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 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
Replies (21-24):
KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 22, 2011 at 8:41 AM

 

Quoting JoyfulMommyof2:

 I've so enjoyed reading your posts, KickButtMama.  I've read up some on couponing, and I've seen the show a few times.  I just can't seem to be able to accomplish it.  I'm in awe of you and others like you who can accomplish this.  Since I stopped working outside of the home when my first child was born over 13 years ago, things are tight.  We are blessed, and I choose to stay home but being able to coupon like you describe would make me feel like I was contributing to the household income and would allow us to get ahead instead of staying in debt.  I admire you!  Maybe one day I'll figure it out.  (And math was my easy subject when I was in school--LOL.)  It's really great of you to share this information!

 Aww, thanks! shoppingwink

It took me literally months of non-stop research and attempts to figure out how to get extreme savings - I was so frustrated! I could use a stack of coupons and get a good savings (like 65% off) but I'd still end up with a lot of $$ being owed. At first I felt like it was a rip-off, that I was having to purchase 3 of an items I only needed 1 of. But then after doing all that research, I realized I was doing it all wrong. I will never forget the first time I watched groceries being rung up...with the total going up over $300 (and I only had like $30 in my pocket). I was sweating like a bank robber, images of going through the whole process only to have to leave the cart full of groceries behind when I realized I didn't have enough $$ were running through my mind. I seriously worried I'd pass out. I'll never forget when it was all said and done, and the cashier handed ME $1. She and the lady bagging froze and were really confused - why were they giving ME money when I hadn't given them any? It was a relief, so much so that I might admit to doing a booty shake on the way to the car..lol... 

So, that's why I've decided to do this series of posts - I know the frustration. I seriously was ready to write to the show to ask for advice. I think it was so frustrating because I NEEDED to save money, we couldn't afford to purchase food with money above our food stamps and I was spending $50/month on coffee alone! But finally I started learning the tricks and each month I was saving more and more. 

SO please don't hesitate to ask a specific question. I plan on giving general advice, but everyone kinda knows different things, or lives in different places (which have different rules) - so I'll better know what to post about if people ask questions. :) In my other HS group on CM (Happy Homeschoolers) I also started a whole forum for extreme couponing, as I know a couple of other moms who use extreme savings as well.  


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."

JoyfulMommyof2
by on Oct. 22, 2011 at 8:24 PM

 I can't even imagine getting $300 worth of groceries and $1 from the store.  That's truly amazing!  Our local grocery store does double coupons and runs the 10/$10 sales, but I never have coupons for those things in the newspaper.  I'll have to join the other hs group and read the info in your forum there.  Thanks again!  (~:

Quoting KickButtMama:

 

Quoting JoyfulMommyof2:

 I've so enjoyed reading your posts, KickButtMama.  I've read up some on couponing, and I've seen the show a few times.  I just can't seem to be able to accomplish it.  I'm in awe of you and others like you who can accomplish this.  Since I stopped working outside of the home when my first child was born over 13 years ago, things are tight.  We are blessed, and I choose to stay home but being able to coupon like you describe would make me feel like I was contributing to the household income and would allow us to get ahead instead of staying in debt.  I admire you!  Maybe one day I'll figure it out.  (And math was my easy subject when I was in school--LOL.)  It's really great of you to share this information!

 Aww, thanks! shoppingwink

It took me literally months of non-stop research and attempts to figure out how to get extreme savings - I was so frustrated! I could use a stack of coupons and get a good savings (like 65% off) but I'd still end up with a lot of $$ being owed. At first I felt like it was a rip-off, that I was having to purchase 3 of an items I only needed 1 of. But then after doing all that research, I realized I was doing it all wrong. I will never forget the first time I watched groceries being rung up...with the total going up over $300 (and I only had like $30 in my pocket). I was sweating like a bank robber, images of going through the whole process only to have to leave the cart full of groceries behind when I realized I didn't have enough $$ were running through my mind. I seriously worried I'd pass out. I'll never forget when it was all said and done, and the cashier handed ME $1. She and the lady bagging froze and were really confused - why were they giving ME money when I hadn't given them any? It was a relief, so much so that I might admit to doing a booty shake on the way to the car..lol... 

