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Can we just revisit this Extreme Couponing thing again for a moment?


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Okay - I had never seen the show before, but I saw "Extreme Couponing" last night on the Style channel. (I think it was originally on TLC.) The show brings out two facets - the intriguing part that I'd like to do and the negative hoarding aspect that I don't want to do.

 

Right off the bat, I'll say I have no desire to stockpile 300 toothbrushes or 60 deodorants. But, yowzer! I would not mind acquiring a more sensible stock of non-perishables and long-shelf-life items if I could get them free or for mere pennies!

 

There are a few things I don't understand from watching the show. One - how are people able to meet the parameters of the store/manufacturer? Some limit how many copies you can have of the same item. Some don't double $1 or more. On the show, the man placed an order of 1100 boxes of cereal. What store would ever do that?! And how could he have 1100 coupons (or whatever extreme amount) in the first place?

 

I can't really understand how it's possible to double coupons and match to sales on cartloads of stuff, such that a cartload of groceries comes down to $6.95. :confused: How is that possible? I understand getting lucky with a great coupon that just happens to match a great sale item, but I can't understand being able to do that with item after item after item after item.

 

The second thing that was bugging me with the show is that I would really like to know what their average food and grocery bills are per month, not just that they can buy $5,000 in items for $250. You have to get milk and eggs eventually; how much do they spend per month for food and groceries from all sources?

 

I guess I'm just trying to get as good a deal as I can on all my shopping and have used a combination of many typical strategies for years and years to keep my costs towards the low end. But I have not really scoured the possibilities of coupons. I'd like to be more savvy with it then I am.

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I'm sure that between being 'on the show' and the fact that the grocers are eventually reimbursed for the face value of the coupons, this particular store agreed to do it. Also, he donated most of it to his local food bank, so it's not as if he was hoarding it for himself. The store can then write off the expenditure in this situation.

 

These folks also use services that do coupon to store sale matching, so that they know what's going to be on sale in a particular week, have the coupons to back it up, and then can go purchase just those items that week. It takes some time, some management, some practice, but if you have a store that supports multiple coupon doubling, it works great.

 

Stores in my area don't double up to $1.00 any longer, and they only double the first coupon, not any subsequent coupons, so there's no way for me to match those kinds of savings on items across the board.

 

I, too, don't understand why the folks store items that will take them 30 years to use, especially since shelf life of most things isn't going to be 30 years, but if I had the means to do this, I know I'd be giving our excess to our church's food pantry!

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I don't do it to the "extreme" that they do, but I am in a good area that doubles coupons and my Meijer does not limit me, Kroger (where Nathan got all of the cereal) does limit me to three like coupons, so I mainly shop at Meijer. This week, on my list of things to buy-

 

Starkist Tuna fish is 20% off, I have $1.00/2 Mq & $1/2 Meijer coupon that I can combine, I'm not sure what the price on these is, I will only get them if they are pretty cheap or free, I have 6 coupons, total of 12 packs of tuna.

Pillsbury Brownie Mix is .99 on sale, I have a .40 coupon that will double, I have 6 coupons that I will use. This will last me a year, we don't eat brownies too often, but they will be great to take to a carry in.

 

Freshlike Frozen veggies, on sale for $1.00, .50/1 coupon that will double, I have two coupons, so two free bags of veggies.

Coffeemate creamer, $1/1 and a $1/2 Meijer coupon, I have two $1 coupons, so those will be free, nice treat to go with hot chocolate, a bottle will last us quite a while, the dates on them are usually way out. Quaker Oatmeal is on sale and should be cheap, I have $1/1 coupon, if it's a stock up price of less than $.75 for a small canister, I will get a few.

Old Orchard shelf stable juice is 3/$5, I have .50 coupons (internet printables) and also three coupons for $1.00/1, I will buy 6 bottles and use 2 Meijer coupons for .75/3 and pay .42 for each bottle of juice. Usually we use concentrate, but this is cheaper and is good in a pinch. We only drink juice once a day and I usually water it down anyway.

 

Last deal is Kleenex tissues after the sale and coupons I will get 6 boxes of 200 count tissues for $1.16 each.

 

Last week I got 12 free boxes of Ronzini Garden fresh pasta for free.

