I know what your thinking! Preppers already have a bad rep in today’s society. Don’t you dare try to group us with those crazy coupon ladies. But hear me out. Let’s think about how extreme couponing can really benefit your budget and your prepper pantry. Maybe you will change your perception of it.
Imagine this little story:
On my way home I often stop by the grocery store to pick up a few items. Now I live in a suburban area of a very large city. So stopping by the store around the rush hour time frame is often just a little bit crazy. With very little parking open, I have to drive around the lot a few times before finding a place to park. Of course it is on the edge of the lot, so I have to walk a little. Lucky for me it is mid July in Texas and only 96 degrees today.
Navigating crowded rows. Screaming kids. People stopped in the middle of a row talking on cell phones. Busy sample booths.
Shopping done. My list of four items somehow turned into closer to twenty items. So when I get to the cash registers I’ll end up having to wait in line behind the others who have carts full of food. No self check out. No express lane either. I manage to find a relatively short line behind a mother with two kids. The kids looked to be early teenagers. They unloaded the cart onto the conveyor very efficiently as the mother spoke with the cashier. Rather surprisingly one of the older store workers comes over and stands behind the cashier. Looks like a manager of sort. He greets the mother and surveys her groceries. The lady smiles and returns the managers greeting. She apologizes for coming in while they are so busy. He nods and reassures her that because of the weekly sale ending that he was sure he’d see her.
The cashier works his job. Over forty canned good items, four bags of flour, three bags of rice, and lots of pasta. A dozen electric tooth brushes, 10 tubes of tooth paste, two big packages of toilet paper rolls. Grand total ends up just over $230. Then she pulls out a binder, and hands the cashier a stack of manufacturer’s coupons. I notice that all of these coupons are related to the name brand products that were bought. Twenty or thirty scans later and the price of the groceries suddenly drops $40. I’m thinking, wow I need to learn how to coupon. Then they apply the double manufacture coupon discount that this store supports. $40 in coupons suddenly turns into $80. The overall grocery bill has gone from $230 to $150?!
There is a small cheer that erupts from the crowd of store baggers that has gathered around. I had no idea you could get this kind of coupon savings. I wonder where can I get coupons like these. Maybe the Sunday paper? The manager just smiles and tells the workers that they haven’t seen anything yet.
Next she pulls out a stack of free grocery store coupons, you know the kind that are hanging right beside the product throughout the store? Most of these require that you buy multiple products around the store or several of the same item. These are usually the generic store brand. Four bags of flour turns into “buy two and get two for half off”. Three bags of rice turns into “buy two get one free”. Pasta bags turn into “buy four and get one free”. 10 tubes of tooth paste turns into “buy 10 and get $5 off”. Two big packages of toilet paper rolls turns into “buy one and get one four half off”. Very quickly another $60 is knocked off the overall price. We are down to $90. At this point several shoppers are standing around watching too.
Next the lady pulls out a stack of printed pages. I guess there are printed from coupon websites. I wonder if they are free coupon sites or if you have to pay for them. These coupons are $4 off an electric tooth brush. She has 12 printed pages, one for each tooth brush she picked up. The store manager steps in now and says “I’m sorry but the store only allows 10 of these sort of coupons.” The lady without a beat pulls another page out of her binder and says “actually as of two weeks ago your store policy changed to 12. Here is a copy of your store coupon policy”. The manager nods to the cashier. There goes another $48. Now we are down to $42!
Lastly she pulls out a small stack of coupons. These look like they are from the stores sale flyer. I think that some of the products she had already used manufacture coupons for. I didn’t know that you could stack coupons like that. Then there are a few generic $5 off coupons when purchasing over $100. She uses two. A total of $24 in savings. She hands the cashier a $20 bill and actually receives change for her purchase.
I am totally blown away. I have never seen anything like this. Apparently a lot of people (who have gathered around) haven’t seen it either. Suddenly swamped by people asking questions. The lady turns to her kids, who were helping the bagging process and asks them to start passing out business cards. She specifically turns to me since I was behind her in line and hands me a card. “I’m sorry for delaying your shopping this evening”. I shrug and say that I was really impressed by her crazy couponing. She says that it is actually called extreme couponing.
I look at her card:
On the front side has her name and a blog URL.
- How to Extreme Coupon
- Coupon Sites List
- Extreme Couponing Tips
On the back side of the card is an ad for a class she teaches:
Extreme Couponing for Beginners
- Where to get Coupons
- What are the Best Coupons
- How to get Free Coupons
- Best Coupon Sites
- How to Coupon Shop
This should be a prepper skill. Just like foraging or hunting for wild game, this brings additional food to your table. Not useful for after an EMP or other SHTF events. But certainly useful for stockpiling food and products to be prepared.
Recommended Sites to Learn About Extreme Couponing
- TLC Extreme Couponing
- How to Shop For Free
- The Krazy Coupon Lady
- Extreme Couponing 101: How to Extreme Coupon and Save 84%+ on Groceries
- Deal Seeking Mom
- Money Saving Mom
- How to Start Couponing for Beginners
- Extreme Couponing 101
- Free Tastes Good