Have you ever seen the TLC show called “Extreme Couponing?”

Is it just me or anybody else out there wondering how can these people do “extreme couponing.” It seems so easy. In that show sometimes you see they don’t even pay a penny for the things they bought because they are using coupons.

I stumbled upon this show a few months ago and it has shaken my ego. I’m thinking, if they can do it I can do it too. So starting from that day forward, I started buying each Sunday’s paper regularly in order to get coupons.

I got to the point where I wouldn’t go shopping without coupons. Couponing can be addictive. It’s like finding a treasure, the more money you save the more excited you become. And you won’t stop. But I’ll be honest with you, whatever I do or how smart I manage my coupons I will never ever become like one of those people on that show.

First, I don’t want to be a selfish person. That means even though I can get if for free, I don’t want to use the opportunity to enrich myself. I saw one lady got 200 bottles of Excedrin for free because she used coupons. Use logic, how many times do you think you will use Excedrin in 365 days. Unless you have a headache everyday for the next 5 years that wouldn’t be a very good bargain. How about the expiration date? Do you realize that medications usually expire within something like two years? In my calculation, she ends up throwing away a large number of those Excedrins. That means you are throwing away things that stores can benefit from by selling to others who need it.

I admire her ability in using coupons but I don’t admire her decision. Sometimes you need to be a wise buyer.
If you want to give away for charity, that’s totally a different story. I 100% agree with using coupon for a good cause.

Second, some other shoppers bought a hundred cans of tomatoes and other canned goods. Don’t you think you will get tired eating the same food over and over? I bought a few canned goods myself (in the past without coupons), I put it in my pantry, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years went by, I still saw them in my pantry. Guess what? I ended up throwing them away because they expired. Unless you have 12 kids to feed, that would probably a good idea.

I use coupons myself, I buy things that I really need with coupons. I invent a few new dishes so they will last for a few months. The things I would like to buy the most is detergent, hair color, toilet paper, tooth paste, tooth brush, and probably a few canmed goods and etc…
I don’t need to have a room full of stuff for my “stash” because in the end you won’t use it. I realize the Sunday paper’s coupons always have the same coupons for the same products over and over. What I do is, I check the list of coupons available for the following week at couponmom.com. You can see it on Sunday morning. If I find there are good coupons for stuff I need, I will buy the paper. If not I’ll skip it.

Don’t be sad if you can’t save a lot like those “extreme couponers”  in the show. Make you jealous? of course?  Why can they do it but I can’t?

I want to share my own opinion on how difficult doing “extreme couponing” can be.

  1. Some stores (in my state of GA), won’t allow you to buy hundreds of products by using coupons. There’s limitation on everything.
  2.  How do you find tons of coupons? buy them? doesn’t make sense. Remember the longest coupon expiration is about 6 months. (6 x 5 weeks= 30 coupons/ 60 if you buy double coupons) You can’t get 100 coupons within 6 months. Unless you go to store dumpster and get those left over unsale Sunday’s paper. The kind of coupon circulation is also different from week to week. Some coupons expires within 1 months or 2.
  3. In the show, these stores agree to break their rule because they are on the show. If it like regular people like us. Guarantee they won’t allow us to buy hundred of their products using coupons. Because their system is not designed for that.
  4. The purpose of coupon is not for bulk buying.

And finally I don’t want to spend 40 hours a week to gather and manage coupons. I want to save money for something I want, not for something I don’t want. Having coupons doesn’t mean I have to use them all the time.

Hey “extreme coupon-er” out there, prove me wrong. Be honest I want to learn as well. Let me know your opinion.

Poor Girl

I love coupons. There’s a certain satisfaction that brings on a proud smile if I can use coupon when I buy something, especially if the coupons come to my door. One time I bought Sunday newspaper for $2 . I heard there are a lot of coupons in the Sunday Paper. After I checked carefully, one by one, I came to the conclusion that some coupons are simply “not for me” and I can’t use them at all. Well, I ended up throwing away my $2 bill without gaining anything. Since then I promised I won’t buy Sunday newspaper again. I decided that I will just wait for coupons come to me/my mail box.

Actually the reason I don’t like the Sunday Newspaper is because most of their coupons are for big projects that you would only occasionally need. Like roofing, tiling, building a deck, upholstering your furniture and etc. You know something that we don’t do or use often. If they have grocery coupons, the coupons are actually for new products or brands that I’ve never heard before. What I need more are coupons for daily necessities.

Recently, I’ve got so many free good coupons on the mail. Some locals and some general like Doves, Victoria Secret and etc. I get some coupons regularly from my 90 year old aunt. I was a little bit sad though because most of the time I end up throwing away coupons. Not because I don’t want to use them but because of the timing.

A few reasons why I throw away coupons:

  1. Expiration date. Some coupons have a short expiration date. For example a week. Because I don’t go to grocery every week, then I have to throw away the expired ones.
  2. Some coupons that I received are coupons for new products or products that I don’t normally use or wear.
  3. Time difference. For example restaurant coupons. Some restaurants coupons are not valid for weekend (Friday,Saturday and Sunday) when we usually go out for dinner.

Coupons mean money to me. I’m sad because while throw away some coupons, I believe there are so many people out there might need that specific coupons.

I have been thinking of giving away coupons that I don’t want and share them with other people who need it. But I don’t know how. I’m still thinking the best way of sharing…Have any idea?

You’ve probably stood in a checkout line behind someone who has a coupon for every item they’ve purchased, and it seems like eternity until they are finished. But, they probably saved over 50% to 80% off their grocery bill in that few minutes!

How, you ask?

If you want to try your hand at snipping scissors for savings, first you need the coupons! The best source for coupons is in the Sunday newspapers. The inserts are tucked in the middle with the advertisements. [Read more…]

Most American families use some coupons at the grocery store, restaurants, and other merchants. But there are super savers out there who have mastered the art of coupon shopping, and if you are serious about saving money, you can learn a lot from them. Here are a few tricks of the trade.

First, peruse your Sunday coupon circulars carefully, specifically the sections from your local grocery stores. Go ahead and clip your coupons, but also look for what is on sale at different stores. If there are items that you have coupons for, you will save even taking the coupon amount off of a sale price. Stock up on pantry items and paper goods that won’t go bad, and your savings will be really effective. [Read more…]