questionsdoes anyone else think that extreme couponing is…

vote-for17vote-against
vote-for6vote-against

I've only seen the show a few times, but I've thought the same thing about it looking like a full-time job.

One of the shows that I saw had twin sisters living together unmarried with no kids. However, they had an entire stockpile of diapers for 'when' they got married and had kids. I think that if I had met a girl like that, I would have turned around and walked out when I saw that ha.

vote-for3vote-against

@misuhsipee: I saw that one too. I mean how many tubes of toothpaste could one person need?
If I remember correctly in that episode, they also had formula and baby food stockpiled? To which I say,;Haven't they ever hear of an 'Expiration Date'?

vote-for8vote-against

There's a fine line between a hobby and an obsession. The irony is that when you star in the shows that highlight taking advantage of a system, it may cause stores to take out the loopholes that make your obsession possible.

vote-for7vote-against

No, you get paid for a job.

vote-for2vote-against

@jimmyd103: ditto re expiration date!

I have never seen the show, but of course I know the premise. And when I was couponing, it took TIME! And I was not extreme.... I can't imagine but then, everyone gets excited about something in life, right? So...coupons :/

vote-for5vote-against

I haven't watched the show but I've heard about it, sounds like these folks are hoarders with a twist. As mentioned above, it's an obsessive behavior and makes me tired just thinking about it :-)

vote-for4vote-against

@ohcheri: I am embarrased to say that I have watched a few episodes. I found it appalling and intriguing at the same time. Kind of like a car crash on the side of the road. The one word that keeps coming to mind is Gluttony.
Now I did watch a couple episodes, where these people were using coupons to lower their grocery bills and they in-turn donated some of the items (that they could not possibly use in their lifetime) to a shelter.

vote-for1vote-against

Since I'm out of work right now from an accident I've since taken up couponing since the beginning of June as I have no income and all the bills.

If you want the best deals, it really is a full time occupation because great coupons can come out at any moment on the web, the best being gone in a matter of minutes (as in 30 or less, seriously).

You guys are laughing at stockpiles, and I agree what the show portrays is to the excessive. I have my own little stockpile started of freapy (free and cheap) items, some of which I got paid to walk out of the store with, so I used the money I was paid to but them to get things I actually needed.

I now have 10 KY lubricants I have no use for but bought anyway because I made 50 cents profit a box, and I can't imagine what charity would take KY lubricant. I think one day when I get enough I'm totally making a slip and slide.

This is thankfully not the norm, most of what I have stockpiled if I don't personally use it I give it away to my family.

vote-for2vote-against

The thing with this show, is that they only get such a good deal, when they buy a ridiculous amount of items... Nobody in their right mind will use the stuff at the quantities in which they buy. Stupid show.

vote-for5vote-against

I've thought that about the time committment after watching the show as well. I mean, taking 10 minutes to flip through the paper before you head to the grocery store it one thing. Spending 30, 40, or more hours each week preparing is insane...

And then they say "I saved $15K last year by using coupons!" Well, that's great, but if you worked a full time job (figure 2,080 hours) that paid you even $8/hour you'd be ahead...and you'd probably have some additional employment benefits!

The other thing that gets me about the extreme couponers is that they things they seem to be taking home for free or cheap don't seem to be healthful eating options. Great, you have a 14 year supply of Fruit Loops, but you'd probably get more nutritional value eating the discounted baby food you picked up!

I'm sure there's occasional good finds -- like when they use a coupon overage to buy hamburger or chicken -- but it's not compelling enough to seem worthwhile...IMHO.

vote-for2vote-against

I hate character limits. Cont...

I recently gave my grandparents who are on fixed income quite a lot of my freapy stuff - some cereal, some frozen chicken I got specifically for them, painkillers, toothbrushes, multi-vitamins and 18 bars of soap. Things that they can use and wont have to spend a penny on because I got them on the freap. I'm glad I was able to help not only myself but them save money.

