily life rather than spending several hours a day surfing, printing, clipping, and organizing coupons (not to mention shopping). But can you really get extreme savings without putting in the legwork? The answer is yes…and no. The truth is that if you know a few tricks, you can manage to double or triple your savings at the grocery store or even retail locations that you shop at frequently. You probably won’t do as well as the ladies on TLC’s Extreme Couponing, who can leave the store with two full shopping carts and a total payment of $50 (when the bill should have been $400). But you can definitely get more extreme with your savings without devoting an extreme amount of time to couponing in the process.
The first thing you’ll want to do is limit yourself to the stores you normally shop at (instead of looking at every advert and flyer in the paper). This will save you some time on both going through ads and visiting out-of-the-way locations that you wouldn’t have any reason to visit if it weren’t for one or two coupons. You should also try to limit the number of websites you use for coupons, because there are literally thousands out there that could take up every spare minute of your day, and then some. By seeking out coupons only for stores that you visit frequently or items that you purchase often (or in bulk when you do need them), you’ll cut back a lot on time-wasters that won’t really pay off in the long run.
You should also consider using match-up sites that do some of the dirty work for you. By visiting these sites instead of their couponing counterparts, you can find out when coupons match up to in-store deals. Suppose there is a deal on dish soap in the Walmart circular for this week and there is also a store coupon for dish soap (not to mention you happen to have a generic coupon for the very same item). A match-up site that follows Walmart deals will be able to advise you when there are concurrent deals and coupons that go together and all you have to do is look at what you already have in your coupon portfolio to see if a third deal can be had. So you end up saving time AND money! This is a really great way to get the stackable savings of many deals without having to do all the cross-checking.
Another good idea is to join a coupon club. By teaming up with other moms, you can split up the work of checking certain websites and newspapers for coupons so that all of you save time. Plus, you’ll have some people to trade with. And if you meet up once a week at a local coffee shop, you can squeeze in some much needed socialization for a couple of hours while you chit-chat with your club and hand off coupons. Any way you look at it, splitting duties so that others do some of the work for you is a great way to get extreme savings without extremely taxing your valuable free time.
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