Skip to comments.'Extreme Couponing': Please, sir, I want some more
Posted on 12/31/2010 5:24:06 AM PST by PJ-Comix
My expectations for Extreme Couponing were, to say the least, extremely high. As every child raised watching Supermarket Sweep and the less-superior-but-still-notable Shop Til You Drop, I have a great appreciation for retail-based programming.
I have to admit, however, that my initial impression of Extreme Couponing led me to believe it was a competitive show — a one-episode special of sorts. Incorrect. It was actually a profile of four individuals who had firm grasp on the art of grocery savings to an inspiring extent. (One woman filled her cart with more than $600 in merchandise and paid only $2.64 after coupons. A true American hero.) I even found myself running to grab this week’s circular out of the trash where I had just placed it, hoping to find a deal like those I’d just seen taken advantage of on the special. I found no such deal and was uninspired as quickly as I had found my desire to coupon, leading me to toss the dirty paper back into the receptacle with a “pfft” for good measure.
But the failure also gave me an idea: I want to learn how to do this.
While my initial desire was to see a show in which the extreme couponers compete to see who could save the most money, I’ve concluded that a simple show of versus would not be enough to put these people’s skill to use. (Yes, I’d count saving buckets of money a skill.) They should mentor others about couponing.
We have British ladies teach parents how to raise their kids. We have screaming muscled people teach us how to be skinnier. Why can’t these people be experts in the art of coupon savings and mentor us over-spenders? I’d seriously watch that. (Disclaimer: I’ve been known to watch some truly vile unscripted television.)
What do you think, PopWatchers? Did you watch Extreme Couponing? Would you watch more of this? And if so, how could TLC make this into a weekly show?
Um...actually two of the people featured on that show have blogs where that is exactly what they do. I have already bookmarked them.
If this show is repeated then I highly recommend that you record it. I got into "extreme couponing" only about 18 months ago and it has changed almost everything for me...for the better. I NEVER pay for many things such as BO sticks, toothpaste (quality brands like Colgate & Crest), coffee, olive oil, cold medicines (which I am using now) and TONS of other stuff. With ObamaBucks losing their value due to inflation, learning extreme couponing is becoming a necessity to survive the recession.
The only real problem I have with the TV show was the massive amounts of stuff everybody purchased on their store trips. Yeah, it looks good for dramatic effect but I like to keep a LOW profile. I really don't like to draw attention to myself so I do multiple purchases in the under hundred buck range. Sometimes even that doesn't work like the time I went to the checkout and the store manager comes running out yelling that he won't permit me to buy anything because I get most of my stuff for free or close to it. The manager is an IDIOT because the coupons are later exchanged for cash but there is no fighting that ignorant mentality.
Extreme couponing allowed me to accomplished my Thanksgiving theme which was FREE. My entire Thanksgiving dinner for 7 was FREE. That included the 24 lb. turkey, beer, and all the trimmings. Even the gifts I got for my nephews and niece were FREE.
Finally the TV show focused on grocery stores but you actually get the best deals at Walgreens by working out scenarios with their register rewards. This week I bought 4 Red Baron deluxe pizzas for free as well as 2 gallons of Arizona ice tea, about a dozen tubes Colgate toothpaste, and a TON of other stuff for FREE. Making a couple more Walgreens runs today for a lot of other freebies.
So watch the show, check out HotCouponWorld.Com, and bookmark all the couponing blogs that you can and your food budget will plunge to near nothing.
Avoid the Walgreens at corner of Wiles & State Rd 7. It is managed by a throwback redneck who thinks his main job is to keep customers from getting free products with coupons. I even showed him the printed Walgreens rules regarding coupons and he professed not to understand them.
Might be good, in these times, to post links to those blogs so that others may learn also. Yes, I’ve already done a bit with coupons on a much, much smaller scale and it’s rather amazing, if done properly.
I notice convenience store owners are stripping the coupon inserts from the Sunday paper. They bundle them and sell them black market to other retailers who then doctor their receipts to claim the coupons as redeemed there.
So check your newspapers thoroughly before you buy.
...*LOL*...and I’ll admit it!. Saw the show the other night and thought if YOU had seen it.
I forgot to add that I got my Compaq Presario laptop computer (from which I am posting this) FREE last March via coupons.
I vaguely remember someone who went to jail a few years back (when people still bought newspapers) for stealing the coupons out of the paper and not buying it. They were taking value from the paper without purchasing it; it was considered retail theft.
