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OT - Extreme Couponing?

Posted by on Oct. 19, 2011 at 9:07 AM
  • 24 Replies
1 mom liked this

 As some of you know I'm one of those crazy coupon ladies. Just last weekend I got about $800 in groceries and spent $85 out of pocket. Much of the time RESEARCH is the important part of savings. Walking the store to see what sales are not in the flyer, making a list of prices from multiple stores, getting extra savings from FB and store webpages, etc. This is a part-time job for me.

Many times the best extreme savings won't come from the store flyer, but from the Discounted Clearance Rack(s).

Let's think about this....just after Christmas you can get all Holiday supplies at DEEP discounts as stores are trying to unload all their surplus. In this case, you need to let your feet do the walking B 4 you go to start shopping. It does NOT pay to have a surprise sale pop up while you're shopping. Remember, an Extreme Couponer never buys anything not on her list that she wasn't prepared to purchase - no matter how tempting the deal. Go home, get the coupons together and go back. We NEVER impulse buy. So, before you go to start your shopping trip, walk through the store, peruse the clearance isle. Etc. I always suggest shopping just before the store closes - because stores will continue to add things to the clearance rack throughout the day.

You can still use your double coupons on the clearance items! This is how many EC's will start stocking up on $$ the store will apply to the rest of their groceries....If a can of soup is on clearance for $.50 and you have a $.55 coupon which doubles, then the store will OWE you $.60! Now most stores will not give you a gift card for the surplus $$, but many will apply that $$ to the rest of your cart within the same shopping trip. So if you have something you want to purchase for a recipe or if you have a b-day coming up and the child wants an obnoxiously expensive ice-cream cake (and you don't want to make it yourself) then that $.60 (times however many cans you can get your hands on - let's say 10 = $6!) will go toward the more expensive items in your cart.

Over the next year I suggest keeping a spiral notebook with your coupon book. Then you can write down the type of things/savings usually seen on the clearance rack and when they appear. You'll notice that in July/August stores will start clearancing their Summer party/grill items, to make room for autum/back to school items. In January there will be the clearance of Holiday items (chistmas cookie mixes? candy? etc) to make room for the more hearty oatmeal, soups, etc for those extra cold months. In February those item will clearance or go off sale as the store prepares for Spring items, then in May the spring items will be clearanced. Keeping track of these trends can save you TONS!


Need a great Latin Curriculum for grades K-7? Check out LATIN FRUCTUS!


Home Educators Toolbox / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks


Albert Einstein --
"It is, in fact nothing short a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom."
"Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid."

by on Oct. 19, 2011 at 9:07 AM
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mem82
by Platinum Member on Oct. 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Thanks for the tips! I coupon, also, though, not to the extreme you do. Last week, I bought $139 worth of product and paid $59. Our stores don't do overages. I wrestle with whether that is really ethical, anyway. 8) Making the money stretch is one of my jobs as SAHM so coupons really help. 8)

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 19, 2011 at 9:20 AM

 

Quoting mem82:

Thanks for the tips! I coupon, also, though, not to the extreme you do. Last week, I bought $139 worth of product and paid $59. Our stores don't do overages. I wrestle with whether that is really ethical, anyway. 8) Making the money stretch is one of my jobs as SAHM so coupons really help. 8)

 Most stores in my area will allow coupons worth more than the price of the item but you must apply the savings to your current shopping cart - so you cant built it up on a gift card or whatever.

My husband was laid off in March and I can't work full time (I'm in the process of applying for disability) so I've HAD to make coupons work for me. We only get $50/month in food stamps for a family of 4.


Need a great Latin Curriculum for grades K-7? Check out LATIN FRUCTUS!


Home Educators Toolbox / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks


Albert Einstein --
"It is, in fact nothing short a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom."
"Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid."

mem82
by Platinum Member on Oct. 19, 2011 at 9:24 AM

I'm so happy it has worked for you so well. Maybe you should do the show?! LOLI hope your husband gets a good replacement job. 8)

Quoting KickButtMama:

 

Quoting mem82:

Thanks for the tips! I coupon, also, though, not to the extreme you do. Last week, I bought $139 worth of product and paid $59. Our stores don't do overages. I wrestle with whether that is really ethical, anyway. 8) Making the money stretch is one of my jobs as SAHM so coupons really help. 8)

 Most stores in my area will allow coupons worth more than the price of the item but you must apply the savings to your current shopping cart - so you cant built it up on a gift card or whatever.

