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post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MangoMommy View Post

I'm not sure what to do with all my Glade candles, etc. I'm not sure if Goodwill will take them or not. 

Donate them to homeless shelters! Last night we had an electrical sub-station go out, and our city and several nearby towns were out of electricity. I volunteer at our women's shelter, and I was thinking that I wasn't sure what they're doing because I don't know that they have enough candles for everyone. It'd be nice to have a stash just in case.
 

ETA: The reason for reading the thread in the first place --- how did you get started with couponing? Just picking up the Sunday paper? I know I can do online coupons, too. How long did it take you to begin seeing savings? I recently set a fairly strict budget for us. We buy groceries every 2 weeks. I guessed on the grocery budget (because we were spending tons on going out to eat). We went over by $43 for the 2-week period, so if I could save $25 a week with coupons, that would be awesome!

 

We are in the same boat as some others in that we don't have any stores that double, triple, etc., and I've never seen coupons for lots that we buy. I hadn't thought about using overages, but that could be a good way to go - and somehow thrilling! I could get DC to help with the process, too.

post #22 of 36

I am a mega couponer - I sell the excess non-food to friends and family via yard sales. It works for me.

 

I do donate food when I can, but right now funds have been very tight.

post #23 of 36

The people who were featured on the show are part of a group of people (or at least I know a couple of them are) who are trying to donate a lot to food banks for as little out of pocket as possible.  The way they do this is by mega couponing and watching sales.  There's more information about their project on The Penny Experiment: http://www.pennyexperiment.com/

 

I personally think what they're doing is commendable, and I'm sure that those who benefit from the food donations are thankful for their work.

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach'smom View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

I watched it... it was really neat how much they could save but as I posted on facebook, I wouldn't be proud of my savings if THAT is the bulk of my diet.  It was seriously gross.  However I will say how much they DID pay for what they bought was at least in line with what I think its worth.  I wouldn't want to pay 250 bucks for that stuff... 6 dollars seems a lot fairer for what you get.

 

I can only assume that the products that have coupons for them are over priced anyway.  How much could it possibly cost to make a box of total?  Of course the company can afford people to use coupons... its not like they are buying real food.


I doubt that the families that were given boxes of the cereal would agree with you.

Those people put together huge shopping trips for the show.  Their regular shopping trips save a ton, but are not as spectacular and entertaining as what was shown on the show.

The first woman they showed had a truck from the food pantry load up at her house the day after the show.

The Krazy Coupon Lady (the 2nd woman) donated her entire shopping trip.  She also has her own website and her own book.

The guy with the 1100 boxes of Total regularly donates huge amounts to his church food pantry.

 

I wish they had shown all the donating and shown some of the families that benefit from it.  But that would not have made exciting TV.

 


Actually, that would have made MUCH better tv for me.  The way they set up the bulk of the show, it was just watching people buying crap in large amounts which makes my heart hurt if they don't NEED to buy that way to live.  Watching a show set up to show the potential of coupons in terms of spending very little while still giving a great deal to people who just need food period would have made me very happy.

 

I knew about the donating side that the show didn't really share other than the guy with the cereal, but I also know there are people who do this JUST because they can save money, whether its healthy or not, whether they'll use it or not and since they didn't make it a point to show that this show is directly benefiting people who need and WILL use everything, it was just a reminder that processed packaged food is the bulk of the American diet, especially for those in need which is ridiculously unfair.  Why should someone who needs help with groceries have to eat the things I wouldn't feed my kid?

 

It wasn't exciting tv.  Watching families who are so grateful for receiving a box of total would be exciting for me because that is wonderful.  It was actually quite uncomfortable watching someone spend nothing on mostly things I wouldn't or can't eat/use and knowing someone else is going to eat/use it, whether it is the couponer or someone they donate to.

 

If I needed help, I'd eat total and pepsi every day if necessary just to be sure I'm getting SOMETHING but it isn't right that for some people, that just might be reality... either because they need the help or because they don't know or care that the bulk of the coupon foods you can buy just aren't a good foundation to a diet.

post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach'smom View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

I watched it... it was really neat how much they could save but as I posted on facebook, I wouldn't be proud of my savings if THAT is the bulk of my diet.  It was seriously gross.  However I will say how much they DID pay for what they bought was at least in line with what I think its worth.  I wouldn't want to pay 250 bucks for that stuff... 6 dollars seems a lot fairer for what you get.

 

I can only assume that the products that have coupons for them are over priced anyway.  How much could it possibly cost to make a box of total?  Of course the company can afford people to use coupons... its not like they are buying real food.


I doubt that the families that were given boxes of the cereal would agree with you.

