Monday, April 11, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Have you been watching "Extreme Couponing" on TLC?? I decided to record the series hoping I would learn some money saving tips.

Well, watching the show was definitely interesting. They weren't lying about the extreme part. They showcased people spending hundreds, even a thousand a couple times, and after their coupons only spending $50 and less!! Almost everytime their savings were over 85% of their bill!!!

The "Extreme Couponer's" homes were completely cluttered by their stock of items. Some had to use their children's rooms for storage. One lady was in the dumpster searching for coupons with her young son!

Before today, my only savings at the grocery store were the discounts the store offered by using your shoppers card. A while back, I learned you can register at your grocery store online and add their coupons to your shoppers card. I did this most weeks and figured I was doing enough. I definitely wasn't.

Here's the deal, I don't have the extra hours to dedicate my time to dumpster jumping for coupons, cutting coupons and shopping the stores ahead of time for their deals. I'm also not going to start shopping at 5 different stores every week to use a $0.50 coupon. It's not worth it when you are toting a little one around with you. I'm also am not interested in buying an absurd amount of items just because I have a coupon. If it is an item we actually use, then of course, but I'm about to become a hoarder of Maalox just because I have a coupon.

With that being said, I'm a stay at home mom, and I want to help save anyway I can. The show inspired me enough to try a shopping trip with coupons, and I'm glad for this!

Here's what I did:
  • Bought a paper for the coupons and weekly ads (only $2.00)
  • Added my store's coupons to my shoppers card online
  • Searched the ads for the best deals
  • Found a site online for free manufacturers coupons
  • Made my grocery list (My goal was to only use coupons for items on my list, items I actually needed!)
  • Made a list of my coupons (To make sure I used all I had and to make sure they got it right at the register)
As a side note: This did take some time, but I only used a couple "naps" on my "couponing".

Here's the idea: You can't double your coupons or use two manufacturers coupons on a single item. However, you can use the store deals, paired with a manufacturers coupon, store coupon, and competitors coupon. So, that's the trick, see how many different coupons you can get on one item!

Below is how I was able to workout some of my savings!

I usually shop at Fry's (Dillions in other states). This week, they were accepting all competitors coupons and rounded any manufacturers coupon to $1.00. For example, if you have a $0.50 manufacturers coupon, they match it another $0.50, making it worth $1.00.  They are doing this until Tuesday, April 12th.

Dawn: $2.99
Fry's Store coupon: $0.25
Safeway, competitors coupon: $1.00
Manufacturers coupon: $1.00
Total after coupons: $0.74

Bread: $2.00 (Already discounted price when using your Fry's Card)
Fry's Store coupon: $0.55
Manufacturers coupon: $1.00
Total after coupons: $0.45

Bounty Paper Towels: $4.99
Fry's Store coupon: $1.00
Manufacturers coupon: $1.00
Total: $2.99

French's Mustard: $2.10
Manufacturers Coupon: $0.30 + $0.70 (Bonus from Fry's)
Total: $1.10

Pickles: $3.69
Fry's Coupon: $0.50
Manufacturers Coupon: $1.00
Total: $2.19

Mayo: 2/$5.00 (Already discounted price when using your Fry's Card)
Fry's Coupon: $0.75
Manufacturers Coupon: $1.00
Total: $0.75

Store Price: $6.97 (Already discounted price when using your Fry's card)
Total Before Coupons: $13.94

Fry's Store Coupon: $3.00 off Gillette Razors
Manufacturers Coupon: Buy one Gillette Razors get one Free
Total After Savings: $3.97
Total Savings: $9.97

Huggies: $19.99
Huggies Wipes: $2.54
Total Before Coupons: $22.53 + Tax

Fry's Store Coupon: Free wipes with the purchase of Huggies diapers
Safeway, competitors coupon: $2.00
Manufacturers Coupon: $3.00
Total After Coupons $14.99 + Tax
Total Savings: $7.54

I saved $66.57 today!! If I would have only used my Fry's card my savings would have been $25.89! I saved an additional $40.68 with coupons!! Not bad for my first try!

Click here for your online coupons! All you have to do is register your email!

If you're already a "couponer" and have any tips, please share!!

Find it at these Link Parties! 


  1. Great post. :) I just started getting serious about couponing and I love it. I created a binder and am going to start planning my meals around the coupons/sales. Thanks for sharing!

    Sadie from

  2. Hey Audrey!
    I'm dropping by to give you the Versatile Blogger award! I tried emailing you, but for some reason, it didn't work out. Anyhow, you can view this award at my blog:
    If you've got any questions, my email is:
    Have a beautiful day!

  3. You're a coupon goddess!!! haha awesome! I'm always hunting down coupons for real food and posting them on my blog -- but these examples are so flipping awesome! I'll have to send my readers your way next time I do a coupon post! <3 I found you through the linky party! So nice to meet ya Audrey!

    Have a fabulous day! =)

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  4. I love coupons! I've been couponing for a few years now and I really saved lot of money! I don't remmber the last time I paid for toothpaste!
    I think that keeping coupons organized helps alot, here is my method:
    Visiting from Today's Creative Blog party :)

  5. My daughter is a great couponer. Go to this website for lots of tips!

    Even if you do not live in the southern states you can benefit from her tips.

    You did great!!!

  6. That's awesome that you saved so much! I've watched Extreme Couponing too and I can't believe the amount of time that goes into it. It looks like you were able to save quite a bit without stressing though!

  7. I agree with you don't buy just because you have a coupon and then not use the product before it expires, at least donate to a shelter before it goes bad. I just went to an extreme coupon party Friday night and learned a lot. I have never used coupons, because I didn't take the time, but after the party and reading your site, I will give it a try for a few weeks and see if there is significant savings for the time I send. Great post thanks for sharing your experience:)

  8. I read a bit from other coupon people and they are able to pick out all of the things that aren't "normal" on that show. From what and the amounts of items those people buy on the show, it's apparent that they were told to buy as much as they can for as little as they can.

    My couponing tip is to see if your grocery store has a sign up to email you their Sunday sale fliers early. I also subscribe to one or two coupon sites that do a Sunday circular preview. That way I can check and see if there are any coupons or sales that interest me and then I buy the paper. So far, I just stick the coupons I can print from my computer while wearing my jammies.

  9. I've been seriously couponing for about 2 years now and I can say that you can definitely save money! Ditto to a previous commenter about using Her site is FABULOUS. It's all about combining the sales and coupons to get the best possible price. Also, you do need to stockpile to some degree. NOT to the extent they are on that crazy TLC show, that's just ridiculous. But, sales cycles usually run in a 6-9 week rotation, so you should buy enough of an item while it's on sale to last you 6-9 weeks until it comes on sale again.

    Also, start buying more than one Sunday paper so that you have at least 2 coupons for things. This is especially helpful when things go Buy One Get One Free, you can use 1 coupon on each item and get a GREAT deal!

    Also, learn about shopping drug stores and doing the "drug store game." I LOVE LOVE LOVE CVS!! That razor you listed as getting for 3.97, I often get those FREE or maybe pay .25 or so. Keep up the good work!

  10. I have been trying to start couponing but haven't had real success besides $0.50 here and $1.00 there. Where do you get the competitors coupons? Do you just take the competitors ad into the store with you?

    Thanks for sharing the great tips!



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