 

I just stock up when I can get things cheap and then I have more money to spend on fresh produce. Last week I also got 4 canisters of oatmeal, 1 gallon of clearance .99 milk and 2 dozen eggs all for $4.97 at Walgreens. It takes time, but it's how we eat.

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When I have seen these shows, the people are using many rebates and store coupons they earned on earlier trips, and who knows how much they spent to get those. If I saved all the "Buy 2, get $1 in store credit" coupons I earn and spend them at once, with coupons I bought online, and some other free itme coupns I earned by sending in UPCs from 10 items, I could make one very impressive trip for the cameras, too. ;)

 

I do sometimes get something cheap with coupons, but the only thing I buy that I could use coupons on is cleaning products. I will save coupons for soup, tuna, canned fruit, and peanut butter, as I will donate those things if I can get them inexpensively. I refuse to donate even free packaged junk to charities, though.

 

There are times I have a coupon and, with a sale, could get a brand name item inexpensively, but I still need to ask: is the store brand chaper?, could I make it myself?, and do I even need it? I think it's important to look, like you are asking, at overall spending, instead of focusing on "the game."

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but I still need to ask: is the store brand chaper?, could I make it myself?, and do I even need it? I think it's important to look, like you are asking, at overall spending, instead of focusing on "the game."

 

Yes, I do think this is an important point. I just saw this with two items today. The sale name brand was still more expensive than the identical generic item sitting unassumingly on the shelf with it's ugly packaging and goofy knock-off name! :D

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Hi,

First of all where did you get all the coupons from? eventhough i do subscribe to the Sunday papers with coupons , I only have one of the same kind. I understand you can print off the coupons over internet, are they reliable?Will the grocery store accepts them?

If you have print off coupons over internet, can you tell me if it is safe?(meaning my computer will not get a virus through the site)

Hope to get some answers from those who has done this.

 

Caryn

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Hi,

First of all where did you get all the coupons from? eventhough i do subscribe to the Sunday papers with coupons , I only have one of the same kind. I understand you can print off the coupons over internet, are they reliable?Will the grocery store accepts them?

If you have print off coupons over internet, can you tell me if it is safe?(meaning my computer will not get a virus through the site)

Hope to get some answers from those who has done this.

 

Caryn

Wondering the same thing regarding printing from online.

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I think the key word here is EXTREME. I am really pretty good at doing coupons, but I still don't come close to that. I wish they showed more reasonable type goals for typical people. For instance this was my shopping trip for this past week. I went to Publix in SC. They double coupons up to 50 cents. There is not limit on how many printed coupons you can use. I did not get everything I had coupons for. I will need to go back with raincheck for popcorn and jimmy dean sandwiches. I will just pick them up on my next coupon trip. 90% of my coupons were printed off the computer. We have 4 laptops. Each laptop lets me print 2 coupons per item. I just set the laptops on my dining room table and print from each wirelessly. Some weeks, I only print from one laptop. It just really depends on the coupons and sales.

 

$168 before sales/coupons - $58 after.

3 big bags Hersey

4 bags tyson nuggets

8 Red Barron pizzas

8 boxes superpretzel

3 boxes cereal

2 lance crackers

3 bags goldfish

2 bottles Wisk (had raincheck from previous week)

1 activia yogurt

1 cornmeal

2 boxes bandaids

1 Jimmy Dean Breakfast sandwich

1 Success Rice

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I've just started this... it does take some time and effort.

 

Today, I clipped and organized my coupons, and checked the sales flyers for Target, Rite Aid & CVS. I know what is on sale (good prices), and have my coupons ready to go.

 

I have gotten a few free items, but my goals are to reduce our household/personal care expenditures (grocery too, when I can), and also INCREASE what we're able to donate to our church's food pantry. I have to keep reminding myself of goal #2, because I try to limit the coupons I clip to the ones I will really use -- and I forget that Hamburger Helper is a good thing to donate, even if we don't eat it ourselves.

 

For the most part, I only use the coupons when an item goes "on-sale" -- unless I have to purchase it anyway (butter, for example).

 

All of the grocery stores in which I shop have some pretty significant limitations, although they will all double up to $1, but have different "maximums." So far, I have done the BEST at Rite Aid. Yesterday, I purchased 40 of the "Finish" geltabs for $2.25, I paid $.50 for two name-brand toothbrushes, I got 3 20oz bottles of diswashing detergent for $2.

