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Extreme Couponing: He Says/ She Says

She Says: “I watched Extreme Couponing and it was very inspiring. I want to do that and never pay for food again.”
He Says: “Why? You’d spend more with the time spent shopping and couponing than you’d be save, plus the food is crap.”
What say you?


My kind of post. 🙂

As with most things in life, the answer is somewhere in the middle. To get to the point to never pay for food, it would take waaaaayyyy too many hours. Also, you’d be sorta a creepy hoarder. It’s wasteful.

But, he’s wrong too, because you can use coupons and eat healthy foods. Coupons are no longer just for junk, they come for good food too. Or you could buy the junk and donate it, often you get overage on the junk.

Bobbi says:

I’m getting into it! I would like to save especially when the economy is going to fall more before it gets better. It does take time but I am a stay at home mom anyways, so why not?

And I totally didn’t complete my thought on my last comment.

So, you can be a moderate couponer. It’s addicting to save money. I don’t spend hours a week. You just match coupons up to the store ads for the week and load ecoupons. You can coupon in however much time you have.

Wendy* says:

LOL well speaking from experience (I coupon!), the use of coupons neither has to be on junk food or to the crazy extent that the people depicted on the show practice–Really now, who needs 100 tubes of toothpaste?!

I began about 2 months ago and you’d be amazed at the things you can get for free or little to nothing. I have “purchased” toilet paper, laundry detergent, razors, makeup, and the like for pennies at drug stores. And @ the grocery store I can easily save 85%+ on my bill by using coupons, and for GOOD items like condiments, yogurt, cheese, butter, etc.

For instance, at Walgreens this week Hellmann’s Mayonnaise 22oz is $2.99 with the in ad coupon from the Walgreens circular. Clip that coupon plus use this $1 off coupon found here: http://bricks.coupons.com/Start.asp?tqnm=yehocqw39999193&bt=vg&o=85546&c=AS&p=nJ09GdHq

Final cost after both coupons is $1.99! A great price for this size of mayo!

There’s even great freebies online all the time, like here: https://www.facebook.com/ZonePerfect?sk=app_220152024663205

That said, you don’t want to be an EXTREME couponer–those people spend HOURS on their “craft” (and then wouldn’t have time to take all those cute pics of Lil’ J!) but try it out–there’s nothing wrong w/saving a few bucks here and there.

–Sorry for all the links, just trying to show the good-side of couponing 🙂

No no no. THANK Y’ALL for the links!!! I really want to try this. Maybe not to their extreme but I’d love to take advantage of this system!! I mean I get them in the mail why not use them? Plus, we need food storage!!

Now my problem is not liking the things offered in coupons. Do you still buy the stuff since it’s so cheap? And mayo we all like but won’t it expire by the time we get to the 50th jar?

Then again, like you said, who needs 100 things of toothpaste? That’ll last a lifetime!! And yes, they do seem border line hoarding to me.

If the world ends I’m heading to their house though!

I am with both of you on this one. Most of the coupons in the newspaper are for junk food, but the ones I print off websites and such are awesome! It DOES take up a whole lot of time. Meaning, all that cute photography you’ve been doing won’t be done as much. Couponing is seriously a black hole for time. It was a challenge for me to be balanced. I am either an all or nothing person with couponing. Right now it’s nothing. But I’ll get back into it sooner or later. 😀

Wendy* says:

Hehe…well just buy one mayo for now! Oh and that deal @ Walgreens is for the week of 5/15, not now, fyi…

…and I’ll be right there alongside you at the couponer/food hoarder’s home if the world ends LOL

hardierlime says:

I recently posted about this. Suffice to say, couponing just isn’t worth it for us. I’d rather meal plan than save 50 cents on 3 packages of instant rice sides.

Brianne says:

Couponing I’m all for! I have good friends who coupon and get great deals, they spend just a fraction of what I do on groceries. However the show, as with all reality tv, is grossly exaggerated. I go through spurts where I’ll do the couponing thing, but honestly it’s almost a full-time job and I have a 3.75 kids to take care of, I don’t mind paying a little more for convenience.

ashalily says:

I think couponing is great if you need the item you have a coupon for. No one needs 30 thousand gallons of yellow mustard lol

It’s worth it for some things…but most of the people on that show do buy crap food. I only saw 1 lady ( out of maybe 9) that had semi healthy items in her cart and she was the only 1 that looked to be at a healthy weight…coincidence?? I think NOT! It might be good for non food items though…. 🙂

Cindy says:

He’s right. Unless this is a really fun and relaxing thing for you to do, it’s not worth the “savings”. Your time is worth something, too. I like to use coupons casually, but I did away with the binder when I realized how much time I was actually spending on clipping, sorting, and shopping. The better way (for me) is to use the coupons I can get online when they match a sale, but not sweat about getting multiple newspaper inserts and organizing all that. If you really want to save money on groceries, I suggest cooking from scratch, bulk buying, shopping the loss-leaders and learning to make do with what’s on hand instead of buying whatever you feel like having at the moment.

catherine says:

I watched that show for the first time the other night and have been thinking about it since. Yes, I love using coupons. Went grocery shopping yesterday and saved $15 (I still spent $100, but whatever). I have a guideline of only clipping coupons for the stuff we normally eat or trying out new things with the coupons– not buying just because I’m getting it cheaply. Stocking up on 57 containers of mustard seems so pointless. And having your entire house be taken over by food…. that would drive me crazy.

