Author Topic: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?  (Read 8298 times)

~Ari~

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Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« on: May 17, 2016, 02:09:51 PM »
We have a household of 3. It is me, my husband, and our LO who is 9 mths old. I feel we do a pretty good job keeping in budget with groceries and household items. I usually budget $200.00 a month for this. Sometimes we are under, and sometimes we are over. Let me also say that my hubby eats a lot! He is 6'6 and 200+ lbs and is always looking for food and our LO is beginning to eat table food. I am wanting to coupon more now, as I hardly do any. I know it can be time consuming and a lot of work, but anyway to save a little bit more is fine by me. Just wonder how others do it and get great deals? Are there blogs/websites that could help me out with this?  If there is already a thread on this topic, can someone please direct me to where it is at? Thanks!

MillenialMustache

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 02:41:52 PM »
I love Hip2Save and The Krazy Coupon Lady. Both post weekly matchups and share general deals. I used to coupon more in the past than I do now, but still check regularly to see what is going on.

CmFtns

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 03:25:21 PM »
Extreme Couponing requires lots of work collecting, printing, cutting, and organizing coupons and often requires paid subscriptions to newspapers or magazines to get all the coupons... In my opinion other mustacian methods like not wasting food, cooking everything yourself, and buying cheap calories get your food prices down so low that the slight savings from couponing isn't worth the time. I still look for obvious sales in the stores and glance at the coupon book at front of store but I think extreme couponing is not an efficient use of one's time when there are so many other ways to save BIG money.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 03:28:22 PM by comfyfutons »

Buckeyes1

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 03:43:38 PM »
Extreme Couponing requires lots of work collecting, printing, cutting, and organizing coupons and often requires paid subscriptions to newspapers or magazines to get all the coupons... In my opinion other mustacian methods like not wasting food, cooking everything yourself, and buying cheap calories get your food prices down so low that the slight savings from couponing isn't worth the time. I still look for obvious sales in the stores and glance at the coupon book at front of store but I think extreme couponing is not an efficient use of one's time when there are so many other ways to save BIG money.

No it doesn't take a ton of time. There are tons and tons of coupon matchup sites out there that do all of the heavy lifting for you, for free! We spend 20 mins browsing a few sites before we go shopping. We print out/clip the coupons that are the best deals, and go to the store. Because of this, we have more than a years supply of toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo absolutely free. We also have cheap (but high quality) toilet paper, paper towels, etc. The only thing we pay full price for is produce and meat, but even that we buy what is on weekly sale.

We use:

Krogerkrazy.com
Ladysavings.com
Bargainstobounty.com

CmFtns

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 04:08:36 PM »
Extreme Couponing requires lots of work collecting, printing, cutting, and organizing coupons and often requires paid subscriptions to newspapers or magazines to get all the coupons... In my opinion other mustacian methods like not wasting food, cooking everything yourself, and buying cheap calories get your food prices down so low that the slight savings from couponing isn't worth the time. I still look for obvious sales in the stores and glance at the coupon book at front of store but I think extreme couponing is not an efficient use of one's time when there are so many other ways to save BIG money.

No it doesn't take a ton of time. There are tons and tons of coupon matchup sites out there that do all of the heavy lifting for you, for free! We spend 20 mins browsing a few sites before we go shopping. We print out/clip the coupons that are the best deals, and go to the store. Because of this, we have more than a years supply of toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo absolutely free. We also have cheap (but high quality) toilet paper, paper towels, etc. The only thing we pay full price for is produce and meat, but even that we buy what is on weekly sale.

We use:

Krogerkrazy.com
Ladysavings.com
Bargainstobounty.com

All the coupon match-ups sites I have looked at in the past expect me to have SS/RP/P&G coupons from the paper and also I don't have a printer even if I wanted to print coupons.

How much are you averaging per month for food & household items per person because of your couponing?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 04:10:48 PM by comfyfutons »

Khaetra

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 04:35:48 PM »
I have found that since my local stores have changed their policies due to the show and coupons not being worth as much as they used to be, it's not worth it.  I get good deals by buying store-brand items and waiting for sales.

Giro

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 04:41:56 PM »
Agree with a couple of the other posters.  Couponing isn't really worth the time.  We don't eat that sort of food and don't really use enough health and beauty items to make it worth it.  Just buy produce and protein that is in season and on sale and you'll do fine. 

