Has anyone seen that new TLC show, “Extreme Couponing”? America’s most savvy couponers run wild through the aisles of their local supermarkets, piling cart after cart full of goods that will be free or close to free after coupons. Being an experienced coupon user myself, I was naturally intrigued (and a little excited).
I sat in stunned silence as I watched the show that first week. Truth be told, these people put me to shame! I usually bought a couple of papers every week and patted myself on the back for scoring the occasional freebie or two. However, the people featured on the show were SERIOUS about their coupons. One lady walked out of the supermarket with nearly $500 worth of groceries for under $10. REALLY?!?! You can do that?
I simply had to know how this was done. My frugal nature took over and I immediately jumped online, did a quick Google search, and was shocked by what I found. There are literally thousands of websites devoted to these coupon clipping divas. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night. I was so pumped by the prospect of saving a bundle on my grocery bill that I stayed up all night surfing the sites of these coupon masters.
I was HOOKED and a little taken back by the daunting task ahead of me. If I was going to save big, I needed to step up my game. The first thing I learned was that this Couponing thing takes some time…a LOT of time (and some serious dedication to frugality). Those super savers that say they only spend 1-2 hours per week clipping and organizing coupons and surfing the sale circulars are lying.
Don’t be misled. To save big, you have to put forth some serious effort. During its weekly broadcast, the film crew of Extreme Couponing takes you through the homes of these coupon heavyweights, giving you a peek into their massive stockpiles. Rule #1 – When the deals are crazy cheap, stockpile! It’s your basic rule of business – buy low. Hold onto those magical money-saving slips of paper until a sale hits, then stock up.
Now I’m not saying to fill every available inch of room in your house with rolls of paper towels and bottles of mustard (anyone else think it’s weird that Extreme Couponing is always followed by an episode of Hoarders?). But if you find a dirt cheap deal on something you use all the time, take advantage. My VERY meager stockpile would be laughed at by an actual extreme couponer, but I’m happy with it. I have limited myself to the linen closet in my bathroom and the storage closet in the hallway as the dedicated areas for my sales stash. I normally try not to stock any kind of food, limiting myself to things like diapers, body wash, razors, etc.
OK OK. So maybe I’m just not as serious about Couponing as I thought I was. But I will tell you one thing. You can save some MAJOR moola by doing this on even the smallest of scales. With the price of gas climbing higher every day with no end in sight, who doesn’t want to save money? I have even noticed that the prices on all of my regular groceries are starting to creep up as well. A gallon of milk at my local Wal-mart is now $2.88! Now that’s just ridiculous. Time to kick it in high gear with this whole couponing thing. Ready? Hang on because this might blow your mind…
Buy 2 packs of Huggies for a total of $20 and receive $5.00 rewards. Take it a step further and use your manufacturers coupons for an EXTREME diaper deal…
Huggies Little Movers x2 = $20.00
Use two $2.50 off manufacturers coupons for $5.00 in additional savings.
Pay $15.00 out of pocket, receive $5.00 in rewards.
This breaks down to $5.00 per pack! That’s 50% off!
Now, let’s really get crazy….
Do this deal again and use your $5.00 rewards from your first purchase to get another 2 packs of diapers. This time, your total will be $10.00 out of pocket and you will still receive your $5.00 reward. That breaks down to $2.50 per pack! Holy Cow! Now that’s a CRAZY deal.
Using these strategies, I have been able to score super cheap diapers, wipes, and baby soap. I know it seems like a lot of work, but it can be done. Needless to say, I have saved a bundle on the necessities for The Buds. If you’re a newbie who’s interested in this whole coupon craze, check out a few of my favorite coupon sites who give you a step by step breakdown on how to work these deals to the fullest.
So, don’t think this whole stockpiling thing is for you? My penny pinching coupon strategies have allowed me to provide things for my family that would have been out of our reach before. Call me crazy, but it works for us. I don’t mind to put in the legwork to save tons on all the necessities I know we are going to need.
What do you think? Would you stockpile to save big on baby supplies (or anything else)?