Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Extreme Couponing

Have you ever watched the show Extreme Couponing? No? Me either, but I've read quite a bit about couponing (all my info came from here) and I'm taking a stab at it! There are many degrees of couponing, by no means am I a fanatic about it (I don't have that much extra time), but I do hope to become a savvy enough couponer to save our family a substantial amount of cash-ola.

Tonight is meant to be more of an introduction to my coupon system. I've only gone grocery shopping using this system once, but I have my list ready for my next trip. Was planning on going last night, but yeah obviously that didn't happen, season 2 of Vampire Diaries on Netflix was calling my name.

I shop 4 stores, Dominick's (my local grocery store), Walgreens, CVS, and Target. Some of my resources recommended starting with 2 stores, but I dove in head first. Below are the cliff notes version of my system. I'll go into more depth when I'm closer to having it perfected.

  • Sign up for the rewards program if the store offers it. In my case this meant getting a CVS rewards card, since I already had a Dominick's one and Walgreens and Target don't offer them
  • (photo 1)Every Sunday I go through the Sunday paper and clip the coupons from every store ad, the SmartSource insert, Red Plumb insert, and any others. (Opinions on what you should clip vary, but I clip all the coupons for products we eat, will use, or that I want to try. I don't clip coupons for things I know I will never buy.)
  • (photo 2) Next, I write my menu for the week and my comprehensive grocery list. I like to make my menu after clipping coupons because then I can kind of plan around what's on sale
  • Then I get out my accordion organizer that stores all my coupons alphabetically by category (i.e cosmetics, cereal, shaving, batteries, cheese, snack bars, etc.)  
  • (photo 3) On a sheet of paper I make four columns, one for each store, and put it next to my comprehensive list.
  • Starting with the first item on my comprehensive list I pull any coupons I have for that product, and go through each sale add matching up coupons with what's already on sale. (The CVS ad is great for this because they note right in their ad if there is likely to be a coupon in your Sunday paper!)
  • Once I've determined where it's the cheapest, I add that item to the store's column, start a pile of coupons for that store, and cross it off the comprehensive list.
  • (photo 4) When I'm finished, I attached the coupon groups to my list, and file all the extra coupons away
  • Day of the shopping trip, I make sure I have my lists, coupon groups, the sale ads and I always take my accordion organizer, just in case I missed something. 
The first time I did it, it was SUPER overwhelming, it was a major shopping trip because I hadn't gone grocery shopping since before Christmas! I almost didn't go through with it, but I'm glad I did! Preparing my list the second time was a little bit easier, and I'm sure I'll just get better at it, so I'm going to keep it up.

I'm sure you're all dying to know how much I saved my first time out, but I'm going to save that for next week's post...JUST KIDDING! All together I spent $219.47 and saved $108.60! If you're already an extreme couponer, that probably isn't that impressive, especially since I spent more than I saved. But I feel really proud for saving that much moola on my first try, and I haven't even started clipping online coupons yet!!


  1. Awesome. Because of a 'Two Broke Girls' episode recently I've been thinking about this whole couponing thing; now I really want to try! Thanks for the tips & inspiration! =)

  2. I use the plastic sheets (for baseball cards) in a binder (i know big and bulky) but I can see all my coupons if I forget to pull them out before hand. You can save lots when you plan your menu around the sale items and couponing... awesome job!

  3. Harv, I've been contemplating going the binder route. It' a pain to get out all my coupons each time. If they were in the binder, I wouldn't have to do that!


Thanks for reading, we love feedback!