Extreme couponing: How to use coupons to get free groceries and free household supplies

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Successful couponing boils down to three things: organization, proper usage and good timing. If you plan ahead, make lists, clip enough of the right coupons and plan your shopping trips around store sales and use your store rewards cards, to boot, you'll be saving (aka, earning) hundreds of dollars each month on your grocery bill.

Extreme couponing: How to use coupons to get free groceries and free household supplies

Most people these days are finding it harder to pay full price for anything. Lots of people have turned to coupons and couponing to help save them hundreds of dollars on their grocery bill every month. There will always be skeptics; some people even believe couponing (more precisely, extreme couponing) to be nothing more than an urban legend--a myth of sorts. Let us address an age-old question: Are coupons and couponing worth the trouble?

With the economy being what it is, these days more and more people are turning to coupons and couponing as a rule. There are those who wouldn't be caught dead without their coupons at the supermarket. Then again, there are those still skeptical, and to this day, will tell you that clipping coupons and couponing is a waste of time. These people simply do not have a grasp on coupons and couponing, and therefore still believe that coupons and couponing is either too time consuming, takes up to much of their energy or they don't believe you can buy anything good with coupons.

There's an old saying: Time is money. If that's true, then why not spend your time making money? Obviously, the one sure fire way to make money is to go to work. But, even those of us with jobs will tell you, it's getting harder and harder to make a living, as more and more people are getting laid off. With the job market failing, and many major companies closing their doors, people are forced to find other ways to make money. There's another saying: A penny saved is a penny earned. Here is where coupons and couponing comes into play. By using coupons at the supermarket, you are saving your family lots of money. Since saving is like earning, you are thereby earning money by spending less of it than you normally would. In some instances, the extreme couponers will tell you they get most of their food and groceries for free or close to nothing.

The fact is, coupons and couponing can effectively lower your grocery bill; however, only if used effectively. It won't work if you don't have the discipline. Plus, it does require a lot of your time and energy, but then again, doesn't working a 40-60 hour a week job do the same? Yet, we wake up every morning and head off to work without question. Since everything has gone up in price as of late, it's getting more and more difficult to afford not only the luxuries, but the basic things we need in order to survive. If you haven't already noticed, bathroom tissue has nearly doubled in price in the last few years. Instead of using half the bathroom tissue you normally would in an effort to save some money, why not use coupons and couponing to lower your grocery bill an estimated 60-65% each month, not having to worry about the amount of bathroom tissue you'll be able to afford; rather, worry where you will store all that free bathroom tissue you'll eventually get.

Some people still don't use coupons because they're afraid they'll end up buying products they wouldn't normally buy if they hadn't used coupons. Those are the people who still don't understand the concept of coupons and couponing. Just because you're getting an item for 50% off, doesn't necessarily mean you should buy it. That's where the discipline of it comes in. Instead, you should only buy what you need if it's going to end up costing you something, even 25-cents. Save the other stuff you might not ordinarily purchase for items you can get for absolutely free. It's a common problem with beginner couponers--they tend to overspend on things they don't need, just because they had a coupon for it. They still ended up paying for the item, even if it was 50% off. To put it in perspective, 50% off of $100 is still $50, when the objective is to pay practically nothing for things we need and zero for things we don't need.

Another complaint is, coupons are difficult to organize, clip and use. Many times people will get into line at the grocery store only to realize they forgot their coupons at home. That's a big mistake among couponers. In fact, leaving the house without your coupons is like leaving your house without your wallet. Your coupons have to accompany you on every shopping trip. It's a good idea to make a list of the items you will need on a shopping trip and bring those coupons with you. Try not to buy items that aren't on your list, as you will not be prepared to pay for them at checkout.

Then, there are those who believe coupons and couponing is a waste of time because you can only save a little with them. Pennies are money, too. Every little bit helps in the grand scheme of things. All those pennies add up to hundreds of dollars in savings every month. Plus, if you use your coupons effectively, you'll be getting most of your items for free.

How to Use Coupons to Get FREE Groceries & FREE Household Supplies
It's not very hard to come away with cartfuls of FREE (or practically FREE) groceries and household supplies each shopping trip you make. The easiest way to get free groceries and household supplies each shopping trip is to use coupons effectively. In a few easy steps, you too can get all the free groceries and household supplies you'll ever need:

First, you need to set aside several hours a day to hunt for coupons. Every week, you can get tons of free coupons by watching your mail for grocery store circulars and flyers, most of which come in a packet of flyers with inserts from Redplum, P & G, etc. Clip those coupons! Don't be ashamed / afraid to take as many of those packets as you want. Most people don't even pick them up off the ground, or throw them out when they come in the mail. Some people will dumpster-dive to get theirs! You don't have to go to that extreme, but picking up as many of those packets and store circulars works just the same. If you want, you can even purchase the Sunday paper--it's full of coupons. It's an expense, so only purchase the paper if you're sure you'll be using every single coupon in that paper.

Secondly, you will need to go to coupon websites where you can print coupons from your own home. Try: coupon.com, coolsavings.com, etc.

Then, you'll have to go to various websites that allow you to upload electronic coupons directly onto your store rewards card. Ralphs.com does this, as does P & G.

You will have to devote many hours of the day to not only searching for coupons, but organizing them, as well. For this step, you will need to purchase a large 3-ring binder with baseball card inserts, to store all the coupons you will eventually clip.

Now, you will have to make a list of everything you have multiple coupons for, and combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons to make the most of your shopping trip. Remember, most large chain stores will double and sometimes triple coupons--if they forget, remind them!

Buy in bulk, stock up. And only buy what's on sale (or clearance), coupled with the coupons and your store rewards card. Never spend money on items you don't really need, but can get for free. And, only spend a fraction of the price on things you actually do need.

