Groceries are one of our major bills. Next to housing and transportation, food and drink is the largest expense for most households. A family of four spends up to $1,283 per month, according to the USDA. Even thrifty shoppers spend around $600. As the prices of food items — particularly for products like pork, fruit, and eggs — continue to increase, people find ways to try and save money on their grocery bills.
Most people have seen, or at least heard of, the TLC series Extreme Couponing. The series chronicles real-life shoppers who have a money-saving habit that allows them to stock garages, pantries and storage rooms sky-high with paper towels, groceries, and other grocery store merchandise. Although the series follows these shoppers on their quest for savings, it doesn’t really get down to the nitty-gritty — the logistics.
How, exactly, do these people get carts full of groceries and toiletries for pennies on the dollar? Is this realistic, and if so, how much of a time commitment does this involve? That’s what we wanted to find out. To determine how exactly extreme couponing works, we contacted grocery stores, reviewed coupon policies, and sale ads. We also reviewed information from some professionals, who are well-versed in extreme couponing.
After spending some time in the world of extreme couponing, we found that you can in fact save hundreds of dollars in a single shopping trip. With the right amount of diligence, and knowledge of the ins and outs, extreme couponing can be fun and exciting. Here’s how it works.