Would you like to get $48.00 worth of razors and only pay $14.00? How about getting Vidal Sassoon shampoo and conditioner for only $1.00 per bottle, or getting frozen vegetables for as low as $.17 per bag? It can be done and it doesn’t take years of practice!
There is a lot of talk going on nowadays about extreme couponing thanks to the TLC hit show Extreme Couponers. I took an interest in extreme couponing after watching a few episodes of the show because, I knew if those people could save that much money so could I. I also knew if it were possible to save 60-90% on the products I buy then I was wasting a lot of money. In this article I would like to show you how to begin clipping coupons and saving money on all of the products you buy on a regular basis. You must understand that the people on the show do not normally save 90% on everything they buy; these people have clipped tons of coupons for just a few products. Normally these couponers will save between 50-70% off of their bill which in my opinion is still amazing savings. If you follow the instructions in this article, in as little as one month you could be saving 60-70% on the products you buy!
The first thing that you want to do once you decide to start couponing is to collect your coupons. There are several places for you to do this. The Sunday paper is full of coupon inserts each week, these come from companies like Redplum, Smart Source, and Proctor &Gamble Newspapers usually sell for around $2.00 each and contain hundreds of dollars’ worth of coupons. A good plan is to buy one paper for each member of your home so if there are four people you should buy four newspapers, that way when you find a really good deal; everyone gets one of their own. Always check your newspapers before you buy them to ensure they do have an insert in them, there is nothing more frustrating than getting home and finding out you wasted $2.00 on a newspaper and didn’t get any coupons. You can also print coupons off line at coupon printing sites, you will have to download a simple program that lets you print the coupons but don’t be afraid, this will not harm your computer and they contain no viruses. The sites will only allow two coupons per computer though. When printing coupons, don’t select all of the coupons to be printed, remember you are paying for ink and paper. Only select the coupons for product you know you will buy, you can always come back later and print different ones. The great thing about online coupons, the never disappear. If you are looking to get even more coupons, go to the products website. Each product has a website and most of them offer coupons if you sign up. They will send coupons to your email for you to print. You can also sign up for free samples; they usually come with really good coupons. You should collect your coupons for about four weeks before you really start using them. Do not ever use coupons the week they are in the paper, stores know what coupons are going to be in the Sunday paper and they price their products accordingly, wait until the product goes on sale, then match that sale with your coupon for almost free or free products.
After you have stocked up on your coupons, the next step you should take is to get them organized. You should clip all of your coupons and find a way to organize them. A binder with baseball card holders is a really great way to keep track of your coupons. One of the benefits of a binder is that you can take all of your coupons to the store with you so if you happen to see a deal on a product that you know you have a coupon for you can get the product right then. Another way that you can organize your coupons is to leave them as a whole insert, clip only the coupons that you plan to use and take those with you. The down side of this type of organization is if you do see a deal that you weren’t expecting, chances are you’re going to miss out on it. The third option of organizing is coming up with your own method that works for you, and that is important. If the method you try doesn’t work for you than you will not be successful at couponing.
Now that you have your coupons organized, you want to make sure to learn coupon terminology. For instance, one coupon per transactions verses one coupon per purchase. A transaction is after all the products are scanned and you pay. You can have multiple transactions at some stores but some limit the amount you can have, you will have to check with your store for details. Per purchase means per item purchased, if you purchase 30 bottles of shampoo and you have 30 coupons that state one coupon per purchase you can use them all in the same transaction as long as your store doesn’t limit the number of coupons you can use per transaction. Stacking coupons is another term you will hear quite often, and simply means using two coupons for one product. For instance, if you have one Dollar General coupon for $.50 of any Glade air freshener, and you also have a manufacturer coupon for $1.00 of any Glade air freshener, you can use both of these coupons on the same product so if your Glade air freshener is $2.00 before coupons and you use both your Dollar General coupon and your manufacturer coupon the Glade air freshener now costs $.50 for a savings of 75%! The last term is coupon doubling, if your store will double coupons up to one dollar, this simply means that if you bring in a coupon for one dollar off of a product, the will match it and you will get two dollars off. Any coupons over one dollar will only be matched up to the dollar. Some stores also triple coupons!
After you are stocked up on coupons, organized and have learned the terminology of couponing, your next step is to go to a coupon match-up site online. All you have to do is type in the coupon match ups, followed by the name of the store you are wanting to shop at, such as Walmart, into your Google search engine and tons of sites will pop up. All the sites have the same match ups so it doesn’t matter which one you use. Go through the list of match-ups comparing what coupons you have to what is on sale, watching for money makers along the way. Money makers help you save extra money in the long run, for instance I had a $5.00 off any 2 Almay product coupons, and the cheapest Almay product at my local Walmart was $2.19 each so if I got two it cost $4.38. When I used my coupon, I actually earned 62 cents off the final price of my entire purchase. If you do this with several coupons, it really adds up. Make a list of the products you plan to buy and the coupons you will need. Now you need to find your coupons and get ready to shop!
The most important thing I can tell you is to go to your stores website and get a copy of their coupon policy. Most cashiers do not have any idea what the coupon policy is and it is very upsetting to have to explain to a cashier how to do their job without having any paper to back it up. If you get a cashier who doesn’t like or want to take coupons, or who just doesn’t know the policy, you can simply pull it out and show them what it says.
Your final step to learning how to coupon is to go shopping, make sure you don’t buy anything that is not on your list or that you don’t have a coupon for. You can buy items you don’t yet have a coupon for in a separate transaction or trip, but for the time being, keep your couponing trips just for couponing so you can really see how much money you are saving. Every time you co coupon shopping, try to save a little more than you did the last time!