Thursday, April 28, 2011

Extreme Couponing- How Much is Too Much?

I know many of you have either heard or seen the new TLC show, Extreme Couponing. What did you think?

I saw the first special and have yet to watch the actual series. I am dvr(ed) it last night.


I have my concerns and like I've shared before, it is hard to go to such great lengths here in New York. Our stores put limits on everything and are very stingy with the double coupon thing.

That being said, after watching that special, I immediately thought, I have to do this!

I am a stay at home mom who spends a ton of money on groceries!

This is for me.

I started a plan of attack- I would get a coupon binder- I started looking on etsy and ebay for the supplies I would need for said binder.


Yeah, sure, it made sense to spend over $20 on a coupon binder, right?


You gotta spend money to make money, right?

Then I called around to find out how to get extra inserts from the paper- even tried to figure out if it was worth it to buy multiple copies of the Sunday paper?

But before I took these steps in making purchases for my "supplies", I figured I would try it out first!


I am glad I did.

I spent a good time pouring over the circulars of the stores closest to me- King Kullen, Best Yet, Pathmark, Stop and Shop (my favorite- so expensive, but so clean) and Waldbaums.

I had coupons for a lot stuff I promised myself we needed.

My mother-in-law has been giving me her circulars, so I had a decent amount of coupons.

This experience did not go very well.


I had calculated how much I would save and the total was a lot more than I had anticipated!


Did I ask the cashier to take some off?

No, because that would be embarrassing and I promised myself I wouldn't be one of those embarrassing coupon ladies that the cashiers loathe.

I did ask why and was told they only double (5) $1 coupons per transaction

Oh. I guess I forgot to ask that over the phone when I called and asked if they doubled coupons?


After this trip I was supposed to go to another store, but after such scrutiny in the first store, the little guy was exhausted.

Home we go.


But, after much thought and a conversation with my girlfriend who had recently seen the show-I thought this is crazy!


And in the time it takes to do these things, I could pretty much get a job! I read an article the other day that talked about the dangers of extreme couponing and how it takes up a serious amount of time and realistically, are we buying the foods we really eat or things that are on sale?


Do I need 100 boxes of oreo cakesters? Or is it more worth my time and energy to buy fresh produce?



On the flip side, I am challenged to do more, to make a list, stick to it and check out the sales- get a game plan. Spend less. And with the price of gas and food, don't we have to watch where our money goes a little more closely?


I know I do.


I'll leave you with a chart I found from this site - there is also an article you might want to read- check it out.



What are you doing to save money at the grocery store?




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4 comments:

  1. I know that feeling of being totally inspired by people who can save major amounts of money by couponing. But, I don't think it's for me. I just don't have the motivation to put the time and planning into it to actually have those results.

    I have a friend from my MOPS group who is amazing at coming up with major deals by combining coupons, sales, and reward bucks (some stores around here like CVS will give 'extra care' bucks to use on your next order). She routinely will come away with $100 worth of stuff for $15-$20.

    But, like you said, do we really need the stuff we can get with coupons? And, how much do we really need?

    Also, I read a very interesting article that said some of the people on the Extreme Couponing show were actually using coupon fraud to get the deals they were getting. The article did a really good job of explaining what they thought these people were doing. But, basically they were getting stuff that might have been the same brand, but wasn't actually the item on the coupon.

    For ourselves, I do almost all my grocery shopping at a discount grocery store where they sell overstock items, slightly outdated items, or items where the packaging was somewhat damaged. The prices are generally 1/2 what I'd spend at a normal grocery store. I do have to be careful with what I buy, but the one I go to is a really nice store.

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  2. I rarely use coupons because I have found they are for things I wouldn't normally buy. I stay away from processed foods as much as possible. We buy our staples at Trader Joe's, Costco and one other grocery store. ShopRite opened up near by and has become one of my favorites. King Kullen gives those $5 off coupons but most of their products are expensive (except for their sale items). I look through the weekly circulars and then pick the store with the most things I need on sale. This week there seems to be a lot of doubling $1 coupons going on.

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  3. I always use coupons BUT not to that extreme. I believe that for TV purposes they have these people but huge amounts of "stuff" for sensation!!
    Ever see hoarding???? Are these extreme couponers just hoarders??? LOL!!
    Marilyn

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  4. i've looked at some blogs about this and your post is so honest!! i figure 50 hours plus couponing and then countless hours stockpiling, shopping, organizing, reorganizing and then putting all those groceries away and then doing that 3 or 4 times a week is just another fancy word for addiction. if i had that much time to organize and shop, i would grow a garden and can and freeze real produce. i use about $15 - $30 worth of coupons every other week when i shop. i don't have stockpiles. i use what i need and eat what we have. i'd rather pay money and have free time to relax and enjoy my family than get crazy over 80 bottles of yoohoo that will just make me gain weight and not drink enough enough water. i don't know what stockpilers would do if they were military and had to move every 2 years like we do. i notice that most of the coupon food is processed food anyway. good luck on your grocery store adventures and thanks for such a great post.
    take care
    sue

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Hey! Thanks for dropping by- I love comments and read them all!

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