Super-Couponing: Tips of the Trade

Super-Couponing: Tips of the Trade

As you all know, I've been trying my hand at the latest craze sweeping the nation: super (or extreme) couponing. While I'm the first to admit that I have not achieved a large-haul shopping trip like the couponers featured on the TLC show (think $500 worth of products for next to nothing), I have been consistently saving our household of four more money than ever.

Now that I've been trying my hand at super couponing, I feel I can pass on some hints, tips and tricks of the trade. These are things I wish I had read (or maybe did read but didn't really take to heart) as I was getting started on my quest to combine sales and coupons to help stretch my family's budget.

Strike While the Iron Is Hot

Even if you're just getting started, you learn pretty quickly to spot a really good deal on a product. Whether it's a free toothbrush or twenty-cents-a-box pasta, there is usually at least one spectacular gotta-have-it sale going just about every week. If you absolutely must have it, get thee to the store posthaste.

Here's what happens: everybody and their cousin sees the same circular or sale flyer that you do, and everybody and their cousin wants the same deal on toilet paper. So, if it's a truly hot sale, be prepared to get to the store as soon as you can after the sale starts. If you find that you've arrived too late and the shelves are bare of this item on your list...

Don't Despair

This happens. You find something that you want to grab, you take the time to clip the right coupons...and then you're heart sinks when you see the toothpaste shelf with nary a tube left.

Take heart: First, remember that you can always ask the store for a rain check. That way, when the store is able to re-stock the product, you can still nab it at that hot price. Next, remember that stores run sales on items all the time. So you didn't get that deoderant for a quarter this time? Two weeks down the road, you might able able to score some just as cheap and maybe even cheaper! Every sale is not the be-all, end-all sale; although the stores would love for you to think this.

Organization Is Key

This is one that, even after a few months of upping my coupon game, I find myself struggling with. To get the most bang for your coupons, you have to find some sort of system that will work for you. You'll need to be able to sort through your coupon piles (or drifts, for some of you!) and come up with the right coupons to make your deals of the week a reality.

Some people prefer to spend time cutting out each coupon they come across, inserting them into a binder, and carrying said binder with them everywhere. Others would rather keep the inserts whole, which enables them to quickly locate a coupon from a specific date's insert, and clip them as needed. Whatever method you decide upon, just know that you will need to have some form of organization to make your coupon dreams happen.

So there you have it: a few of the tips that I think are key if you want to dive into the world of super couponing. With some patience plus a bit of planning and organization, you, too, can use coupons to help stretch your household dollar.

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femmefrugality's picture

femmefrugality wrote:

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 17:24 Comment #: 1

This show got me going, too! I'm not quite extreme....I have other things I need to be doing. But I have saved a lot of money. A lot. I just did some research on printing out internet coupons, too. It's amazing how much just a little prep work can get you.

retirebyforty's picture

retirebyforty wrote:

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 20:14 Comment #: 2

Great tips, but I don't think I can follow them. With the baby, it's tough to find time to go grocery shopping and we go when we can. Usually the iron is cool by then... :)