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#121 of 168 Old 05-30-2011, 11:21 AM
 
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Check craigslist out.  There won't be anything really local to you but if you can fit in a side trip while in new west, langley, or somewhere, you can stock up for $3-4 on farm fresh ones.  We usually buy 5-6 dozen at a time since we go through them a lot faster than they go bad. If you paid a lot for gas it wouldn't be worth it but we use so many eggs that when I have to pay $6 at the grocery store I feel like crying.

 


I should try that. (I never use craigslist - the format bugs me, but I don't know why, yk?) The problem is that I really don't leave North Van all that much, except for Hula Hoot (biweekly and over until September), and I don't know where I'd put 5-6 dozen eggs. We have such a small fridge. When I have three dozen in there, which is only when they're on sale, they dominate my fridge!

 


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#122 of 168 Old 05-31-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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I should try that. (I never use craigslist - the format bugs me, but I don't know why, yk?) The problem is that I really don't leave North Van all that much, except for Hula Hoot (biweekly and over until September), and I don't know where I'd put 5-6 dozen eggs. We have such a small fridge. When I have three dozen in there, which is only when they're on sale, they dominate my fridge!

 


you probably don't have to keep them refrigerated.

 

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#123 of 168 Old 05-31-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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you probably don't have to keep them refrigerated.

 


If the eggs have NEVER been refrigerated, they don't have to be.

 

If they have been refrigerated, you have to keep them refrigerated.

 

You might be able to ask a farm to set aside X dozen eggs to be never refrigerated for you. It's best to ask them to not clean them too (cleaning can damage the protective layer). You can clean them as you use them, or as you put a dozen in your fridge.

 


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#124 of 168 Old 06-01-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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Thanks laohaire.  I never knew this.  Great info. :D
 

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If the eggs have NEVER been refrigerated, they don't have to be.

 

If they have been refrigerated, you have to keep them refrigerated.

 

You might be able to ask a farm to set aside X dozen eggs to be never refrigerated for you. It's best to ask them to not clean them too (cleaning can damage the protective layer). You can clean them as you use them, or as you put a dozen in your fridge.

 



 


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#125 of 168 Old 06-01-2011, 11:17 AM
 
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If they have been refrigerated, you have to keep them refrigerated.

 

This was driving me crazy with curiousity! I was thinking, for instance, apples - they don't have to be refrigerated. If they have been in the fridge, I can take them out and put them on the counter, no problem. Why would eggs, which don't have to be refrigerated in the first place, have to be KEPT refrigerated if they HAD been?...so I googled around and found an answer that makes pretty good logical sense: "After eggs are refrigerated, they need to stay that way. A cold egg left out at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the movement of bacteria into the egg and increasing the growth of bacteria. Refrigerated eggs should not be left out more than 2 hours. " (from http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Focus_On_Shell_Eggs/ )

Now it makes sense! :-)

 


 

 

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#126 of 168 Old 06-01-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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How long to non refrigerated unwashed eggs last sitting out?  a week?  a month?  If I were to buy a few dozen eggs fresh how quickly would I need to use all of them up?

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#127 of 168 Old 06-02-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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Oh... 6 weeks.

 

I do the float test if my eggs are aging. Put the egg in enough water that you could see if it floats. If it floats, it's bad. If it just stands on end but doesn't float, it's aging but ok. If it completely sinks, it's fresh.

 

I pay attention to even known fresh eggs when I pick them up - I seem to be able to tell when one feels lighter than it should be. Even a fresh egg can have an unseen puncture in the shell that would lead it to go bad. I don't float test every single egg, just pay attention. They should feel dense.


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#128 of 168 Old 06-03-2011, 11:21 PM
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Oh... 6 weeks.

 

I do the float test if my eggs are aging. Put the egg in enough water that you could see if it floats. If it floats, it's bad. If it just stands on end but doesn't float, it's aging but ok. If it completely sinks, it's fresh.

 

I pay attention to even known fresh eggs when I pick them up - I seem to be able to tell when one feels lighter than it should be. Even a fresh egg can have an unseen puncture in the shell that would lead it to go bad. I don't float test every single egg, just pay attention. They should feel dense.


