Friday, June 17, 2011

Daily Review - Extreme Couponing?

Last night, while flipping aimlessly through the TV channels, I came across Extreme Couponing.  I've heard of the show, and out of curiosity decided to watch it.  An hour later, I was still watching it in disbelief - these people are insane!  Now, don't get me wrong.  I love a good deal and I'm very proud of some of the bargains I've snapped up over the years (can we say 6 new tops for $18 at a local clothing store?)  I subscribe to the Entertainment Book and we usually check it for deals before deciding to go out to eat.  I also keep a few coupons that we get in the mail.  Overall, I think I was doing pretty well - until I saw this show!

There have been times when I've looked at my grocery receipt and seen that I saved more than I spend.  It does lead to a certain sense of accomplishment.  That part I get.  By the same token, I cannot fathom why they need so much stuff!  The people on this show refer to their stockpile - entire basements, closets, rooms just filled with cans, boxes, laundry detergent, and enough toilet paper to supply a hotel.  One lady had 66 coupons for mustard and so bought 66 bottles of French's yellow mustard.  [Apart from anything, husband is a good deli mustard purist so our marriage might be rocky if I brought home yellow mustard at all.]  I'm just wondering how much mustard one family can eat?!  It was also pretty amazing to see their disappointment that they may have miscalculated and have to pay $40 for their $600 worth of groceries instead of the $4 they planned for.  I can understand why other people in the store were just standing there in utter amazement watching everything unfold.  I'm sure I would do the same.

I can't possibly imagine spending that much time or energy clipping and organizing coupons.  I would also have nowhere to put such excessive amounts of stuff.  I'm pretty sure I'm ok not having enough body wash to last me the next 250 years, or 40 boxes of cereal at my disposal (unless I decide to start a commune).  On the other hand, for the couponers who donate their haul to charity, you're ok in my book.

It got me thinking what my savings tips are when grocery shopping though, and here's a few that I came up with:
- Brands aren't really that important for the basics.  Canned tomatoes are canned tomatoes.
- Most major stores show you a breakdown of how much something costs per oz for easy comparison.  The biggest size isn't always the best value!
- Even if there are only 2 adults in the house, buying the multi-packs of meat and then freezing into portions can save $0.20/lb or more.
- Keep an eye out for special promotions, such as buy 10 items of one brand and save $5 instantly at check out.
- Always use your loyalty card for each store.

If you are feeling an urge to start printing out more coupons though, just google "online coupon database" and you'll have lots of results to get you going on your next grocery store trip!

What are you favorite tips for saving at the grocery store?


  1. Holy Horse, Natalie! We must have been watching that show on the same day. And I said the SAME things you mentioned to my husband.

    I could see stockpiling toilet paper and papertowels. We got through those a lot in my household of two adults and two dogs. But all that food? No way!

  2. O that show cracks me up! I don't use most coupons because I don't buy most prepackaged foods. If I happen to find a coupon on something I will use then I buy it. If I could get coupons on produce then hey im all for it. :) about the only thing I do use coupons for is cheese, or almond milk, once in a while I get lucky and get some meat coupons.

  3. I also watched that show with growing disbelief. Yes, they saved some money, but how many hours did they spend clipping/collecting the coupons, planning out the shopping trip ahead of time, and then the amount of time spent in the store making the purchase. It begs the question; What is your time worth? I have lots of better things to do with my time than that.

    Also, if you notice the kind of food they keep buying, it is all processed garbage. There is no way I would feed my family that kind of food day after day even if I could get it for free!

  4. I think it's an addiction or something....