Author Topic: An extreme couponing friend  (Read 6734 times)

jdoolin

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An extreme couponing friend
« on: March 07, 2013, 07:52:11 AM »
Sigh...

I have a good friend who is really into the whole extreme couponing craze.  She's even started her own Facebook group for it and invited me, thinking I'd be all about ALL THE SAVINGS you get from spending lots of money that you wouldn't otherwise.  I've peeked at her FB group and the only thing I found at all that was any kind of deal that I'd actually take advantage of is toothpaste.  The rest was makeup and air fresheners, shitty boxed foods and other crap.

She lives in the northern panhandle of West Virginia.  Today she has decided to try her hand at this at some special store (Shop Rite)...

... in NEW JERSEY.

At the IRS mileage rate of $0.56, it's going to take $442 in savings just for her to break even.

I'm guessing they're planning on a pretty big haul, which means they're probably flying down I-70 at 75-80mph in a big SUV.

I'd love to say something, but I just don't think I can in this scenario.  She's just WAY to excited about all this right now for me to come in and burst her bubble.

sheepstache

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 08:06:55 AM »
Oh man.  Yeah, if people just thought of it as a fun past time to get as much crap as possible for as little money as possible, that would be one thing.  But he propaganda and/or self-deluding that makes people call it saving money is mind-boggling.

Paul der Krake

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 08:21:47 AM »
She probably sees this as entertainment and making a roadtrip out of it.

jdoolin

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 08:31:16 AM »
She probably sees this as entertainment and making a roadtrip out of it.

You're absolutely right about the roadtrip thing.  But she's also promoting all this as ways of saving money in these "harder economic times".

I also think that she, like most other extreme couponers, get a giddy thrill of knowing you got so much stuff for so much less, even if it's stuff you don't need or wouldn't have bought otherwise.

mpbaker22

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 08:42:09 AM »
At the IRS mileage rate of $0.56, it's going to take $442 in savings just for her to break even.

I'm guessing they're planning on a pretty big haul, which means they're probably flying down I-70 at 75-80mph in a big SUV.

I'd love to say something, but I just don't think I can in this scenario.  She's just WAY to excited about all this right now for me to come in and burst her bubble.

I pointed this out to my mom and sister.  They were driving a rather new honda insight to a store 8 miles away to buy 4 12-packs of diet coke that were 80 cents cheaper than the store we were at.  Savings of $3.2.  I pointed out that the 16 miles would cost about $8 given ~$.5/mile.  I was admonished for using rational though, and they did it anyway.  Losing $4.80 plus the time it took to get there and back.  This happens all the time with things like my mom going 10 miles out of the way to save $.10/gallon on gas.  it's just not worth it.

noob515

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 09:39:09 AM »
She probably sees this as entertainment and making a roadtrip out of it.
I also think that she, like most other extreme couponers, get a giddy thrill of knowing you got so much stuff for so much less, even if it's stuff you don't need or wouldn't have bought otherwise.

I'm fascinated by these extreme couponers, in a weird mind-boggling way.  I commend people for saving money, but is there ever a reason to have 200 jars of mustard, even if those 200 jars were free?  They seem more like hoarders than anything, in my opinion, since they don't ever seem to let their supply of any given product run low. 

And in NJ, some food store items are still taxed, so depending on what she's buying, the higher tax may negate even more of the "savings".

Forcus

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 12:35:04 PM »
I don't begrudge real savings but most of these folks don't assign value to their time either. Spending 10 minutes to save $.50 means you are only making the equivalent of $3 / hr.

jdoolin

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 12:47:23 PM »
I don't begrudge real savings but most of these folks don't assign value to their time either. Spending 10 minutes to save $.50 means you are only making the equivalent of $3 / hr.

That's another good point.  New Jersey is a good 8 hour drive from West Virginia's northern panhandle.  That's 16 hours round trip.  Let's just say they manage to find enough great deals to save $500, which would be pretty substantial.  But they paid $442 for the commute.  That's now only $78 total savings.  That works out to $4.87 / hr.

