We know what you’re thinking: Extreme couponers take it a little overboard.
Sure, dumpster diving for mailers, signing up for lists, and spending all day clipping is a bit extreme. But, why would you ever pay full price for an item knowing that coupons are readily available?
Couponing makes sense (and cents) if you funnel savings to financial goals.
If you want to learn how to become an extreme couponer then you’ve got to start with the basics. In this post, you’ll learn the couponing basics but not so far that your friends begin feeling worried about you.
How to Become an Extreme Couponer: Clipping Your Way to Awesome Savings
Extreme couponing isn’t something they teach you in schools. Everything changes on a whim when brands and stores change their rules. If you’re getting into this then you’ll want a system — something like the following:
Step 1: Choose a Time for Clipping
A savvy couponer may take 1 to 2 hours a week clipping, whereas extreme couponers may do this daily!
Look through your schedule and pick a quiet time that works for you. Or, fill free time gaps with your couponing activities.
You can save time doing the following:
- Organize everything in envelopes or binders
- Use store collector apps like Flipp
Step 2: Know the “Rules” of Couponing
Having a coupon can bring many to tears after all the hard work. It gets worse when you’re relying on stacking to get cash back! A good couponer knows store coupon policies like the back of their hand.
You’ve got to play by the rules — see if your selected store:
- Double or triple coupons
- Stack store and manufacturer coupons
- Accepts printed, digital, expired, or competitor coupons
Become a regular shopper and some employees may even give you the heads up if there may be a problem! Or, a shout-out if there was a recent rule change.
Step 3: Source Your Coupons
Where do couponers find the best deals?
- Browse Krazy Coupon Lady and websites offering coupons
- Join extreme couponing Facebook and Twitter groups
- Buy several Sunday papers and weekly coupon mailers
- Follow fellow couponers through their blog or YouTube channel
Ask your friends and family for their coupons, too! Or, see if they’re willing to sign up and forward coupons using their phone number or email.
Step 4: Practicing Good In-Store Etiquette
Don’t become that “I need to speak with your manager” type. A little courtesy goes a long way with redeeming your coupons.
- Let those with a few items skip ahead not to hold them up
- Alert the cashier you’re using (and stacking) coupons
- Talk a new cashier through the store’s coupon policy
You could do a “dry run” with a friend to avoid confrontation. Use a coupon generator to create dummy coupons. Then, practice the interaction as if your friend were the cashier and you ran into some trouble.
Step 5: Get to Stacking and Double Dipping
Max out your extreme couponing with apps and cashback rewards:
- Use a rewards credit card
- Scan items for cashback with Ibotta
- Shop through Ebates or use the store’s app for extras
The combined cash back and couponing could turn your trip into a money-maker.
Time Is Money, Friend
Learning how to become an extreme couponer has its perks. You’ll save money, have a fun hobby, and could even give back to the community.
But extreme couponing can become a full-time job. There are other, big ways to save money, so calculate if your time is worth the clipping. Find a middle-ground between savings and obsessing.
Want more ways to hack your finances? You’ll love our money & finance tips!