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How to Save Money with Extreme Couponing

Clipping coupons is a traditional way to save some money on groceries, but one money-saving blogger introduces us to "extreme couponing" for even bigger savings. Here's how you can save major cash by maximizing your coupons.

Expert budgeter Tiffany Ivanovsky teaches classes on the subject to help other people change the way they shop and the way they prepare to shop. Here are her tips:

1. Buy several copies of the newspaper.

Tiffany says you want to get five of every coupon, which often means buying five copies of the Sunday

What about the cost of the papers? Don't worry. You'll make it up in savings. Consider the fact that Tiffany spends only $125 a week on groceries for a family of nine so it's a strategy she knows really works.

Getting the 5 newspapers delivered to your home can save money versus buying them in a store. You can also ask friends and neighbors to save the paper for you, or just the coupons inside. Chances are, they're not even going to use the coupons as only two percent of printed coupons get redeemed. But avoid buying coupons online because you cannot verify the source of them or determine if they're stolen.

2. Use your Coupons With Sales

Another way to increase savings is only using your coupons with a sale. That gives you a greater discount than the face value of the coupon. If there's not a current sale in your preferred grocery store, there will be one soon. Tiffany says every single item in the average store will go on sale during a 12-week period.

A lot of sites, like Tiffany's, can show you when coupons and sales line up and even give you printable coupons that coordinate with your grocery store's sales.

If waiting for the sale is not an option due to an expiring coupon, you may be able to use it on a different item. For example, if the store is out of one type of brand-name cereal size, you may be able to use the coupon for a different size box of the same brand. Of course, the less brand-specific the coupon is, the more money you can save.

3. Stock Up Now

Using coupons to buy now could mean greater savings later even when you don't need an item urgently. Tiffany gives the example of buying cold and flu medicine in advance for $2 with a coupon a box versus making a middle of the night run to the 24-hour pharmacy to get it for five times as much.

Tiffany runs a free site to help others learn to coupon, and much more. You can view her coupon database and get other frugal living ideas at mylitter.com.
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