I tend to cook from scratch because we don’t eat hydrogenated oils or MSG, and we avoid HFCS like the plague. Are there coupons for meat, milk, sugar, flour, oats, etc? I’ve looked in the Sunday papers, but all the coupons tend to be for processed or prepared foods.
You will never see me featured on such a show since I like to fly under the radar. By going on the tube, the store managers know who you are and can make it tough for you to buy cheap stuff. I have one bald store manager whose entire head turns bright red with rage at the sight of me. My strategy with him is to shop at his store EARLY on Saturdays before he shows up. So I still get my freebies/cheapies there.
My first year in graduate school, the guy who lived next to me was from a family that owned a major chain of drugstores on the Pacific Northwest. For a brief period, he would awake before me on Sunday morning, take the Boston Globe from in front of my door, and clip out all of the coupons. He'd bundle them and send back to his family in Seattle for redemption.
I put a stop to that. I've never met anyone more frugal than him. The coupon story is just the beginning.
Absolutely for milk. Getting free meat can be tricky but it can be done. Note that I got a FREE 24 lb. turkey for Christmas. Earlier this year I had a deal where I was getting free meat one week. I tended to get porterhouse steaks. One time I actually bought a 6-pack of beer and two porterhouse steaks. However, I miscalculated on my coupons. I thought it was merely free but as I turned to go I heard the cashier say, "Sir! Please come back!"
"Uh-oh!" I thought. Trouble.
However, the cashier told me, "We owe you $2.05." And then she handed me the cash.
When I got home I told my wife from Venezuela: "Don't ever say a bad word about this country. Where else in the world can you pick up a six-pack of beer and two porterhouse steaks at the supermarket and they PAY you $2.05?"
However, I tried to avoid that situation. I prefer to pay them something no matter how little.
One woman filled her cart with more than $600 in merchandise and paid only $2.64 after coupons. A true American hero.
Yes, some of those coupons can be found. Just not every week, there are coupon “seasons”. You also need to look in stores for tear pad coupons or on product coupons.
The whole point of extreme couponing is to use a LOT of coupons to stockpile items you use. I mainly got free shampoo/toothpaste/toothbrushes, but after 2 years the stockpile is nearly gone. When you get toiletries for free (or they pay you to take them), it eases the food budget.
bookmark. Love this stuff!
You don’t need a huge stockpile. I have enough BO sticks to last me until next summer and I know there will be more coupons for the same item again before that when I can get more. Ditto the toothpaste and about everything else. No need to get 10 years worth of stuff. Too much space taken up.
The economy would be fine. People seem to think when somebody pays next to nothing that the grocer is getting stiffed. NOT SO. Every coupon is reimbursed from the company plus a nominal handling fee. So the grocer makes MORE money, the company who issued the coupon moves product, and my family has more disposable income. Win/win/win!
I have a family of 11, our needs are a little different. I admit that some of the stockpile pics on HCW make me want to go nuts with it, though.
Both blogs you listed have been in my Bookmarks for months. Southern Savers is particularly good. I check it every day.
“... who thinks his main job is to keep customers from getting free products”
I wonder if an e-mail or phone call to the main Walgreens office may change his personality. If you can get his name then all the better. Using coupons is legal. In fact, the stores receive money back from the companies. Personally, I think a phone call from his upper management may change his attitude. IMHO. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable or like they are doing something wrong while shopping. Just a thought.
I go to a lot of yard sales and every once in a while I run into couponers who are selling off their stockpiles of razors, deodorants, toothpaste, etc. Extreme couponing, CVSing and the like look good but you have to also think about the struggling families who showed up at these stores looking to save some money on supplies only to find that it had been cleaned out by a small number of creative entrepreneurs. I believe CVS is starting to crack down on these people and I hope other stores follow their lead.
There’s a family on my street who are experts at this. They got food, clothing, a house, car and even one of their kids with coupons.
Few minutes later I am before the same cashier again with 2 Red Barons pizza (on sale 2 for $5), 2 Harvest Select soups (2 for $3 with store coupon), and a tube of Colgate. I used the $10 register rewards from the previous transaction to pay for most of it with less than two bucks out of pocket. Then the Catalina machine spit out a register rewards for $2 (for the Colgate) which I could use to repeat the entire deal again.
You are limited on stockpiling by CVS since you are only allowed one deal (or whatever they say) per card. So that theory of CVS stockpiling doesn’t hold up.
