Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Basics of Extreme Couponing

If you are here reading my blog, you must be interested in how to save money with coupons. I am certainly not an expert by no means, however I have managed to cut our grocery bill by an average of at least 50% when I stick to my system. That not only includes food to feed my family of four, but also includes all household cleaners, paper products and dog food for three very hungry dogs. So yes, although I am not an expert, I love to see how low I can get my grocery bill each month and love even more to help others see how much they can save as well.

You also may be thinking, "coupons are easy-peasy and what is there to know about them..... you simply clip a 50 cents off coupon, take it to pretty much any store and at least get 50 cents off that particular item." To that I would have to say that is true. However, I don't coupon - - I "extreme coupon" which is where you will find your savings!

What is extreme couponing? Extreme couponing is when you take that 50 cents off coupon and make it worth more than just getting a measley 50 cents off a product. How do you do that? Stick with me.......

One simple way of making that 50 cents off coupon worth at least $1.00 is by going to a store that offers double coupons. Some stores do, some stores don't, so you need to figure out what stores in your area do and try to stick with those stores. Otherwise, you are simply throwing 50 cents away, right?

I live in the lowcountry of South Carolina, so most of my posts on my blog are going to be about shopping here in the south and the stores I have available to me. You live up North or out West? No problem, the principles I use for shopping will work anywhere, you just have to find the stores in your area that offer the same type of deals.

In my area, Publix doubles coupons up to a coupon value of 50 cents. For instance, you have a 25 cents off coupon - it is worth 50 cents there. ....you have a 50 cents off coupon - it is worth $1.00 there. However, if you have a 75 cents off coupon, it is still only worth 75 cents because it is over 50 cents face value. Make sense?

Bi-Lo stores in my area double up to 60 cents face value of a coupon and Harris Teeter doubles up to 99 cents face value. I have yet to find a Piggly Wiggly or Food Lion that doubles, so coupons are only worth whatever their face value are at those stores. Neither does Wal-Mart. So.....I tend not to use my coupons in those stores 98% of the time because they are worth so much more else where.

Now, in addition to just using your coupons at a store that doubles, the best way to make them worth more is to match them with a sale item to get more bang for your buck. See my example below:

Say your favorite bag of Potato Chips are $2.99/bag. You happen to have a 50 cents off coupon so you take that coupon to Publix on any given day and buy that same bag of chips for $1.99, since they double the coupon. With me? OK....say you wait until Publix puts those chips on sale for half price at $1.50. You take that same 50 cents off coupon in there when they are on sale and you are now getting a $3.00 bag of chips for 50 cents!!!!!!! So you have saved $2.50 on one bag of chips. Just in this small example alone for one product using one coupon you save money. Just imagine if you take 20 coupons into the store, buy 20 items that are on sale....the savings just keep adding up!!

So are you ready to start extreme couponing with me? If you are already clipping coupons, you are a step ahead. If you have not clipped coupons but are ready to jump in, make sure you start clipping every coupon you can get your hands on and get ready to start saving some money!!

Any questions you have along the way or if I don't explain something good enough, shoot me an email or leave a comment here on my blog. I will be happy to explain or answer any questions that I can!

My next posts will be on how to organize those piles and piles of coupons! Stay tuned!

Happy Savings!

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