I Want To Be An Extreme Couponer But Don’t Have The Patience

The idea of saving 75% on shopping trips, getting items I need for free, and actually make money on buying some items, makes me giddy.

Post college (when I was still living like a college kid) I lived in an apartment with a friend who was very good at saving money. Going shopping with him was fun because he saw things that I didn’t even notice.

My Extreme Couponing Experience

My favorite example is the time we went to the supermarket and walked out with 64 bottles of BBQ sauce and $11 worth of groceries without really spending anything.

I don’t remember the exact math, but there was a manufacturer’s coupon that doubled and the store gave a $1 credit toward a future purchase (which we used immediately in a separate transaction). We bought dinner with that $11 and gave the BBQ sauces out as party gifts (they wouldn’t let us return them or even gift them to the supermarket).

It sounds very extreme, but this type of stuff happens all the time.

Current Extreme Coupon Deals

Here’s an easy example I found at Money Saving Mom going on right now at CVS: buy 2 Jergen’s lotions for $2.57 each and get a $5 credit toward your next purchase. So you spend just $0.14 to get something worth $5.14! And then you can turn around get some super cheap M&Ms. Right now, you can get a free pack of M&Ms because when you buy a Mars single candy bar for $0.75 at CSV, they will give you a $0.75 credit. But wait, there’s more! If you like M&Ms, you might as well print this coupon (after watching the video) and get $0.50 off 2 packets of M&Ms. So 2 packets cost $1.50, but with the coupons, you can get two for just $0.25 total!

Of course, you need to use that credit, but there are always great deals on the things you need if you look in the right places.

My Problem With Extreme Couponing

This all sounds great, but really I don’t have the patience. Wading through circulars and online deal blogs just isn’t for me and there’s no great one-stop shop for the things I value. There are plenty of coupon blogs out there, but even then, I have to filter out all the things that I’m sure are great deals, but I just don’t have a need for. The last thing I want is a closet full of shampoo that I will never use.

What would be great (and feel free to steal with idea and then send me the link!) is if I could input all the things I need and like and then get alerts when one of those things has a deal cutting that saves me 50% or more off the typical price.

Recently, I’ve been trying to buy more staples on Amazon, but extreme couponing would really kick it up a notch and help me get closer to my goal of saving 50% of my after-tax income.

Readers, are there are extreme couponers out there? Got any tips for an antsy newbie saver like me?

10 Responses to I Want To Be An Extreme Couponer But Don’t Have The Patience

  1. We use coupons and every so often we stumble into an ‘extreme’ situation where the stars line to give us an amazing deal. I’m fine with the ‘regular’ approach of getting something off, even if it’s not enough to make the extreme couponer’s happy. Something is better than nothing, right?

  2. KC @ genxfinance says:

    If you really got the patience, you would really save a lot but I just don’t have the time for that. Although, I really like to use one every now and then, specifically on items I would really love to buy and it’s not on sale.

  3. Michelle says:

    I don’t have the patience also. I wish I did!

  4. Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce says:

    Perhaps there are side hustles that are more lucrative (i.e. making more than you would save couponing) and more engaging? Tricky situation, though, I agree!

    • @Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce, that is definitely true and I am always looking for things that will make me more money. But the idea of getting free stuff is really enticing!

  5. Jake Erickson says:

    I totally agree with you. I love the idea in theory, but I don’t want to spend the time to get it all organized. I spend about 15 minutes a week clipping out regular coupons and I regularly buy items on sale, so I end up saving a decent amount of money (20-30%), but it doesn’t take up too much time.

  6. I would love coupons, but they don’t have them where I live in Grenada. Can’t wait to get back to the States and use them!

  7. We don’t have the patience or time either. We use the ones that come in the Sunday paper on stuff we’re already buying, but nothing really beyond that.

  8. I did the whole couponing thing for quite a while. While we saved a ton of money, we spent a ton of time doing it. Overall, I think there are better ways to earn more money with the spare time. It’d be cool if someone would just hand me a pre-made shopping list with the appropriate coupons, but I’m not going to spend the time doing it myself.

  9. There’s a happy medium.
    The Sunday paper coupons are where I’ll look for the usual suspects, Laundry Soap, Toothpaste, Bar Soap, etc.
    When CVS has one of their deals, the toothpaste is free after coupon. On a good day, I’m walking out with 2 tubes and $1 profit. The other items I list are all non-perishable sundries that are great to stock up at the right price.

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