5 Extreme Couponing Tips to Cut Costs Quickly

Image Credit: Justin Lim on Unsplash


If you’ve ever used a coupon to
save on one of your favorite brands, you may have wondered just how much is possible with coupons. As it turns out, couponing is an entire lifestyle for some people, and it can be used to cut store bills down drastically – hello savings!

If you’re interested in giving extreme couponing a try, it’s important not to rush in without a plan. There are some best practices learned from the experts that require some preparation if you want to get the most out of your coupons. Let’s dive right into the process of extreme couponing so that you can start saving like a pro.

1. Learn the Lingo

The extreme couponing community has created its own language to quickly reference important ideas related to couponing. Familiarize yourself with them to be prepared for your first couponing adventure.

  • Blinkie: A coupon acquired in-store, usually next to the item on sale.
  • BOGO: “Buy One Get One.” This is a type of deal that stores offer, allowing you to walk home with an extra item for free, or for half of the price, if you buy multiple.
  • Doubling: When the store doubles your savings by matching your coupon.
  • Filler: An unneeded item that a couponer buys to make a deal work.
  • Overage: The money you can get from a store if you save so much that they owe you.
  • Stacking: Some coupons can be used together, like manufacturer coupons and store coupons, which can significantly increase your savings.

2. Collect and Organize

Of course, before you can walk into a store expecting to save big, you need to collect your coupons. There are several ways to do this, from online couponing sites to newspapers to store flyers. Explore your options and try to collect as many compatible coupons as possible.

After you’ve collected enough coupons to save big, you’ll want to organize them. Consider investing in a binder or an accordion folder so that you can keep your coupons organized and grouped in a way that makes sense. One popular way to group coupons is to keep the ones that will expire soonest closest to the front of your binder so that using them is top-of-mind.

3. Study Your Store

Unfortunately, not every store has the most generous coupon policy. Some don’t allow you to stack certain coupons or use coupons with deals. Before you walk in with a plan, check out the store’s coupon policy online or ask an employee about it. This will save you the embarrassment of being turned down at the register and feeling obligated to purchase items at full price.

If one store has strict rules, remember that you don’t have to stick with it! Explore other store options until you land on a store that allows you to coupon how you’d like to.

4. Stack Your Coupons

If your store’s couponing policy allows it, try using two coupons together to significantly increase your savings. While it’s usually not permitted to use two store coupons or two manufacturer coupons on the same item, many stores allow you to stack a manufacturer coupon on top of a store coupon.

Another way to stack your savings is to use coupons on already discounted items. If you stumble upon a BOGO deal or a 50% off deal, adding a coupon (or maybe even two) to your savings may allow you to walk away with an item for next to nothing!

5. Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need

Saving money can often feel like a game, especially since couponing can be really exciting. However, this mindset can cause couponers to purchase huge quantities of unneeded items just so that they can use more coupons.

In the long-run, this defeats the purpose of using coupons to save money and only results in collecting junk you likely won’t end up using. Before you get too excited, remember why you started couponing to begin with and try not to get distracted!

The Bottom Line

Budgeting is an essential part of a healthy financial life, but you can’t always save as much as you’d like to through budgeting alone. Couponing can be a fun and exciting supplement to your financial strategy to cut down your costs and help you achieve your savings goals.

Remember, extreme couponing will take some practice to master. Even those who do it every day are always learning. Stay focused, keep hunting, and get saving!

If you enjoyed the couponing advice above, check out Capital One Shopping’s visual below, which offers even more couponing tips to help you save big.

 

7 Methods to Eliminate Debt Quickly

Are you in a debt crunch?

If so, you probably know the stress and anxiety it can bring you and your family.

Debt is an extremely common financial situation to have. With over 95% of adults issued a credit card it can be easy to over-utilize this piece of plastic and put your financial future in jeopardy..

In this post, I’ll explore several methods you can use to eliminate debt quickly and much more. Let’s get started.

Use Side Hustles to Crush Debt

Side hustles are one of my favorite methods to reduce your debt because of how easy they can be to start.

Start by finding a side hustle that’s right for you. There are hundreds – if not thousands of potential side hustles that almost anyone can start. Finding one that you enjoy can be just a few searches away.

Once you’ve found a side hustle you’re happy with, you can use the additional income to lower your debts.

Depending on how much debt you have – this could take a few years (or more), but don’t give up.

Some of my favorite ways to flip money include driving for delivery apps, selling candles from home, flipping furniture, or working as a freelancer.

Find Other Ways to Increase Your Income

Starting a side hustle or business isn’t the only method to increase your income. Take advantage of your 9-to-5 by asking for a raise or finding another higher-paying opportunity at a different company.

If you choose to ask for a raiser – be sure to have some numbers or accomplishments to back it up. This will increase your chances of landing a higher pay.

If this is not an option for you, switching companies or industries can be an easy way to increase your income. By finding a similar job at a different company it’s possible to increase your pay anywhere from 10% to 20%.

Reduce Debts with the Highest Interest Rates First

While there are two main methods of paying off debt – the debt avalanche method and the debt snowball method – I prefer the avalanche method.

This method of paying off debt will reduce the total amount of interest you will end up paying.

If you want to become independently wealthy – you’re going to need to save as much money on interest as possible. To organize your debts, create a spreadsheet that includes the type of debt, the total amount owed, the interest rate, and the minimum payment each month. This will help you to better track which debts are getting paid off and which debts are accruing the most interest.

Take Your Budget Seriously

There’s no doubt that budgeting your money correctly can help you to pay off debt much more aggressively than those without a strict (or any!) budget.

By budgeting your money you can make better decisions with your money to help you reduce debt at a quicker rate.

How do you budget effectively?

Creating a balanced budget will require you to understand both your monthly income and expenses. To start your budget, write down all of your monthly income. Next, write down all of your monthly expenses – like your mortgage or rent payment, minimum debt payments, and other expenses like your utilities or groceries. Subtract your expenses from your income to gauge where your finances stand. If you are at a net loss, you’ll need to either find ways to cut expenses or increase your income.

Build an Emergency Fund

If there’s one thing we all know about emergencies it’s that they will happen. It isn’t a matter of “if” – it’s a matter of when they will happen.

When trying to pay off debt, an emergency can cripple any progress you’ve made on reducing your debt.

If you want to decrease the likelihood of this happening – try to establish an emergency fund if you don’t already have one. It’s a good idea to start small – maybe $500 or $1,000 then build it up over time.

This money should be used for one thing and one thing only – true emergencies. But what is considered an emergency?

In simplest terms, think of items that are unexpected – like a major hospital bill, a car repair, or dental procedure. Items like car maintenance however – should not be considered. Any repairs or expenses you can expect should instead be budgeted for.

Start a Business

Similar to starting a side hustle, starting a business can be another great way to build your income and rescue debt.

But there’s one main caveat – don’t go into more debt to start your business.

There are many small businesses you can start for less than a few hundred dollars. For example, investing in digital real estate like a website or blog can be done for less than $20.

Small businesses can require a significant amount of work to get started – but once they develop, scaling them can become easier and easier.

Stop Using Debt Altogether

This one might seem obvious – but sometimes can get overlooked. If you’re already drowning in debt a credit card can be the worst thing for your finances. By avoiding these obvious traps it can not only help you pay off your debt quicker but also avoid it later down the road.

Conclusion

By using a few of the methods above, you’re sure to start reducing your debts one month at a time.

Whether you choose to pick up a side hustle, start a business, or revisit that pesky budget – reducing your debt is going to take some sacrifices and hard work but it’s certainly possible. Stick to it and watch your debt start dwindling away. Good luck!

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