There is a new reality show on TLC called Extreme Couponing. Extreme is a correct adjective in so many ways – extreme savings, extreme strategies, extreme storage solutions, extreme, extreme, extreme. I’ve cut coupons for at least fifteen years with some success. The people on this new show take couponing to an all new level. Some might even say an unhealthy level – maybe it was merely coincidence that the show about hoarders came on right after Extreme Couponing.
Regardless of price (even if it were free) who needs 62 bottles of mustard? Massive amounts of paper towels and toilet paper – maybe. Mustard? I think not.
One mom on the show did have a great idea for saving money that I also try to practice. She planned out a month worth of meals and shopped once a month to gather everything she needed to make a month worth of meals. With her coupon savings, store sales and menu substitutes based on sales, she bought a month worth of groceries for $54. I wasted that much on dinner out last night and had buyer’s remorse all the way home. In hind sight, I probably could have made that meal for my son and me at home for $15 max.
I love to cook. But sometimes it is nice to splurge on dinner out and leave the cleanup to someone else. Eating out with a coupon helps ease the hit to the pocketbook. I’ve always cut out coupons for Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Now I subscribe to a local daily deals email and sometimes get great deals like $15 for a $30 gift certificate to a local restaurant I often eat lunch at with a girl friend. We each usually spend $10 to $12 and do not order dessert. When this deal rolled around, we each bought one then treated each other to lunch the next times we met for lunch. We ordered water for drinks rather than our usual tea and added a dessert to share. Twice the yum, half the price.
Back to saving money with coupons. The people on the Extreme Couponing show spend anywhere from 20 to 60 hours a week, cutting, planning, and shopping. I don’t have an extra 20 hours a week to commit to that no matter how much I save. I still have to work 40 to 55 hours a week and furthermore I want to work – it is rewarding in ways beyond a paycheck. But a couple of us at work began sharing coupons we don’t use with others who can benefit from them and share sales information we run across with the others.
If you are looking for some websites to help you become a better coupon shopper or spot some deals fast, check out these sites:
www.kroger.com (load e-coupons to your Kroger card and stack with a paper coupon)
http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Cows/Appreciation-Day – free chick-fil-a combo meal on July 8th.
Happy shopping!! If you come across any other great sites or special sales, post a comment here so the other bloggers can benefit from your find and save some time and money. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org