Extreme couponing seems to be yet another craze that us Britons have inhereted from our American cousins. I am and always have been a sales bunny and am forever in a jealous haze when I read articles on Extreme couponing in the US. Only the other day I read a facebook message of a woman getting $149 worth of shopping for less than $30. With a shopping bill that is regularly £130 ($208)a week just for basic shopping, nothing flamboyant, I could do with our stores offering the same kind of coupons. I promise, not only would I not mind sitting for a whole evening cutting out coupons, I would enjoy every second, savouring every penny saved.
Why would you start couponing?
Unless you have everything you ever desired, financial security for the rest of your life and have so much money that you can put your children through University and pay for their wedding, then you can always do with paying less for buying the same items.
If you want an idea of how much you could use that money, just work out how saving £30 a week on your shopping and putting it as an over payment of your mortgage can save you. You can do this online by googling a mortgage overpayment calculator.
It is simple. If you have an idea for a purchase then every time you go shopping you ritually look in the soon to be familiar places, to see if there are any discount codes, evouchers, printable vouchers or % off entire shop codes.
Extreme couponing for the Uk.
Now in some ways the US have a head start on the UK, because there is no chance in hell that the british retail commerce would ever let people here take advantage as people can in the UK. All you have to do is look at the small print on any coupons and you will more than likely see it has a "only one per purchase, not to be used in conjunction with any other offer".
Now people are scared of that little small print, but whilst it means we will not ever have savings as great as the US, we can have better savings than the average person does already. Hopefully by reading on I can give you some great places to start looking. It is like any other habit or hobby, you start off with baby steps and find what and where suits you best. There is no point getting loads of savings off entertainment and dvds if you would rather be sat there reading a book with a glass of wine. You mold this couponing lark to suit your own habits and family.
What is Money saving expert?
Money saving expert is a website that is ran by a man that at least in Britain is famous. He is usually found on a tv program called " Thismorning". He is the man that took on the banks about their rediculous charges.
When you look at the website you come in to contact with the main page. Here there are tabs to search information for mortgages, loans, shopping, entertainment, credit cards, etc. These are NOT places to search for quotes and prices. This is a place where you go for a good honest opinion from others on where to look, who to look out for and why you should or should not use a certain product or person.
When studying the main page, there is a tab for "forum", this is where I always go, and every one has advice from DIY, Debt recovery or management. There are peoples diaries on becoming debt or mortgage free. These have great motivational stories, and they share their tips on how they save money. They take on extra online work, do surveys, they have tricks such as whatever they save on the bottom of their grocery receipt, goes into a savings jar, and goes towards a debt, or overpayment on a mortgage.
What has this got to do with couponing? I hear you ask. Well, this is a gold mine of information for finding codes, vouchers and deals. Once you scout down the forum topics, towards the bottom of the page, there are subjects such as " Grabbits". This is where people post exceptionally large deals and glitches from internet sites and stores. Thanks to this website and the people like you and me who put their effort in for free, I have at least 10 pair of jeans that I only paid £1 each for them, when they should have been £12 each.
If I do my grocery shop, I go straight to this forum to see if any one has found any voucher codes for £5 off or free delivery codes.
Money saving expert is a whole site devoted to money saving in general
Couponing in the US
Now the US is where couponing gets serious. There are hundreds of people joining the band wagon on extreme couponing, ever since Sky aired a show about it.
The first thing you need to realise is that when people first start thinking about couponing, it is because they need to save money. They have usually read up on debt management, which grocery wise tells you to write out a list, sticking to a budget and meal plan.
You can not do that with extreme couponing, and you have to change your thinking yet again if you wish to save more than a couple of dollars with couponing. Do not set your shopping around your meals, you need to make your meals around what was for sale at the store that week.
When you see something on offer, you need to stock on it. So yes, common sense is also needed. Only today I myself saw an offer for a top branded baked bean. It was 3 for 1, on a 4 pack of beans. So I got 12 tins of baked beans for the price of 4. One tip, make sure they haven't bumped the price up to a rediculous amount to cover the deal.
Another tip would be to keep a small folder with different headers. Split the headers into subheaders of months the coupons run out. That way you have a collection of coupons to hand, and you soon get use to clipping the coupons when you are flicking through your local paper.