Couponing is a subculture unto itself that you can very quickly get lost in. I mean, if you like that kind of thing. There’s even a famous show about it. Although the market is officially “recovering,” gas and grocery prices sure aren’t. This is not to mention prescription medication or extras like makeup, accessories, and cable. You might have even given up a luxury or two, but there’s a chance you didn’t have to. Good thing it’s never too late to save!
Where to Find Good Coupons
Before you know how to use coupons you need to know how to find the ones worth looking for. Either on T.V. or if you were supremely unlucky, in real life, I’m sure you’ve seen the people that go into a grocery store with bundles of coupons and come out having paid cents on the dollar for weeks worth of groceries. That takes skill and dedication in the extreme. Hence the title “Extreme Couponing.” But you can save a pretty penny by keeping on the lookout for coupons anywhere you go.
Ah, junk mail. My reason for getting up to check the mailbox every day. What will it be today? Everyone likes a little mystery in their lives, right? Before you trash your junk mail or start making angry phone calls demanding to be taken off a mailing list, leaf through it. Sometimes you can find some pretty good coupons. It’s also good for a laugh when you get a card offer from an unheard of credit card company that trusts you so much they put your name on the card already.
What isn’t online today? I don’t know, but the answer isn’t coupons. They are everywhere. Go to your favorite items’ website and see if they have any promotional offers you can print. If you aren’t so picky about brand names, there are websites which allow you to print loads of coupons for free.
Always, always, always check your receipts. Companies are betting that you will throw it away without a second thought. There are also some stores that offer apps that compare your receipt to the average prices and give you the difference in store credit if any items are found to be cheaper elsewhere.
Another excellent way to receive exclusive coupons is to join a rewards program, many of which are free or cost very little. If anyone asks if you would like a membership card, ask if it’s free. If it is, get it! There are also some paid memberships that are worth the fee and more. Third party groups like Single care partner with providers like Walgreens, Walmart, and CVS to save you money on usually expensive medications. How would you like a CVS Pharmacy coupon on viagra that saves you as much as 80%?
Using Your Coupons
Everyone Knows how to use a coupon, right? Sometimes using coupons and discounts can be less than straightforward. You’re allowed to stack some, but not others. Some you can’t use one if there’s a sale going on for the Item. Sometimes you missed some fine print. This can become a hassle unless you come up with a way to make it fun.
Make it a Game
One of the oldest tricks in the book for getting work that you aren’t particularly
keen on doing is to make a game out of it. You can use the same practice with your family. Have your spouse and children compete to see who can gather the best coupons. On shopping day, award prizes for different categories like who saved the most, or who had the most relevant coupons. Not only is this an excellent way to share the labor load, but it can also be a bonding experience for the family.
Setting clear and concise goals is a proven way to get motivated. So pick a goal. It can be anything from a new high in dollar amount saved, to getting one item that you’ve wanted for free. Once you achieve your goal, reward yourself! A night out or one spent on the couch watching your favorite movie with your family. Maybe you’ll make everyone else put up the groceries next week!
For some, a better motivator of creative thought is having a set of rules or restrictions they must work within. This method is my personal favorite. While it may seem counterintuitive, this forces you to think of different ways to accomplish tasks. You’ll be surprised at the solutions you didn’t know you had in your head!
At the end of the day it’s all about having fun, and saving some scratch, so don’t stress too much over a missed sale here or an expired coupon there. Just go with it!