I just read an article on yahoo that kind of had me chuckling because it was "Why Extreme Couponing Won't Work"--but the whole article laid out why it would work. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Why-Extreme-Couponing-Wont-investopedia-503187681.html?x=0&.v=1 The bottom line disclaimer admits: "If you are organized, have free time, have the room for storage, want to save money or feel compelled to donate offerings to food pantries, then extreme couponing may work well for you." To this I just want to add a hearty AMEN! She listed every reason I shop the way that I do except for the adrenalin rush that I get every time I walk out of the store knowing that I got a GrEaT deal! I love the mini-high that makes me giddy and eager to find the next sale.
Tonight, for example--I just bought the better part of a year's supply of Tide laundry detergent (HE/hypo-allergenic, to boot) and a host of other products, for a meager $5.59. The author of the article is right, I'm going to have to be organized enough to store it efficiently near or in my laundry room, as not to forget that I already have the upcoming products that I need. But who, in their right [and left brain, for that matter] would question whether my extreme sporting wasn't worth the work? Each bottle of Tide was originally $9.99 a bottle--on sale this week for $6. That is a 40% reduction in pricing right there...but they had an additional promotion that included these sale items. The promo at the local Rite Aid store earned a $10 Up-Reward when you purchased $30 purchase of selected items. Tide, Bounce, Downy and a variety of paper products were included; all of which were on sale and had coupons available in circulation.
Up-Rewards can be used in future transactions on anything in the store--on sale or not, with or without coupons. The only trick that you have to be aware of--you can't take an Up-Reward from one product and buy another exact product and still generate an additional Up-Reward. You could buy it--but there won't be another redemption reward printed at the time of purchase. So sometimes staggering the Up-Rewards is the KEY to keeping the register spitting out future savings.
Back to my purchases tonight, I saw this deal on Tide in the Sunday ads and immediately ordered my coupons from www.ebay.com; the coupons were going to save me $1.50 per bottle--and arrived in the mail Thursday. I was very eager to get to the nearest Rite Aid to cash in on my find today. I was going to use my previous Up-Rewards to pay for my detergent and household items. But there was a bonus--I was also going home with more Up-Rewards.
**And going back to the article that got me spewing here--what the article didn't explain, was how the stores have rewards/incentive programs that allow you to roll additional savings onto the products by applying the "register rewards", or in this case--the "Up-Rewards" to the grand total for supreme savings, as well as adding manufacturer's coupons.
So in my first transaction tonight, I used a $40 Up-Reward that was generated last week through my purchases of Nivea products. I still had $8 in additional Up-Rewards from prior Crest and Stayfree purchases (free with coupons last week) that I applied to the grand total. So for the record, I got 6 bottles of Tide (32 loads), 2 tubes of Crest toothpaste, 2 bottles of Windex, and 2 bottles of Fantastik all-purpose cleaner-- for $5.59--which was the sales' tax for the total transaction. I paid with the Up-Rewards and I also received $16 back in Up-Rewards, to be used on future purchases. It was a night of extreme sport--but the savings throughout the year will be exponentially apparent when I won't have to shell out $10 for a bottle of detergent and $4 for a tube of toothpaste--which will literally go down the drain!
And as I have the space to store my haul--I anticipate that my "stockpile" will pay for itself over the next few months. The best money saved is the money I didn't have to spend in the first place. I got to control how much I put out for staples, rather than need and expediency dictating my purchase price and quantities. Extreme couponing doesn't have to be about hoarding, mass accumulation of limited and bizarre products, or unnecessary goods. It's about buying what you need to get you through until the next extreme sale. If it's only 1-2 items a week that you are able to eliminate from your grocery list for the next 3-6 months--your savings should be seen over the next 3-6 months!
And if you don't get around to using it in the adherence to use by dates--donate it to the food pantries or local shelters! They are in need of anything and everything that you buy at the store. And the beauty of your generosity comes back to you in the form of a receipt that can be submitted on an itemized tax filing for tax write-offs. This is called the Law of Reciprocity. So it's good to save on the home front--but it's great to also be a source of goodwill and charity in the community. This is the BeSt sport I've ever played ;)