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Extreme Couponing is Not for Me


I’m sure by now, everyone has heard about the new TLC series – Extreme Couponing. I admit that at first, I kind of looked down on these Extreme Couponers and said Extreme Couponing is not for me! I don’t have 4-6 hours every week to clip coupons and research. I don’t need 50 gallons of Gatorade, 150 bars of Butterfingers, or 40 bottles of ketchup. However, as I learned more and more about couponing, it seems like there are reasonable ways to do this.

The following video shows how to get 4 jars of pasta sauce, a bottle of ketchup, and a package of beef for $3. This, in my opinion, is actually a practical way to coupon. I can even use cash to pay as usual.

The key is to combine manufacturer coupons with a store’s promotion to get the best price. I’ll have to keep this in mind the next time I see coupons.

Here is another story on couponing. She spends 40 minutes per week to clip coupons and plan. Her total for this week’s groceries worth $167 is just 42 cents. Wow, that’s actually pretty awesome. I think 40 minutes is much more reasonable than 4 to 6 hours.

Couponing takes a lot of effort, more than I’m willing to put in, but it seems like it gets easier as you keep at it.  In addition, we do not have any storage space at our current residence so we can’t stock up. We do take advantage of some coupons when we can for smaller purchases. The most convenient ones for me right now are internet coupons.

Anyway, I’ll go over the Sunday paper more carefully next weekend and see if I can figure out a saving strategy. I have never seen those “get $5 gift card after spending $10” coupons for the local stores though.  But first, I’ll have to go buy a Sunday paper…and figure out how much time I want to spend on this activity…or if it is sunny, I may just give up the whole idea and go enjoy the weather.


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{ 28 comments… add one }
  • 101 Centavos May 18, 2011, 3:47 am

    Extreme couponing is not for us either, but we do like those store coupons that show up in the mail from time to time. Scan Cafe is a service I’d like to use. I checked your link but there’s not a coupon available. Perhaps they’re offered occasionally.

    • retirebyforty May 19, 2011, 8:52 am

      Mrs. RB40 takes advantage of the coupons in the mail also. Yeah, it looks like they are out of coupon at the moment. I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know if I see something. 😉

    • retirebyforty May 21, 2011, 11:34 am

      There is a new Scan Cafe coupon!
      Scan Cafe Coupon: 10% off New Customers Orders of Regular Scanning and Video Items at Scan Cafe;

      Scan Cafe Coupon: Today through Sunday pay 23 cents for 35mm color slides and save 21% at Scan Cafe;

  • Niki May 18, 2011, 3:56 am

    Yeah, I am not up for that challenge either. I like to use coupons, but like most of life, it is not extremely.

  • Moneycone May 18, 2011, 4:25 am

    Fun to watch, hard to do! EC is not for me either!

  • Justin May 18, 2011, 7:55 am

    40 minutes of couponing to save $160 is reasonable, even though I still don’t take time to do it, but 4-6 hours? At some point you have to factor in the value of your time and what you are giving up to save money.

  • No Debt MBA May 18, 2011, 8:57 am

    I’ve found that couponing doesn’t pay big dividends for us and I doubt I’d have the discipline or interest to do it “extreme”. Count me out too.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter May 18, 2011, 10:15 am

    It’s not for me either. Time is money and it takes way to long to find all of these deals. Plus, I wouldn’t use half of the stuff so it is just wasteful. Also, we don’t have this kind of thing in Canada so I couldn’t even try it if I wanted to.

  • Hunter May 18, 2011, 11:51 am

    It’s not for me either. When your life gets to the point where you take your kids and neighbors to dumpster-dive for coupons, for some kind of whacked-out play-date idea, then you have gone too far.

  • Lindy Mint May 18, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I made it a point this week to steal the coupon inserts from my parents’ house (they don’t use them), specifically to see if I could get any deals using the CVS extra care bucks thingy, the one where people get all this stuff for free.