EngGirl

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 12:57:10 PM »
I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

extreme couponing = extreme consumerism


the fixer

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 01:29:36 PM »
Lately I've been less disgusted by all this and feeling more vindicated. I heard from classmates all through school "when am I ever going to need to use all this math stuff in real life anyway??"

totoro

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 02:12:06 PM »
I never use coupons.  I dislike them.  Everything about them.  I don't like collecting or tracking or organizing them.  Its annoying. I don't enjoy the process and I just don't buy most of the stuff that coupons are for.   I shop every day or two at the local grocery store that I walk to.  I buy what is on sale.  I sometimes go to a larger store for bulk purchases. 

Even when I earned less money I never liked coupons. I feel entirely different about craigslist or real estate or other investments.  I enjoy finding deals on big ticket items that show a significant roi.

I think the coupon thing is something you have to love doing to be so in to it.  For me, it is a waste of my time and it seems like something that creates an illusion of saving while encouraging spending.

the fixer

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 02:37:09 PM »
I tried a light level of couponing since at first it seemed like a no-brainer. But I realized the best I could do is save $1-2/week and it took way more effort to find, print out, and handle the logistics than it was worth. The biggest problem is the vast majority of foods I eat don't ever get coupons because they aren't processed, packaged foods.

I was originally inspired by a guy who used coupons to eat for $1/day for a month: http://www.grocerycouponguide.com/articles/eating-well-on-1-a-day/

kelly1mm

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 02:05:37 AM »
OK, I will step into this minefield.   I am what some would call an extreme couponer.  I would call it coupon arbitrage.  Let me tell you a bit about what I do.

1) I don't clip coupons or print them out.  I buy them from ebay in sets of 20 for about $2.00 shipped.
2) My store (I only do this at one store - see below for why) doubles cuopons up to 99 cents so a 75 cent coupon = $1.50
3) My store is 6 miles from home and on the way from work.
4) What to do with 200 bottles of mustard (never did that)? Sell at a garage sale.  Small/light items- sell on ebay.
5) My store, (Martin's/Giant in MD/PA) has gas points.  The normal gas points is 1 point per $ spent. every 100 gas points gives you 10 cents off per gallon up to 30 gallons (tip - use gas cans to get all 30).  So, 100 points = $3.00 But, the GREAT thing is they have bonus gas points for buying a certain # of items.  Last week it was buy 7 get 400 gas points.  On that list was Gatorade Energy chews for $1 each.  So, buying 7 of those for $7 = $12 worth of gas.  If you throw them in the garbage on the way out the store you just 'bought' gas for a 42% discount.  Now, what I did was buy 70.  Cost was $70.  I got $120 worth of gas.  I don't eat energy chews but others do so what I did was sell them on ebay.  After ebay fees and shipping costs, I got $56.44 for the 70 energy chews.  So, my net out of pocket cost for $120 worth of gas was $13.56.  Let's say that the whole time involved was 2 hours (probably much less as I d my regular shopping there anyway)  that means I 'made' $53.22 per hour (after tax) on this transaction.  by the way, no actual coupons were used on that deal!

Here is an even better deal that did use coupons.  Neutrogena bar soaps.  They were on sale for $2.19 and on gas points for buy 3 get 200 points.  There were $1 off 1 coupons out there so I bought 60 of them for $6.00.  Bought the 60 bars, paid $75.69 out of pocket at the store (so 81.69 with the coupon cost) and got $120 worth of gas.   Sold 50 on ebay(kept 10 for the wife) for $91.25 net after fees/shipping so that deal netted me $120 in gas, $9.56 in paypal account and 10 bars of pretty nice soap. 

