Want to save money, but not ready to be one of the crazy coupon people on TV? You don’t have to shop like those folks on Extreme Couponing to save money. There’s lots of ways to save and still be able to have people still like you too… Here are a few tips.
1. Easy Does It. While Extreme Couponing might make for big ratings on TV, in reality, it’s not for most people. What that TV show doesn’t show is the numerous hours that goes into the planning and the truth is, most of us just don’t have that kind of time. Instead, do what you can with the time you have, and be proud of your savings whatever they are — you’re still saving money which is a great thing!
2. Reality Means Stores Run Out. Ever gone to the store at opening on the first day of a big promotion only to have the already sold out? If a deal is REALLY hot, truthfully you probably won’t go to the store and find shelves, and shelves of the item available. Instead of having a meltdown in aisle 6 with your fist full of coupons, if a store is out, just merely go to customer service or grab a manager and ask for a rain check. You’ll still get the great price — it’ll just be a few days later when the craziness has died down and the inventory is back in stock.
3. Coupons Aren’t Just for Groceries Any More. The truth is, the grocery store is just one of the places you can save money these days. There are coupons for more retailers and restaurants than you can imagine, and getting on their mailing lists can save you hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars a year. There’s also numerous coupon discount codes available online. Do a quick google search before you check out with your online shopping cart and you might just save a bundle doing so.
4. Stock Up — Just Don’t Hoard. Sometimes it is kind of ironic that the hoarding TV shows tend air after the extreme couponing episodes, isn’t it? The truth is, that unless you have some extreme medical condition that’s worth of a reality show by itself, you’re never gonna use 480 years worth of toilet paper by yourself. If you do score an amazing deal in quantities that you or your family could possibly never use — please consider sharing the wealth. There are so many people in need that can benefit from your smart shopping skills.
5. Show a Little Consideration for the Less Coupon Savvy. While you might have seen the light and realized how much you can save, not everyone is gonna appreciate your efforts — especially those behind you at the check out. When you’re hogging a register (or 2 or 3) with a monster transaction, nicely warn anyone brave enough to get in line behind you that you’re going to be awhile to give them the opportunity to pick another lane. If you’re doing a REALLY large transaction, talk to a manager and see if they would like to have you go to a special lane or open an extra register to avoid clogging traffic. If there are folks in line behind you, smile, be friendly and recognize that they’re waiting on you. Sometimes cracking a joke or offering them a coupon for something they’ve got in their cart can help make them be a little more patient while you wrap up your own transaction.
Kim R. is a working mom of two kids in small town, Iowa. After realizing the powerful savings coupons can offer, she not only found a way to save her family thousands of dollars a year, but also started www.twokidsandacoupon.com as a way to share great deals with others. Kim has a degree in marketing and communications from Drake University, and lives with her children and husband — who also uses lots of coupons.