Extreme Couponing Challenge (Week 4)

Tonight's episode of TLC's Extreme Couponing featured Desirae from Extreme Savings with Diva Desirae and Stephanie, one of the owners of Our Coupon Home (a couponing forum that's pretty darn good!)

Both spots included some good tips for new couponers -- here are three that I saw.

1. We've all been trained to believe that the larger package is more economical -- that's not necessarily true, particularly if you're using coupons. If your goal is to spend the least amount of money possible, then the smaller size is almost always your best bet.
A good example from my own couponing is ground coffee. I've been able to buy the smaller sized cans for between $1 and $1.50 -- because they've been on sale (the bigger ones haven't been) and $1 and $2 coupons bring the price way, way down.

Another example is... travel sized items. If you've got a coupon for $2 off any sized eye drops and there's a trial size for .97, that item is free with overage (see the next tip.)

2. Load your grocery store loyalty card with e-coupons. While Stephanie's e-coupons didn't seem to work in this trip, you should try them particularly if you can stack a store coupon with a manufacturers coupon and increase your savings.

3. Look for items that will give you overage! This is important. Last week I bought 3 individual string cheeses (see tip #2) that cost .34 each. I used three .50 coupons which means I was paid .16 per string cheese and that .48 helped pay for other items that I didn't have coupons for.

.48 isn't a lot but if you're buying a lot of things that give you overage... it adds up and that's how extreme couponing can help you save money on all of the groceries you buy -- not just the items you have coupons for.

If you're new to couponing, be sure to read all of the extreme couponing tips I've posted for the challenge and ask any questions right here in the comments. You can find more tips and helpful information about couponing in my Extreme Couponing series.

If you've been following along for awhile or have been couponing for a long time, share your tips, too.

I'd also love to know how much you save this week using coupons (and sales). Add your savings in the comments -- and if you blog about couponing, please add your link. (I'm not adding inlinkz tonight because it's been temperamental lately and hasn't worked well - so add the link in a comment instead.)

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