Saturday, May 28, 2011

Extreme Couponing 101

Good morning folks!  I hope everyone is safe and sound I've been so concerned about certain areas with all the tornados.  I've been praying for people.  My heart goes out to Joplin, MO especially because I lived in MO for 10 years.  The storm here knocked out my router and my internet was down for a few days. We were lucky though.

I don't know about you but blogger has been giving me fits.  I can't log in and comment at all.  I've been visiting your blogs but been unable to comment at all this week.  I'm so impressed and jealous of all of you who were able to get your gardening started. We're still too wet here :(

I have been doing some extreme couponing lately.  I have done a few little trips and have had some mixed results.  I was disappointed at Walmart yesterday when they wouldn't take some of mycoupons.  Have you watched the show on TLC, Extreme Couponing? I know many people think that these extreme couponers are a bit bizarre and should be classified as hoarders instead.  I am fascinated by them.  I have been couponing since I got married.  It's been a way of life for me.  I can relate to many of them who have been under some difficult circumstances with loss of a spouse's job, illness etc. Unfortunately, this has not been a good year for us as we have lost half our income.  Despite my new part time job and my husband's we are still not doing well.  I haven't really shared much lately with you because I wanted to try and remain positive keep my blog on topic.  It's put a strain on our relationship.  My kids are very conscious and my DD even tells my son that we can't afford it when he starts talking about vacations, activities, toys etc.  This just breaks my heart.  My kids are starting to get to that age where they are more concerned about their clothing, shoes etc. It's been one year and two months since he retired.  It just seemed to me like extreme couponing might give me a way to save a lot of money for my family.  Food isn't something you can cut out when you are trying to save $ and not spend money. 

Here are some things I've learned so far:

1.  Get extra newspapers on Sunday.  I've told people that I'm doing this and now I'm getting two extra papers for FREE!
2.  Set up another email account and go to coupon websites, facebook etc. you'll be able to print out a ton this way.
3.  Match-ups are the way to go, match up the sale price + coupon with another in-store (catalina) coupon = lowest price.  Then stock up on that item.
4.  Check out your stores policy on coupons, make sure you ask questions if you don't understand.  Most stores honor manufacturer and in-store coupons allowing you to stack them.
5. If you don't have time you can save time by going to blogs where people write about match-ups and give you the links. It takes all the guess work out.
6.  Ask if your store has a loyalty or frequent shopper card, most do.  I went to their websites and they also have a coupons.  It's great you don't even have to cut them, just select and they will be loaded onto your card, so easy! When you checkout you can use your e-coupon  + your manufacturer coupon!
7.  Don't buy something just because you have a coupon.  Use your coupons on what you buy already.
8.  Don't be brand loyal, try something different.
9.  Know that stores have sale cycle certain products go on sale at different times of the years. For example now it's condiments, icecream, paper products,buns, insect repellent etc. Try to take note and stock up when prices are lowest.
10. Join a coupon swap club or get together with friends and have a coupon party!

Here are some sites I have found helpful:

Blogs and Match-ups, Amy from TLC, Jessica from TLC, Heather and Joanie, Jaime
I loved how she wore her designer boots while couponing! LOL!

More couponers from the show, here

So here's my take on this, we can't do anything about the gas prices or economy.  We can pray.  We can be frugal with our spending and use coupons.  I'd love to hear if you use coupons and how you use them.

Best of luck,

1 comment:

  1. Carey, we too have been tightening our belts so to speak for a while. We are fortunate to have jobs, but the cost of living is going up WAY faster than salaries. About a year ago, I figured out how to trim my grocery budget by $100 a month. Now that may not sound like much compared to extreme couponing, but it covers a couple small bills. I plan my menus according to what's on sale at Krogers. I also use the store shopper card, and load all the online coupons I can so they automatically deduct at check out. I have a lot of issues with a lot of the coupons out there. One being they make you buy 2 of something to save. Now I'm seeing that you must by milk AND cereal to get the coupon discount. I'm seeing that with other food combo items as well. Not to mention, most of the coupons are for junk type foods. I'm also saving by cooking bigger batches and freezing. It not only saves money, but time as well.
    I am definitely not brand loyal (well except for Gain & Downy) We quickly got used to using shampoo, razors, etc. that were on sale.

    I also do my shopping at Krogers so that I can get a discount on gas. We get even more savings with prescriptions and gift card purchases. Last time I filled up I saved .40 per gallon. Can't beat that with a stick!
    You can use up to a $1 off per gallon, per fill up.

    BTW.. many are having issues with leaving comments. Do you happen to use Gmail? I've noticed those having issues use Gmail for their blog sign in.