Extreme Couponing or Just Plain-Old Couponing?

My brother, future sister-in-law and a few friends decided to start a couponing club. They’ll be sharing coupons and trying to get the best deals on the necessities for their lives. By pooling their coupons, they can buy items in bulk, which is great for non-perishable items like toiletries and paper products.

But will it work? Only time will tell.

Extreme couponing takes a lot of time and energy. You have to match coupons to sales, which can eat up most of your free time. It usually requires a number of trips to different stores. And what’s on sale isn’t necessarily what you need.

I used to be an avid couponer — nowhere near “extreme” level, but I paid a lot of attention and would go to difference stores to get what I needed more cheaply, especially cat food and litter. But since the birth of our daughter three years ago, my couponing time has dwindled. Partly because I’m working more and partly because I’d rather spend my free time with our little girl. Another variable is that there were fewer and fewer sales on the items we regularly use.

I still collect the Sunday coupon flier, but I find that I’m not cutting out as many as I once did. It’s difficult to match up coupons with sales prices lately. I just try to make smart purchases and use coupons when I can. But I’ll admit there’s a pile of fliers on our dining room table that I haven’t touched in a month, and I’m sure half of the coupons expired two weeks ago.

Has anyone else been having trouble with couponing lately? Is it that the deals and the coupons don’t match up, or that you don’t have the time to expend on couponing?

4 comments to Extreme Couponing or Just Plain-Old Couponing?

  • I used to be an AVID couponer, it made such a difference in our grocery bills. Now I don’t quite have the energy to spare for the match-ups, especially now that the helpful forums seem to have dwindled away, so I just shop sales and local produce shops that typically have low prices. Partly, too, the couponing now would only be great for dry goods like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, since I’m doing my best to get away from processed foods all the time.

  • The deals are not there as they were five years ago but, with the frugal bloggers who match coupons, you can save a bit with very little effort.

  • I find more casual couponing is the most practical option. I think that since extreme couponing has become more popular lately, stores have become more sensitive to it. I don’t know if they are trying to make things more difficult to work on the coupon front, but the casual strategy usually works no matter what.

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