As you can tell from the photo above, my own coupon habits are atrocious
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas, MommyBlogExpert.com
So, I think with the start of TLC's latest Extreme Couponing season this week, it's as good a time as any for me to review some basic tricks that these coupon pros use to save some pretty incredible amounts of cash. If you'd like some great ideas on managing your own blizzard of coupons around the house, you'll definitely like this post.
Consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch shares six really simple ways to save like an extreme couponer that I'd like to pass on to all my frugal and thrifty readers. Andrea, BTW, has been featured on NBC's Today Show, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, ABC News NOW and many more.
#1 Start Small
Don't go extreme all at once. Take it step by step, rather than show up at a checkout with 50 coupons and little idea what you're doing.
#2 Never Pay For Coupons
Paying someone to clip or organize your coupons defeats the purpose of living frugally. Instead, surf Sunday newspaper ad supplements for coupon savings and ask your neighbors for their unwanted papers. Maybe dive inside a recycled dumpster or two. Don't forget to check the many free online coupon sites like CouponSherpa.com that give consumers access to a multitude of coupon codes and printable coupons for lots of merchants.
#3 Get Organized
Create a shopping list and have your coupons and shopping strategy organized before you enter the store. Use an expandable coupon binder to sort coupon inserts by date, categories and expiration dates -- whatever makes sense to your shopping style. Before going on a specific trip, transfer to a small couponizer only those you'll need for that shopping venture.
#4 Location, Location, Location
Where you shop is key in making the best use of your time and coupons. Only shop at locations that allow coupon stacking and combining coupons with in-store offers. Don't be shy about calling and asking about policies before showing up.
#5 Loyalty Rewards
Always take advantage of club membership rewards. These programs are usually free and have many savings perks, like rewards points, cash back programs, and double points for every certain amount you spend.
#6 Don't Be Greedy
This is often where extreme couponers cross over into hoarding. Only shop for items you actually need, products you can stock up on that aren't perishable, and those you can donate. A bargain is only a bargain if you can actually use the purchase.
Are you as bad about coupons as me? Have some advice on other ways to manage the coupon deluge? What's the most money you've ever saved on a single shopping trip by using coupons? Leave a comment.
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