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How to save on food costs with Extreme Couponing

While at the supermarket you’ve probably noticed those people with coupons. They’re at the checkout for ages with little bits of paper and can get on shoppers’ nerves.

Do not dismiss these people out of hand, because there is a method to this apparent madness! They may well be practising the art of “extreme couponing”.

We’re not exaggerating when we say extreme couponing can save you a lot of money!

But what is it, and how does it work? We’ll take you through the basics and show how you can take the pressure off that depleted student bank account of yours…

Coupon craziness

Companies use coupons as an important way of attracting new customers and keeping the ones they have. Whether printed or virtual, they’re worth their weight in gold.

Here’s the thing. In recent years the idea of extreme couponing has caught on. It’s where you get your hands on as many coupons as possible, adding up to huge savings.

There’s a case of someone who managed to bag up a whopping £105 worth of shopping for a tidy sum of £1.62! The story is, well, extreme, but shows what you can save.

Mastering extreme couponing takes 2 things – the right attitude and knowing where to look. Let’s talk about the attitude first. You have to be prepared to put the hours in…

Coupon control

Some have compared it to having a second job. You can certainly collect coupons on the side and save money here and there. But this is extreme couponing we’re talking about!

You snooze, you lose. But everyone has to start somewhere, so taking a casual approach is the best way of easing yourself into this addiction-forming activity.

Get accustomed to having a coupon or 2 to hand when goods are going through the checkout. It’s nice to have a small discount on a product before the bigger thrills kick in.

The next level is to buy things that are discounted and try and get a coupon on top, reducing the amount even further. If you can do that, then you’re ready to go extreme!

This involves combining coupons of various types for the ultimate money-saving rush. So now you’re ready to learn about the different types of coupon out there…

Coupon collecting

As a student, saving on essential items like food and toiletries is an absolute must. It ain’t glamorous but it simply has to be done. Coupons are your ally in this.

It’s all to play for. The amount of products you can grab cheap via a coupon is enormous and ever-expanding. And there are plenty of sites out there that have them.

But hold your horses. Before you dive in, absorb our tips on how to obtain the best variety of coupons. It’s time to put your thinking cap on for maximum reward…

Put it in print

A key method of harvesting coupons is by printing them directly from a website. This is bad news for your ink costs, but you can factor that in when you crunch the numbers.

Think big. As we’ve mentioned, with extreme couponing you’re putting in hours of effort for potentially massive rewards, so provided you work hard it’ll be worth it. It’s worth looking into printers that are cost effective.

Some ask you to download a little bit of software so the barcode can be scanned. Once it’s on your computer, you can use it to process those coupon-shaped discounts.

An old school way of couponing is to have a pair of scissors to hand so you can snip them out of magazines. Not one to try in the doctor’s waiting room but a good tip nonetheless…

extreme couponing uk
An example of MOC (money off coupons) recently available from the Metro newspaper in London stations, which allowed users to fill their freezers with Magnum ice cream. (now expired)

Outside the box

Some coupon collectors stop at the things we’ve said so far, like surfing for coupons, printing them out or cutting around them. These people are clearly not extreme couponers

Now, you can get coupons by doing stuff such as writing to companies to tell them how much you like their product. Some even get creative and pen poems and ditties!

You’ve probably also forgotten that there is free food out there if you’re hungry and really strapped for cash. For example, this cashback signup offer effectively gives you a free £15 takeaway. Coupon or no coupon, you’ve got to live on your wits!

Speaking of cashback Cashback apps give you access to digital coupons and are better for the environment. You avoid those expensive ink cartridges.

As long as you keep up to speed on costs with price comparison sites and, most importantly, read the small print on the coupon you are opening up a world of possibilities. Particularly when you stack them on top of supermarket multi-buy offers.

This is a collaborative post in association with The Student Money Saver

One Comment

  1. I tend to find there’s not that many coupons out there at the moment and a lot of stores seem to be a little bit funny with accepting them. Annoying really as companies make them for a reason and that shouldn’t be looked down upon by stores.

    Hannah | https://frugalbridetobe.wordpress.com

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