Sales Cycles for Couponing


Sunday Coupon Preview Graphic

You must watch the sales cycles for couponing in order to get extreme savings.  I believe that learning to extreme coupon is like watching the stock market. You already know full well that you don’t win a big pay out from the stock market by buying your stocks and then selling them the minute they gain a penny or a dollar, right? The biggest payouts come when you buy the stocks for cheap and they trade at high values and then you sell your shares at just the right time. And everyone wishes they could get inside trader information so they could cash out really big, right? (Yes, I know it’s illegal…but for illustrative purposes you know what I mean, right?)

Extreme couponing is the process where you wait until the products you want to purchase are at their rock bottom prices on sale at your local stores and then you pair them up with a manufacturer coupon and other incentives to get one hell of a deal. And you don’t just buy one of those products but you will buy as many as you can and add it to your stockpile.

When you buy something like toilet paper for a crazy good price why do you buy just one or two and then go back to paying full price when you run out next month? Why not buy six months or a one year supply at that crazy good price and spend the money you saved on something else useful like stockpiling other items?

I do realize that you might be really strapped for cash and you might have to start out on a smaller scale and go at a slower pace than someone with extra cash to spend on shopping trips. No matter where you are in the process just realize that you will have to invest in the front end of extreme couponing but you will see your investment give you a return after a few months into the process.

The biggest investment you need to make right now is taking the time to learn the sales cycle and watching the coupon blogs so you can get the best possible deals. You can definitely save money while using coupons but it makes sense to watch and learn and understand how to save 75-80% versus rushing out to use up your newly acquired coupons and only saving 25-30%. If you are already strapped for extra money then wasting what little extra you have doesn’t make good couponing sense.

Emily’s Secret Shared

It’s actually no secret at all but it got your attention!! The retail stores and the manufacturer of the products who issue the coupons are hoping that you will NOT crack the coupon code because they are hoping to make a profit on their sales. They like their wallets fattened and not everyone in the world wants to take the time to coupon to save money. But you and I are the exception and trust me, the manufacturers still make lots of money in profits when you use their coupons. The coupon is like a promise or a check from the manufacturer to pay on your behalf for the amount agreed to or written on the coupon.  Or if it’s a store coupon then from the store and it says that they agree to pay out whatever price is listed on the coupon and you pay the difference.  I decide what I agree to pay by using their coupons and watching the sales cycles.  Think of it as negotiating your price without haggling back and forth.  

The coupons come out every Sunday in the newspaper inserts. (Major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are the exception.)  The stores get knowledge ahead of time what coupons will appear in the Sunday paper and so do the coupon blogs that I will have you follow. (Don’t you DARE jump ahead…stay with me for now!!  You will get the links to all the resources at the end of the post!!)  

The stores hope that you will see the coupons and realize that you are completely out of an item at home like bodywash.  And they are hoping that you will see that you also have a coupon for the item and you realize you need to use that coupon that you just found in this Sunday’s paper.  You make mental note to use the coupon otherwise you are afraid you might forget and not get your discount.  But if you wait a week or two when the item is on sale and then use your coupon you get massive savings.

Wait…so they put out coupons and I use them and they make a huge profit….so how is this extreme couponing Mrs. Korean Couponer??? News flash….it isn’t!! That’s the whole point!! They want you to think it’s a great deal and you fall for it….but not after today! You will never again rush to use a coupon again!

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”-Yoda, Jedi Master

(Yes….I included some serious Star Wars reference there.)  

I could not have said this any better when it comes to extreme couponing. If you fear that you will miss some good deals then you will move to action and that action leads to rushing into some so-so coupon deals that you throw together in a hurry.

That fear then leads to anger when you realize in a week or two that you wasted so much money in your haste. And that anger turns into hating yourself for not listening to your ME in being patient to learn first.

And then that self hate leads to suffering and remorse which may eventually lead to the figurative death of You! And then your hopes and attempts at extreme couponing go out the window and you curse the day I was ever born! No…not really…just trying to make this reading material interesting and keeping you engaged. Is it working so far?

Okay…enough fun for now…back to the secrets (not really) of extreme couponing and the sales cycle. So now you know the key to it all. You must wait for the perfect timing to use your coupons and that perfect time will be when the product goes on sale at your local store for it’s rock bottom price.

Some drug stores like CVS do a fake-out. One week an item is one sale for 40% off the regular price. Let’s take bodywash for example since I see this so much at my own local store. I use Tone bodywash…love the stuff by the way, and no, I am not endorsed to say that, just sharing and sharing is caring.

So let’s say for example that this week it’s on sale for $4.99 and let’s say it’s original full price is usually $6.99. And then let’s pretend that Smart Source had a $2.00/1 (that means I get to take $2.00 off the price of one) coupon last week in the newspaper insert and I clipped and saved my coupon. So for now, $4.99 – $2.00 = $2.99. Not bad right?

But then not next week, but two weeks from now, CVS will have a sale where I can buy one and get the second one for 50% off the sale price. And my $2.00/1 coupon hasn’t expired yet because they usually expire 3-4 weeks after they come out in the paper. So let’s look at it this way:


This week

Three weeks from today

Regular price $6.99

The sale is buy 1 at $4.99 with the Extra Care Card

The sale is buy 1 at sale price and get one 50% off

Tone bodywash sale price


$4.99 X 2 =$9.98

Manufacturer Coupon


-$4.00 (one per item)

Buy one get one 50% off

(not offered at this time)


Total out of pocket cost


$3.49 for both items

Your cost per unit

$2.99 for just one bottle

You ended up paying $1.75 each versus $2.99 for just one

Total Savings



Wait….how did you figure out the percentages? And whoa…what a difference!! I know, I am a genius and you are welcome for teaching you how it’s done! (Ha ha!)

To figure out your percentage of savings you simply take the regular price $6.99 and subtract the total OOP (out of pocket) $2.99 and that = $4.00. Then you take $4.00 and divide that by $6.99 and you get 0.5722460658 or 57% savings.

Let’s recap that real fast…..

Regular price

Sales price


Discounted Total


Discounted Total

divided by regular price


total percentage saved

But it comes out in decimal form so be sure and move the decimal place over two spaces and round up the third space if it’s more than 5 and then you have your percentage total for your savings. Some stores like CVS and HEB will tell you the percentage that you saved on your shopping trip but it’s not quite the same as what you save when figure the total from the original full priced item.

Okay….So… got this far and you’re wondering….what is so darn hard about that Emily? Nothing at all! But once you layer all of the store sales cycles for each individual store on top of the coupon policy and coupon stacking, rebates, rewards programs and coupon math on top of getting your coupons together and making sure you get the right size, the right quantity and making sure they haven’t expired. That’s when you start to get confused, overwhelmed and if you’re like me, you feel beaten down and you want to pull out every hair on your head. 🙂

If you are still confused about Coupon Math then read my detailed post here.   To recap, it’s all about watching and waiting for the right time to use your coupons.  Watching the coupon blogs that I list here will make your life so much easier because they do all of the hard leg work for you.  But keep in mind that they are posting deals on a national level and sales are usually regional.

Did you learn something new with this post?  Please share your thoughts and comments with me.  I want to help you in anyway that I can.