 

When I went to our grocery store, they were discontinuing all sorts of school supplies (Ticonderoga Pencils, erasers, erasermate pens, tape, etc. -- they were all 50% off -- these are things I typically buy when I need them, buying them on clearance saved me a nice chunk of chage, and a good portion will be set aside for Christmas stocking stuffers). I also combined an in-store coupon for cereal (buy 4 boxes, get $6 off order), with two save $1 on 2 boxes... each box of Cheerio's is normally $3.99, so I paid about $2 per box (or you could look at it as getting 2 boxes free). At the check-out I also received a coupon for a free gallon of milk (up to $4.50 value) as a bonus for purchasing the GM cereals. :D

 

Overall, yesterday I purchased $225 retail (that's sale prices too), and spent $100 out of pocket. I feel I did pretty well, all things considered. That also includes things like fresh produce, that I usually have to purchase regardless of if I can buy it on sale or not.

 

In general, I only use copuons if I can match them to a sale. If they expire, they expire (again, unless it's something I'm going to buy anyway...like butter). What frustrates me is that most of the "best deals" tend to be on candy... and I really only buy candy around Halloween and Christmas.

 

So, at this point, we are building our stash. I don't "have" to purchase things like TP, toothpaste, etc. So, I can wait to combine a good sale (like a Buy One Get One FREE) with a coupon.

 

I am tracking my savings... and so far I am saving about $100 a week (some of these are stock-up savings...so my budget hasn't actually decreased, but it should over time).

 

Due to our store's limitations on coupons, I don't think I'll ever get $200 worth of groceries for $50, but I'm pretty happy got get $100 worth for $50, and that is emminently do-able. My savings on personal care is closer to $100 retail for $25 -- and that is HUGE.

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Wondering the same thing regarding printing from online.

 

 

If you print from manufacturer's websites or reputable coupon sites like Redplum, Coupons.com, or SmartSource they are safe. You might be able to find a blog or website devoted to the stores you prefer to shop that can point you to coupons as well. I use I Heart Publix for most of my couponing becasue Publix has the best coupon policies in my area. They don't double coupons, but they accept competitor coupons, you can use one store coupon and one manufacturer coupon on each item, you can use coupons for both items in buy one get one deals, etc. I don't do extreme couponing, but each week I usually get $60-80 worth of groceries for about $30. I get the rest of my weekly groceries from the salvage and discount stores.

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I started couponing and "playing" on an online site (don't want to mention it here -pm me if you want the name) just 3 weeks ago. So far I have saved 50% off my grocery bill, and I shop quite healthy-primarily vegetarian for me and DH, lots of produce, very little processed foods (ice cream does make it in our cart sometimes, however ;))

 

I am happy saving 50%, and don't plan on shooting for 90% off--I think a lot of that stuff is junk, but you absolutely can save on your bill even if you just want to eat healthy, buy some health, beauty and paper products, and carefully match manufacturer coupons with store sales. My grocery bill was ridiculous before I started this "game" online, and just this week I saved over $170 dollars (about 45% off "regular price") on things I would have bought anyway (that's key for me). I am building a reasonable 3 month stockpile of toothpaste, shampoo, paper towels, flour, brown rice, cornmeal, yeast, cleaning supplies, sponges, toilet paper, broth, tomato paste, organic chicken breast, and olive oil. Weekly I shop the fruit and veggie sales, shopping primarily for those produce items that are 50% off or at least discounted. I only buy organic milk, and that's rarely on sale, but that's okay.

 

DH was very skeptical that this would work, but so far, he's happy and so am I. Today I purchased crest toothpaste for 24 cents, kleenex for 25 cents, tom's of maine mouthwash for 99 cents, ronzoni ww pasta for 45 cents, blue cheese for 85 cents, and 42 ounces of Quaker Oats for $1.50, among other things. There are always some things I buy no matter what the price is (meaning, even if it's not on sale): DH insists on LOTS of arugala in the house, organic milk and butter and organic bacon for the boys. That rarely comes on sale, but that's okay.

