Being an “extreme” anything is rarely something to celebrate, but
when you could be spending $5 for essentials that you can use for weeks, being
an extreme couponer might be the way to go. We’re here to offer some tips and
tricks for how to start couponing; you might not become an extreme couponer,
but you’ll certainly be on your way to saving.
Just like with budgeting, it’s important to understand what you
already have, what you use often, and then what you need. Extreme couponing can
cross the blurry line into hoarding once you start buying for the price rather
than the need. As Jen Avery from Thrifty
Nomads suggested in a blog post, block some time off per week to find
and sort coupons, and create a plan for use. Think of this as a microhabit to
help you save money later.
Know where to look for coupons
For some, you might already get coupons delivered directly through
your mailbox from the retailer, manufacturer or newspapers. Those who don’t get
coupons delivered, there’s still plenty of avenues to explore.
3903&zid=xh20&nid=10&bid=1326500001">Coupons.com and HotCouponWorld.com are both
websites that have consolidated pages upon pages of weekly ads and online deals
that you can sift through easily.
When you’re taking inventory of what you use, also pay attention
to whether there’s a certain brand or store you shop at more often. If there
is, consider signing up for the newsletter or ad delivery to maximize on the
deals you receive. The blog Live
Like You Are Rich also has a post that includes plenty of links for not only
finding coupons, but also websites that’ll help you match sales.
Don’t get sidetracked by sales
Saving money sounds great, and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing
with couponing, but remember that you’ll be saving money through spending
money. With that, don’t get hooked in by one of most dangerous four-letter
words: SALE. Just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean it’s a great deal. This is
especially true if you end up wanted to buy it just because it’s on
sale. This post from MoneyCrashers
recommends taking the time and energy to calculate the end price to truly see
if your purchase is worth it.
In the same vein, be wary about using a coupon on a full-priced
item. Sometimes it’s the only deal available but getting the most out of your
coupon means combining your deals. If there’s a sale and you have a coupon that
you can use, that’ll give you the best end price. Make sure to not only take
time to find your coupons, but also understand the sales offered at the store.
Fine-print tricks to avoid
Like many other things in life that sound too good to be true,
there are some fine print pitfalls to be aware of so you can avoid hiccups at
the register. Read up on some terms with a blog post from The Krazy
Coupon Lady. This post breaks down common terms you’ll seem in the fine print
of coupons, such as the difference between limiting one coupon per purchase and
limiting one coupon per transaction.
This is hardly a complete guide, but it’s certainly a start to
finding resources and learning how to use coupons to their full potential. We
wish you happy shopping and plentiful savings as you start couponing!