23 Couponing Secrets for Extreme Savings
These tips from extreme couponers will help you get the most out of your coupons.
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Extreme couponers dedicate a significant chunk of their time to saving a ton of money on everyday items. Coupons, used correctly, are the equivalent of free money and freebies. If you're looking to save money on groceries, personal care items, or even bigger purchases like appliances, there's likely a coupon out there that can save you money!
We've scoured couponing websites and blogs to come up with 23 of the best couponing secrets. These couponing tips and tricks are easy-to-use and do not require a ton of your time.
New to Coupons?
One of the best ways to learn how to coupon is to try it yourself! Couponing is going to look different for everybody. It really depends on what stores you shop at, what you're looking to save money on, and the amount of time you dedicate to clipping and researching coupons. Some extreme couponers look at it as a full-time job! The list below offers some easy ways to start couponing today. If you're interested in a deeper dive into the world of coupons and savings, check out our article on How to Start Couponing.
Couponing Tips & Tricks
- Combine coupons and offers for ultimate savings.
If a store is offering a store-wide sale, check to see if you can combine it with coupons on individual items to save extra money.
- Check to see if your favorite store accepts competitors' coupons.
While extreme couponing fanatics might be okay with shopping at multiple locations, you can easily save money at just one stop. Consider shopping at stores who accept competitor coupons. This allows you to combine savings and save time.
- Check for coupons from the brand or manufacturer.
The Sunday paper is probably the best place to look for coupons, but it is not the only place. If you have favorite brands, be sure to check out their websites and social media accounts for manufacturer coupons.
- Have a printed copy of a store's coupon policy.
If you're looking to combine coupons (especially on big ticket items), it always helps to have a copy of a store's policy on-hand. This way if you experience a roadblock, you can refer to the legal documentation.
- Utilize the internet to find printable coupons or digital deals.
Don't forget to check stores' websites, social media accounts, and more for digital deals. Many retailers have email newsletters you can sign up for that regularly offer savings.
- Don't forget about deals and discounts.
Many stores have store-wide or seasonal sales regularly. Remember to check their schedules for these times.
- Organizations like AAA and AARP often offer discounts on products and services.
Coupons do not have to be physical coupons. If you're a member of an organization, check out their website for stores where you may receive a discount.
- Find stores that are generous with coupons (allowing you to combine or accept competitor coupons) to focus your efforts on.
It is much easier to coupon at some stores than it is others. Find out what stores are more generous and flexible in your area and start there.
- Get more than one copy of your Sunday paper so that you can snip 2 copies per coupon.
There are usually no rules as to how many coupons you can use (unless the fine print says one per customer). Grab two copies of your local paper to snip 2 copies of the best coupons. This makes it easy to stock up on great deals for non-perishable items.
- Combine weekly shopping lists and meal planning with couponing to save money.
Do not just redeem a coupon for the sake of the sale. Combine this thrifty shopping hack with your regular meal planning and shopping list. This will help you avoid buying something on sale "just because". You're not saving money if you never use it!
- Stay organized with a binder or folder so you do not inadvertently miss a deal.
It can be hard to stay organized when you have a dozen clipped coupons. Stay organized by using a binder or envelope system.
- Decide how to use a coupon when it does not specify a size of a product. The cheapest bet will be the smallest.
Some coupons simply offer a discount with specifying the product. Take a moment to decide which is the best deal. Sometimes you'll get more for your money with a bulk item, but the cheapest item is usually the smallest.
- Separate your transactions into 1 or 2 transactions to make the most of coupons that offer a discount per trip.
Redeeming a coupon on that offers a discount per "trip"? Ask the cashier to ring your items up in two transactions. If you're receiving $5 off a $30 dollar purchase and spending $60, you'll save twice as much money.
- Ask for a rain check when a store is out of a particular product or deal.
A great deal and popular coupons often sell out fast. Ask the cashier if you can receive a raincheck on the deal to redeem later.
- Be flexible with your brands and the foods you buy.
Being brand loyal can really hurt your savings! If you shop for deals instead of favorites, you'll always get the best deals on products.
- Shop that same stores in order to learn how to save the most money.
Shopping at the same store(s) will help you learn their sales cycle, couponing policies, and more. Practice makes perfect and you'll learn how to save the most money if you shop at the same place(s).
- Don't be afraid to ask for the manager if a store employee disagrees with a coupon.
Sometimes employees will refuse to redeem a certain deal or coupon. Always be polite and kind, but do not be afraid to ask for a manager if you have further questions.
- Check expiration dates on coupons and research whether or not stores actually adhere to them.
Always check for expiration dates on your coupons and plan accordingly. It can be easy to miss a deadline! Also, research whether or not a store strictly adheres to those policies. Some stores who offer coupons regularly, like Bed, Bath, and Beyond, are not too concerned with the expiration date.
- Learn the fine art of stacking coupons.
Stacking coupons refers to using multiple coupons on one item. Oftentimes you can combine a store coupon, a manufacturer's coupon, and a competitors coupon to save a ton of money.
- Make time for couponing.
It takes time to snip, plan to use, and organize your coupons. Set time aside each week to work on this.
- When you can, buy non-perishable items on sale and in bulk to save money in the long run.
Coupons that offer savings on non-perishable items like personal care and home goods are a goldmine. Whenever using these coupons, try and buy the product in bulk for ultimate savings.
- Only buy items you use.
A good deal can be intoxicating. This means is it easy to accidentally buy an item you did not actually need. Be sure to be wary of using a coupon just because you have it. Only buy items you actually want and need. Using a coupon to try a new product is a great way to introduce yourself to new things. If you know you or your family dislikes a certain brand of cereal, however, don't buy it. Chances are no one will eat it.
- Pay attention to store sales cycles and plan accordingly.
Sales cycles refer to the rotations and times when certain discounts are available. Many stores offer discounts on particular items during certain times of the month or year. Keep an eye on these and use these times to save big or stock up on items like toilet paper, batteries, or other non-perishables.