A few weekends ago when I couldn’t find anything to watch on TV I stumbled across a show called “Extreme Couponing”. Extreme couponing is an activity that combines shopping skills with couponing in an attempt to save as much money as possible while accumulating the most groceries.
The show had two contestants that both claimed to be the Olympic Champions of Couponing and these self-proclaimed couponers were to compete against each other to prove so. This show was insane, not only did it break my heart but it also reminded me of how much I’ve been breaking my wallet. I watched how couponers could reduce their overall cost by 70-80%!
The first contestant Nathan was a Kentucky couponer who assembles 1000 military care packages for under $50. Nathan was competing against Tai and Tarin, identical twins who celebrated their birthday for under $50 and tracked down birthday freebies throughout the whole day. The show invites the viewers into each contestant's home where they proudly display their collection and methods of collecting these coupons. Whether they find the coupons online or from the grocery store, or receive them by mail, they all had their own strategic way of shopping.
Both teams had storage rooms filled with household products. Tarin & Tai had separate diapers collections, and Tai doesn’t even have children! Nathan had a collection of toothpaste, enough to supply himself and his family for 40 years, most of which he says he got for free.
The show got me curious about couponing. I spend well over $300 a month on groceries and watching these extreme couponers buy so much for so little had me thinking why am I not doing this? Well, it’s not as easy as it looks on TV. These couponers had data-bases and crazy piles of coupons they had accumulated and categorized for months, some of them for years. And although, I have found some pretty cool websites online that do the categorizing for you ( I have saved a few bucks here and there) I still can’t imagine myself stocking up on products I don’t need just because of a sale or coupon. So I guess you can call me a Ms. Mild-Couponer.
I’m curious to know how many of our readers use coupons; do you go out of your way to find a deal? How often do you use coupons and is there a specific method you use when couponing?
Also, if any of you know of any coupons sites you’d like to share, please feel free to do so.