Is extreme couponing really worth all the time that it requires to cut and sort coupons, search out the perfect deal and then plan a trip to the store to redeem your coupons for products that cost next to nothing? In my personal opinion, as a mother of two, and a couponer, the extreme part of extreme couponing is not necessary to save on groceries.You don’t need huge stockpiles, you don’t need thousands of coupons and you don’t need to spend hours planning shopping trips. The practices that extreme couponers use such as having several copies of one coupon, spending sometime planning your shopping trips and utilizing the reward programs and sales that stores offer you can help you save lots of money on the things that you need. I don’t have a large stockpile just a pantry closet in my kitchen a cupboard above my washer and dryer and one under my bathroom sink. I get a few extra coupons from recycle bins at my local transfer station and I only make a small trip at a time to local stores with a short list in mind with some of the best deals written out from deal hunter blog sites on products that my family uses on a regular basis.
In an article on Bankrate.com called “the secrets of extreme couponers,” savings strategist Andrea Woroch explains that you don’t have to go the distance that extreme couponers have gone to save a dollar you just have to use the techniques used in your own way to benefit from using coupons.
Seek out generous stores that have few coupon restrictions in there coupon policies. Coupon policies can change frequently but can be found on any stores website. Some of the important things to look for are stores that double or triple there coupons, if they accept competitors coupons, allow stacking of store and manufacturer coupons and allow you to stack coupons onto multiple sales such as buy-one-get-one. Have a plan before you go shopping. Check circulars to see where you can stack your coupons and who is having the best sale. I also like checking deal hunter blog sites to save time. Most sites such as the “Krazy coupon lady” will have weekly coupon matchups per store. Keep organized. This is the hardest part for me and you must develop a plan that works for you. Some commonly used organization methods are envelopes, binders and folders. Search high and low. Experts say that stores will set their shelves up with the most expensive products at eye level. So check out the bottom shelf and the top shelf for the best savings. Don’t forget about clearance areas, you just may have a coupon for items that are already significantly discounted. Adopt personality traits of the extreme couponers such as the precision that is need to plan and organize a shopping trip. Patience is needed to find the bargains don’t be afraid to whip out the calculator in the store to see if the sale is even worth it. Be flexible and try new brands and be diligent, to make sure at the registers everything rings up like you expected, machines make mistakes too. Make use of the rewards programs that stores offer, a lot of times coupons can sweeten the already awesome deal offered because of the reward program.
On the other hand there are the disadvantages to extreme couponing that cannot be avoided and it has to do with the “extreme” in couponing. Some get out of control and get items they don’t need because they are free. There are people that risk their families, friends and jobs by spending all there time sorting coupons and searching for the perfect deal. Time magazine did an article in their business section on former extreme couponer Christy Rakoczy. Christy recently was interviewed by NPR on why she is no longer extreme couponing she said “didn’t have a lot of free time because I was going to stores whenever I had spare time on my hands to try to get, you know, the next deal.” Christy said the biggest problem was that her home was cluttered with merchandise she didn’t need, for example Rakoczy doesn’t have diabetes but she had 60 or so diabetes monitors from getting them for free at local stores. Christy now does what most shoppers do. She clips the occasional coupon for items that she needs and not spending hours upon hours on strategies to get it for free.
Cbsnews.com gave five reasons why to steer clear of extreme couponing the last and final reason was that sometimes coupon can become an addiction and its suffers are obsessed with saving money that it takes over there life, otherwise known as financial hoarding disorder. A sure sign that your couponing has gone too far is when it begins to occupy more and more of your time to where you begin to neglect the important things.
To answer everyone’s question is extreme couponing worth your time? Maybe not, but couponing to get by and maybe having a small inventory of your favorite products can help out financially without being considered “extreme.”