That show is total BS. I watched a couple episodes Sunday because there was absolutely nothing else on. On one episode, the first three "items" the couponer picked up totaled about $50 with coupons (40 items @99cent, a bunch of an item free with coupon, & another lot of an item that totaled $8-9), but at final checkout, with everything else, the total was $30some. How? There was another segment where the math similarly didn't add up either.
I consider myself a pretty serious couponer, but I agree I don't see how totals get so low. Between stores seriously strict coupon policies and the simple lack of coupons. It seems to me that coupons are getting harder to come by and what coupons I do find, even fewer are for products I actually use. For example, the only reason I subscribe to the local newspaper is for the coupons & sales ads. Last year I kept up with the coupons from the paper I used. The subscription price was $120yr & I only used about $65 from the paper. I of course got more coupons from other sources, but still not a lot.
Plus to me, I use a bit of fuzzy math to track my savings. For many items, I'll never buy at certain price levels. For example: 12pk sodas, I'd never pay over $3 per 12pk, I consider that regular price. So let's say a store has them for $2.50, "regular price" might be $5.99. The receipt would show a savings of $3.49, but I only consider it a savings of 50 cents. That show considers any $ that comes off for using a store loyalty card as a coupon savings.
It's pretty much staged and the stores waive some rules to get totals so low.
I worked at a grocery store for a while and not once have I seen anyone get anything crazy like on those shows.
Really, it's a LOT of time and a LOT of effort. Most of the deals involve stacking multiple coupons with store sales or closeouts/clearances.
Most people are under the impression that they can basically walk into a store and get anything they want via the methods seen in the coupon shows, but it's really just waiting for all the stars to align and getting whatever you can. A friend of my wife did this inbetween jobs and she has a basement full of deoderant, viactiv vitamins and toothpaste. You can get some useful stuff, true, but most of it is just junk that you probably won't be able to use.
It also requires a lot of time - finding coupons, clipping them, sorting them, then walking through the store trying to match up coupons with eligible items on sale.
I remember one particular deal I had a few years ago where Target had printable coupons for $1 off a bag of M&M's, and the peanut style was discounted after July 4th to 99 cents - the coupons essentially made the candy free and I got something like 120 bags. Of course everyone and their brother got free candy, but I had to print, clip and redeem the coupons, which took time, in addition to going to the store.
I can only see this type of thing having a net benefit if you:
- have a lot of time on your hands
- go to the stores regularly anyway
- can use some of the crap you buy
They may get stuff for free (or practically) but it's mostly not items you can resell.
There are so many other areas to coupon in that may make a good dent in your budget.
Toothpaste, toothbrushes, dog food, shampoo, razors,hair dye, lotions, make up, styling gels, detergent.
And also things like cable, movies, hotels, vacations, and tires! Don't limit yourself to food!
And yes the majority are just buying stuff to buy the stuff...usually it gets given to other family members or shelters.
They combine coupons with sales..and sometimes even get cashback in the form of store credits or more free stuff....it does take a lot of planning.
Most stores limit how many items you can purchase at one time and how many coupons you can use. There are those that really work the system (to the point of actual fraud) by using coupons on items not intended or using fake high dollar coupons.
But it can be done! I think the closest I got was a sale at Kmart years ago...they happened to be marking down coffee to the rediculous price of .75, it was originally 6.99. Needless to say my parents did not need coffee for almost a year! But those are very few and far between....
I agree with the bolded part of your statement, as I stock up on items like that as well as paper goods, as they do not go "bad" - I have a huge pantry closet with shelving 24" deep floor to ceiling and an extra bedroom just for the paper goods.
Realize folks that our dollar is less valuable than it was a month ago, and a month before that, and a year before that, and so on. So any thing you are able to stock up on that will not go bad; you have saved yourself in inflation dollars; if it is on sale and you are able to stack a coupon on it, you are saving on your dollar.
I don't buy junk food, we are not junk eaters; but I will patiently wait for a good sale on chicken, pork, and meats - and then bring them home and use my food sealer to break them all down; and put them into my freezer in the garage. Right now I'm buying as much as I can on sale, to prepare for a snowy winter, so I won't have to go out during the winter and replenish this freezer. I'm doing the same thing with canned goods that go on sale for the meals I make; that also can be frozen; and using coupons against those canned goods.
But simply buying a product because it's on sale with a coupon, makes no sense to me; if I'm not going to use it.
Though there are a lot of Mom's here that go through diapers, baby wipes, and the essentials of a baby raising one; so they will use many coupons, that others will not.
Then you have the women who are really into makeup, and those to them, are very valuable coupons.
