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Extreme Couponing. How do They do it? - Page 3

post #41 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach'smom View Post

Besides any good couponer knows that you get mustard for free.  orngbiggrin.gif I would NEVER pay .39 for mustard.  That is outrageous! 



 

I thought the same thing also but after thinking it over she must have used money making coupons to make the the mustard free or else she would have paid $15.60 alone for mustard.

 

I buy a lot of high processed food because I either get it free or more then likely I make a lots of money on it which I use the overage to buy things that I would actually feed my family. I then donate the items my family does not eat to the food bank because I know if my kids were hungry and I had no means to feed them I would not hesitate to give them the junk.

 

Last week, I was able to snag 3 pounds of organic steak from Albertson's for 27 cents for the whole thing. It was in the reduction bin and had been marked down plus each package had $3.00 off in store coupons plus I had 2- $2.00 off any meat that I got for buying my son summer sausage for boy scout trip that he needed. Plus I had gotten the summer sausage on sale also.

 

I wonder about the stock pile of these people. I am sure it is mostly for the show. Any good couponer knows the cycle of coupons and store items. For example I know I only need a years worth of toothpaste on hand because every January I will get free toothpaste again. So any overages for the year in toothpaste gets donated. So I do not have this massive stockpile at the most I have a years worth of items.

 

Oh and the time these people are spending. INSANE! I spend at the most an hour a week and that is with me multitasking. I do not believe in binders. I keep it simple. Because we homeschool we get 10 newspaper on Sunday plus we have a newspaper subscription for a total of 11 Sunday papers. I pull out the coupons on Sunday and bundle. I write on top the date it came out of the paper and the last expiration date of the coupon. So I will know on any given date if I can recycle that set of coupons because all that is left is expired ones. When the sales flyers come out I take a quick cruise of them but I mostly match what I have with the blogs out there. I belong to several. I never cut coupons either. I just rip the page(s) that I need from the store as we grab that item(s) my kids continue to rip the coupon down to size as we are shopping.

post #42 of 57

yeah she spent $24 on mustard.  crazy.  i think we only go through 2 bottles a year

post #43 of 57


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post

 

I wonder about the stock pile of these people. I am sure it is mostly for the show. Any good couponer knows the cycle of coupons and store items. For example I know I only need a years worth of toothpaste on hand because every January I will get free toothpaste again. So any overages for the year in toothpaste gets donated. So I do not have this massive stockpile at the most I have a years worth of items.

 

I think there must also be a bit of a hoarder mentality going on.   

 

My mom and dad would have qualified as extreme couponers.  We lived in a large house and there was excess stock shoved in everywhere.  My mom would buy cases of shampoo and tampons for  yet she and I were the only two women in the house and my dad was bald.  Once I figured it out that even if everyone of us (3 in the house) used one trash bag per day for the rest of our lives, we would never run out of trash bags.  The four commercial size chest freezers stocked with frozen pizzas and tv dinners were a sight to behold.  My mom was a pro.  I remember her planning out her weekly strategy to hit three or four grocery stores to maximize the savings.  We had so much of everything!

post #44 of 57

I fall into Velochic's camp. I really think she is my twin by other parents...

 

 

Anyhow, I personally do not use coupons because it just dosent work with our lifestyle or what products we purchase. Like said already, I also noticed about 95% of the products the people on the show purchased, we would not buy or give to our family. I live in the chicago area and there are no stores in my area who do double coupon days etc so it dosent help me. But a friend of mine is happy to take my coupon flyers each and every sunday from two papers we get delivered and have her way with them. I see no problem with this  at all nor do I think she is wrong to  use and buy the products I dont buy with  coupons. Her family, their diet, not mine. Just like I prefer people not to put us down for our natural lifestyle, I try to do the same.

 

For tp (we dont do family cloth) the target brand is the best for us. Buy it every few weeks or months because of a great sale, we are set.

 

Meats are purchased bulk once a year in sides and chicken on sale which I buy more of since I have a large freeezer. We also can grow foods, have organic produce delivered and as said, cook about 95% from scratch and purchase ingredients at a restrnt store  so we are pretty set that way.

 

ETA, had to go so need to add...