Seriously though, 57 containers of mustard. That would take me 57 years to go through. Does it even last that long? Do they end up throwing a lot of expired items away when they could be donated and used? And why not donate a bunch of food. If they are paying $5 for $600 worth of groceries, I think they have a moral obligation to feed more than just their family.

Everything in moderation is the tune we sing in our house. Don’t buy something just becuase you have a coupon. If you don’t use it now, you won’t use it just because you saved money.
There are definitely some sites that are worth browsing for coupons 🙂 And it’s worth finding out if stores in your area double coupons (no store in my area does). And, if you like Target, I think it’s worth knowing that you can stack coupons there! Like, a manufaturer coupon and a target coupon. There are also a couple blogs out there that do some of the work for you (that are store specific)…Walgreen’s = http://wildforwags.com/ Target = http://www.totallytarget.com/
There is a pluthera of money saving blogs out there. Once you get into it you’ll find the ones most helpful to you!

Jess says:

I’m with hubby, ill talk to you later about it but I do want to say their crap is going to EXPIRE before they use it all so what a waste.

I also agree with the others that you can get good stuff wth coupons, moderation is key.

JoAnn says:

Coupons are not just for junk. I will share what happened with me on Mon. I use http://www.couponmom.com when you sign up, you can look under the tab “grocery deals in your state.” You can pick the store and another window will open and it will list what is on sale and which coupons circular to find the coupons. Also if there is a internet coupon she will tell you where you can print it. I don’t clip my coupons until I need them. I keep them in folders by date. With all that being said. I went to Kroger here in GA, they had a “mega” sale this week, if you bought 10 select items, you get $5 off your groceries. I had over 30 select items, so I got $15 off the bill. Kroger also has a customer reward card, so when the cashier started wringing up my oder, she wanted to know if I had a card. I told her, that I wanted to do it at the end. Before the reward card the grocery bill was $170, after the reward card/kroger discounts and my coupons I only paid $101.16. Yes, that was a savings of $69, and it was items that we will use not all junk. I got veggies, and fresh meat too. So, I say go for it!

Kim says:

Have to disagree with your husband. I’ve been couponing for over a year and half, and it has been a blessing to our family. In that time I have gotten free or made money buying toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, razers, and most other toiletries at the different drugstores. Your savings at the grocery stores will vary based on what ones you have near you. I am a Publix shopper, and have gotten my grocery budget down to almost nothing. Once you build up a stockpile, you can go long periods not needing to shop except for things like bread and produce. As to your husbands claim that it’s all junk, not true. I recently got 30 half gallons of good quality milk for absolutely nothing. This milk’s expiration date is over a month out. So we’ll drink what we can and the rest will be frozen. Yes, milk freezes. I also have in my freezer 50 bags of frozen steamer veggies that I got completely free. And then there is all the meat in my freezer that I got free using my overage from the ‘junk’ I bought.
You can spend as little or as much time as you want couponing. Once you build up your stockpile, you can really cut down on the time you spend. It’s addicting though. I look at it more as a hobby now. It’s a game to see home much food I can bring home free. And if we won’t eat it, I give it to friends and donate!
Go for it!!!!

I agree with your husband on this one. The large majority of the food coupons are not for whole foods so you’ll be eating a lot of processed crap

YUMMommy says:

Actually, if you keep it in perspective and don’t try to get one of those huge stock piles, you will actually save more than you spend. I used to be an extreme couponer in college and I only purchased one newspaper. So, I earned my $1.50 back when I would save $30 to $70 in groceries.

The key to find the brands that you want is to like their Facebook pages, sign up for their newsletter and search online coupon printing sites.

Latoya says:

I’m with you on the moderate couponing. I try to save wherever I can. I’ve always been good and sales and coupons when it came to clothes, but now it is time to kick things into high gear with groceries…especially with a new baby.

lindsey kaye says:

Like many said before, moderation is key.

