greenbackgrazers


Extreme Couponing
March 5, 2012, 9:31 AM
Filed under: Financial tips, helpful household hints

Good Morning all!  What a beautiful day here in Southeastern Pa!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  We sure did.  I wanted to say thanks to those of you that came over and said hello at the Out Door Expo 2012.  You all are troopers for braving the weather till the sun came out.  It was wonderful seeing all the new vendors, food items, speakers, and games and activities.  It made me want to be a kid again.  Also all the toys for us adults were cool too!  Between all the experts in hunting, fishing, archery, camping, hiking groups, the dog show, and the inflatable obstacle course.  I have never had so much fun for FREE!  I hope you had a chance to participate in this wonderful annual event.  If you didn’t, don’t worry there’s always next year!

Extreme Couponing.  You’ve heard the term, maybe even seen the show on tv.  Well, I was recently introduced to a woman who began teaching herself how to do this without going to the extreme obsessive end of this practice.  She says once you have the proper tools, you can save $20 or more per shopping trip.  I hope to get her assistance while I write this blog.  However, she did give me some recommendations to start.

1) Start with a list-write down what items you need from the store and stick to it.  Often I find myself easily distracted when I shop.  You need to train yourself to set a budget and stick to it.  With this philosophy I have done well so far.

a) One of my favorite stores is Aldi.  There are locations in Montgomeryville, Quakertown, Abington, Langhorne, Hatboro, Bensalem, East Norriton, and a few in Philadelphia.  You can find great deals here and there are many healthy options.  I have often shopped here for 1 month’s worth of food and paid $60 or less for all my needs.  However they do not accept coupons and only accept cash or debit.  You also need a quarter to “rent a cart” and should bring your own bags.

b)  Also shop locally.  Pharmacies, restaurants, hair salons, butcher shops.  One I have just recently discovered is Lansdale Meats and Deli.  Hours:Mon – Fri 9am – 7pm; Sat, 8am – 6pm; Sun, 8am – 3pm Located at 1801 North Broad St Lansdale.  If you aren’t familiar with the spot, it is nearest the corner of Cowpath and Broad Street.  The corner where Wawa used to be and the Lukoil.  The small shopping center next to the old Wawa building is called Colonial Village.  I have also found coupons in the booklets they send with the mail.  One coupon was for a free dozen eggs with purchase of $20 of products.  These butcher shops are good because the butcher the meat there saving you money.  It will usually be fresher as well:)

2) Collect and cut out coupons for your trip.  One way to get them is to check your mail box and your sunday paper.  If you don’t get the paper, check your mailbox or apply for store cards.  If neither of these are an option ask a neighbor to have their coupons and circulars.

a) After you have clipped your coupons separate them by category.  I suggest dividing by areas of the store; frozen foods, dairy, snacks, meats, dry goods, can goods, etc.  Place all coupons in a binder with several plastic sheets with pockets like baseball cards.  Place the coupons in the pocket from the oldest coupon (front) to newest coupon in the back of each slot.

3)  This is probably the most time-consuming part of the process.  Check all the circulars for the best price on each item on your list.  I suggest the stores closest to you.  If you search too far the cost of gas may out weigh the savings you will get.  In our area there are several stores close by so this is pretty easy to do.

Now you have some ideas to get started.  Let me know how you do and I will continue to share my findings each week as I progress.  Good Luck!  Have a great day!

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