Tara Crooks's avatarTara CrooksMoney Matters Blog | ‎06-26-2011 11:00 PM

Are you "Coupon" Extreme?

Printable coupons, newspaper circulars, Catalina coupons, special promotions, offer codes, store loyalty cards, Groupons, mobile coupons - you name it and people are using it. It's gotten to the point that you have to purchase a new handbag & download 17 new applications to your iPhone just to hold all of your "savings". Is it worth it?

 

I'll admit that when someone starts to discuss how they left the commissary with $200.00 worth of groceries for $24.36 my heart skips a beat and I feel like "I can do that!" How amazing would it be to save that much money? But then, my reality sets in. I hit the store and walk away with a 7% savings and wonder why I did all that work.

 

The practice of couponing seems so mysterious and impossible yet I see that it can be done. Admittedly, after a few unsuccessful trips my inner military spouse kicked in - you know the one that just has to have an answer - and I decided I would find out just how this system works.

 

I asked a lot of questions of coupon bloggers and gurus. What I learned in my research - other than the amount of time and energy that has to be put into couponing is taxing - is that this is no joke and there are definitely tips and tricks of the trade. Yes, I call it a trade. I believe that those that "extreme" coupon do it for a living/income replacement. I can say without hesitation that this is a new and blossoming form of entrepreneurship. The money they save in coupons they have "earned" by doing their home - "work". Matching prices, coupon stacking, clipping, stockpiling, and other techniques used by these entrepreneurs is not easy and it is definitely time consuming. Unfortunately, I don't think I possess the time, energy, sanity, or extreme organizational skills that it takes to save like that - let's be honest - I lack the passion.

 

Still I - like you - love to save money for date night, new shoes, family vacations, and ultimately retirement. Fortunately for the rest of us, couponing isn't a matter of all or nothing. Coupons can still give you super savings while being easy to use. The trick is to find what fits into your lifestyle and your family schedule.

 

It is important to find the balance between the time it takes to coupon and the money you can save with them. You may have to give up your dreams of $200.00 for $24.36 and settle for $158.94. But hey, I won't judge.

 

Here are some resources to get you started:

 

  • Top 5 Coupon Websites according to Smart Money - Coupons.com, CouponCabin.com, CouponMom.com, RetailMeNot.com, and SmartSource.com.
  • Identify a coupon blog like FreeCoupons.com or TheKrazyCouponLady.com that does Match Ups - these are blogs that match current coupons to your choice of store making your research that much easier.
  • Many groups are offering coupon webinars, online courses, or training events. Do a little research and see what you can glean from some of these free resources.
  • Subscribe to your local (the biggest city near you) Sunday newspaper. The cost of the paper is completely cancelled by the plentiful coupon inserts.

 

Comments

AnnMarieS's avatarAnnMarieSNew Member

by AnnMarieS ‎06-27-2011 06:17 PM
I spend about $30 save at least $70 (I pay for meat, produce, dairy, and my dogs nutro but I even use a coupon on that). I don’t spend hardly any time other than cutting and shopping, because I pay for a website with match ups. The trick is plan your menu around sales, buy at least 2 when you can get something free and… well that’s it. We fallow this rule for everything! With sites like groupon, resurant.com and others you don’t even have to pay retail to eat out or buy clothing. When that shut down non since was going on I knew for a fact between our savings account and my 3 month stock pile we were good for a while. It pays to be furgal!
I spend about $30 save at least $70 (I pay for meat, produce, dairy, and my dogs nutro but I even use a coupon on that). I don’t spend hardly any time other than cutting and shopping, because I pay for a website with match ups. The trick is plan your menu around sales, buy at least 2 when you can get something free and… well that’s it. We fallow this rule for everything! With sites like groupon, resurant.com and others you don’t even have to pay retail to eat out or buy clothing. When that shut down non since was going on I knew for a fact between our savings account and my 3 month stock pile we were good for a while. It pays to be furgal!

BrianaHartzell's avatarBrianaHartzellOccasional Contributor

by BrianaHartzell ‎06-30-2011 09:13 AM
I found out recently you can search for items on sale in your commissary! It gives you the name of the item, the brand, the % discount you are getting and the final sale price! It would be a great tool to use while you are making your weekly shopping list! http://www.commissaries.com/log_in/html/savings_aisle.cfm
I found out recently you can search for items on sale in your commissary! It gives you the name of the item, the brand, the % discount you are getting and the final sale price! It would be a great tool to use while you are making your weekly shopping list! http://www.commissaries.com/log_in/html/savings_aisle.cfm

StepShana's avatarStepShanaNew Member

by StepShana ‎07-03-2011 09:14 AM
I have saved so much money using coupons and purchasing discouned activities from groupon.com and living social.com. Being a single mother of two school-aged children is not easy and every saved cent counts. It only takes around a hour a week to look through the sale papers and clip coupons to plan mealed for the week. It is worth the time.
I have saved so much money using coupons and purchasing discouned activities from groupon.com and living social.com. Being a single mother of two school-aged children is not easy and every saved cent counts. It only takes around a hour a week to look through the sale papers and clip coupons to plan mealed for the week. It is worth the time.

divadedrama's avatardivadedramaNew Member

by divadedrama ‎07-04-2011 06:33 PM
All You magazine is sold at Wal-Mart. They always have a lot of great coupons that totally offset the low cost of the magazine.
All You magazine is sold at Wal-Mart. They always have a lot of great coupons that totally offset the low cost of the magazine.

vanessa010405's avatarvanessa010405New Member

by vanessa010405 ‎07-08-2011 10:37 AM
I usually can't find coupons for food I am willing to eat. We make a point to purchase non-processed foods, for the most part. Occasionally I can find a coupon for a healthy salad dressing, or yogurt, but that is pretty much it. I don't see the point in saving money on toxic food. Hospital bills are expensive, so even if I can get that box of Pop-tarts for a nickel-- it still doesn't seem worth it.
I usually can't find coupons for food I am willing to eat. We make a point to purchase non-processed foods, for the most part. Occasionally I can find a coupon for a healthy salad dressing, or yogurt, but that is pretty much it. I don't see the point in saving money on toxic food. Hospital bills are expensive, so even if I can get that box of Pop-tarts for a nickel-- it still doesn't seem worth it.

Annie2's avatarAnnie2New Member

by Annie2 ‎07-09-2011 05:36 PM
I agree that it's hard to find a coupon for health food, but if you follow those coupon blogs, you will find those money maker deals that they actually pay you to take those "junk" food away. So take the "junk", drop them off at the foodbank and use the money they paid you to buy the health food. That's how I save money by couponing though we don't eat junk food either.
I agree that it's hard to find a coupon for health food, but if you follow those coupon blogs, you will find those money maker deals that they actually pay you to take those "junk" food away. So take the "junk", drop them off at the foodbank and use the money they paid you to buy the health food. That's how I save money by couponing though we don't eat junk food either.