Extreme Couponing and the Master List
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Extreme Couponing and the Master List

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 4:16 pm
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One of the best strategies for Extreme Couponing success is maintaining a master list. Creating and using a master list can help turn ordinary grocery savings into extreme grocery savings. It is a valuable tool to have. If you aren’t using a master list consider getting one started. I’ll tell you all about it and give you the information that you need to make such a list and maintain it yourself.

Why Make a Master List?

A master list of grocery products will help you keep track of store prices, cyclical sales (when things cost the least), how often their are coupons available for these products and the likely sources of specific coupons.

By having this list, you can quickly look through it each week for extreme couponing opportunities. One big benefit is that it will help you quickly see what products to target and which coupons that you will need. This way, you can make sure you find or buy the right coupons in the right quantities.

How to Make the Master List

I strongly suggest putting your list into an electronic spreadsheet. Having your master list in electronic form will allow you to sort and update it quickly. You can add additional information as needed.

If you have a smart phone, you can email the list or sync the list from your computer. By doing this, you’ll always have the list with you!

What Goes on the Master List

Start by listing the items that you use regularly in your home. For most families, this will wind up being about 100 products. You can group them by type of product, such as cereal, frozen food or cleaners, or you can group them by brand. There are benefits to both ways, and you’ll figure out which way works best for you.

To start out with, next to each item, you will want to list the following information: the regular price of the item, the lowest price of the item, what coupons are available for the item (you may have different ones to list for many of the products), how much of the item should be stocked (example 12 boxes of pasta) and notes. The notes section may contain miscellaneous information about the product such as the best store to buy the product, the best source of coupons, etc.

The list can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. Some extreme couponers even add the bar codes of some products or coupons so they can scan them to see if there is a better deal or coupon elsewhere.

Scanning Your Master List

You might find out some interesting information once you start taking a good look at your list. For example, you might see that there are certain products that never seem to have coupons. Maybe you could consider using a different brand or even a different type of product in order to get your extreme savings.

While creating a master list at first will take some time, it can ultimately save you both time and money, fine tuning your clipping coupons into the art of extreme couponing.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.