Like has been already said, most of the products that are showing coupons, I dont use the products. If I stumble across something we use, yes I would use the coupon, but I see myself buying to use the coupon otherwise. I find store brands for several items to work well and usually they are less expensive or on sale so it works fine.  I also use more natural products which can be purchased as a pp said, on the frontier co-op which I have run on my own for years. Also said, I didnt see a lot  of fresh products being purchased and again, we use a lot of fresh produce and organic in our diet. I as velochic, am not trying to look down on anyone, I have used my own resources to purchase good organic produce  as well as grow etc. I agree since we are discussing extreme couponing, if anyone of those people featured who spent hours researching and climbing in dumpsters, sttockpiling enough stuff they got for free, enough to find themselves on hoarders next,, took half that time to plan out their meals, their homes etc, they might find themselves saving more money and not have all those piles of stuff everywhere. Or they could use these resources to donate. I mean how long does it take to  eat 90 boxes of cereal? I would rather stock up on 5 or so, donate the rest so several families can reap in the benefits.

FWIW, I am glad to know the mamas on this sight who are couponing, are not doing it for hamburger helper (LOL) etc but for good items if that is the case. I have also seen the other extreme, otthers who have taken my coupons from my Sunday papers who are buying the processed stuff etc.


Edited by Amys1st - 4/14/11 at 7:22pm
post #45 of 57

Remember we discussed the Birdseye Steamfresh earlier in the thread?  Just want to give a heads up, particularly for anyone who has both a Meijer and a Kroger.

 

This sale week, (which for most ends tomorrow, for Indy folks, has just begun yesterday) Kroger has Birdseye Steamfresh for 10 for $10.  But, next sale cycle (for for most, starting Sunday, for Indy folks, starting a week from yesterday) they are going to be on sale at Meijer for 89c each.  So, if you have coupons fo these, hold on to them.  If you don't have coupons, time to start looking!

post #46 of 57
I read this thread with interest...I don't use coupons, mostly because I hardly ever shop at the grocery store (we shop at Trader Joe's, and fill in the gaps at Target, Costco, farmer's markets/CSA in season). I did check out some of the coupon blogs listed here, though, and wanted to give them a little shout out - it's really cool that these bloggers figure out the deals for you! I found out I could get organic half and half for .29/pint, and YoBaby four-packs for $1 each, just by printing coupons from online. Pretty neat! I think I'll start scanning the blogs once a week to see if there's anything I could use.
post #47 of 57

I spotted this on one of the blogs/forums and had to share it here

 

http://www.weusecoupons.com/upload/wuc-blog/142608-reality-tv-v-our-reality.html

 

And also this one because we were talking about eating healthy.

 

http://www.weusecoupons.com/upload/articles/142759-losing-weight-budget.html

 

 

post #48 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post

Remember we discussed the Birdseye Steamfresh earlier in the thread?  Just want to give a heads up, particularly for anyone who has both a Meijer and a Kroger.

 

This sale week, (which for most ends tomorrow, for Indy folks, has just begun yesterday) Kroger has Birdseye Steamfresh for 10 for $10.  But, next sale cycle (for for most, starting Sunday, for Indy folks, starting a week from yesterday) they are going to be on sale at Meijer for 89c each.  So, if you have coupons fo these, hold on to them.  If you don't have coupons, time to start looking!



 

If you live where there is an Albertson's, Washington, Idaho, and California the Birdseye Steamers are free this week with the coupon doubler. The coupons where in the March 20th paper.

post #49 of 57

Very interesting thread and discussion. 

 

The stores near me don't double or accept internet coupons either. We're not extreme about coupons, but I do find them useful. My parents save them for us. We subscribe to the town paper, but the Sunday paper is such a behemoth that I don't want another one! 

 

I have found some really good coupons lately: Silk milks, a brand of cherry tomatoes, Nasoya tofu, Pyrex glass, Fiber One cereal etc. They do make a difference with rising food prices. 

 

The closest thing I do to "extreme" couponing is stacking the coupons I find with the sales of the week in order to get free or nearly free items. I can walk out with a sack of good stuff from CVS, usually with about $15 out of pocket. 

post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mum4boys View Post





 

If you live where there is an Albertson's, Washington, Idaho, and California the Birdseye Steamers are free this week with the coupon doubler. The coupons where in the March 20th paper.



 


I am in Indianapolis, no Albertson's here.  Did you maybe get different coupons, cause the ones I got on the 20th were 50c off 2.  Did you maybe get 50c off 1?  If so, I would love to trade!!!:-)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah32 View Post

Very interesting thread and discussion. 

 

The stores near me don't double or accept internet coupons either. We're not extreme about coupons, but I do find them useful. My parents save them for us. We subscribe to the town paper, but the Sunday paper is such a behemoth that I don't want another one! 

