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Thread: Extreme Couponing

  1. #11
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    The big supermarket chain around here gives customers a discount on gas--it varies from day to day--with purchase. It's usually around 10 cents a gallon or so. They also have coupons for local businesses on the back of their receipts, but they all have limits. The same chain also offers a deal to organizations that wish to sell gift cards to the store, which is really quite a good deal. For every $25 in gift cards sold, the store pays the organization $5. Since almost everyone needs food/gas, and people who buy the cards get exactly what they pay for (e.g. for a $100 gift card, you pay $100--there's no additional fee and you can buy in increments as low as $25), it's a good deal. You might as well pay an organization to which you belong or which you support the money you'd pay in groceries for the month anyway and then just use the card in the store, which can actually be hugely convenient if you're just running in to grab something from the deli (the store in question has several kinds of takeout food too).

    I'm not sure that even using excessive numbers of coupons to make packages for charity is such a great idea, because it ends up forcing stores to limit coupon use and spoils the whole plan. It's probably better to approach stores for donations or discounts for the project.

    I love a good deal--I'm wearing Isotoner slippers right now that I managed to get at over a ninety-percent markdown by combining a sale with an in-store coupon, but I didn't buy every pair of discounted slippers I could find. I bought the pair I could use. I will also sometimes buy hats, mittens, gloves etc. in assorted sizes toward the end of the season, when stores mark them way down to get rid of them, store them with my Christmas stuff, and then donate them to various charities that collect such things the following winter, but again, I don't overbuy. I might buy three or four sets, not fifty or sixty. I'm afraid if I cleaned out the whole shelf, someone who really needed a pair of mittens right then wouldn't be able to get them.

    I guess I'd also like to know what the people who save all this money actually spend the money they save on. Do they need to be that frugal or is it just some kind of high to them to be able to say they outsmarted the store?

  2. #12
    FORT Fogey causingchaos's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    I worked for a charity for awhile that would need stuff like toiletries, foods etc. on occasion. And I say on occasion because there were some people that would do just what is being talked about. Clear out the store shelves because of sales and coupons doing a good deed. Reality is that it left some gaps. Had TONS of toothpaste for example but hardly any men/boys toiletries (deoderants etc.). While there are occasional coupons for male products they are by far concentrating on female oriented products. And we threw out food regularly too because we would get tons of the same thing when people did the hoarding version of couponing and couldn't use it all before it outdated. There were many times we would have preferred to get a cash donation because then we could have got what was needed like diapers, mens/boys stuff, tampons, etc. and used what we got instead of having to throw out stuff because we had too much of one thing or another.

    The stores in the area really make the difference when couponing. I can't do any good at the local drug stores but can occasionally get some good deals at Walgreens. Sometimes at Target if I have in store coupons as well. Our grocery store isn't a national or even really regional chain so couponing there doesn't always pan out. I figure we are doing good if we save in the 10-20% range. But again we buy just what we need for the most part and I also buy other stuff without coupons at the same time. I don't have time or money for gas to waste running around town chasing all the sales with coupons.

    Also what impacts how effective coupons are is how brand loyal you are. I'm brand loyal to a few things. I'll buy it when I have a coupon for that brand. If you're not too loyal to brands then you could spend hours timing out sales and what not with your variety of coupons. Again I don't have time to do it and really at that point I start to feel OCD.

    I keep a spread sheet over the years of what we've saved using coupons just normally and we've saved thousands of dollars without abusing the system.

  3. #13
    26.2, baby! Allie's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    There is certainly a difference between buying a box of razors and sweeping an entire shelf on diapers when you don't even have a baby (I read that someone did that because she ended up getting them for free and if someone was upset about not having any they could have gotten there earlier). Stocking up and stockpiling are two different things in my mind. Things that do not go bad, if you are buying them for care packages and so on are reasonable. And I've seen people do that and they are usually careful not to take the last one and are polite about it and even make jokes.