I will say though that the show on TLC is an entertainment show. They don’t tell you how to coupon, how to meal plan, or anything helpful. But they do a good job of entertaining us while we gawk at their ridiculous stockpiles.
The truth is that most of those women blog about coupons for a living, so their “35 hours a week couponing” might be accurate, but they’re also earning money through blogging and/or selling clipped coupons via a service website or ebay. They may also teach classes they charge for. Also, the stockpiles in their houses may be accurate at the time of the show, but my guess is that they’ve kept a lot of items they would normally automatically donate to increase the shock value for TV. Same with their weekly shopping trips. The reason almost every episode has someone so surprised the register reached its limit is because they don’t normally shop so big at once! It’s a lot more interesting if there’s drama and a little suspense built in, right? But, not so much like real life.

I coupon, and have been for a year. I regularly save about 75% on our groceries and household items. I cook with real food (cheese, meat, fresh bakery bread, vegetables, pasta, everything) and purchase only convenience foods that we already used. It’s true that you can spend about an hour a week getting your shopping trip organized and save plenty of money.

Start small, every bit saved is more than you would have if not for coupons. Even one or two a week. I hate when I see someone interested in coupons get discouraged because they can’t achieve the extreme level savings right away.
Keep track of how quickly you use things, so you don’t over buy when you start building your stockpile. Meal plan based on what is already in your kitchen/pantry and fill in the holes with what’s on sale. That is where the true saving start – when you’re able to plan a month’s worth of meals based entirely on what you already have, then you’re shopping only the best deals for meals next month.
If disaster were to strike (hurricane season starts for us next month) we could feed ourselves and a few friends for weeks.

I’ve also been able to give in a way I thought was impossible before coupons. My husband and I are aggressively paying off our debts so we can start our family (good motivation!) and I gave occasionally to canned food drives but not as generously as I always wanted. After the recent devastation in The South, I wept with joy as I filled bags and bags with staples from my pantry stockpile to donate.
Before that, I had actually MADE $11 this year so far donating over $80 in groceries to our local food bank. Things like pasta sauce, canned vegetables, pasta, crackers, and vitamins.

Good things for others, good things for ourselves.

Sarah says:

I think you are way too busy for that! To get those kind of steals it takes a lot of time, planning, and storage space. You don’t sound like you have any of those to spare!
However, any couponing helps! I like the people who buy reasonable amounts and stuff they actually should or would be eating normally. And not getting crap just because it’s free.
But they are sure fun to watch and if I was a SAHM I would probably be almost extreme too!

Kayejaye says:

I was inspired by the show and decided that I would start couponing a few weeks ago. However, it seems that I am already defeated. I am a vegetarian and we don’t eat many processed foods and try to use natural body products….so we are not finding too many deals that are consistent with our needs. I would love for something like this to work for us though!

Sharon says:

I work from 6 am to about 5 pm. When I get home, I still have to correct papers and prepare for the next days classes. Most times I don’t get to bed before midnight, and I’m up by 4:30 am to begin another school day. I don’t have time to coupon. Also, I saw those shows. Most of the food the extreme couponers buy is processed food. They hoard the food and have huge storage areas that take up most of the house. Good luck to you on your quest to pay nothing for groceries. I’ll cheer you on, but I don’t coupon.

alli says:

I wish I had cable so I could watch this show. It sounds really interesting, and it’d probably inspire me too.

My mom sends me coupons in the mail. It annoys my husband because I don’t take the time to organize them. We just have little envelopes with random coupons in them here and there. Basically I use coupons if it’s something I really need and if it’s convenient to do so. In the summertime when I’m off work, I follow these blogs that are way into getting the deals, and I try a few that interest me.

Amy Lynn says:

I agree with your husband. The food IS crap. You never see these people buying loads of fresh fruits and veggies. It is always junk that is NOT good for you and they have to buy a lot of it to get the “good deal”. Not worth it.

Natalia says:

I say everything in moderation. Couponing is great for saving tons of money on household items, hygiene products, etc. For those (like me) who loves their kiddie sugar cereal, you can get some great deals 🙂

I am totally for coupons!! My hubby and I save a bundle!!
Weatheranchormama.blogspot.com

Lauren says:

The Extreme Couponing show didn’t inspire me to be an extreme couponer, but it DID remind me, to organize and actually USE the coupons I do have 🙂

I have been a stalker for a while BUT I must say that I agree with HIM on this one, but only one aspect of it …It isn’t a waste to cut the coupons and go from store to store if you have to…BUT I do have to agree that the food IS CRAP! I decided to stop or TRY my darnedest to not eat processed or frozen foods AND I gave up beef. So yah, I made my life super easy huh??! hhaha anyway, normally I winch at your husbands replys BUT today I will stand with him. (Don’t tell him though)
Meliss (Kye)

Joyholl says:

Tried that once, nah..I’ll skip it. Way tooo much time and energy, however, I do clip coupons for paper goods. That, to me is a big savings; paper towel, toilet paper, napkins, feminine products… yeah, that works for me.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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