5 tips to winning the extreme couponing game

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Frozen food aisle

Food and toiletries are two things everyone has to buy.

If you're trying to live on a budget, you can cut the cable, perform services you'd hire someone else to do like the lawn or cleaning, but you still have to eat.

WATCH: How coupons save you big bucks at the grocery store

On Stretch Your Dollar, Patricia Lopez has shown you over the years how to really maximize your grocery budget through extreme couponing.

Here are five big tips to help you save up to 90 percent off at the grocery store:

1. Know where to find the coupons

Toni Parrish is an extreme couponing queen who shows people how to save big on social media. She said beginners need to know where to find the deals:

  • Paper coupons from the newspaper
  • Internet coupons you can print out
  • Digital coupons you can use on your smartphone, and
  • Catalinas, those coupons that print out at the register

WATCH: How to save up to 90 percent off of your grocery bill

Another extreme couponer we spoke with, Vonda Broden, says she buys multiple Sunday newspapers to help her stake out savings.

2. Download the apps that help you save

Broden said she uses apps like Flipp and Favado to help her find and compare deals.

Marketing expert and author Liz Crawford said millennials have been using these apps for years, and that one study found 96 percent of people born from 1980 and 2000 use coupons.

This video shows you how to start being both trendy and thrifty:

3. Look to Catalinas to compound your savings

Parrish revealed you can often get free items just for buying something else. For example, she said she used a Catalina coupon on one deal, and got free baby wipes in return.

This is a great way to stretch your budget, filling your pantry with a mix of free and discounted goods.

Apps to save time and money while grocery shopping

4. Plan to stock up when something is on sale

Parrish also says buying multiple items on sale can really help you save money.

For example, a regular bottle of mouthwash at $5.99 was on sale for $4.49. But, when you buy three, you save $3 off of three bottles. With a $2 off coupon, Parrish was able to get all three bottles for $1.49 a piece.

"This is a really good deal for this sized mouthwash," she says.

5. Don't get taken by scammers

The sad reality is some deals really are too good to be true. There are some people on social media that have duped unsuspecting shoppers with fake coupons, like this $60 off coupon from Krogers.

When in doubt, ask the store to verify your coupons before assuming they're real at checkout, else you could be in for a nasty surprise.