 

I have found some really good coupons lately: Silk milks, a brand of cherry tomatoes, Nasoya tofu, Pyrex glass, Fiber One cereal etc. They do make a difference with rising food prices. 

 

The closest thing I do to "extreme" couponing is stacking the coupons I find with the sales of the week in order to get free or nearly free items. I can walk out with a sack of good stuff from CVS, usually with about $15 out of pocket. 


Yeah, the most recent Silk Coupons were FABULOUS.  $1 off 1, plus my store has their own store coupon to stack it with.  Even without a sale, that makes it a pretty good deal. 
 

 

post #51 of 57

Yeah, I redeemed at a different grocery store than my usual, because my usual doesn't carry Silk Almond. I got a catalina coupon for 75 cents off of Silk too. Combining the two, I can get a 1/2 gallon of Silk for $2.25. That's pretty respectable. 

 

My parents had two copies of those, so I've got enough Silk Coupons for a month or so. 

 

Another thing I don't get about couponing with multiple copies of the same coupon. Around here, it's one coupon per item purchased. Are some people able to use, for example, all 4 Silk coupons to get 2 Silks for free? 

post #52 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah32 View Post

Yeah, I redeemed at a different grocery store than my usual, because my usual doesn't carry Silk Almond. I got a catalina coupon for 75 cents off of Silk too. Combining the two, I can get a 1/2 gallon of Silk for $2.25. That's pretty respectable. 

 

My parents had two copies of those, so I've got enough Silk Coupons for a month or so. 

 

Another thing I don't get about couponing with multiple copies of the same coupon. Around here, it's one coupon per item purchased. Are some people able to use, for example, all 4 Silk coupons to get 2 Silks for free? 

Nope, just stacking like you are.  You can in some cases use multiple store coupons, like at CVS.  For example, if you are buying diapers there, you could use a $3 off a box from Pampers, then if you have a CVS coupon that says something like save $3 off your next baby purchase, then one that says save $3 off a $15 purchase and then ECBs on top of that, you can stack all those together.  But you can't use $1 off 1 Silk and then $0.75 off Silk on the same half gallon.

 

The only exception to the 1 coupon per item purchase is with a BOGO coupon and a $x off 1 coupon, and that's going to depend on the store.  As an example, if you have a $1 off 1 Silk coupon AND a Buy One Get One Free Silk coupon, you can, at some stores, use the $1 off 1 Silk coupon for the 1 you are buying and then use the BOGO to get a second one free.  So if Silk is $3 for a half gallon, you could use the $1 off 1 to get it for $2 for a half gallon, then use the BOGO to get a second half gallon (there is no BOGO out for it currently that I know of, it's just an example :D ) Most stores that I know of will allow this, some have a coupon policy that doesn't allow it.  The reason it works is because the discount on the BOGO applies to the second half gallon, not the first. 

 

 

post #53 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

I saw the ad for the show, but haven't seen it, so take this for what it's worth.  OK - I have to ask this because this is always the question that pops into my mind when I hear about these things...  I get a newspaper (free, local) every weekend and they have coupons.  I diligently search through them and usually find one or two things we will eat (organic yogurt, bread, a local restaurant coupon), but for the most part, the coupons are for extremely processed, high-fat, high-sodium foods that we simply don't eat.  If these people are saving so much money in food, do they not realize that they are going to be paying for it down the line with health care costs? 

 

I haven't read through all the responses yet  but wanted to mention that our local health food store has coupon books called Mambo Sprouts that contains coupons for the stuff we really buy (organic cheese and yogurt, tamari, gluten-free items).  I know we've saved a little money with those!  

post #54 of 57

I've been couponing for 5 years and I have no clue how the people in that show can go from a $900 bill to $12.00.. I will say that out "unwritten rule" is out the window. I see so many ladies at the grocery store with notebooks like mine and they are clearing out the shelves and newspaper stands. I live in a small area and have to travel to shop so if I miss a deal I need to let it go. New couponers need to learn not to steal papers from machines and not to clear the shelves. :0)

post #55 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna Simo View Post

I've been couponing for 5 years and I have no clue how the people in that show can go from a $900 bill to $12.00.. I will say that out "unwritten rule" is out the window. I see so many ladies at the grocery store with notebooks like mine and they are clearing out the shelves and newspaper stands. I live in a small area and have to travel to shop so if I miss a deal I need to let it go. New couponers need to learn not to steal papers from machines and not to clear the shelves. :0)



I don't know how this happens, either.  Where I live, even if you had that many coupons (which would be nuts!), you'd still have to pay the tax on everything.  On $900, that's at least $30 or so. 

