Extreme Couponing: Finding Stores that Give Overage
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Extreme Couponing: Finding Stores that Give Overage

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2011 at 12:12 pm
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How do extreme couponers get their steak for only pennies a pound or load their carts with hundreds of boxes of cereal for free? The secret here is overages. Without overages, it can be difficult to get such extreme couponing results.

What is Overage

When the value of a coupon exceeds the price of a product, that is overage. For example, if you have a $.75 toothpaste coupon that doubles to $1.50 and toothpaste is on sale for $1.00, that extra $.50 is considered overage. For stores that allow overage, the extra $.50 gets applied to the rest of your order.

This is a wonderful strategy for getting free and low cost groceries. The stores are literally paying you to take the groceries off of their hands. That is what extreme couponing is all about.

How Does Overage Help Extreme Couponing?

Extreme couponers know the value of overage in their order. This is part of the reason that many of them buy so many multiples of products. In the example above, a coupon expert might buy 100 tubes of that toothpaste, winding up with an extra $.50 each or $50 worth of free credit to spend on other products at check out.

That $50 can then be used to help pay down other parts of your grocery order, such as items that normally don’t have coupons, like meat and fresh produce. Or it can be applied to the other items on your list that may already be reduced with coupons but not free.

Not All Stores Give Overage

At one time, all of the grocery stores automatically gave overage when you use coupons. I remember my early days of couponing when I would buy things to donate and walk away with cash back. These days, however, getting overage by using coupons is not that easy. Many stores have clamped down on the practice and have issued policies against using overage.

If you see anything in the store policy that says anything about the coupon amount not to exceed the product price, then you know that store won’t give overages.

Extreme Couponers Know Where to Shop

Because overage can be such an important part of extreme couponing, the savvy shoppers know exactly where to shop and which grocery stores give overages with coupons. If you do a little research, you can find out this information pretty quickly.

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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.