Post # 1
OK, so I admit that I’ve gotten kind of hooked on the show Extreme Couponing on TLC. Now, I don’t want to start a stockpile of food in my garage or buy 400 toothbrushes or anything, but I’ve been thinking that I could probably save a decent amount of money on our grocery bill each week by using coupons.
I use coupons here and there, but don’t really search them out. Do any of you use coupons regularly? Do you get the Sunday paper? Find them online? Any tips on how to use coupons without letting it take over my life?
Post # 3
Haha me and FI use coupons all the time, and it does help us save. My grandma sends me coupons every month almost, in big vanilla envelopes, so all I have to do is sort through them. FI and I go grocery shopping about every week, usually on a Sat. so friday night before we go to sleep or go out or whatever we sit down and sort through the coupons we want to use for Sat. It doesn’t really take too much time for us, but make sure to check the expiration dates, because I have done that before and then found out it was expired at the store when I went to go use it, not a big deal but kind of embarrasing, haha. I keep the coupons organized by putting them in designated envelopes with exp. dates on them and by what they are. Food, Health, Bath and Body, etc. and keep them in a drawer in my desk. And then I go through the drawr every month to get rid of expired coupons. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can get out of control if you don’t keep up with it.
I print coupons from online also, and we do get the merchandiser, and then both sets of grandparents send us coupons, so we are good. 🙂
Post # 4
When I first read about those extreme couponers, I was impressed. I never manage to walk out of a store with extra cash! I wanted to be able to do that, too. But once I saw one of those TLC episodes, I actually started feeling sorry for these people.
Seriously, what kind of a life is that? One woman said she spends 60 hours a week couponing. That is more than my full time job! And all that to have 45768 tubes of toothpaste? She will never run out of anything, yet she still goes back for more! That is OCD. I will say though, I liked the guy who sends care packages to the troops. He at least uses all that stuff, and for a good purpose.
We get the Sunday paper and I do cut and use coupons, but I can’t say the savings are that substantial. Reasons being:
1. I cook from scratch and most coupons are for processed foods or cosmetics that I don’t use.
2. None of the stores in our area double coupons, and I find myself saving $1.00 by buying 2 or 3 items of something that costs far more than a $1.00 each, even on sale. So I actually save $0.30 to $0.50 max. per item I have a coupon for, and I usually have 2 to 4 coupons that I actually use per shopping trip.
3. Many times I walked into a store with a coupon only to find out that the generic store brand was still cheaper than the brand item with coupon savings.
4. There are no coupons for fresh fruit, veggies, organic milk, or fresh meat ever. Those are the things I usually buy.
I only use coupons on brands and items I buy anyway, or for new items I’ve been wanting to try. But I do look for sales and stock up when a staple is on sale, but only to a reasonable extent.
Post # 5
I have also been hooked on Extreme Couponing! I started to clip out some coupons and this past weekend I went on my first trip to the store with the coupons. Pretty much the total at first was $140.00 and in the end it was $62.00!! It was mainly household products like cleaning supplies, cosmetics, and tolietries. A few items like juice, ice cream, and some canned goods were also on my list.
I use the website couponmom.com if you click on grocery deals by state, it will tell you all the great deals and what coupons you can use in your local grocery store that week.
I also use the sunday newspaper and look for coupons that are sent in the mail.
Post # 6
@AprilJo2011: Also there was a woman featured who was committing coupon fraud (using coupons on things that weren’t purchased) – so yeah she got awesome deals but it was illegal.
Definitely am inspired by it since I love a deal anyway – I’ll just have to make more of a point to shop more efficiently.
Post # 7
We’ve gotten really into that show too. My FI really wants to save 90% like people on the show just once, but so far we’re generally at 50%.
My best suggestion is to find a website that does coupon matchups for your grocery store. Personally, I like to use http://www.mavenofsavin.com/. The blogger will publish a list of things for sale along with what coupons match with it. It can be a little frustrating at the beginning though because sometimes coupons are a couple weeks old, and if you haven’t been doing this all along you don’t have them yet.
The other good site to use to save money is http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/. You can take a quick look at all the coupons for a given Sunday and see if they’re worth spending time clipping or not.
Let me know if you want more suggestions 🙂
Post # 8
I usually don’t use coupons but, for the wedding we saved hundreds using 40% off coupons for michaels. Yes we could only buy one item each to get the discount but, the savings were huge.
Post # 9
@AprilJo2011: there are coupons for organic milk, Organic Valley/Stoneyfield/Horizon ALWAYS have coupons out. Also, Cascadian Frams has coupons for organic frozen fruit/veg. Also, you can get coupons for Driscoll’s organic fruit. Just check out the company website. Hope you find some stuff!
Coupons are great, just don’t go overboard. I think some people just get caught up in the savings part and don’t realize what they are buying.
Post # 10
@AprilJo2011: i have that same issue as well. I buy a lot of fresh produce and meats, which never ever have coupons, and the coupons every week seem to be for the same items over and over and over.
I do moderate couponing, but more often, I tend just to buy sale items and buy one get ones as my main way of saving.
Post # 11
Thank you for the website suggestions! I was googling this morning and couldn’t figure out which coupon sites were legit, because a lot of them look sketchy.
I already buy a lot of our stuff generic, and it also frustrates me because I think the bulk of our grocery bill is fresh produce, which you will never find coupons for. A lot of the coupons I find are for junk food I would never buy. But if I can keep at it, and save even a few bucks a week, that will add up in the long run.
Thank you all for your ideas!
Post # 12
“I cook from scratch and most coupons are for processed foods or cosmetics that I don’t use. “
“Many times I walked into a store with a coupon only to find out that the generic store brand was still cheaper than the brand item with coupon savings.
I watch Extreme Couponing and there are times when I love it and times when it bothers me.
Seeing the “stockpile” of junky, processed foods in someone’s garage, basement, or spare bedroom makes me sad. Who needs 200 boxes of macaroni and cheese? Who can possible use 100 bottles of heartburn medicine? Why aren’t they satisfied with getting 5 free? Why do they feel compelled to clear the shelves? Do they really like feeding their families all that packaged stuff?
In the weeks I’ve been watching the show, only two people have donated items to charity and one woman (from a very modest area of Phili, at that) said she was teacher others how to do what she does. Everyone else on the show seems to be a hoarder…very organized hoarders, but hoarders nonetheless.
I do clip coupons and print them out, but when an item with a coupon is sold out at my store, I wonder if it’s because Miss Coupon traded/bought 100 copies of the coupon from our coupon friends online and took all the stock.
That being said, my fiance says I’ll be one of them by this time next year. I hightly doubt it…we don’t have the space. 🙂
Post # 13
Extreme Couponing = Organized Hoarding
I am seriously one of the cheapest people I know and that show drives. me. insane.
Ten cents per bottle of mustard is not a deal because WHO NEEDS 100 BOTTLES OF MUSTARD? I would like it so much better if the excess was donated to a food pantry or something.
That being said, I do use coupons when I can. I generally don’t hunt them down when it’s for groceries, though. I just shop the sales going on at the store.
Now if I need some clothes or shoes or crafty supplies or something, you better believe I’m looking for coupons. Usually just a Google search for something like “printable coupon Old Navy 2011” does the trick.
Post # 14
The people on that show are crazy! My coworker and I are couponers. We get inserts in the paper, from our work paper, and online. I agree with a PP that you should look for a website with matchups to your grocery store. I use Southern Savers. She also teaches you how to coupon. I usually save at least 60% at the grocery store and 80%+ at the drugstore. Feel free to PM me if you have questions!