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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Extreme Couponing --- Worth the Clipping?

So last night, TLC launched the premiere of their newest show, Extreme Couponing. It follows people who will obsessively collect coupons, including walking miles around their neighborhood looking for discarded circulars, or even dumpster diving to get their fix. These folks then formulate a game plan for how they will combine, double, triple, and complete upwards of 10-20 different checkout transactions in order to get the biggest bang for their buck.

And when I say bang, I really mean to say magnanimously large explosion. One couponer racked up a total of over $1,900.00. You read that right. Nearly TWO GRAND in groceries. With coupons, she paid a mere $103.72. That purchase included things like 35 cans of soup, 40 boxes of cereal, 90 packages of cold cuts, 100 containers of yogurt, and 150 bottles of mustard. Well, at least you'll be set on hot dog toppings for a few zillion years.

Now, I agree, it was pretty exhilarating to see her $1,900 total creep down to the hundreds, but truly, I see no need to have 150 bottles of mustard. Can someone really eat 100 containers of yogurt before they spoil? Regardless, I'm intrigued as to how these couponers manage to walk out of grocery stores with hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars worth of groceries and only paying a very small percentage of their bill.

Are you a couponer? Tell us your tips and tricks! I'd love to implement coupons into my shopping trips, but I can never see myself loading up four carts worth of Ragu. Can you?


  1. i am a couponer. we save about $400 a month. yea, thats not much compared to these extreme couponers. lol.
    we grocery shop once a weekend as well as hit up target / walmart for nessesities. plus to just get out of the house. =]
    i clip out about every coupon from the one paper we get every sunday while my husband browses the internet. we dont spend much time with it. i will clip while the oldest is snacking and youngest is napping. i have this coupon organizer, the size of a large wallet i got at the dollar store ... to organize our coupons. the night before shopping, i dig around those coupons and pull out the coupons we will be using. we try not to get dupes of anything. we usually keep about 2 or 3 backups of like, jelly or anything like that. we live in a tiny apartment and we dont have much room for lots of backups.

  2. I LOVE coupons and usually save about $40-$50 per grocery shopping trip with just coupons from the Sunday paper. I think that show is misleading, though, because I don't think the shoppers are counting what they also paid to buy extra coupons from services, what they paid for coupon website memberships, etc. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think they only count the actual cash paid at the register.

    I'm a new follower from the Bee Friendly Friday Follow. I'd love it if you'd visit A Helicopter Mom and follow me back!

    I'm also having my FIRST giveaway of a Limited Edition Fine Art Print. It has very low entries, so I'd really appreciate it if you'd drop by and enter.

    Have a great weekend! Thanks. :)

  3. See, to me, $400 a month is HUGE! If I could save that much, I'd be ecstatic!

    $40-$50 is a ton, too! I always thought I'd just save maybe $5 at most with coupons. Turns out I was wrong! Looks like I need to start getting the Sunday paper.

    Do you ladies have a favorite store? Does your store double or triple coupons?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hello! I am stopping by from the Friday Blog Hop! I am your newest follower! I cannot wait to read more. I hope you will stop by and follow me back :)

  6. Stopping in from the Alexa Hop. Here's my link:

  7. I LOVE couponing!! It's a rush to get something for next to nothing.
    However, 150 bottles of mustard? Really?? What about the single mom thats coming in after you- did you leave any deals for her? It seems irresponsible to me. I am all for getting deals and LEGALLY & MORALLY working the system but- come on! Don't be an idiot!!!

  8. I consider myself an extreme couponer, but in moderation. Last year, my spreadsheet for one grocery store was $12,000 worth and I spent just $700. I get a ton of groceries for super cheap, but 150 bottles of mustard? No. My primary reason for couponing is to save my family money. If I have time/energy after that, I look out for friends/family and then donate to the local food bank/our church, etc. You would never find me with 150 bottles of mustard on my storage shelves though!

    As it is, I usually manage with an $80 a week grocery budget for my family of 6 - this includes all diapers, wipes, formula, and all toiletry/Target/Walmart type things. I do a lot of shopping at the drugstores (CVS, Wags, Rite Aid) and my local grocery stores (Shaws & Market Basket.) I do spend about $10-15 on average a week for coupons. (No services here, I do it on my own.)

    Visiting from the Alexa hop! Here's my post - Musings From a SAHM

  9. I live in a small town where we have only a handful of stores to choose from. I do use coupons, but not obsessively. I think if I were in a bigger city where we had lots of stores and lots of use for coupons, I'd use them a whole lot more.

  10. I am following you from the blog hop, you have a great site. Would you like to follow me back? Susan's Family
    thank you :)

  11. Eek My comment dissappeared!
    I used to extreme coupon before blogging, no time now!
    My family used 90% of what we got. Even the 100+ bottles of lawrys maranide we got one time.
    What we didnt use we donated to church

  12. I can barely get my hubby to use a FPC so I have no tips on extreme couponing, and seeing all that stuff in stock piles I don't get how they can use it either. We have 5 members in our family (the boys are still young though), and we have 1 bottle of ketchup open, and another in our pantry, and have found that they have expired before we got to it sometimes!!

    Here from the Alexa Hop.

  13. Wow. I haven't done much with coupons. I've tried Sunday papers and just seems like there are never coupons for the stuff I want, though. I prefer to buy things less pre-packaged and natural or organic whenever possible.
    Also, we don't seem to have some of the better stores for couponing at: no CVS, Publix or Whole Foods. :-(
    I would love to learn how to do it better, if the time it took to do it was actually worth the $$ I saved.

    Stopping by from the Alexa Hop!

    Johanna at Mama Chocolate
    Family life, tips for mom, reviews, giveaways and more!

  14. Hopping back through with my toolbar for the Alexa Hop!

    I'd appreciate it if you could visit me back and comment with your toolbar.

    A Helicopter Mom's Alexa Hop Post

    Thanks so much!

  15. Of course there's a reason these people are on TV, they are extreme. I would be embarrassed to coupon like that. new follower from the hop, voted for you on the fence :-) have a great day! michelle at

  16. I used to do more with couponing than I do now. Life changed as did the time I have to give to couponing. I had to decide what was more important -- my time or couponing. I still do with what we need but that's all. I used to get all I could (by that I mean 2 or 3 of something) so I could bless others.

    New follower. Loved this article and can't wait now to see the show.



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