Systems101

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2016, 05:01:47 PM »
I coupon, but not what some would consider "extreme"... but I think planning is more valuable than coupons.

Before you even get into coupons, consider these things:

Think about sales.  Just paying attention to what is on sale and that you can freeze (or doesn't spoil) can be huge savings.

Look at per unit prices.  There are many things where the larger packages are NOT cheaper (Cereal is a huge guilty party here).  People make that assumption, so the marketing/sales people take advantage of it.  Also if you buy larger and it spoils, you've lost the benefit.  Bigger is not always better.

Pay attention to different prices.  "Buy one-get one" at one grocery store may be equivalent to 20% savings at another store.  Don't get into "how much did I save" - think - and calculate - "how much did I spend?". 

Consider how much time you are willing to trade for money.  The folks that do this to extremes can spend a lot of time and get into complicated organization systems.  I keep it simple and spend less than an hour a week.  There was an "entry cost" during the first few months I did it, as I got fully ramped to all items and documented what is a good deal.

Some other preparatory thoughts:

Figure out what you are buying and where you are willing to compromise.  I have not compromised in what I buy.  I still get the same brand name products, including flour, butter, etc. as I did before I started using coupons.  Keep track of what you have that "turns over" quickly.  I eat a LOT of chicken, and stocking up when it's on sale has probably cut my expenses on chicken in half.  Some folks are driven by what prices dictate and are flexible on foods.  This is 100% a choice.

I have chosen to use online coupons, but not get a paper.  The "extreme" folks sometimes have multiple subscriptions to the paper to get multiple copies of coupons.  Some of this is learning what coupons tend to be only on paper vs those that are online.  Some will be both places, but the paper copy be 25c better or some such.  Realize you can usually only print 2 coupons per computer.  I have also chosen not to ethically bend that by employing multiple computers.  There are also rebate applications (Ibotta and others) that I don't do, again a choice.

Know when the sales turn over at different grocery stores in your area.  Is is Saturday/Sunday? or Tuesday/Wednesday? etc.

Figure out where you can go and how much you need to save to make it worth it.  I'm single, so the amount of food consumption I experience is small, thus long drives to distant grocery stores for small amounts of stuff don't make financial sense. It's rational to ignore 1 or 2 coupons, especially if they are small and for mediocre deals.  Think about your commute as well as where you live.  I'm (very) lucky in being able to hit 4 brands of grocery store (6 if you count Target and Walmart) within a <1000 foot detour on my (8 mile) commute.  All but one of those are within 1.5 mi of my house if it's a weekend.  So I have LOTS of options that make my system work... but even so, it's a rare week I will hit more than 2 stores (and those border on necessary to keep milk stocked in the house :) )

How to find deals:

Use sites like those recommended above, (or southern savers, or living rich with coupons) - find those that serve your area.  Get familiar with how they work and how they tag deals.  They will often tag what they think are super deals - pay attention to these, but recognize they fall victim to the "how much did I save" mentality in some cases (but they are right most of the time).  Learn to skim the sites or go directly to the grocery stores/drug stores on the site.  There are a lot of posts on these and it can be a time sink reading everything (remember the time trade).

Recognize that every area is different and deals will be different.  The deal you see online may not be in your local store. That's why it's useful to bookmark your local grocery store flyers and skim them.  In some cases, they are organized by category and you can quickly hit the 4 categories that matter vs reading through the whole thing.  You'll also sometimes see something you missed in the summary sites.  I browse these on my phone so I can easily keep the tab open and so I can do it when I'm otherwise stuck (elevator, in line, et al) and can effectively use 1-2 minutes of time.

Recognize different types of stores will likely be better for different types of products.  You will have to learn how it works in your area.  For me, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens et al are great for toothpaste, paper products and the like (generally NOT food).  I've found Target to be surprisingly good for things like cleaning supplies and trash bags, if you can line up their "get a $5 gift card" along with a coupon.

On couponing itself:

Learn which local grocery stores double coupons... that can add up in a hurry (and is often the grocery stores with higher base prices).

Start small.  Read the ads and know what you are buying today (or have low stock in the house) and if they go on sale and have a decent coupon available as well, use it.  Don't try to be perfect on day 1.

