Long before TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” got everyone hyped up on saving money by clipping coupons and building a big grocery stockpile, many people were already reaping the benefits of saving money with coupons or online saving tools. I’ve watched the shows, I still have questions: Do I need all of those items? Do I have space for them?
While the shows or websites about extreme couponing may inspire us to join the coupon band wagon, we don’t need to go overboard and fill our pantries and cabinets with items that we may have to learn to love or don’t need. Instead of bowing to the Gods of extreme couponing, here are some ways to avoid becoming an “over-the-top” couponer and save both time and space for items you need:
- Don’t carry reward or store cards on a key ring or a compartment in your vehicle. Retailers have made it easy by offering a phone app. You can also organize them so you won’t have to go thumbing through the phone or search for your favorite store.
- Check sale advertisements for the items you need and then search to find any coupons or deals. By searching only for the products or items you need, you can avoid wasting time going through papers or circulars that don’t have what you are looking for.
- Save time and money by printing the coupons you need for one shopping trip. Online websites such as Coupons.com, Grocerycoupons.com, Redplum.com and Couponmom.com are great resources to print coupons that can be used at the checkout. Also, signing up on retailer websites can provide discounts and coupons for products and items to buy in the store or online.
- Why pay more at the gas pump when trying to cut the fat off your food budget? The time and gas you use to go down the road to another store with better deals is more cost-saving and friendly to your bottom line.
- Knowing the shopping lingo will equal monster savings. You don’t need to have a sharp extreme-coupon eye to know the words that take you to savings heaven. Just know the difference between a store coupon (one generated from the register or the blinkies at the store) or a manufacturer coupon (one that comes from the newspaper or online shopping sites).
- Score big with clearance items. Stores will have a huge markdown on items that are getting ready to expire or may have not sold. Non-extreme couponers can capitalize on the savings on buying items that have been marked down. Also, coupons can be used for items that have been put on clearance.