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#129 of 168 Old 06-03-2011, 11:23 PM
 
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I have heard many on the ECing show state they give to shelters, churches, missions, etc. One family sends thousands of care packages to the military. I think that is GREAT! 

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#130 of 168 Old 06-05-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm repeating (not reading the whole giant thread), but... why don't these people use the time & energy they spend on couponing to get a real job? Then they would have money and could actually BUY their stuff like everyone else. Just a thought.
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#131 of 168 Old 06-06-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm repeating (not reading the whole giant thread), but... why don't these people use the time & energy they spend on couponing to get a real job? Then they would have money and could actually BUY their stuff like everyone else. Just a thought.


Probably the 9% unemployment rate?  Maybe?

 

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#132 of 168 Old 06-06-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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Probably the 9% unemployment rate?  Maybe?

 


Thank you.

 

Or those of us that choose to stay home? We *could* spend that money on food...but we're trying to get out of debt so every penny saved counts!

 


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#133 of 168 Old 06-06-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm repeating (not reading the whole giant thread), but... why don't these people use the time & energy they spend on couponing to get a real job? Then they would have money and could actually BUY their stuff like everyone else. Just a thought.


Because I've been under/unemployed for three years and foodstamps only go so far and last time I checked foodstamps don't cover things like toilet paper, shampoo, detergent etc. ( ya we use those things around here )

Plus even before this whole personal financial mess I refused to pay for something I could get for free.  The coupon value is built into the cost of the item,

I spend 35-40 hrs a week networking, emailing, job hunting etc, I have a full time job looking for a job.  It's depressing.  I would gladly take a 'real job' and I would gladly 'buy stuff' like everyone else, ya know new shoes for DS, dental work, maybe even a much needed haircut!

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#134 of 168 Old 06-06-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm repeating (not reading the whole giant thread), but... why don't these people use the time & energy they spend on couponing to get a real job? Then they would have money and could actually BUY their stuff like everyone else. Just a thought.


Was this remark intended to be as rude as it came out? Or is it just the internet communication thing? 

 

My hubby was underemployed for two years and we lived on one middle class salary. Looks like our fortunes may be rising at the moment, but I'll be sticking to coupons. They'll let me put more money in the bank. 

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#135 of 168 Old 06-09-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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There's a few things a lot of people don't realize or understand about Extreme Couponing.

 

1. The whole thing was staged. That girl only bought 67 bottles of Maalox because it increased her total, and the coupons for $5 off brought it down that much lower, making it seem that much more "extreme." It was the same girl who had to call friends to be able to get $10 off her $50 purchase. The $50 was pre-coupon, so if the Maalox was $5.50 each, buying 8 would be $44. She'd need another $6 worth of stuff to get up to $50 to get the $10 off. So between using 8 $5 Maalox coupons and the $10 off from the store promotion, she'd basically be able to get $10 of stuff she *needed* for free. (Which she probably does on her regular shopping trips, to get stuff like her fresh produce and meats. But for the cameras, she got extra cheap/free stuff with coupons to bring her subtotal up super high just so that it would come down super low and seem very "extreme.")

 

Same thing as to why the twins bought every package of dental floss- it was on sale for $1 and they had $1 coupons, making it free. But if they got 100 packages of floss, making their subtotal $100, then after coupons it was just sales tax, wow, that's extreme! The twins buying 20 pork roasts for $1 each, totaling $20, doesn't sound as exciting as the narrator saying that their total was originally $120 and they got it down to $20 after coupons. (Or even $40 before the store card on just the pork roasts doesn't sound as "extreme" as a subtotal of $180 before the store card and $20 after.)

 

The producers told the couponers to come up with the most ridiculous, most extreme couponing shopping trip they could come up with.