 

Overall, I spend about 1 hour clipping coupons and matching sales on the game site, and then 1-2 hours shopping on Sunday. The only disappointment is that Florida stores never (rarely?) double coupons, and definitely not in my area.

Edited by Halcyon
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Overall, yesterday I purchased $225 retail (that's sale prices too), and spent $100 out of pocket.

 

That's great! So far this month I have spent $330 on $601 dollars worth of groceries, personal care products and paper products. I am building my pantry, so my grocery spending will be about $420 this month. I hope to get it to an average of $300 a month or so.

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Ticonderoga Pencils, [snip] :drool5: they are my favorite!

 

[snip] I also combined an in-store coupon for cereal (buy 4 boxes, get $6 off order), with two save $1 on 2 boxes... each box of Cheerio's is normally $3.99, so I paid about $2 per box (or you could look at it as getting 2 boxes free). At the check-out I also received a coupon for a free gallon of milk (up to $4.50 value) as a bonus for purchasing the GM cereals. :D [snip] Hey! I got that same deal today!

 

My savings on personal care is closer to $100 retail for $25 -- and that is HUGE.

 

I agree, that is great! I would be very pleased with that.

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I get my coupons from the local paper (I have other save them for me as well) The best tip is to buy the most circulated paper, the coupons will be better in it. Though our heavier circulated paper took out the Redplum, so I usually order some coupons what I want from coupon clippers and I also print coupons, from at least one and up to three computers, depending upon how good the coupon is. Usually just 2 copies. I've been doing this a while, so my cupboards are pretty full.

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I used to get huge stacks of coupon inserts from a lady who worked for the paper that had a ton left over. I have gone to the store many times and paid $32.00 for say $200. worth of stuff (not all groceries). It's a lot of work and I got burned out but it is totally possible. :)

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I have just started clipping coupons, and basically I have found that drug stores have wonderful deals on personal care items and such. Walgreen and CVS allow you to stack coupons, so those deals are really good! I have not found too many coupons on food that I buy, because most of it is fresh fruits/veggies, meats and dairy. There are some coupons out there, but not many. Cutting down on the amount we spend on personal care items and paper products has freed up more money for food though, and that is what I was going for.

 

If you use Tom's products WAGs and CVS both have good deals on them.

 

Stores get the value of the manufacturers coupon plus 8 cents, so most stores are happy to accept coupons.

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I've considered doing this, but then I think about the time involved and extra costs... paper for printer, ink cartridge for ink jet (our ink refills cost more than the printer) and also time. It makes DH annoyed when I don't count my time as an expense. So figure in $25 an hour, which is what I charge for freelance work.

 

If it takes more than four hours a week to get all the coupon stuff organized, and print the things, and figure out which stores, AND do the shopping, then even if I am saving $100 a week, I would still be going in the hole because of the expense of doing the game.

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I've seen several couponing sources tell you to get friends, neighbors, store owners, etc. to save and give you the leftover coupon sections of the newspaper before throwing them out. Well, that's great if you happen to be the ONE person who can get people to do that for you! LOL Others have suggested less ethical (IMO) ways of getting several copies of those coupons.

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Also a new convert here. :D I got interested after reading a thread on the Hive about a gal that feeds her family for $4 a week. OK I do think that is stretching it, most of the couponers say $40-$60 for everything; pets, tp, diapers, cleaning products, etc.

 

I am buying some things I didn't before but are not unhealthy, like Cheerios,:) I never bought them before because of the price. Next week I will be able to get 2 boxes for $.50 each. ($1.50 at Safeway and I have two $1 off coupons) The week before last I got roughly $170 of groceries, including a free gallon of milk, for about $40. This week I spent $100 for over $200 worth of goods, including 4 boxes of Special K for $.15 per box and Finish Powerball Tabs (20 count) for a little more than a $1 per box. I'm happy.:D

 

My favorite site - http://thekrazycouponlady.com/beginners/

I also like - http://www.couponmom.com/

and Jill Catalodo, you might like her, TLC turned her down for the show because she was not extreme enough.:tongue_smilie: http://www.jillcataldo.com/node/14388

 

