Extreme couponing involves combining store sales with coupons and rebates. There are several websites out there that make this easier. I'm using CouponMom. It's free. It has direct links to printable coupons and rebate apps. You can search by store, select the deals you are interested in and e-mail yourself the list. She has instructional videos on the website with step-by-step instructions.
You'll need the Sunday paper coupons. Multiple copies will help you save even more. Keep the coupons in a folder or drawer and write the date on them when you get them. CouponMom and most of the other similar sites will provide the circular name and date to help you locate the correct coupon.
There are several rebate apps that are very similar. Unless otherwise specified, they require $20 to cash our rewards. I tried five. Here's the breakdown:
iBotta: Lots of non-brand specific rebates. Easy to use. Can cash out to PayPal or order Gift Cards. I'd recommend it. This app saved me $3.00.
Checkout51: Only $1 has applied to things I bought. Highly rated. Mails you a check upon request.
MobiSave: Only .80 applied to things I bought. But there is no minimum in order to cash out. The money is already in my PayPal account.
Cartwheel: This one is Target specific and definitely worth it if you shop at Target a lot. Works as phone coupons vs. rebates. Show them the phone with your selected deals at the checkout and the money never leaves your account in the first place.
Savings Catcher: The savings catcher is pretty cool. It's Wal-Mart specific. You scan the QR bar code at the bottom of the receipt and Wal-Mart will check stores in your area for better prices on the items you bought. There is no minimum to cash out. You receive your rewards in the form of Wal-Mart gift cards. This resulted in a $2.70 savings on my shopping trip.
My first attempt was a little painful. It was easy to create my list and print my coupons. Shopping took longer than normal, as I looked for specific brands and sizes. I could see the rebates and gift cards being a great thing to cash out around Christmas. However, taking pictures of my receipt four times was a bit much. I'll probably eliminate at least one of the rebate apps in the months to come.
I stuck to things we really needed and not just good deals. We needed quite a few things that were not good deals this week. I saved 15% off my bill. Not bad. I suspect as I build a bigger coupon stash and get some experience under my belt, I'll be able to save even more. Any tips from experienced couponers out there?