4 Tips to NON Extreme Couponing!

Savvy Spending

Savvy Spender knows how to pinch a penny and about being on a budget. She has learned great ways to save money on everyday expenses.

4 Tips to NON Extreme Couponing!

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Have any of you watched the new show on TLC, Extreme Couponing? I caught some of it this past week, and was absolutely horrified.

I couldn't believe that people actually live this way.  I felt like they were making a mockery of the entire activity, when there are some of us who are proud of the fact that we practice responsible couponing.

I think, when done properly, coupon clipping is a very smart use of time and can save you significantly.

So, I've listed below my tips for savvy couponing:

1. When the coupon is a Buy One, Get One Free, you only need to purchase enough products for about a six-week time period. This is because most stores follow a six-week cycle where the product reaches its cheapest price every six weeks. You get the most bang for your buck if you use a coupon when the price of the product is also at its lowest point.

If you want a lesson in how not to coupon, check out the scenarios shown on Extreme Couponing. One woman purchased 125 boxes of pasta and 150 candy bars, simply because she had a Buy One, Get One Free coupon.

4 Tips to Non Extreme Couponing2. Only collect coupons for the items that you actually use or will use. There's no sense in clipping coupons for Oreos if you don't eat cookies, or for toothbrushes, when you have an electric toothbrush. A coupon only saves you money if you use it to purchase a product that you would normally purchase. If used as an incentive to purchase a new product, it is actually causing you to spend more money. Also, if you are purchasing products simply because you have coupons for them, you might be compromising your health and nutrition for the rush of a good deal.

On Extreme Couponing, one of the subjects actually purchased coupons from a clipping service and spent $70 for 1000 coupons. It doesn't make much sense to me to spend money for a coupon that's supposed to be used to save you money.

3. Focus on the one to two stores that are close to your home or office when checking out the circulars. As we all know, gas is so expensive these days that you really have to factor in the distance you are traveling to get a good deal, in order to determine the true value of the coupon. If you find yourself driving all over town for deals on products that you wouldn't normally purchase or use, it may be time to reign yourself in.

4. You really only need to spend 20 minutes a week collecting coupons, as long as you know where to look. Here's a hint that clipping may be becoming an obsession: when you're spending more than eight hours a week collecting coupons, and taking time off from work to shop, filling five or six grocery carts with each trip, you might have a problem. Instead, check out Sunday Coupon Preview for a preview as to which coupons will be in the following week's paper. Then, print coupons from online sites like Coupons.com and Red Plum.

Do you have any other coupon collecting tips? What are your thoughts on this new TLC show?

More Posts by Jessica:

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Jessica KapustinJessica Kapustin

Jessica works for CareOne as a Communications Manager. Jess has a well earned reputation as a savvy bargain hunter. She shares her bargain hunting skills and smart budgeting tips as a contributing writer for the Savvy Spender blog. Jess is also a very new Mom so check out her blogs for smart tricks and tips on, finding clothing, baby essentials, accessories, shoes, and home goods that look like a million bucks, but cost very little! 

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  • The most difficult part of savvy supermarket shopping I've encountered has to do with organic products and healthy eating. The sad reality is that processed foods are, by and large, much cheaper for consumers.

  • I headed towards the door as I assumed we were done.As I reached the doorway to the mall, I noticed my wife was still deep inside the store. Apparently we were not finished with our frugal adventure with fragrances.

  • With this recent focus on using coupons, I suddenly feel like I may be missing out on something and leaving money on the table. I've decided I'm going to try couponing, and I want you to follow along win my adventure. Maybe you can even help me!

  • I have been using coupons for many many years and I DO buy coupons from a service when the coupon is a higher value than what we received. For example: Recently our inserts has coupons for .25 off a certain dish detergant. The service receives coupons from all over the country so she had this coupon but the value was .50 off. I bought 10 of these coupons for .5 cent each. I took these to the store which doubles and my dish soap was free + overage!..Also, I clip ALL coupons. I also place ALL coupons in my binder because you never know when you will run into an item for free or very cheap by using coupons. Even if it is an item we dont use,I will get it if its cheap enough and donate it to the food bank. Threre is others out there who will be thrilled to get that item.  The food banks DO NOT turn down any food donations. Use your coupons to help those in need. With the way things are right now, YOU might be the one in need someday and will be thankful for the food bank

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