Extreme Couponing: Make it work without being extreme!

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This is a repost of an article that ran before the premiere of Extreme Couponing on TLC. With all the buzz, I thought it was worth another look.

It’s time for the premier of TLC’s Extreme Couponing! If you’ve seen or heard about the show, you may be interested but overwhelmed. While you may not start out saving thousands of dollars a week, you can make extreme couponing work for you!

The Basics

Extreme Couponing starts with coupons, of course! While the Sunday paper is an excellent resource for collecting coupons, don’t let it be your only source. The internet is jam-packed with offers from companies! There are several printable coupon resources available. You can find lots of printable coupons on the Printables page of MyRubberMoney and you can use the following links to find high dollar coupons for the things you normally buy! You can print two of each coupon per computer, so go through and choose your coupons, print them, then do it again! My favorite printable coupon resources are listed below:

Coupons.com

Target.com  (get store and manufacturer’s coupons!)

Redplum.com

SmartSource.com

Cellfire.com (no printing! Load coupons directly to your shopping card)

All You (1-year auto-renewal) Use this link to subscribe to All You magazine. It’s jam packed with high-value coupons every month!

There are a lot more resources online, but those are my favorite! You should also check your favorite companies on facebook! Companies are always offering coupons and free samples on facebook! Read about a few of them here and be sure to like MyRubberMoney to get all the latest coupons as they are posted!

The Next Step

Okay, now that you have a huge stash of coupons, what do you do with them? Well, you’ll need to organize them. Coupon organization comes down to personal preference. Some people create files for the coupon inserts they get from the Sunday paper. You file the inserts by date, and then cut the ones you need as you need them.  I prefer to cut my coupons while I’m watching TV and put them in a spiral bound photo album. Other people use a 3 ring binder with baseball card holders to organize. With this organization method, you can see what you have as you go through the store. I organize my coupons the way my store is laid out; produce (rare), grocery, fridge/frozen, dairy, etc.  Read more about it here.

Find the Best Deals

Now that you have your coupons organized, it’s time to use them to maximize your savings. Just using coupons is helpful, but combining a coupon with a sale is what leads to the most savings! You could peruse the sales flyers from your local grocery stores, match sale items with the coupons you have, and build your list that way. OR, you could just find a blogger that does it for you! No matter where you shop, there is probably a blogger who does coupon matchups for you every week! If you live in the south, you should use SouthernSavers.com. Jenny, who owns the site, provides matchups for most southern grocery store chains! Just find your store in the top menu (some are under “other”), click on the latest post, and you’ll find a complete list of what’s on sale and which coupons to use to get the best deal. If you live in the Polk County area of Tennessee, you’ll find IGA & Dollar Store matchups right here on MyRubberMoney.com! In the New York area, check out Brooklyn Bargainista.  If you can’t find your stores at these blogs, just do a google search for “Your Store Name Coupon Matchups” and you’ll most likely find a blogger who has done all the work for you.

When you find an extra good deal, start to build your stockpile. You should have at least a month’s worth of food and household supplies in your stockpile, but there is really no need to take it as far as you’ve seen on TLC’s Extreme Couponing.  Nobody really needs a 40 year supply of toilet paper. It’s so important to become familiar with coupon etiquette as you get started. I’ve outlined the rules here. Take only what you need and leave some deals for others who may need them even more than you do.

Learning to use coupons effectively can have a major positive impact on the life of your family. With the incredible rise in the price of everything, couponing is an important step in stretching your dollars. Realistically, you may not walk out of the grocery store with $1,000 worth of stuff for $100. But you just might be able to cut your food bill in half with just a little effort.

Taking it one step further

You now have the tools to stretch your family’s food budget, but what about everything else? That’s where the Daily Deals sites come in! If you’ve never heard of them, these sites offer a local or national deal every day. You can get movie tickets, a massage, dance classes, and more!  And they’re aimed at your area! Just sign up, and get a new deal every day.  Here are my favorites:

Groupon
Groupon is the grand daddy of them all. Fabulous deals on activities and entertainment, restaurants, online deals and more! Just click the link above!

LivingSocial is another daily deal site with tons of acivities, entertainment, and restaurant deals!
Eversave.com
Eversave is probably the 3rd most popular daily deal site on the web. Click the link above to check it out now.


Tippr is an up & coming daily deal site with limited cities, but lots of online deals to make up for it. Just click the image above to get started!

Buy With Me is another up & comer. Right now it is only valid in Boston, NYC, San Diego, DC, Phoenix, Philly, LA, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Austin. If you live in one of these cities, or are planning to vacation there, check this one out!
Zulily
Zulily is aimed at moms, babies, and kids. Use the link above to get great deals!

Totsy

Totsy is another great one for moms, babies, and kids.

Start your Journey

Whether you are interested in extreme couponing just to help make ends meet (like me) or to put more money in your nest egg, retirement account, or vacation savings (like I want to), it’s time to start your journey. It’s your money. Stretch it as far as you can. Don’t pay full price if you don’t have to…and most of the time, you don’t have to!

Read more about Extreme (and NOT so Extreme) Couponing:

Extreme Couponing and the Golden Rule

The Reality of Extreme Couponing

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