Do you dream of cutting your grocery bill in half? Do you like getting groceries for free? Extreme couponing is a way to save big money on groceries. It sounds simple enough. You just use your coupons at the right time with store sales to save thousands of dollars. If only it were that easy. While I love saving money and using coupons, here are the 5 reasons I decided extreme couponing is not for me.
1. The majority of coupons are for brands I don’t buy
There are many products that I will buy that are generic or off brand if the price is right. For many items, you cannot tell the difference. However, there are a great deal of items that I will not give up due to brand loyalty. I’ve stayed loyal to these brands due to the quality of the product, the way it tastes or because of health reasons. I’ve had to use free and gentle laundry detergent for years due to allergies, so switching to a different detergent to save money would not be good for me. If you want to extreme coupon, you may have to say goodbye to some of your favorite brands.
2. Coupons are often for junk food or highly processed foods.
Have you ever looked through a coupon booklet and seen coupons for produce? No, neither have I. Most of the coupons for food products that are high value are for junk food or highly processed foods. If you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, it is more difficult to benefit from coupons unless you want to live on chocolate and cereal.
3. Store policies have changed
Many of the deals seen on coupon TV shows are simply not real. The stores featured make exceptions for the TV show that most grocery stores won’t. Also, many stores and manufacturers have tightened up their coupon policies in response to extreme couponing. You will not be able to double and triple coupons in the same way that they do on the show in your local grocery store.
4. Newspaper Subscriptions
If you have ever read up on extreme couponing, you would know that to make many of the deals happen you need multiple copies of a coupon. The way to do this is to purchase multiple subscriptions to your local paper or run out every Sunday to buy multiple copies. If you don’t want to do that you will have to resort to asking friends and family for coupon books or in extreme cases resort to dumpster diving for coupons. I personally have no desire to subscribe to my local paper because of poor journalism and I don’t want to spend the time running out to get it each week.
5. Extreme Couponing is Time Consuming
Extreme couponing is not for the faint of heart and it is very time consuming. Yes, there are multiple deal matching websites that will help you find the deals. However, you still need to spend the time clipping, organizing and preparing for shopping trips. To get really good deals you have to make multiple trips to several stores. If you are a working mom like me, you simply don’t have the time for that.
At the end of the day my time is worth far more to me than the savings I could achieve by becoming an extreme couponer. Does that mean I don’t use coupons? Not at all, but I prefer to use them when it makes sense instead of chasing deals that don’t truly benefit my family and me.
Have you tried extreme couponing? Does it work for you? What are your favorite couponing tricks? Do you need some practical coupon strategies? Check out my post Coupon Strategies for Working Moms.