So, that's why I've decided to do this series of posts - I know the frustration. I seriously was ready to write to the show to ask for advice. I think it was so frustrating because I NEEDED to save money, we couldn't afford to purchase food with money above our food stamps and I was spending $50/month on coffee alone! But finally I started learning the tricks and each month I was saving more and more. 

SO please don't hesitate to ask a specific question. I plan on giving general advice, but everyone kinda knows different things, or lives in different places (which have different rules) - so I'll better know what to post about if people ask questions. :) In my other HS group on CM (Happy Homeschoolers) I also started a whole forum for extreme couponing, as I know a couple of other moms who use extreme savings as well.  

 

wright1212
by on Oct. 22, 2011 at 9:18 PM

 The following is copied from a note I wrote on FB. It is in no way meant to offend or discourage anyone. It is something I simply noticed up my quest to coupon.

Like many of you I have watched the TLC show and my eyes glaze over with excitment, 'I can do that!". So I gather up my Sunday papers, print coupons online, and 'Like' every coupon site I could find. I organized a binder full of coupons, checked the sales, and planned a list. I went shopping ready to come home with at least a bag full of items under $5. Instead I come home with several bags and paid over $20. WHY??

  1. My local stores do not double coupons over $0.50. Most stores in most places dont double at all. On EXTREME couponing they find stores that will double up to and over $1, and stores that triple.

2. I was devoting over 10 hours a week to those little things above I listed, I dont have that kinda time. So use this example: 1 hour getting more than 1 sunday paper, clipping, organizing; 1 hour searching online coupons, printing, cutting, organizing; 2-3 hours searching all coupon sites for currect deals compared to coupons to find free of big sale items, 2 hours making a list compared to your coupons and the sales*, 2 hours per store shopping finding smallest unit price then compare to store brand price*, 1 hour cleaning up your coupons and purging expired*

3. $$ I dont want to buy more than 1 or 2 Sunday papers. Nor do I want to dumpster dive for coupons. Now perhaps several of your family get the paper and you can use theirs, I am just not that fortunate.

4. When searching for deals online and comparing to my coupons I find I dont have those coupons. Either my paper did not supply them, or that store is not in my area. The 1 or 2 stores in my area dont have the matching coupons. OR my favorite store is not listed on any database site. Therefore I spend an additional hour comparing my local store to my coupons to match sales.

5. SHOPPING takes alot of time. If you are like me you want to make sure you are getting the best deal. So for example diapers. I compare my diaper coupons and get a new unit price, then I compare to store brand unit price only to find I am better off buying those without a coupon! I also spend lots of time understanding the details of each coupons such as only this type of this product or do not double or only if you buy 2. Another thing is to always carry all your coupons with you. Websites only show deals for ads, sometimes many other products are on sale in the store. I actually enjoy digging through a clearance bin to find an item I have a coupon for!

6. Organization, once you have a system set up this gets easier. I have tried small accordian files but didnt like having to dig. I tried a binder with business card holders but my coupons didnt fit. SO now I use a binder with sheet protectors. I sort by rows in the store: produce/bread, meat, can, box, breakfast, ingredients, baby, health, cleaning, dairy, frozen, snacks, other. I keep coupons expiring that week in the front in the pocket. But I have to update all this alot with new coupons and purging expired.

7. I recently found out you can ship your expired coupons to the armed forces oversees and they can use them for up to 6mos past date. I dont have a site for this yet, but something I wanted to include here.

So coupons do have a place. I have achieved an average of 1 set of free items per shopping trip. But in reality how many travel size shampoos do I really need? I also regularly use coupons on items I would buy with or without the coupon. I will still get a few coupons, I will still read FB updates, but no more part time job couponing for me. Because for now I have decided I would rather spend 10 hours a week playing with my kids, cleaning house, or just plain good ole bargain shopping.

wright1212
by on Oct. 22, 2011 at 9:22 PM

 Just to add to this... I am an extreme clearance shopper. I got stopped 3x while doing my grocery shopping today to ask how I decide what to buy and ended up giving 3 how to's on my grocery planning based on clearance meat. IF there were to be a mini-series on couponing I would love to add in how I do meat, no coupons, and get it all about 60% off or better each time.

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