8 Truths About Extreme Couponing

Do you have what it takes to join this elite group of savers?

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Everyone has heard of legendary coupon users who get thousands in groceries for virtually nothing. But how do they do it? What must these people go through to obtain such substantial savings? Here are eight truths about extreme couponing.

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You need a store that doubles coupons

If you don’t have a store in your city that doubles coupons, you might as well give up now. It is vital to go to a store that doubles coupons, otherwise you won’t get the savings you need to match the savings seen by the best extreme couponers.

You have to have a boatload of coupons

In order to save a small fortune, you need to use hundreds of coupons a month. There is a reason the people you see on TV have coupon binders: it’s to keep track of the tons of coupons they need to get their substantial savings.

You must invest in order to save

In order to get a boatload of coupons, it takes an initial investment. You need multiple subscriptions to many newspapers and printable coupon websites in order to gain access to enough coupons. Many of these subscriptions don’t come free, so expect to pay an initial investment fee in order to get your groceries for virtually nothing. (How Laziness Can Cost You Money)

You need a LOT of time

Extreme couponing can become a full time job. You have to spend hours collecting coupons, sorting through them, making sure you do your math to get the best deals, and then going to the store to pick up all the items.

You must be completely and totally OCD

Extreme couponing takes a high level of organization. It takes lists, tons of preparation, calculations, and more. If you are not the organized type, extreme couponing might not be for you. But if you are, you’ve found your new niche.

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You need nerves of steel

When going through the checkout process, you need nerves of steel. Let’s face it, watching your grocery bill add up to over $1,000 is enough to make anyone’s heart race. If you can’t handle the stress of seeing your bill reach such high levels, extreme couponing might not be for you.

You must have eyes like a hawk

When it comes time to scan all your coupons, you have to be able to watch the checkout screen like a hawk to make sure the coupons are being scanned properly and that you are getting the right discount from each coupon. So don’t leave your glasses at home, make sure you are ready to watch the checkout screen. Your bank account depends on your ability to do so. (See also: Best Places to Find Deals and Coupons.)

You need a lot of space for “stockpiling”

Extreme couponing requires you to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk means you need space to store everything you buy. Be prepared to designate at least one room in your house to all the stuff you buy when you go on your spending spree. Chances are, you will need more than just one room.

Ashley Jacobs is a frugal columnist for personal finance blog Wise Bread. Follow her latest tweets on @CollegeCents.