Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How To Make Extreme Couponing Work For YOU (And A Little Southern Sass Too)


Saving money has always been a desire of mine and sharing my savvy savings, tips, tricks and know-how gives me even more pleasure than a 5-foot long grocery receipt during a super double coupon event at my local Harris Teeter.  And for anyone who knows me personally, ya'll know that's some serious pleasure. 

And yes, I have been known to dance in the checkout lane. 

As you know, TLC has recently started a new 12-part reality series entitled "Extreme Couponing".  And while I cannot argue that the savings are impressive (because let's face it, they really are), I want to point out that not everyone shops in the same way nor will two grocery lists ever look alike.  Folks shop for different groceries and different daily needs for a number of reasons.  Therefor, it is important to learn the powerhouse strategies behind these savvy savers and then learn to apply them to your needs and the needs of your family. 

Note:  Before continuing, please check out Learn To Coupon for even more helpul how-to-coupon tips and great get-started information!  

The first step in this super savvy process is organization.  My mama taught me and her mama taught her.  There really is something to be said about organization.  And I know you have seen someone just like me at the grocery store:  cart filling quickly with a variety of name brand foods, beverages and necessities, coupon binder perched perfectly on the top of the cart, used coupons carefully tucked away in order, to-be-used coupons carefully resting on top of the open notebook and a specific shopping list clutched tightly in hand. 

I like to think of myself as one of the "binder bunch".  We get out every so often and we know how to work a sale. 


My binder: 
Weighing in at an impressive 13.5 pounds and home to nearly 2,000 printed and clipped coupons. 

There are numerous types of coupon organization and the best way to find what works best for you is to read about those types of systems available, take a good, hard look at what you are using now and decide if your system is best or, if it's time to change.  (And honey, I have used them ALL!)  I finally upgraded to a coupon binder about two years ago.  Until then, I was content using my previous systems (ahh...memories) and never once did they let me down.  But, sadly, I was running out of room.  And I finally had to bid them farewell. 

The next step is knowing where and how to find your coupons.  Your biggest source of great money saving coupons is undoubtedly your Sunday newspaper.  (And did you know that you can get a sneak peek of what's coming your way every week by visiting the Sunday Coupon Preview?) 

Another great place to find additional money saving coupons is online.  Internet printable coupons are accepted in most major supermarket chains and drug store chains from coast to coast.  You can find printable coupons by visiting Coupons.com, Free Coupons, Better Coupons by Kellogg's, The Coupon Network, Redplum.com and Smart Source.com.  I highly encourage you to bookmark each of these money saving links for easy access in the future. 

Another great place to find coupons?  Coupon bloggers.  We hunt 'em down and round 'em up savings style and even offer grocery store ad matchups to help you know when and where to use which coupon and how much you will spend and save!  You can find great matchups right here every week but I also suggest you check out some other great bloggers to help you save even more!  Some of my favorite coupon bloggers and pages are: 

Enza's Bargains  A great blog run by a sweetie of a gal, Enza brings you great online money saving deals and steals everyday! 

Melissa's Bargain Blog  Another great blog run by a gem of a gal who loves the thrill of the sale (and savings) just as much as I do!  Oh---and we both love a really good cupcake! 

Adventures Of A Couponista  She shares frugal tips, finds and savings with you to help you save everytime you shop.  She is a true deal diva! 

Mommy's Money Saving Obsession From top to bottom and side to side, you'll find great deals everyday, all day! 

Here's The Deal Check the page out for yourself and see what all the savings excitement is about!  HTD also offers store matchups and drug store matchups for your coupon convenience.  And don't forget to visit HTD on Facebook too! 

Knowing how to organize and knowing where to find the coupons (and how to REALLY use them) are the two biggest factors in "extreme couponing".  You also need to become familiar with store coupon policies, drug store coupon policies and you'll need to learn your selected stores' sale cycle.  All of this great information can be found in Learn To Coupon and I do know you'll just be so thankful you took the time to read through it! 

But before ya'll click over to start learning even more budget bustin' strategies, I want to share this with you: 

This is a sample of a recent trip that awarded me much needed (and used) personal care items for myself and my family as well as costly household necessities and cleaners for almost $20.00 less than my allotted budget of $50.00.  (This is why I sometimes dance or, applaud the cashier.)

I invite you to ask questions, I invite you to visit the suggested pages and I challenge you to begin putting your hard earned money to better work for you. 

And maybe you'll soon be dancing at the checkout too! 

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