Your first reaction to extreme couponing may be equal shares horror and fascination. The thought of someone spending several hours per day engaged in scouring circulars, surfing websites, printing, clipping, and organizing coupons (not to mention the extended shopping trips and further organization of products in the home) is somewhat daunting. And yet, when you see the shows where people come to the checkout line with hundreds of dollars’ worth of groceries and pay less than a dollar (or better yet, leave with store credit for their troubles), you start to wonder if it isn’t a worthwhile diversion. But let’s be honest – who really has time for all that? The savings are tempting, but you certainly don’t have six extra hours a day to devote to it, no matter how much monetary return is involved. However, there are ways that you can gain some of the benefits of extreme couponing without the attendant expenditure of time. Here are just a few things to try.
For starters, you should consider joining some coupon clubs, and there are a couple of different types. You could seek out the classic group of moms, meeting at the library once a week to clip and trade coupons and deals. This is a good way to get started since they can teach you plenty of great tricks and they’ll probably be glad to have an extra set of hands and eyes to split duties with. You can also join online clubs of the same ilk to share info on the best deals to be found on the web. And finally, you can join manufacturer websites to take advantage of specials and get coupons or even freebies via mail.
Once you’ve learned the basics, the next step is to increase your savings without exponentially increasing your efforts. The best way to achieve the former goal is through stacking. This occurs when you “stack” two or more deals, including in-store savings, store coupons, manufacturer coupons, or other discounts for the same item. And the best way to do this without expending the effort to actually seek out these deals is by using websites that do the work for you. Yes, there are actually websites out there designed to inform you of stackable deals. This tactic will allow you to not only double or triple your savings; it will also save you time.
Finally, you want to approach the process with a clear head in order to avoid common time-wasters. Many extreme couponers get so wrapped up in their pursuit of savings that they will take anything they can get for free or nearly free, whether they need it or not. If you come across coupons for items you don’t normally buy and probably won’t use, skip over them. Taking the time to look at, clip, and use these coupons is a waste. Plus, if they cost you anything at all (besides your time) they are completely antithetical to the whole idea of saving money. So focus on coupons for items you need and use. With a simple but effective strategy pertaining to how much time you spend on couponing, you can realize extreme savings without giving up your personal life in the process.