Extreme Couponer (In Training)

Maybe you’ve seen the show on TLC, Extreme Couponing. I am not quite at that level, but I’m learning some realistic ways to save a few bucks.

I was shopping in Thrift Stores decades before it became fashionable. And I’m always up for a good bargain.

  • The first thing is to look at the Supermarket‘s Flyers for the week. See what’s on sale. Depending on your brain capacity (mine is not what it once was) make a mental note, or write down anything that looks interesting.
  • Then, get the Sunday paper’s coupons. You don’t necessarily have to buy the Sunday paper. In many neighborhoods, recycling is part of the garbage pickup, and the Sunday paper is on top of the recycle bin. But if you’re not ready for Dumpster Diving 101, by all means, spend $2 on the Sunday paper.Or, you could ask friends and family that they save the coupon section for you if they don’t use it themselves.
  • Coupons are usually good for a month. Sometimes it’s best to get the coupon, and hold on to it until you see the item go on sale. Many times you only have to wait a week.
  • Next, be ready to give up Brand Loyalty. I understand: “Heinz is what ketchup tastes like.”  But I honestly can’t tell the difference between the top four selling brands of dish detergent. If there is something you MUST have the name brand, go for it. But be flexible.
  • Sort the coupons by category. I have a big bin that I set up for this reason. I personally sort by the way the aisles are set up in the supermarket we go to most often. But if alphabetical makes more sense, go for it.
  • Put them into a binder. I have dividers for each section, again based on the store aisles. I got a bunch of ‘pages’ at an unnamed office supply store that are actually made to store baseball cards! I have another bunch of pages that are made to hold two 4 x 6 photos.
  • Take your binder with you to the supermarket. The first time I did this, I was quite self-conscious; but I saw many people looking at me and nodding, and a few gave encouraging comments.
  • As you are going about your shopping trip, check to see if anything on the bottom shelf is on clearance. Once in a while, I get a screaming bargain this way.
  • On Sale With Coupon = OSWC, pronounced “oswic”. This is usally the best buy.
  • If a deal is too good to pass up, but it’s not something you use, donate it! So many Food Pantries are busy this year, and will welcome all reasonable donations. And remember, ” He who gives to the poor lends to God, and HE will repay.”

My last shopping trip was $90. It was $140 before the ‘store loyalty card’ and coupons.

And I’m still In Training.

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