Those people put together huge shopping trips for the show.  Their regular shopping trips save a ton, but are not as spectacular and entertaining as what was shown on the show.

The first woman they showed had a truck from the food pantry load up at her house the day after the show.

The Krazy Coupon Lady (the 2nd woman) donated her entire shopping trip.  She also has her own website and her own book.

The guy with the 1100 boxes of Total regularly donates huge amounts to his church food pantry.

 

I wish they had shown all the donating and shown some of the families that benefit from it.  But that would not have made exciting TV.

 


Actually, that would have made MUCH better tv for me.  The way they set up the bulk of the show, it was just watching people buying crap in large amounts which makes my heart hurt if they don't NEED to buy that way to live.  Watching a show set up to show the potential of coupons in terms of spending very little while still giving a great deal to people who just need food period would have made me very happy.

 

I knew about the donating side that the show didn't really share other than the guy with the cereal, but I also know there are people who do this JUST because they can save money, whether its healthy or not, whether they'll use it or not and since they didn't make it a point to show that this show is directly benefiting people who need and WILL use everything, it was just a reminder that processed packaged food is the bulk of the American diet, especially for those in need which is ridiculously unfair.  Why should someone who needs help with groceries have to eat the things I wouldn't feed my kid?

 

It wasn't exciting tv.  Watching families who are so grateful for receiving a box of total would be exciting for me because that is wonderful.  It was actually quite uncomfortable watching someone spend nothing on mostly things I wouldn't or can't eat/use and knowing someone else is going to eat/use it, whether it is the couponer or someone they donate to.

 

If I needed help, I'd eat total and pepsi every day if necessary just to be sure I'm getting SOMETHING but it isn't right that for some people, that just might be reality... either because they need the help or because they don't know or care that the bulk of the coupon foods you can buy just aren't a good foundation to a diet.



agreed. this stuff is not *food*... yes you will survive but what cost? now i just learned the fact that you can use food "stamps" at the farmers market- thumb.gif

post #26 of 36


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach'smom View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

I watched it... it was really neat how much they could save but as I posted on facebook, I wouldn't be proud of my savings if THAT is the bulk of my diet.  It was seriously gross.  However I will say how much they DID pay for what they bought was at least in line with what I think its worth.  I wouldn't want to pay 250 bucks for that stuff... 6 dollars seems a lot fairer for what you get.

 

I can only assume that the products that have coupons for them are over priced anyway.  How much could it possibly cost to make a box of total?  Of course the company can afford people to use coupons... its not like they are buying real food.


I doubt that the families that were given boxes of the cereal would agree with you.

Those people put together huge shopping trips for the show.  Their regular shopping trips save a ton, but are not as spectacular and entertaining as what was shown on the show.

The first woman they showed had a truck from the food pantry load up at her house the day after the show.

The Krazy Coupon Lady (the 2nd woman) donated her entire shopping trip.  She also has her own website and her own book.

The guy with the 1100 boxes of Total regularly donates huge amounts to his church food pantry.

 

I wish they had shown all the donating and shown some of the families that benefit from it.  But that would not have made exciting TV.

 


Actually, that would have made MUCH better tv for me.  The way they set up the bulk of the show, it was just watching people buying crap in large amounts which makes my heart hurt if they don't NEED to buy that way to live.  Watching a show set up to show the potential of coupons in terms of spending very little while still giving a great deal to people who just need food period would have made me very happy.

 

I knew about the donating side that the show didn't really share other than the guy with the cereal, but I also know there are people who do this JUST because they can save money, whether its healthy or not, whether they'll use it or not and since they didn't make it a point to show that this show is directly benefiting people who need and WILL use everything, it was just a reminder that processed packaged food is the bulk of the American diet, especially for those in need which is ridiculously unfair.  Why should someone who needs help with groceries have to eat the things I wouldn't feed my kid?

 

It wasn't exciting tv.  Watching families who are so grateful for receiving a box of total would be exciting for me because that is wonderful.  It was actually quite uncomfortable watching someone spend nothing on mostly things I wouldn't or can't eat/use and knowing someone else is going to eat/use it, whether it is the couponer or someone they donate to.

 

If I needed help, I'd eat total and pepsi every day if necessary just to be sure I'm getting SOMETHING but it isn't right that for some people, that just might be reality... either because they need the help or because they don't know or care that the bulk of the coupon foods you can buy just aren't a good foundation to a diet.


That would have made a GREAT show for you or me.  I tuned in because I thought it was going to be more of a practical show and that I could learn a bit about making my grocery $$ stretch further.  However most of the American public are not interested in something as mundane as that.  Showing these ridiculously huge shopping trips and making people look like they are unbalanced is going to get better ratings then a simple show how using coupons on a less extreme level can help stretch your budget.  It is just reality whether we like it or not.

