Extreme Couponing Taken to the Extreme

My neighbor gets the newspaper daily. We only buy the Sunday paper ourselves, so whenever she goes out of town to visit her children, she tells my husband he can have her newspaper, as we watch her house for her.

Well, this time when he got the paper — which was thrown late by the way — he opened it up and handed it to me to read first. I noticed the classified ads section was lying on top of the front page. That’s strange, I thought. Since I read my newspapers online, I normally just look at the funnys, and glance at the coupons to see if they have any for the stuff I buy. But when I looked for the coupons that are always in the Sunday paper, they were gone! Every one of them was GONE!

This Extreme Couponing thing is beginning to get out of hand when people start stealing your Sunday paper to steal the coupons. But hey, at least they left the paper!

I have a big family: seven children, twenty-one grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. I have always used the sales papers to shop for groceries. When my children were all at home I would make up a grocery list based on what two to three of the stores in my small town had on sale and then I would shop those sales. I have also used a few coupons to save more money when it was something I was going to buy anyway.

Now that it is just the two of us, I shop at Sam’s Club once a month — which is the week I get the Social Security checks. But recently everyone was discussing “Extreme Couponing.” I had no idea what they were talking about, but I am for saving money since our income has dropped with his retirement. So I am checking into the “Extreme Couponing” thing. And I think the shoppers (the mothers) in my family are going to start a “Coupon Club” just for us to exchange coupons.

Never hear of Extreme Couponing? I had not either until one of my Avon reps got into watching the show. No, I didn’t know there was a coupon show either. This year it was on at 10:30 pm on Wednesday night on TLC. And the first season was so great; it has been picked up for a second season. But I am very suspicions about the ability of anyone that can buy hundreds of dollars in groceries for just a very few dollars. My daddy always taught me “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” Let me just say this: I have been around a long time and his quote has not failed me yet!

But if you have the time — and it is very time consuming — then you may enjoy joining other Extreme Couponers. Yes, you can save some money. Yes, you can stockpile groceries and other supplies at a great savings. And yes, you can get some great deals. But let me caution you on a few things you may not know.

Extreme Couponing is addictive, so if you don’t have the hours and hours it takes to be an Extreme Couponer, be reasonable about the experience. You are in it to save a few dollars, not go insane with the program.

Stores have changed their coupon policy to keep from going out of business with this latest rave. Check the coupon policy where you shop before you start Extreme Couponing.

Some Extreme Couponers do it to be able to donate to charity. That’s wonderful.

Some do it to get items to sale at garage sales. That’s a way to make a buck… sort of like a home business.

And others do it because they like to brag they can do it… and then sit and stare at all the stuff they have gotten that will likely never be used. That’s bad. If you are not going to use the product, why get it?

I always research everything and when I googled Extreme Coupon, I found lots of references to the program, but I also found another site called Couponing 101: Learn Realistic Couponing — not Extreme Couponing.

Couponing101.com even teaches you how to start Couponing. It has a FAQ page and advice and tips on where to shop. They even teach you how to get coupons online.

Couponing101.com has even named the different stages of being a Couponer!

A True Coupon Newbie — meaning you have never used a coupon in your life

A Beginner Couponer is someone who has used a couple coupons here and there (but usually forgets them at home) and doesn’t really understand how these 50’Æ’†'” ”’Æ”’¢ coupons can end up saving you hundreds of dollars. Is that you? (This is me!)

Couponer in Training — If you use coupons regularly, but aren’t seeing much savings, then you are a Couponer in Training. You’re disciplined and dedicated enough to do it; you just don’t understand the mechanics yet.

Finally you can become a Realistic Couponer that knows how to use the coupons to save money, but you have enough common sense to not get addicted.

Then there is the Extreme Couponer that searchers for and clips coupons for hours and hour each week and goes to the EXTREME with Couponing! My way of thinking is the only person that should become an Extreme Couponer is those that plan to donate the majority of the products they get to charitable causes. No one needs 400 tubes of toothpaste, unless it is a children’s home or a homeless shelter or you get the point.

So, whether you are A True Coupon Newbie or an Extreme Couponer, or somewhere in between… all have their places. It all depends on what YOU want to do. The best advice I can give you is to do exactly what I did; Search the internet for information. That is what the internet is there for… just don’t go “insane” with which ever program you choose!