I think by now we have all either seen or heard about the phenomenon that is Extreme Couponing. Sure, some are just glorified and well organized hoarders, but I totally get the appeal. Let’s be honest, we could all benefit from saving some money. Why should anyone pay more for something than they have to? As women we all love to score a good bargain and then brag about it. I’m going to share some tips with you that are easy and will put money back in your pocket.
Make a List
This is easy, right? A lot of us are guilty of not even glancing in our refrigerator or pantry before running out to the store. We have a meal in mind and we shop for it without even checking to see if we have the ingredients at home. Then there are times where you go for the “essentials”, the things you use all the time and always need, with no thought to the other things you may need in the house. Always shop with a plan in mind. Have a list and stick to it. It’s okay to allow a splurge item but if you have a list you are less likely to stray in a big way. This cuts back on impulse shopping. I cannot stress enough to not shop while rushed, hungry, or pissed off! Plan to go shopping when you don’t have to rush.
Check Circulars and Sales
Yes, this takes a little bit of time but it will save you money, so it is time well spent. Check the stores in your area for their deals and then compare to the things that you need for the week. If you aren’t willing to make multiple trips to grocery stores (cause who has that kind of time?) then choose the store with the better and higher number of deals. Have you been wanting blackberries but they are through-the-roof expensive? Well, turns out there they are buy one get one free this week. In-store savings accounts for most of my savings!
Store Rewards and Savings Cards
Sure your keychain looks like a hot mess with all your little plastic tags on it, but it is a small price to pay for savings. Sign up for store savings and you will immediately start putting money back in your wallet. Be sure that after you check the circular, you head to the store the first or second day of the specials. If you want something, especially something with a long shelf life, go early. If you wait until the last day of that circular’s special to buy $1 eighty count Bounty dryer sheets I promise there will be none left! Plan the trips, everyone. It’s simple and it saves.
Know the Rules
Knowing your store rules for couponing is essential if you want to save as much as possible. Do they allow you to double coupons? Do they only double coupons certain times of the week/month/year? Will they only double coupons under $1? Each store has different rules about what kind of coupons, how many per transaction, etc, that you need to know before you go to have a successful trip.
Don’t Buy to Buy
One of the major issues I have with Extreme Couponing is that they buy a ton of stuff they will never need or use before items expire. Unless you are donating to a church or shelter, only buy what you can use and need. When I first started couponing I was guilty of buying stuff just because I had high value coupons. So what if I have nine refills on razor blades? When I had another $5 coupon in hand I just had to buy another. Remember, even when saving you are still spending, so only buy what you really need, even if it means letting some coupons expire.
Get Over It
So many people I know will not use coupons because they don’t want to get “those” looks when checking out. It used to be they were afraid people would think they needed to use them, and now after the couponing boom, it’s a fear that they’ll look like “one of those kind of people”. Guess what? No one cares! If somebody looks at me funny because I hand over a stack of coupons, I promise they aren’t when I walk away with (on average) 35% savings. Who is the dummy now? Nobody is walking around with money to spare right now and there is no shame in saving where you can.
I hope you’ll take these tips and at least benefit from the in-store savings and bonus cards, if nothing else. There really is nothing like scoring a great deal. I float on my own personal shopping high when I save more than I spend. It’s fantastic. Plus with that extra money you save you can treat yourself to some great Indie Chicks swag or help us keep Indie Chick magazine #ontheshelves.
How do you shop and save? Share with us!
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