I think extreme trips are rare and take a lot of planning but I also believe you can save a lot even without stores that double, many people live where coupons are not doubled, me included. As for printable coupons I have never had a problem using them. Most of the couponers get multiple Sunday papers but get them at a discount, like $1 per paper. Our family happens to be in the newspaper recycling business so I can get all I need. If you are going to be on an extreme show and need 1000 coupons you would probably use a clipping service, you can even find coupons on ebay. Most grocery stores are more than happy to special order you large quantities because they get reimburst from the manufacturer. And if you research these people beyond the show you will see that most donate a lot of stuff, even their hundreds of toothbrushes and most others are not that extreme. ;)

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[quote

I am buying some things I didn't before but are not unhealthy, like Cheerios,:) I never bought them before because of the price. Next week I will be able to get 2 boxes for $.50 each. ($1.50 at Safeway and I have two $1 off coupons)

 

Wait a minute, did I read this correctly that Cheerios are sold at your local supermarket for $1.50? Or is that the price after the coupon?

 

(I pay 4.69 for a 14 oz. box. And that's a pretty decent price for around here -- the supermarket that's closest to me is even more.)

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[quote

I am buying some things I didn't before but are not unhealthy, like Cheerios,:) I never bought them before because of the price. Next week I will be able to get 2 boxes for $.50 each. ($1.50 at Safeway and I have two $1 off coupons)

 

Wait a minute, did I read this correctly that Cheerios are sold at your local supermarket for $1.50? Or is that the price after the coupon?

 

(I pay 4.69 for a 14 oz. box. And that's a pretty decent price for around here -- the supermarket that's closest to me is even more.)

 

Yes, that is the price before the coupon! It is the smaller box but still it is an awesome price, but having the coupons make me downright giddy, lol. I better be careful or you might see me on TLC someday.:D

 

In this Sunday's circular from Safeway -

Participating Products: General Mills Chex (12.8 to 14-oz. Selected varieties.), Cheerios (8.9-oz.), Golden Grahams (12-oz.), Trix (10.7-oz.), Cocoa Puffs (11.8-oz.), Cinnamon Toast Crunch (12.8-oz) Cereal. $1.49 EACH WHEN YOU BUY ANY 4.

As for the coupons I only have two $1 off coupons because you could only print one per computer but I also have a few for $1 off two boxes. So the first four boxes will cost me $3, if I bought more than that they would be $1 a box with my $1 off two coupons. This is the coupons face value, no stores around here double but when you can combine them with a store sale that is when you really save.
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Here is the Krazy Coupon Lady. This is her blog. She was the dark haired lady with the little boy. She explains many things on her blog. It's also great for getting the latest coupon match ups. HTH

 

http://thekrazycouponlady.com/

 

I was going to mention this as well. One thing that's interesting to note is that her stores do NOT double/triple coupons.

 

She has several videos on her blog. One explains how to special order from the store. I found her blog very educational.

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If you are going to be on an extreme show and need 1000 coupons you would probably use a clipping service, you can even find coupons on ebay.

 

I recently used a clipping service. DH insists on Eggland's Cage-Free eggs. They are pricey, but he eats a lot of boiled eggs and is picky. They came out with a 50 cents off a dozen coupon awhile back. I figured out how many eggs we would buy before the coupon expires and ordered that many from the clipping service. My stores doubles up to 50 cents, so I will save $1 every time I buy eggs. I'm pretty pleased with myself. :)

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Today I spent $13.63 at CVS out of pocket (I had some ECB from last week that I also used). I bought 5 boxes of cereal (Kellogs - raisin bran, rice krispies, etc.), 4 bottles of Purex Natural's laundry detergent, and two tubes of toothpaste (1 Crest, 1 Colgate). I also have $3 in ECB for next week. It took me under 30 minutes to buy my paper and shop. I also had a kid with me.

 

Was it cheaper than store brand? By far.

 

Can I make it myself? Yes, and I do make breakfast from scratch most of the time - but at $1.29 a box will Raisin Bran be a good back-up or change from the norm, for us, yes.

 

Can I donate it? Yes. There was a bad apartment fire in our town last year. We killed my "stash" and donated a lot of NICE brand name tings to people who needed them.

 

It's really not a lot of time or effort and buying necessities this way frees up money for other grocery purchases. I've gotten to the point where I consider it poor management of our resources for me to be spendy or wasteful by being lazy with sales and coupons.