Write down what you're buying, and for what price.  Keep track of this over time for the most relevant items (where relevant is what you buy often and what goes on sale enough to make it worth it... you will learn this over time).  Then look at base prices at different stores so you get a sense of where base prices stand for certain items.  I have a running list of just under 50 items in my phone where I know what the "great" price is... (basically the lowest price(s) I've paid w/ the coupon value over the time I've been doing this).  I don't expect that list to grow.

Learn that some coupons you print will be good for a set period of time (e.g. good til Aug 15) others will be for one month from day of print.  It's a bit of a game in deciding when to print vs when to risk the coupon disappearing.  You will learn over time what is best (there are a few brands that disappear quickly, most are pretty persistent)

Once or twice a month fully browse a few coupon sites.  (coupons.com, redplum, smartsource are the ones I skim)... this will help you see things that may never have had a match with something on sale at the grocery store.

A reprise on "bigger is not always better": The unit price changes with a coupon.  75c off when the two sizes are $2.50 and $4.50 may make it $1.75 and $3.75 - so if one is double the volume of the other, two coupons on the smaller package is better than one on the larger one.

Expect a month or two of "stock up cost".  I had two high $200 months as startup, but now run just over $100 (and that's with meat like Turkey and Chicken in every dinner - things that are generally not cheap calories)

On planning:

I own a foodsaver.  It's amazing.  I'd advise getting a food scale as well (like a $15 one from Amazon).  I can cook food in bulk (e.g. a 21 lb turkey) and freeze it in portions I can use over time (freeze the portion with 1 Tbsp of broth and it won't get freezer burn, and you can just punch a few holes in the bag with a knife before microwaving for a few min on 50% power for nice, fully cooked but still juicy meat...)  I know exactly the portion to freeze, so I produce very little waste.  I can do the same with chicken breasts, so I get about 1.5 meals per chicken breast... so I'm saving by not wasting.  (Of course, it also means no leftovers, so my lunches are all fresh meals)

Consider a chest freezer.  I am pondering one, and am currently running through a "model" of when sales occur during the year vs the cost of owning and operating the freezer.  I won't know the final answer until November, but it's looking pretty close to a wash right now, so may be useful for a family of 3.

...

Doing this my food cost is down about 35% (admittedly less than half from coupons)... and the quality of food I eat is way up.  My "fast food" dinner this evening (ready in 8 minutes) is turkey breast and two ears of fresh corn.  Total cost (including the 20c for the foodsaver packaging) is under $1.50.


JoRocka

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 08:10:56 AM »
Can't be bothered- most of the coupons are for shit I don't need- so it winds up costing me b/c I've now purchased something I would not have in the first place.

I look for sales and I use only "5$ off total purchase" type coupons- rarely specific coupons for items.

Chris22

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2016, 08:34:27 AM »
Because of this, we have more than a years supply of toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo absolutely free.

I guess this is something to aspire to?  Given that all of the above costs about $5/unit that lasts about 2 months* each, the pain in the ass factor of acquiring and storing all that crap far offsets the cost savings for me.  The couple of times I've caught that coupon show in passing, it seems like they go through extraordinary effort to hoard massive amounts of shit one doesn't need, like 50 bottles of various condiments. 

In my house, we go through a lot of: produce, dairy, meat/poultry, bread.  That stuff rarely goes on significant sale, and so I rarely stock up more than a month or two out (might get ground beef or steaks or chicken to freeze if it's a deal).  The rest of the stuff doesn't turn over fast enough to matter much.



*Unscientific SWAG there

Trudie

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2016, 02:00:14 PM »
I don't bother.  It seems to me that too many of the coupons are for pre-packaged food or convenience items I don't buy.

I scour my local grocer's ad to find weekly specials and buy the loss leaders and build my meals around that.  I bulk purchase other items at Costco when I'm near one.

I figure my time is worth something and couponing is not how I want to spend it.

MasterStache

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2016, 02:14:17 PM »
Yeah I've noticed the bulk of coupons are for pre-packaged crap that we try not to eat. Not a lot of coupons out there for meat and veggies. We get targeted coupons from Kroger because of what we buy that do help us save, like a $20 off $200 shopping trip on occasion.

I do on occasion stock up on non-perishables when a great deal comes along. For instance I just bought 36 rolls of TP from Target for less than the price of 18. And I still have 3 bottles of body wash that I got for practically for free. Coupons were not used for any of these though. 

