How to Do Super Couponing (or Extreme Couponing) Part II
How to Save Big on Groceries and More
In my prior article, How to Do Super Couponing (or Extreme Couponing) Part I, I discussed the first steps through which you could start saving lots of money on your groceries and other household goods, namely by 1) buying a Sunday newspaper, 2) clipping your coupons, and 3) finding online coupons. However, these three steps are just the beginning of the process of supercouponing. Once you have found and clipped all your coupons, it's time to organize them into some semblance of order. And because you have more than a few coupons on your hands, you will need to do more than just stuff them into a large envelope and go shopping.
Step 4: Use an online program to organize your coupons by sale
As you collect more and more coupons, you will find that some of your coupons coincide with store sales, other coupons coincide with other coupons, and some coupons expire before the end of the week. Likewise, stores change their sale items on a weekly basis, rotating sales every four to six weeks. In order to combine all store sales with all clipped coupons, you will need to organize your coupons virtually. This way, you can easily draw them up whenever you see a particular store item on sale and wonder if you have a coupon to match (as opposed to shuffling through mountains of coupons).
While some folks have created their own coupon databases to track coupons online and match them to grocery store sales, there are plenty of databases already out there and at your disposal. CouponMom offers one of the best coupon databases, called the Virtual Coupon Organizer. This Organizer, which also goes by the name of the Grocery Coupon Database, compiles weekly coupons released by product manufacturers and stores. By using this Database, you can quickly find out if one of your circulars contains a coupon for a desired item.
CouponMom doesn't stop there, however. The site also offers a Grocery Deals by State software tool that allows you to check out grocery store sales and rebates alongside coinciding coupons for your home state. The tool will also alert you if any of your coupons are soon expiring. And if a coupon to store sale match is located, the program will even calculate how much total money you can save. In many cases, you end up paying nothing- or even making money on the product (via combined coupons, rebates and store discounts).
Step 5: Buy a zipped coupon organizer to store your coupons
I previously mentioned the need to organize your coupons in my prior article, How to Do Super Couponing (or Extreme Couponing) Part I. Most supercouponers use a zipped coupon organizer or wallet to store their coupons and then use that item for easy coupon access during their shopping trips. They will use the plastic insert pages included with most organizers to insert, categorize and store their many coupons. For example, a typical supercouponer may have an organizer section dedicated solely to coupons for laundry detergent that will be marked as "Laundry". Another extreme couponer may have a section dedicated to produce items, with a tab marked "Produce".
Not all coupon organizers or wallets will contain the same coupons, and not all organizers will be the same size or shape. Take a look at the following to get an idea of what you might use for your own future grocery shopping trip. The bottom line, however, is that if you don't organize your coupons in some way, you risk spending hours of time in the grocery store fumbling for your coupons. Likewise, you also risk losing your coupons or spilling them all over the grocery store floor. And if there is a windy day outside, all your coupons may just fly away! coupon organizers
Step 6: Shop on double coupon days
Many grocery stores will double the value of your coupons on a given day of the week. In many cases, this day is Wednesday, but it can also be Saturday. Some stores will limit the amount of coupons that can be doubled or their doubling value (e.g., up to $1), but other stores don't impose any coupon doubling limits. Double coupons allow you, the shopper, to essentially save an extra 100% on what your coupons would've allowed, so it pays to take advantage of that double coupon day.
Not all stores advertise whether they have a double coupon day. Luckily, there are online tools that can help you to figure this out. Here is a list of double coupon stores by state. Likewise, the following site also lists stores by state that offer to double coupons.
It does take some time and effort to super coupon. You must be willing to try new products and to plan your meals ahead of time so that you can take advantage of sales and promotions. Not all of your desired items will be on sale at the same time, so it's essential that you track store promotions and purchase additional items when they do go on sale. Finally, shopping itself will take longer, from arranging your shopping trip ahead of time to finding all the sales and deals while in-store to making sure that your coupons are scanned correctly at the cash register. However, if you keep at it, your grocery savings can be quite substantial. Saving money on your everyday and household goods will free up a significant chunk of your cash for paying off bills, saving for college or a vacation, or doing just about anything else you can imagine.
Here are some articles that provide additional "strategery" on supercouponing: