How to be a cost-cutting queen: A new course on Extreme Couponing offers to teach wasteful women to be thrifty
23:57 GMT, 4 April 2012
Cut out and keep: Collecting coupons can save you money (posed by model)
With household budgets the tightest they’ve been for a decade, everyone is looking for ways to save money. So when I stumbled across a new course on Extreme Couponing that promised to help mums like me cut costs, I signed up on the spot.
Debbie O’Connor, a former finance director who runs a blogging website, motivatingmum.co.uk, was offering to teach wasteful women the ways of thrift. Sign up for everything and anything, said Debbie.
That way you can receive offers direct into your inbox. But set up a separate email account if you don’t want to be bombarded with marketing.
Also, shop online. If you shop at different supermarkets and leave weeks between your deliveries, the stores try to tempt you back with money off your next shop.
In two weeks of couponing I saved 80 on three Ocado shops, plus 9 off a set of M&S plates and 8.75 off pizza and dessert for two.
I picked up top tips about which websites to visit in order to print out my own money-saving coupons (beforeishop.co.uk, savoo.co.uk and vouchercodes.co.uk).
However, after an hour of net surfing, I had to spend 45 minutes downloading barcode-printing software plus another 30 minutes printing out the coupons. All for 50p off cereal I didn’t really want in the first place.
I did send off for a free sample size of toothpaste and two Twinings teabags, but I’m not sure it was worth the hours I spent searching for discounts — or the 20 it costs for the Extreme Couponing course.