I don't know who hasn't seen that show on TLC called Extreme Couponing. I catch it every blue moon, mainly, because I never know when it actually comes on, but I do enjoy it when I watch it. I think it's really awesome that you can save so much money and sometimes even profit from just using coupons when buying groceries. Of course the main purpose of using coupons is to save and build brand loyalty. Most products, including food on the market are overpriced, so using coupons helps to offset this. I worked in Retail for a number of years before joining the military, so I know a good bit about how this whole thing works. Although I did not work in the grocery industry, products are products.
The cool thing about couponing is that the main benefit is getting a large quantity of products for a discounted price, think of the bulk/wholesale concept, just on a smaller scale. Unfortunately most warehouse stores, like Sam's, Costco, and BJ's don't offer a wide selection or huge variety of everyday products. They do offer a lot, don't get me wrong, but the shopping experience at a bulk/warehouse retailer is a bit different from that at a grocery store.
While I love using coupons to save, because I'm always trying to find the best bargains, I can't exactly coupon the way they do on the show. I literally don't have the room in my house, the time, or patience to do it. I couldn't imagine having a "stock pile", because I tend to get bored with products and even foods fast and like the switch it up. I realize with a new baby I won't be able to do this as much, so Couponing will be more beneficial to me then versus now. I know that I will need to stock up on diapers, wipes, and everything else you need for a baby. I think my couponing will be more precise and tailored to those things that I know I need multiple quantities of. You don't always see this on the show, which is the part you have to take and decipher for yourself. I think it's mainly important to remember that when it comes to couponing, you want to keep it relevant to what you can need and use. I don't believe it stocking up on items just because I can get them at a discounted price, you just end up taking up room and it takes forever to go through the items as well. Another important thing to keep in mind is are the expiration dates on products, especially anything you get that is perishable. Of course you can freeze and store these items, but you have to do yor research and see just how long they are good even while frozen. This also touches back on the space issue. Do you have enough space to stockpile? In your pantry? Freezer? Basement? Extra room? In order to fully benefit you need extra room to put these items, so that they are not taking over your house.
These are just my consideration for myself when I think about if couponing is for me and if it will be beneficial in the long run. How much money will I save? How much time will couponing take up? Many of the couponers say its a part-time to mostly full-time job. How much does it really cost to coupon? Many couponers purchase coupons off the Internet and buy multiple quantities of the Sunday paper to get inserts. How will I organize and create a really effective game for using the coupons? - So many questions, so much to consider!
What's you take? What do you think about couponing?
In the meantime, here are a few sources that I've come across in researching the art of couponing: