How to Make Extreme Couponing Easy
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How to Make Extreme Couponing Easy

Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
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Watching the Extreme Couponing show, you might think, “Hey, using coupons to save a lot of money is easy. I could do that!” Then you start cutting your grocery coupons and matching up the sales and find that it is taking you hours of head-scratching work.

The amount of time and energy that has to be put into extreme couponing can be overwhelming. Some of the people on that show say that they usually spend six hours a day or more finding deals, finding coupons and going shopping. Is it all worth it?

Well, before you get ready to give up, let me tell you that there are ways to make extreme couponing easy to do.

Use Your Resources

Instead of pouring over grocery store and drug store sales flyers and scouring unadvertised deals at the store, let someone else do your match ups for you. Then, all you have to do is gather your coupons and go shopping. Since store deal match ups are probably the biggest time consumer in extreme couponing, you’ll get your list done sooner and save yourself the hassle of having to calculate everything.

At FreeCoupons.com, we do weekly match ups for Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Walgreens, Publix and Meijer. And, we plan on adding more stores to the list!

Buy What You Need

While it is exciting to get things for free, if you don’t use something or have a cause to donate it to, don’t take the time and energy to cut coupons for it! Since we don’t own a dog, I never bother with trying to get cheap dog food, even if I could get it for free.

Take a lesson from the mustard lady on the Extreme Couponing show and don’t decorate your home with a wall of condiments that will never get eaten.

Know Your Limits

Along with not buying things you don’t need is knowing when to stop buying. For example, when I reach a stockpile of six containers of body wash, I stop buying it, even if it is a great deal. I take it off of my list and cut down the time it takes to do my couponing and grocery shopping. I concentrate on the items that I don’t have stockpiled instead.

Find a Buddy

If you have a friend who loves coupons as much as you do, use that to both of your advantage. Split up the effort. You can trade from your stockpiles or divvy up the different stores. For example, one of you can shop at CVS and the other at Walgreens, with each of you picking up twice the deals at each shop. Then you can divide the spoils.

Alternatively, one person can do all of the couponing while the other does all of the actual shopping.

Find the Balance

Fortunately, extreme couponing isn’t a matter of all or nothing. You can make it as hard or as easy as it needs to be, however it fits in your lifestyle and your family. It is important to find the balance between the time it takes and the money you can save.

Instead of saving 99 percent on your groceries, you can save 75 percent plus save your sanity while still taking advantage of coupons. Coupons can still give you super savings while being easy to use.

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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.