Five Lessons I've Learned from Extreme Couponing

BlogHer Original Post

It's been four months since I jumped on the extreme couponing bandwagon and I've learned all kinds of lessons I didn't expect to learn. Let me tell you about a few of them.

1. It is possible to have too much coffee. I know! Some of you are shocked at not only the idea that there could be too much coffee -- but that I, of all people, would be saying such a thing. But. Alas. It is true. My coffee cabinet is overloaded with coffee, all of it purchased at 75% less than normal price. I cannot buy any more coffee for a while -- even if it is free.


Credit Image: Misterjingo on Flickr

2. We use a lot more conditioner around here than I ever dreamed possible. When we first started extreme couponing, there were a lot of deals on shampoo and/or conditioner. Assuming we used more shampoo than conditioner, I almost always bought shampoo. Turns out, some people in this house are a little bit addicted to conditioner. We had six bottles of shampoo and only one bottle of conditioner -- and that one bottle was MINE, and I do not share well. Thank goodness there was a great deal on conditioner at Walgreen's and we now have six bottles. I wonder how long that will last us? It will be interesting to find out. I'd also like to know why some of these people feel like they must BATHE in conditioner. I mean really, how much conditioner can one tiny girl use? I'm a little afraid of what will happen when she becomes a real teenager ... maybe I'd better run out and grab some more conditioner just in case ...

3. I'd kill for coupons for olives. I mean it. Well, not really kill, but I'd do a lot for olive coupons. I love olives and now that we try to use coupons on everything, it's hard to buy jars of yummy green olives or cans of equally yummy black olives with NO COUPONS. Where are the olive coupons and why can't I find any? It's a mystery. Or a conspiracy.

4. I really do care about customer service. I'm not one to complain all willy-nilly to companies whose products let me down, but every now and then I do take a minute and reach out to let a company know that something bothered me. When a company works hard to apologize and make good -- I'm a fan for life. When a company makes it clear that they didn't even read my message and responds with a form letter that isn't even related to the issue I brought up ... I'd much rather they didn't respond at all than to do that. Needless to say, we won't be buying a certain company's fresh berries for awhile -- coupon or no coupon.

5. Extreme couponing really does get easier, the longer you stick with it. I was pretty sure this would be the case, based on everything I read back in the first couple of weeks. Now I can say, without a doubt, that it is easier and less time-consuming. I still spend time on it -- a good bit of time, but it's almost second nature now. I'm not printing a ton of coupons I won't use (now if I could get TW to be more selective ... ) and I know immediately that there is a coupon for something I'm planning to buy, so I don't have to spend as much time looking around needlessly. I also know exactly which forums and blogs to read regularly and which I can skim or skip. This is why I'm pretty sure I won't quit couponing any time soon -- it's just too easy to save money. Quitting now would be like throwing away money.

I'm also still enjoying watching TLC's Extreme Couponing every week, and live Chattering/Tweeting my way through it. Join me on Wednesday night, at 9:30 ET for the next episode. Immediately after the show, I'll add another set of tips to the Extreme Coupon Challenge in the Coupon Lovers Group.

Now share your coupon stories, savings and questions! What have been your best buys? What coupons are you dying to find? How's your stockpile coming along? Even more than saving money myself, I love it when people tell me their money-saving stories -- like TexasEbeth's little stockpile story. That totally made my day!

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