Posted on Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
One of the things that they don’t tell you on the Extreme Couponing shows is that very rarely are the free groceries actually free. There are hidden costs that you can incur when you practice extreme couponing, and I am not talking just in time or effort or gas from running around to different stores.
If you aren’t careful, you can spend a lot of money getting your groceries for free.
Paying for Coupons
While many extreme couponers get a lot of coupons for free, the reality is that in order to get the awesome deals, you just have to pay something for coupons. Why? Because Sunday insert coupons can vary by region. Usually the coupons with the highest values are often available to regions where the sales aren’t as good, stores don’t double, or new products are being marketed heavily. This is in order to drum up sales for particular items.
What this means is that in order to match up a super coupon with a super sale and get items for free or money back on your purchases you may have to find coupons that aren’t available in your area.
Coupon clipping services charge anywhere from 2 cents to 50 cents per coupon, depending on how valuable and in demand that coupon happens to be. So, when you see someone giving a cashier a hundred coupons, they may have paid up to $50 for those coupons.
Spending only $50 in order to get $300 or $400 worth of groceries is still worth it of course, but it isn’t as free as the extreme couponing show makes it out to be.
Printing coupons can cost money in a number of ways. The cost of paper and ink can get expense, especially if you are printing multiple coupons. Most printable coupons print one at a time on a single page. You can sometimes reuse the paper, but often you will have some paper waste associated with printing coupons.
Most printable coupons also have limits on them. it is just impossible for the average person to print 50 manufacturers coupons from the Internet.
You can often only print one or two coupons of the same kind per computer. To get around this, many extreme couponers buy extra computer equipment in order to print extra coupons. This is an added expense that could be hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Some people opt to once again buy printable coupons from others. Usually the cost of printable coupons is higher than insert coupons because of the expenses involved with printing them.