Couponing MDC Style - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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So, there have been a few threads discussing the Extreme Couponing show which is as they promised Extreme.  The threads have included lots of discussion about whether you can use coupons and have a MDC lifestyle.  I get that coupons wouldn't work at all for some people, but I have been trying to save a bit - $25 a week in couponing while maintaining our healthy lifestyle and am pleased with how it is going. 


Produce, eggs, herbs, bread, etc. aren't really on my radar right now because I paid for a share in a local farm coop so I am picking up most of those staples at the farm. The exception being bananas...they don't grow those in MD and if I didn't have some on hand my 4 year old would revolt :)  My motivation for couponing is actually to pay for this addition to our grocery bill so we can increase the amount of fresh and local food we are eating without pushing the bill up the extra $32 a week I paid for the share.  


Wondered if any other MDC couponers want to share efforts and accomplishments in this area?



I will start off with my coupon scores this week..


Drugstore (had to fill a prescription - didn't make a special trip)

$9.75 aftershave was on clearance for $2.75 and I had a $2.00 of coupon so I got it for 75 cents and will let one of the boys give it to dh for a Father's Day treat

Between a sale and coupon, I got a free tube of toothpaste

A free bottle shamp/condition for my gym bag

Between a sale and coupon - I got a free bottle (just one ;) of laundry detergent)

I still have $7 "extra bucks" to use from filling my prescriptions and as a reward for buying the aftershave or toothpaste...


Grocery Store

Small bag of jasmine rice free

Half gallons of the organic milk we usually drink were on sale and with coupons I got them for $1.25 each

Saved considerably on olive oil

Saved considerably on flour tortillas

Got a jar of all natural salsa for free

Saved $5 with a catalina coupon

But my biggest score was a decent size bottle of honey for only 29 cents - it was on clearance sale and I had a store coupon for it and there was a manufacturer's coupon on it :)



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#2 of 11 Old 06-08-2011, 01:54 PM
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This isn't a coupon, but I buy all our shampoo and conditioner at the Body Shop. I am on their email list. When they have a buy3 get 2 free sale I stock up. I usually spend around $100 and it lasts for a very long time.


I also get emails from Stride Rite, where I buy my kids' shoes. When they have their buy one, get one half price, we buy our next season shoes. (They usually have the sale just as we start needing summer shoes then winter shoes.)

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#3 of 11 Old 06-09-2011, 02:05 PM
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The store near me had double doubles which means that they double ten coupons worth of $1 or less in a $25 transaction.  This is a rarely run promo greensad.gif


I ended up with 6 boxes of cereal (at various levels of healthfulnesswinky.gif), one gallon organic milk, two pints of organic half and half, a lb of organic butter, a dozen free range eggs, a small amount of fresh fruit, two different bottles of hot sauce,  a box of pasta, and a box of crackers for about $21. The regular retail would be about that much for just the cereal and the total without coupons, the store card discount, and the great catalina deal would be about $57.  Anyway I felt it was a pretty good trip.

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#4 of 11 Old 06-09-2011, 11:28 PM
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Needed to pick up new gummy vitamins for the kids today. The Price Chopper near us had them BOGO and I had coupons in my binder for $1 off. We ended up getting 4 bottles for $9.98.

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#5 of 11 Old 06-10-2011, 10:11 AM
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I feel like I did pretty good this morning at Publix. I probably buy some stuff that hard core crunchy mamas would berate me for, but we try to eat health and as little processed food as possible, and I feel like I am able to strike a pretty good balance.

I got:

2 40oz jars of Ragu pasta sauce (buy one, get one free)
2 packages spaghetti pasta (buy one, get one plus $1/2 coupon)
2 bottles of Gain detergent ($3.99 on sale, plus 2x $1 coupon)
2 bottles of Johnson's Baby Wash ($3.39 each, store coupon for $3/2, 2x $1 off 1 manufacture's coupons)
2 bottles of Hunt's ketchup (buy one, get one, plus $0.25 off coupon x2 that doubled)
4 boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios ($1.99 a box, plus 2 coupons for $1/2)
1 bottle rubbing alcohol (free baby club coupon)
1 bottle cocoa butter lotion (free baby club coupon)

My order total was $21
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#6 of 11 Old 06-10-2011, 02:31 PM
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Hey, I think you "can" be more naturally oriented, yet still coupon.  For me, I do really well when I shop.  I have seen the EC show, know about it, and as someone who has couponed since I was like 5 years old (yep, my parents did it ha!) I don't find it too impressive.  A lot of these people on the show are also not using them properly...which is disturbing to me...they're using it on the wrong sizes or wrong products.  In general, stores are not going to allow you to get insane quantities like they do on tv.  I've done it, maybe a few times myself with a product I really loved went on sale.  But I think maybe three times in the last 10 years I've special ordered.  It's easiest if you have doubles in your area, however there are other ways as I live in a non-doubling area and still do well.  A lot of stores take $/$$ coupons in our area.  Often times, there are items which are moneymakers/free after coupons...when you combine those items with coupons for $/$$ purchase, lets say $10 off of a $50 purchase you basically will have $10 to play with to buy whatever you really want.


