Adventures in Extreme Couponing
Photo Courtesy of Google Images
You may have
already got caught up in the Extreme Couponing craze, but if not, let me fill
you in - it's TLC's new show following different people who go to extreme lengths to strategically plan a
shopping trip and can bring a bill up to $1,000 or more down to less than $50
(and sometimes even less than $10!) through the combination of coupons and
When I was watching those women walking out of the
store with cart-fulls of groceries and paying less than I do on one of those oh-I-only-need-a-few-things trips I got
really motivated to do it myself. Now, there's a reason why this show is called
extreme - one couple bought over 70 bottles of mustard, just because it was
free. I wasn't looking to create a glorious stockpile for a rainy day (or
zombie apocalypse); I just wanted to save some money.
On the show, one of the biggest complaints heard by the couponers is that people don't have "enough time" to plan their shopping trip. So this past weekend, Sunday paper in hand, I decided to see how much money a "normal" person could expect to save.
Those on the
show employ methods of paying companies to clip their coupons, doubling coupons
(Florida is nearly the only state that does not allow coupon doubling,
darnit!), using competitor coupons, and printing even more coupons from the
Internet and then comparing the weekly sale ad to the coupons.
And no, I don't
have time for all that. With working full-time paired with being a full-time
student, I'm often lucky if I have enough time to make a list before I run to
the store. But, I decided to give it a shot. In under 30 minutes I was able to
clip all the coupons (for products I actually use) out of the Sunday sale ads,
compare to the weekly Publix ads, and write down a game plan.
By One Get
One Free (BOGO)
Bird's Eye Viola (These make great quick dinners!)
Green Giant Valley Steamers
Beggin' Strips Dog Treats
Peggo Spaghetti Sauce
Ocean Spray Trail Mix
V8 Fushion Juice
Royal Gold Pretzels
Bistro Salad (Pre-made lunch!)
Nabisco Munch Packs
Lays and Sunchips were
on sale for 2 for $6 and I had $1 off coupons for both:
$6 - $2 = $4 for both bags
Bird's Eye Viola
and Green Giant Steamers were both BOGO, but I had a coupon for one free Giant
Valley Steamer with the purchase of a Bird's Eye meal - so I got all 4 items
was BOGO but I had a $1 off coupon:
$1.49 - $1 = $.49 for both boxes!
Jello Pudding was on sale for 3 for $6 and I had a $1 off coupon:
$2 - $1 = $1 (I only bought 1 pack)
- While Publix doesn't double coupons, when an item is BOGO you can use two
coupons (one for each item)
- Publix sales
change every Thursday, so even if you couldn't use a particular coupon this
week save it - you might be able to use it next week!
- When an item is
BOGO, or just on sale, it's a good chance to stock up. I didn't necessarily
need spaghetti but since it was BOGO and I had coupons I couldn't resist.
- Most places
accept competitor coupons, just call and ask!
Follow Clean Plate Charlie onFacebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.
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