Extreme Couponing: The Secret to Taking Your Couponing to the Next Level

by ThePrudentPatron on December 30, 2010


Whether you loved or hated it, Extreme Couponing got many of you inspired to take your couponing to the next level. Several of you asked today how you can start building your own stockpile. Some want to just make a small stockpile for their family and some want to give to charity.

I answered this on Facebook this morning, but since it has garnered so much interest I will post the answer here too:

When I looked at the stockpiles of the shoppers on the show, I recognized many of those items as free and cheap items we have each week on The Prudent Patron. It is just a matter of collecting enough coupons to fully stock up when that item goes on sale. They aren’t really doing anything different than buying the items we talk about every week in the store match-ups, but they are buying a lot more of them!

In order to buy in those quantities you need to build up your coupon stash. Check out this article to see how to get more coupons. Included in the article there is also a link to a review of a coupon clipping company that I trust. Two of the biggest shoppers last night buy their coupons from a clipping service.

If you are new to building a stockpile, I have two posts about stockpiling. Stockpiling: A Peak Inside My Pantry! and a Video: Stockpiling in Small Spaces. You’ll see by looking at my stockpile that I definitely stock-up, but I don’t keep an enormous stash. How much I buy depends on how much I think we will actually use, everything else goes to friends, family, charity, or I simply don’t buy it! Even after only a few months of extreme couponing, I got to the point where I didn’t even want things if they were free!

A word of caution, everything in moderation, couponing this way can burn you out and it can be very addicting. I speak from experience.Take it slow, have fun with it and don’t try to get every deal. It’s not possible to get all the deals and trying to do so will just make you feel bad.

You can learn more about couponing at our  Coupon 101 page.

Related Posts:

Everything I Need to Know about Extreme Couponing I Learned in Kindergarten
Extreme Couponing: A how to and a how not to

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia December 30, 2010 at 5:17 PM

I have been “extreme” couponing, although not to the levels you saw on the tv show, for over a year now. One of the things that helps me is limiting the storage space. If the space is full, then something has got to go. When the ronzoni garden delight pasta was better than free, I replaced some of my plain pasta with it. Then, whatever didn’t fit and whatever I knew we wouldn’t use within a few months got donated or given to friends and family. It’s also helpful to have donating as part of a regular routine. That way, it’s not ‘one more thing’ on a busy day. I love shopping in my stockpile when I need something. I love being able to load up bags of groceries for friends when they need it. I love holding my head high knowing that I don’t typically clear a shelf, but I will go to 4 stores if I want a lot of something. I am by the book and to the letter with my coupon usage and invite scrutiny. I share the knowledge with others without profit. It saddened me to watch someone buy 200+ boxes of pasta for two people with no mention of donating it, but that’s why they searched out the “extreme” of the extremes. They hype will blow over and those of us who are ethically revamping our entire household budgets through coupon usage will keep on keepin’ on because it’s a good thing.


Jenny December 30, 2010 at 5:28 PM

I agree. I stockpile, I have given so much away to single mothers, or school drives. I love free things, so I share with others. Thanks you for putting a good light on stockpiling. Only what you can use and dispense to family and friends. Keep up the fantastic job!


Danielle January 9, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Couponing is my drug of choice, and oh what a high. What i save in coupons allows me to buy something else. I am not at the level that people on the extreme coupon show are , but I am working on it and would love to be. I even have my 22yr old son thinking in that direction ( he always checks the internet before going out to dinner for 1/2 off or BOGO) Hey if this is my worst habit then I hope to die with it.

Hats off to all who are couponing, we are taking back some control. I try to watch, follow links and join as many sites as I know of through the know hows, extreme couponers give info on. Please don’t stop because of the few negative people out there, you have any army of followers out there we look to your knowledge and tips .
Thank you….. Keep up the great work.


Frankie March 31, 2011 at 12:45 AM

My questions are: Does this extreme couponing work all over the country? I know the store I normally shop will not allow use of some of the BOGO nor will they allow you to combine coupons with some store specials. I do have their membership card and this is not a warehouse, it is a local grocery store. I sent them a letter asking them for the store policy on coupons and membership card. What can I do in the meantime to max my saving?


