Thursday, February 21, 2013

Extreme Couponing

For all of you that follow my blog, you remember Mondays post about me forgetting my fantastic post idea.  Well, I remembered it…Couponing!  So here it is.

The TLC show has taken the world by storm.  Over the years, more and more viewers have tuned in to this extreme show.  It is intriguing that these shoppers can get hundreds, if not thousands of dollars worth of groceries and only pay 20% or less.  Amidst all the chaos of attempting to get hundreds of free items, there is some reality.  Couponing can be very beneficial to a family’s grocery bill.  If you can look past the outlandish coupon clippers on TV, you can join the ranks of us every day coupon users and enjoy the benefits strategic clipping can bring.

Yes, we all want to bring home a truck full of groceries with nothing more than a $20 bill, but that is not nearly as realistic as it seems.  My son and I went to the grocery story on Sunday and between coupons and my store card, we saved 22%.  Not my best trip, but impressive none the less.  
One of the things we all have to remember is that just because it’s on sale or we have a coupon, doesn’t mean we need to buy it.  If you have ever watched the show, you know that some of the people have rooms filled with things they admittedly don’t use.  I remember one particular episode where a woman had stacks of diapers but she had no children.  I can’t be the only one that finds this a little strange.  Now, I have every intention of stocking up on diapers as soon as I find out I am pregnant again, but not until then.  Aside from not needing everything that is on sale, where will you put it all once its home?  Some people have the extra space to store their stockpile, but most average people are not that lucky.  With some strategic storage routines tho, you can keep a lot of extras around. 

I have a space in my master bathroom that is just wide enough to fit a pack of my favorite toilet paper, and I can stack them to the ceiling if I so desire.  The top shelf of my pantry is full of paper towels, facial tissues, room fresheners, and some cleaning supplies.  I have to put up a shelf in my utility/laundry room to store laundry soaps and fabric softeners.  What I do not have is a stockpile taking over my garage/basement/spare bedroom.  If you don’t have room to store it, don’t bring it home.  And no, your son’s half empty closet is not the place to store your lifetime supply of feminine products.

So, how do you get the most for your money?  If you are not brand specific, you will save a lot more.  There are always coupons for products, but the brand changes each time.  If you are waiting for that perfect coupon, you may have to purchase at full price between savings.  If you are like me and have preferred brands, stocking up while you can is a good idea.  Of course, only stock up if you have somewhere to keep it.  Clip coupons from your own newspaper insert, collect inserts from friends, and print off the internet.  Combine coupons with sales.  Stay organized!!  You don’t need a huge binder, but a coupon file or two will certainly come in handy.  Organize coupons by type and/or expiration date and always write a list.  I write down exactly what I want to purchase, and how much.  And remember to have fun.  Shopping should not be super stressful, so don’t give yourself a migraine just to save a few bucks. 

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