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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Growing up, my grandmother was the crazy coupon lady. She had an entire spare bedroom dedicated to her coupons and I remember it always having multiple piles, floor to ceiling, of coupons needing clipping, or who knows what.  I also remember her sending me and my cousins in to the stores with our own stack of coupons to purchase items for her in order to bypass the "per customer limit."  Although my family always teased her (ever lovingly so) I remember taking note that coupons must be worth while if she is willing to dedicate that much time and space to it.  

I have always shopped with coupons, but rarely save more than a buck or two.  I have an awful habit of letting them expire, or I end up getting the generic brand instead because a buck off of the $7.99 Advil, isn't as cheap as the $4.29 generic...  However, since I've stopped working, I have been more dedicated to my coupons and am constantly hatching plans to help make up the income I walked away from.  

Just the other night, I went into Target to stock up on enough baby food and formula to get me through the next few days, and I used enough coupons to get $40.00 worth of food and formula for just $13.00.  Another customer in line joked and called me an "extreme couponer."  And I admit, I was pretty impressed with myself and pleased to save that kind of money on such expensive items that almost never go on sale.  

That night, in between my chores, I watched for the first time, the first four episodes of the new TLC show, Extreme Couponing. The show wasn't all that great.  I had expected that they would show some of the secrets on how these ladies walk out of the store with $1,200.00 worth of goods, but pay just $8.74.  But!  It did get me thinking and sorta inspire me to try and be a bit more frugal.  Even if I only save $50.00 off my nearly $200.00 a week grocery bill, it will have been worth it!

Let me just say, I never expect to walk out of the grocery store for $8.74.  Meats, beer, wine, fresh produce, almost never have coupons, so even though I can shop around for the very best deal, I'll only be walking out of the store for under $10 if I skip those things....and nothing is coming between me and my wine!

Today, I'm upgrading my pocket coupon organizer, to a 1 1/2 inch purple binder, organized into 36 different categories.  Tomorrow I will hit up my favorite newspaper giver-awayer from in front of WalMart and try to convince him to give me six newspapers so I can start hording all those coupons.

One thing I did learn from the show is that stockpiling is the key.  Having enough of your regular "needs" on hand so that you never purchase it at full price.  So Over the next week, I plan to clean out and organize our pantry, and set aside some room in our garage to start storing the things we will need.  Now, let me clarify, I will never have 400lbs of toothpaste, like on of the couponers from Extreme Couponing!  Just enough to get us through to the next sale.  If I can't resist a freebie, and I stock up on more than we need, I vow it will go to the food bank or into a care package for our soldiers over seas.

I expect that with two little babies this is going to be a big challenge since getting the best deals means shopping two to four times a week.  But I'm looking forward to it as a great excuse to get us out of the house!

So, Just normal ol' me, your average shopper, a mom looking to save a few bucks and so so on minimal time.  Join and follow me on this experiment and adventure.  Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Okay, it's official--I am destined to give couponing another try. In the last week: a co-worker tells me about how she's saving, then my hubby and I watched Extreme Couponing for the first time and were amazed, and now I read your post. You can't ignore the signs, right? LOL

    I will be following, with interest!