In the introductory post for this “course,” I told you we’d be discussing the 5 Ws and an H of extreme couponing. That’s Who?, What?, Where?, When?, Why?, and How?, in case you were wondering.
Today, we will answer three of these questions – Who?, What? and Why? – in order to provide you with some basic vocabulary words and definitions. You’ll be using couponing jargon in no time!
Let’s start with Who?, shall we?
Q: Who should use coupons?
A: You! Everyone should use coupons. Old, young, men, women, parents, non-parents, students, professionals, rich, poor. Everyone.
Fact: Rich people don’t become or remain rich by spending their money.
Let’s jump a few steps now to Why?
Q: Why should you use coupons?
A: Because you can’t afford not to use them. Really.
True story: No matter the size of your bank account, you can almost always find ways to stretch your dollars further.
Now let’s take it back to the What?
Q: What is couponing?
A: Couponing is a means of saving consumers (that’s you!) money. Manufacturers release coupons as an incentive for you to buy their products. Then they reimburse the stores the value of the coupons you use. That way, everyone is happy. You receive a discount; the store receives the full amount of the purchase price (they don’t care who pays it); and the manufacturer receives your patronage.
Q: What is stockpiling?
A: When you learn to use coupons in order to purchase products at rock-bottom prices (sometimes free or even better than free), you will have the ability to stockpile many months’ worth of your family’s necessities (and a few luxuries). Depending on the product, some people choose to acquire three-to-six or six-to-twelve months’ worth of supplies.
Now let’s dig a little deeper.
Couponing: What It Isn’t
- Couponing is not miserly, greedy, excessive, or gluttonous if you do not keep more than your family will use within a reasonable period of time (about a year).
- Couponing is not a synonym for hoarding!
- Couponing is not easy. It’s not necessarily difficult either, but it is time consuming. More on this to come.
- Couponing is not to be rushed. It’s important that you start slowly in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed or burning out prematurely.
Couponing: What It Is
- A science. You’ll do lots of experimenting, especially in the beginning, and you’ll be focused on achieving the desired results (big savings). Frequent computation and math are also involved. Don’t worry if you aren’t a math person. I never really was, but calculating outrageous savings has become very exciting!
- An art. The ways in which you handle your new extreme couponing lifestyle will be open to your own interpretation. You will have varying degrees of success. How much you save and what you do with those savings are completely up to you.
Couponing: Why You Need to Be Doing It
- Notice I said “lifestyle.” When you become an Extreme Couponing Extraordinaire, your entire perspective on money changes. You’ll have a new idea about what it really means to save. And those ideas will come to apply to more than just grocery shopping. Saving money will not just be something you do; thinking frugally will become the way you live. Couponing allows for you to save your family thousands of dollars per year.
- A supplemental form of providing for one’s family. When you take couponing to the extreme, coupons become tools that allow you to pay pennies on the dollar for products that you would normally be purchasing at full price. As you begin to acquire these items, you will start to build a stockpile. Stockpiling saves you money and time because you won’t have to run to the store and pay full price the next time you run out of something.
- A way for you to generously give to people in your community. When you are an Extreme Couponing Extraordinaire, you have the ability to purchase products at significantly lower prices than most people. Once you’re stocked up with as many items as you’ll need for the next several months, you can donate the excess to people who really need it, but may not be able to afford it. Think food banks, homeless shelters, animal shelters…
That’s it. You’ve completed your Introduction to Couponing “course.” (You got an A+, in case you were wondering!)
But we’ve only just begun. In my next post, you will begin Couponing 101, a “course” designed to take you from Couponing Virgin to Extreme Couponing Extraordinaire – step by step – in a matter of days. I look forward to seeing you there!
Other Posts In This Series: