This is a guest post written by Carol at GroceryWiz.com
You’ve likely found yourself impressed by women who spend countless hours each day flipping through flyers, searching the web, and filing away coupons that will end up saving them thousands of dollars each year on the products you’re paying full price for. Welcome to the world of extreme couponing. If you’re new to the concept, it’s called extreme because of the amount of time you’ll have to devote to searching, clipping, organizing, and shopping. But the payoff is massive savings (commensurate to holding a full-time job, in some cases). If the time commitment has got you scared; don’t worry just yet. There are plenty of ways to reduce your own output and still see a drastic reduction in what you spend at the store. Here are a few strategies you may want to implement.
1. Join the club. There’s really no better way to save time while saving money than by joining a coupon club. Most of these groups meet in person weekly to swap coupons and share local deals, but you may also choose to join a club online. It works by way of splitting duties. All of the members agree on specific stores, periodicals, and websites to target, and then they decide who will check each. You are, of course, free to do your own searching on the side for stores or items that no one else is interested in, and you’ll actually have extra time to do so because much of your normal searching will be relegated to other parties.
2. Compound your savings. Double-dipping is a great way to get premium savings, but the cross-checking required to find these deals could take a lot of extra time. So hand the chore over to someone else! There are websites that specialize in double-dipper deals, and they make it their business to find coupons that coincide with in-store offers, as well as matching up store and manufacturer coupons. This will save you a ton of search time.
3. Stay organized. You can waste a lot of time before and during shopping trips if you’re not organized. It is imperative to implement a straightforward filing system when storing your coupons so that you can quickly grab what you need on your way out the door and you don’t hold up the line when you go to pay.
4. Limit yourself to specific stores. There are probably certain stores that you prefer to shop at (like those that continually offer the best savings or those that are in close proximity to your home). So why would you waste your time looking at coupons for other stores? Just in case they might have a better deal? Save yourself some time and stick to the stores you know you’ll go to.
5. Consider your needs. Whether you’re seeking ingredients for family dinner recipes, shopping for the perfect pair of jeans, or buying oil for the car, you likely have a pretty good idea of the products (and even brands) you’re looking for. This can help you to save time because it also means you know what you’re NOT looking for. By clipping only coupons that you know you’ll use and skipping those that are not on your list, you’ll save yourself a lot of time (from clipping and filing to trashing them down the road). It may amount to only seconds saved on each coupon you pass over, but it could equal extra minutes each day or hours each week that aren’t being wasted.