So it's a variable as to "who you are" when you coupon shop. Some people have animals and those coupons are very valuable to them, some people have elderly people in their lives, and certain coupons are valuable to them. It's a large variable when it comes to individual shopping.
Where to find the "meat coupons" - most likely at your liquor store - if you live in a State with Liquor Stores - I find them attached to Liquor bottles - and many people tell me they find them in their states without liquor stores. I also find them in the coupon circulars as well, but not as often any more.
Has anyone noticed at their food stores, that they have raised the amount one needs to purchase, in order to get a free turkey this year, yep, it's up to $400 for most stores. And I don't shop at one particular store. Now that I have an iPhone I'm able to shop the store circulars with the phone, and punch in what I want from their ads; compare prices; and decide which is best - before that it was tedious writing out lists and comparing. Since I don't do Thanksgiving dinner, another family member does; but I'd love to meet that $400 limit, so I can give that turkey to a less fortunate family in my area.
I don't like to shop Although today I went to CVS because they had Pantene Shampoo with CVS Bucks Back, and I had a coupon BOGO Free, so I made out on the deal, with having 2 of those coupons and splitting my order. That's the type of shopping I will do - I will go specifically for a deal like that; because I'm well stocked up; but will continue to stock up on items like that. I have a son who comes up from SC and raids my Pantry Closet He calls it my "Panic Room"
~ Everyone is gifted - but some people never open their package ~ ~ You were born an original. Don't die a copy. ~ ~People only see what they are prepared to see.~
It is nearly impossible to get food for free. I get reduced amounts on stuff like yogurt, cheese, frozen foods, canned, pasta...and even fresh fruit sometimes but that is really rare. I don't load up on prepackaged just cause I don't really like it. If someone is getting food for free they are doing it fraudulently...at least I think they are.
I do get a lot...a lot...of free and sometimes money maker toiletries. Anyone on the drugstore forum could tell you about that. So I take that savings and apply it to my food. I don't resale anything but there are many...many who do and make a good bit of money off of it.
It is very addicting to get the free deals. I got some unwanted attention the other day at RA when my over $50 total was reduced to just $3 tax. Two ladies behind me got very interested in my transaction and excited to see the total. I don't like getting attention mostly because I don't want to sit there and explain the transaction to people...I got better things to do.
My family uses a lot of what I get...household of six (three boys, three girls) needs a lot of shave cream, razors, deodorant, toothbrushes...etc...and those things don't expire. It adds up to good savings! I don't spend an awful lot of time doing it since I am just really interested in a small amount of stuff for my family and friends. So just a few trips a week works out fine for me!
The best deals...seem to come from computer glitches. Just like the HD forum someone finds a deal at RA where you get multiple rebates on your receipt.
We have one food store here as well, that will accept other food stores that put out $ off coupons in their store ads. So if X Store puts out a $10 off a $50 dollar purchase, I can clip that coupon and get $10 off my total purchase of $50, minus my coupons, and if a couple of stores do that, I can use as many of those coupons at one particular food store in my area. Though they will not accept percentage off coupons, oh well.
$1off coupon, 1 double coupon, item on sale for $1, person makes $1 per item, buys 200 items, gets $200 in CR to use on other items.
In theory, that math adds up, but not many stores allow overages like that. I know none near me do. The stores that do double coupons only double up to 99cents except for rare super double coupon sales and the coupons will only double up to the value of the item. So even if the store would double a $1 coupon, if the item is $1, then only $1 comes off, not $2. Or if the item is $1 and you have 75cent coupons then it would be $1 - $0.75Q - $0.25DQ = $0, still no overage. Also, the stores only allow 4 of the same coupon and a maximum of 20 total coupons.
Of course deals can be found occasionally, but as mentioned above all the stars must align properly and have the perfect storm of sales, coupons, and doubling to get super deals. Which is actually another complaint I have with coupons these days, they expire too soon. Most coupons now expire in 2-3 weeks and I've even seen some that expire in 1 week which doesn't give much time to find a sale.
Some of these extreme couponers have way too much time on their hands. On the show they mention these people spending 30-40 hours a week clipping coupons, looking at ads, and planning shopping trips. I remember one shopper from the show that they said spent 8 hours going through the store getting items, then at checkout they split it to 50 different transactions, after 4 hours checking out (using 2 registers) it was closing time for the store and they had to leave without "buying" everything in their carts.
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I have been on slick deals for quite some time and got same damn..damn good deals but I don't see how you would do this on bi weekly basis..
some of it has to do with store credits and rebates…. i have a few hundred banked in store credits for purchasing select items.. buy batteries get 100% cash back in store credit… then you use store credit to make the purchase so you are basically floating your store credit and getting things free
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