I tired extreme couponing for a little while. I was hustling like crazy to get every coupon I could get my hands on. Saturday and Sunday meant a couple trips to my local recycling bin at the schools. Every once in a while I would find a pile of coupon circulars that someone had thrown away – jackpot!!!
I have an organized system: Circulars filed by date in folders in a hanging folder crate, my favorite coupon websites, scissors, reading glasses, envelopes, etc. This is the easiest system that works for me. I determine which coupons I want to use, pull the circular for that date, and cut ONLY the coupons I need to use.
It never made sense to cut them all out and keep in an album or file. Yes, I may wish I had one for an unadvertised sale at the store. However, a lot of time is spent cutting them all, sorting and storing, and then eventually throwing the expired ones away that don’t get used.
I started buying anything I could get if it was free or really cheap. I think I still have 30 packages of Purina Beggin Strips! There is nothing wrong with that if you will use them or donate them. However, having 50 packs of diapers when you have no baby??? That might be borderline hoarding, unless you donate them!
I’m not quite as fanatic about it now. I do get my Sunday paper, and yes, I still look in the recycling bins as I’m taking my papers there. However, since we try to eat more natural and not much out of a box, I only buy what we really want and use. Then I do stock up!
Our local store just started triple coupons, so a trip to the store netted me a lot of free cereal that my son likes, Dijon mustard, and other items that we really do use.
Was it worth my time? Of course as the websites told me what was on sale, what coupon to use, where to find it, and how much I would save. I just had to go to my file, clip those coupons and take them to the store with me.
That is worth the time and trouble to me. When I was going crazy trying to round up every coupon and get every special there was, that was not! It was a lot of time spent away from family and business, to buy garbage that we didn’t eat or use, just because it was almost free!
IMPORTANT: Just because it is on sale doesn’t mean you are saving money buying it! If you don’t go to the sale, you save 100%
I guess I do moderate extreme couponing now; actually it’s not extreme at all. It works for me and I don’t stress out about missing a sale!
My favorite websites:
The Coupon Clippers – order coupons – great for products that you use and can’t find coupons for or need more.
STLMommy (St. Louis area)