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I have been a couponer for about 3 years now. In that time I have cut our spending on health and beauty, household, and paper products by at least 90%. I haven't paid for toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, dental floss, shampoo, conditioner, razors, soap, body wash, deodorant, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and many other things in years. Eliminating those expenses while still getting quality goods, is a huge help on our budget.

 

I don't save as high a percentage on food because, as many of you have noted, there are not nearly as many coupons for meat, produce, and dairy items. There are coupons for those things, just not as many. I would guess that I save about an average of 50% on our grocery bill with coupons.

 

We eat a decent diet - not the healthiest ever and not the worst ever. I imagine what we eat is very typical of a lot of families. But the reason for the diet we eat is because that is how we eat, not because of the coupons. Yes I get some things with coupons that I wouldn't otherwise, but they are usually free. Yes some of it is junk. I wish we didn't eat junk, but we do eat some. And if we're gonna eat it, it might as well be free. Some of the things we eat that I buy with coupons are boxed mac and cheese, pasta, crackers, snacks (gummies, Nutri Grain bars, granola bars, etc.), jarred spaghetti sauce (usually ends up being free), peanut butter, jelly, canned or frozen veggies (free several times a year), cheese of all sorts, boxed cereal.

 

There are several ways to get multiples of the same coupons. When the coupons in our paper are really good, I buy 8 papers that week. There are also websites where you can purchase specific coupons that you want. You can even buy them off of ebay. One thing you have to keep in mind is exactly how much you are paying for the coupons. That cost must be considered when looking at how much money you save at the store.

 

Couponing does take some time. I have it down to about 40 to 60 minutes a week plus shopping time. Shopping time really isn't any longer than it would be otherwise. The only exception is when a lot of stores near me have really great deals and I go to all of them. I usually fit the smaller stops in between running kids somewhere, so they don't add too much time. The way I look at the extra time and work is that it is part of my job. I am a stay at home home mom of 3. My husband works hard for our money. I work hard to use it wisely and sparingly. For me that includes using coupons.

 

There are several other benefits to couponing. First is being able to donate to others. We donate LOTS of food and health and beauty products to our church's food pantry. We have also been able to give lots to people we know who have been down on their luck. We have developed quite a stockpile that we can pull from in a time of need. (NOTHING like the crazy people on the show!) That is comforting. Also, if a neighbor needs something, I am the first one they call!

 

Having made it clear that I think coupons can be a great thing, I also think the situations on the show were crazy. Either those people need some help or things were greatly exagerated for the show or both.

 

Oh, and I almost forgot. The one thing on the show I was down right jealous of was the lady with all of the toilet paper. For almost 2 years we got all of our toilet paper for free with coupons. Then those deals dried up. You have no idea how much it kills me actually pay to wipe our booties! That is absolutely something you shouldn't have to pay for!

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CVS has some good sales combined with earning extra care bucks combined with manufacturer's coupons. This week I got seven boxes of dishwashing detergent (20 single packs each) and two hair coloring kits for $13 after I used sales, coupons and $14 of extra care bucks I had. AND I earned another $13 in extra care bucks.

 

I don't always have time to do this, but I do cut out the coupons from the Sunday paper and peruse the CVS ad every week. If there is a particularly good deal like this one, I make a point to go.

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I subscribe to a free email from a site called Refundcents. The lady who runs it sends out an email most days with good deals she has compiled and walks you through the steps needed to get them.

 

Yesterday I got a case (10 reams, 5,000 sheets) of copy paper from Office Depot for under $7 after a coupon and a rebate. Found the information on how to do this from one of the daily emails.

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Last week I saved 204.50 in coupons and spent 174.81 in groceries in total.

 

it can be done.

 

I normally buy 4-6 papers as long as the coupons are good.

 

I have double coupons UP TO a dollar in most of my stores. There's a free website for my state that tracks the coupons (NOT The Grocery Game), I check it before I go shopping, gather my coupons and off I go.

 

this way I have extra $ for all of the other stuff I get at the healthfood store, green grocer and butcher and I can stockpile those, too.

 

I have a budget. Because I stick to it, the $ has to come from *somewhere* and if I can get deals for stuff through coupons, I can have more $ on the other end for other items.