 

2. There are some "extreme couponers" who buy in large quantities to resell. Not trying to start an ethical debate here. (I can see where some are coming from. Using the Maalox example from above, someone would be able to stretch their grocery budget by getting 8 Maaloxes and $10 worth of fresh produce, milk, meats, etc for free, and then turn around and sell it at their garage sale, a flea market, etc to help make ends meet. Yes, it could be donated, but if someone is unemployed/underemployed, adding 8 bottles of Maalox at $3 apiece to the table of garage sale stuff could net enough money for half a tank of gas. Or to be put towards groceries. The couponer gets "free" money, and the buyer gets a product they would buy anyway at the grocery store for about half price.) On another deal site, one of the veteran posters said that one of the guys on Extreme Couponing made something like $12,000 from a recent garage sale. Its an unconfirmed rumor, but it wouldn't surprise me, considering what his stockpile looks like. For some people, couponing *is* their job because of how much they make in the resale of these items.

 

I'm not to make all couponers look bad, as many do donate their excess, whether to charity or give it away to family and friends. Just trying to give another explanation for buying large quantities.

 

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#136 of 168 Old 06-09-2011, 11:31 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm repeating (not reading the whole giant thread), but... why don't these people use the time & energy they spend on couponing to get a real job? Then they would have money and could actually BUY their stuff like everyone else. Just a thought.


Because they're having fun couponing. And for the stay home parents who do it, it's something they can do to make money without having to work out childcare for their childcare, a home business.

 

 

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For some people, couponing *is* their job because of how much they make in the resale of these items.

 

My husband's aunt did that for years, getting things for free with coupons and selling them at flea markets. It paid the bills.


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#137 of 168 Old 06-14-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm repeating (not reading the whole giant thread), but... why don't these people use the time & energy they spend on couponing to get a real job? Then they would have money and could actually BUY their stuff like everyone else. Just a thought.


I think it is the high of getting something for "nothing" (although the definition of nothing seems flexible here.  as does the definition of something when it comes right down to it)  and maybe it starts out normal and then becomes a bit of an addiction.  But really I could coupon like this for 40 hours a week (or more) or work at a grocery store for 15 hours a week and spend the other 25 hours focusing on my kids.  I chose to work at a grocery store (now I am stuck there full time and it is our only source of income but back when...) always knew what the deals were and where the coupons could be found (hey we had to make shit chat about something "ooo this is a good one, was it in the Sunday paper or the shopper?" was as good as anything else ), got parishables at a deep discount (I never pay more than $2 a pound for meat and used to get all bakery good for $,25 a package.  From loaves of bread to sheet cakes and have gotten produce for $.25 a package as well). And did not have to burn a lot of gas running all over to get my "Free" stuff.  (is it really free if you use an extra tank of gas each month running around?)

 

I also have to say you just can't do this everywhere.  I live in South Dakota and no one here doubles (not in town.  some of the country stores might but their stuff is often twice the price), the store I work out won't take many of the coupons they show on these shows (no "free" item coupons and nothing printed off a computer).  We already have a computer program that recognizes if you actually have the product (and we may not override) and soon it will also be able to read the expiration code.  When I was a cashier I never saw coupons for meat and very very rarely one for produce.  And cashiers are threatened with loss of employment for taking bad (expired, fraudulent) coupons and they do check at the end of each shift, so coming through the lines with anything remotely suspicious will take you a very long time and manager approval to get through, adding more time to your couponing *job*.


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#138 of 168 Old 06-17-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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Sorry if I'm repeating (not reading the whole giant thread), but... why don't these people use the time & energy they spend on couponing to get a real job? Then they would have money and could actually BUY their stuff like everyone else. Just a thought.



I dont think this is meant to downgrade or be snarky. I know my DH said the same thing during a few of the shows. Mainly because he watched a women dumpster dive to get discarded coupons while her tot was there and the lady's dh was not happy about that. I also watched the couponer spend hours and hours getting ready for the shopping trip. I myself can see spending about 4 hours a MONTH planning your shopping if it means saving hundreds of dollars per month, but not hours and hours per day.

 


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#139 of 168 Old 06-17-2011, 08:41 PM
 
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I dont think this is meant to downgrade or be snarky. I know my DH said the same thing during a few of the shows. Mainly because he watched a women dumpster dive to get discarded coupons while her tot was there and the lady's dh was not happy about that. I also watched the couponer spend hours and hours getting ready for the shopping trip. I myself can see spending about 4 hours a MONTH planning your shopping if it means saving hundreds of dollars per month, but not hours and hours per day.