Last deal - GE CFL bulbs.  These were on sale for $1 each with buy 10 get 200 gas points.  There were $1 off 1 coupons out there.  I bought 200 for $20.  Then bought the 200 bulbs for $12 (tax only). So, I got 4000 gas points ($120.00) for $32 out of pocket.  Sold 180 on ebay (kept 20 for me) for net $122.40.  So on that deal I got $120 worth of gas, $90.40 (net) to my paypal account, and 20 CFL's for the house. So, about $240 after tax for2 hours work.

Now these were realy good deals.  Not every week is like the above.  But, I have been able to have a good little 'side gig' going using a bit of math and the power of the internet to work a bit of coupon arbitrage.  Works for me.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 02:20:47 AM by kelly1mm »

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 03:47:04 AM »
But at least you are doing the actual math, to see that you are coming out ahead!  And you are selling the things you don't need, not hoarding them at home, like the teenaged boy with a 20 year tampon supply, from that extreme couponing show.

kelly1mm

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 11:14:59 AM »
But at least you are doing the actual math, to see that you are coming out ahead!  And you are selling the things you don't need, not hoarding them at home, like the teenaged boy with a 20 year tampon supply, from that extreme couponing show.

I do have a bit of a "tangibles stash" (get it?  hahah), more than the 'normal' household, way less than the crazys on those shows.  I have a wife so I have pads (originally 120 12 packs, now down to about 70 packs left - bought 2+ years ago) and you can bet I have TP - about 600 double rolls.   40+ pantene conditioners.  Lots of non perishables.  I have an old 1920's house with a basement so I keep the stuff mostly down there.  Takes up maybe 15 feet of wall space total.  I have 1 yard sale per year and sell a bunch - usually make $600-800 on that.  Another $1200 or so on ebay.

unplugged

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2013, 11:25:39 AM »
Do people that resell the goods worry about the coupon stating that items bought with coupons are not to be resold? Also stores here have these odd stickers on HBA items that say they can't be resold and give a number to call if you see products around? Not sure what they mean by those stickers? Also if you resell items, do you have to pay taxes on the side job? Do you have to report it as "income" say if I apply for Obama care? I'm thinking ahead on the Obama care thing and hoping it will save me $. Just wondering if side business would mess that up for my family. We should have a thread on side business and how the taxes effect the profits :D

The Money Monk

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2013, 11:53:42 AM »
OK, I will step into this minefield.   I am what some would call an extreme couponer.  I would call it coupon arbitrage.  Let me tell you a bit about what I do.

1) I don't clip coupons or print them out.  I buy them from ebay in sets of 20 for about $2.00 shipped.

I also occasionally buy coupons off ebay. I just got a bunch of $5 off $30 purchase winn dixie coupons, but they work at publix too because they honor competitors coupons. So I get about 15% off stuff that I am buying anyway that almost never has coupons, like meat, eggs, fresh veggies, etc.

kelly1mm

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Re: An extreme couponing friend
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2013, 02:01:28 PM »
Do people that resell the goods worry about the coupon stating that items bought with coupons are not to be resold? Also stores here have these odd stickers on HBA items that say they can't be resold and give a number to call if you see products around? Not sure what they mean by those stickers? Also if you resell items, do you have to pay taxes on the side job? Do you have to report it as "income" say if I apply for Obama care? I'm thinking ahead on the Obama care thing and hoping it will save me $. Just wondering if side business would mess that up for my family. We should have a thread on side business and how the taxes effect the profits :D

About the stickers/coupon wording - nope, not at all.  See "first sale doctrine" as to why.  The only thing they can do to you is stop selling to you.  No criminal action.

As to the business income, if you back out the gas points I am getting (not income, see airline miles series of cases as to why) I basically break even on the sales.   Sometimes a bit of 'income' some times a 'loss'.   If I really set my mind to it and started taking mileage deductions, other business expenses like 'home office deduction' for the storage of the products for sale, I am sure I could come up with a paper loss.  The gas points are the big thing for me.  I netted $2789 in gas last year using gas points.  Did not have to pay to fill up once!