Thursday, April 7, 2011

So How Are "Extreme Couponers" Able To Save Over 90%?

Have you ever heard about someone else's shopping trip where they had MAJOR savings?  I'm talking like they walked away paying less than 10% of what their total started off as?  Have you ever wondered how they do that?

To me the answer is pretty simple:  That is not the only store they shopped at!  And, if you think about it, this is a very smart move.

Let's say that Store X is having a great sale this week, and you have some awesome coupons that match up with the items that are on sale.  After your coupons, you may be getting these items for FREE or for mere pennies!  You gather up your coupons and make your shopping list.  You also note that you have run out of several items, so you think to yourself  "I'll just pick these up while I'm already at Store X."  That could be a big mistake.  While this may make sense in terms of travel time and gas, especially if you live in a smaller town and are already going out of your way to shop, it could cost you.  Plus, this is exactly what the store is hoping you will do.

Grocery stores lower prices on certain items each week.  These are known as "loss leaders", meaning the store is losing a lot of profit by selling items for such low prices.  The reason they do it is to get people into the store in hopes that they will do all of their shopping while they are there.  Couponers are wise to this little trick. ;)  You see, those few items that are already on your shopping list are not on sale this week at Store X, and their shelf price can be much higher than the price where you normally shop.  On many items this may not matter much, such as milk, bread, and eggs.  These tend to be nearly the same price anywhere in a given area (though not necessarily!)  

If you have the option, it is best to stick only to your list of sale items for which you have a coupon at these places.  If you end up paying $5 more than usual on your "needs" for the week, that could cancel out the savings from your coupons!

If you do not have the option of going to a different store for whatever reason, and you truly need an item, consider switching to a different brand of that item that is on sale (and perhaps you have a coupon for it), or consider giving the store brand a try.  Many of the store brands are actually made and packaged by the same plants that make the brand name items.  In other words, they are essentially the same product without the fancy label or price tag.  For example, just a few weeks ago, I saw a Borden truck leaving Aldi....Aldi doesn't even sell name brand items, only their store brand.

If you do have multiple stores to choose from in your area, that is fantastic.  This means you will be able to pick out the best deals at each store each week.  Plan out the best route to minimize driving time, and hit a few of them while you are out for the biggest savings.  Scan through their ads, find the best prices on each of the items that you need.  Match coupons to the items that you are able.  Remember, being flexible about brands will save you the most.  Make your last stop the cheapest store in your area, or the one that you routinely shop at.  Get the items that cost more elsewhere here.  You may be surprised to find that you do not even need much there after matching your coupons to grocery store sales.

Later on I will share my trip to Aldi this morning to get my "needed" items.

I will also be sharing more on creating a *small* stockpile, and why it is sometimes smart to purchase items that you do not need.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions you would like me to address.

2 comments:

shopannies April 7, 2011 at 8:45 PM  

had a great shopping day today saving over $160 dollars this was with coupons, free coupons and store deals

Amanda April 7, 2011 at 9:24 PM  

That is wonderful!

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