Part 6-Doing Your Homework
Learn the Methods of Extreme Couponing – Doing Your Homework
Couponing can be hard work. There are many aspects to keeping up with finding the best possible savings on products, and it can be a full-time job trying to stay on top of it all. The end result can be huge savings on products, and a stockpile of hundreds of products that you’ve purchased for pennies on the dollar. But there is quite a bit of homework that must be done, and it can take hours to maintain. But for most, the savings are well worth the time spent.
Collecting and organizing coupons is a big project each week, especially if you’re gathering multiple copies of every coupon. I recommend getting a tabletop paper cutter to help with the coupon clipping process, it will help you save time and effort cutting coupons. Scissors will wear out your hand, especially if you’re attempting to cut through 10 copies of the same coupon sheet. Once clipped, they must be organized by product type, and expiration date, so they are easily accessible when needed, and kept up to date by removing expired coupons regularly. I recommend a large binder with clear photo pockets to keep your coupons. Divider sheets can be labeled by product type to keep them organized, and they should be rotated by expiration date entering the coupons with the oldest expiration dates at the back of the section, and removing the expired coupons from the front section. Once a page is cleared of expired coupons, it can simply be moved to the back of the section, ready to hold the newest coupons.
Researching current store pricing is another aspect that’s very time consuming. Knowing that you have valuable coupons for merchandise is only half of the equation, you’ll also need to know when that product goes on sale, and whether or not there are any other store promotions available for that product. This requires frequent trips to stores just to monitor their pricing, and record their special offers that you’re looking to cash in on. Learning the store’s coupon and transaction policies, and keeping up with any changes to these policies can also be difficult, as you can’t always assume their policies are the same each time you shop. Once slight policy change can effect your entire transaction and change the savings result significantly.
Searching for online coupons and following couponing forums will also consume large chunks of time. Online offers come and go quickly, and many printable offers are only available for a limited amount of time or for a limited number of printings. You may miss out on some great deals if you’re not consistently checking these online sources. There are many coupon forums online where you can monitor deals found by other members, and this can be an endless task taking in all of this information.
Calculating your savings and making a list of your purchases for your upcoming shopping spree can be tedious and slow. You’ll feel more like an accountant than couponer as you carefully calculate savings based on combinations of available offers. Your list of purchases for your shopping spree must be done without errors, as any miscalculation can result in paying more than you wanted to for your products.
Lastly the shopping spree itself will take much longer than an average shopper’s trip to the store. Extreme couponer’s usually purchase multiple carts full of product at a time, taking great care to purchase the right brand and style to match their coupons. Once the process of gathering the products is completed, the checkout can also take quite a bit of time, sometimes an hour or more depending on the number of items you’re purchasing, and the number of different transactions required to maximize your savings. Overall the entire trip can easily take a few hours or more, which is a significant time investment in itself. As you can see, there is a large amount of homework that must be done in preparation for your shopping trip, but it can all be worth the effort as you haul out hundreds of products from a store while paying very little.