After watching shows like Extreme Couponers and Extreme Cheapskates on TLC, I knew exactly how I would save more money. I would spend my time being as cheap as possible, and I would also clip a bunch of coupons.
This post has been written by our talented writer, Kimberly Studdard.
How to Save Money With Not So Extreme Couponing
Well, my plan failed, but I’m not too upset about it. I learned some valuable tips while on my adventure, and decided that I could still save money with some not so extreme couponing. So how do I save my family money without spending 40+ hours a week clipping coupons?
Know The Best Stores To Shop At
This has been a huge part in helping me save money. I only shop at four stores. Yes, I know that seems like a lot, but let me explain. I shop at two stores once a week, and two other stores once or twice a month.
The two stores I shop at once a week are Sprout’s and Aldi’s, and I mainly use these to buy food only. The second two stores I shop at are Target and CVS, and I ONLY shop at these for household items, clothes, and personal care products.
I have two reasons for shopping at Target and CVS for items other than food. For one, they tend to have more sales for non food items than actual food items. For two, I can always find high value coupons or stack coupons to save more money vs. using just one coupon for food.
When you start not so extreme couponing, it’s best to start with one or two stores, but as you gain more knowledge you can shop at different places to save more money.
Money Saving Apps
Money saving apps are SO easy to use while on your journey of not so extreme couponing. Plus they can save you quite a bit of cash every grocery trip. While there are a ton of different apps out there, here are a few of my favorites (and why they are my favorite):
- Ibotta: This app is one of the best out there, and it often offers high value coupons for items that you already shop at and buy. I also love that they offer coupons for fresh food! Keep in mind that this app doesn’t work for all stores, but there are still quite a few on the list.
- Checkout 51: This app is basically like Ibotta, except you can use it for every store, as long as the coupon is for the same brand. They also have coupons for fresh food (which I buy a lot more than prepackaged food).
- Sprouts and Target: So these will only work if you have a Sprouts or Target near you, but I love them! Since using these apps, I have saved at least $5 a trip! That’s an extra $260 a year!
- Receipt Hog: This app isn’t necessarily a coupon app, but it is an app that allows you to snap pictures of your coupons and earn coins that you can then redeem for cash or gift cards. It takes a little while to grow your bank, but it’s still free money! This is how I save when I shop at Aldi, since they don’t offer or allow coupons.
Money saved every month: $25-$100
Follow Coupon Blogs
I’ve found a handful of blogs that have helped me save money while not so extreme couponing. What’s great about these blogs is they do almost all of the work for me, and give me options on how to stack coupons.
My favorite blog overall is MoneySavingMom. This blog posts the best deals every single week for multiple stores, and then offers lots of online coupons, or tells you how to find the paper coupons.
Since I shop at Target and CVS for household goodies, I keep an eye out for for the posts that offer the best deals. When something catches my eye (like my favorite laundry detergent for under $4) I print out the coupons and put the item on my grocery list!
Money saved every month: $10-$150
Not So Extreme Couponing With Paper Coupons
I’ll be honest, this is my least favorite method, but it’s still useful. Clipping coupons is boring and time consuming for me, but with not so extreme couponing, I am able to keep it to a minimum. I spend 20 minutes max clipping coupons every week. Most of the time I only spend 5 minutes.
The easiest way to use this method is to set a timer and to have a newspaper delivered to you vs. going out to buy one. We get the weekly newspaper already, so I just take out the coupon inserts and see if there are any coupons that my family and I could use.
Sometimes I find great deals, sometimes I find nothing at all, but at the very least I can save a few bucks without wasting a ton of time.
Money saved every month: $20-$50
Shop Based On Sales & Stock Up
You are most likely already shopping sales if you are trying to save money on your grocery bill, but how about taking it a step further? Use your coupons while buying sale items!
Since I shop at the same four stores all of the time, I normally know when they put certain items on sale. To help me save even more money, I will match a sale with a few coupons, and boom, I’ve saved a ton of cash.
The best deal that I’ve scored has been my favorite conditioner that I buy every month. Normally, this conditioner retails for over $15, and I got it for $2!
Which brings me to the second half of this tip, stock up when your favorite items are at rock bottom price! Since I was able to get my favorite conditioner for $2, I bought four.I was able to stock up for four months and pay less than I would have for one bottle of conditioner not on sale!
While you shouldn’t clear out shelves, or buy a bunch of items you don’t need because you can save a lot of money, you can (and should) stock up on your favorite items when it’s convenient.
So there you have it, all of the ways I save money while not so extreme couponing. It’s been great at helping me save money and time, and it could do the same for you! Now, you don’t have to spend a ton of hours every week to keep more money in your pockets.
Which of the above tips was your favorite?
AUTHOR Derek Sall
Derek has a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's in Business. As a finance manager in the corporate world, he regularly identified and solved problems at the C-suite level. Today, Derek isn't interested in helping big companies. Instead, he's helping individuals win financially--one email, one article, one person at a time.