Secrets of Extreme Couponers

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Secrets of Extreme Couponers

Secrets of Extreme Couponers

TLC’s latest show, Extreme Couponing, gives us a glimpse into the life of the ultimate bargain hunters, who treat couponing like an Olympic sport. On one episode, one discount shopper slashed her grocery bill from $600 to less than $3. On another episode, an extreme shopper saved 98 percent on her grocery bill. So what’s their secret? How are these deal seekers able to pay less than 10 percent on all of their bills? Check out these four extreme couponing strategies:

Collect Coupons, Exhaust Resources.

The most extreme couponers don’t just pick up the Sunday paper. They pick up seven. They take their neighbor’s and friend’s and coworker’s. They go to local businesses and collect unsold papers. They order from clipping services and buy coupons off eBay. One extremist even goes diving into dumpsters with her children to find more inserts. And it works: on the show, she slashed a $600 register total to $2.64. If you want to have extreme savings, you must take drastic measures.

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Use Coupons Strategically.

Simply collecting coupons isn’t enough, though. It’s how you use them that counts. The most extreme couponers are able to use a manufacturer’s coupon and a store coupon on a sale item, often times getting paid to take the item out of the store. You can even use two manufacturer’s coupons when purchasing buy-one-get-one-free items at most retailers. And remember, when you buy the smaller size (say one toothbrush versus a four pack), you’re paying less as a flat fee. So, if you have a coupon for 75 cents off, you’ll get that $1 toothbrush for 75 percent off, compared to only 25 percent off the $3 four pack. But be careful: every store has their own policy. To avoid problems, extremists suggest keeping your retailer of choice’s coupon policy on-hand (you can usually find them online), so you can show the cashier their policy if any disagreements arise.

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Stay organized.

When you’re working with hundreds of coupons, there’s no way you can maximize your savings if the coupons just sit in a giant pile stuffed in a junk drawer. Extreme couponers have a method to their madness and that method is extreme organization. Some use baseball card holders or sheet protectors in a binder. Others opt for accordion files with labeled tabs.  Some organize by expiration date; while others choose to sort by product category. Choose whichever method works best for you; so long as that method doesn’t involve stacks of coupons sprawled out on your kitchen counter.

Stockpile.

You wouldn’t believe some of the stockpiles these extreme couponers have in their own homes. One extremist claims to have 1,500 sticks of deodorant. Another has converted her entire garage into a warehouse resembling the shelves at Walmart. Whichever form of stockpiling you choose, extreme couponers all agree that in order to get the best prices, you have to wait to buy an item until a low price and a high-value coupon are both available… which is where stockpiling comes in.

Some of these methods may be too extreme for you (dumpster diving is probably coming to mind right about now); but now you know the secrets of America’s Extreme Couponers.

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For more money saving tips and tools, including a Debt Payoff Planner that shows you how to get out of debt faster to save potentially thousands in interest, visit Quizzle.com.

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