NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Is Extreme Couponing For You?

Is Extreme Couponing For You?


            Have you ever watched one of the “extreme couponing” shows and wished that could be you? The highlight of the shows is often someone saving 90% or more on their grocery bill and skipping out of the store with several carts stuffed with their purchases.  Extreme couponing takes measures many people would consider extreme, but there are some couponing steps all of us can take.


            Start with evaluating your extra storage space!  Buying in bulk usually goes hand-in-hand with extreme coupon use, so you can stock up when deals align to make products super cheap.  Items don't go on sale every day and the matching coupon doesn’t appear every week so you will be purchasing large amounts of one item when the stars align.


            Become familiar with coupon lingo and policies. Are your coupons stackable? (Meaning you can use a manufacturer's coupon in tandem with a store coupon.) Do stores in your area offer double coupon deals? (Meaning at certain times you can use a coupon and it'll be worth twice its face value.). Do you know the acronyms of OYNO? MIR? BOGO? Meaning - On Your Next Order, Mail-in Rebate and Buy One Get One.

            Next become acquainted with the regular price of your favorite items.   A "sale" doesn't always mean significant savings, so start keeping track of how much products typically sell for. A great reference piece is to create your own price book – a notebook with at least one page dedicated to each product you will be purchasing and its price at the stores in your shopping area.

            Be aware of when you are going to purchase an item.  Couponers don't buy an item when they need it -- they buy it when they can get it at the lowest price.  Coupon shoppers stock up when the sale and the coupons match so they save money in the long run.  Couponers are always planning ahead by purchasing numerous items when the cost is low so they avoid expensive emergency trips to the store.

            Extreme couponers are not brand loyal. To save big at the grocery store, you need to forget brand loyalty. You want to get the best deal for your money, and the items that go on sale or that you have coupons for may not always be made by the same company. For example, one week it might be best to purchase a certain kind of pasta, while the next, you buy a different brand because you're able to stack coupons and get a better deal.

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