Binge Couponing

by Ketchingup

Stretch your retirement income. This method of couponing can save you hundreds a year for just a few months work. Hey if I can do it, anyone can do it.

I had never used coupons much my whole life until I was forced into early retirement by economic conditions.

That change in my income pushed me to look for ways to make money and of course save money.

In the fall of 2012 after watching a few of the extreme couponing television shows I spent some time learning about coupons and couponing and decided to have a go at it.

This article presents the couponing method that I use. So c'mon along see what "binge couponing" is all about. You may be able to save yourself some money.

Couponing to Save Money

Now that I'm, shall I say, "on in years" my wife and I don't have the same needs as when we had children at home. We don't need anywhere near the amount of tooth paste, tooth brushes, food or similar items.

The lower our needs are is a good thing since I have no intention of loading up my basement or garage with products. Furthermore, I don't really have the space to stockpile an over abundance of products.

However, that doesn't mean I don't accumulate some products when I can buy them at a substantial savings.

This is where binge couponing comes in.

First let me say you DO NOT have to become a coupon queen to work this method. It has worked for me and it can work for you.

My retirement savings like so many others took a big hit when the economy crashed so having to live on a limited income is a real challenge.

I expect binge couponing will save me hundreds of dollars a year and that makes it worth the effort.

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How To Coupon

If I can do it, you can do it.

Couponing is really easy once you learn a few things.

It is not just saving $.50 or $.75 on your purchases.Binge Couponing1

Your goal is to save 60-70% on your purchases. Your goal is buy that $12.00 razor for $3.00-$4.00, its paying $.49 for that tube of toothpaste, it's getting a product for free, or even getting money back when you buy something.

Yes it can be done, once you learn how to do it.

You need to learn:
1. Coupon types - store vs. manufacturers.
2. The couponing language.
3. Where to find coupons.
4. How to get organized.
5. How to use your coupons.
6. Use store reward programs.
7. Weekly sales inserts.

This is not hard, you just need to learn how to do it.

I'm not going to teach you these things. Teaching you all the details of couponing would take a small book and to be quite honest there are some books that already exist. So you need to learn the basics on your own.

You can either learn them through the books I mentioned above or search the internet and find the information yourself.

What I'm going to show you here is the method I use, and call "binge couponing".

My Coupon Cache

Here's some of the products I bought using coupons
Coupon Cache
Coupon Cache
Coupon Cache
Coupon Cache
Coupon Cache

Binge Couponing Technique

Here's how it works.

Once you learn how to collect coupons and watch for great sales bargains you simply binge buy.

That's it. That's all there is to it.

What I did was I bought 3 copies of the sunday papers where most of the coupons are available. That way I had 3 copies of every coupon. I did this for about 3 months.

The coupons you'll find in the paper are from Red Plum, Smart Source, and once a month for P&G. I file these in a plastic sleeves in a three ring binder and dating each batch of coupons with the paper's date.

I then go to Coupon Mom and The Krazy Coupon Lady every Saturday or Sunday. Both of these sites allow you to select the stores you want to shop at. They will show the items on sale at each store, the coupons you need, when they were in the paper or where you can get them, and the savings you can receive. You will need to register with the sites for full access, it's free though so just go ahead and register.

In my area I mainly shop at Walgreens, CVS, Publix, and Winn Dixie. I keep the weekly sales fliers of these stores so I can refer to them throughout the week if necessary. The stores and coupon deals vary all around the country, so you just have to work with what's available to you in your area.

You need to register with the store if they have special shoppers programs. For example, CVS has a custumer program whereby you get store dollars back on some of your purchases that you can use just like real dollars on your next purchases. These store programs magnify the savings you get, so you must participate in them to do really well. So check your local stores for their programs and sign up.

I did my shopping in the fall which seemed to be a good time for sales as the stores and manufacturers seem to have a lot of coupons available. I only shopped hard for about three months. That's all that was necessary to build up a supply of products that were purchased at very low prices.

What bargains you have available will depend on when and where you shop, but be patient, remember you're trying for substantial savings not just few cents. After a while it kinda becomes a game between you and the stores.
Coupons
Besides the newspaper coupons there are coupons available online and you'll need to download each sites printer program, but don't worry it's not a big deal.

When you look at the sales fliers you'll be looking for items on sale that you have coupons for that will lower the price even more so you can reap a substantial savings. When you find these bargains you should try to buy in quantity that way you won't have to buy again for quite a while.

If you have a brand loyalty issue you're going to miss out on a lot of bargains. You may want to broaden your buying habits if you want to make a lot of great deals. It's up to you to decide.

