Extreme Couponing: Tips I Learned in Coupon Mania Class

by Dagmar Bleasdale on June 19, 2011

extreme couponing, coupon mania classExtreme Couponing Tips

Inspired by the TLC show Extreme Couponing, I wanted to learn how it is possible for those stockpiling housewives to get 48 bottles of free mustard.

So when one of the local mommy Meetup groups offered a “Coupon Mania” class, I was eager to sign up.

A lot of moms signed up for it, but I was lucky to get a spot after being on the waiting list.

Couponing is in right now!

Who wouldn’t want 100 trial-size bottles of sleeping aids for $1? (What do you do with 100 bottles of sleeping aids — donate them?)

When I go grocery shopping, I use coupons all the time and save hundreds of dollars every year. I only cut coupons of products I use regularly and I don’t buy junk food– I wouldn’t try blue Kool-aid if you paid me.

But I had a sense I could do much better with extreme couponing. And boy, was I in for a surprise!

Toting my coupons (we were encouraged to share some), a pen, and a notebook, I arrived at the beautiful home of one of the moms of the group who hosted all 15 of us ladies.

I was greeted by several moms holding wine glasses on the patio and a table full of coupons and folders with the class material, and when I saw the Skinny Girl Margarita bottle, I really wished I could have a glass.

But I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on coupon codes — I get tipsy  after two sips.

We all sat down to listen to Rebecca’s presentation. She has made teaching people how to use coupons a business and already saved $8,000 this year.

She doesn’t buy items that are over 25 cents after coupons. Wow. That’s my kind of girl.

Then the fun and the lingo started: Blinkie, Catalina, FARR, OOP, OPP, Peelie, OYNO, stacking…. OOP?

Just a few minutes into the class I realized couponing besides just clipping the occasional coupon is an art form, and a lot of work.

For the best deal, Rebecca first makes a list of the items she wants to buy with the help of blogs like LivingRichWithCoupons.com, prints out the list, and then has to find that coupon in her stash of coupons.

She then goes to stores that double (sometimes triples) coupons and matches up the coupon to the product that is on sale that week.

Here are more tips I learned during Extreme Couponing Coupon Mania class:

  • Don’t believe the Extreme Couponing show — you wouldn’t be able to use 100 coupons for 100 bottles of free Vitamin Water. That’s only done for the show, which is really misleading. You are not allowed to use more than four coupons of the same item in one shopping trip.
  • Walmart carries the All You magazine that comes out once a month and is filled with great coupons. Subscribing to it is a great idea, and the next time you need a gift for your girlfriend or mom, give her an All You subscription! Here is a link for two free trial issues I found. Once I signed up, there was an offer of $5 off the $19.95 for 12 issues if you pay right away with a credit card. Done!
  • Buy an Entertainment book and take advantage of all the amazing deals in your area, but don’t pay $40 for it! Rebecca ordered 4 for herself for a lot less. I found this great deal: Go to Ebates join now if you haven’t yet so you can earn Ebates on all your shopping, plus they will give you $5! — then search for “Entertainment.com.”
  • Search Ebates for “Entertainment.com” and a new offer will come up.
  • $1 coupons don’t double, only coupons under 99 cents double.
  • Cashiers actually have the discretion to take coupons one week past their expiration date.
  • Don’t fold coupons at the bar code so it doesn’t get messed up — cashiers are not supposed to punch in the numbers to make the coupon work.
  • Is the item on sale not in stock? Ask for a rain check so you can get it for the sales price later!
  • Bed Bath & Beyond always takes their coupons, even if they are expired. You can use one coupon for one item.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond coupons are also good at Toys R Us and buybuy Baby, but they can’t be expired.
  • buybuy Baby has the best return policy: as long as they carry the item, you can return anything to them — even if you didn’t buy it there! So if you still have unused baby items that are collecting dust in your home, try to get your money back at buybuy Baby!
  • Shop at Bed Bath & Beyond the day after Christmas when everything (most of it?) is $75 percent off. When you use their coupons on top of that, you are getting a heck of a deal.

This should give you a great start. I already used Rebecca’s way of extreme couponing and you really can get things for free!

For now I’ll leave you with these two images: my way of hauling coupons before Coupon Mania Class:

and my Coupon Mania-improved way of storing my coupons:

Are you a fan of extreme couponing?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen @ Joyfullythriving May 1, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Coupons are a great source of savings! I coupon regularly, complete with my binder, and am thankful for the savings it brings to me and my family.

Reply

Vicki Arnold April 30, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I so want to be a great coupon user, but I have never succeeded. In fact, I’ve kind of given up, lol.

Reply

Laura Ramirez Lara February 18, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Hello, I’m Laura and l’m really amazed about you can make. l live in Tijuana Mexico, very close of the border with California, and l can crossed legally, l hear about the coupons and l want very much used them. l have two children, and only my husband have work right now, and for that we are limit in our provisions and you know who are the kids, always want something, at the beginning wen l knew about this, l feel something of shame for ask help, but wen l see in TV coupon-maniac, that felling is in the pass. l really appreciate if you can help me and my family, telling me what to do, at where go, where find the coupons, how used them, all the necessary for given the better to my family without be a charge for anyone. l hope that you answer to me soon. Thanks for read this. Bye.