ThePrudentPatron March 31, 2011 at 12:56 AM

HI Frankie,

Yes to some level it can. Where I live we do not have double couponing like the shoppers featured on the show did. I am still able to get free and very cheap items every week. It would help to know where you grocery shop, so I can give you more information about that store.

However, even if you aren’t able to get the rock bottom deals at your grocery store, it is likely that you have a CVS, Walgreens or a Rite Aid nearby. There are free household and personal care items nearly every week at these stores. I encourage you to look over the weekly match-ups and read the store guide for one of these stores. you can find everything listed in the purple navigation bar above.


Frankie March 31, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Hi PrudentPatrol,

Thanks for responsing. Harris Teeter is where I shop. They do have some really good deals and I try to always use a coupon with their sales items to max my saving. I am very well known there, however I think with some of the newer cashiers the coupons may be a bit confusing. Thanks for the advise on CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid.


Jessica April 6, 2011 at 10:51 PM


Harris Teeter can be great. They recently changed their coupon policy slightly, and it is posted on their website. They also have e-coupons on their website that you can load onto your e-VIC card if you have your VIC card registered, these coupons can be used with paper coupons as well. They do limit you to 20 coupons doubled each day. Their most awesome sales are when they do super doubles and occasionally triple coupons. I have gotten some really awesome deals during those special weeks!

I have never had any problems shopping there, mostly during the super doubles or triple coupon weeks (they just aren’t my closest grocery store). I just go prepared with my list and matching coupons….especially during super doubles, I always take a list/coupons for “B” items, items I plan to go back for a 2nd (or 3rd) trip to get in case they are out of something so I can get the most out of each trip.



Jessica April 6, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Oh, and also be sure to pay attention to their rules on multiples of certain types of coupons. For internet printables, you can use 2 of the same ones in a transaction, 3 non-printables (from the sunday paper or mailed to you from mfg). I have found that I can use 2 printables for a product and another from the sunday paper for the same product and it goes through just fine. (I didn’t want to push my luck and try 3 from the paper with the 2 internet printables)

Cheryl May 12, 2011 at 12:31 PM

I feel a little better reading these comments. My sister and I have been into couponing for the last 18 months and enjoy saving money, but this new show makes me want to stop! It’s producing cheaters and hoarders! But I suppose I’ll keep doing it the way I have been- the ethical and correct way. Thanks everyone. I can’t wait for this hype to blow over.


RAElYNN May 28, 2011 at 3:49 AM

Once my husband brought to my attention a show about extreme couponing I thought they simply ran out of ideas for shows. Since I was a teenager, my stepfather had been showing me the ways of grocery saving even without coupons. I don’t always find the best deals,but when I do it is such an accomplishment I can’t help but brag about the saving shown on my grocery reciept. I live in a small town and simply don’t have access to many of the stores that make available incrediable savings for next to nothing, so I bargin shop. Marked down items, clearance, free after savings coupons, etc..and the best place for me to get certain items are from Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart and the Dollar Store. I only get what I need for our family and so far the way I’ve been doing it has been working for our family. Always open for suggestions for better savings, just nothing to extreme.


Brittany Shaye June 21, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Hello, I’m a newbie to couponing. I recently got married and we are living off one income. I saw an episode of “Extreme Couponing” and thought that is something I can do to help cut costs. How do you find out if and when a store is having sales where they double or triple their coupons? And is the Sunday paper and internet the only places to find coupons? Finding coupons on the internet confuses because there are so many sites out there…can you tell me which ones you use? I also find that most store coupons expire a lot sooner than manufacturer coupons. How do you manage all of the expiration dates?
Thanks for your help :)


ThePrudentPatron June 25, 2011 at 10:00 PM

If you look at the purple navigation bar a the top of the site, there is a list of all the best printable coupon sites.

As far knowing what stores double or triple, give them a call. However you can save plenty without it. None of the stores I shop at double or triple.

I also suggest reading the following from coupon 101:

Building Your Coupon Stash
Organizing Your Coupons: My Binder


alyssa July 5, 2012 at 12:52 PM

im 11 yrs old an i love couponing!!!! im new to it but im learning. the reason i coupon is to stay in cheerleading we have to save a bunch of $$$ so 2 do that i started couponing.


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