There are literally thousands of homeless shelters & food shelves who would love to receive donations of excess stockpiled toiletries.
Wah! That is the mentality that ruins a good thing for everyone, comrade. Ever heard of rain checks?
I go to Kathy’s HOWTOSHOPFORFREE website weekly. I actually prefer CVS to Walgreens. I find CVS to be more helpful in getting me stuff for free.
I also have 10+ Colgate toothpaste and 6-7 deodorant.
I also have about cases of Marcal papertowels & TP that were free after buying coupons on EBAY.
I find it very difficult to get deals on meat. What I usually do is buy volume when on sale and put it in the freezer. For example, I just bought two small hams @ $.99/lb. Each ham was about $6.30. Also, I stock up on chicken legs when they are $.69/lb.
And if you read one of those sites..people aren’t happy with this show.
For example, I saw one of those people featured in the show with a video on youtube where a reader asked her about her favorite coupon.
UGH....was it really necessary to point out the gold mine that came with a certain coupon. Think the manufacturer liked it??????? Might it kill it off in the future???
Bragging about what you are doing on a nationally televised show is bad news in the long run.
I also go to www.iheartcvs.com and www.heartwags.com to find out what is going on sale in the next couple weeks to get the coupons ahead so things end up free.
Btw, for those in the military...you can use Walgreens Register rewards in your commissary.
My wife has a good couponing method that has saved us a ton of money in the grocery store and has helped us put together nearly a years supply of food. She’s so organized about it that it doesn’t hold up the checkout line either. On a good shopping trip we’ve paid pennies on the dollar for everything and most times the cashier has to call over a manager to approve everything because the savings were so drastic. She’s now trying to get even more organized by scanning the barcodes on the coupons with her android phone and trying to match them up with the reported sales at area stores and to also have a quick inventory of all her coupons. She wants me to find or to create an app for that (I’m just learning how to create apps with Google AppInventor.)
“Extreme” couponing can actually be kind of fun if you know what you’re doing and have a good system.
You didn't think I paid full retail for Mrs. Scoutmaster, did you?
My wife and I started watching the show and quickly grabbed the remote to DVR it for repeat watching to glean more ideas.
Do you have that list of couponing blog urls handy?
So you're saying that you're for the lazy and unimaginative, vs the creative and dilligent.
Check out #22.
Like you always say, "If its free, its for me".
There are some items that a store will hardly ever sell - except when someone found out that they were included in a deal and a coupon made them a money maker or free and it hits the internet - then WHOOSH...all the product is gone. Sometimes you will see things that have been expired long ago still one the shelf. That’s how few they normally sell...then one day..BAM - All their stores are sold out and Management doesn’t have a clue as to why they just got raided.
If they were smart, they would have some kind of programming to alert them of unusual sales to determine if someone screwed up and included something in a deal that wasn’t suppose to be in the deal.
Walgreens may have such a thing - because there was a deal before Christmas that didn’t last long. About a day.
With the size of my family I don’t usually have enough to donate, but we volunteer at our local food bank. They also accept cash, and need it to pay utilities to house all that stuff.
A great thing to donate is glucose monitors. Usually Walgreen’s will have them on sale when the $20 coupons come out, and you can get them free. I know we have diabetics come through that can use a new monitor from time to time. And we are a very small population area!
The ex used to take my daughter dumpster diving for coupons and then they would spend a few hours clipping and prepping. We had a freezer chest in the garage that was always full of food.
One of the more notable scores was when the local Kroger had triple coupon week.
Now, follow this... Toys R Us had coupons available at their stores for .35 cents off a 4-pack of Snak-Pak pudding (limit 4 per coupon - she could get 4 4-packs at the sale price for each coupon). The girls went to 2 different Toys R Us stores and picked up a handfull of coupons. Plus they had a sister-in-law pick some up from her local Toys R Us, a couple of neighbors as well...
Now, back at Krogers, 4-Packs of Snak-Pak pudding were on sale for .99 cents. At .35 cents times 3 (triple coupon week)... They came home with over 400 4-packs of Snak-Pak pudding and the store owed them .06 cents for each. My wife had talked to the manager and they cut a deal. He couldn’t pay her the .06 cents per 4-pack but if she brought the car around back, he will load it up with her pudding. ;-)
But... it doesn’t end there. Each Snak-Pak pudding 4-pack had a $1 Toys R Us Geoffrey coupon. She had over $400.00 to spend at Toys R Us and with Christmas right around the corner, the kids were very happy and our church got a little something extra in the basket.