Reply

Jeff Kent September 15, 2011 at 1:02 PM

I don’t know about sleeping aids, but your local food bank will gladly take just about everything else. For Westchester please contact the Food Bank For Westchester at the link below:

http://foodbankforwestchester.org/index.shtml

To find a food bank near you please contact Feeding America:

http://feedingamerica.org/

Reply

Jo Lynn June 28, 2011 at 5:10 AM

I so want to get into couponing. Hubby is out of work :( and I care for my mom who is a cancer survivor and care for my 3 children still at home.

My oldest daughter lives in Maryland (5 hours away) :( but when she came up to visit in March she brought with her coupons for Kohl’s. Wow! They stack coupons and she works for them in Maryland. So she had coupons and her employee discount. Our bill total before coupons, discounts, and items on clearance was $516. We got it all for $160.

She took her little sister Christmas shopping. She can only make it up when funds area available and she can get days off from work.

I do miss my granddaughter a whole lot. She turned a year old on 6/7 :( Pray they move back to PA but alas I don’t see that happening……

Reply

Pamela June 27, 2011 at 8:26 PM

I do use coupons but not to the extent I once did. And I don’t stockpile. If it wasn’t going to be used within the expiration time I didn’t buy it unless I could bless someone else with it. It was fun to send bags of free or almost free to my nieces, youth pastors, etc. I don’t understand the concept of buying 100 jars of pickles if you don’t like pickles. :-) It’s a wonderful thing for young families and I love the attention it’s getting. Any way to save money is great!

Reply

Kristy H June 24, 2011 at 11:33 PM

I’ve always shopped with coupons, thanks to my Mom “training” me by helping her cut coupons since I was like 8, lol! However, I cannot even begin to coupon like those on Extreme Couponing because NONE of the grocery stores around me do Double coupons. Lately, I’ve seen so many signs pertaining to couponers, in a negative way, I just don’t even bother trying to get more than I can.
I think it’s great that there are ways to save so much money, but I also think it’s frusrating that people like us get our hopes up to save TONS of cash, only to not be able to do anything near what the show portrays! So for now, I’ll be happy saving my $10 off a trip and keep saving my coupons hoping a grocery store will open nearby that doubles coupons : )
I love the tips, need to get myself a binder because it looks so much easier than how I’ve been doing it! Thanks!

Reply

Dee @ Start Dreaming June 22, 2011 at 2:43 AM

LOVE coupon shopping! It’s so nice to get a good deal on things you need or food pantry donations. I actually have been teaching coupon classes for awhile (and have my class on my blog) and it’s fun to hear how someone who has attended a class feels about all the information. :)

Enjoy your new art form!
Take care,
Dee

Reply

{Not Quite} Susie Homemaker June 22, 2011 at 5:25 AM

Love this post! I coupon “lightly”- meaning I don’t go to four stores a week and since my stores don’t ever double or triple coupons, my items are never QUITE free, so I don’t have an “extreme” stockpile. I’ve been doing that for like 2 years & even so I learned a few things from this post {Like the Bed Bath & Beyond stuff- I’m SO using that}!

Reply

andraea June 21, 2011 at 1:38 AM

thank you soooo much for your post. ya, the 100 bottles of free vitamin water and sports drinks??? i can’t even find coupons for those to even make a discount on them, let alone free. i appreciate the post and knowing that it’s fake that they only do that for the show, which is really unfair to the rest of us.

Reply

PragmaticMom June 19, 2011 at 5:06 PM

My kids are obsessed with that show, Extreme Couponing, and spent time cutting out random coupons which I don’t need or use. I tried the couponing thing but I find that I don’t tend to need or want most of what I have coupons for though I greatly admire anyone who can get a whole cart of groceries for $15. Ah well… we are fussy about our food! We can own that!

Reply

Gille June 19, 2011 at 5:28 PM

You could always use coupons for overage and use that overage to pay for your groceries/catalinas etc. Donate what you don’t need and still have your groceries paid for.

Reply

Gille June 19, 2011 at 4:26 AM

I was coming to say the same as the other two comments. It really depends on what the coupon says. Many don’t say you have to limit it to 4 but some do. Then I just split up the purchases.

I love using coupons. I hate to spend more than a dollar on things and even a dollar is pushing it for me. My local stores either don’t double or only doubles up to 50 cents. Anything above that is face value. I still make it work though! Overage back policies are great!

Reply

wondersndreams June 19, 2011 at 2:51 AM

you can use more than 4 like coupons in a transaction, it just depends on what is written on the coupon and the stores personal policy.

Reply

Jammie June 19, 2011 at 2:50 AM

Correction “You are not allowed to use more than four coupons of the same item in one shopping trip.” <— That is only if the coupon says limit 4 per transaction…. and it also depends on the store, I have uses up to 10 of the same coupons at Krogers… also you split the transactions up to use more coupons.

Reply

andraea June 21, 2011 at 1:42 AM

i do that with frys,which is kroger on the east coast, however, they limit us to 3 coupons of the same item per transaction. however, i do call ahead to let them know i’m coming because the managers, nor the cashiers, really want to do a ton of transactions ( like if i’m getting 12 bottles of shampoo, that’s 4 transactions on top of all the other stuff i’m getting), so they just scan them anyways. but i am at least courteous enough to call.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 4 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: