Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grocery Store Chatter

The Extreme Couponing chatter will just not die down. Customers in the checkout line will mention it each day, some in amazement of the show and others wishing their coupon skills were better. We now have one or two extreme couponers of our own. I witnessed one the other day making a purchase of 75 Powerades. I didn't see what her final price was because I was on the counter.

I do use coupons myself but not to such extremes. I do not need 150 candy bars at once, nor do I need 80 boxes of pasta, and 50 bottles of ketchup would spoil before we used them. I only buy two newspapers and do not feel the need to climb into a dumpster for more. I do typically save 60 to 70% off the bill with sales and coupons. Last week I purchased a gallon of milk and a large bag of popcorn for 68 cents but that does not happen every week. It was a small purchase as well. It usually is just a random small purchase, not nine carts full of groceries for 50 cents. No TV cameras will follow me about for my shopping.

My dad was the coupon and rebate king. He would visit family and bring laundry detergent, shampoo, cereal, and other household goods as gifts. After his death I was told he did this for extended family and friends as well. My niece said he would show up with a huge box of stuff and say, "Here, I got this for a quarter."

As well as chatter in the store I also get several phone calls a week at the store. People will call and ask what our coupon policy is. Dozens have called asking when we have double coupon days. We have never had double coupons but they insist that it says we do on the Internet. I don't know of any stores close to my area that ever have double coupons.

Like it, hate it, or just plain fascinated by it, I don't see the interest in Extreme Couponing waning any time soon. It is still a big topic of conversation.


  1. I'm like you--I don't need 100 of this or 50 of this, and if I am buying things I don't need just because it's "a good deal," then I hope I have enough sense to donate it to a food pantry so it does not go to waste! We tend also not to buy a lot of processed foods, which is what many coupons seem to be for. I "don't get" extreme couponing and I am not convinced it is frugal or healthy (mentally or physically) to buy in excess. So I look for my savings (including an occasional coupon) where I can and try to buy wisely and frugally. I am more interested in grocery sales and which one has the best marked-down items than in seeing if I can get 50 whats-its for $1.

  2. I agree with you and April. Most of the stuff I buy is not processed, and I don't see a lot of coupons for things like plain frozen vegetables, dried beans, brown rice, etc. It's for stuff like colas and sports drinks (which I don't drink), ramen noodle type foods, candy, condiments (which I don't need any of, I'm single and don't use them that often), processed meats, etc.

    I suppose I could scout out coupons for things like diced canned and crushed tomatoes and pasta, but that would really be all I'd need them for. And hopefully, after this summer, I wouldn't need them for tomatoes (if my tomato crop does well).

  3. If you save 50% or more using coupons and the sales, you are doing super. I am kind of a coupon queen, but sometimes I do get too much stuff. So I need to back off a little. Mind you, I would never make it to TV though, I am not "extreme" enough. Any savings is worth it. If you don't coupon, then just shop and eat the specials.

  4. I stockpile a lot (canned tomatoes, peanut butter, etc--mostly from Big Lots) but don't use coupons. On the rare occasion that I clip a coupon, I generally forget to use it. I am impressed by people organized enough to use them.

  5. I very seldom use coupons. Most of them are for products I'd never buy anyway.
    I like the coupons I get through Kroger's loyalty card program. They're for food and things I actually buy. I especially like the coupons for free coffee. Gotta have my coffee!

  6. Some of the extreme couponers donate most of their stuff. I don't watch the show so I don't know if this is featured but I've read about a few people who were on the show and do donate. Either to homeless shelters or by making hygiene kits to donate to charities or to food banks and what not.

    I did see part of the first special and one of the women was shown going into a dumpster but later clarified on her website she was asked to do this by the crew. It wasn't something she normally did. She seemed to only stockpile a few months in advance. Her strategy seemed to be - if you eat something on a regular basis, and it goes on sale every few months, buy enough to get you through until the next sale.

    But it does seem that a lot of those people are also hoarders.

    I try to use coupons, but the grocery store wasn't where I had the most success saving money, it was at CVS. I got really good at combining coupons and extra care bucks and after I got started I could always roll my coupons and ECBs into a purchase that generated more ECBs.

    But I moved and there's no CVS so I'm trying to get better at Rite Aid.

  7. I just mentioned this show in one of my recent posts. I agree, I don't need OR want 50 bottles of BBQ sauce, lol. However, I would like to build a modest stockpile of household products and hygiene items. But I hardly have the patience or willpower for such couponing.

  8. I have enough shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant to last for a long time. I furnish toothpaste for seven adults and three children; shampoo for 5 adults and one child; deodorant for three adults. I just don't send things that are not the brand my children and their families don't, won't use.

    TLC, you don't have to try hard to get free or really really cheap household and hygiene products. Just match store sales with coupons.

    The people on Extreme Couponing are under the control of the producers. One guy with 500 tubes of toothpaste sells at a flea market or something. The extreme couponers have real talent, but if they are hoarding beyond the use by date, what is the point? I think these people are like Hollywood stars. We want to be like they are, but they are not really like the show portrays them. So, we all just feel inadequate!

  9. These people who stock up with more then they will ever need are just strange. Maybe it's time they were filmed for the show about extreme hording! Who in their right mind would ever drink 75 Powerades? Water is cheaper and better for you by far.

  10. I've noticed the chatter has calmed down a bit in the past couple of weeks. But the show is scheduled for its next season this fall.