Sometimes, your average budgeting strategies just don’t cut it.
Maybe you can afford your basic necessities and make payments on time, but don’t have the extra cash to tag on the road trip you’ve been wanting to take or that new toy your kid has been raving about.
If you’re looking for unique ways to save money so you can budget for the best things in life, extreme couponing might be for you.
You may have heard of the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” which follows people who coupon religiously, but chances are you haven’t thought much about applying some of these tactics to your own life.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to coupon like a pro, you’ve come to the right place. Take a moment to study the following tips and get clipping!
How To Start Couponing Like A Pro
1. Know Your Couponing Tools
You’ve probably seen coupon pages online or in your local newspaper, but don’t yet have an arsenal of resources where you can pull all the coupons you need to save like a pro.
Here are some tools to make sure you have on-hand before you head to the store:
- Coupon sites: A quick Google search will pull up countless pages filled with all types of coupons. If you already know what items, brands or stores you’re looking for, target your search to find the most applicable coupons.
- Newspapers: In addition to the Sunday paper, consider subscribing to some other newspapers that come filled with coupons to help you save big.
- A good printer: While many coupons can be pulled up on your phone, some aren’t as tech-friendly. It’s a good idea to have a printer at home that you can use to print out physical coupons from the internet. Shop for inexpensive printers on Amazon now.
- A binder: You’ll be grateful you invested in a binder or divided folder once you start collecting coupons. This not only allows you to keep everything in one place but also helps keep relevant coupons (or those that will expire soon) together to limit the time you spend scrambling and planning. Pick up a new binder here.
2. Experiment With New Brands
Everyone has their favorite brands, but when it comes to couponing you might have to make some sacrifices.
Coupons tend to target certain brands over others, so experimentation with these brands is encouraged.
Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite brand of cereal thanks to coupon exploration!
3. Buy in Bulk
If you’re buying something you know you’ll need again and again, consider buying in bulk.
Check to see if your coupons will apply to groups of items and if so, you might as well stock up when it’s cheapest to do so.
Of course, it’s not encouraged to buy huge quantities of an item you rarely use, as this defeats the purpose of couponing – saving money.
Couponing requires practicing critical thinking, and not allowing the part of your brain that wants to buy everything to take over.
4. Stack Compatible Coupons
One key to learning how to start couponing like a pro is to stack compatible coupons.
Sometimes, you’ll find a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon that both offer a discount on the same product.
If store policy allows (and this is a big “if”), stack your coupons to get your item at an incredibly low price.
Stacking can also be done with sales. If you notice certain items are already on sale or are a part of a “buy one get one free” deal, stack coupons on top of these sales (again, if the store allows it) to practically steal the items you need.
5. Make Overage Your Goal
If you’re already taking the time to extreme coupon, you might as well shoot for the stars. Overage refers to when your savings are greater than your total bill, meaning that the store owes you money for your “purchase.”
This is most likely when stacking coupons or using them in coordination with store deals, so don’t be discouraged if it can’t happen every time.
Some stores may not give you cash if you achieve overages – they may instead offer store credit or additional coupons. Get to know your local stores’ policies to better understand what’s possible.
Couponing is a skill that takes time to master, especially if you take it to the extreme.
Hopefully, after reviewing these tips you’ll feel a bit more confident in your ability to coupon like a pro.
If you’re interested in learning more couponing strategies, check out Capital One Shopping’s visual below.
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