I started couponing on May 29 when I bought my first bunch of newspapers to get started. I've kept a record in my phone of how much I've PERSONALLY spent v.s saved (this does not include the coupons I've given to my parents to try and help lower their costs, just my own trips for me) so far I'll happily share. Note: Newspaper costs and tax are factored in. Also, this is JUST transaction from June.

Total retail value spent: $414.88
Coupon Value : -$322.74
___
Total spent for June : $ 90.24

vote-for2vote-against

Ran out of chars again, ugh...

Anyway, unlike the show I actually bought real food, not things like 80 bottles of ketchup, you can't live on ketchup. I'm rather impressed by what I have, especially considering I don't eat meat, eggs, or dairy. Most if not all of my transactions grocery-wise were for good healthy foods.

I now have enough almond milk, tofu (or other fake meat products), and Kashi cereal to last until September (thankfully it lasts a long time!) along with a mini stockpile of natural and organic iced tea that also should last at least a month if I drank one a day, but it's more of an occasional treat. I also have a months worth of instant mashed potatoes but I don't count em as healthy, nor eat them regularly.

Other things I've bought aren't healthy but I didn't want to pass on snacky stuff like Chex Mix and a few bags of potato chips, again a summers worth supply.

I want to make this clear though - The show is by far NOT true to life. I save 66-102%, generally 75%.

vote-for2vote-against

Dear woot: Please expand the character limit...

The bottom line is this - Yes, you are BY FAR going to make more at a full time job. If you work full time though, it doesn't hurt to take the time to browse the inserts you have and clip for things you use, if you aren't going to wait for a sale for the best price like an extreme couponer. Multi-task and while watching a favorite program on TV clip during commercials. EVERY CENT YOU SAVE COUNTS and boy, does it add up fast!

Do not think the show accurately portrays how it really works, at best expect ~75% in savings. The people on the show saving 90+% with thousands of dollars in items are literally about .01% of the extreme couponers out there. TV is TV, it wants you to see the exciting parts, not the dull parts.

vote-for4vote-against

yes, the amount of time they spend can be a full time job or even more. so is it really free after all that time is spent...no.

take into account that vendors, manufacturers and stores are now limiting this type of activity. so free ride is now over...

bottom line is: it's a lot of work. if you enjoy donating your time and the products to a good cause as part of a humanitarian effort, go for it. if however you are looking to save money by buying in bulk and 'hoarding' it, paying for the insurance to cover the cost of the items if they are damaged and take into account all the time you are not being paid to do the work, probably not worth the hassle.

vote-for4vote-against

@tiamat114: I'm impressed by your "real deals," things like the tofu and Kashi cereals. Would you PM me (http://bit.ly/wootPMs) and possibly exchange emails for more on that?

I also think it's honorable that you're using your savings to help others like your parents. I like when I see that the Extreme Couponers on the show are donating to charitable causes. The stockpiles make me sick. "Honey I don't even like mustard." "Oh yeah, teehee! Clear the shelf anyway, it's going in our basement..."

And as a means for continuing to provide for a family once employment disappears...GREAT! I vaguely recall one lady on the show who quit her job to coupon. The people with employable skills who could find a job and don't feel like it because they're using their "work hours" to clip coupons just baffle me.

vote-for3vote-against

I used to go through the papers that came to my house each week and clip the coupons for products I'd use then print off coupons from online sites for items we needed. I made sure to grocery shop on double coupon day. I think my best save was ~$42. It was a $100+ grocery trip, though. But I was DAMN proud!

Then we became busy on Wednesdays so I couldn't make it on double coupon days anymore. Recently I thought I'd check into the double coupon days at my local grocery stores since my schedule changed again.

They will double your first 10 coupons up to a $1 value. Store coupons will not be doubled; manufacturer coupons only. You need to order your coupons and give them your highest-discount coupons first. If you start out with ten 10¢ coupons then have a bunch of $5 off coupons (on which you'd still only receive an extra dollar), too bad, so sad, they doubled your 10¢ coupons. One transaction on dub-coup day, no exceptions.

