Having just walked in the door from my Sunday grocery trip, I’m reminded of one of the best extreme couponing tips available to all of us. Yes,  advise that you can apply immediately, even those of you who don’t want to cut one little coupon.

It’s such a simple grocery tip, that we often miss it.

Always be observant, keep your eyes out for unadvertised specials, and look for coupons located in the aisle .

Today’s sweetest of deals came near the checkout aisle. I noticed a large stand alone box filled with my favorite Butterfingers. Since I have been trying to use a little self control with my sugar intact, I nearly missed this, but the “Save $1/2” on the tear pad got my attention. I knew it had to be a good deal, but since there was not a price advertised near the box, I didn’t realize just how sweet it would be until the check out aisle, and I saw this.

Buy one, Get one Free. Now, I’ll let you do the math. I bought one for $0.95 and I got one free. I used the $1/2 coupon that I did NOT have to cut or save because it was right there waiting for me, and guess how much I paid for my Butterfingers?

Nothing. They were Free!

By being observant, noticing a sale that was not in the flier, pairing the sale with a coupon that was waiting for me at the end of an aisle, and the results mean my family will enjoy some free treats.

Now, when these kind of blessings fall in your lap, please remember the difference between cheap and frugal. As much as I would have loved to take every single coupon on the tear pad, that would have been cheap  – not illegal, but selfish.  I took three coupons to use for today’s shopping trip (since our store only allows 3 like coupons/visit per their coupon policy), and I took a few extra for tomorrow.  Yes, I admit, it took self control to not take the majority of the coupons. A minuscule portion of me wanted to be a Coupon Hoarder, but that mentality will ruin it in the long run for all of us.

However, one thing to note. When I see tear pads/blinkies with coupons for items that I am interested in, I do take a few for future sales. Often, the grocery item will not be on sale when the coupon is offered,  but sales cycle indicate that they typically will be on sale with in a week or two, so I wait patiently to use them.

Today’s example demonstrates a special free candy treat, but I usually find one similar type of unadvertised special once a week. Honestly,  if you cut coupons, you will have a greater chance of savings,  since often my large unadvertised specials come from marked down items, paired with a coupon. Earlier in the week, I “bought” two Kraft  Sandwich mayos – Garlic and Herb, as well as Chipotle. They were marked down to $1.45, and I had two $0.75 coupons which doubled the face value. Final Cost: free.

A few months after I started blogging, my first post about this topic was entitled “Slashing Grocery Prices – #1 Be Observant.” I shared the secrets of how I purchased these Jimmy Dean sausages for only $0.25 (without clipping a coupon.) Since then, I regularly get great deals on marked down sausage/ground turkey with coupons.

And I also posted about my steal on Hot Fudge that lasted me for a good long while. (Both posts showing you my new blogging description on savings. I crack up when I read them).

So slow down just a bit when shopping and open your eyes to signs and sales around you.  It’s not always going to be Butterfingers, which is a good thing for our health, you may just find Almond and Organic Soy milk, which was my unadvertised steal last week. Yes, from natural and organic to processed and preserved. I take them both. 🙂