 

Of course there are people out there that will buy anything if it is cheap or free.  Couponing is like anything else- there will be people that take it to excess. 

 

Of course, people would be better off eating fresh, non-processed, prepackaged food!  I am fortunate that our family has the money to buy lots of wonderful food and that I am well versed in healthy eating, gardening and cooing so that I can provide healthy meals for my family.  It is unfortunate realty that many people do not cook and their diets consist of fast food and processed food.  Unfortunately food pantries are not always stocked with fresh organic foods.  They are stocked with donations. 

The people on that show donated because they want to help people.  It wasn't part of some evil plot to force people with financial problems to eat processed foods. 

 

 I certainly am not advocating living on processed crap and doing anything to excess or sensationalist tv shows.  I just get irritated when people start bashing other people that are doing their best to help other people in need. 

post #27 of 36

agreed. this stuff is not *food*... yes you will survive but what cost? now i just learned the fact that you can use food "stamps" at the farmers market- thumb.gif



I am not disagreeing with you.  I just don't think that people should be bashed for trying to help other people.  I think the sad state of the typical American diet is another topic all together.

post #28 of 36

One other thing to keep in mind is that these huge trips were specifically set up just for the show.  At least two of the trips were to Kroger stores.  The shoppers were allowed to double all the coupons they have but most Kroger stores have a limit on both the number of coupons you can double AND the number of the same coupon you can use.  At all the Krogers in my area, they will only double two of the same coupon and you can only use a total of six of the same kind of coupon in a single transaction.  So, in order for these folks to make these trips with that many of the same coupon (200 boxes of pasta? ) they would have had to have had special permission from the store, via the show. 

 

And the fact that so much of what they bought was crap (really 140 candy bars?) was just crazy to me.  The only time I could possibly imagine even considering buying that much candy, even if it's free, is for Halloween, to give out...maybe.  (not this year, I have stickers and fake tattoos already bought on clearance to give out this coming Halloween.)  There's plenty of deals for stuff that's not crappy food.  I have several boxes of whole grain pasta up in my pantry that I got for free using coupons and sales.  I am going to CVS today to pick up dishwasher detergent that I will get for free too.  And, I am getting free pens at Walgreens-they are on sale for 1.99 and BIC has a coupon online for $2 off. 

 

So, yeah, the show was extreme, but with the word extreme right in the title I wouldn't expect anything else.  Just know that like most reality shows it was an extreme example of a particular group, most couponers aren't like that at all. 

 

post #29 of 36

See, I'm not going to judge what they want to donate.  And I'll admit, that I buy organic for my family, but will coupon for free stuff to donate. I don't donate organic stuff unless I get it in bulk, which normally I don't.  My family is on a tight budget but still want to help. 

 

While the "average" American may eat crappy, I'm not going to tell someone what to eat. I've donated boxes and boxes of fruity Cheerios (got them for $.10 a box) and to the average Mothering.com parent, that cereal is high in sugar (true) but to someone who just NEEDS food, it also has vitamins and fiber and fills their stomach so they can function. 

post #30 of 36

fascinating discussion.  I'm impressed by how much some people pay attention at the grocery store, but I can't figure out how the average shopping trip (updating price books, searching out certain brands and calculating what will get you the most for your money) doesn't take 8 hours?  I have started couponing a little though... but I've run into a similar situation as many people - most things I buy are not mainstream, so there aren't tons of coupons available... and the rest is fresh, for which there doesn't appear to be coupons often, either...

 

I LOOOOOOVE that people use extreme couponing as a way to donate, though.  I heard about that a couple weeks ago and thought it was just awesome.

post #31 of 36

I shop once a week, at a couple of different stores. Two of my stores are literally next door to each other (Publix and Kroger), so no time wasted from one to the other.  The other stores I frequent are three different international markets (beloved for different reasons), plus Aldi's.  I don't hit all 6 in one week, though.  Every other week, I tend to do a big shop, hitting at least 2 stores, and it takes 2-3 hours.  The alternate week, my list is smaller, and it's around 30 minutes.  I probably spend 30-45 minutes making a list and getting coupons together.  I cut coupons on Sunday nights while watching tv, so maybe 30 minutes there?  All told, I probably average 2 hours a week on grocery shopping/couponing/meal planning.  And most of that time seems like fun, but I realize that is a sickness.  LOL

 

I follow blogs for the specials at Kroger and Publix.  I will look at the specials each week, and I'll pick the one that has the most stuff on sale that I need, then shop there.  If neither has good sales, I'll hit Aldi instead.  I almost always go to one of these three mainstream stores each week.  I need milk, bread, peanut butter, laundry detergent, stuff like that that is easiest found at a mainstream store.  If a store has something for free or cheap with coupons (and those blogs do the matching for me), I might make an extra trip while I'm out and about during the week.  My kids don't seem to mind a 15 minute trip here or there.

