Friday, March 23, 2012

Experimenting with Extreme Couponing




I have recently received some information on extreme couponing and I got very curious! There was a story of a 24 year old that spends about 3 hours a week organizing her coupons and only spends about $25 a month in groceries – saving over $1,500 or more every month. It is funny because I always wondered how was this done and finally got some idea.
So I am doing an experiment for the next 2 or 3 months and see if I can do this and debunk my previous misconceptions about extreme couponing:
·         It is too time consuming! Who has time to spend hours on end sorting coupons?
·         It takes over your house! Why do all these ladies end up with rooms and rooms full of stuff that they may not even need.
·         You will spend more on gas that what you will save!
The first thing I will do is record my timing and use the resources I was told to reduce the time to no more than 3 hours a week:
·         www.jillcataldo.com – She posts the “Deals of the week” for Chicagoland every Monday and even tells you where to find the coupons – she does the work and you just follow what she tells you to do.
The second thing is to solve the pantry overload. If I end up with hundreds of products I will give some to my friends and the rest I will donate to my favorite charity pantry: The People’s Resource Center.
And finally for gas (particularly now that it is over $4.45 a gallon) I found all the supermarkets and drugstores that are on my way to places that I have to go to weekly, I will go to visit those on my way to the gym, and the kid’s activities – so no extra gas will be consumed.
I sort of started this yesterday and I am already seeing some benefits – about $40+ worth of stuff for about $0.20 so far! Not bad for a beginner!
So this is what I have done so far and you can do too if you want to try this out with me:
·         E-mail your friends and ask them if they get the Sunday papers. Ask them if they can give you the coupon booklets (you will need a few coupon booklets). The ones you are looking for are the Redplum and the Smartsource as well as the supermarket fliers. Be sure to share your bounty with all the friends that help you. I asked my friends as I did not want to commit to 3 or 4 subscriptions to the paper before knowing if this was going to work, if it does, I will be buying my own newspapers!
·         Go to www.jillcataldo.com or a similar couponing side from your area and check the deals.
·         Join all the loyalty programs from the supermarkets near you and request their online coupons
·         Go and check out the prices at your regular supermarket and write them down, particularly for things like meat and produce. I found out that I buy in autopilot, not really knowing how much things costs and was surprised to realize that the meat I buy at Costco is not necessarily cheap – I thought that I was getting a deal by buying in bulk but my local supermarkets have offers at a better price and I will not need to overload my freezer!
·         Join all your preferred manufacturers’ online sites – they often give you coupons: I joined ConAgra, P&G, Unilever, Kraft, General Mills, and Frito Lay amongst others. Check to see if they have a Latino site and join that too.
·         Cut the coupons you will need and go shopping!
Keep an eye on my blog; I will be documenting the results!

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