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Adventures in Extreme Couponing

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

in-store sales.

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.

My Deals

By One Get

One Free (BOGO)

Nature Valley Breakfast


Bird's Eye Viola (These make great quick dinners!)

Green Giant Valley Steamers

Beggin' Strips Dog Treats

Mueller Spaghetti

Peggo Spaghetti Sauce

Ocean Spray Trail Mix

V8 Fushion Juice

Royal Gold Pretzels

Clear Eyes

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

completely free!

Mueller Pasta

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)

Quick Tips

  • 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!

Do you guys coupon? Am I missing any tips? Let me know!

Happy couponing! 

Follow Clean Plate Charlie onFacebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

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Ashley Allred
Contact: Ashley Allred

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