CmFtns

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2016, 02:24:29 PM »
Seems that most people are in agreement here. Extreme couponing is small money big time...

There is a reason that we haven't seen a MMM blog post yet named "Get Rich: with extreme couponing"

onehair

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2016, 02:30:27 PM »
I coupon and I admit I am fond of matching coupons with stores' weekly specials and rebate apps but I don't have the time to spend hours combing for deals.  And I don't want to be the person cashiers mumble when they see me coming because I have a buttload of coupons holding up the line.

MrsPete

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2016, 02:48:01 PM »
My daughter's into it, and she gets some good stuff; for example, I think I have about 20 cans of almost free refried beans, which we will eat ... eventually.  She also got us a bunch of kiebasa sausage for less than $1/package.  Granola bars, iced coffees.  But by and large, the stuff you can get super-cheap with coupons isn't the type of stuff we eat. 

On the other hand, I do like CVSing.  Their best deals are always at Thanksgiving, but every month you can get something for free -- it's not always something I actually want, but we can always use vitamins or asprin.  We get tons of toothpaste and toothbrushes for free (or so near free that it feels free).  Always run your CVS card under the scanner when you walk in; about every 3rd or 4th time you'll get a coupon for something totally free -- sometimes a candy bar, other times a free sample of shampoo. 

esq

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2016, 06:48:42 PM »
Because of this, we have more than a years supply of toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo absolutely free.

I guess this is something to aspire to?  Given that all of the above costs about $5/unit that lasts about 2 months* each, the pain in the ass factor of acquiring and storing all that crap far offsets the cost savings for me.  The couple of times I've caught that coupon show in passing, it seems like they go through extraordinary effort to hoard massive amounts of shit one doesn't need, like 50 bottles of various condiments. 

In my house, we go through a lot of: produce, dairy, meat/poultry, bread.  That stuff rarely goes on significant sale, and so I rarely stock up more than a month or two out (might get ground beef or steaks or chicken to freeze if it's a deal).  The rest of the stuff doesn't turn over fast enough to matter much.



*Unscientific SWAG there

When you've got a family of four with two teenagers, you're darn right it's something to aspire to.  Although I agree most food coupons are for junk, the H&B coupons, combined with sales and catalina offers, can very cheaply net a years' worth of high quality shampoo, toothpaste, paper products, feminine products, laundry/dish soap, and my black hair dye to cover my roots!  (Among other things.)

I've got it nailed down to a science - I know when the sales are coming, how to get the coupons, and I just go and do it.  No biggie.  We also mostly eat produce, meat, eggs/dairy and drinks, and a few treats.  I buy much of it at Aldi now, which saves about 30% right off the top, no sales or coupons necessary.

I used to coupon A LOT, about 7-8 years ago, and had big (for me) stockpiles.  I wasn't working fulltime, and that felonious Extreme Couponing show hadn't come out yet.  That show made the frauds come crawling out of the woodwork, and in response, stores and manufacturers made it much harder to coupon.  People think they can fill up two carts of crap and get it all for free because a TV show says they can; forget the fact they promote fraud.  I once had someone in front of me on line literally wait for me out in the parking lot after I pointed out to the cashier the STACK of P&G like coupons she was trying to hand off was actually limited to four like coupons.  I blame that idiotic show.  (Had to have a store employee escort me to my car, and even then, the woman and her husband waited for me in their truck on the other side of the parking lot. Lesson learned.)

couponvan

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2016, 07:41:51 PM »
I used to be a big couponer (hence the name) when I was a SAHM.  When I went back to work, the couponing tapered off.  I STILL have dental floss, toothbrushes, pads, bar soap and razors from my major couponing days.  I definitely still stock up on food staples when they are at their cycle lows.  I used to follow Jill Cataldo....

MsPeacock

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2016, 08:10:10 PM »
I used to track coupons and sales when I had more time. I would keep the newspaper flyers and clip the coupons out based on store sales and the websites. I can't do it now. I have less time and my cooking has shifted to more foods from scratch. I do find that between Aldi (no coupons) and sales at Shoprite I can do well w/o coupons.

Shann106

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2016, 08:17:05 PM »
I have been an extreme couponer when I was unemployed breifly, I had the time. But the time it takes vs the payout is really a low return on investment. Focusing on less waste, more nutritionally dense food etc.  saves more than couponing in my opinion.

prognastat

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2016, 06:52:01 AM »
The stores in my area don't allow multiple of the same coupon in many cases and definitely don't match coupons for competitors.