Before you head out to the store, make a list of everything you will be buying that day, and make sure you have the necessary coupons for the items before you get in line. (Pick a young patient and capable cashier--you might be in line for a couple hours each trip!) Don't forget your binder--it's the reason you're going shopping. Don't forget to hand your rewards card to the cashier, and if you have any recycled plastic or paper bags, hand them in for a nickle a piece, as well (most large grocery stores will pay you for reusing their bags).

Now, stand back and watch how that $500 bill gets dwindled down to nearly nothing! (And, always double check your receipt on the way out the door.)

In the end, successful couponing boils down to three things: organization, proper usage and good timing. If you plan ahead, make lists, clip enough of the right coupons and plan your shopping trips around store sales and use your store rewards cards, to boot, you'll be saving (aka, earning) hundreds of dollars each month on your grocery bill.

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Comments

author avatar Greenfaol
12th Jan 2011 (#)

I'd never thought about couponing before. Will need to check and see if there are UK equivalent websites for this. Great article, excellent advice :D

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author avatar Clo
5th Sep 2011 (#)

As i have lived over in the usa ,and currently moved back to the uk,i have found that there are less coupons..and good websites over in the uk!!!!

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author avatar Lisa
14th Apr 2011 (#)

I currently shop with coupons and probably save 25% of my grocery bill. The problem here in Houston, TX is that none of our store double or triple coupons. And only one store will let you combine store and manufacture coupons. I just don't see how I can ever get anything for free if I can't combine coupons. Does anyone have any tips or have run into the same problem?

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author avatar Crystal
1st Oct 2011 (#)

Same problem here in our area....NO stores double and only Walgreens will do store and manufacture :(

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author avatar Nick
3rd Oct 2011 (#)

If you have a target, they do store and manufacture

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author avatar Lisa
3rd Nov 2012 (#)

same here in florida. publix has the monopoly on grocery stores and doesnt double or triple coupons so i shop at walmart whos prices are always alot lower than publix but cant figure out how to save more at walmart with their price match and using manuf coupons. any ideas?

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author avatar Kelly
16th Mar 2013 (#)

At Walmart, you have to take MANY surrounding ads... make your groc. list from the lowest price ..(they will comp/match) then add your coupon!! But do only when items are at their lowest price!

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author avatar Sonya
3rd May 2011 (#)

Lisa,
I have the same problem. I am at 33% savings for the last month. I am a pretty savy shopper but cannot do what these people do

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author avatar Lin
5th May 2011 (#)

In the uk most stores wouldnt allow you to use a coupon while there is an instore sale on the same product. They would never allow you to double your coupons. Most people can only save a few pence on each item each shopping trip.

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author avatar Simone Black
9th May 2011 (#)

We need this sort of shopping in England

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author avatar Katrina
13th May 2011 (#)

In Texas we had Krogers that used to double and triple coupons but they must have found out about these extreme couponers because they stopped do it.... :(
They were the only ones that did it.

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author avatar Shannon
30th May 2011 (#)

I'm also in TX and all 3 Albertsons I shop at doubles up to 50 cents and triples up to 39 cents. Kroger doesnt do it anymore but I'm sure the majority of Albertsons still does.

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author avatar Mimi
3rd Jun 2011 (#)

Okay i understand, but what if the coupons have effective dates or they expire....what do i do

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author avatar Cecilia sampson
10th Jun 2011 (#)

It’s very important to have the right tools before jumping into serious couponing , came to know that some coupon queens are using some software to manage their huge pile of coupons.
I found the couponsaving software very helpful, it helps me save hundreds of dollars each month

DOWNLOAD it from http://www.couponsavingsoftware.com

Couponsavingsoftware.com is the best coupon organizer and management software available
Features include:-
-unlimited coupon entries
-fast google type search
-edit/delete coupons
-auto delete expired coupons
-organize coupons per manufacturer,source,company etc

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author avatar Courtney
14th Jun 2011 (#)

WONDERFUL Tips! Thanks tons!
Question:
Which is the best way to save more - or does it matter:
Handing the cashier your store card before or after you hand over the coupons?
Thanks for any answers.

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author avatar Sasha
24th Jun 2011 (#)

wow its sound really amazing just to even think of the saving im 21 years old with two kids and one on the way this is going to be my first time trying these coupons wish m best god bless u guys ans take care

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author avatar Joseph lowe
28th Jul 2011 (#)

where can i find coupons in the uk online printable or newspapers

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author avatar Ruby
4th Sep 2011 (#)

did cashier ruded or give you attitude when we do coupon?

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author avatar Elizabeth
24th Sep 2011 (#)

Kmart still doubles coupons occasionally...but they don't advertise it and you never know until you enter the store

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author avatar Alida
29th Sep 2011 (#)

this is going to be my first time couponing next sunday....
im really excited and nervous, still stock piling...
im in cali some of the stores out here dont double up, but im hoping everything goes accordingly... any advice?

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author avatar Jenni
8th Oct 2011 (#)

this sounds great about saving ..it might sound silly but i have never useed a coupon and i would kove to know how to use them especially when i have six children .this sounds amazing.i always see it on tv..wow

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author avatar Cam
16th Oct 2011 (#)

is there a way to get these massive savings in the uk?

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author avatar Jhoana
26th Jul 2012 (#)

I want to try couponing for the first time, can some one help me on how to get started plz

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author avatar Jessica d
8th Mar 2013 (#)

http://www.wickedcooldeals.com/money-saving-university/coupons-201-grocery-coupon-tips-and-tricks This article helped explain a little more to me! Couponers unite! Lol.. Gd luck to all the savers.. Do a little research about couponing. It has helped me become better at saving money.

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