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 Extreme Couponing - A form of Hoarding?
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Iron Chef Toni
Star Contributor

Plano, TX
USA
460 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2011 :  10:31:58 AM  Send Iron Chef Toni an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
A few weeks ago there was a show on TLC called Extreme Couponing. People that were obsessed with saving money using coupons while shopping. The people they focused on during the show would go to the grocery and start out with a $600 plus tab and that was scaled down below $10 once coupons were taken off. Then the fun begins. Hauling all those groceries home. One guy had a trailer he attached to his car every time he went shopping. At the time of filming he bought an entire pallet load of cereal and enough deodorant to last one person 150 years!

Every person that was on the show had a room in their house or had converted their garage to their own small grocery store. Granted it was nice, neat and well organized for date rotation but still I think is a form of hoarding. One person or even a family could never use up the groceries that these people were buying.

I love saving money just as much as the next person. My Sunday afternoon is usually spent cutting the coupons out of the paper but I only cut out the ones I need or think I might want to try if it's a new product.

Toni
Gold certified in N. Texas
Now doing Merchandising!

Diane G.
Contributor

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2011 :  6:57:53 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I saw that show ---- very interesting----enough toilet paper to last a lifetime....lol
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2011 :  3:44:00 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What a wonderful way to make a useful donation to a food bank, shelter, or similar agency! I couldn't afford to give them several hundred dollars worth of goods (or cash) but if I could figure out how to do this with the coupons, I would make that a regular part of my shopping routine. Pull out what my family will use and donate the rest to someone in need. I don't short change the family while making a significant contribution to the community!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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Anni
Star Contributor

PA
USA
726 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2011 :  4:32:40 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Since we no longer have any pets, I ALWAYS use the free pet product coupons (and coupons that will allow me to buy these items for just a few cents). I then donate the pet food to our church's food bank. Our local Animal Friends/Rescue Shelters also love receiving these items. They have a "Chow Wagon" for pets that is designed for low income families and operates similar to a food bank. This is such a great way to use unwanted coupons!
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2011 :  10:22:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I saw this show for the first time last night. I want to be able to shop that way--but I can't see trying to keep track of 9 shopping carts in one trip. I'm thinking more one or two (if my daughter is there to push one). And I kept looking at the stockpile these folks had and thinking--won't some of those 40 half-gallon bottles of juice go bad before they can drink it? and if you have 15 years worth of deodorant, why do you keep buying it? Give it to charity and make room for things you will actually use!

I think I will look into the coupon sites. Anyone already do that? If so, is there one you really like? Or one you recommend I avoid?

Jnanne
Silver certified
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BCheatam
Star Contributor

IN
USA
290 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2011 :  6:39:01 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanine, I love The Krazy Coupon Lady. She was on the show also. Her website tells you all you need to know. She has people who take the ads and match them up with coupons and tells you which store is having specials to get great bargains. You need sources for coupons, newspapers, internet printing, loading onto your store card. If you hear about good coupons but don't have any, there are tons of coupon clipping service who sell you the "time" they spent clipping coupons by charging a small fee and postage. You can even buy them on Ebay.
Somehow these people know what next weeks' ad looks like and tell you what coupons you need.
I kinda started this time (I've done couponing off and on for many years) for something to fill up my time when I'm not merchandising or MSing. You can spend hours if you want to, sittig on the computer.
One of my favorite stores is Target. They have their own monthly coupons; you can use one of their coupons and a manufacturers' coupon on the same item; often Target will have that item on sale and you can save a bundle.
I think to do as well as they do on that show you have to eat anything and buy anything. It seems like a lot of coupon items are junk and most are convenience foods that many people don't use.
It's lots of fun, there's nothing like the thrill of walking through a store and seeing a "sale" sign o something you need/want, then whipping out your 5#, 6" binder full of coupons to grab that bargain!!! (She also tells you how to make that binder.)

Silver Certified Mystery Shopper & Auditor in Central and Southern Indiana.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2011 :  11:40:03 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am willing to try it--but on a much smaller scale. With a family and a job (that I can't give up because I need the insurance) there is a limited amount of time for this--but every little bit helps.

I was thrilled to go to the store the other day with two Kellogg's coupons for $1 off when you buy two boxes. The store was having a special of 4 boxes for $10 (normal price was $4.19 per box) and you get two free cases of bottled water (that I donated to the church). And attached to the boxes I bought were four coupons good for $1 off when you buy two boxes and some fruit. I used two of those. Wow--I paid $6 for 4 large boxes of Kellogg's cereal and 2 cases of water--and a bit more for the 3 pears and 4 apples. (Technically I could have only bought two fruit items and stayed within the terms of the coupons.)