You want to load up on products when you can get a big savings. Think about it, why pay full price when you can go into your closet or drawer and pull out something you paid little or nothing for.

That's where the savings are. Initially you'll spend more because you're buying in quantity, but later on you won't have to buy anything. I think you'll enjoy that.

These days before I go grocery shopping, I check my shopping list against what I already have in my closet. Sort of my own mini-grocery.

I also live in a hurricane zone, but I don't need to pack in any hurricane supplies because I already have them on hand.

I only did my binge buying for three months then stopped getting the extra papers. Now I only buy when I need to fill in my supply. Depending on how the rest of the year goes, I may binge buy again this fall. I'll just have to wait and see.

Ok, that's it. That's all there is to it. No deep dark secrets but a great simple and fun way to save a hundreds of dollars a year. So round up your coupons, enjoy your binge shopping trips and especially enjoy the savings.

Updated: 06/29/2013, Ketchingup
 
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Rose on 01/22/2014

Sounds like a really good plan. I'm a bit haphazard about coupons - sometimes I remember to use them and other times I forget.

katiem2 on 05/16/2013

Looks like you have a solid plan and a good start, much success to you. I love soup and often make a huge pot and store it away in appropriate portions. Soup is so healthy and feels good.

Ketchingup on 05/15/2013

Good luck. Every penny counts.

fitzcharming on 05/15/2013

I too am in early "retirement" and both couponing and store brands sound good to me. Right now my husband does the couponing. He either gets them sent to his cell phone so they can be scanned at the store, or uses a program whereby he chooses his store coupons online and then enters his phone number at the checkout and they electronically match up with his purchases. Saves on printer ink too. I like the idea of home cooking too and am slowly getting back into that now that I have more time at home. Thanks for sharing your method.

WordChazer on 05/13/2013

My former landlady would make 'soup-of-the-week'. Never yet mastered that but I am a big fan of soup and bread for a meal. Presently on the rice salad for lunch, stir fries and salads for supper. A church sister gave me the recipe for her rice salad and left me wondering why I'd never done this before when we eat a ton of rice in this house.

Ketchingup on 05/13/2013

I'm a soup maker. I make a lot of fresh hearty soups. Salad and soup for dinner is a norm during the week. It helps keep the waist line under control too.

WordChazer on 05/13/2013

Here in the UK couponing is nowhere as big as in the US. I dislike brands and tend to swear by the scratch and dent, on-date, reduced to clear items so long as they are close in price to what I'd buy anyway. I buy non-perishables in bulk when they're on sale as well as snapping up washing up liquid/washing products and food staples such as orange squash, Weetabix, rice, cook-in sauces, tea and pasta when they're on sale. My husband and I have a freezer full of on-date food that I bought and cooked that night. *reminds me to cook that broccoli head I bought for 10p on Saturday*. I am a great fan of loyalty programs, in-store magazines and fliers and general bargains, especially on things I'd use anyway. I reckon I can save £100 a month by buying on-date or on sale offers. My works cashback program looks like helping me save again on insurance and other household necessities so I'm happy. Great article and after my own heart as a bargain hunter.

As Catana mentions, I am also a BIG FAN of home cooking over processed, pre-packaged food. That also saves money and allows my husband and I to cook a meal for several nights that we freeze leftovers from when we're done eating. Wizzley authors are big on home cooking, if that's your bag there are lots of tips here ;-)

Thank you and welcome to Wizzley.

Ketchingup on 05/13/2013

Catana, my savings have been on average 65% of the price. I don't do lot of running around as all the stores I shop at are within 3 miles of my home.

I easily recover the cost many times over of any additional papers I buy.

Good for you that you're saving, but you're not doing anything I'm not already doing and adding coupons on top of the savings you're getting.

Keep it up and stretch those dollars.

Guest on 05/13/2013

Years ago, when I was in a position to comparison shop at various stores, and used some coupons that came in the mail, I did some research. What I found was that almost all coupons are for expensive name brands. Your photos seem to prove that. More research and reading confirmed what I already suspected: buying store brands and avoiding convenience foods saves far more money than couponing does, over the long run.

How much money do you spend on those newspapers? How much does it cost to drive around for the store bargains? I live on social security. I don't use coupons at all, and I suspect that my costs for groceries and supplies are far less than yours. I avoid name brands when possible. I do my own cooking instead of buying prepared foods. I shop for some items at my local dollar store, which often has, not only name brands, but off-brands with excellent quality.

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