As everyone probably knows by now couponing has been with us for decades. But thanks to TLC’s ‘Extreme Couponing’, it seems to be making a formidable comeback after years of decline. Local coupon clubs and blogs online along with the show’s participants (that are willing to spend countless hours every week putting together a shopping excursion that could run 6 hours or more but knock better than 90% off of their total grocery bill) seem to be all the rage. Extremists have been known to be found diving into dumpsters in search of invaluable coupons and have set aside garages, bedrooms and basements in which to stockpile shelf upon shelf of products discounted with coupons and sales. This however is not average behavior for your typical couponer. But it certainly makes great TV for the reality channels.
Fortunately for residents of the Tri-State area, they will not have to submit themselves to dumpster diving for coupons; the Daily Gate City is starting a new program online for the locals. They are calling it the “Mississippi Valley Value Vault”. The Daily Gate City will, every last Thursday of the month, feature coupons for their reader’s use. They will also be in the corresponding week’s free press. And if all that fails they are also available online. The online version will allow the readers from the Tri-State area to browse through the Tri-State business’ coupons and will be categorized for easier access when searching for the desired coupon. The process is simple. Customers can click on the coupon; locate the business on a map, and print. By clipping the printed coupon these customers can save at businesses which are value-driven.
Many of us were raised on couponing. Our memories of childhood include snipping from the local paper on Sundays and then off to the grocery story you went with Mom. Many of us still have frugality coursing through our veins; we are constantly on the lookout for sales and coupons. Stay-at-home moms in particular are dedicating time slots during their busy week devoted to nothing but couponing. And as any good couponer knows, the grocery shopping does not begin as you enter through the doors of the supermarket. Oh no. It starts with planning and research of upcoming coupons and sales. You search out the best deals and stack up the best coupons for your endeavor.
Upon entrance to the grocery store, you need to have your coupon organizer at the ready while being sure to grab a store flier (single page or more of coupons and special values sponsored by the store-these are usually displayed at the entrances) and snatching up a cart upon which all four wheels work. Have your game plan firmly secured in your mind. Hopefully you have already sought out and matched coupons and sales together. Cereal is frequently a good place to save with specials per box, run by the store, coupled with coupons for a dollar off of one or two boxes. Kellogg’s in particular, was offering a gas card savings of $10.00 by entering the cereal’s UPC code online. Be sure to remember, when picking up bulk deals, that not only do you have ample room for the storage of them, but will either be able to utilize or donate them before the expiration date. Local food pantries and other charities appreciate donated food.
And if you’re saving money by making your own lunches to take to work or school, lunch meat is another place where combining sales with coupons will be of great benefit to your pocketbook. Pay special attention to the coupons printed at the end of your cash register receipts or instant coupons which are included right on the packaging of items. Certain products have their own web sites where you can become a fan, or member, and enjoy future savings with coupons or free samples. Pasta is another item that is frequently not only on sale but has coupon space in countless publications. New products very often are promoted with coupons for free samples or buy one get one deals. And seasonal items almost always have seasonal sales.
In the summer, anything that you might commonly grill is bound to be on sale. Baking essentials such as sugar and flour will more likely than not be found on not only coupons but store fliers around Christmas. And toilet tissue, paper towels and other non-perishables, whenever on sale, should absolutely be stockpiled if possible. And just because something is on clearance doesn’t mean but you can’t apply a coupon for additional savings. When in doubt check the stores redemption policies. Saving $50.00 a week on your ending shopping bill total is not only worth it, but something to be proud of. Families throughout the country are appreciating the effects that couponing is having on their budget. Not everyone can save the kind of money that the extreme couponers are saving on the TV show, but by applying yourself to the cause on a regular basis you are sure to make a sizable dent in that grocery bill.