    I cut the coupons, scanned the CVS ad, and didn’t manage to find anything that wasn’t a better deal than buying generic, which is what I do anyways. But I only tried for like, 30 minutes, and I haven’t had time to get back to it since. So I’ll try again next week. Maybe.

    • retirebyforty May 19, 2011, 8:55 am

      We don’t have a CVS near us. 🙁
      We buy mostly generic too and try to buy mostly fresh produce and deli. I’ll need to scan the Sunday paper more closely.

  • Melyssa May 18, 2011, 1:23 pm

    I used to coupon. I used to get excited when the Sunday paper came and I spent about an hour looking through the new coupons. Then I would sort them in my binder. But it’s no longer for me. I got too lazy trying to keep track of it all. And the biggest change for me was that I wanted to reduce the amount of preprocessed food my family was consuming. I’d say about 90% of the coupons I found were for preprocessed food. So since couponing is no longer for me, extreme couponing is definitely not for me.

    • retirebyforty May 19, 2011, 8:57 am

      Haha, we are too lazy too. The weather is nice now so who wants to spend an hour pouring through coupons.
      We minimize processed food too so that’s probably why we don’t use too many coupons. I used a 50c coupon for ricotta cheese last week. That’s better than nothing. 😉

  • Financial Success for Young Adults May 19, 2011, 7:27 am

    I started clipping coupons in order to “stack” them with the store discounts. It is really not as easy as it looks. There’s just too many variables to keep up with and most of the foods that are discounted are full of trans fat anyway. I’ll pass.

  • Marie at familymoneyvalues May 19, 2011, 11:49 am

    I don’t coupon at all, so extreme coupon-ing would never appeal to me.
    Interesting that they have a big enough following to make it into a TV show though.

  • South County Girl May 19, 2011, 5:36 pm

    I’m all for getting a good deal… but legally and within the rules of a store. I don’t go through the paper and search the internet for coupons because the majority of the foods that I buy are fresh foods… but if I can get a good deal and I happen to come across a coupon i’ll use it.

  • Clay Ivy Finance May 20, 2011, 11:04 am

    My girlfriend’s mom sends us coupons she has clipped for the things she knows we buy. I think it is really funny that she does it, but I never complain. It certainly saves us money.

  • Financial Samurai May 21, 2011, 6:30 am

    Where are all the men in this picture?

    I haven’t used a coupon in 10 years….. I should probably look into it!


  • youngandthrifty May 21, 2011, 11:15 am

    I’ve jumped on the coupon band wagon too, my sister has too.

    I just check the weekly flyers to see if any of the items match up with any coupons I have on hand. There are some websites that can send you coupons (up here in Canada- Save.ca, Websaver.ca etc)

    Good luck with the couponing!

  • Personally, I think couponing saves money.

    My family is on track to save over $2000 since June 2010 (we started tracking).

    I agree with time/value of money argument. Many products I wouldn’t get even if I received it for free. I like to donate to the less fortunate and I seem to have a skill for couponing so I will continue doing it.

  • Jackie May 21, 2011, 7:15 pm

    I consider myself a coupon user but no where near the extreme couponing shown in the tv show. If I have a coupon for something I am already buying I will use it. I do clip coupons for items I regular use from the Sunday paper. It does help to save some money. I have seen where some of these extreme couponers spend 15 to 20 hours a week on the coupons and planning a shopping trip. I personally think my time can be spend better on other endeavors.

  • organic food coupons July 21, 2011, 4:40 am

    I know how it is when it comes to coupons – you get that tingly feeling inside and just can’t resist getting something you don’t necessarily need but simply want because it’s discounted :). Anyways, I’m not an excellent “couponeer” either but I do my best – I loooove discounts 🙂

    I’ve bookmarked your blog, I like your writing style.

  • Megan September 22, 2014, 10:57 am

    I like you, feel that extreme couponing is a little too extreme for me. I recently did a blog about my failed attemt to coupon (see website above). As a working mom, the time and energy it takes to actully do what the women do on the show seems overwhelming and unrealistic in terms of my life.

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