Often times I 'buy things' I don't really care for/don't need but are free after Q's to just to get my total up to the $50.  Then I turn around and use the $10 off the basket coupon to buy meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, milk, eggs, whatever I need.  Sure, there is a lot of cheap junk out there with coupons.  I generally avoid all that.  But, when there is a good coupon on vegetables, cereal, something that is healthier I will use them.  


Then, the stuff I don't need I generally donate.  Generally use your $/$$ coupons, match up store coupons/sales with MQ and keep a stockpile of core items around.  I don't stockpile as much as some.  But, I have a stockpile of beans, soups, pastas, peanut butter, tomato sauces/pastes, vegetables, cereals, pickles and spaghetti sauce.  I stock up on toiletry/paper products when I can though in my area it's not as easy to get deals as some.  If you want to save a ton, when there is a deal you really have to devote a good amount of time to shopping and stock up.  


If you use strategies and put the time in you can definitely save 90-95% depending on where you live.  However, there is a time cost to this too.  I took breaks from couponing at certain times of my life, in particular when I had babies.  The time is just too precious.  I try to do as little as I can and still maximize my savings.  Most weeks I only plan out my trips for a couple hours and then shop for about an hour and a half.  However, there are some weeks there is a deal I really want, and will basically allow me to save a tremendous amount (like when there are gas card/gift card deals, etc.) that I will put the work in and 3-4 times that week at multiple stores.  Thankfully the great sales aren't there every week.  ;)  There was one crazy week several months ago where I basically four items I stock up on were free or moneymakers (veggies, pasta, soup, sauce) I shopped a ton that week!  I probably made 7-8 different trips over three days and got $1000 or so worth of groceries for $15 or so.  When it's like that, really it's like a part time job.  The best deals are the gas card/gift card deals.  One week I spent around $263--but came home with maybe 5 carts filled with groceries (all on multiple trips at different stores obviously) AND $350 in gas and amex gift cards.  Those are great weeks when they have them! winky.gif


So, the answer I have is, yes--you *can* still have a healthy living and save a tremendous amount on groceries.  However, sometimes it is a lot of work. You can still be really thrifty without using coupons.  There's deals on produce (organics even) at the warehouse stores.  There are co-ops that you can find (have friends who do natural meat and organic veggie co-ops).  Yeah, you won't be spending as little as some of us (I maybe spent like $30 on groceries and personal items in the last 5 weeks) but it is less work and you'll still be eating super healthy.


I pass up on a lot of junk food!  Trust me, sometimes it is hard.  I also pass up on a lot of cleaning products.  Though there have been natural ones on the market recently that have had coupons (green works, 7th generation are products I stock up on when I get them free/nearly free).   The last deal I had on those I stocked up on the 7th generation liquid...a bogo sale matched up with a manufacturers coupon and competitor coupon meant that I made .50 on each bottle I bought!  But, mostly I still use vinegar/baking soda/other natural things to clean with.  Some of the cleaners out there are just so obnoxiously nasty I would not touch them!  

I think it's all about whether or not you want to put the time into it.  It takes time to do all of this.  At some times in my life I have not had that time to use...that's when I 'eat through the stockpile' and DH does all the perishable food shopping for me.


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#7 of 11 Old 06-11-2011, 09:43 PM
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This week Meijer is running a 10 for $10, get the 11th item free sale.  Part of that sale is Dole bagged salad.  Here's where you can get some coupons for $1 off, making the bagged salad free.  These coupons were in a newspaper insert but I can't for the life of me remember which one.  This sale ended today for some folks, but just started on Thursday for others.


Also part of the sale is Nature Sweet Cherry Tomatos.  About 3 or 4 weeks ago there was a coupon for 55c off these in the Smart Source insert.


Today for my 10 for $10 I got:


3 colored peppers

3 fresh baby bella mushrooms

2 pkgs Nature Sweet Cherry toms

2 pkgs bagged salad

1 pkg strawberries.


I used the 2 Dole coupons, 2 Nature Sweet coupons and paid just $6.90 for that.  Wooo Whoo!

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#8 of 11 Old 06-12-2011, 08:31 AM
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I wish that gift cards and gasoline were at my local supermarkets. What does $/$$ mean?

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#9 of 11 Old 06-13-2011, 09:55 AM
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I have a ton of coupons in my coupon bin for Meyers, Ecoover, Sun and Earth and some other "green" cleaning supplies that are good basically for the next year or two. I use them for laundry and dish soap : ) I got them through emailing the company and requesting coupons -- I've also gotten Earths Best (my son drinks the formula and I have $5 off coupons) as well as Dr Bronners...


The health store near me has a coupon book for "green" products and I always find coupons for milk, half and half, eggs and things like it! 

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#10 of 11 Old 06-13-2011, 09:10 PM
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I don't have time to coupon, but I wanted to interject that I find a TON of natural/organic products at our Grocery Outlet. And I've seen a lot of natural body products at Ross or TJMaxx.

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#11 of 11 Old 06-13-2011, 11:08 PM
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Just got this from someone in our homeschool group. I'm unlikely to use any, but folks here might be interested.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing and living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
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