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Extreme Couponig on TLC

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  • Extreme Couponig on TLC

    Did anybody catch that gem? I saw the last half where they featured a black lady and some white dude (hey.. that's not racist, right? if so then I meant two human beings...)

    The lady had a rule to only buy stuff she actually needed, while the white guy to me seemed to buy a ton of stuff they seemingly had no real use for, but I guess it's not unlikely he'll use 80+ bars of deodorant in a year, most people would just never think to buy that much. He bought over 100 boxes of cereal and arranged them on his front yard and said he was going to put a sign for his neighbors to take as many as he needed, because through the use of his coupons he got them almost for free or something like that.

    Insane! The lady bought a ton of crap and only paid $7 for almost $300 worth of merch. The white guy was way more extreme because him and his wife bought stuff a year in advance, his purchase of almost $6,000 came out to I think $250-300 through the use of coupons.

    My thoughts while watching:

    - Too bad none of the stuff they're buying matches what I typically shop for. The edibles were mostly canned or boxed, though I'm sure coupons and promotions exist for meats and produce, I did notice the lady buying frozen vegetables.
    - I guess paying a bit of attention and using some strategy pays off for these people. They were on the "obsessed" scale of course and took their shopping to new highs (lows?) but at least in the case of the lady it seemed to me like she just found a way to utilize the system in place to her advantage.
    - Both people previously had a lot of debt and were now almost virtually debt-free since they paid little on food they focused on paying down their debt.
    - It's unclear whether the last family featured sold off any of their stuff for profit, I assume though once you've bought it legally you could re-sell it, they had converted their garage into a storage place and the guy said he probably had well over $10,000 worth of stuff, and it was very organized where anybody could shop there. I assume they wouldn't want to say they were selling it even if they were, but imagine the profits.

    Tell me about your couponing ways! What primal foods have you found you can save on? I'm becoming a fan of shopping because my list is so short, I look for sales first and foremost, but they're not always easy to come by.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

  • #2
    i've just never been able to get coupons to work, but i do the "flybuys" or those cards through the grocery stores where you get the lower prices, which saves a fair bit, and i buy direct from the farms. i honestly do not have the time/mindset to coupon.

    also, most of the stuff is crap, imo, and not stuff i use. *if* i find a coupon for something i would use, then. . .i use it. LOL but it's usually just luck.


    • #3
      There are ways to actually MAKE money with coupons, mostly on personal care items. It usually entails buying a weird combination of things in a complex transaction (or series of them). The items people don't actually use (or don't need 12 of), they give to charity. These people gave huge amounts of supplies for the Haiti earthquake refugees. There are many blogs devoted to working the deals. A lot of people haven't paid for their toothpaste, deodorant, Band-Aids, Advil, etc., etc., in years from playing "the coupon game." There is a deal going right now on for an almost-free (tax, plus cost of stamp) ream of high-quality print paper that ordinarily costs $7.xx.
      "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


      • #4
        My time is worth too much to play with coupons.
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        • #5
          I sort of knew someone (friend of a friend) who had an xtreme coupon blog. I was horrified by what she and her family ate. From what I could tell, they survived on macaroni and cheese, lots of cereal, and fiber bars. She also wrote extensively about shopping trips that included going to five and six different stores. It is definitely not worth half a Saturday for me to save $10. I wouldn't give up half a Saturday for $200, actually; I cherish my limited non-working days! So, I can't think of the last time I used a coupon; the only ones I've seen are for stuff I'd never buy or don't bring a brand name item down low enough to justify me not getting the generic. But, I am fascinated by the people who get all the freebies from CVS. Finding deals can be fun in and of itself.


          • #6
            I downloaded an app for my phone... oh no... I'm going to be fat soon.

            Just kidding. I have a friend with whom I used to go clothes shopping a lot, we didn't always buy stuff, but we always looked for good deals. I used to get nice jeans for $14, it's really unfortunate that I was bigger then and literally none of them fit me well now that I've lost weight. All of them originally retailed for $90. Gladly I've never been one to buy above my means, and I also am very lucky to have a very down to earth girlfriend who isn't in the habit of shopping or spending too much money on material things, so we keep each other in check.

            I remember another friend telling me about an aunt of hers that would write to different companies complaining about products just to get free samples, sometimes she had never actually bought the product herself. It felt dishonest to me, so I'd feel more comfortable playing the coupon game, but don't have the energy to do so, and as stated before, unless it's bacon, canned fish or dairy products I probably don't have much use for them.
            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


            • #7
              I saw it and was stunned. I don't know how much time it takes to get those deals, but wow... it would be awesome to be able to have that kind of buying power.