  4. #14
    FORT Fogey libgirl2's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    Quote Originally Posted by coltnlasma View Post
    On this show, I think I've seen one guy who was shopping to make military care packages. I think there might be others who shop and donate it all to a shelter. Now that's just smart. But I do think the ones building additions to house their stockpiles are more horder-like and sad... but somehow I just don't feel as bad for them as I do for those who are featured on Hoarders.
    I agree, if you buy 100 toothbrushes and give most of them to charity or send them overseas, nice. If you add them to the room filled to the rafters with things, hoarding. I just can't get people who have 30 or more boxes of pasta, for example, and keep on buying more! HOw much are you planning on eating? I am all for saving a few dollars and if you have a large family and actually go through the stuff fast, great, but I remember seeing a husband and wife without kids, having massive stockpiles of food. Its just wrong. When the stuff goes bad, is it just thrown out. I think couponing can be just as big of an addiction as anything else. I enjoy getting a freebie, but not 30 of them!
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  5. #15
    FORT Fanatic mina's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    I was watching an episode last night and it could have been an old one so forgive me if it is. But it was the episode where one sister was helping her sister coupon for her wedding reception. They said her budget for the whole wedding was $15,000, but she was only going to spend $150 of that on the food, hence the couponing. I wonder what the rest of the budget was spent on.....It looked like they were getting married in someone's backyard. I appreciate thriftiness; but if you have $15,000 to spend on your wedding then serve your guests something better than Kraft pasta! I just got married and had a really lovely catered reception and we spent no where near $15000 when it was said and done.
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  6. #16
    80's Rule! karna68's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    This show is stupid. IMO, the time you have to put in clipping the coupons and researching the sales isn't worth it. The stuff they buy is stupid, really, do you need 3 years worth of laundry detergent? And does anybody even buy any FOOD? I'm all about saving money but I have a life too
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  7. #17
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    Quote Originally Posted by mina View Post
    I was watching an episode last night and it could have been an old one so forgive me if it is. But it was the episode where one sister was helping her sister coupon for her wedding reception. They said her budget for the whole wedding was $15,000, but she was only going to spend $150 of that on the food, hence the couponing. I wonder what the rest of the budget was spent on.....It looked like they were getting married in someone's backyard. I appreciate thriftiness; but if you have $15,000 to spend on your wedding then serve your guests something better than Kraft pasta! I just got married and had a really lovely catered reception and we spent no where near $15000 when it was said and done.

    Considering what people spend on wedding gifts, spending one percent of a $15,000 wedding budget on food for your guests is just plain rude. I'd hate to be invited to dinner at that couple's house if they're not willing to spend more than $150 on food for their wedding. You'd be lucky to get Ramen noodles and Kool-Aid.

    If you want to spend 90% of your wedding budget on stuff for yourself to enjoy (I'm assuming the other 9% might have gone for mutually enjoyable things, like decorations or music) then just elope. It would be one thing if they didn't have more than that to spend, but if their whole budget was $15,000, it clearly wasn't that they didn't have more to spend. They just elected to spend as little as possible on their guests, while, I assume, still expecting gifts from them that would be worth more than $2 (again, assuming they invited at least 75 people).
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  8. #18
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    I saw some extreme couponers on Nate Berkus yesterday and they bought maybe 12 bottles of Maalox because they got it so cheap - it was probably $6 for all of it. One of them said something like "Even if you don't use it, how can you pass that up?" So, you're going to waste $6 just because it's a good deal? Even if you USE something like Maalox, if you need to buy 12 bottles of it and can use it before it expires, then you have a serious medical problem.

    My beef is the waste. Many of the items they buy are perishable and I don't mean food - all over-the-counter meds expire. Spending money on someting just because it's a good deal is wasting money!

    It seems to me that these ladies spend as much time on this stuff as they would at a full-time job. If they actually GOT a full-time job and spent less time on the coupons to where they saved maybe half of what they do now, they would still be ahead money-wise.

    I like a good deal as much as anyone, but I'm not going to buy something I don't normally eat just because it's a good deal. I use coupons for products I normally buy. Sadly, because I don't buy a lot of processed foods, I don't use a lot of coupons. There aren't many coupons for fresh produce!

    $15,000 for a wedding where you're only spending $150 on food? That must have been one hell of a dress.
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  9. #19
    FORT Fogey libgirl2's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    I agree about the wedding. That is just not enough on food. My husband, son and I spend around $40 to $50 when we got out to eat. And for my birthday dinner at a Brazilian barbecue it was $179 before my coupons reduced it to $100. So how can you feed all those people for so cheap? AGain Kraft Mac and Cheese.

    As for the whole Maalox thing... what a waste. It is so wrong to buy stuff because it is cheap and never use it. One item or maybe two... you might use but so many? What is wrong with people? Buy just to say I got it so cheap but have no interest in it? Again, I think some of this is an addiction to amass free or cheap goodies... see how much you can get away with saving and not really interested in the food. Also watch how much of the food people buy is over processed garbage like frozen meals and not fresh veggies, fruits or meats.... Woo hoo, I just paid #2 for my three carts but where is the fresh produce??? Sorry, I like to get things that are actually good for us and not crap that isn't!!!

    I don't have all those hours a week to waste, I work. And while I clip coupons, I do so in normal moderation. I don't have the time to quit work or want to intrude on my personal time... again, I think its an addiction just like hoarding, gambling and the like....
    "To err is human, to arr is a pirate"

  10. #20
    FORT Fogey libgirl2's Avatar
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    Re: Extreme Couponing

    And my wedding was around $3000 (second wedding). My dress was around $200 and we had a family style German dinner with way too much food!!
    "To err is human, to arr is a pirate"

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