Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 26, 2011: Extreme Couponing Recipe


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Well, I’ve decided to try my hand at extreme couponing. I’ve seen the show on TV, I’ve read articles in the newspaper about couponers who save 75% or more on their grocery store bills, and it’s something that intrigues me. All you need is lots of coupons and the time to go through sale papers to match deals with coupons.

Now that we have subscribed to the Arizona Republic from Phoenix as well as our own little local paper, I get two copies of some coupons delivered to me. That’s a good start, but I also go online to four sites and print what I can there: Safeway.com, Bashas.com, coupons.com, and shortcuts.com.

The other part of the extreme couponing recipe is matching current deals with the coupons you have. For me, that means looking through the sale papers for Safeway, Basha’s, Walgreens, and CVS. That’s pretty much it as far as the local stores that accept coupons. If an item is on sale for a good price and I have a coupon for that item, it gets added to my list.

Now, here’s the tips and tricks I’ve learned:

*Wednesday is the day that all the sales start so I use Wednesday morning for finding new coupons online and going through sale papers. Since I don’t get the sale paper for Safeway until Friday, I stop by right after my morning walk in the park and grab one from inside the store.

*If you have a Safeway in your area, sign up for an online account so you can find extra specials only listed online and download electronic coupons straight to your Club card.

*Cut out and organize printed coupons as soon as you get them. I do this on Sunday afternoons, after church, so they’re ready to go for my Wednesday and Friday shopping trips.

*You may have seen lots of extreme couponers getting products for free. This is really difficult to do; it usually requires that you find an item on sale for $1 or less (most stores won’t double coupons to more than $1 total value) and have a coupon that adds up to $1 or more.

*If you want to get the most valuable coupons, worth more than $1 or for free items, you need to join an online “premium” coupon site. Yes, that costs money, but it might be worth it, particularly if the subscription price is very reasonable.

Those are the basics. The longer you do this, the more coupons you will accumulate and the better your chances of finding killer deals at the store.

If you’re wondering how I’m doing, so far the most I’ve saved is about 60%. But all that is going to change this Friday when I head over to Safeway. They’ve got big packages of frozen fish on a BOGO (buy one, get one free) sale and I’ve got two coupons for free products. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll get over $50 worth of frozen fish for FREE! Now that’s what I’m talking about… I am now an extreme coupon fanatic and I look forward to the thrill of the hunt. Stay tuned and I’ll post more money saving shopping tips in the future.

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