 



I can see that. I know that on the show there was a mom that seemed to talk DOWN about those of us that don't spend 60 hours a week couponing. Uh, I spend a couple of hours on Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday...that's it.


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#140 of 168 Old 06-19-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I can hold no judgment towards these extreme couponers. Almost all of them shared a back story of being impoverished and afraid of inability to feed their family. Stuff like that changes a person. 5 years ago I stood in Aldi with our last $12 and tried to figure out how I was going to stretch it so we could eat for at least a week, if not 2. I will not judge people for buying "frankenfood"..... it is much preferable to no food. There is a hoarding element, but that often comes along with people going through a time of extreme need previously.... it is a survival thing.

 

Also, I completely am thrilled to hear there are people (like velochic) who donate foods they ethically feel good about to food pantries. That is awesome and amazing and I wish that happened everywhere. However, the vast majority of food pantries are constantly running empty and happily will take boxes of "frankenfood" to hand out to people rather than have nothing to give. We have MILLIONS of children in this country who go to bed hungry at night and who may only eat whatever they get at the school. So, I am thrilled to watch this show and have mention of how many thousands of dollars worth of products the people have donated to their local shelters and pantries. You can bet the people of the community feel blessed to have them there.

 

I use coupons and try to double up deals whenever possible. I shop sales and try to keep our grocery budget low. I don't go to the extent of what these people are able to do as none of the stores here double and I really don't have the interest in clipping hundreds of coupons each week (or trying to collect them from dumpsters). I feel we eat pretty well, but there are some boxed things that come in and stretch the budget and I really don't feel bad about that at all. I don't think that it makes me any less NFL than the next lady just because my kids are eating corn flakes that I was able to get for 0.17/box. It is what I do so that I can still afford to pick up a bag of apples and some quinoa even during a tough month.

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#141 of 168 Old 06-19-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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some of them look like they are suffering from a combination of OCD and hoarding.

 

30 hours a week on coupons? at this point is is healthier to have a  real job.

 

There some who only get things they use and donate other things to charity.

 

but look at them all...they have classic  phisiological signs of addiction. One even said, "it is like crack"

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#142 of 168 Old 06-19-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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some of them look like they are suffering from a combination of OCD and hoarding.

 

30 hours a week on coupons? at this point is is healthier to have a  real job.

 

There some who only get things they use and donate other things to charity.

 

but look at them all...they have classic  phisiological signs of addiction. One even said, "it is like crack"


I finally saw the show for the first time last week while away... wow. I totally agree with you. Perhaps some of them do this just for fun but a lot of them had real signs of mental illness. One poor woman was crying as she talked about it. She said couponing brings her joy but she couldn't stop wiping away the tears and it just looked like every other addiction I've seen. And they were all so stressed out at the registers (although maybe that's because they were doing this huge shopping trip for the show?) And they had an insurance policy on their stockpile...

I just don't think I could live like that. I feel like they need psych help. It was hard to watch. greensad.gif I am soooo cheap and will go to great extents to save a buck, but this goes way beyond simply frugality.
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#143 of 168 Old 06-19-2011, 06:38 PM
 
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I watched a few episodes for the first time last week (I'd seen bits and pieces before but never whole episodes)... I found it pretty depressing, and yes, a few of the people are hoarders without a doubt.

 

It was depressing for me also because it seems to save to that extreme you have to be willing to buy a lot of processed food (remember the woman with an entire wall of canned soup in specialty shelves?) and not deal with picky eaters (i.e. the woman who bought a cartload of couscous even though they'd never eaten it before-- that would never happen in my house because the kids are so picky).  Also I try not to use commercial cleaners-- it seemed like everyone's "stash" contained hundreds of bottles of exactly that. 

 

I have been keeping my eye out for coupons since watching the show-- everything is very processed food and most are above 99 cents (where I live nowhere doubles coupons over 99 cents except for rare special weekend events).  However if you have a place that doubles over 99 cents and you're willing to eat lots of processed foods I can see it working out.