              I try to be a savvy shopper when I can. I love that my local grocery doubles coupons up to $1, which means I can get cups of Fage yogurt for 39 cents. That makes me happy. They also put out a flier with coupons for organic goodies. This month that includes Larabars and SO Delicious coconut products, so I may get a few to throw in the freezer. It's too bad they don't put out coupons for produce.

              I get some great deals at ULTA too. I think it was last month I got $25 worth of stuff for $7.

              I think the trick is to get things you're actually going to use. Some of the things were a bit extreme, but I believe it's a good idea to have a reserve, especially for essentials like toilet paper, toiletries, and food. Hell, I keep a chest freezer full of meat and a 3 dozen rotation on eggs. I remember going through blizzards at my parents house and thank the gods they had a pantry.

              On a more amusing note, I heard a woman on the radio the other day. They were talking about California's ban on conventional lightbulbs, so she stocked up and has a lifetime supply of lightbulbs in her basement so she doesn't have to buy the noodly lightbulbs. Great idea, unless there's an earthquake.


              • #8
                Ooohhh extreme couponing for canned good might be a good way to stock up on disaster prep food...


                • #9
                  I was wishing they would take one day a month and bring all of that stuff to a food bank. But the stock pile obsession would not allow for that I assume.
                  The more I see the less I know for sure.
                  -John Lennon


                  • #10
                    I watched it last night too and to be honest I have done my fair share of couponing and really all that would be beneficial now being Primal is pretty much toothpaste, deodorant, detergents and beauty and cleaning prodcuts. The food coupons are usually all processed fooods or canned fruit etc. pasta, all the stuff you wouldn't need now. So I say if you find a good bargain and have some coupons go for it, but to the extremem these people go...not worth the time and effort IMO.

                    I saw the one lady who had 1,000.00 of stuff and paid $50.00 it took 6 hours to check out, it was insane and then she had an entire cart filled with butterfingers and kit kats or something like that...WTH would you do with all that candy, and not to judge but they were seriously obese. She bought 214 boxes of pasta.....again WTH do you do with all of that? I just don't see the point for food I don't eat anymore.
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                    • #11
                      Someone recently posted this Whole Foods coupon link, which probably just brings their prices down to less outrageous, but that's just me. I passed it along to some friends and did see some items that might make it worth swinging by there (it's not really on my way anywhere but not *incredibly* out of the way).

                      I always look to see what's on sale in the meat bin at my more convenient co-op, and scored NY strip steak and chicken sausages at half-price the last time I was there. I don't have a chest freezer yet so I can't buy too much ahead, and the "reduced for quick sale" sticker is very important to me
                      "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
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                      If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

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                      • #12
                        There was a great blog I saw a while ago about some guy kinda-sorta gaming the system. He shopped at a certain store (apparently only west coast) that gave you a few cents per transaction. He'd go and buy, literally, 200 boxes of tampons or diapers or crackers one at a time and accumulate the money to buy his groceries. Then he'd go donate the items to a women's shelter.
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                        • #13
                          I'm not gonna lie, I'm super thrifty. I absolutely refuse to pay full price for anything. That being said, if you like a certain brand of something at the store and it's never on sale, make a mental note to go to their website and email them asking for coupons. I get TONS this way, and they usually show up in my mailbox within the week. Companies love to hear from their customers!
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by carlh View Post
                            There was a great blog I saw a while ago about some guy kinda-sorta gaming the system. He shopped at a certain store (apparently only west coast) that gave you a few cents per transaction. He'd go and buy, literally, 200 boxes of tampons or diapers or crackers one at a time and accumulate the money to buy his groceries. Then he'd go donate the items to a women's shelter.
                            Now that... that's cool.


                            • #15
                              My sister-in-law is one of these people who does this as a hobby. Except she doesn't donate the stuff, she stores it and gives it away to friends and family... which is nice, but it usually means she's got like 6 giant boxes of personal care products sitting in her closets at any given time. And when she gets weird deodorant scents or those old school thick maxi pads or stiff toothbrushes... well those things are just gonna sit in her closet forever.

                              At first she would get all excited telling me and my husband about her deals ("I actually made $0.07 on each of these 50 toothbrushes!") because everyone likes to save money, right? But she quickly realized we honestly couldn't care less and it seems like a huge waste of time to us. Kinda like she feels about our hobbies (like video games and exercising). =]
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