5 Money Saving Lessons Learned from Extreme Couponing

…and the #SMCmoneytribe member of the week is… TRACI!

Happy Friday SMC readers! SMC reader, Traci from Flor inspired today’s post. I was checking out some older posts about how to get the most out of coupons, when she commented yesterday on a few lessons she has learned from watching TLC’s Extreme Couponing this past season. I thought they were great tips and I wanted to share them where everyone can benefit.

5 Killer Lessons Learned from “Extreme Couponing”…

The average person will not need to go to the “Extreme”. However, I did learn a few lessons and the series opened my eyes to a different approach to shopping.

  1. Purchasing items when they are on sale as opposed to when you need them. If you are a woman, you will need tampons. Purchase them when they are BOGO and combine with your coupons just makes cents. You may have six boxes under your sink but it is [almost] not doubt they will get used.

2. Coordinate your coupons with store promotions. Most stores do this regularly. Purchase two Sunday Papers (The First Sunday of the month has the most and best coupons). The double coupons are well worth the $3 price and there may be an interesting article in the paper.

3. The retailer with the lowest initial price may not have the best deal. If Walmart has BBQ Sauce for $2.98 ea and Winn Dixie has the same sauce $3.59 at Buy One get One Free. Winn Dixie has the best deal. You have saved $2.37 on WD BOGO vs. purchasing two at $2.98 from Wally-World.

4. You can use double coupons on BOGO items. You have technically purchased two items. If you have two coupons each for $1.00 off the BBQ Sauce, you can use both coupons. Therefore, you actually pay $1.59 for two bottles of BBQ Sauce.

5. I hadn’t really shopped at Winn Dixie in a while, just the occasional in and out run. However, with their Fuel Perks promotions and BOGO, they will more than likely be my grocery retailer of choice. My coworker recently saved $1.10/gallon on gas. Now you do have to use these Fuel Perks at specific gas stations but at $1.10 in savings, you still won’t be able to find a better deal.

It is a new way of approaching shopping. I don’t have a stockpile but I do see the logic in saving on what you can so that when you need to purchase fresh produce at regular cost you still have the savings.



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How to Get the Most Out of Coupons

Today, I will be providing information to answer an email question that was submitted to She Makes Cents via my About.Me page, which by the way you should totally check out!

I’m trying the coupon bit, can you please show me how to use them, I guess coupon 101, and how to get the most out of my coupons, I often see where folks buy $600.00- 1100.00 in value , but pay $50.00 or less, can you teach me how to do that?

First off, congratulations on making the decision to start reevaluating ways to make your money work for you and not the other way around. To be honest, I do not coupon to this degree where I buy “$600.00-$1100.00 in value, but pay [around] $50.00 or less”, but I have seen it done. If this is the level of couponing that you aspire to, then there are a few things that you must consider:

  • Keep an ongoing grocery list. This helpful because it I find it easier to jot down an item I’m running low on or completely out of when I’m thinking about it. That way, it ensures that it makes it on my list. If I start a grocery list right before I go to the store, I risk forgetting something I actually need or spending money on products that I didn’t know I already had.
  • You must be extremely organized. Keeping up with coupons to multiple stores can easily become overwhelming if you do not have a system in place. Reuse a folder or an old note book where you store your coupons. Find a way of filing that works for you. For example, you can store coupons by type of product (groceries, health and beauty, fashion, restaurants, etc) or by store.
  • Don’t get tricked into buying things you don’t need. Stick to your list. Review your ongoing list before you actually go shopping. Then compare the list of items (including specific brands) on your list to your library of coupons you have compiled and filed away oh so neatly in your folder or notebook. Just because the coupons mentions that you have to buy three of the same products to get .75 off, doesn’t mean it is a good deal. Who really needs three containers of mayonnaise any ways? 
  • Know the stores’ policy about couponing. Some stores allow manufactures coupons and some don’t. In addition, some stores allow the practice of double couponing and some don’t.
  • Read the small print. So this one is self explanatory, yet few people actually take the time to read the tiny print. Think about it for a second, they make it small for a reason. It’s better to know the limitations of the deal before your get to the cash register.




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