When you remove the ability of bulk couponing the effort to savings ratio decreases even more and it isn't even that great to start with.

I'll make use of a coupon if it matches what I am currently buying anyway and is available in store and I sometimes use coupons for larger things such as meals out or activities(groupon etc)

Beyond that it is far more of a hassle to me than simply minimizing my unnecessary expenses and waste or simply working some additional time at work.

MrFrugalChicago

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2016, 07:35:05 AM »
Extreme coupons are for unhealthy mass-produced crap. I don't need 20 boxes of Life cereal. In fact I am more healthy if I buy 0.

Not many coupons for veggies and fruit.

Your health > your wallet.

JoRocka

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2016, 08:28:43 AM »
Extreme coupons are for unhealthy mass-produced crap. I don't need 20 boxes of Life cereal. In fact I am more healthy if I buy 0.

Not many coupons for veggies and fruit.

Your health > your wallet.

Cereal and 2% or whole fat milk is easily one of the most nutritionally complete things you can buy b/c they "fortify" them. If you're stuck on an island- having a box of cereal isn't a bad thing. at all.

BeanCounter

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2016, 09:08:55 AM »
It's not nearly as lucrative as it was.
 7 years ago with my first child I couponed for diapers and it did save some money. But for baby 2, I found Target generic diapers were just as good and were cheaper than my coupon buys if I watched the Target sale and bought in bulk.

#1 biggest money saver for groceries- MEAL PLANNING. I plan a two week meal rotation that we live by (I have a fall-winter 2 week menu and spring summer 2 week menu). Then you know exactly what ingredients you need to have on hand. Watch sales, buy in bulk and use your freezer. I save lots of money at Aldi, and I watch the other stores for sales on items that we use on a regular basis that is not at Aldi. A coupon is just one more thing I have to remember. Plus, I don't subscribe to the newspaper.

I think if you've got the time to coupon for the health, beauty and cleaning products then that's great. But it's still a huge pain in the ass. I would agree with other posters that the return on investment is low.

ketchup

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2016, 09:16:19 AM »
Because of this, we have more than a years supply of toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo absolutely free.

I guess this is something to aspire to?  Given that all of the above costs about $5/unit that lasts about 2 months* each, the pain in the ass factor of acquiring and storing all that crap far offsets the cost savings for me.  The couple of times I've caught that coupon show in passing, it seems like they go through extraordinary effort to hoard massive amounts of shit one doesn't need, like 50 bottles of various condiments. 

In my house, we go through a lot of: produce, dairy, meat/poultry, bread.  That stuff rarely goes on significant sale, and so I rarely stock up more than a month or two out (might get ground beef or steaks or chicken to freeze if it's a deal).  The rest of the stuff doesn't turn over fast enough to matter much.



*Unscientific SWAG there
This is my line of thinking too.  I'll stock up when non-perishable or freezable staples are on sale (and try to time certain things so that I only buy them on sale), but 99% of coupons are totally useless for me or so little savings vs the hassle.  There aren't any "Buy 2lbs of steak, get a bag of potatoes and some asparagus for free!" coupons.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 09:18:06 AM by ketchup »

Jakejake

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2016, 10:33:42 AM »
I do moderate couponing and occasional binge stockpiling. I don't pay for any newspapers but we get a free copy or two of the local rag thrown at our driveway every weekend. And I have three computers I can print from (so 6 prints of an internet coupon are possible). I do rebate apps and markdowns as well.

My monthly grocery bill for two adults is about $120. the USDA "lowcost" plan for two adults is $500/month. So my combined strategies are saving us about $4560/year or about a month of my salary. I just consider it my side hustle.

I don't have a problem with stockpiling - it's easier for me to walk to the basement when I'm out of something than make a special trip to the store for it. This week I bought 50 jars of condiments - I fully admit to that! Actually a hundred because I texted my daughter and she said she would go through one a week so I also got her a year's supply. 6 oz jars of vegan pesto for 29 cents that don't expire til 2018? Oh heck yes, and I already know I'll be sad when they are gone.

golden1

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2016, 11:35:37 AM »
I have started and stopped couponing more times than I can remember.  I use a few coupons now, just the ones I get from Wegmans for stuff I normally use, but mostly I just can't be bothered.

