Extreme Couponing: Step by Step

Are you ready to get extreme? This is day two of EXTREME WEEK and I've got a step by step tutorial on how you can become an extreme couponing machine. 

You've probably seen that TV show where people go into stores, armed with a binder full of coupons and deal flyers, and walk out with two grocery carts filled with items all for a few dollars or less. This is certainly an extreme example of how coupons can save you money. 

I'm a beginner when it comes to extreme couponing, but thankfully, the all-knowing mighty Internet has been a great source of research and advice for me to learn how to take my coupon use to the next level. I've put together an easy, five step list of how you can go above and beyond with coupons to save even more money on the things you need most. 

Step 1. What do you need to buy?

Extreme couponing can save you money, but not when you’re buying things you don’t need. First identify what you need to buy and then find deals and coupons to help save you money on those items. I like to use coupons for groceries because I'm always going to need food. I know I need staples like deli meat, almond milk, and granola bars so I’ll start looking for coupons and deals to save me money on these items in the next steps.

Step 2. Search online for manufacturer's coupons and offers

My first stop for coupons is Coupons.com but I also check out MoneySavingMom.com and CouponNetwork.com for even more deals. Since I’ll need almond milk for my cereal and granola bars for snacks, I checked my three favorite coupon sites and found a $1 off coupon for Silk Pure Almond Milk and $1 off Nutri-Grain cereal bars. These were easy to clip and print directly from the website.

I also visited the manufacturer’s websites and the Facebook pages of these two items. Yes, almond milk has a Facebook page. Both the websites and the Facebook pages had additional offers on the products I buy most frequently. Just “like” your favorite items on Facebook and you’ll get exclusive offers to save you even more money.

Step 3. Search store websites for offers

Once you have your manufacturer's coupons in hand, start looking for deals specific to the stores where you will be buying the items. If you’ll be shopping at Target or WalMart, search their online coupon database to find out what they’re offering for deals. If you’re lucky, the manufacturer’s coupons you found online in the last step will match up with a deal at your favorite retailer. This opens the opportunity for stacking

Target is offering deals on NutriGrain bars and Silk Pure Almond Milk this week, so I clipped those coupons directly from Target's coupon website. Next I'll check the coupon policy at Target.

Step 4. Review store policies on coupons

If you plan to stack coupons or want to apply multiple offers at once, make sure your favorite retailer allows it. Since I have a manufacturer's coupon and a store coupon for my two items, I need to be allowed to stack these two coupons to get extreme savings. Luckily, Target's policy allows for one manufacturer's coupon and one store coupon per item. Score!

Step 5. Buy and save

Print your coupons and start saving money. It's that easy.

Your extreme savings aren’t limited to the grocery store. Staples is offering their own Extreme Deals this week with pencils, erasers, and notepads for less than 50 cents. You can check out the sale flyer at Staples.com to see if the deals are running in your area. 

Have you tried extreme couponing? What's the most money you've saved?

Kylie K.