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#144 of 168 Old 06-20-2011, 06:42 AM
 
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Disagree, the one who is being investigated for fraud, never mentioned once about feeding her family. She said her DH lost his job and she didnt want to downsize her lifestyle. She flaunted her materialistic lifestyle while buying a cartful of mustard that no one in her family uses.

 

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I can hold no judgment towards these extreme couponers. Almost all of them shared a back story of being impoverished and afraid of inability to feed their family. Stuff like that changes a person. 5 years ago I stood in Aldi with our last $12 and tried to figure out how I was going to stretch it so we could eat for at least a week, if not 2. I will not judge people for buying "frankenfood"..... it is much preferable to no food. There is a hoarding element, but that often comes along with people going through a time of extreme need previously.... it is a survival thing.

 

Also, I completely am thrilled to hear there are people (like velochic) who donate foods they ethically feel good about to food pantries. That is awesome and amazing and I wish that happened everywhere. However, the vast majority of food pantries are constantly running empty and happily will take boxes of "frankenfood" to hand out to people rather than have nothing to give. We have MILLIONS of children in this country who go to bed hungry at night and who may only eat whatever they get at the school. So, I am thrilled to watch this show and have mention of how many thousands of dollars worth of products the people have donated to their local shelters and pantries. You can bet the people of the community feel blessed to have them there.

 

I use coupons and try to double up deals whenever possible. I shop sales and try to keep our grocery budget low. I don't go to the extent of what these people are able to do as none of the stores here double and I really don't have the interest in clipping hundreds of coupons each week (or trying to collect them from dumpsters). I feel we eat pretty well, but there are some boxed things that come in and stretch the budget and I really don't feel bad about that at all. I don't think that it makes me any less NFL than the next lady just because my kids are eating corn flakes that I was able to get for 0.17/box. It is what I do so that I can still afford to pick up a bag of apples and some quinoa even during a tough month.



 


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#145 of 168 Old 06-20-2011, 06:52 AM
 
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Why someone coupons is their business. Even the woman who wanted to keep her lifestyle-unless they are cheating in some way. But as long as all couponing someone is doing is legit, it's their own business. They are not cheating anyone. And I don't consider wanting to go out with friends once in a while materialistic, which is what this woman said.

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#146 of 168 Old 06-20-2011, 11:27 AM
 
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Right, which is why I said *almost* rather than stating that was the truth of each individual. I know that not every single person who does extreme couponing has lost their job or not been able to feed their kids, however, a good number of the people in the show have had some sort of back story similar to that they have shared.
 

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Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post

Disagree, the one who is being investigated for fraud, never mentioned once about feeding her family. She said her DH lost his job and she didnt want to downsize her lifestyle. She flaunted her materialistic lifestyle while buying a cartful of mustard that no one in her family uses.

 



 



 


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#147 of 168 Old 06-21-2011, 03:25 AM
 
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This show actually did open my eyes to the fact that I could be saving, if I just put forth a little time. And it opened my eyes that in general, I'm spending way too much. I generally eat whole foods (not processed foods) and cook from scratch though I do make rare exceptions to keep my sanity. I try to eat organic produce when possible, especially when it comes to the "dirty dozen." I try to buy more natural chicken, but still stuff they sell at my local grocer, which is from my state. However, in general, buying all food locally is not a big priority to me at this time, for various reasons. Though living in CA, most of my produce is local. I try to eat a lot of vegetables, and cooked dry beans, and often I'll use things like rice as a vehicle for more veggies. Though I don't cut out anything as an absolute, like red meats.

 

So all that said, here are some of the things I'm now saving on, since I've gotten on this coupon kick:

 

-Classico pasta sauce instead of canned tomatoes (it's in glass jars, so you don't get the BPA of cans).....they use olive oil instead of soybean oil (GMO's/pesticides in soy) and I don't find the flavors detract from any cuisine I make

 

-paper products like paper towels (yes I realize this isn't green), tissues, feminine care, etc.

 

-you can sometimes find coupons for dry "staples" like baking soda, sugar, etc.

 

-spices

 

-toothpaste (I prefer crest to the natural brands)

 

-razor heads

 

-Pur water filters

 

-ziplocs, which are a "safe" plastic by the way

 

-lots of stuff from Whole Foods, like the So Delicious Coconut creamers for my coffee. Whole Foods has coupon booklets you can get in the store. I also use Larabar coupons, etc.

