Adventures in Extreme Couponing

23 May

Have you seen the show “Extreme Couponing” on TLC?

Well you can expect to see me on there soon.

You think I’m kidding.

Here’s the 411 if you haven’t seen it. There is a whole demographic of people (mostly women, but some men too) that has figured out how to take total advantage of grocery stores and get tons of FREE stuff, by using the coupons that come in Sunday papers. We’re not talking about a dollar off, we’re talking they’ve figured out how to wait til an item goes on sale and get the store to literally payΒ them to take it home.Β It’s genius.

Some of them make it like a full time job; they spend hours cutting out coupons and planning shopping trips exactly- down to the amount they’re going to pay and each individual item they’re going to buy. They make extensive lists that detail which coupons double and triple and what the limit of items you can purchase with one coupon is- and then they cut out 50 of that same coupon and make the cashiers ring them up for “separate orders” so they can maximize the number of coupons they can use. They have huge binders of coupons in baseball card holder pages and stock rooms with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise that they paid little to nothing for.

It’s brilliant, really.

The secret is to have all your coupons organized so that each week you can look at the ads for what’s on sale at each store, and then combine the store deals with your coupons.

So after seeing this, as a true Roberts daughter (if you aren’t aware- there is NOTHING my family loves more than free shit), what was I to do??

I’ll tell you what I did. I made a binder.

Kit & I go to Bojangles every Sunday for brunch, where he buys a Sunday paper (because he’s a grandpa). Then we go home and he reads the paper and I cut out the coupons (because I’m a grandma) and (now) put them in my handy-dandy binder! It’s not as detailed as the crazies on tv, because I don’t want to be an “extreme” couponer (at least not yet)– I don’t need or have room for a stock pile, I just want to get free stuff of the things I use.

So on tv, the process works like this:

1. Item goes on sale for $3.

2. Person has coupon for $1 off said item.

3. Person waits til triple coupon day at the grocery store.

4. Person combines $3 item with $3 coupon and walks out of the store with FREE ITEM!

Pretty simple, right?

So yesterday, after completing my beautifully organized binder filled with LOTS of savings, Kit & I scour the internet & paper inserts to figure out if we can get any free stuff.

We found out that Harris Teeter has the triple coupon thing going on until this coming Tuesday.

They had those Magnum icecream bars (YUM, by the way- you’ve GOT to try them.) on sale 2 for $6 and we had a $1 off coupon… Triple that and- FREE ICECREAM, right?

Wrong.

What the hell, right? Apparently they’ve figured out these schemes and in their “Coupon Policy” (who even knew these existed? I did.) added an addendum that states that they only triple coupons with a face value of up to $.99. BOO!

So that sucked. And we had gotten really excited about that.

But, I did get deodorant for $.25! It was 2 for $5.00 (but you only have to buy one to get the $2.50 price) and my coupon was for $.75, which tripled to make $2.25, so my leftover out of pocket cost was a quarter!

All that to say, you should watch the show- It’s amazing what these people (whose stores don’t have stupid coupon limits) can do. I saw one where a woman’s husband lost his job and they lived off her stockpile for A YEAR! Another woman has saved her family $60,000 in just the last year because she hasn’t had to pay for hardly ANYTHING. It’s amazing.

And I’m going to figure out where I can make it work for me.

Watch out, grocery stores. I’m coming for you.

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2 Responses to “Adventures in Extreme Couponing”

  1. Jennifer Ariel Hasty September 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    I know this is an old post, but I am with you. I don’t think that there is any reason NOT to coupon….it’s free money! Now, I’m not crazy either, and the people on that show have, like, separate food storage rooms where they house all of the free things they got with their coupons. I don’t think I would ever want to be like that….

    • worthmymemory September 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      Haha! I totally agree… I finally got a FREE box of pasta the other day and celebrated by calling EVERY person/family member. πŸ™‚

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