MrFrugalChicago

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2016, 09:26:03 AM »
Extreme coupons are for unhealthy mass-produced crap. I don't need 20 boxes of Life cereal. In fact I am more healthy if I buy 0.

Not many coupons for veggies and fruit.

Your health > your wallet.

Cereal and 2% or whole fat milk is easily one of the most nutritionally complete things you can buy b/c they "fortify" them. If you're stuck on an island- having a box of cereal isn't a bad thing. at all.

Milk is great. If you get milk coupons use it, sure.  I buy organic Costco milk, which isn't something you could extreme coupon for..

The kind of cereal that has coupons tends to be crap. Breakfast should be < 5g of sugar. Most cereals have 15-20+g of sugar per serving, and most people eat multiple servings. Simple spraying on a bunch of vitamins does not make it nutritious. For proof of that, look into study of how little multivitamins do in otherwise healthy adults. You are basically paying to add some chemicals to your pee.

Costco sells old fashioned oatmeal for < 10 cents per serving. Both cheaper and more nutritious than vitamin sprayed cereal.

PhrugalPhan

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2016, 11:40:15 AM »
I used to get lots of staples for free when it was doable years ago at CVS / Rite Aid / Walgreens.  Too much work now, and with Aldi's prices so low I rarely use coupons any more.  I still have stocks of razors, soap, shampoo, etc... to last me until I retire (if not longer).  It may make sense to do it in the future, but now... not really.

Need2Save

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Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2016, 12:08:20 PM »
If you are able to devote some time to it for a period, then it's nice to stock up on essentials your family will def. use at very cheap prices or even free  - but it does take work.  I personally go through spikes where I will have a little bit of extra time to prepare before going to the store to see if a coupon exists for stuff I need that week. If I find that time is short due to other commitments, it does not bother me to go without coupons that week.  My time is valuable to me.   

Here are my observations:
  • Many of the grocery stores now have online e-versions of the exact same coupons that you can load to your store card by zipping through the site in about 5-10 minutes. We do this with Safeway and Harris Teeter which reduces the need to clip and fuss with the paper coupons.
  • I do breeze through the sunday inserts to look for those special ones that don't come around often or for items I buy alot of and are high value.  I'm thinking of $2 to $5 of certain shampoo brands for example, making them cheaper than store brands. Also, the brand of hair-color I use also has a $2 off coupon every month or so bringing my OOP costs down to $4-$5 to keep up my roots!   
    • Someone mentioned Hip2Save above.  It's a good site - but does tempt you to buy things you don't need because of the good deals highlighted.  I find the site helps me find gift ideas and pair up with sales/rebates/coupons to help keep my family's gift purchases down in cost.
    • I know many people think there are no coupons for things they will be buying (no processed foods for example).  However, still many chances to save on things like milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, bread, butter, veggies, canned beans, lean meats (thinking ground turkey and turkey sausage which we use occasionally).  I also never buy feminine products, shampoo or other toiletries without coupons because they come around so often.  I'm not ready to jump on the water-only bandwagon. 
    • If I'm planning a party or something where I may indulge in buying items we don't normally have in the house - this helps me keep costs down and I keep an eye out for these items several weeks leading up to the event and also shop sales.

    I'd say, overall given that some weeks we use no coupons and others we do, we probably only save around $10-$12 a week on average.  But that is another $520 to $624 less a year on our grocery bill.  I don't bother with coupons that are 25 cents or less, though, which many companies seem to be pushing now.


    Jakejake

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #29 on: May 20, 2016, 02:04:28 PM »
    Today's deal for me was a 22 oz jar of organic raw unfiltered honey for $1.19. I just got one and honey is not a healthy necessity in my diet, but I do use the couponing for an occasional treat that I wouldn't otherwise splurge on. It's somewhat common for me to go years without a favorite food item because I refuse to pay "regular" prices for it once I get used to the stockpile price.

    Kaydedid

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #30 on: May 20, 2016, 07:30:38 PM »
    I coupon off and on at Walgreens for toiletries and vitamins, usually a month at a time.  I have prices in my head-generally <$1 for toothbrushes, paste, floss, mouthwash etc.  Spend ~2 hours a week, for a total of <10 hours (shopping included), for maybe $250 saved.  Worth it to me, and it keeps my brain from stagnating from being a SAHM.

    onehair

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #31 on: May 23, 2016, 12:32:47 PM »
    I have also begun to haunt Food Lion and Whole Foods for discontinued or closeout items, Walmart's clearance racks especially for food and occasionally toiletries.  Along with wise coupon and circular use one can really get some good bargains.  My mom said I was becoming almost as bad as my late grandfather for hunting out deals and paying as little as possible lol.  This was a compliment!!


