Did you know that the average family spends twelve percent of their income on food, but that we still throw away 57 billion dollars worth of coupons each year?
On TLC’s show, Extreme Couponing, people take couponing to the extreme. The Chew caught up with one couponing all-star, Judy Pezza, to find out how she does it:
Gather Your Coupons
Get coupons from every source possible – Sunday papers, your friends and family who don’t want coupons, online, social media sites, download coupon apps for your phone. I have an app that automatically sends me deals when I walk into a store. You can even set-up coupon swaps with your friends!
Before I shop, I lay out all of the papers for my local stores and compare the weekly deals to see which stores offer the highest savings percentage. Then, I’ll visit the store’s website for additional deals, and open any e-mails or newsletters they’ve sent to me. I keep a binder with all of my coupons. One side of it is for food and one side of it is for everything else. I don’t leave home without it!
I also keep the store’s most recent coupon policy so that I can reference it if the cashier doesn’t give me the discount. When I go shopping, I keep my coupon list organized by aisle – some stores also offer maps.
Know Before You Go (Know Your Store’s Policies)
Some stores won’t allow you to use store coupons and manufacturer’s coupons, so check before you go.
At some stores, you can even get a store debit card, which takes money directly from your account. One store in particular gives you a percentage off of your total, so you’re basically getting money back on things you would buy anyway!
Also, when the cashier is totaling your groceries, watch the register because sometimes the discounts don’t automatically come up. If something rings up incorrectly, be sure you know the store policy – sometimes they’ll give you the item for free.
How To Buy …Meat:
As an Extreme Couponer, people always accuse me of only buying junk food and not things like meat. Well, there aren’t many coupons solely for meat, so here’s how I get them. There was a coupon for if you bought three packages of soy sauce, you got up to $2 in steak tips. Another coupon was if you bought hot dog buns, you got up to $3.50 in ground meat, so along with my coupons I basically got the meat for free. When you’re looking for things like meat, check combination deals with other types of products.
How To Buy …Toiletries
I had money to burn, so after buying my groceries for the week I bought some household items like detergent. I got these with a buy one get one free coupon, and a $1 off coupon.
Stock up when you see a deal like this – it’s something you will always need that doesn’t expire.