One of the hottest money-saving trends going right now is extreme couponing. In fact, there’s even a popular TV show by that name. When you watch that show, you see happy shoppers strolling their local store aisles confidently selecting items from the shelf that they know they can save money on because of their careful planning.
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You may be curious about how to begin extreme couponing and get the kind of results you see these savvy shoppers experiencing. First thing you should understand about this activity is that this is a way of life. You need to be completely committed to online couponing in order to be successful on this level. They make it look so easy on TV, but as you’ll see, anything that takes you to the extreme can also be filled with hidden pitfalls. CBD Oil Online Discounts North Las Vegas.
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Many extreme couponers use coupon clipping services to increase their chances of saving more money. The clipping services are a third party between you and the manufacturer that created the Online Coupon. While you can get these coupons for free, the clipping services charge a fee for the convenience of making coupons available to you. The average fee per coupon is $0.2 to $0.50.
If you plan to print coupons from online sites like other extreme couponers, keep in mind that you’ll need to spring for extra printer ink for this as well. Some people even have more than one printer to handle all of their printed CBD Oil Online Discounts North Las Vegas.
Buying on Impulse
Stores arrange the items on each aisle in a certain way in order to make it tempting for you to buy items that you may or may not need. Stores and manufacturers make more money when they put up a “special sale” tag on an item. CBD Oil Online Discounts North Las Vegas They cleverly know how to lure you into making an impulse buy.
It’s common to see products advertised as being a fantastic bargain if you buy 2, 4 or 10 at a time. Extreme couponers especially love these types of deals. They often fill their carts with these multiple deal items and are totally stoked at the steal they are getting.
Except that the actual products may not be the healthiest choices for you or your family. They may also be something you just don’t really need. It’s easy to get swept up by the extreme savings so much that you end up spending money on stuff you ordinarily wouldn’t buy.
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Perhaps you've seen one of those television shows wherein a shopper uses an incredibly large amount of coupons to bring her grocery bill down to just a few dollars and cents at checkout. "If I can do it, anyone can do it!" this person exclaims, and we do want to believe her. Who wouldn't want to save money at the food store? However, the people who save the most money generally spend quite a bit of time gathering coupons, organizing them and strategizing their shopping trips. Getting the kind of savings by using coupons that you see on TV may not be possible right away (and you may not have quite as much time to invest in couponing), but using coupons will save you money. Start small and then build up as your schedule and desire permit. Use the following 10 tips as your guide to making coupons pay:
1. Pick a store. Choose the food store that you most often shop at to focus your couponing skills on first. It can be too overwhelming for a novice couponer to keep track of all the sales at all the stores in their area and coordinate trips to all of them. Usually, stores also have a minimum purchase amount to obtain sale items.
2. Familiarize yourself with your store's coupon policy. Every store has its own rules regarding coupons. Stay up-to-date on the store's rules and you avoid wasting your time planning purchases around coupons that your store will not honor.
3. Sign up for coupon websites. Open a free email account just for this purpose. If you search "couponing," some of the top sites should come up. Join their mailing lists to receive free, printable coupons. Also join sites for products that you use regularly and know you'll be buying. These companies appreciate brand loyalty and regularly offer coupons for their products on these sites; diapers, cereal and laundry detergent are just a few that come to mind.
4. Have a simple system. Most serious couponers have large, impressive-looking binders jam-packed with coupons in clear plastic sleeves--leave these systems for the future couponing you. Just starting out, all you really need is a small accordion file or plain envelopes (whichever you already have on hand will do). Don't make the mistake of spending your future coupon savings on today's coupon organization system.
5. Link your system to your store. Use one file slot or one envelope for every aisle in your chosen store. File your coupons according to aisle and also write your shopping list by aisle. Keep one envelope or file slot open for the coupons you know ahead of time that you'll be using, but always bring all of your coupons with you every shopping trip.
6. Start clipping. If you're already receiving coupons with your newspaper, start with those. Perhaps a friend, relative or neighbor has coupon inserts that they don't want or need. If you choose, you may want to start purchasing the Sunday paper for the coupon inserts. However, if you're just getting started, don't buy multiple copies of the paper for the inserts or coupons from a clipping service. If you do not make use of these extra coupons, then you've wasted money instead of saving it. The coupons you will have on hand just from the paper and from the web will be enough to get you started.
7. Stick to a schedule. Choose one day/evening a week to "work" on couponing, i.e., clipping coupons, printing coupons from websites, filing, checking your store's circular, etc. This ensures that you'll never miss a great deal.
8. Keep track of your time. Be sure to note exactly how much time you're spending on couponing and shopping and compare this time spent to the amount that you spent just on shopping alone. This gauge can help you decide if using a lot of coupons is worth your time and effort.