Edited by justamouse
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I'd like to coupon, but I just don't have the time. I am SO BUSY with homeschooling and helping to run my husband's business (easily 20-30 hours a week) that I struggle just keeping the laundry and dishes clean, and the kids fed.

 

I admire those of you who have mastered the system! And you won't find me stealing your coupon deals anytime soon. I buy cases of canned and frozen food when they are deeply discounted, and shop from my food storage room all year. That's the best I can do.

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I was inspired by the "feeds her family on $4" thread from a couple of months ago and embarked on my own couponing experiment.

 

It's been worth it, for me, though I will say that I spent many, many hours clipping, organizing, researching, etc., during my first several weeks of couponing. Now I have a system (still needs improvement) that doesn't require so much time. It is a bit overwhelming to try to match coupons to sales, and I kick myself if I miss a sale and end up spending more than I needed for something.

 

I used to spend a ton on personal care items, laundry and cleaning supplies and now, by tracking the sales and using coupons, I've been able to get most of that stuff for free, or pennies, and have a small stockpile so we won't run out of things.

 

Saturday, I shopped at Sprouts for all organic and gluten free products - I had $15 in coupons to use on things like organic milk, canned goods, and gluten free bread and snacks. These were mostly internet coupons I found.

 

I still haven't realized 'extreme' savings, but I do feel good when I belly up to the checkout lane and save $15-$60 on my cart-load.

 

Most of our stores don't double-coupon; Randall's does up to $.50 and triples up to $.25(I think) so, between the card savings and stacking mfg coupons with store coupons, I do very well in that store. Plus, the have a version of "cash back" to use on a future shopping trip.

 

What still gets me once in a while is the small print on the coupons. For instance, if I have a $1.00 off coupon on a specific product, but find it only applies to a certain size of that item, or only if you buy two, or only specific flavors/varieties of a product...I just had that happen to me on Saturday, where I had a great coupon, but bought the wrong size package. :( I usually quietly pay for the item, rather than hold up the customer queue with a return or exchange.

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What clipping services are the best? How exactly does this work? Do you get the coupons in time to match them to a store sale or do you order coupons for items that you use when the coupon appears?

 

I'd like to do this, but I'm not quite sure how it works.

 

Thanks!

 

I use Coupons and Things by DeDe. I've used that site a few times. This last time, I placed the order for the coupons on Sunday and received them Wednesday. One reason I chose this particular site is that they are located in Texas, so I figured shipping would be pretty quick.

 

I don't usually try to fit my order to a particular sale. I did that once and got burned. By the time I got the coupons, store shelves were pretty much empty from other couponers. It might work if you can get a raincheck. I stock up on coupons for items I know I would buy, even if they are not on sale. For example, I buy Herbal Essences shampoo for DD's curly hair. I missed the coupon insert when that coupon was available, so I bought 3 or 4 of them with my recent order. If they go on sale, I'll use the coupon. If not, I'll still use the coupon because it's an item I know I'll need.

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The only problem I have with couponing is that I cannot do it if I want to buy my normal organic items that I purchase. Rarely do they have my regular items on sale. You definitely cannot be brand loyal.

 

that's when I use my whole store coupons-Buy 50$ and they give you 10 off. So I go an stock up on organics there and Mambo Sprouts has organic coupons. Most of my stores around here have organics (And store brand at that) so it's like like I can only shop at one place. Then I buy all of my organic health and beauty at Harmon's with their store coupons.

 

It can be done.

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The only problem I have with couponing is that I cannot do it if I want to buy my normal organic items that I purchase. Rarely do they have my regular items on sale. You definitely cannot be brand loyal.

 

That is exactly what I found. :)

 

I've gone from buying the brand to buying whatever is on sale and has coupon.

 

I don't mind that, though it's not for everybody.

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The only problem I have with couponing is that I cannot do it if I want to buy my normal organic items that I purchase. Rarely do they have my regular items on sale. You definitely cannot be brand loyal.

 

Write to the manufacturers and tell them how much you like their products, get on their facebook pages, and check out their websites. I get organic coupons and our local grocery store puts most every item in the store on sale at least a few times a year. My food savings is not nearly what others have mentioned, but at least I can get cheap paper products and personal care items.

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