 

I hit the international markets for meat, produce, coffee, beans.  Things that rarely go on sale anyway, so I just trust that the international market has a decent price (and they do), and I don't worry too much about comparing prices.

 

This said, I have the luxury of living in a large city, and I have lots of options for shopping.  And nothing is more than 15 minutes away, even with traffic, so that's nice, too.

post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post

fascinating discussion.  I'm impressed by how much some people pay attention at the grocery store, but I can't figure out how the average shopping trip (updating price books, searching out certain brands and calculating what will get you the most for your money) doesn't take 8 hours?  I have started couponing a little though... but I've run into a similar situation as many people - most things I buy are not mainstream, so there aren't tons of coupons available... and the rest is fresh, for which there doesn't appear to be coupons often, either...

 

I LOOOOOOVE that people use extreme couponing as a way to donate, though.  I heard about that a couple weeks ago and thought it was just awesome.


An average shopping trip isn't usually for a whole lot of stuff and is usually well planned in advance.  Now, if you take into account ALL the planning time and coupon clipping, organizing and printing each week, it *might* maybe total 8hr in a week, on the higher end of things.  But really, it's not even usually that much.  I have a few coupon blogs saved to my favorites, so when I am nursing the baby, I surf the net and hit up those sites.  Coupon blogs list the stuff on sale for what price, how much the coupons available are and usually where to find them, and the final price after the coupons and discouts.  They also list various deal ideas when stores include money back coupons. Many will also list how much the regular price is at that store, so you know how much you saved off that, some will code the final prices as a good price, great price or stock up price (which is of course totally the opinion of the blogger, but usually it meshes with my own opinion.) So, a quick scan of those for the stores I most commonly shop will help me quickly and easily decide what I want to get.  Then I just have to find the coupons and toss them in an envelope with my list (so that I don't get more than I plan to) and head out, when I am ready. 

 

As far as what you buy being not "mainstream" and not having coupons.....I find that that type of thinking is more of a mental block than a major issue.  Sure, it will be more difficult to find coupon for specific organic or fresh items.  But to give an example...Meijer ran a sale last week on cheese, plus they were giving money back-buy so much cheese, get a coupon back for $X off your next order.  This was on regular cheese, not the sandwich individually wrapped slices.  I bought lots of cheese (it freezes well) and got a total of $11 off my next order back.  That can be used for whatver I want, including "non mainstream" items.  The drug stores are good at this, CVS has extra bucks, Walgreens has Register Rewards, Rite Aid has something too (not sure what they call them.)  And you can often find plenty of coupons for the not food stuff-toothpaste, toilet paper, shampoo, makeup (if you wear it, there are TONS AND TONS of makeup coupons-I don't wear it so I miss out there.)  And, even if you can't find the coupons for the stuff you are buying, it's still probably going to go on sale at some point, so that's when you stock up on it.  If you buy organic corn when it's on sale for 50c and ear and freeze it, then when it's back up to $1 an ear, you still have some that you paid half price for.

post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderdust View Post

The people who were featured on the show are part of a group of people (or at least I know a couple of them are) who are trying to donate a lot to food banks for as little out of pocket as possible.  The way they do this is by mega couponing and watching sales.  There's more information about their project on The Penny Experiment: http://www.pennyexperiment.com/

 

I personally think what they're doing is commendable, and I'm sure that those who benefit from the food donations are thankful for their work.


I think that's awesome.  

post #34 of 36

There are printable coupons for Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen (Glen Muir?) right now, for reference. If you "like" some of these companies on FB, often you can get coupons that way. I emailed Chobani and told them how much I love their yogurt, and asked if they could mail me some coupons, and they did. 

 

The only coupons I've seen for organic chicken,etc is when Whole Foods has it on sale, but sometimes Costco is still cheaper. 

 

post #35 of 36

I'm wanting to start couponing. Oh, and I just learned that I can use coupons with food "stamps" (aka SNAP) and not have to pay taxes on the coupon. I was told that I would so I never used coupons before. Anyways, I am mostly posting to subscribe ;) thanks for the great link to http://www.organicgrocerydeals.com/forums/

post #36 of 36

Hi, I saw the same exact shows.  My question is, how do they do the mathematics of figuring out how much of what to buy?  I have couponed, but never to that degree.  I would love to learn how.

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