You’ve seen the show, or at least heard about it. TLC has been profiling people who take couponing to the max. There’s families (women mostly) who have a plan of attack when it comes to getting as much as they can for as little as they can. They have stockpiles of pasta, shampoo, and soda in their homes that didn’t cost them a dime. They leave the store with 10 baskets full of groceries, come with a mountain of coupons, and some even break the store’s machine! I couldn’t do it, and here’s why:
- It’s a full time job: There is absolutely no way you could be a successful extreme couponer without dedicating about 40 hours a week to it. You have to look for coupons not only in your mailbox but sometimes in others! One woman went dumpster diving for coupons and another had a regular route in her neighbor to get her neighbors’ coupons. That’s not exactly how I would like to spend my time.
- It’s not practical for my home: It may be 2 of us living in a 1400 square foot townhouse, but there’s simply not enough room to house all of that product. I’m not dedicating a room to my stockpile like some of those women on the show do. It’s in their garage, it’s in their guest rooms, it’s in their living room. Who wants to be surrounded by non-perishables? Count me out.
- It’s actually expensive: I know you’re thinking “but they’re saving money in the long run!” Um, not exactly. A few of the ladies took out insurance policies on their stockpiles. Yes, their mounds of food, beverages, and toiletries are worth money if they happened to be damaged, lost or stolen. To me, that’s just silly. I’m not taking out insurance on something like that.
- It’s selfish: There was one woman who knew her husband loathed the whole field trip to the store thing, but she didn’t care. She was on a mission. She enlisted him to shop with her, drive, and put the items away. All she was thinking was how much money she was saving, and it was just sad to see. Not only that, think of the people who could actually use the products you’re taking off the shelves. While it’s sitting in your home, someone else is going without it.
- It not feasible for things I shop for: How often do you see coupons for chicken breasts? When have you known for toothpaste to be free? Have you ever walked out with a $1 orange juice? Let’s be real; many of the things that are on sale and you bring a coupon for, you don’t need. Rarely do you see these ladies getting lucky with things that are healthy for you. Junk food is always on sale. You can always find coupons for cookies, chips, and sodas. I’m eating healthier, and the fact is, you just can’t get a deal like that on things that are actually good for you.
I’m not knocking these women completely; I think it takes a lot for someone to go that far with anything, especially saving money. However, I could never be one of them. What’s the most you’ve ever saved with coupons, a coupon code or deals?
- My Interview with Nathan aka “Mr. Coupon” from TLC’s “Extreme Couponing”! (momblognetwork.com)
- A Sneak Peak at TLC’s New Extreme Couponing Series! (blogher.com)
- Extreme Couponing: Reality Stars Save $40K (abcnews.go.com)
I don’t think I could ever just buy something if I had a coupon for it, unless it was a product I wanted to try. (Once I had an awesome $10 off coupon for teeth whitening strips and I always wanted to try them – perfect excuse)
Other than that, I don’t think I could ever just buy stuff because of a coupon. If it’s a product I use and need, then sure, I’ll clip it out and try to remember to give it to the cashier, but I forget half the time.
Exactly! Some of those women just buy stuff because there’s a coupon for it. That’s a waste of money.
I could never be a extreme couponer. I do enjoy savings and will use coupons and online codes to save money. I haven’t saved huge amounts but I do save some money here and there if I happen across a coupon or sale of an item I am already going to buy or need.
I certainly am not an advocate of this show, but I do use coupons and am able to eat fairly healthfully. Last year I tracked my spending and coupon savings to see if it was really worth my time and I saved as much as I spent and I did not go over my monthly food and personal care items budget. Not only that but I was able to build up a stockpile of food and personal care items which has come in super handy the last few months as I have not been feeling well and not really wanting to go shopping. You certainly can get toothpaste, deodorant, floss, shampoos(nice ones), face wash, soap toilet paper, vitamins, etc for free or only pennies. It did take an initial investment of time learning how to coupon and what was going to be best for me and my family, but it has been 100 percent worth it and since I have that stockpile of things now, if I have times when I am too busy or whatever I can use the stockpile and not worry about blowing my budget.
That’s pretty awesome. It seems like I have a hard time finding coupons for food that isn’t processed or just flat out unhealthy for you. I’m getting better coupons since I moved though. Guess I gotta keep looking.
I get free toothpaste. I also get free bodywash and razors. I get next to free other HBA items, which helps me purchase healthier options for my family. I have coupons for Tyson Chicken breasts in my coupon binder as I type this….
You don’t have to spend 40 hours a week to be a smarter shopper with coupons. I take about an hour a week to plan and about an 1 1/2 shopping.
Of course, I am with you – I refuse to have a stockpile that size, nor will I dumpster dive for coupons. a 4-6 month stockpile is all I am attempting to achieve – which should be enough to last my family until the net sale!
See, that I can do. I can have a nice stockpile that’ll last me and my family a couple of months, but it has to be things I’d buy ordinarily and I have to plan on not buying anything until the pile runs low. Last night I saw a woman who bought 93 bags of croutons!