I'm sure the rule changes are related to the show...

vote-for2vote-against

@perkalicious11: I think you are correct, the days of a retailer doubling a large quantity of coupons equaling huge savings are going to go by the way side and we will be back to $100 grocery bills very soon.
Hope all those people who rely on Extreme C as a means of income can survive. Or maybe they will just start buying in 10 item trips?

vote-for4vote-against

I used to do the "extreme" version of couponing. but I've slowed down a bit.
I would resell some of what I bought, and when I actually sat down and figured time spent, savings for our family, and money earned from a sale every few months, my calculations came out to the equivalent of a $15/hour job, with no income tax or deductions.

we never had double coupons here in norcal, so that never effected me.

expiration dates were never an issue, I'd either use it, sell it, or donate it well before the expiration date. I can guarantee you that some of the people on the show are resellers as well. I've earned over $1,000 in one 5 hour day selling at a fleamarket or swapmeet. The community garage sales at the park were the best for me, pay $10-$15 for a space, and the customers were usually more well-off than regular fleamarket customers.

finally, dropping off a huge load of goods at the community food locker is a really good feeling.

vote-for3vote-against

@kamikazeken: would you resell food items or just other items (like @tiamat114's KY...hehehe) obtained by couponing?

vote-for3vote-against

@perkalicious11:
I've sold cereal, soda, and capri sun 10-packs, and gum. Other than that, no food, mainly shampoo, razors, bodywash, cosmetics, deodorant, etc.
some toys, small electronics, video games, batteries, too. I found a cereal deal once where I was paying 24cents per box of kelloggs frosted flakes, fruit loops applejacks, and raisin bran, so I picked up around 150 boxes and sold them for $1 each.

A coupla years ago there was an unlimited print internet coupon for a line of condoms/lube/small vibrating toys (ky or trojan brand, I think) that target sold for $4.99, and the coupon was for $5 off, so I had about 40 of those. Some older Russian guy about 60 years old bought them all from me for $2 each. First garage sale I ever had earned me over $1,000 so I was hooked from that point on.

After my first garage sale, my neighbors started knocking on my door once or twice a month asking when I was going to have my next sale.

vote-for2vote-against

Since the TV show aired, people are ripping the coupons out of the newspapers at the stands where I live. That sucks a**

vote-for4vote-against

I've seen good and bad on the show:

Good -- a gentleman that did extreme couponing and created bags to be given to soldiers (that's where all the 300 pcs of deodorant, toothpaste, etc went to)

Also good, almost necessity -- family of 7 that when they did the math on figuring how much to save for college because scholarships was not a reality for them, they started extreme couponing. They want to pay for their kids college tuition with cash -- kudos to them!! And they figured out that if she worked, the amount to pay for childcare and cost of regular grocery shopping would actually put them backwards.

Bad -- the examples cited above, unmarried twins with diapers and baby stuffs for when the day happened. Or the family with 300 liters of pop stacked in the garage, or the ones that are borderline qualified to be on Hoarders.

The show has peaked my awareness of $$ spent at the grocery store and how to trim that down.

The more I save at the grocery store, the more I can spend at Woot!

vote-for1vote-against

I haven't actually watched the show but all the talk about coupons has got me looking through the "Sunday Select" paper we get at my apartment, and I've saved a few bucks here and there. I guess I don't really get how it's done though... every coupon I see is like 50c off a product that costs several dollars so I don't understand how people are getting stuff for free. That, and the coupons are rarely for items I would have bought in the first place. I'm poor as hell so I wish I could figure it out but it sounds like it's really time consuming.

vote-for3vote-against

@journeyloaded: every week, cvs, riteaid, or walgreens have something that is "free after extrabuck/+up reward/Register reward". this means they are giving you back the price of that item. If you then have a manufacturer coupon for that item, you come out ahead.

