Extreme Couponing

Coupons are hot! With gas and food prices still at astronomical levels, many families are adopting the “recessionista” lifestyle, trying to make the most of life on a budget. Couponing (yes, it has become a verb) fits right into that lifestyle; it even has its own television show, Extreme Couponing, on TLC. Coupon experts like the Coupon Mom and the Krazy Coupon Ladies have become celebrities, thanks to appearances on the Today Show, Oprah, the Nate Berkus Show and others.

While we don’t recommend full-time couponing for everyone, we do think you can take advantage of the resources generated by the couponing craze to lower your grocery bills – and put more money towards your long-term goals.

  • My Grocery Deals: MGD provides a constantly updated list of coupons for your favorite local grocery stores based on your account profile, including dietary restrictions or allergies and coupon expiration dates so you don’t waste time sorting through coupons you won’t use.
  • Coupon Mom: Coupon Mom Stephanie Nelson provides site members with a great coupon database and free strategic shopping tutorials so you can use them to your best advantage. She recommends familiarizing yourself with stores’ policies on sales and promotions and coupons so you know how to combine them and save more money.
  • The Krazy Coupon Lady: The Ladies (the Krazies?) share everything from coupon announcements to recipes on their blog. The website also features a “brag lounge,” where couponers can share their finds, and a “freebies” section with giveaways of everything from dessert at Arby’s to Father’s Day cards.
  • Valpak: You may still get their snail mail packets, but with Valpak’s online database of coupons, you can search for coupons in your area code by categories like health, auto, home and grocery.

With these sites, you’ll be on your way to becoming a couponista (we had to add our own new word) in no time. But remember:

“Strategic Shopping is not about changing the way you eat, it is about changing the way you buy the food that you like” – Coupon Mom Stephanie Nelson

In other words, don’t buy something you wouldn’t buy normally just because you have a coupon, or you’ll end up spending (and eating) more!  Let us know what you think of these sites – and check out our list of couponing apps!