I want to be a mediocre couponer. (Is it acceptable to aspire to mediocrity?)

You may have heard of extreme couponing. There's even a TV show starting about it. Extreme couponers use coupons and sales with a vengeance to walk out of a store with their entire purchase free or as close as possible to free, often pennies on the dollar. Watch the video below to see what I mean. (RSS readers may need to click through to the full post to see the video.)

I don't have the dedication or energy to do the extreme couponing thing. And while I like to have a backup for things I use regularly so as to avoid running out, I don't want to have a year's worth of supplies stocked up.

That's where the mediocre comes in. I want to get savvier about saving money. I started at Walmart last week where I saved $7.00 by using coupons on baby supplies. (When you have a baby, companies send you coupons for diapers, wipes, formula, baby shampoo, ointments, etc.) $7.00 was exciting even if the final bill was still $83 - not exactly free.

I've also started using the coupons that print out on the bottom of my CVS receipts. They often offer $5 off a $15 purchase or something like that. In one case I had a straight out $4 off any purchase coupon which I used on a purchase that was less than $5. I literally paid with just a few coins, my little brush with extreme couponing.

In my couponing effort I keep coupons for products I already use (it's not a deal if you use a coupon to buy something you'll never use). I used to have them fastened in a binder clip, but it wasn't very user-friendly so at Walmart the other day I picked up a small accordion file ($3.88) and labeled it with the categories I needed. Now my coupons are a bit easier to sift through.

Now all I need to do is remember to pick up a Sunday paper so I can really take advantage of coupons. I didn't remember this week. Oops.


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