First off, the term couponing comes from the states, and refers to people buying products with money off vouchers that come in newspapers. The extreme element, comes in because of a tv show that found people who took couponing to another level, and made it entertainment. E.g. someone buying a whole years supply of toilet roll because it is on offer, and then having to store it in the bedroom. There are others who spend a dozen hours a week in supermarkets in order to seek out and buy the lowest priced goods. I don’t do this, and don’t think that anyone else needs to either.
My approach to shopping for the essentials, is to spend as little as I can, so that I have more to spend(or save) elsewhere. However, I also have a life to live, and a living to make, so I can’t afford to devote hours on planning my grocery shop each week, just so that I can save myself an extra tenner. My time is more valuable than that.
In October, I went to an event for bloggers in New York courtesy of Savoo. Whilst I was there I attended a couponing class given by Jenny Martin of Southern Savers. Lots of the below comes from Jenny, she Rocks!
So, what’s the British version of extreme couponing?
Stockpile… not to the point of obsession please
UK Supermarkets run offers on most of their products on a rolling basis. In order to really take advantage of these offers, we need to embrace a little sensible stockpiling. I say sensible, because there is no need to buy 5 years worth of toothpaste just because it’s cheap. That’s obsessive, and a little weird.
Instead of going to the shops each week and buying a weeks worth of everything that you need for that week, wait until a product is on offer, and then buy around 6 weeks worth of it. Obviously, this only applies to goods with a long shelf life. When your supply of a product begins to dwindle, you can start keeping an eye out for another offer. If instead, you wait until you run out of a product before thinking of buying it again, you’re giving yourself no choice other than to buy it at its current price, whatever that may be.
Subscribe to Newsletters
Some of the best deals and voucher codes from UK stores, come through in the retailers newsletters. So it pays to be subscribed to the newsletters of all your favourite stores. However, you probably don’t want to clog up your main inbox, which is why creating a separate email address just for these newsletters is handy. You only need go through this account once a week, or when you are looking for something specifically.
Daily Deal Hunting
Check local deal sites like Living Social – UK, KGB , Groupon etc. daily. These are great places to get massive discounts on local treatments, and services. However, It’s easy to be tempted with impulse buys, so be careful you don’t end up spending on things that you don’t need, rather than making savings on things you do. Read the small print on these deals, can you get your money back if the deal is over subscribed!!?
Savoo are a great destination for money off voucher codes.
Want to Learn More?
If you are genuinely interested in saving money on your groceries, then I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Learn how to make low cost raw ingredients go a long way with simple and well thought out recipes that the whole family will love.
Give yourself the best chance of making savings in the modern climate. Take the Money Saving Expert to bed with you. What? I’m talking about bedtime reading obviously…