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Friday, February 3, 2012

5 Things to Know about Extreme Couponing


Nathan Engles, a 2000 graduate from Highlands High School, is the King of Coupons. Actually if you Google him, you'll find his moniker is Mr. Coupon, but let's not get picky. Dude knows his coupons.


In a Fort Thomas Matters throw-back series, Nathan and his website www.weusecoupons.com are the subject of this week's feature of 5 Things to Know. (If you want to see other 5 Things to Know segments, click on the tab at the top of the page.)

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#1 - Coupons truly makes a big difference. Coming from someone who does not fit the mold of a traditional couponer, (29 year old male) trust me when I say that those little pieces of paper that you find in the newspaper, if used correctly and strategically, make a HUGE difference for your grocery bill. I know, four years ago I was starring down $80,000 in combined debt (excluding the house), and now I only have around $18,000. Is that all coupons, no. But they have made me realize the value in what I buy and have helped lead me into a solid life of frugality.


#2 - Coupons aren't rocket science. People sometimes make mountains out of molehills! Couponing is like learning to ride a bike, once you've learned, you're set! Coupon forums like WeUseCoupons.com can get you started. It does take a little time, but the time invested is worth it.


#3 - Coupons are online! You can print coupons on the internet now, but beware. Many sites offer 'coupons' but require you to give your email, sign up for things, and put you through the ringer. Safe approved coupon sites are: coupons.com, smartsource.com couponnetwork.com and redplum.com. These sites will never ask you for your personal information, and the only thing required to print the coupons is a quick plugin to download their printer software.


#4 - Extreme Couponing isn't all that extreme. If you saw me on TLC's Extreme Couponing, you might think I'm a hoarder! But in reality couponing, or 'extreme couponing' as many call it is a very simple idea. Why pay for something tomorrow when it's free or cheap today. For example, when you start couponing, every six months you will find toothpaste for free (with a coupon). When this happens, I get 10 tubes, not because I'm trying to hoard toothpaste, but because I know I will use them. I liken this concept to a financial concept that millions of Americans are very familiar with: 401K. There is no real reason to have hundreds of thousands of dollars sitting in a 401K, but you know that one day you will retire and NEED IT. Stockpiling is the same way, I don't need those 10 tubes of toothpaste now, but eventually I will, and why pay full price tomorrow, when it's free today?


#5 - Beginning Couponers need to be ORGANIZED. This is my absolutely number one tip for anyone who is interested in starting out. Get organized. How many times have you taken the time to clip a coupon, and then arrived at the store, only to realize the coupon is still sitting on the bar. That's like forgetting money!! Get organized!!


If you are interested in starting to coupon, extreme or not, WeUseCoupons has hundreds of articles and resources that are all FREE to use. Our virtual coupon classesare a great starting point and our YouTube channel delivers coupon content every week!

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