The answer to that question is that I don't have TIME. Most of us have full time jobs (or a full time responsibility taking care of children) and extreme couponing takes up WAY too much time. Yes, it can save you a ton of money and you can stock up shelves of food that will last you and your family a LONG time; BUT extreme couponing can be the equivalent of another full time job.
I have watched TLC's Extreme Couponing and while I REALLY congratulate the couponers on their for their hard work, efforts, and savings of thousands of dollars a year on food; I've tried the "extreme coupon" way, succeeded, but found that it was way too time consuming (and borderline hoarding to a point).
What I do is coupon sensibly. I spend no more than 1 good hour a week clipping coupons and planning my grocery store trip a week. Here are my methods to couponing sensibly (and not burning yourself out the "EXTREME" way):
- Pick one day a week (mine is Sunday because the new coupons are all in AND the new grocery ads for my area are in) to clip all of your coupons and organize them.
- Gather coupons that you find throughout the week and have them printed but DON'T clip them until your designated day of the week that you are clipping. The NEW coupons for the popular printable coupon databases Coupons.com, SmartSource, RedPlum, and CouponNetwork usually come out on Saturdays BUT sometimes throughout the week, they have a special coupon or 2. You can gather rare coupons throughout the week by following popular coupon blogs (like Fatten My Piggy Bank)
- Only purchase the amount of Sunday newspapers that you feel will have enough coupon value for your family. Check out the Sunday Coupon Preview to see in advance what coupons will be in the Sunday Newspaper. THEN you can choose to buy extra newspapers depending on your needs.
- Stock up, but only stock up on items that your family likes and that you will need. Toilet paper, paper towels, hygiene products etc. are GREAT to stock up on. On the other hand, stocking up on 20 boxes of yogurt that expires in one month is a waste of money, time, and effort couponing for it.
- Think of others. Before you clear out a shelf of a product simply ask yourself, "Do I need this product?" and "Does my family benefit from 5 cases of saurkraut?" before you begin filling your basket JUST because you can at little to no cost.