Extreme Couponing FAQ
Perhaps one of the most popular shows on TLC today is Extreme Couponing. After all, as the cost of living continues to climb, consumers are eagerly employing money saving techniques to their budget. Consequently, many consumers all across America are looking at extreme couponing as way to help their budget. However, if extreme couponing is akin to a foreign language to you then, chances are, you have more questions than answers.
We started watching the Extreme Couponing show on TLC a while back and thought we’d try our hand at some of the tactics these shoppers were using. We have most certainly saved money on groceries after adopting extreme measures, but typically the savings doesn’t rack up in the three or four digit range as you see on each episode of the show. Here is what we at Coupon Claim have been able to put together so far regarding frequently asked extreme couponing questions:
- How much time does extreme couponing require? This is entirely up to you. While many people on TLC’s Extreme Couponing show spend hours each week, extreme couponing can also be done in as little as 90 minutes each week, however, that does mean that you may miss a few deals.
- What do the assorted couponing acronyms mean? In extreme couponing, you are likely to come across quite a few acronyms. Some of the more common are BOGO (Buy 1 get one), MIR (Mail in Rebate), OYNO (On your next order), B2G1 (Buy 2 get 1), SS (Smart Source), RP (Red Plum), GM (General Mills) and P&G (Proctor & Gamble).
- Where can I get coupons? Most of us know that coupons can be found in the Sunday (or perhaps Saturday) paper, but other money saving grocery coupon sources are online locations like couponmom.com, couponsbydede.com and couponclippers.com, store mail outs, asking people you know if you can have their coupon sections, watch for in-store coupon kiosk, perhaps by forming a local coupon swap meet, or even buying them on EBay.
- What is the best way to organize coupons for extreme couponing? This, too, is a personal choice; however, many extreme couponers choose to use a 3-ring binder with baseball cardholders, then apply tabs that allow you to organize in a way that helps you the most. Of course, an expandable file is a god choice, but you are limited to the number of sections you can have.
- When is the best time to employ coupons? Every time you shop! J However, extreme couponers have learned that, typically, the worst time to use a coupon is the week it is in the paper. Rather, be patient, and more often than not, the coupon will net more savings several weeks down the road.
- What about printable coupons? Many sites, such as WomanFreebies.com, Kellogs.com, Valpak.com, coolsavings.com and others will have coupons you can download and print. More cool, is that you can have usually print 2 coupons per computer you have access to. However, do keep in mind that photocopying coupons is crime!
- What is a coupon match-up? This is matching your coupon(s) to the store where you will get the best price/savings.
- What is stacking? Using a manufactures coupon with a store coupon.
- Isn’t it just cheaper to buy store brands? Not necessarily. Quite often, employing extreme couponing techniques results in the name brand being cheaper than a store brand.
- Do store employees know their coupon policies? While some do, most do not. Be sure to print copies of the store’s coupon policies to show, when/if necessary.
- Is it possible to save on 96% of your grocery bill every week? While it would be nice, it is not very likely. On TLC’s Extreme Couponing show, they do not always show things like the use of “free” item coupons, the use of gift cards and in some cases, stores have broken their own coupon policy in order to allow sensational savings. We find that limits seem to be placed on purchases perhaps in order to prevent extreme coupon arbitrage. For example, a one item per purchase rule can negate the types of mass savings you see in the show. Also, keep in mind that taxes will cut into your total savings.
- What is a realistic percentage to expect to save with extreme couponing? For most, 50% of their tally is a common occurrence.
- What types of coupon policies are common? Common policies are a limit on how many of an item can be bought and only doubling coupons up to a specific amount.
We hope these extreme couponing FAQs will help you in your quest to save money. At Coupon Claim, we would love to hear about your Extreme Couponing adventures. So, if you are an extreme couponer, tell us your stories. We look forward to hearing from you!