So you want to be an Extreme Couponer?

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So here is how you become an Extreme Couponer, just pay me a monthly fee and I will go grocery shopping for you! That’s it, just that simple!

Nope, not going to happen! The only way you will become an Extreme Couponer is by learning how to coupon on your own. Classes, seminars and one on one couponing advice are great ways to start, but the only way you will learn how to become an Extreme Couponer yourself is by doing it yourself.

I am a self taught couponer. Here’s the deal, you will only save as much as you actively put in. If you spend 10 mins here and there you will save around 20% pretty easily. If you spend an hour or two a week your savings goes up.

Here some ways to help you learn how to save. Each area is different and therefore your prices may vary from the prices I have in my area. I shop at Kroger for almost all my gorceries because mine still doubles coupons up to 50 cents.

So here we go lets help you become an Extreme Couponer for your family.

1. Shop Sales Ads. The biggest thing of learning how to coupon effectively is knowing how to matchup sales ads with the Sunday Inserts, printable coupons and ones you find on products, from the blinkies or tearpads. To learn more about how to Create your own Store Matchups click HERE.

2. Shop Clearance. Just about every Grocery Store or Big Box Store Like Wal-mart or Target has clearance areas. I rarely ever buy anything that is not on clearance at Target. These clearance areas need to become your best friend. Know where they are at in each store. Pay attention to the clearance price of items and write them down. Sometimes you will find a better deal if you wait a day or two.

3. Shop Manager Specials. I heart Kroger and I really heart Manager’s Specials! My Kroger I typically shop at doesn’t have a method to their madness on when they mark things down nor do they put them all in one area. So as you walk down isles be sure to look for those special tags! All stores are different so be sure to learn what your stores have.

4. Look for B1G1 Sales. These are the best ways to save becuase you can either use two $$ off coupons one for each item or use a B1G1 coupon ONLY if your store allows it. Unfortunately the downfall from TLC’s Extreme Couponing show is that stores and manufactures are changing how you can use coupons and what is accepted. So PLEASE be sure to abide by the Store Coupon Policy so you know what the store allows.

5. Use B1G1 coupons. These Buy One Get One Free Coupons are becoming more and more rare so they are becoming an increasingly higher value coupon. If you are fortunate enought to get these coupons you can score some great products fairly cheaply. Most B1G1 coupons are P & G coupons on Health and Beauty products. You dont find very many grocery coupons like this anymore. The best time to use a B1G1 coupon is on a B1G1 sale. They cancel each other out and you still pay the taxes based on the full price of each product.

6. Shop Stores that Double or Triple Coupons. Use coupons that will double or triple to maximize your savings. You also need to know the store policy on double and tripling and what days. I shop Kroger and coupons up to 50 cents will double everyday. However Kroger will do away with doubling in the future but Wal-mart may be doubling at all stores. I wish I has a store that would double up to $.99!

7. Make a price list of your typical items you use. This take time but will save you alot in the long run. Knowing what items you buy and the regular price at all the stores in your area will help you know when a sale price is good and when a coupon makes an even better deal.

8.Write down sale prices, dates and stores. Another time consuming task but will help you become an extreme couponer for your family. In a notebook listed with the items you typically buy write down the store and their sale price and date of the sale. It will take you a year to get a good list and know when these items will typically go on sale again. Most Sales are 3,6,12 week cycles or 6 or 12 month cycles. Knowing the cycles and the sale prices help you determine when the next best time at what price to stockup.

9. Write down when the coupons come out and their values. When you make a list of the coupons of products you typically use and their values you will be able to see a better picture over a year when coupons come out. You will want to base your purchases around those dates for those items. Coupons come out in cycles for instance the P & G comes out once a month either the last Sunday of the month or first Sunday depending on holidays.10.Learn the Value of Rainchecks

10. Learn the value of Rainchecks. It seems like 1 in every 5 people are using coupons now which means more people are hitting the sales to matchup their coupons. Also a down fall from TLC’s Extreme Couponing is that couponers are shelf clearing or many are going all at the beginning of the sale. I dont have the luxury to go as a sale starts so I have learned when I do go in the middle of the week typically if the item is out I make a list and at the end of my shopping trip I make a trip to the customer service desk and ask if they have any more of those products in stock ad if not I ask for a raincheck. Be careful with rainchecks, some last only 30 days while others last a year. Rainchecks have become my lifesaver with all the extreme self clearers.

11. Plan out your meals based on sales. I’m still learning this for myself so I am not an expert on this at all so you will need to do this for yourself and see if it helps you. I have found if I plan my meals out based on the fresh food sales each week I get a large savings then if I try those meals when those fresh items are not on sale or not in season. To be an extreme couponer for non fresh items pay attention to the sales and stock-up at the lowest prices so you can throw in a meal or two that the items are not on sale that week.

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