Extreme Couponing in a Small Town
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Extreme Couponing in a Small Town

Posted on Monday, August 15th, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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While it is wonderful that Extreme Couponers can get thousands of dollars of groceries for less than $100, things can be a little different when you don’t live in a city or suburb. Extreme couponing in a small town requires different strategies than does using coupons the average way.

Why Are Small Towns Different When It Comes to Grocery Savings?

There are a few reasons why extreme couponing in a small town can be different from shopping in a more populated area:

The only place in town

There is less competition, so stores don’t have to worry as much about having rock bottom sales and prices. They know that unless you want to drive out of your way, you will pay the prices that they set within reason.

Coupon policy changes trickle down

Recent changes in store coupon policies, especially price matching, can put those in a small town at a disadvantage. Many price matching policies have changed to limit the distance of comparison stores, so there may not be a store within your range that you can price match against.

Low price stores

Box stores, such as Walmart and Target, known for coupon match ups and low prices may not be available in a small town. The same goes for drugstores. This is where many extreme couponers get all of their freebies.

Lack of inventory

Small town stores generally experience issues with limited inventory. They have smaller shelf space and they smaller quantities. There is often a lack of variety of stock as well. Clearing the shelves at a small town store may consist of taking all six cans of soup.

How Can You Practice Extreme Couponing in a Small Town?

It might take a little more work, at first, to do extreme couponing in a more rural area, but you’ll quickly learn which strategies work best for you. Here are some of the proven tips that will get you your grocery savings.

When to shop

You’ll have to pick the best time to shop to make sure that the products that you need for your coupons are available. Go as early as you can the day the sale starts. You can also time your shopping for when the supply truck comes in (although they have a tendency to be late) and on the very last day of the sale (in case the store was holding back some inventory).

Submit a special order

If you know that you will be stocking up on a particular item, ask the manager to put in a special order for you that can be held back in the stock room. I’ve done this a couple of times, such as when whole chicken was on sale and I needed four of them. The store makes the extra sale, you are guaranteed to get the product, and other shoppers won’t face an empty shelf. Everyone wins!

Ask if the store will price match

Sometimes small town stores will be competitive with the pricing at larger more urban stores if you just ask. Bring in a flyer to prove the pricing and ask to speak to the manager. Be discreet, as you will be more likely to be successful if the store doesn’t feel like they have to give everyone that lower price.
Extreme couponing in a small town is not impossible. In fact, you may wind up being something of a local celebrity when others notice how much you can save.

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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.