Not caring to hoard over 1600 Snak-Pak puddings, we gave almost all of it to the local YMCA where they were able to pass the pudding along to a few different community programs. Also, at that time, I was a construction superintendant, building houses, and I gave a few cases away to a couple of young families in the neighborhood. I still chuckle to this day when I recall one cute young single mother of two, banging on the door of my trailer one morning, it was raining, her kids strapped into the car, she was upset at the fact that she has been waiting all morning for a contractor to show up and she couldn’t wait any longer. She was furious and was staring daggers at me demanding some action. I looked at her straight in the eye and said... “Want some pudding?”
LOL, she was taken aback, but said, “Umm... okay? I think?...” So, I walked out to my truck, grabbed a case of pudding, put it in her car and told her I’d make some calls and get her contractor out to the house. Crisis avoided. ;-)
I occasionally shop at an overstock grocery that features frozen, portioned food service meat entrees of superb quality. Not free, but reasonable. However, if you buy $10 worth of groceries, they throw in a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk (this is doubled if you buy $20 worth of groceries). They are always ones that are about to reach their best-by dates.
There are just the two of us and these would spoil if I simply put them in the fridge. So, I portion them out and freeze them. With the milk, I put 8oz in a quart ziplock, remove all the excess air and double bag for security. The packages are small enough to fit in odd spaces in the freezer. They defrost at 30% power in the microwave in a few minutes and are usually just enough for any recipe. I repackage the bread in 4 slice packages. This is just enough for my husband’s lunch and I just take them out and put them in his small cooler in the mornings.
Otherwise, I find most coupons are for things I don’t normally use. We are very particular about shampoo and body wash and laundry detergent and our preferences never seem to be included in coupons.
We stockpile by taking advantage of markdowns on things we use all the time. We have maxxed out our available storage space and it takes discipline to use items by the best-by dates and then replenish stores. I also shop places like Aldi’s and routinely buy basic items, such as broth, flour, sugar, butter and coffee for much less (half or 2/3rds off) than even Walmart and of as good or better quality. Meat can be purchased on manager’s specials and frozen immediately.
I watched the show and was impressed, but wondered how they were going to use all that pasta sauce, for example, before it went bad.
Our revolving credit debt is small, house/land is paid for and car will be paid off in May. as sson as it is, the usual car payment will go into savings each month toward whenever we need to replace the vehicle. We manage to save each week and even after an accident that put my husband out of work for 7 weeks and incurred some medical bills (insurance deductible), we are now, 5 weeks later, nearly back on track, financially. We ate out of storage for those 7 weeks and had paper products, plastic bags/aluminum foil and detergent on hand as well. I replenished slowly over the past 5 weeks and am now in rotation mode.
These “creative and diligent” people are like scalpers for tickets to sporting events or those pernicious people who sweep into the toy stores and buy up all that season’s “hot” toys to sell for twice the price online.
The publicity of having a televised competition is only going to spoil it for everybody when the coupon promotions are clamped down upon by the brand marketers who haven’t been paying very close attention to how their own promotions can be gamed. The notoriety will cause such opportunities to be greatly curtailed or killed altogether.
Delica! Got them and gave them to some diabetics. Free with NO tax. So totally free.
Right now for chow, the Red Barons pizza deal at Walgreens can’t be beat. Use the format I outlined above plus you will get a Cogate toothpaste in the deal.
I’ll take your word for it but I really don’t get how you get free stuff. All I ever see are coupons for 5-10% off.
You didn't read my post above about how I SPECIFICALLY got free stuff at Walgreens and which coupons I used? I'll think of you tonight when I eat my FREE pizza and then brush my teeth with my FREE Colgate.
If you want to hear a little background on the show, go to my favorite coupon blog, www.jillcataldo.com and see why she did not participate in this show. If you want to save big in a practical nutritious way, but not be extreme, read her words of wisdom.
I went to a free seminar talk she gave two years ago, have been running my spreadsheets of what I’ve spent, and have always saved at least 50% each month. I have fed lots of people, shared lots of food, and almost always have full pantries.
I'll think of you tonight when I eat my FREE pizza and then brush my teeth with my FREE Colgate.
You claimed you couldn’t figure out how I get free stuff yet I posted on this thread specifically how I get...free stuff with coupons.
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