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3 Tips To Make Extreme Couponing Work For You
If you want to save big at the grocery store one Leander woman can help you go beyond coupon basics and cut your bill by 50 percent or better.
"I love to find coupons," said JonDee Stoner.
She's digging for deals at the Round Rock Recycling Center and is proof coupon clipping has become an extreme sport.
"When people aren't looking I'll put one foot in and reach way down inside," said Stoner.
This super-couponer rummages through recycle bins every week.
"I look for these, these sales ads that come in," said Stoner. "It's kind of like a treasure hunt."
And the prize can cut your grocery bill in half.
"It really doesn't take that much time," said Stoner. "I'd say about an hour maybe two a week and to me if that saves me 60 percent on the items we use every day it's worth it."
But to get that kind of payoff at the checkout counter you need a strategy.
Tip #1: Be patient. Wait for a sale.
"Then you use your coupon and that's when you get the biggest bang for your buck," said Stoner.
Here's a recent example: Cheerios are normally $3.68. Wait for a sale and the price drops to $2.50. That's already a nice savings, but use your coupons and you'll take another $1.50 off. That drops the price to a buck a box for a savings of 73 percent.
But, why stop there? Buy five boxes and -- "I'm also getting a $5 gift card back," added Stoner.
The Leander woman says to get savings like that check out the Krazy Coupon Lady website.
"It'll show you which coupons to use on which items at each store and when the coupons expire and when the sale ends," said Stoner.
Tip #2: Stack your coupons.
"Stack the manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon," said Stoner.
Here's another recent example: Pantene Conditioner is on sale for $3.33. There's a manufacturer's coupon for $1.50 off. Stack a store coupon for another dollar off and the conditioner is 83 cents a bottle.
"I enjoy saving money," said Stoner.
And you typically can save the most when you follow Tip #3: Go small.
If the coupon doesn't require a specific size, use it on the smallest size possible.
At The Dollar Store nothing goes in Stoner's cart unless it's half that price.
"You can't beat deodorant for fifty cents, especially a name brand," said Stoner.
She says to make couponing pay, forget brand loyalty and buy in bulk. Even on a quick shopping trip, what's extreme about this couponer is her savings.
"From $9.33 to $4.12, to me that's a good deal," said Stoner.
Last year three and a half billion coupons were redeemed, more at Wal-Mart than anywhere else. A few close competitors are Target, Walgreens and CVS.
By Bettie Cross