If you have not seen TLC’s Extreme Couponing, then you don’t know what you are missing. After taking in several episodes, I realized what a powerful tool extreme couponing can be in helping you have a balanced budget, especially considering many of these highly-motivated shoppers walk out with hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for less than $50.
The bottom line is that if you are not considering extreme couponing to have a balanced budget, then you are not doing everything in your power to help your financial situation. And considering the rising cost of food, it only makes sense to try and understand more about extreme couponing, because a balanced budget depends on you taking an active role in every possible financial decision.
Implementing this aggressive grocery shopping strategy for a balanced budget can be challenging until you get the hang of it. Start by organizing several folders within plastic bins, separated by date. Begin looking into online coupon databases and printing out manufacturers’ coupons. Include coupons from your local stores–it is good to “play” in several stores–that come in your weekly newspapers or online ads. Once you have a good stock of coupons, familiarize yourself with your stores’ coupon policies. Shop on double or triple coupon days where you can stack coupons to get the maximum savings for a maximized balanced budget. You may need to take an organizer to the store with you in the event that you need to make several transactions to get the bargains you need. You may also need to be up early in the morning to snag the best deals.
As you learn extreme couponing, you will begin to see product trends. For example, diet food coupons roll out in January because people want to try to lose those holiday pounds as spring approaches. In addition, you will soon become familiar with the best times of day to shop for the best deals, depending on the store. These things together give you the power you need for a balanced budget.
Another drawback to extreme couponing is that it could take up to 20 hours per week to attain the maximum positive effect of having a balanced budget. Depending on how much income one makes, it may not seem worth the effort, especially if they already work a high-stress job. But for those families with a stay-at-home parent, extreme couponing is a fast way to have a balanced budget.
Saving hundreds of dollars is within your grasp. Learn everything you can about extreme couponing and apply that savings towards having a balanced budget.
For more information about a having a balanced budget, take a moment to read my book, The Budget of Your Life.