Woman shopping with coupons


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On any good coupon connoisseur's shelves, you're liable to find rows of laundry detergent, dozens of shampoo bottles, cleaning products galore, and enough toothpaste to supply a dental office. To some, the practice seems wasteful — who can go through that much toothpaste before it turns to powder, right? While naysayers call the sustainability of extreme couponing into question, a viral TikTok video shows how one TikToker manages to keep a substantial stockpile without letting any of it go to waste.

First and foremost, TikTok user says she follows what she calls the "FIFO" method — an acronym meaning "first in, first out." Basically, she organizes the rows on the shelves of her stockpile to have the newest items at the back and the oldest ones at the front, so each time she runs out of dish soap and heads to her stockpile to replenish, she always grabs the oldest bottle she has on hand. Every time she buys a new item, she makes sure it goes to the very back, in "last out" land. 

For items that display an expiration date on the package, she organizes them with the expiration dates facing outward, with the one that needs to be used first on the top of the pile and the newest one on the bottom. Visible expiration dates also help her pay attention to when certain items are approaching the end of their lifespan, so she can donate them if need be — never throwing them away, because that is wasteful. She also keeps track of which items her family depletes faster than others so she knows which sales to watch for. 

With her process, ensures she is always circulating fresh items from her stockpile without allowing anything to go bad. Besides, most coupon fanatics score their items for free or close to it, so even if they end up donating some of their supply, it's a pretty cost-free charitable effort.

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