I realize that is nothing compared to those people, but hey, if that felt great, just think how much better I could feel with a little effort!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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EliseWeav
Star Contributor

Boston, MA
USA
528 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2011 :  10:25:04 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Jnanne,
I started thinking about couponing after watching that show. I found couponmom.com (maybe from the show) to get started. Sign up (free) and then watch her two (very short) tutorials to get the idea of how to do it. Then, browse her grocery store lists, where she combines coupons with sales and calculates the savings for you. After using her site for awhile, I stumbled upon howtoshopforfree.net, with all kinds of information on how to shop at various stores for free. I have saved a lot of $$ since I started in January. It is fun and has become addictive!

Elise
Boston area, especially North Shore. Silver certified and shopping since 2004.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2011 :  06:14:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Elise. I'll give those a try.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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Jody B
Valued Contributor

Mankato, MN
USA
178 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2011 :  3:42:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I signed up coupon.mom and hope and can save some money through the practice of couponing. I'm wondering if the time and effort is worth the savings?

Jody
Shopper in Southern Minnesota-the Little Twin Cities-A Lot Minnesota (Mankato) and beyond
Now Silver Certified!
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Iron Chef Toni
Star Contributor

Plano, TX
USA
460 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2011 :  10:48:16 AM  Send Iron Chef Toni an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I think it is worth the savings. But I only buy what I use at a time. I just don't have the space or the inclination to store 10 years worth of paper towels, toilet paper and toothpaste. I watch the sales and 90% of the time I able to pair the sale item with a coupon. For example I have noticed that both CVS and Walgreens will have some brand of hair color on sale each week. Paired with a coupon, the price is usually about half the regular price.

Frugal Girls is another good money saving site. You can friend it on Facebook to get the latest updates.


Toni
Gold certified in N. Texas
Now doing Merchandising!
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EliseWeav
Star Contributor

Boston, MA
USA
528 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2011 :  9:25:08 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jody B

I signed up coupon.mom and hope and can save some money through the practice of couponing. I'm wondering if the time and effort is worth the savings?


Jody,
I wondered the same thing myself in the beginning. After keeping up with it for several months, the answer IMO is, yes. The key is to stockpile (I don't mean 10 years worth, but a few months worth of items you use regularly until the next sale rolls around) when you can get items you use for free or very cheap. This way, you are not purchasing as many items on a weekly basis. It takes some time and effort, but I have found it is a better use of my time than msing.

Elise
Boston area, especially North Shore. Silver certified and shopping since 2004.
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EliseWeav
Star Contributor

Boston, MA
USA
528 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2011 :  9:50:39 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Iron Chef Toni

I think it is worth the savings. But I only buy what I use at a time. I just don't have the space or the inclination to store 10 years worth of paper towels, toilet paper and toothpaste. I watch the sales and 90% of the time I able to pair the sale item with a coupon. For example I have noticed that both CVS and Walgreens will have some brand of hair color on sale each week. Paired with a coupon, the price is usually about half the regular price.

Frugal Girls is another good money saving site. You can friend it on Facebook to get the latest updates.




Toni,
Combine the sales with coupons and Extrabucks from CVS, and coupons CVS will email you for signing up online, and really see how well you can do. I heard Walgrees just stopped their RR (same as ExtraBucks at CVS), so I haven't really check into Walgreens. I read that Rite Aid is really the best place for free deals, but CVS is the easiest place to start with. I generally don't spend money in CVS anymore for the products I buy.
I felt the same was as you in the beginning. No way can I be so organized, nor do I have the inclination to accumulate or store 20 years worth of tuna and deodorant, but I do enjoy spending 0 or very little on the things we use (or can donate).

Elise
Boston area, especially North Shore. Silver certified and shopping since 2004.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2011 :  06:43:33 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
My daughter watched another episode of the extreme couponing show last night and volunteered to help me try to increase our savings. She's ten--and willing to make forms and organize and clip coupons. I told her when school lets out for the summer we will give this a try. Maybe we will get good enough at it that we'll save a bundle. She wants to know if I'll agree to buy her a laptop computer once she's helped me save $1,000. Her dad said, "Only if you find a coupon for it." She's going to be looking for that coupon!

Jnanne
Silver certified
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EliseWeav
Star Contributor

Boston, MA
USA
528 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2011 :  11:20:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
That's great! If nothing else, it's a good lesson for the kids to learn that they have to work for what they want.
Two years ago my husband bought an HP laptop. I did a quick Google search for an online coupon and I found one, a good one, $200.00 off. So your husband is right, lol!
Now off to write about last night's dinner. I still do an occasional *good* restaurant shop. Will work for food

Elise
Boston area, especially North Shore. Silver certified and shopping since 2004.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 05/21/2011 :  11:17:04 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was behind a mild form of the coupon lady in the grocery store this week. Only she wasn't even a little polite about it. I was impressed with the cool of the manager and the check out personnel. This lady had only one cart full, so it wasn't the drama it could have been.

