Last week, I went across the street to visit my neighbor. She’s an extreme couponer and I finally decided to ask her for some coupon tips. She’s probably going to read this and chuckle, so thank you, Lori!
Seriously, I’ve been having a rough time trying to figure out the whole “extreme couponing” thing. I’ve been watching the show, collecting the coupons, paying attention to the sales ads and all of that good stuff, but I just wasn’t putting it all together to save a fortune. In fact, I’ve actually started purchasing more store brands instead of using coupons to save money on the name brands. Lori gave me some great information that I doubt would have sunk in had I continued to try to pursue extreme couponing on my own. Sure, over time I would have managed to figure it all out, but I want and need to save now!
So, here’s what I learned…
- If you are going to use coupons, use them wisely.
- Know your store’s coupon policy.
- Pay attention to any coupons that the store may offer in addition to the manufacturer coupons. Check online, in inserts and in-store.
- Keep an eye on the sales and specials that each store is offering – for instance, our local Target (Alton, IL) is offering several “remodel specials” to celebrate their recent remodel.
- Pair manufacturer’s coupons with store coupons and specials to maximize savings. You can find tons of websites and blogs that will show you coupon match-ups in your area. Heck, if I can find the time, I might start doing it soon.
- Don’t clear the shelves. This is greedy. If you were to come behind someone doing this and needed the product that they just cleared out, it would be disappointing and frustrating. Think of others.
- Watch the register at check-out to ensure that all coupons are scanned and take off the proper amount.
- Always question issues.
- Enjoy your savings and your haul!
I used my Target receipt for the image above because I’m so proud that I was able to save more than 70% on my shopping trip. Here’s what I did right:
- I kept an eye on the ads to see what was on sale, then had a friend tell me that Target was offering several specials to celebrate the store’s remodel.
- Got online on Target.com and checked out the store coupons, printed the ones that I could match with manufacturer’s coupons I already had and paired them together so that I could easily locate them.
- Went to the store completely focused on only buying items that I could save a ton on.
- Walked through the store and successfully followed through with my plan without impulse buying anything.
- I nabbed a cool Transformers toy for my son for Christmas and it only cost me $2.19!
What I did wrong:
- I forgot to grab a bag of frozen chicken breasts that were on sale for $4.99!
- I didn’t pay close enough attention at the register. If you take a close peek at the receipt, the numbers don’t add up. I ended up losing $2.00 in savings due to the cashier not properly ringing the coupons for $1.50 and $0.50 off that I had for the Dog Treats and the Extra Gum.
- I didn’t check the receipt before I made payment.
Regardless, I’m happy with my savings and have learned from my mistakes. I plan to use my newly learned coupon techniques to help my family save money, hopefully build a stockpile, pay for Christmas and stay on budget. What will you use yours for?