10/20/11

Extreme Couponing

                                                                           
                                                                  

  First, I will admit, I do not use coupons.  Every once in a while, I will feel bad for never using coupons.  I mean, I'm just giving my money away at full or maybe sale price.  Why not cut the coupon and save even more?  Makes sense, so in these moments I will sit down and cut away.  But somewhere between cutting the coupons and using the coupons, there is a malfunction.  They never get used.  Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Last night, I caught the end of a TV show called Extreme Couponing.  I'd heard of this show but never seen it before so I thought I'd check it out.  Of course, I was looking for some tips that will fix this coupon malfunction that I have struggled with.  What I saw was pretty shocking.

The first shock was the total of the bill before the store card savings and coupons were scanned.  The total was over $1,300.00!  Once the discounts were taken off, the final total was less than $20.00.  Truly.  Crazy, right?  

As I watched the show, I kept thinking two thoughts.  First, these are not purchases that are needed.  I mean, who needs to buy 20 deodorants?  Or over 60 travel sized shampoos?  It seems to me that these extreme couponers are so concerned with leaving with the "deal" taken to the extreme regardless of the fact that they have to bring home 200 boxes of pasta to get it (one woman on the show did that).  Seriously?  The basements of the women in this particular episode were converted into walk in pantries.  It was insane.

My second thought revolved around the fact that all these foods were processed, packaged, dry foods that you would find at the center of your food store.  Anyone who is serious about losing weight will come across the concept of shopping the perimeter of the food store.  Focus on fresh foods and dairy/bread, then supplement with center store items.  These shoppers had carts full of cookies, chocolate milk mixes, several varieties of pastas...basically, anything where you only have to add water and stir.

I don't mean to be judgmental, and I feed my family some of these food items.  But why does anyone need to buy cookies by the cases?  Cases, not even just one case.  Most of these items are great to have around for those days where there is just not enough time to prepare a healthy meal.   Andy said to me, "You couldn't make a full plate with those items".  That's true.  I realize there aren't coupons for produce and I believe coupons on meat are rare, but it was shocking to see 6 carts (yes, 6) and not see any fresh food items.

I guess becoming an extreme couponer is not in my future.  But I still see the value in a coupon.  If you can save more with a coupon than you would by buying the generic version of what you want, then its a great idea.  I don't see me using many coupons to save on food, but if I could get myself together, I could use coupons to save on pet supplies and household cleaners.  I don't see the need for a shelf of dusting spray, but I'd be happy to save $.50 on one can.  Maybe if I tell myself that I can use the money saved to buy more cups of coffee, then I'll be more motivated to use coupons in the future.  Who knows?

Do you use coupons?  Are you an extreme couponer?  If so, what do you do with the amazing surplus you have accumulated?

2 comments :

  1. i clip coupons, but only for what i buy, and rarely have more than 2 coupons for the same item. I just don't have the storage space. I know a lot of these women donate items to local charities, shelters, etc, which is the only thing you can do with 100 sticks of deoderant! even with a coupon, the store brand can be cheaper. i just price shop each individual item and see what is the best value by ounce, pound, etc. My deal this week...Giant had Minute single serve rice bowls for 1.44 each on sale. I had 2 coupons (from inside the packaged that i clipped from an earlier purchase) for 50 cents off. Giant doubled those to $1, so I paid 44 cents for the rice, which i use for on-the-go lunches....and i only bought 2...not 222! I don't actively search out for these deals, but if i see a sale in the store, and have a coupon, it's worth it.BTW, some of the best coupons are in the BONUS book, which is great for those nights out...you usually get 1/2 off, and we try more places for variety b/c of the discount.

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  2. Jamie, I I could get myself together, this sounds exactly like the amount of couponing I'd be interested in. Thanks for your input.

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