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Why I Will Never Become an Extreme Couponer

Updated on June 26, 2012
My Coupon collection, which will never be used to its full potential
My Coupon collection, which will never be used to its full potential

If you have ever seen Extreme Couponing you know what this blog will be referring to.

Wouldn't we all love to go into a grocery store, pick out $500 worth of items and pay only $2. Of course, but is this truly possible for an everyday shopper?

I have tried and have found so many coupon roadblocks preventing me from becoming a millionare because I would never have to pay for ketchup or toilet paper ever again.

Buying Big Name Brands

Personally, I rarely purchase anything that isn't store brand. Coupons that I come across are never store brand and usually seem to be products that are the most expensive kind.

Just because I can get .55 off two boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese, I can buy a pack of store brand Mac and Cheese, 6 for $2.50. Just as good as Kraft and half the price.

Even if the item is BuyOneGetOne, it still doesn't seem as good of a deal.

I like to make three full meals a day, I like to not only get quality but quantity is very important to me.

From cheese to paper towels, I like store brands. Its almost like coupon makers are made only for people who can afford the big name brands to begin with.

Acquiring The Coupons

In order to become an Extreme Couponer, if you've seen the show, they have about 20 of each coupon. I buy the sunday paper every week. That comes with one of each coupon. I refuse to buy two papers or any more for that matter. In the episodes, couponers go to the extremes of driving around looking for forclosed homes that have papers in their driveways free for the taking.

I personally have gone to the newpaper boxes we have in our neighborhood, paid for my paper, gone home...no coupons. My guess is rude couponers disrespected the honor code of the boxes, paid for their paper and took out all the coupons from the stack! How Rude!

Coupon Websites

Newpapers aren't the only place to get coupons. One can register on special coupon websites that allow you to print coupons. The downside to these sites is that you can only print one coupon of each product. So how do Extreme Couponers work around this issue? Multiple computers. The website picks up on IP addresses I suppose, so two desktops and three laptops is not crazy to have when being a crazy...I mean Extreme Couponer.

Ok, so I'm clipping coupons, that means I probably can't afford to have 5 computers. Not to meantion all the ink and paper needed to print out 20 each of probably 1000 coupons a month.

Where are the saving going from all these extreme free grocery shopping sprees?

Time

Last but not least, time to plan a 5 hour, 7 cart full grocery trip. In order to get the best deals from each store, all of the weekly sale ads need to be compared. If one store has something BuyOneGetOne of a product and you have a coupon for it, obviously you would go there. If Another store has something on sale and you have a coupon, you'll go there.

Im sorry but I go to one store and one store only. I refuse to spend an entire day or couple days bouncing around from store to store to save a few bucks. How much gas is that going to cost me? What about my sanity? All of this seems too extreme for me.

I will continue to buy my Sunday papers. If I see a coupon for shampoo or diapers I will clip it. A dollar off bacon is nice. For all of those people that attempt and succeed at having a stock pile of never ending free items stored in their basement from coupons, please send some of your patience and time my way, it would be greatly appreciated.

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    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      I just had the "100 tubes of toothpaste" conversation with someone. Actually, it was about hoarding deodorant. Who in the world needs SO much deodorant. I go through maybe 2 a year, and this person was bragging about the 20 he had. Really, do you smell that bad...lol. Seriously, you may be right. Maybe it is a shopping addiction. I never thought of that, but I did consider the hoarding issue.

    • Victoria Anne profile image

      Victoria Anne 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      I agree completely with what you've said. I honestly think some of these people have a shopping addiction and they mask it/make it acceptable by using all these coupons to save money. Who really needs 100 tubes of toothpaste?? Just because something is cheap/free it doesn't mean you need it or should get it.

      Although I do remember seeing on episode of Extreme Couponing where the family was making care packages to send to soldiers. In that case I think it's beneficial.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      I have used coupons, but I agree with MsLizzy. Who wants to drive all over the place? Oh, and the time involved in doing all the cutting and searching for coupons is a full time job. No thanks, I'll just stick with my own routine. I know how to shop for bargains. On May 13th, I bought $50 worth of meat, and we're still working on the packages in the freezer. I figured it out, and I spent about 25 cents per meal. Now, that is a bargain.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      I go back and forth on this issue. On the one hand, I love it when I am able to save a great deal of money when shopping - I can buy name brand products and try out new things. And it really doesn't take that long, especially since there are plenty of websites that have done the research for you. I only shop the local stores so there isn't much driving to do.

      On the other hand, I run out of time, and don't have my coupons organized, etc., and feel guilty because I am not using the coupons. Those times I just rely on the sales and store brand products to carry me through.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      I agree with you--the entire concept does not work for me--especially with the price of gas these days. I'm not going to drive all over the map to get 16 different things from 10 different stores, nor go all over hunting for papers and coupon booklets.

      99% of the time, the coupons are for things I do not use, and as others have said, the store brand is almost always cheaper, even after the coupon discount, and the quality is not worse--the store, or 'private label' brands are often made by the name brand companies for the stores.

      I've got better things to do with my time--like writing on Hub Pages! ;-)

      Voted up, interesting, useful and shared.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      My cousin is an extreme couponer and regularly saves tons of money...she had six kids and needs to save as much as she can...I don't have any idea how she does it or how much time she spends, but she had left grocery stores with them giving her money!! A few weeks ago she walked out of the store with over $700 worth of groceries for under a dollar! If I had more time I would try it but for now I don't have the time or ambition...

    • iefox5 profile image

      iefox5 5 years ago

      Coupon is good when you really want to buy something, anyway, coupon may encourage us to buy stuff we don't need.

    • sadie423 profile image

      sadie423 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I completely agree. AS far as coupons for food- there are little to no coupons for real food- I'd be more likely to get on board if I had a coupon to apples, carrots, etc...

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

      One thing that is usually never mentioned is that the stores that accept coupons, pay to be able to do so. They pass that cost onto their customers. I have yet to find enough useful coupons in the paper or magazines that even cover the cost of paper or magazine, so I am in the hole before I even start. I also find by checking price per unit, I can pay what appears to be a bit more than item with coupon, but is actually less without the coupon.

    • EuroNinila profile image

      Fotinoula Gypsyy 5 years ago from NYC BABY

      Great hub, I do like coupons myself obviously because who doesn't like to save money, BUT it takes up way too much time for me so I really don't bother...

    • CraftingTime profile image
      Author

      CraftingTime 5 years ago from Spring Hill, Florida

      Thank you!

      Yes, that is a true statement. I would feel silly walking up to a cashier and handing them 15 coupons for one item. I believe you might have to go through a few different transactions. I personally would not want to make someone ring me up 10 different times. Oh, and if there was a line behind me? I would be very uncomfortable.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ditto!! This is so true. The store brands I buy are usually cheaper than the big name brands even with a coupon. I only use coupons that I happen to find on products that I would normally buy. When I buy the Sunday paper, I may clip a few coupons, but I throw most of them away because they would just make me spend more money on things I don't need to buy, anyway. Great article. I've always thought this, too.

      Another thing--I don't know how these folks get the stores to take more than one coupon on an item. ANYWHERE I have EVER shopped, I'm allowed only one coupon per item. So that I don't understand.

      Anyway, thanks for writing this. It's like you were venting in my head. LOL. Gotta share it!