9. Keep track of your savings. This combined with tip no. 8 will help you to decide whether or not coupons pay for you. If you're really not saving that much money and spending more time than you'd like trying to, maybe couponing isn't for you.
10. Purge regularly. Nothing is more frustrating than having a great coupon (which will double!) matched to a great store sale item, only to find out at checkout that this great coupon has expired! Incorporate a check of expiration dates into the schedule that you have established to be sure that this never happens. Keeping coupons in order of oldest to newest (within their respective file) can also help.
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Coupons are a great resource for saving money. Think of coupons as "free money". Would you walk by a dollar on the ground without picking it up? So why would anyone pass up "free money" in the form of coupons? The great thing about this method of saving money is that it is very easy and requires no special skills to get started. Items required for coupon clipping are a pair of scissors and the desired coupons. So, gather your tools and start clipping!
Generally, it is also a good idea to have some method of organizing your coupons. You can purchase a coupon organizer (typically found at craft and department stores) or create your own method of organizing your "free money". Once you have clipped your desired coupons, place them in a coupon organizer or place them in labeled envelopes. Titles for your envelopes can include: Today's coupons, Beverages, Snacks, Health, Beauty, Frozen foods, Cleaning supplies, Cereal, Entertainment, Dining, Dessert, Pets, Soups/Sauces, Condiments and Dairy. So where can you find these valuable items? They are all around you. If you like a particular brand or manufacturer, a visit to their website may also reveal coupons. Websites such are great sources. Typically, you have to provide an email address or sign up for a newsletter in order to receive the coupon. Sometimes, manufacturers will even offer free samples.
Tip: Did you know you can use more than one coupon on the same item? Use a manufacturer's coupon in conjunction with a store coupon for even more savings.
Besides manufacturer websites, some of the biggest sources of coupons include SmartSource & Redplum. These companies provide coupon inserts that can be found in your local Sunday paper, making it well worth your purchase. However, if you don't usually buy the Sunday paper don't fret! Some neighborhoods provide residents with free (well you paid for it with your county tax) local county or city papers and some editions are chocked-full of coupons.
Companies deliver deals right to your mailbox. Examples of offers include deals on automotive care, household maintenance, local drug stores and pizza parlors. Look out for special sales and promotions as well! If you live nearby two or more different grocery stores or retailers you may become the unexpected beneficiary of a "price war" in your neighborhood. Over the course of one month, my family saved $50.00 on our grocery bill as a result of a "price war". We were knowledgeable about the coupons because we had checked our "junk mail". So instead of tossing out those papers that gather at your front door and in your mail box, sort through it... you may be throwing away your "free money".
Tip: Look out for merchants that double and sometimes even triple your coupons' value.
Yet another source of coupons is the Entertainment Book. There is a book for most major cities. Although I typically I do not believe in paying money to save money, this book is a great value. These books can start anywhere from $25.00 -$50.00 or more. Do not let the price be a deterrent. Often times the Entertainment book website offers discounts off the regular price and may even offer free shipping. In addition, waiting to purchase this book 3-4 months into the year can be well worth it. The further into the year it is, the more discounted the book typically becomes. I encourage you to visit the book's website to get a preview of some of the discounts available in your area. Discounts include restaurants, movies, dry-cleaning, grocery stores and even amusement parks! I have found that the book often pays for itself after one or two uses. My primary piece of advice however, is to never pay full price for the book. Magazines are also a source of "coupon goodness". Who would have thought your magazine subscription would offer more than just relationship advice and celebrity gossip? If you order magazines or casually pick up one at your favorite store, count on saving money by clipping coupons; but don't buy magazines just for coupons. If you read them anyway, magazines are a great source of "free money".
I love a good bargain, so I never overlook store sale papers. I know that some shoppers may consider sale papers as mere distractions to the ultimate goal. But, please trust me on this. You simply have to grab the sale paper at the entrance of the store. You might feel ridiculous if you later realize that you could have saved 10% on a recent shopping trip because there was a coupon or special in the store circular. Some department stores even offer shoppers gift cards for purchasing certain items or for using their pharmacy to fill a prescription. The only way to be aware of these specials is to read the store circular or sale paper. When using your "free money" there are some important points to remember. Be sure to check the expiration dates on your coupons. One exception is the bedding and household apparel store, Bed Bath and Beyond. It does not matter how old the store coupon is, this retailer will accept it.
You may use as many store coupons as you have items to purchase (one per item). As with any coupon, always be sure to look for restrictions and specifications. Most importantly, only clip coupons for items that you already use. Buying an item solely because you have a coupon will cost you more money in the long run.
Tip: For extra savings, match your coupons with store sales for rock bottom prices!
-Written by Lisa Leslie-Williams
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