EXTREME COUPONING – Are You Ready to Surf the Extreme Couponing Wave?

Extreme Couponing – Do I Dare Attempt It?  Are you surfing on the couponing wave?

2.1 million viewers tuned in to TLC’s Extreme Couponing when it premiered December 2010 to see some of America’s most extreme couponers – telling us all why they are so driven by deals.  Each episode shows everyday people in their pursuit of the ultimate deal.

I have to admit, I am a casual couponer.  If I happen upon the Sunday paper after my husband is done reading it, I will glance at the coupons and see if any of the items I typically purchase are there.  I then cut the coupon out and shove it in a drawer or maybe it ends up at the bottom of my purse – rarely does it actually make it to the store with me when I go shopping!  And yes, I do have a coupon organizer – somewhere!

It seems to me, extreme couponers are merely working all angles of the “system” – I believe we all would if it were easy!  But it can be a complicated process.  Here are 5 Extreme Coupon Tips for Novice Couponers:  (See the whole story at http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/5-extreme-coupon-tips-for-normal-people.htm)

1)      Get Advanced Couponing Techniques

  1. Don’t settle on just your Sunday paper for coupons!  Ask friends/co-workers to bring their unused coupons to you
  2. Print coupons on-line (try redplum.com, smartchoice.com or coupons.com)
  3. Purchase additional inserts from coupon services (manufacturers are trying to halt these services)

2)      Know Couponing Lingo

  1. Are your coupons stackable?  Can you use a manufacturer’s coupon along with a store coupon?
  2. Know your acronyms – OYNO (On Your Next Order), MIR (Mail-In Rebate) & BOGO (Buy One Get One)
  3. Get a handle on the pricing of your favorite products – recognize real savings

3)      Tips to Get Organized

  1. Get a binder and use baseball card sleeves to hold coupons
  2. Sort by category and then by expiration date

4)      Familiarize Yourself with Each Store and Ideal Shopping Times; be Friendly to Your Fellow Shoppers

  1. Shop at off-peak times (as you may take awhile in line with all of your coupons!)
  2. Get to know the cashiers, chat them up, compliment and thank them for their efforts
  3. Warn fellow shoppers that you may be awhile and suggest they go to a different line

5)      Know the Couponing Rules

  1. Keep a copy of the stores coupon policy on hand – so you are ready to combat a cashier that refuses to take one of your coupons for whatever reason
  2. Be nice about it – maybe the cashier or manager just doesn’t know the store rules about  BOGO – you are more likely to receive a positive outcome if you are friendly and helpful

Beware!  TLC’s Extreme Couponing show is forcing changes in the world of coupons!  Stores like Target and Rite Aid have started to limit the number of BOGO offers each customer can use.  Manufacturers, such as P & G, have begun to change the language on coupons to read “Limit 4 like coupons per transaction” to hopefully help alleviate extreme couponers from clearing shelves.  Stock up within reason – usually an item goes on sale every 12 weeks.  Be on the lookout for changes in couponing:  Shoprite and Kroger’s are testing customers uploading coupons onto their loyalty card – simply swipe your card at the checkout line and the applicable coupons will go on your order; Target is testing a Smartphone app to deliver coupons right to your phone.

After researching this topic, I do NOT think I am ready!  Let me know if you jump on the wave and how $$ you save!


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