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I'm a twenty-nine year old Army wife currently living near a large Army post. I have an unhealthy obsession with Dr. Pepper, the Internet, cloth diapers, and ridiculous TV shows. I'm a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters, AJ and Amelia. We also have a 6 year old beagle named Abby who is as dumb as a box of rocks.
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Extreme Couponing, Anyone?!?!

If you're anything like me, you can't stop watching this show. I look forward to Thursday mornings because I know that I have a new episode to watch from my DVR! I think its incredible the amount of product these coupon-ers take home for little to no money out of pocket. One of my peeves about the show, though, is that their hauls rarely are things that you would need on a day to day basis (100 packages of antacid, anyone?).

The guy they call "Mr. Coupon" does use some of his stockpile to make care packages for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, which I think is nice, and most of the coupon-ers donate to local food pantries and churches, so I guess the stuff they buy isn't going to waste, but it just seems silly to try and "beat" commercialism by paying little to nothing for things you don't even need. (Maybe its just me.)

So anyway, the other day when I mentioned how I was feeling like there was nothing blog-worthy going on in my life and I said that I wasn't going to bore you all with the details of our new budget, well, too bad! {insert evil laugh here}

No, I'm not really going to talk about our monthly household budget at length, but I will impress you all with my most recent trip to the grocery store and how coupons helped me stay within my budget.

One of the areas that we historically spend the most is on our grocery bill. We like fresh food and everyone knows that fresh foods aren't cheap. Its much cheaper to eat shelf-stable foods, but alas, that isn't always the healthiest option. I also enjoy trying new and interesting recipes and this tends to be where the bill creeps up and money gets thrown away. Sometimes I buy an ingredient specifically for one recipe and then we end up not really liking the recipe. Then that ingredient sits in our pantry (or fridge) forever until one of us I throw it out.

Moving right along. I had a few coupons from the mail and a few from the printouts that come with the receipt at the grocery store checkout. A few of the coupons were for items that we use, but weren't on the list for this trip, so I didn't use them. I also tend to buy store brand whenever its things that we can't tell the difference, like cheese, pasta, canned goods, etc. This saves us a bit because the store brand is usually cheaper than the name brand and our grocery store tends to give additional discounts on their own brand when you have their rewards card, which we have.

So Saturday I made my way to the grocery store, armed with my list and my coupons. I made myself promise to stick as close to the list as humanly possible. I knew it wouldn't be too hard this time because I've been feeling pretty nasty (sore throat, body aches, etc.) for several days and I really just wanted to get in and out in as little time as possible. (Note to all, if you want to spend less at the grocery store, go when you're sick and no food sounds good.)

I always make a dinner menu for the week and then create my list based off the menu. I also add in things that we like for breakfast and lunch like bread, milk, eggs, nutri-grain bars, deli meat, fruit, goldfish, Dr. Pepper (duh), etc. This trip was no different. I went into the store and I'm pretty sure that I only bought one thing that wasn't on the list and that is because D specifically requested it before I left.

At the end of the trip, I was $8 over my budget, but I had coupons and my store rewards card to scan still. My total savings was $6.50, so I was only $1.50 over my budget for the trip! Using coupons, estimating what my total would be (within $1.50, by the way) and staying on budget made me feel like the camera crew from Extreme Couponing should have been following me last weekend!

What do you do to save money? Are you a coupon clipper?

5 comments:

  1. I do clip coupons, however over the past two years, I've become really big on making everything from scratch. I really believe that I can make food (ie bread) for pennies on the dollar compared to what I purchase it for at the grocery store. Plus, I feel like it is a bit more healthy for me as it is not processed, and I can control the amount and quality of the ingredients.

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  2. I finally watched the show last week & was amazed! But as you said do you really need 100 packages of diaper sin your garage when you don't even have kids?? The Mr. Coupon guy was fun since he was using all that toothpaste for care packages- but I think it is a little nuts! With that being said I was excited to save %5.00 at the commissary using their coupons!

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  3. I'll use a coupon if I have it for something that's useful in our house, like soymilk or coffee. :) But usually it's for stuff we don't eat/use (frozen pizza, dinners in a box, paper plates).

    We're pretty set in our Oregonian ways (the bulk of our eatings are fruits and vegetables - which we know aren't cheap, but I'd rather have a higher grocery budget than wait until I'm 50 to need a boat-load of medications to combat my ailments).

    I love the show - I just can't wait until they blend it with Hoarders, because sometimes those people are.

    But Teen Mom and Extreme Couponing are mainstays in our house. :D

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  4. you guys are right they dont't need 100 bottles of antacid but, if it is on sale and the coupon value is higher than the price they make money out of it. If they have enough bottles (or whatever) they accumulate a higher amount of money that they can put to other groceries. Thats how extreme couponing works you get stuff with overage (which essentially comes out free) to pay for your actual groceries. Now mind you this is a show and they get random stuff just for the show. There are interviews with them where they stated that they made special orders of items so there would be enough at the store and NOT clear out a shelf (like the cameras show, which is a lie). In reality there is some actual sense and logic behind extreme couponing but tlc only shows what they feel will catch peoples attention. Keeping that in mind I still find the show very interesting to watch :)

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  5. Oh man, I wish I could be better at this. I try...I do, I really do but man that can become a full time job and well I already have like 3 or 4 full time jobs it feels like. But every time I watch that show I tell myself I am going to get more into it and save money for my family...and then I get the newspaper and am lost in a sea of coupons.

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I'd love to know what you think...