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Extreme couponing: the smart way to save money!

Extreme couponing: the smart way to save money!
Image source: Getty Images.


Extreme couponing could significantly reduce your food and toiletries bill every time you shop.

In this beginner’s guide to extreme couponing, we explain what extreme couponing is and how to get started.

What is extreme couponing?

Extreme couponing is the process of collecting hundreds of coupons and using them in a tactical way to save money. Done right, extreme couponing could make your food and toiletries bill a lot cheaper.

Where can you find coupons?

Coupons are one of many shopping hacks to save you money. Have a look in the following places to kick start your extreme couponing.  

Printable coupons

There are lots of printable coupons available for download online. A quick search online will help you find printable coupons. The MoneySavingExpert (MSE) coupons page offers printable coupons for food, toiletries and home products.

Supersavvyme, which is owned by Procter and Gamble, offers coupons for P&G products. This includes everything from toiletries to pet food and cleaning products. You may need to download coupon printing software to make sure the barcode can be scanned when you’re in-store.

Magazine and newspaper coupons

Supermarket magazines can be a great source of discounts for extreme couponing. You can find them in-store and they are usually free of charge.

Coupons are less common in newspapers these days, but publications like The Metro, which is free, include them periodically. You can keep an eye on which newspapers have coupons using MSE’s Discount Codes ‘n Vouchers board. 

Apps

Smartphone apps have helped make extreme couponing easier than ever. Cashback apps such as CheckoutSmart, Shopmium and Quidco’s ClickSnap offer lots of deals on food and drink.

To use these apps, you purchase a featured product in-store, take a picture of the receipt to prove you bought it and then you receive cashback. This could even be for the full cost of the product, meaning you get it for free!

Loyalty card coupons

Loyalty cards can be a great way to save money and many send regular coupons to help you get extra off of your shop. Tesco Clubcard, for example, sends a quarterly statement which includes coupons to help you save on your next shop.

The Boots Advantage loyalty scheme posts coupons periodically and includes discounts in its monthly magazine for cardholders.

Packaging coupons

Product packaging sometimes includes offers which could save you money if you buy the product again. They can be in the form of stickers, tags or codes inside the box. So be sure to give your empty cereal box or crisp packet a second look before throwing them away!

Receipts

Receipts are often overlooked when it comes to extreme couponing, but they can be a great source of discounts. Supermarket receipts, especially, offer money off your next shop if you spend over a certain amount. You can find these coupons at the bottom of a receipt or on the back.

Manufacturers’ coupons

Contacting a brand or manufacturer directly could help you get your hands on coupons. Sending them a letter or email to praise your favourite products could result in them sending you discounts. You may also be able to get coupons if you have a genuine complaint about an item that wasn’t quite right.

5 extreme couponing top tips

Extreme couponing can seem overwhelming, but these simple tips can help you get started.

1. Check the coupon Ts and Cs

Read the terms and conditions carefully whenever you get your hands on a coupon. These will let you know the exact product and size it can be used for, where the coupon will be accepted and when it expires.

2. Get organised

Keep your coupons organised so that they’re ready to go when you need them. There are lots of systems to try, such as using a ring binder or keeping track of them in an Excel spreadsheet.

3. “Stack” your coupons

Some retailers allow you to use multiple coupons at once. This known as “stacking.” Where possible, use your coupons during store sales or on reduced products to maximise savings.

4. Don’t overspend

Overspending or buying more than you need defeats the purpose of extreme couponing. Stick to your shopping list and only buy the items necessary to maximise your savings.

5. Find other couponers

There are lots of online forums and groups dedicated to extreme couponing. Joining a coupon community or two could help you find even more deals.

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