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