The Learning Channel's (TLC) latest "Extreme Couponing" latest
season is underway. Are you a coupon user? Would you like to increase
the amount of money you are saving by using coupons? Below is a
review of some of the basic tricks these coupon pros use. Read on
for six ways you can begin to save like an extreme couponer.
- 1. Start Small
- Don't try to go extreme all at once. Take it step by step,
rather than show up at a checkout with 50 coupons and little
idea what you're doing.
- 2. Never Pay For Coupons
- There are some things in this life you just shouldn't pay
for, and a coupon is one of them. Paying someone to clip or
organize your coupons defeats the purpose of living frugally.
Instead, surf Sunday newspaper ad supplements for coupon savings;
ask your neighbors for their unwanted papers; or dive inside
a recycled dumpster or two. Also, free online coupon sites like
CouponSherpa.com give consumers access to a multitude of coupon
printable coupons for thousands of merchants.
- 3. Get Organized
- A little organization can go a long way. Always create a
shopping list and have your coupons and shopping strategy organized
before you even enter the store. Use an
expandable coupon binder to sort coupon inserts by date,
categories and expiration dates. Transfer to a small couponizer
only those you'll need for a specific shopping trip.
- 4. Location, Location, Location
- Where you shop is a key factor in making the best use of
your time and coupons. Only shop at locations that allow
coupon stacking and combining coupons with in-store offers.
Don't be afraid to call and ask about policies before you show
up. You don't want to wind up embarrassed at the checkout line
with a handful of useless coupons.
- 5. Loyalty Rewards
- Always take advantage of club membership rewards. These
programs are usually free and have many savings perks, like
rewards points, cash back programs, and double points for every
certain amount you spend.
- 6. Don't Be Greedy
- This is often where extreme couponers cross over into the
world of hoarding. Only shop for items you actually need, products
you can stock up on that aren't perishable, and those you can
donate. Remember, a bargain is only a bargain if you can actually
use the purchase. If your pantry has expanded into your living
room and the kids are sleeping on rolls of toilet paper, you've
probably reached hoarder status.
Check your local listings for TLC - Extreme Couponing for the
air times and dates in your area.
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Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer
Financial Education (ICFE)
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by
the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
designation and founder of the College for Financial Planning in Denver, CO.)
The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending
practices, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an
award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped
millions of people through its financial continuing education courses programs
and resources. In addition to eight Certification courses covering identity
theft, credit files, credit repair and credit scoring, among others, it also
publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated
annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning
Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE is a partner
with the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy and the California
Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active with San Diego Saves and
Military Saves, both offshoots of America Saves.
The ICFE is also an
on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured
in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips
are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
The ICFE helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about
the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and
implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and
how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G
library, a free eNews service, and an online resource center for students,
parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools in the ICFE Book