Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Extreme? Not So Much...

If you haven't watched it, I'm sure you have heard of it. "Extreme Couponing." It's a show produced by TLC. They show men and women from all over the US spending HOURS price matching, cutting coupons and organizing coupons. Then, you see their shopping excursions. Carts overflowing with multiples of items. And when I say multiples, sometimes it is hundreds. To me, these people give couponing, and the purpose behind it, a bad name.

I am new to the coupon game. So, I have respect for these people that have taken the time to learn and perfect it. But, seriously, how many bottles of hot sauce do you need? And diapers? You don't even have kids! I understand that getting it for free totally rocks, but why purchase something you have zero use for?

I am guilty of watching the Extreme shows. I have lots of friends who coupon and some who are REALLY good at it. So, I decided to give it a try. And you know what? It's kind of fun! I grew up with a mom that never cut coupons, so it has really been like learning a foreign language. You have to know who doubles and who doesn't. Who "stacks" and who doesn't. It's about getting the most bang for your buck. I was proud of myself yesterday. Here is the breakdown of my purchases:

Total Bill: 97.27
Paid out of Pocket: 30.33
Register Rewards Earned: 25.00 (to be spent on later purchases)

Basically: $5.33 out of pocket!!!

My "mentor" was proud. I think my mom and some of my friends are expecting to see me on TLC soon. But, I am purchasing items that either don't expire or have a long shelf life. All the ones I made yesterday were toiletry-type items. With me leaving for three months, I figure the less Hubs has to worry about purchasing, the better.

Now, for you beginning couponers. I suggest you find out if you have friends that coupon and are good at it. I have found that most of mine are very willing to help walk me through stuff. Start scouring blogs that handle deals. Many will do the weekly match-ups for you, so it takes a lot of work out of it. Take a coupon class. Yes, they do exist. But please, don't let me see your face on the next episode...