 

-Ben&Jerry's ice cream

 

-boxed chicken broth (I don't always have homemade around)

 

-I am sure to now always use the "Catalina" coupons that are printed from that machine by the bagging area at checkout. Sometimes they are just $1 off anything, $5 off $50, etc. Sometimes they have Catalinas for produce too.

 

-Uncle Ben's rice, in case I can't get to a store with bulk bins

 

-coffee

 

I've used many more too. You can eat moderately "real food" with coupons. I do. Just look for a coupon for pretty much anything you buy that's a brand. Most of us do buy some brands, even if we cook from scratch a lot. I am already saving a lot of money. I am very frugal, so for me, getting $1 off something is exciting, especially when I start noticing I'm saving like 20% or 30%.

 

I do think it's ethical to donate processed foods to charity, because not everyone has the same priorities that we have. If you are poor enough and tired enough and hungry enough, you'll be thankful for a Stouffer's microwave meal, and think it's a gift from God. Maybe for someone it is.

 

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#148 of 168 Old 06-21-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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bobcat- I completely agree with your post.

 

I get paid once a month, and that happened to be this weekend. I tallied up my spending and saving yesterday. I went to CVS, Target, Winn Dixie, Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. What I bought will last the month with the exception of needing to pick up milk and fresh produce occasionally. I spent a total of $620.00. That is everything- dog food, paper products, toiletries, etc. I saved $190 with coupons. I didn't buy anything we don't usually buy. I did stock up on things like toothpaste (I now have 4 tubes of it, which will last longer than a month) because I had awesome coupons combined with sales. We are a family of 5. My kids are 15, 13, and 10 and eat a lot! My son is working this summer, but brings his lunch. My girls are home all day. DH is currently unemployed, but is temporarily teaching a summer remediation class for the state exam from 7-11:30. I am also teaching summer school; so that total includes lunch for all of us.

 

I am really confused about the "catalinas." I have gotten things before from the register, and they said "this is not a coupon." is that a catalina?

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#149 of 168 Old 06-21-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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The catalina machine spit out all kinds of stuff and you need to read it carefully.

 

Sometimes they are ads for upcoming promotions (next week save $5 when you buy 10 bags of cheese)

Sometimes they are coupons for things you bought or something related to what you bought (for example you buy a huggies and get a coupon for a $1 off a bag of pampers)

Sometimes they are  bonus bucks ($1 off your next purchase at XYZ store.)

Sometimes they are just junk (buy life insurance for $1!!!)


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#150 of 168 Old 06-21-2011, 04:36 PM
 
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mar123,

 

$620 is great, with a savings of $190! Congrats. That is the kind of thing I'm goaling for. To be able to know exactly what I spent that month, for everything.....and have that be a low number. And have saved about 30% at least, because that is how I "make it work," with our income, and not have to eat a Taco Bell taco for dinner (though there is nothing wrong with that....been there). Since I do use plenty of fresh produce, as I mentioned, I know that I'll buy that throughout the month, but I account for that. I keep my eyes peeled for produce on sale throughout the week, and I normally buy what's on sale, and find a way to make it work, even if it's not my first veggie choice for my soup, etc. Sometimes my hubby will bring home things like asparagus from the farmer's market too, because he'll go one day a week during his lunch break. Even if he spends more than what I could get it for at Albertson's, I consider it entertainment for him, and don't begrudge an extra $1. Our local Albertson's does stock a lot of organic produce, and often there is at least one or two things on sale in the organic section. You just have to train yourself to look at the prices, and know when you're getting a good deal. So you basically either memorize prices for broccoli per pound, or write it down. And then shop around. Read the local couponing blogs, especially if you can find one that updates you on Whole Foods (or other local health food store) sales. For example, all the Whole Foods around me (possibly nationwide?) recently did organic blueberries for 1.99 a lb, on a specific Friday. They will do that on Fridays a lot here. Some of the bloggers stock up and freeze, but I am sure it's within reason, like getting 15 containers, not 100.

