Wednesday, June 01, 2011
First, extreme couponers spend a lot of time staying organized and doing research. One shopper at Safeway told me she spends about 30 hours a week on it. They have binders. They organize by product and date. They collect ad circulars from their neighbors.
The bit that I've only recently figured out is they are not doing this on their normal grocery run. Extreme couponers hoard their coupons and then look for sales and stackable coupons (store coupons and manufacturer coupons often can be used together). They buy in bulk for long-term savings. The idea is to rack up the discounts until you're hardly paying anything at all, then buy as much as you're able to maximize the savings.
Now, I'm not about to buy a year's worth of laundry detergent or sports drinks, if only because I've nowhere to put it. But there are items we use all the time that I'll stock up on. Yesterday I saved $17 on six jars of Skippy peanut butter. Normally I buy the house brand, but this was 50 cents cheaper than that on the best day, so I maxed it. That's about two months worth of peanut butter in our house!
I had some coupons and Safeway had some deals, so I got organized and here's what I did today:
That's $73.00 worth of groceries for $37.91. Okay, maybe not EXTREME extreme couponing, but I'll take a 48% savings. I did this with a combination of store rebates and coupons (at Fred Meyer, where I got the Quilted Northern), and sales, store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and e-coupons combined with a mix-and-match discount (at Safeway). Maybe I'll get better with practice!