Extreme Couponing has been around for decades, but was brought into notoriety with the hit TV show “Extreme Couponing,” which first aired in 2011. Since then people have flocked to the internet looking for tips and tricks to save a buck or two, hoping to recreate some of the amazing grocery hauls seen on the tv.
But there’s a few things wrong with that picture.
First, is the fact that the tv show was FAKED in soooo many ways. Doing this drove real “extreme couponers” crazy, and still does. The stores broke policy’s, rules and then some just for their 15 minutes of fame on the big screen. Any normal person trying to recreate with the same guidelines they were granted on air, would be laughed at by cashiers and managers alike.
That’s actually secret #1 – Extreme Couponers know that the TV show Extreme Couponing is fake.
They can spot every error as it appears and give you a full detailed lecture or rant on the subject as well.
It’s probably our biggest pet peeve, or at the very least, within the top 3.
Secret #2- They know that you can get weekly sale items, days after they’ve ended
When a store sale item is no longer in stock, you can request something called a “Raincheck.” It’s a piece of paper with the product name, sale date, and price written on it, as well as how many you plan to buy, and signed by an official employee.
The expiration date varies on rainchecks, although most I’ve seen are for 10-30 days after sale ends. These papers entitle you to the sale price after it’s over, and to redeem them, all you have to do is present them at the cash register (preferably before the cashier scans those items- it makes their job easier to manually override the price.)
Store policies are different per location, so definitely make sure you look your up and look at it, before requesting a raincheck. Some stores state that only sale items that are in the weekly ad papers count towards a raincheck, and other stores may have similar rulings in place.
Secret #3- They know that expired coupons still have a use.
Expired coupons can be used well after the expiration date in 2 situations.
First situation– You can use expired coupons with a raincheck, if they were valid during the time of the sale.
Second situation– Military families overseas can use coupons at commissaries up to 6 months past expiration date. In fact there are companies and people sending their used coupons over there, all the time. It helps to stretch their dollars since the American dollar doesn’t hold the same value as it does here, thanks to the exchange rates.
[Related] See Troopons Coupons for Troops and how you can help.
~Interested in becoming an Extreme Couponer?~
I have an eBook available that walks you through everything you need to know to become a successful AND LEGAL couponer. View How to Extreme Coupon eBook.
Secret #4- They know how to maximize savings on each and every product
Think a $0.25 off coupon from the Sunday paper isn’t impressive? Watch what a couponer can do with it, and you’d be amazed at how they maximize savings per product.
Using a Manufacturers coupon and a store coupon on an item is called stacking. Combine this with a store sale/promotion. Maybe there’s another deal where you buy a certain amount and get another discount. And then there’s the after purchase rebates available. Wowza talk about savings!
Allow me to explain with an example:
Now you add in the rebate apps, lets say that one of them is offering $0.10 back on a dozen egg purchase and another has a $0.25 back for a dozen. While it’s not much money back, it is still money back.
So normal people buy 5 dozen eggs for $5 and think it’s a good deal. Total money saved $4.95.
Couponers buy 5 dozen eggs for $1.15, saving themselves $8.80. Multiply this kind of savings with every item in their cart and you’re looking at some hefty savings.
Secret #5- They know what is going to be on sale, months in advance.
Sales happen in cycles like clockwork and can be prepared for months in advance. Not just seasonal produce, but larger items like furniture and big screen tv’s too.
Every month has a “national” food related holiday or theme, making it easy for couponers to know when to expect the best “stock up prices.” This helps to keep them in check, so they don’t overbuy during the off-seasons and when the sale prices are the lowest, they can buy enough to hold themselves over until the next sale. This is called stockpiling.
[Related] Sales cycle stages you didn’t know existed.
Side note– Coupons also come out in cycles, most are repeating every few weeks, so if you miss out on using them it’s not the end of the world, more will show up later, with a chance of being a higher value.
[Note] This is my favorite website for printing free coupons.
Secret #6- They know that couponing is an addicting sport.
It’s true. Extreme couponing is a sport, filled with as much mental calculations as a good game of chess and as much adrenalin as a physical contact sport.
When you watch the register total go down after applying those coupons and discounts, it’s like no other rush. It’s incredibly addicting any motivating to do another transaction, and then another.
As you get better with couponing, and your savings and stockpile increase, you start to gift off pieces of your inventory. This makes you feel good about yourself too.
They say that running gives off endorphins, making you happy, referred to as a “runners high.” Extreme couponers feels this after a good shopping trip, and seeks out more feelings similar to this. Making extreme couponing a very addicting sport.