 

Back to the Catalinas. I go to Albertsons, and they are pretty good there, but often it'll say, "because you are one of our best customers...." (Sometimes I'll spend at least $400 a month there or more, so that gives you an idea of what "best" is). Sometimes certain items in an aisle will have a tag by the price, saying, "get $1 off coupon for each item you buy." That isn't too common though. And it'll be $1 off your next purchase of $10 or more. Those are basically the golden coupons for me, because I can use them on meat, produce, etc....anything. Even then, I'm so trained now to look for savings, that I use it on produce that's ON SALE or meat on sale. If you take free money, and blow it like it's free money, that's how you end up not saving much over the course of the month. Use your free money like it's real money.

 

If it says, "this is not a coupon," it is probably not a catalina. The term catalina comes from the brand of the original machines that print these long coupons (sometimes the cashier forgets to hand them to you). This is a newer thing, maybe within the last year or two. Most stores now have these machines, and though the brand of the machine varies, they are still called, 'Catalinas." If you google it, you'll get more info.

 

I have noticed that usually my store doesn't tell me what Catalinas are available, and it's more like a surprise while you are checking out (they print while things are rung up). But then there are bloggers who figure out what items trigger the coupons, and they have a section on their blog that says something like, "Albertsons Catalinas for this week." Sometimes on the Albertsons website, for example, it'll say, "Save $20 off your next purchase when you buy a $100 gift card." And that will be a Catalina that prints at checkout. Just google it, and you'll find more info.

 

Then about stockpiling.....I wouldn't personally stockpile too much, because I live in a small apartment, and I would only stockpile what I can fit in my pantry or bathroom cuppord, or for tp or paper towels, maybe neatly stack by washing machine. Nothing kills the "live better on less" vibe like having to see stuff stacked everywhere. BUT, the advantage of having enough extras to last you until the next sale, is that you now never have to buy that item for full price. For example, I only buy Classico pasta sauce on sale. I will sometimes have 10-14 jars stacked in my little pantry, because that should last me until Albertson's puts it on sale again (and I combine that sale with coupons). (and note, I don't eat tons of pasta...I use this stuff as a canned tomato alternative for soups/stews). Once you have a stash of stuff, you never are forced to pay full price because you need that item that day, and that saves you a LOT of money. The thing that kills frugality is lack of planning---needing something now. At that point, you pay what you pay.

 

I probably don't have to explain all this to Mar123, but that explanation is more for people who have never really paid attention to what they pay for things. If you just start paying attention to sales and how often they come, you will easily save 30%. Then the rest of the savings, you actually have to start working harder for. Right now I'm in the learning phase.

 

One of the interesting things about all this, is on some of the episodes, you hear that a lot of these people had some kind of life experience that forced them into this. Some (most) of them are crazy, yes. But some of them were poor, uneducated single mothers (and I'm not talking about the lady who said she was worried about keeping her lifestyle, though I have a feeling she is probably downplaying what she went through out of embarrassment). Who then were able to go to school, get real jobs, etc. I haven't had the greatest past 10 years, with many health issues, etc. Feeling like fate screwed you over does give you a sense of desperation. So I can relate to some of the people, when they talk about a tipping point for them. Another lady said her husband got laid off and they lost health insurance, then her daughter was hospitalized for a week. And then, when you are able to not only care for your children all day, but basically eliminate debt and grocery bills, it does give you a sense of accomplishment, like you just killed a deer that will feed your family for a month. When you are so worried about money that you have panic attacks, and you then turn it around and have food stocked up, it does feel good, and I can see why these people don't stop once their situation improves. I'm not saying what they do is right, but I'm saying that if you look at it from their perspective, it gives you more understanding as to how they got where they got. And most of them do have day jobs, if you watch the show. For some of them, the crazy stockpiling is acceptable (aka, enough toilet paper for 6-12 months), but for some, it's just crazy (a lifetime of mustard).

 

I know I'm writing a lot about this.....the show just somehow struck a nerve with me in a positive way, because while some of these people are just out-of-shape hoarders who have an obsession, some of them have pulled their families up from really crappy situations. I had an easy childhood so I understand what it is like to scoff at frugality. But when things end up changing, you would be surprised what it feels like.

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