 

post #56 of 57

I coupon for myself and my hubby. We don't follow the "rules" of couponing per say to get the BEST deals but we get the best deals for us. (we're a bit picky.) For example one thing I was taught was to never be brand specific. For example cat litter is not the same across brands. I've tried the stuff I can get for 1.00 and with this preggo nose it is NOT happening and it's a waste of 1.00 considering how awful it works. So we buy the expensive stuff instead. This is one case but we have several things like this. Also if you want juice without corn syrup and such then you will have to learn when those deals are and stock up for a bit as the "good" stuff takes longer to go on sale. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robin4kids View Post

Here are some questions to ponder.

1. None of the stores near me double $1 coupons. Do these people have great stores with awesome deals I do not have?

2. Most coupons are for $1 off 2-3 name brand items. Am I missing something? This is NOT a deal. I could buy the store brand for less.

3. Where do they get so many coupons? Are they buying 100s of news papers every week? Are they printing out coupons?

4. If they are printing off coupons, can you copy a printed coupon?

5. What system are they using to keep track of all those coupons?

 

So does anyone else want to try this out? I mean really, there has to be a way to save on food.

We have a budget of 60.00 each week for 2 people. Though we have been going over a bit lately with so many people around us having birthdays and weddings lately. :P 
1.) we have one store that will double .99 cent coupons or less. No one dollar ones. The stores in these shows break the rules for the show. Most stores only allow either a certain number of coupons per checkout, or a even a certain number of checkouts. Some stores are more picky on what they will double than others. For example. I rarely shop at ingles because ours only doubles 3 coupons that are 50c or less, per 10.00 spent. Not really worth it unless you are stocking up on meat and produce too put you over the amount for coupons you want doubled. 

2.) Coupons are different in different areas. I know for a fact that they also vary by time of year. So frozen food coupons tend to happen early in the year, and then later in th year their "value" goes down. If I know of a good one I'll find it through a clipping service on e-bay, or some other site. 

3.) See previous answer. I typically pay for someone to clip 15-20 coupons of the same type for me. I have a price I'm willing to pay and will put it on my watch list till it shows up for that price then snatch it up! You can print out coupons but I find most are not for products I buy. It's worth checking out though! 

4.) NO. Copying coupons though possible is illegal. Coupons are considered legal tender in many states. And copying them is like making money. Illegal. it also get's the store in trouble with the manufacturer and as a result they may not put that item on sale as often or will restrict what coupons they accept. So it hurts everyone. 

5.) There's many different ways to do it. I use the binder and baseball card sleeves, Some only clip for the trip and will take the inserts out of the paper, date the front with a sharpie and file till the sale. Then they clip what they need and put the insert back in the file. Some use spreadsheets, some use envelopes, some clip only exactly what they will use, etc. You can try many different methods to see what works for you. 

 

Hope that helps! The best way to deal with the must buy 2-3 items for 1.00 off is to wait for them to go bogo or on a really good sale. Then store brand isn't cheaper. I try to save certain coupons for those deals. Like pet food coupons for example, or cereal. Also a lot of cleaning and personal care products are cheaper at the drug store than the grocery store. So I try to shop there for things like toothbrushes and razors. I haven't bought a new razor or blade in over 2 years because I am so stocked up. I buy shampoo, and deodorant every 3-6 months. I buy cat food about every 4 months, etc. 

 

post #57 of 57

BetsyS,

 

I think they get it that low, by actually "making" money on items (paying -1.00 after coupons). Some items, they will say that they are buying it only because it's a "moneymaker", meaning the price is negative. You see that on the episodes with things like candy bars (Mentos in one episode). So some stores then factor all the negatives in to the final price. But some stores will not do that.

 

Or with those catalinas (coupons that print at register) that say "5.00 off next visit when you spend $50 or more."  And I think they take that from the first transaction, and use it on the second transaction.

 

Then some people also get points on their store card, by buying a certain item. Then those store points can be used like cash. I saw that in a recent episode with the guy from Long Island with the 9 months pregnant wife. So maybe those points further bring down the total.

 

I am not an extreme couponer, I just use them kind of casually to save money. But I am fascinated by how people do this, so I've been watching the episodes closely to try to figure it out.

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