    Rhoon

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #32 on: May 23, 2016, 12:58:31 PM »
    We have a household of 3. It is me, my husband, and our LO who is 9 mths old. I feel we do a pretty good job keeping in budget with groceries and household items. I usually budget $200.00 a month for this. Sometimes we are under, and sometimes we are over.

    My household is in virtually the same position, 3 of us, though my LO is 2 years old now. Would you mind sharing what you buy on average in a month? My household food budget is $500 and it's been rough to keep us on target each month. It's the one area in our budget we can really get the most cost cutting out of but have been unable to. I have yet to go in an itemize on a per-trip basis to the store but I'm about to start, in order to determine what we need /don't need.

    Erica

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #33 on: May 23, 2016, 02:36:56 PM »
    I did about 25 years ago but also did the liquor rebates buying a cash register and making up my own receipts.
    And getting discarded bottles from the back of Bars. Did about $300 a month in rebate checks back then as a stay at home mom for a year.


    I tried not long ago but it's the same issue. The real food the coupons are for is mostly junk food. We gained weight back then and no doubt would again if I started buying per the coupon items. Every area is different regarding coupons so maybe it isn't like that where you are.

    It isn't worth it to go to the recycling center, pilfer thru multiple coupons, match to sales, for just the little amount of toiletries and personal items we use.

    « Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 03:09:02 PM by Erica »

    onehair

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #34 on: May 25, 2016, 12:13:11 PM »
    Anyone here used Grocery IQ?Was it worth it?

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #35 on: May 25, 2016, 01:03:59 PM »
    Too much like work, fuck it. I don't even know where my local grocery store keeps its coupons... I focus on picking off Kroger "manager's specials" - near-expiration stuff, mostly - and garden-variety sale stuff within my normal buying range. IOW, I don't buy Pop Tarts just for a sale, but when I go for salad, I pick the one that's marked down. This also helps meet my personal bent toward avoiding waste, by ensuring things get bought instead of tossed when the date comes.

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #36 on: May 25, 2016, 01:09:33 PM »
    We have a household of 3. It is me, my husband, and our LO who is 9 mths old. I feel we do a pretty good job keeping in budget with groceries and household items. I usually budget $200.00 a month for this. Sometimes we are under, and sometimes we are over.

    My household is in virtually the same position, 3 of us, though my LO is 2 years old now. Would you mind sharing what you buy on average in a month? My household food budget is $500 and it's been rough to keep us on target each month. It's the one area in our budget we can really get the most cost cutting out of but have been unable to. I have yet to go in an itemize on a per-trip basis to the store but I'm about to start, in order to determine what we need /don't need.

    Rhoon - I will try my best to give you a rough summary of how we do it!

    We shop at Aldi, Dollar General and Walmart. I like to get most of our food staples at Aldi, but our meats and household items I get at Walmart or Dollar General - or sometimes Target if they have a better deal that month.

    We usually only go grocery shopping once a month. We live in a very low cost of living area in Central Minnesota so that helps. We live 30+ minutes away from the bigger stores such as Aldi and Walmart, so that is why we only make a monthly trip if possible. Our local grocery store is much more expensive, but sometimes we go there out of necessity.

    We eat a lot of pasta and rice - so whenever there are sales on these we stock up. There are usually always coupons for these items as well. But, we try to stick to the generic brands of almost everything if possible.

    My hubby and his family love to hunt and fish - so we eat a lot of wild game and fish for next to nothing. We also garden at my hubby's parent's farm. We grow tomatoes to make our own spaghetti sauce and tomato paste/juice, along with peppers, sweet corn, beans, peas, squash, lettace, and potatoes. We also help out at a local church food distribution monthly if possible. This allows us to get BOXES of food and produce for $25. Last time, I froze 10 gallon freezer bags of bananas, 3 bags of green peppers, and 2 bags of onions and that wasn't all of it!

