by Kristen Bagwell
A few weeks ago, one of my FB friends posted as her status message: "New program on TLC called Extreme Couponing. Is this stuff for real? Discuss." I will admit that I went through a stage where I would buy nothing without a coupon, and was doing my best to clip and save coupons for the super double and triple coupon weeks at our local stores. I found, though, that I was buying things that I wouldn't normally buy, or didn't even need, just because I had a coupon.
For anyone who is truly brand loyal (I'm not), coupons are more of a special occasion thing than your daily m.o. However, I know everyday moms who will spend $12 for $60 worth of groceries, without blinking an eye. Is it realistic to think that someday I wouldn't need to budget for groceries much, or at all? I can't imagine it, but there are super-couponers out there who swear this is true for them.
Q. What are your top 5 tips for anyone who wants to get started in couponing?
1. Start buying your local Sunday paper.
2. Find out if the grocery stores in your local area double or triple coupons.
3. Just because you have a coupon doesn't mean you should use it. Wait until the item is on sale and then use your coupon to maximize the savings.
4. Stores like Rite Aid, Target & Walgreens all have in-store coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons.
5. If you can get something really cheap, buy multiple and start a stockpile.
Q. What top 5 things were you surprised to learn when you started couponing?
1. That if you use a B1G1 Free coupon on a B1G1 Free sale, you get them both for FREE!
2. That stores actually allowed you to use an in-store coupon and manufacturer coupon on the same item.
3. I was amazed at the savings I could get, and kicked myself for not having started sooner.
4. There is an entire sub-culture of couponers and deal seekers like myself on the internet.
5. Couponing is addicting...very addicting...
Q. What are your top 3 favorite resources on the web?
3. Facebook (for deals & staying in touch with other blogs)
Are you an extreme couponer, or even just a "normal" one? What are some of your tried-and-true methods? Leave a comment below and enlighten the rest of us!