My husband was laid off in March and I can't work full time (I'm in the process of applying for disability) so I've HAD to make coupons work for me. We only get $50/month in food stamps for a family of 4.


Boobah
by Nikki :) on Oct. 19, 2011 at 9:24 AM
I want to do this. I did it once back when I was just a sahm and had one kid. Running an online business, adding a kid, and soon to be another as well as homeschooling stopped me, but that third kid is making it necessary to start again. Thanks for the tips!
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KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM

 

Quoting mem82:

I'm so happy it has worked for you so well. Maybe you should do the show?! LOLI hope your husband gets a good replacement job. 8)

Quoting KickButtMama:

 

Quoting mem82:

Thanks for the tips! I coupon, also, though, not to the extreme you do. Last week, I bought $139 worth of product and paid $59. Our stores don't do overages. I wrestle with whether that is really ethical, anyway. 8) Making the money stretch is one of my jobs as SAHM so coupons really help. 8)

 Most stores in my area will allow coupons worth more than the price of the item but you must apply the savings to your current shopping cart - so you cant built it up on a gift card or whatever.

My husband was laid off in March and I can't work full time (I'm in the process of applying for disability) so I've HAD to make coupons work for me. We only get $50/month in food stamps for a family of 4.


 LOL I don't see myself as tv material, and I think the show is very misleading (and frustrating). The show implies one can get into extreme couponing at any time - that you can just pick up some coupons and hit the bricks. But to get the extreme savings like on the show, you have to hit that sweet spot between coupons, sales and store coupons. THis only happens at most a couple of times a year - which is why most extreme couponers have a stock pile.

On an average week a person should save about 65-75% with coupons, but to save 80-90% (or more) you have to do LOTS of work and hit the stores at just the right time. So the show kinda irritates me. It took me months to figure out how they do it, and why it wasn't working for me when  I went shopping weekly.


Need a great Latin Curriculum for grades K-7? Check out LATIN FRUCTUS!


Home Educators Toolbox / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks


Albert Einstein --
"It is, in fact nothing short a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom."
"Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid."

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 19, 2011 at 10:34 AM

 Oh, and thanks for the good wishes for my DH. He's going to school for HVAC since there are no jobs in sight for insurance (his previous career).

oredeb
by on Oct. 19, 2011 at 10:38 AM

 wow great kick butt!!! well i do try to ! but i can never find whats on my list! so how do you go about that? finding whats on the list?

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 19, 2011 at 10:57 AM

 

Quoting oredeb:

 wow great kick butt!!! well i do try to ! but i can never find whats on my list! so how do you go about that? finding whats on the list?

 This is secret 1 of Extreme Couponing - you don't make a list then look for coupons/sales to get the items, instead you get the sales then find the coupons and make your list from those. You CAN'T have any brand loyalty when doing extreme couponing.

My advice for starting extreme couponing is this. Take a month or so to start your stock pile. Figure out how much $$ you can dedicate each week to stocking up on those things you always need - TP, dish detergent, laundry detergent, sugar, flour, cereal, pantry items, etc. Once you have enough to last you a few months STOP SHOPPING. No longer will you make your weekly list based on meal planning. Instead hunt the flyers, walk the isles, see what is on great sales - primarily the 10/$10 sales and things like that - these are the same as saying the item is now $1. Then search out coupons. Try to find $.50 or $.55 coupons which could be doubled to $1 (making each one free) or $1.10 which would mean the store might apply the $.10 to the rest of your cart. (This also means being completely aware of what each stores coupon policy is).

For example. I used to purchase bags of store brand cereal from Walmart for about $5 each. They were large bags. This past week I purchased name brand box cereal - they were on sale 4/$10 (making them $2.50 each.) I also had a special from the store that if I purchased 4 boxes of this brand of cereal I'd get 1 free gallon of milk - any brand. Furthermore I had coupons at $.55 for each box doubled to $1.10 (essentially making the cereal $1.40 each). So I bought 16 boxes of cereal = $22.40, and got 4 gallons of milk for free! (This had to be done in 8 shopping orders - since you could only do the 4 boxes & 4 'like' coupons per order and you could only do the free milk one at a time so each had to be a separate order.) So even though we didn't normally (I've never purchased this type of cereal before) purchase this type of cereal - I bought it because of the deal.

So, I'll do my research, make a list based on the sales, hit the store - THEN make my meal plans based on what I've purchased and have on hand. - not the other way around.


Need a great Latin Curriculum for grades K-7? Check out LATIN FRUCTUS!


