[custom_frame_left][/custom_frame_left]I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first time I saw an episode of TLC’s Extreme Couponing. The woman featured on the show purchased about $400 worth of groceries for about $10. I was stunned. I could not understand why I wasn’t doing this! I could save a ton of money, all I had to do was clip some coupons! I had visions of feeding my family for $40 a month, quitting my job, and living a life of luxury!
Obviously I had tuned in to the show at the very end. As I watched the next episode, it became clear to me just how much time and effort extreme couponers have to put into their couponing. It was a full time job.
If you aren’t already familiar with it, extreme couponing is a fairly recent trend in which people use coupons, store promotions, and store mark-downs to save tremendous amounts of money on groceries. Couponers combine internet, manufacturer, and store coupons. They also utilize sites such as coupons.com, thekrazycouponlady.com, and couponmom.com to obtain and trade coupons, find out about deals, and get tips on getting the most bang for your buck.
But it’s not as simple as clipping some coupons and handing them over to the clerk. There are a lot of things that have to come together to make extreme couponing work and earn extreme savings. It might not be possible for everyone.
For starters, you have to have the time to put into it. Between clipping paper coupons and printing coupons off the web, doing research to find out what store specials are running, and then spending hours at the store making sure you purchase the right items in the correct amounts, you could spend up to 40 hours a week couponing!
You also have to shop at a store that doubles coupons or your savings won’t come close to those you see on TV. You also must have a place to store everything you buy – extreme couponing requires you buy products in bulk and 20 packages of paper towels and 15 bottles of laundry detergent probably won’t fit in your closet. Finally, you have to be incredibly organized. Most couponers keep detailed binders with all coupons organized by store, product, expiration date, etc.
It’s no doubt that extreme couponing can save you a ton of money. But it’s not simply a matter of clipping a few coupons. If you find yourself in need of some extra cash, it might be easier to just get a second job.