Extreme couponing is my newest fascination. For the last several weeks, I’ve been stalking extreme couponers, asking questions and learning about how I might save on my grocery bill. With the cost of the local Sunday paper now $3.00, and fewer and fewer included coupons, I wanted to know how people are saving so much money. I save money by buying generic, or waiting for sales, or shopping at the public market, but I’ve never mastered the art of couponing. The coupons are often for highly processed foods or things that I just don’t use. When there is a coupon for something I use, it’s usually a measly few cents off, and you’re required to purchase multiples in order to save. Be sure to read this post in it’s entirety to get some great tips on using coupons to save your family money.
Extreme couponers collect coupons, wait for a sale, and get many things at a deep discount, free, or even make money on a transaction. Taking a look at someones stash, you may wonder who needs 25 shoe inserts or 15 air fresheners, or why a non-diabetic would purchase 3 blood-glucose meters. I wondered too. Let’s take the blood-glucose meter as an example. The meter goes on sale for $9.99, a diabetic coupon book contains a coupon for $10 off a meter, plus the store offers $5.00 in store credit to apply toward a future purchase. You pay nothing, and get $5.00 to spend. Plus, if you’d like, you can sell that meter on Craigslist or eBay, or give it to a friend for their birthday, or donate it to a medical clinic.
Whether you want to go extreme, or just save a couple of bucks, I’ve listed some resources below to help you save money.
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Coupon Clipping Services
It is actually illegal to “buy” coupons, so these coupon clipping services are technically giving you free coupons, you just pay for shipping and handling.
Coupon Dede’s: Dede will clip grocery coupons from Sunday inserts for you and mail them to your home. Just buy the coupons you need! Earn rewards with every coupon ordered, so you can save even more. As a convenience, they have a free printable coupon section, however, coupons printed through this site are from www.coupons.com (and count toward your coupons.com printing limits).
The Coupon Clippers: This site goes beyond grocery coupons, and will also clip restaurant coupons for you as well as store coupons which you can stack with manufacturer coupons for even more savings. Printable coupons on this site are also printed through coupons.com.
Klip2Save: Another coupon clipping service, this site claims to have superior customer service. Shipping is always just $1.00 per order, so no need to worry about what your shipping cost will be once you get to the checkout.
Lori Has 3 Kids: This site may be the best value yet. Coupons are sold in groups of 20 of each coupon, and rather than increasing in price per coupon, each set of coupons is only $1.00 (that’s only 5¢ per coupon). You must order a minimum of $2.00, in which case shipping is only 50¢, or get free shipping on orders over $5.00.
My Coupon Hunter: At first glance, this site appears to be the most expensive of the coupon clipping sites, but that’s because he only sells in lots of 5 coupons. This is a great site if you’d like to have multiples of any given coupon. Free first class shipping on orders $5 or more and free priority mail on orders over $25.
SavingStar: Not actually a coupon clipping service, since they only have paperless coupons that link to your shopping club card at various stores. This is a lifesaver if you are anything like me and clip your coupons only to leave them on the kitchen counter. With over 100 participating stores, there’s sure to be one in your area. Instead of money coming off of your total, money shows up in your SavingStar account which can then be transferred to PayPal, your bank account, or an Amazon gift card. Interesting concept, but coupon selection is limited. One nice feature, is that some offers will tally your purchases across orders. For instance, “Save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on any Beech-Nut® baby or toddler food by December 31, 2012.”
West Coast Coupon Clipping: One of the extreme coupon groups on Facebook mentions this site a lot as being reliable and reputable. There is no minimum order, and shipping costs decrease as order size increases. Orders from 0-$1.99 are 99¢ to ship, orders $2.00-$3.99 are 60¢, and orders over $4.00 ship FREE .
Order Whole Coupon Inserts
If searching for individual coupons seems like too much effort, and you don’t want to go in for the full price of a newspaper, then ordering whole coupon inserts is the way to go. Just like coupon clipping services, the inserts themselves are technically free, however you are paying for the convenience of having someone send them to you (shipping and handling).
Faith and Hope Coupons: Order Smart Source or Red Plum inserts and whole insert bulk sets. They also offer a limited coupon clipping service.(This site no longer seems to be active) New England Coupon Clippers: Order whole inserts as a weekly subscription. Subscriptions start with 12 weekly inserts for $12.70, including shipping. That’s the equivalent of about 12 Sunday papers for the cost of only buying four papers. (Not sure what happened here, but the website is no longer up.)