Home Educators Toolbox / Articles / Kicbuttmama's Crazy Lapbooks


Albert Einstein --
"It is, in fact nothing short a miracle that modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom."
"Everybody is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid."

oredeb
by on Oct. 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM

 wow!! fantastic! you could teach this! i only shop once a month if i need to(i buy in bulk), so in the mean time i will look for coupons, everywhere, and save them!  when the safeway coupons have those ones that say double on it does that mean that it take that much more off the item? i mean double the coupon amount? and i can use coupons on sale items you said! wow that neat!

thanks kickbutt!!!!

Quoting KickButtMama:

 

Quoting oredeb:

 wow great kick butt!!! well i do try to ! but i can never find whats on my list! so how do you go about that? finding whats on the list?

 This is secret 1 of Extreme Couponing - you don't make a list then look for coupons/sales to get the items, instead you get the sales then find the coupons and make your list from those. You CAN'T have any brand loyalty when doing extreme couponing.

My advice for starting extreme couponing is this. Take a month or so to start your stock pile. Figure out how much $$ you can dedicate each week to stocking up on those things you always need - TP, dish detergent, laundry detergent, sugar, flour, cereal, pantry items, etc. Once you have enough to last you a few months STOP SHOPPING. No longer will you make your weekly list based on meal planning. Instead hunt the flyers, walk the isles, see what is on great sales - primarily the 10/$10 sales and things like that - these are the same as saying the item is now $1. Then search out coupons. Try to find $.50 or $.55 coupons which could be doubled to $1 (making each one free) or $1.10 which would mean the store might apply the $.10 to the rest of your cart. (This also means being completely aware of what each stores coupon policy is).

For example. I used to purchase bags of store brand cereal from Walmart for about $5 each. They were large bags. This past week I purchased name brand box cereal - they were on sale 4/$10 (making them $2.50 each.) I also had a special from the store that if I purchased 4 boxes of this brand of cereal I'd get 1 free gallon of milk - any brand. Furthermore I had coupons at $.55 for each box doubled to $1.10 (essentially making the cereal $1.40 each). So I bought 16 boxes of cereal = $22.40, and got 4 gallons of milk for free! (This had to be done in 8 shopping orders - since you could only do the 4 boxes & 4 'like' coupons per order and you could only do the free milk one at a time so each had to be a separate order.) So even though we didn't normally (I've never purchased this type of cereal before) purchase this type of cereal - I bought it because of the deal.

So, I'll do my research, make a list based on the sales, hit the store - THEN make my meal plans based on what I've purchased and have on hand. - not the other way around.

 

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 19, 2011 at 11:54 AM

 Ok - Tip #2 on Extreme Couponing - DO NOT BUY IN BULK!

Seriously, this sounds counter-intuitive since we've heard about the last decade is how much cheaper it is to buy in bulk but that does NOT apply to couponing...think of it like this....You can buy rice in bulk, one of those large bags for about $12.99 and you have a coupon for that brand of rice for $1 off.....that means you'll be paying $11.99 for that bag of rice. BUT if you instead purchase those small paper packages of rice, they are only $1.25 (or so) each. Now if you apply that $1 off you are only paying $.25 for each bag of rice.....so if you get 20 of those coupons then you'll get the same amount of rice for about $4. The trick of getting lots of groceries for cheap - to get the most out of each coupon, is to purchase the smallest size product you can - because a smaller size is always cheaper.

Secondly - every store has a different coupon policy. For instance Walmart takes coupons, but doesn not double. K-mart doubles coupons and if you join their savers club then they also have special Tripple coupon days. This means instead of doubling a $.55 coupon to $1.10 it would be tripled to $1.65!! And most places that double coupons will only double a coupon under $.99, but triple coupon specials often triple coupons up to $2. This is why it is important to understand the stores coupon policy - often cashiers (and even managers) have no idea of the fine points of their own coupon policies - it's up to you to make sure you're getting the right savings.

Here is Safeway coupon policy - http://www.safeway.com/IFL/Grocery/Justforu-CP-RL - it looks like you have to check with your local store for info on doubling coupons. But if they have some that say double on them than that means they will double the amount on the coupon - taking a $.55 coupon to $1.10! You can even use coupons on CLEARANCE items....that's where the real savings is.....the formula for extreme savings?

major clearance sale (trying to get the price of an item to $1 each) + a coupon that doubles to that price = free food!!!!!!! (or detergent or whatever....in the shopping trip that neted me the free milk I also got my All laungry detergent free - the super concentrated kind. I got 4 jugs of it -- FREE!

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