example, cvs will have colgate total toothpaste one week for $2.99, with a $2.99 ecb back, so "free after ecb". Use a 75c coupon on that item, and you pay $2.24+tax, and get back $2.99 in cvs's play money. Next week, gillette deodorant might be $1.99 with a $1.99 ecb. You've got a boy-one-get-one-free coupon for this item, so you get 2, which is $3.98, and throw in some "filler" item like a candy bar, and after your bogo coupon, your total with the candy bar will be around $3... you pay with last week's ECB worth $2.99. now you get back $3.98 in ecb, and all you paid was the sales tax. you basically increased the total ECB you have by $1, got a free candy bar and 2 free deodorant and have $4 in ecb for next week. It all ads up

vote-for1vote-against

@kamikazeken: Thanks. Looking at my CVS ad right now, the only 2 items that fully match their extrabucks are contact solution and Balance bars, I wouldn't use either of those... oh well.

vote-for3vote-against

here's cvs, riteaid, and walgreens for this week, along with coupon matchups:

wags http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=405561&t=3056285
riteaid http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=405561&t=3017283
cvs http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=405561&t=3067903

at cvs you can use dollar-off coupons (like a $3 off $15 on your BEFORE COUPON total)http://offer.cvs.com/CouponServerHA/QFCRVTQ/0WC9Z/RCT6M/ULZGITZ/HD9VT4/&CPNUMBER=41363&CPN=41363&HACONTENT=468438096&EXPIRATIONDATE=7/10/11&EB=G7MW&EE=Ny8xMC8xMQ==&EH=6518W7D
the contact lens solution @ $7.99 takes you halfway to that $15.
contact lens solution $7.99 ($7.99 ecb)
balance bar $1.69 ($1.69 ecb)
Bic Soleil Shimmer razor starter kit or cartridges 4ct $6.99 ($3 ecb)
total $16.66
-$3 off $15 coupon (always give these first)
-$3 Bic coupon (today's paper)
pay $13.66 get back $12.68 ($7.99, $1.69, $3)

If this is your first time, use real money to get started, next week use your $12+ ecbs to pay

vote-for4vote-against

Or keep it really simple:
rite aid has Crest Enamel Shield Toothpaste, 4.2 oz. for $2.99 and you get back a $2.99 Single check rebate

use the 75 cent coupon from the P&G 6/5 sunday paper insert or the one from last week's paper (7/3)

do the rebate online (no stamps), and you usually get a check within 3-4 weeks.

PAY $2.24+tax, get back $2.99 real money.

this particular week isn't all that great, but it has potential.

vote-for1vote-against

@kamikazeken: That's amazing... I would never think of all that. In your more extreme days, did you do a lot of planning and shopping at different stores for different items?

When @journeyloaded mentioned the contact solution, the most creative thing I thought of was that you could reimburse the amount spent on the contact solution with pre-tax FSA or HSA dollars if you partake in such a program. Then again I know that the list of qualified items has been skinnied down in recent years since I've worn contacts and needed to buy solution. I did know that there's no "check" for if you "need" contact lens solution or not, so technically you could get it and donate it (buy it for a friend, whatever you want) even if you didn't need it yourself. I don't think that's condoned by the program, but that's your decision. ;)

vote-for1vote-against

@perkalicious11: at cvs, you can track your HSA expenditures at the end of the year ONLINE (assuming you used a single cvs card for all your HSA eligible stuff) and the best part is that online statement shows the price of the item as it is rung up, not the fact that you paid for it with CVS extrabucks.

Yes, in my more extreme days I could easily spend 10 hours per week just researching deals and setting up scenarios, then planning out a route that would take me to several walgreens, several cvs stores, and multiple grocery stores. Yes, going extreme is very time consuming, but like I said, it ended up being a $15/hour job when all was said & done. For several years I fed our family of 2 adults & 3 kids on less than $200 grocery budget per month, and that included diapers. It was all name-brand and regular/high-quality stuff too.