Several years ago gathering coupons were seen as something unpractical and not highly used. However, those times have changed mainly due to the nature of a struggling economy, high unemployment, high inflation and increasing prices. These factors have sparked a new revival of interest in coupons to the farthest extent where many individuals and families are now massively practicing a new savings strategy called Extreme Couponing.
Extreme Couponing has been popularized by the TV show of the same name and encompasses an excellent way to obtain incredible savings when buying groceries.
In its simplest definition, it is a process that combines shopping skills and the extensive use of coupons in order to save as much money as possible while accumulating the largest amounts of groceries. Shoppers extensively focus on multiple strategies with the goal of obtaining the greatest amounts of savings. In many successful cases, shoppers can leave the supermarket with hundreds of items and pay a minimal cost or nothing at all for the entire purchase.
While this definition of Extreme Couponing may seem quite easy to follow, it is not as straightforward as many shoppers think, but it is certainly achievable. Going to a grocery store with just a few coupons and redeeming them for a few cents or a few dollars off the entire purchase is not the precise approach to be used to maximize efficiency. It takes an enormous deal of planning, time, dedication and persistence to achieve the real benefits of this new popularized approach.
Let’s pretend for example that a box of Honey Nut Cheerios costs $3.50 at the local grocery store, and the manufacturer provides a $2 off coupon. If that coupon were to be used immediately, the final price would be $1.50. This is what the regular non-extreme coupon shopper would do; he or she would take that $2 discount only once without visioning other potential forms of savings.
Following the Cheerios example, let’s suppose that the local grocery store now has a sale of two boxes of Cheerios for $5. The $2 off coupon can still be used, and the shopper can take advantage of the coupon and store sale and pay only $3 for two boxes of Cheerios. Shoppers who undergo extreme Couponing can even go further; these shoppers do the best of their ability to obtain coupons that offer $5 off from a purchase of $25 or more. Shoppers can use 10 $2 off coupons, the $5 off coupon and the store sale for incredible savings detailed like this:
5 Deals of the two-for-$5 would equalize 10 boxes of Cheerios for a total of $25.00
- 10 $2 off coupons = -$20.00
- $5 of coupon for a purchase of $25 or more = -$5.00
Total Cost: $0.00
Another relevant consideration is the fact that these strategies allow the shopper to obtain large quantities of grocery products that can last some considerable time dependent upon consumption, family size or buying purpose. 10 boxes of Cheerios can help a family feed their children for more than one month. The large number of products that can be obtained with coupons can accumulate enough items to create a stockpile of grocery products at home; this would inevitably allow shoppers to have enough items for a prolonged period of time at a minimal cost.
In summary, in order to apply these strategies five essential steps must be incorporated with the attempt to make extreme Couponing as successful as it can be.
1. Gathering Coupons
Gathering as many as possible is the most crucial step in terms of getting started with Extreme Couponing, sort out and organize those coupons that offer substantial discounts. It is also fundamental to stay updated from all store promotions, store sales and any potential coupons that the stores in the local area may be offering at any given time. Gather all coupons from all sources such as newspapers, catalogs, inserts, online websites and stores in order to have a good supply of coupons available for shopping.
2. Organize Coupons
Create a binder neatly organized coupons categorized with each section of items. Organizing them gives shoppers a competitive advantage over other shoppers in order to acquire deals and sales in a timely fashion.
3. Planning and Strategizing
It is essential for shoppers to have in mind which products are going to bought before going to the grocery store. It is imperative to carefully study each coupon, its restrictions, expiration date as well as the deals and promotions that the grocery store is currently offering.
4. Go Grocery Shopping
When shopping, keep in mind to select those products that can match a store sale with a store coupon, a manufacturer’s coupon and any other coupons.
Read the coupon’s restrictions and fine print to fulfill the requirements needed for each coupon and always pay attention at the cash register when scanning the coupons, make sure that all the coupons directly match each product with the specified discount, promotion or sale along with the respective price reduction that was initially planned.
5. Store Items and Distribute Them
After a successful shopping experience with extreme couponing, it is necessary to store all purchased items in kitchen cabinets, pantries and other areas. Consume them on a normal basis and consider sharing some items of the stockpile with local charities and soup kitchens whenever feasible. The money saved can ultimately benefit personal interests and other needy individuals as well.
It is crucial to take into consideration that extreme Couponing requires an immense amount of time, persistence, planning and careful studying. Shoppers can truly be successful if all efforts are applied consistently. It is therefore recommended to follow these strategies and the 5 fundamental steps discussed with an emphasis of building up numerous skills and approaches. After a short period of time, the results will flow more easily, and savings will become more visible.