Extreme couponing is a great way to maximize your savings while minimizing your expenditures. Here are 4 easy steps to get started:
* Determine 3 ways to secure coupons: Sunday newspapers are a great source for coupons. They are available by subscription and in local stores. If you are purchasing your paper at a local store, always check to make sure the coupons are actually in the newspaper prior to purchase. Some people have several subscriptions delivered. The internet is an excellent source for obtaining coupons. An excellent site is coupons.com. Lastly, network with friends and family who get Sunday newspapers to trade coupons with them. The goal would be to have 1 to 3 like coupons if possible to allow for the greatest number of deals. First rule of couponing: It is illegal to copy coupons. You may print as many coupons as the site allows, but do not make copies.
* Identify one drug store to start your extreme couponing. CVS, Walgreen’s or Rite Aide are national chains drug stores offering excellent couponing opportunities. I recommend starting with CVS as it is the easiest to navigate. You will need to register for a CVS ExtraCare card. There are many benefits to this card. Upon entering the store, always scan your CVS card at the Magic Coupon Machine which is generally located at the front of the store across from the checkout counter. This scan generates CVS coupons which can be stacked with manufacturer coupons to give you greater value for your buck. Using this card allows you to earn a 2% return on all of your purchases. Go to CVS.com and register your card to receive great deals via e-mail such as 25% savings, or $4 off of $20 purchases. Be sure to sign up for the Beauty Rewards Program to earn $5 off of each $50 beauty supplies. CVS rewards extra bucks back on certain purchases which are advertised in their sales papers and in the store.
* Decide how much time you have available and are willing to spend on couponing. Initially expect to spend 2-3 hours per week cutting and organizing your coupons. Since sales papers and coupons are received in the Sunday paper, it’s a great day to start planning your shopping trips for the week to maximize your time and rewards. Couponing can be initially overwhelming as it requires organization and time-management skills. Pace yourself so that you don’t become overwhelmed. Match your coupons with the sales papers, then shop accordingly. Organization of your shopping trips will save you time and keep you focused on purchasing only the items you planned to purchase.
* Organize your coupons in a way that works best for you. One way is to start with a 1 inch binder as you begin collecting your coupons. Hobby Lobby and other craft stores have the plastic baseball card organizers which are perfect for coupons. Purchase 1 pack of 10 plastic organizers to start your collection. Of course, try to find a store coupon to avoid paying full price for these organizers. Initially, determine 5 categories for your coupons. You can expand the categories as your collection increases. For example: Freezer/Refrigerated Foods, Personal Hygiene, Paper products, Cleaning Products, and Miscellaneous. These categories will expand as you become more familiar with the different types of items you will be buying.