Extreme Couponing Tip: Patience Pays

Extreme Couponing Tips

If you have been watching the Extreme Couponing Series on TLC, you know that some of these shoppers walk away with a ton of groceries for next to nothing.  Lot’s of questions  pop up like, where do they get all their inserts, can you use that coupon on that product, etc.

Here are some tips on how to be a TRUE Extreme Couponer

This week’s tip is:

::Have Patience

The one thing I always stress here and at my Couponing Workshops is to have patience.   You need to start out slowly.  You should not go into it thinking that you will clip a few coupons and save thousands right away.  Like everything else in life, the best things come to those that wait.

Not Going to Save Overnight

Reducing your budget through coupons is a process.  A process that takes time.  Here are some of the things that have to be done before you really start to see your grocery budget drop.

  • If you have never used coupons before, you will need to build up your supply of coupons.  This takes time as the coupons come out each week in the Sunday Weekly Paper.
  • It also takes time to learn the ropes.  Get to know your stores and the store coupon policies.  Get to know what the best stockup prices are in your area.  And, get to know how to really work the deals at CVS, Walgreens and how to do Catalina Deals.

Building Up Your Stockpile

Having a stockpile is one of the key ways to save. Building a stockpile takes time and it takes time to find the deals to build the stockpile. Once you have your stockpile, it will save you from having to run out and buy products at full price all the time. In the end it will save you tons of money!

Each week, as the sales come out, you can add more and more to your stockpile.  It normally takes about 3 months to build up a full stockpile.

Watch Your Savings Drop

During the first 4 weeks or so of couponing, you may find that the amount you are spending each week is not really dropping.  You may see a savings on your receipts and you will probably be getting a lot more groceries then you usually buy but,  during the first 4 weeks you will probably still be spending the same amount of money.  Then from about week 5 – 12, your weekly spending will start to be less and less.  And, by about 12 weeks, you should be spending a lot less out of pocket.  The amount could be anywhere from 50 – 75% less depending on the amount of time you put in.

For most serious couponers, you will be at a point where you are only spending money each week on produce, dairy and meats.  And, picking up all the FREE items for the week.

But, remember, this takes time.  So, be patient and it will pay off in the long run.

If you are new to couponing, you may want to check out the Couponing for Beginners section where you will find a lot of answers to your questions.

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  • Carla

    Great tips Cindy!!! I have been doing this for months now and am very happy with the amount that I save each week thanks to your help with matchups!!! I love looking at my receipt and seeing my savings be more than what I actually pay out of pocket!! And my stockpile is growing:)

  • Kendra

    Wonderful article, and it was all true!

  • Kathy

    You are so right. I started about 2 1/2 months ago and sure I’ve made my share of mistakes but thankfully I read sites like yours and made fewer mistakes than I’m sure I would’ve. I’m now at the point where I can really start saving and just pick up the freebies and a few random items. My food bill went from $200 per week for my family of 5 down to $50.00 per week maximum. I love the feeling of not needing to go shopping but shopping because I want to and enjoy it now. Thank you so much!

  • jorasmom

    I’ve been couponing for about 25 years, and I am STILL learning stuff by following LRWC regularly. 🙂 This site is the best of any of the sites I’ve found, by FAR.

  • Melisa

    I love reading your tips! I am fairly new to couponing. But, with your tips and match-ups I have accumulated quite a stockpile in only about 2 months. I love couponing! I really wish I had taken the time to learn how to do this sooner.

  • Susan

    I agree with everyone else .. and wonder why I didn’t start doing this years ago. I live paycheck to paycheck and learning the “couponing ropes” over the last 3 months has been great. The extra money is really needed and I don’t feel so overwhelmed wondering where I’m going to get the grocery money for any given week. I’ve even been able to skip a week here and there because I was pretty stocked up and could live off my stockpile. I’ve gotten my bill down about 50% ($100/week down to about $50), and just about have a coupon for everything in my cart. I’ve never really shopped at Rite-Aid or CVS, but now LOVE THEM! The Extra Rewards, Rebates Checks and bonus card savings are amazing if you take the time to plan it properly. I always save 75-90% when I shop there.

  • Stacey

    Not one of my virtues, however thanks for the reminder 🙂 I’ve been focusing on the Walgreens & CVS deals these last few months since the coupons in our local paper seem to lack in comparison to some of the other areas I see posts from.

    • Deena

      Stacey, don’t hesitate to pick up an out-of-town paper, or have friends/relatives in another city/state save coupons for you. My sister loves her Sunday paper but does not coupon at all. She sends a month’s worth of coupon inserts to me at a time in a manilla envelope. She loves to hear how I did with them! I am amazed at how different the coupons are in different parts of the country. She tends to get a lot of 70 or 75-cent ones, and they DOUBLE around here, which is great for me!!

