One of the best ways to be prepared for an emergency is to create a storage of food and personal care items. Generally, most people fail to build up their food storage due to budgetary restraints; however, there is a way to do that without breaking the bank: extreme couponing. Extreme couponers can get a huge amount of product for little money. Here’s how you can be prepared by adopting the life of an extreme couponer.
Step 1: Start Collecting Coupons
There are many places to find coupons. Coupon inserts are in the Sunday newspaper each week, but only the Sunday. You don’t have to subscribe to the newspaper everyday; you can just pick up newspapers at your local gas station each week or only subscribe to the Sunday paper. You will need to buy at least four newspapers each week if you want to be able to get couponing deals. There are also mobile coupons and websites, such as Coupons.com, Red Plum, and Smart Source that have printable coupons. Some stores have printable store coupons such as Target. The most important thing to remember with printable coupons is that the computer only allows two coupons to be printed per computer. So borrow a friend’s computer and printer if you want to print more than two coupons.
Step 2: Buy a Binder and Get Organized
Organization is key to becoming an extreme couponer. Go to the store and buy a binder and baseball card holder sheets. These sheets are the perfect size to stick the coupons in and give easy access. Then start organizing the coupons into different sections according to what kind they are. You can organize them by food, personal care, cleaning products, etc. Having the coupons clipped and separated helps you keep track of what you have and when the coupons expire.
Step 3: Research Store Policies
Every store has a different coupon policy, and it’s important to learn them so the coupon transaction is successful. Almost every store has a coupon policy posted on their website that you can read. Most stores only allow four like-coupons per transaction; that means there can only be four of the exact same coupon in each transaction. Walmart is one of the few places that allows you to use an unlimited number of coupons per transaction. Walmart also allows you to price match sales from different stores. Learning the policies is important to make sure the transaction goes smoothly and doesn’t frustrate the couponer or the cashier.
Step 4: Learn How Coupons Work
There are many tricks when it comes to couponing, so it’s important to know the different ways coupons work. Stores, such as Target, allow what we call coupon stacking, which is using two coupons on one item. The rule is that one coupon must be a manufacture coupon, which is the kind from the newspaper or couponing websites like Coupons.com. The other has to be a store coupon, such as the printable coupons on Target’s website. Stacking those two coupons together when there is a good sale usually results in a cheap or even free product. Example: Say you want to buy Pantene shampoo at Target and it’s on sale for $4. You have a manufacture coupon for $2 off and Target internet printable coupon for $2 off the shampoo, so the shampoo would be free. It’s as easy as that!
Step 5: Look for the Deals
The key to extreme couponing is waiting for the right sale. Don’t waste the coupons on full-priced items. Don’t use a $1 off coupon on shampoo just because you have it, wait until there is sale on that shampoo. On Krazy Coupon Lady’s website she breaks down the sales each week and lets you know what is going to be on sale and which coupons you should use. Her website is super helpful for both beginning and seasoned extreme couponers. Reading the Sunday newspaper advertisements can also be helpful, as they will tell you when items are on sale at different stores and you can figure out the sales for yourself.
Step 6: Start Saving Money and Be Prepared
Extreme couponing can help you save hundreds to thousands of dollars each year and will be creating a great storage for your family at the same time. Being prepared is important, so why not do it the cheapest way possible?