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Smart Couponing: Tips to Save Without Going Extreme

Let’s face it – time is money, and you’d much rather spend your valuable hours doing something more productive (or fun!) than clipping coupons. So don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to save without investing too much time in extreme couponing.

While not saving money at the grocery store is not an option, neither is spending 8 hours a day cutting coupons. So what do you do? Create your own system, of course! 

newspaper for extreme couponing

Here are a few ideas to get you started:  

Subscribe to a paper in multiples

Yes, to save money, you will have to spend some. But here’s a trick- local papers typically run a promotion on their subscriptions one or two times a year. (Think Groupon, Living Social, etc.) So get the Sunday paper deal in multiples.

I recommend getting 3 or 4 so you can have a LITTLE stockpile when the product goes on sale.  Don’t go crazy sales cycle every 8 weeks and I promise that you won’t use 15 bottles of ketchup in 8 weeks just think of one sale cycle at a time. 

Smart Couponing: Tips to Save Without Going Extreme

Check to see which paper is the best deal, for example, where we live in New York, we can get the Rochester or the Buffalo Newspaper, BUT there is also a small city newspaper that offers the same coupons and for half the price.

You know which one I’m choosing.

grocery shopping trip

Cut Coupons But Only Of Items Your Actually Use 

It’s a novel idea, I know. But seriously, have you ever wondered what the extreme couponer will do with 50 packets of soy powder? Well, so do they.  So don’t waste your time cutting out or clipping coupons on items you wouldn’t usually use if it wasn’t on sale.

The truth is, money spent on items you don’t use is money wasted, not money saved. Save yourself the hassle and the trouble, and just cut coupons on products you already use.  

I learned this lesson the hard way when I started extreme couponing. I ended up buying 15 bottles of mustard, and we hardly use mustard. They expired, and I still didn’t use them. Finally, a year after the expiration, I had to throw it out because I couldn’t donate.

Hint: If you truly want to save money, you can’t have brand loyalty. Mayonnaise is mayonnaise is mayonnaise. Okay, well, my husband would NOT agree with that statement. In his case, it must be Hellmann’s and wholesale clubs are the best buy for it.

But, seriously, skip the mock loyalty and throw whatever is on sale in that cart. You will thank yourself later. 

HOT TIP: The Easiest way to cut coupons today is to add them to your grocery store’s loyalty card through app.

If you want to learn how to extreme coupon, like for real, I have an entire blog post on how to do it HERE.

Smart Couponing: Tips to Save Without Going Extreme

Organize Your Coupons in an Easy File System

Use a dollar store accordion-style folder and sandwich baggies. Label each baggie with a permanent marker by item, i.e. toilet paper, soda, cheese, bread, etc. and then place the baggie in the corresponding file slot for that letter. 

Extreme Couponing Websites/Influencers

There are a lot of great websites and social media accounts out there dedicated to helping people save money using couponing. Many of them have specific tips for non-extreme couponers on how to maximize their savings.

The best way to make couponing work for you is to set realistic goals and create a system that fits into your lifestyle. You don’t have to cut out your entire budget of grocery spending in order to save money – even a few dollars off here and there can really add up!

My Favorite Websites:

Influencers: Torok Coupon Hunter

Karla Savings

how to coupon without being extreme

Review Your Store’s Weekly Ad Flyer! Match Your Coupons 

Stores typically send out their flyers in the Sunday paper. If not, they’re all over the internet. Review the sales ad for anything you might need in the next eight weeks that is currently on sale (think staple pantry items) or, that is a good deal or that you need to feed your family that week.

Keep in mind if your local grocery store also offers gas savings. For us, Tops is a great store to coupon and get extra discounts on gas. BJ’s is another one that has a gas promotion.

This step is easy when you use my meal planning binder. You can grab it for 50% OFF when you use discount WELCOME.

You can check out a Tiktok video of the planner here.

ultimate simple meal planner mockup

Make a list as you go. Then go through your file folder, pull any matching coupons, and … go shopping. 

To Recap here are some of the smartest tips to coupon without being extreme

  • Always use coupons when available. Take advantage of store circulars, online discounts, and coupon apps to get the most savings for your money.
  • Compare coupons between different stores or websites to find the best deal.
  • Do not be afraid to try new products to save money.
  • Take advantage of sales and promotions while they are available.
  • Stock up on items you use frequently such as toiletries and cleaning supplies when they are discounted.
  • Utilize loyalty programs or rewards cards to get additional savings.
  • Try combining coupons with in-store deals or promotions for added savings.

Saving money with coupons doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to spend hours on clipping, matching, numerous stores, and coupon clubs. You CAN save money with a limited time investment.

If you do want to learn how to extreme coupon, head on over HERE.

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