    Just last week we picked up 25lbs of ground beef @ $2.00 lb for lean 90/10 blend. A family friend butchered one of their own grass fed and made it all into ground beef and sold it at this price to local friends.

    My DH helps his father on the farm, and they often trade oats/ barley for feed in return for a butchered hog in the spring time. This allows us to have a years worth of pork (bacon, pork chops, roasts) for next to nothing as well.

    We eat at home and cook homemade meals 95% of the time - we only go out for special occasions. I try my very best to meal plan. I make enough at supper time so that my DH and I have enough for our lunches at work the next day. I also enjoy making freezer meals for convenience to avoid going out.

    So, most of our grocery budget goes toward our household items more than anything else. We always keep a grocery list going on our fridge, whenever something is gone o we put it on the list and we hardly every veer from it.



    Gin1984

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #37 on: May 25, 2016, 02:01:13 PM »
    Extreme coupons are for unhealthy mass-produced crap. I don't need 20 boxes of Life cereal. In fact I am more healthy if I buy 0.

    Not many coupons for veggies and fruit.

    Your health > your wallet.

    Cereal and 2% or whole fat milk is easily one of the most nutritionally complete things you can buy b/c they "fortify" them. If you're stuck on an island- having a box of cereal isn't a bad thing. at all.

    Milk is great. If you get milk coupons use it, sure.  I buy organic Costco milk, which isn't something you could extreme coupon for..

    The kind of cereal that has coupons tends to be crap. Breakfast should be < 5g of sugar. Most cereals have 15-20+g of sugar per serving, and most people eat multiple servings. Simple spraying on a bunch of vitamins does not make it nutritious. For proof of that, look into study of how little multivitamins do in otherwise healthy adults. You are basically paying to add some chemicals to your pee.

    Costco sells old fashioned oatmeal for < 10 cents per serving. Both cheaper and more nutritious than vitamin sprayed cereal.
    You might want to check out coupon apps..... it is not much but .25 off adds up especially when they happen at the same time.

    JoRocka

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #38 on: May 25, 2016, 02:10:19 PM »
    Extreme coupons are for unhealthy mass-produced crap. I don't need 20 boxes of Life cereal. In fact I am more healthy if I buy 0.

    Not many coupons for veggies and fruit.

    Your health > your wallet.

    Cereal and 2% or whole fat milk is easily one of the most nutritionally complete things you can buy b/c they "fortify" them. If you're stuck on an island- having a box of cereal isn't a bad thing. at all.

    Milk is great. If you get milk coupons use it, sure.  I buy organic Costco milk, which isn't something you could extreme coupon for..

    The kind of cereal that has coupons tends to be crap. Breakfast should be < 5g of sugar. Most cereals have 15-20+g of sugar per serving, and most people eat multiple servings. Simple spraying on a bunch of vitamins does not make it nutritious. For proof of that, look into study of how little multivitamins do in otherwise healthy adults. You are basically paying to add some chemicals to your pee.

    Costco sells old fashioned oatmeal for < 10 cents per serving. Both cheaper and more nutritious than vitamin sprayed cereal.

    I'm pretty low carb in my life and i don't eat breakfast- and oatmeal just makes me hungry- so none of this every applies to my immediate life- buuuuuuut- I definitely can appreciate basic nut (hello grapenuts w/ added fruit!) type cereals that are fortified. And oats made with protein powder and half milk/half water are my go to "breakfast" food when I'm bulking.  If i"m bulking or poor AF- oats are definitely the way to go.

    Jon Bon

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #39 on: May 25, 2016, 04:13:34 PM »
    Have you ever been behind one of those people in line? Frankly I think they are kind of being jerks when it takes them 20 mins to check out.

    So no not a fan.

    Is also would put this on the same level as the Black Friday crazies. They don't even care about the product, it is the thrill of "deal" that has them waking up at 2am to stand in the cold.

    E_Monkey

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    Re: Anyone here Extreme Coupon?
    « Reply #40 on: August 17, 2016, 08:00:48 PM »
    I tried couponing. It wasn't worth it for groceries, but I was very surprised that brand name drugstore item prices with coupons were lower than the store brands' best sale price. Some other observations:

    * It's worth it if you are brand loyal on certain items.

    * It's great for consumable gifts (if the recipient is into them). Upscale toiletries, interesting food items.

    * This is something that I would use as a money-saving activity for tweens. If they save the family $5 on groceries, that $5 can go to them!