You may or may not be aware that there is an amazing phenomenon in the US called extreme couponing.
It is where shoppers collect numerous amounts of the same coupon which allow them to receive products free of charge. There is even a TV show about it, and you can find episodes on YouTube.
Really successful couponers not only get products for free but build up a stockpile that is like a mini store in their own home. They also often donate to charity food banks to help others that haven’t got enough to eat.
Of course, they make massive savings on their grocery bills, and so it is a valuable way of being frugal. But can we do the same thing here in the UK?
The answer is yes in a way, read on to find out how.
First of all, it is important to outline the American model of couponing so we can see how the UK one differs. American coupons are available mainly in magazines inserts that are published weekly.
They are often collected in multiples and then used with store offers to double the coupon. In addition, they can be used against sale items, and store card points can also be used on the same shop to further reduce the cost of groceries.
Unfortunately for us Brits, UK couponing doesn’t quite work in the same way. Yes, you can find the odd coupon in a magazine or newspaper. But they are not printed in booklet style in the US.
UK stores also don’t always offer discounts against sale items or double coupons, so it seems that we are at a systematic disadvantage. Having said that, the coupon phenomena is not a dead duck in the UK.
There are still free items and discounted products to be had. You just have to go about it in the right way.
First of all, one of the best ways to gain coupons, especially high values ones in the UK, is to write to a brand about their product. Most people choose positive letters, but people who complain have been known to receive vouchers too.
You need to make your letter stand out so try including an example where the product was really useful, or something that your children have said about it. Some people even go as far as to writing little poems about certain items to secure some vouchers.
Probably the best source of coupons in the UK is the internet. There are plenty of voucher sites that can help you located discounts for all sort of products. In fact, a wise couponer never buys anything online before searching for a code first.
Store card points and vouchers
Last, but certainly not least store cards and vouchers codes are the UK couponer’s best friend. Store cards often have a point system where you receive money back from your shop.
These points can be saved to put towards later grocery shops. Or some stores double, triple, or quadruple them for things like restaurant or theme park vouchers.
Many store card systems also provide the shopper with regular discount codes for things that they buy the most, so make sure you use these whether shopping in store or online to get the best savings.