Can You Save Money with Extreme Couponing?
I’ll be frank and answer quickly.
No. You don’t save money with extreme couponing. You spend fewer dollars, sure, but you don’t end up with money in the bank, and you won’t because extreme couponing is predicated on spending money.
You cannot coupon without being a consumer and buying things.
Sure, you might have a haul that ends up putting money in your pocket on occasion, assuming you’re one of the rare extreme couponers who spend 40 to 60 hours a week researching deals, hunting down coupons, clipping or buying coupons, pre-ordering large numbers of items from select stores, and then shopping for hours on end.
In that case, you could end up with dollars in your pocket and in your bank account. For the rest of the hard-core couponers, even they don’t actually gain money from couponing.
The thing is, most couponers have serious skills that could be used to earn way more money than they’ll ever not spend because of couponing.
The average 60 hour a week job is going to pay at least $40,000 a year and that’s in the low pay parts of the country such as the deep south. Even the best extreme couponers end up with about $25,000 to $35,000 of products that they didn’t spend any money to get in a single year.
Also, let’s not forget that when calculating up the value of their items, most couponers like to talk in retail value, when in reality, anyone can carry a store reward card around with them and take 20-40% off their bill with absolutely no couponing efforts at all. It’s disingenuous to claim all those savings from couponing when no couponing was necessary to get those discounts.
The trade off doesn’t make a lot of money sense. A $1,000 a month grocery bill is quite a bit higher than the average and that only comes to $12,000 annually. If you can earn $40,000 a year working, spend $20,000 a year on groceries and toiletries, with $20,000 being an unusually high expense for most Americans, you still come out with $20,000 in the bank.
Real savings, for that day down the road when you need cash instead of another 30 boxes of dry noodles.
That’s how you save money.