However, she didn't know the coupon rules of the store. She showed off (the most accurate term I can come up with for her presentation) her coupons before the cashier began ringing up anything. And the cashier immediately advised that the store policy is to only triple the first of identical coupons. Apparently the shopper didn't comprehend what that meant.

When it was all rung up, the cashier told her the cost of 91 cents. And she blew a gasket, insisted the manager be called over. The manager explained what had happened. The shopper insisted they remove the offending items and corresponding coupons. After the cashier flipped through the coupons to find the right ones and the bagger had rummaged through the cart to find two mustards, the total came up to 41 cents.

The amount of shouting and rude words involved--all coming from the shopper--was certainly out of proportion to the situation.

It certainly reinforced my belief that I must be smart enough to cut back on my grocery bills. If this person could do it, surely I can. On the other hand, she wasn't buying the same items I would want to feed my family.

Jnanne
Silver certified
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Clare
Star Contributor

Texas
USA
1738 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  10:39:58 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I've seen a few of the 'Extreme Couponing' episodes, myself. I was really stressed out from just watching the amount of work involved. One woman had quit a job to pursue the couponing, so, she was into it big-time.

I do think some of the people could be hoarders....There's no reason to have several years worth of some products stockpiled. There ARE expiration dates to think about; and, I promise you, that some of the cereals, cake mixes, rice-a-roni, even some canned products will go bad after a given time. It's not too pleasing to open up a box of something, and, see bugs crawling around! Yuk!

A couple of the men featured in the episodes, used the coupons for charitalbe purposes....a great idea, I thought. They were able to donate large amounts of products for just the cost of their time and effort.

I was turned off by the greedy couponers who gathered up any item they could get free of cost, whether they needed it, or not. Then, they filled storerooms, closets, dressers, etc with years' worth of products they really didn't need. What an opportunity they are missing to use their hobby to help others.

I use coupons occasionally, only for items I would be purchasing anyway. Our local stores are not into the 'doubling/tripling' so, a couponer would not be likely to get any extreme deals around here.

The show is interesting to watch, but, I was worn out by the time it was over....I have no desire to fill up a string of grocery baskets
and shuffle thru a large binder of coupons, then, load/unload my vehicle, and, stock a roomful of shelves, etc.

That doesn't take into account all the planning, organizing, clipping, and, other record keeping that goes along with the chore.

More power to those who use the couponing to help others....and, shame on those who are greedy & will empty a shelf to get a basketful of products they don't need, just because they are free.

Thanks to those people who use the method wisely...only buying products they need, and, will use themselves; or donate to a worthy cause/person who can use the products!
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BCheatam
Star Contributor

IN
USA
290 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2011 :  6:32:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
And from what I've seen on a legitimate coupon blog, some of the participants used illegal means to get their totals that low. There are photos of the shoppers' list which show one shopper used coupons for items she did not buy. I guess if the coupon is from company "X", sometimes you can (illegally) use it for other than the item written on the coupon. That's what this person did BIG TIME! Clearly coupon fraud-and gives us legal coupon users a bad name.

Silver Certified Mystery Shopper & Auditor in Central and Southern Indiana.
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Jnanne
Star Contributor

LA
USA
3047 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2011 :  06:50:52 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Guess that clears up my confusion. I never did understand why the cashier sometimes goes through the groceries to make sure I have purchsed the items that matched the coupons. I thought the register would only accept the bar code if the item had already been rung up.

Silly me for trying to apply logic!

(Actually, I'm more likely to get all the way home and realize the coupons are still in my purse and I never presented them to the cashier at all).

Jnanne
Silver certified
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JuanitaJ
Star Contributor

Houston, TX
USA
1085 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2011 :  05:16:13 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
What I have learned to do which saves me time and money is to use my coupons as quickly as I can after I cut them out, whether I need the products or not at that time.

It has happened to me so many times that I am at the store and remember I need toothpaste (or something else I always have coupons for) but I don't have my coupons with me or I have allowed them to expire. So I pay full price for the toothpaste.

But if I take all my toothpaste coupons as soon as I get them, buy the toothpaste right away, I know I have had a savings on all those tubes and they will eventually get used.

So each shopping trip, I sit down and pull out all the coupons for items I use on a regular basis and use them that day if possible. It is never a huge number of coupons because I only get a few from the newspaper each week.


Juanita
MSPA Gold Certified
Happily shopping the Houston, TX area.
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Clare
Star Contributor

Texas
USA
1738 Posts

Posted - 07/15/2011 :  6:36:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Coupons are great if we use them sensibly.
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