How to Save with Coupons
The deal-obsessed stars of TLC's Extreme Couponing take extraordinary money-saving measures. Our experts translated their techniques for the average shopper.
THE INSERT COLLECTOR:
Nathan "Mr. Coupon" Engels dumpster dives for up to 80 newspaper inserts a week! When a major sale strikes, he buys in bulk.
The Faster Way: High-circulation newspapers have the best deals, and major discounts will be on the front page of the inserts, says savings expert Teri Gault of grocerygame.com. Pick up three newspapers to score three months' worth of savings (that's how often sale cycles repeat).
THE VIRTUAL SAVER:
Chrystie "Retail Hacker" Corns spends 20 hours a week (on two computers!) scouring the web for deals and downloading coupons.
The Faster Way: Thanks to smartphones, you don't have to print digital coupons anymore, Gault says. Use Cellfire, an app that alerts you to the best coupons at nearby grocery stores and loads them directly onto your store savings card.
THE STRATEGIC SHOPPERS:
"Double Saving Divas" Tai & Tarin Perry spend days drafting strict shopping lists based on coupons matched with in-store promotions.
The Faster Way: Look for deals on pricier items like meat or cheese, and build your week's meals around them, says Jeanette Pavini, household savings expert for coupons.com. A shopping list can help control impulse buys. "Make one with the Grocery iQ app, which cross-checks your list with a coupon database to find savings you missed," she says.
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