Whole Coupon Inserts: Order single whole inserts, 4 packs of all inserts for any given week, or 10 packs of all inserts for any given week. They also sell coupon binders for organizing your coupons and have a clearance bin for soon-to-expire coupons. With over 140,000 likes on Facebook, this is a popular vendor!
Note: Most of the printable coupon sites require you to download and install something in order to print coupons. This is so that they can keep track of how many you print of each offer. Beware of sites you have never heard of that may install spyware/malware at the same time. While I tried to only list reputable sites, please use at your own risk.
Coupons.com: Print up to two of each coupon per device. So, the more devices, the more coupons. Examples of devices are desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc… Some HP printers are equipped with a coupons.com app and coupons can be printed directly from the printer.
Coupon Network: Print coupons that you can use in the grocery store. Some coupons require you to register an account and you must be signed in to print them. They also list sales and discounts at stores and online retailers. (Coupon Network is no longer available.)
The Krazy Coupon Lady: Lots of great tips for beginner couponers, extreme couponers, as well as a huge list of printable coupons on various sites. If there’s a printable grocery coupon available, you’ll find it here.
Red Plum: Red Plum is one of the major inserts in Sunday papers, and also has a website where you can print coupons.
Smart Source: Smart Source is another one of the major inserts in Sunday papers, and you can print coupons on their website.
In-Store and Online (Non-Grocery) Coupons
Whether online or in the store, I’ve realized that it’s always worth it to check for a coupon before going shopping. If you can’t find a coupon, it never hurts to ask! Last month I received $10 off my oil change at Valvoline just because I asked for a discount! Here are some of the best sites to look at first:
Amazon Coupons: I had no idea that you could use coupons on Amazon, but there are bunch that are worth checking out. “Clip” a coupon and the discount is applied at checkout. Amazon Mom offers discount subscriptions to consumable kid and mom things like diapers and breast pads.
PriceBlink: I use the PriceBlink Firefox extension to help me compare prices on items when I’m shopping online. It will tell me if another site has it for a lower price, and link to any available coupons. This app has saved me some real money!
Printable Coupons/MommySavesBig: Before you go buy clothes, arts and craft supplies, electronics, or anything really, check out this site for a coupon that you can print out and take with you. This site is slow to load and there’s a lot of click-thrus to get to what you’re looking for, but with a little patience, it just may be worth your time!
Retail Me Not: This is my go-to site for coupon codes before I make a purchase since it’s almost always at the top of a Google search for coupon codes. I love that they have a section just for free shipping codes. I can almost always find a coupon for a site that I’m shopping on. Printable grocery coupons are through www.couponnetwork.com.
Here are some websites where you can learn more about coupons, deals, and how to save money:
All Things Target: This is a blog dedicated to helping people get great deals at Target. They list match-ups, clearance, Dollar Spot, and online deals. They take it a step further by blogging about DIY and craft ideas made from Target items. You will sometimes see deals listed for stores other than Target, but they are definitely Target-focused.
One Frugal Chick: Natasha is One Frugal Chick, and she scours the web to find you deals. One very useful spot on her website, is her Amazon Deal Finder where you can search Amazon by category and percentage off. She also has links to the major coupon printing sites.
Raining Hot Coupons: The voice of this website is a woman named Sarah. She tells you about hot deals on things all across the web. You can also follow her on her Facebook page so you never miss a good deal. They have a printable coupon section as well as links to coupon policies for Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target, and CVS.
Sunday Coupon Preview: You never have to guess what coupons will be in the Sunday paper if you check out this website first. Many coupon websites include this information, but this site is where to go if you don’t want to get lost in all of the information available on other sites.
Print Coupons Now
These are the came coupons that are available from Coupons.com listed above, and I’ve added them here for you to make it even easier to get them!
Coupon Support Groups
Extreme couponing truly is a sport, with a lot of rules to remember and tricks to learn. To really master it, you may consider getting a coach or a mentor to help you out. In Rochester NY, there are at least two extreme couponing Facebook groups. One is for learning about couponing, and the other is a group where extreme couponers cheaply sell items out of their stockpile. Chances are there are Facebook groups local to you too.
How much do you save each week using coupons? After reading this, do you think you can save more?
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