We have all seen extreme couponing. People spend hours sorting coupons. They go to the store and buy hundreds of dollars worth of items for a small amount of money. They then go to their house and stockpile all of their loot.
Is this what I want to do?
No. I have no desire to stockpile hundreds of items in my house. I DO, though, want to start using coupons to save money. I am interested in the basic “extreme coupon” methods but don’t want to be a professional couponer.
Here we go
My friend Barbara asked if any of us would like to learn how to extreme coupon. She has done it for a while. Corrin, myself, and Victoria all said YES!
Barbara used to be a teacher and invited us to her house to teach us. She was the perfect teacher. (She is a relator now if anyone needs one:) You can be as into extreme couponing as you want to be. I want to do a little but not like the people you see on TV.
I have always been intimidated by it so I am going to give you a very simple version of it.
Buy a newspaper on Sunday for the coupons. In Houston, we can get the Chronicle delivered to our house every Sunday and Wednesday (the days with the most coupons) for $1.50 a week. I would suggest starting with one or two Sunday papers.
- Sort through the coupons. If you want to do extreme couponing, you would get five newspapers. You would take each page of coupons (the entire page) and go through the other four papers and staple the exact same pages together. Ex: A page that the top of the page has a coupon for Tide detergent and the bottom half has a coupon for Snickers candy bars. You find this page in all of the papers and staple them in a stack together. You will have stacks of pages stapled together.
(note: If you are extreme couponing, you can label which flier your got this from because websites will tell you how to get the crazy deals and will tell you which flier to get them from. Think of the newspapers having their coupons in little fliers that are called different names. There may be four fliers in a newspaper. For the sake of the lazy person, we will skip this part)
2. Set aside all of the weekly grocery store ads
Clean out your freezer, refrigerator, and kitchen pantry. Throw away anything that has expired. Take an inventory (write it down) of what you have (Ex: frozen vegetables, frozen meat, pasta, etc).
Meal plan for one week. Look at your items that you have written down and create meals based on this. I found that I had three things of turkey meat and lettuce and tomatoes that were about to go bad. I had a box of taco shells in my pantry that were also about to expire. I decided when I was planning out my weekly meals that I needed to make turkey tacos the next night before my produce went bad. I had enough stuff to make seven meals with only having to get a few items.
Make a list of things that you need for your week of meals.
Go through your grocery store ads and see who has the best deal for the items that you need.
(Sidenote: I am VERY new to this so I will just give you my experience. If you live near an area that has a Kroger, you should do a lot of your grocery/couponing there. Why? Kroger will let you download their app and choose coupons from their app to load to your Kroger card. They will ALSO let you use paper coupons. SO..If they have a sale on Lucky Charms cereal…and they have a coupon for it that you can load on your card (through your phone) AND you have a paper coupon from your Sunday paper, you get THREE savings for that box of Lucky Charms. If the Lucky Charms are on sale for $2.00 a box and the Kroger coupon you can load on your phone is $1.00 and the paper coupon you have from the paper is $1.00, you get the box of Lucky Charms for free.
Yes, I didn’t believe it until I did my first coupon run today.
Go through your coupons and sort them into three piles. First pile “I need this item for my weekly shopping (ex: cereal). Second pile “I don’t need this item but if it is dirt cheap or free, I will take it. Third pile “I don’t not need this item and will never use it or want to waste space in my house.”
There are a million coupon sites that will tell you what the best deals are. If you shop at Kroger, I suggest a site my friend recommended, Kroger Krazy. The site tells you how to get the great deals. They basically do the leg work….The leg work meaning “They figured out that the store has it on sale, you can get a manufacturer coupon from the Sunday paper, and load a store coupon on their app.”
I checked out the Kroger Krazy site and saw a few deals that I wanted. Herbal Essence shampoo for fifty cents, Dove Men’s Body Wash for free, Snickers Halloween candy for $1.50 a bag, Goldfish for .99, and a few others.
Look at your list and then go to your store’s app and load all of the coupons that you want onto your phone.
Take the coupons that you will definitely use.
- Do you want to just go to the store and get only the items that “are the best deals that you can stock up on a few”….these are the Kroger Krazy deals… My friend Barbara calls them missions…when you go to the store just to get these deals….
- Do you want to do both: Get the deals AND the extra things you need for your weekly meal that you planned out.
I chose to do the second one because my freezer meal club is meeting on Wednesday so I needed to get items for the Crawfish Etoufee that I am making. I was able to find coupons for most of the components of the dish. We have a fifteen dollar rule in our club but if you find things on sale, your gain!
Cut out the coupons you know you will for sure use so that you can easily give them to the checker.
***** MAKE SURE YOU READ THE RULES OF EACH COUPON BEFORE YOU GO!
Corrin and I are idiots. We didn’t do this. The Dove Men’s Body wash had a limit of five and we got five. The Herbal Essence had a limit of two per customer. Corrin and I got six and had to put four of them back. This is part of the planning process. Just know how many you can get.
Go to the store and find your deals!
Was it worth it?
Like I said before, I don’t want to be an extreme couponer. I want to get good deals but mainly get things that I needed. Kroger was running a sale on cake mixes. If you bought ten of them, you got them for .99 each. Do I need ten cake mixes? NO! I don’t want ten cake mixes in my house. Corrin and I decided to split this deal (I would buy ten and she would pay me for her five). Abbey and Allison both have birthdays this week so I knew that we would use two of the five. That means I have three cake mixes left. We are always baking things so this was a good buy.
Yes, it was worth the time and effort.
My Kroger bill was originally $178.15 on things I actually needed and will use.
With my couponing, I ended up paying $85.01. That is a little over fifty percent savings. It was completely worth it.
My family of seven will always go through a million rolls of toilet paper, bottles of detergent, paper towels, shampoo, soap, etc. If I can find great deals on these and stock up a little, I will. If they are not fantastic deals, I am not stocking up. If something is free, I will get it and donate it if I can’t use it. Free is Free. I may go and get more Dove Men’s body wash tomorrow to stock up on because Brad and William use it and Free is Free.
Some of the coupons were not worth it. There was a deal at HEB where you buy a Dunkin Donuts K Cup pack of ten and get a Dunkin Donuts individual creamers for free. I had a coupon for $1.50 off of Dunkin Donut products. I went to HEB and the Dunkin Donuts K Cup pack was $8.50! That was crazy!. I had a coupon for eggs for fifty cents off. Corrin and I both agreed that we can get a dozen eggs at Aldi for much cheaper. You have to know which stores will always be better. I will do another blog going over the different stores and what products are the best to buy there.
My question for you:
Who is ready to try this?