A Newbie’s Attempt at Extreme Couponing

photo 2 (12)For the past few weeks, instead of immediately trashing the weekly circulars that get shoved in our mailbox, I’ve actually taken the time to cut out relevant coupons, and print a few others out from Coupons.com.  Slowly but surely, with the help of blogs like Living Rich with Coupons, I’ve managed to get a decent little collection of coupons going.

Last week was my first attempt doing my weekly grocery shopping with coupons, and I’ve found that it takes you a little longer in the store – in addition to getting what you need to buy from your weekly list, you stroll the non-perishable aisles to do a quick check as to whether you have a coupon match to anything that’s on sale.  (Note: there are actually numerous sites that do this for you, but I’ve found I rarely have the coupons they list in their matches…I probably need to start getting a Sunday paper…)

On my first trip, I managed to save $15, which sounds like a lot, but the majority of that was from a $10 off a 70-count bottle of Claritin, which we had been running low on anyways.  The only real “win” was a bottle of salad dressing (the kind we normally use) that would have normally cost $3.50, I managed to snag for $0.50.  Exciting, but it seemed like kinda small potatoes.

Today, however, as my coupon horde has continued to grow… (click “Continue Reading” to see more!) 

My first two stock pile items! I'm officially an extreme couponer now!

My first two stockpile items! I think this officially makes me an extreme couponer now!

I was able to get just over $20 in savings (about 1/6th of my total grocery bill) and added my first two items to my “stockpile”: laundry detergent and fabric softener, both of which only cost me about $2, regularly priced around $7.50.  (A sale had them at half off, plus a coupon for each for $1.50 brought them down to roughly $0.05/ounce!)

While I certainly don’t anticipate ever being able to do the kind of purchases that the crazies on the tv show do, I found my first little foray into couponing pretty fun – it’s like you’re tricking the store out of free money.

Do you have any couponing tips for this newbie?  Share your ideas in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

Whitney