Extreme Couponing: How Do They Get It All for Free?
Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 10:12 am
Am I the only one who envies, just a little bit, the people on the Extreme Couponing show? Watching these coupon clippers get their groceries for free can be inspiring and even a little uncomfortable. My fingers start itching to clip coupons and get my groceries for free, too.
Is Extreme Couponing Misleading?
Of course, the show can be a little bit misleading. It isn’t as though the shopper makes up a normally weekly grocery list, finds the coupons afterwards and applies them all to get their free groceries. It is more like they start with the coupons and get a large multiple of very specific products for free.
Extreme couponers combine low sale prices with high value coupons and then stock up on multiple coupons, clearing the shelves of products. So while they may have five carts of free groceries, everything in those carts may be multiples of just a few items, such as 100 candy bars, 100 bars of soap and 100 tubes of toothpaste.
How it Works
Here is how it works. Let us say that those candy bars are on sale for $1 each. In the newspaper is a coupon for $1 off of that same candy. This makes the candy free. The extreme couponer stocks up on that $1 coupon in several ways. They may ask friends and family for extra coupons, they may buy extra newspapers to get more coupons, they may climb into the dumpsters to retrieve coupons or most likely, they will buy multiples of the coupon they need.
Once they have as many coupons as they can get, let us say 100 of the $1 off candy bar coupon, they head to the store. They purchase the number of products for the number of coupons that they have: 100 candy bars. Then they give the cashier the coupons, and the total winds up being zero. Extreme couponers may have several of these types of low sale products and coupons that they can combine in any shopping trip.
Are All the Groceries Free?
On their next shopping trip, the extreme couponers will focus on a different set of products for low sales and coupons. Over time, these savvy shoppers will build up a stockpile of certain items, so they never have to pay for them. That doesn’t mean that they always get everything for free. Items such as fresh produce or meat is usually harder to get for free with extreme couponing, although there are other techniques that help, such as using overages and catalina coupons, that reduce the grocery bill total.
Getting Started with Extreme Couponing
The bottom line is that there are solid techniques that currently work to get you groceries for free when you practice extreme couponing. You can learn how to combine sales and coupons and do all of the other things that will result in free groceries.
While you may not want to eat or even store 100 candy bars, you could use extreme couponing to stock up on a handful of candy bars for movie nights or apply the same strategies to get other more useful things for free, in the amounts that your family will use within a reasonable time.