  • Leigh Ann

    My stockpile is growing legs…I’ve had to move my hubby’s stuff off shelves in our basement. He said that’s fine…but when I start to take over his garage there will be an issue. 🙂

  • Jen From Philly

    I’ve been doing this for about 3 years now, and have become pretty darn good at using coupons but i still love reading articles like this. I see the frustration and struggles some of the family and friends that I try to teach couponing to and this is prefect for them. As always, you rock Cindy!

  • Nichole

    I second that!-You rock Cindy!
    I started using coupons about 3 months ago and am getting better and better at it thanks to this site. I never would have thought that clipping coupons could be life-changing, but it has been. Not only am I saving tons of money, I’m also enjoying shopping again-something I haven’t done in years.
    Thanks Cindy!

  • Jill b

    Exactly. The week timeline fits me almost perfectly. I had no idea about “extreme couponing” but had been using coupons for years, moved to a town with a shop rite nearby and would get the ad with the free paper so I started shopping there, then I get a surprise in the mailbox, a subscription to my local paper on Sunday’s for a year for just 1¢!!! I had already been picking up a Sunday and always thought,.. Hmm maybe I should buy another for more coupons… Then shop rite had dollar days, I knew the deals were awesome and looked at the shop rite Facebook page, found LRWC and the rest is history! My stockpile is quite large, and I only shop for just a few things every week (just shopping for a few things has let me ind really amazing deals on meat and dairy…)

    Love love love reading couponing tips, I tell people all the time about patience, now I have more juicy tips. And of course I will be forwarding them all to LRWC

  • So true, I started out saving only 40% at the grocery store. Because of my persistence, I started saving more and more each week and my stockpile is growing (some of it is being donated). I am walking out with freebies and I am able to purchase more fresh foods. Currently, I am saving an average of 75%. I literally go to bed and dream of saving…and wake up with saving on my mind. I will not rest until I have this system fully under my built…

  • Sherry

    Your Site is Very Very Helpful ! I have a Stock pile like you won’t believe and I am working on My Stock pile for winter.Thank you for the store policies ! I have been doing this for months,I am looking foward to Christmas so I can Price check all my Items and get them for almost Nothing! I will leave my tip,Email your food companies,Most of them will Mail you Free Coupons!

  • Sue

    Amen, Sister! Teach it!

    • Sherry

      Another Tip is go to the Travel Size area and Use your Coupons that have NO Size Limit,I have 100’s of those items and they are just as usable as the Reg Size items and you get them FREE!

  • Claire

    Amen! Before couponing I used to spend $250 per week for our small family of 2 adults, 1 4 yr old, and 1 puppy. When I first started I saw an immediate drop to about $150. Now I’m at about $80 and anticipate an even further drop now that I’ve really gotten a hang of things and have begun to build a stockpile. I never imagined that this was possible or that I could even get things for free on a regular basis! My husband and I are amazed and so grateful! Keep up the good work, everyone! Thanks, Cindy!!!

  • Amara

    Ditto! I have been at this for under 2 months and have saved 70% already. It truly is amazing. Its awesome to know there are people out there going through the same thing. Websites like this are amazing as are the wonderful people who run them. Thanks again Cindy! I can’t wait until the day I’m going to the store just to pick up free stuff. I have started a stockpile. I’m at the point of looking for plastic shelving. Any ideas? I have been checking free craigslist but no luck….

  • All4Savings

    Thanks Cindy,

    Love your tips. I have been couponing since May 1st. I already have a good stockpile on toilet paper, paper towels, all laundry related items, oral care, personal care, and many more. Not such a big stockpile on food but I do have quite a suppply of pasta and coffee creamers (for this DH is eternally grateful to you)
    So it’s totally true, after 3 months, I only buy things that are super cheap or free. I also buy produce and proteins, but I still save on those buying seasonal and protein that is on sale.
    I think having a budget is crucial though. I was so excited when I started that I spent more than usual (of course buying much more than usual, still saving money but spending more than I should). Now that I have a budget, I really buy what I use and need or suspect I could put to good use.
    Thanks a million times.

  • ashley

    ditto on the budget! i have been couponing for almost a year and when i first started, i was spending the same if not more! but i was also getting tons more! i finally started giving myself a specific amount of money each week and it has worked wonderfully. i might splurge for a deal every now and then if it is too good to pass up. i knew i had to switch to cash when one day i swiped my debit card at target for .06! 🙂

  • Rachel

    I just have to say I love my stockpile. In the last four months, I have had a baby and moved (I also have a 3 yr old and a crazy schedule). But, bc of my stockpile, I have been able to basically stop shopping. I know my stockpile has taken a large hit, but I just did not have the time to shop or compile my lists/coupons. Without my stockpile we would have spent SOO much money on eating out, but we havent had to, since I always had food to cook already in the house! But, after our crazy month of Aug, its going to be back to shopping for me!