Always one to fall in love with shows years after they were popular, I finally became addicted to TLC’s Extreme Couponing. Perhaps it appeals to my hoarder tendencies, but something about building a stockpile makes me just a little bit giddy. I’ve resisted writing about my adventures because (as you all can guess by now) I have a tendency to fall off the band wagon with things that excite me initially 🙁 BUT I have now been couponing (in a not-so extreme) capacity for about 3 months now so I thought it MIGHT be safe to start writing about it. So here we go!
The first thing I decided to do was to pretty much ignore everything on the show that got me hooked in the first place. As a vegan I can’t buy 98% of the things that are shown on that show, and as someone who actually cares about her health and the health of her family, I choose not to buy at least another 1% of the things I actually can buy. We’re dealing with very limited space here on the range so that takes out the possibility of a stockpile of 900+ tubes of toothpaste, and as a working mom I don’t have the luxury of dedicating a bajillion hours to this enterprise, so forget spending 30 hours clipping and 4 hours checking out! So here’s what I did:
1. I decided to start by making a list of all the things I already buy: almond milk, toilet paper, tofu, etc. etc. I chose, for the start of this experiment, to go with the brands I love and take it from there. I have since let brand loyalty slip a bit, but there’s no need if you really really love Tom’s toothpaste!
2. I set up a “dummy” email account that would be used for any site where I had to enter my email address to get a coupon. It keeps my personal email pristine and also allows me to get coupon emails (like for sites I follow such as couponmom.com or krazycouponlady.com) to all be filtered there.
3. I started Googling. I specifically focused on coupons.com (you can search by brand) and visited websites to see if they listed coupons. Then, if they didn’t, I would visit their Facebook pages and see if I “liked” them, if they would give me a coupon (which they usually did). Within about 30 minutes of searching I had a coupon for Nasoya tofu (you can get one each week sent to you if you do their Tofu-U Pledge!), Blue Diamond almond milk, Silk soy milk (my mother-in-law loves this stuff), and Driscoll’s berries(.50 coupon for signing up and more coupons for every survey)!
4. I went to my two go-to grocery store’s websites and looked at their coupon policies. I was specifically looking for stores that doubled coupons as I knew that was how I would get the best deals. So for me, I chose Stop & Shop (they double up to $1 coupons) and King Kullen (they double up to AND including $1 coupons) as the two stores I would frequent.
5. Now every week I only look for deals at those two grocery stores. Type in something like “x store coupon matchup” into Google and let the games begin! It only takes me about 20-30 minutes each week to go to a matchup post and see what’s on sale, organize my coupons, and take off for my weekly shopping trip and the savings have been awesome! If I told you that each month you would need to work for approximately 6 hours (including shopping time) and I would give you a check for $300 or more, would you do it? Of course you would!! That’s how much I am averaging on savings each month.
So start small, but start. If you’d like to see more in-depth posts about what I’m buying or how I’m saving, just ask! Some weeks I’m a little more gung-ho than others but I am always couponing now. What can I say? I love to save money 😉