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Friday, April 22, 2011

Going to Extreme’s with Coupons

A Good Friday. Happy Earth Day. I am in the midst of planning (and soon shopping for) my Easter dinner.

I am wondering if anyone else has watched the new show “Extreme Couponing”? Did you notice that it comes on right before Hoarders? Coincidence?  Hmmmm ~ does anyone really need 1000 bottles of hot sauce?

I do love the guy who bought 1000 boxes of cereal and donated it to his local food bank.  Hearts and flowers for you!

When I first watched the show for one small moment I felt bad about myself.

We as women are always the hardest on ourselves.

I use coupons, I compare prices, but I thought that I must be doing something very wrong since I am only saving about $15 a week. Right?

But then I started REALLY paying attention to what was in the shopping carts.

Did you know that grocery stores are set up in such a way that all the things you really need for a balanced diet are located on the outer perimeters of the store?

Think about it for a moment. Where is the milk, meat, bread and produce located in your favorite store?

Even natural cleaning products can be made from such things as lemons.

Everything that is located in the center aisles we could live without if we had to. (Ok, I do like toilet paper and currently have about 20 rolls on hand. :)

Yet it was an extreme overabundance of center aisle merchandise that overflowed from the Totally Laden Carts.

I happily admit that I have a coupon binder. I  did not buy it from a fancy online coupon binder site. It is plain white perfection from the dollar store. The plastic baseball card sleeves that hold my coupons were purchased on sale at Target. 

I know what some of you who read this blog regularly might say. “Well, Laura is somewhat of a healthy living freak.” It’s true. I participate in an organic produce coop and get a huge laundry basket of fruits and veggies for $15. Sure, some of the things we sometimes get are strange~ but I never get in a rut.

The free range organic meat (mostly chicken, a lot of fish) that I try to buy rarely goes on sale. I am ok with that.

I also shy away from cheap cleaners that contain harsh chemicals. The earth is having a tough enough time without me dumping something horrid down the drain.

I know that I am putting all my organic eggs in a way pricier basket. But I’ve decided that I am going to cut myself some slack over the fact that I could have bought the other “who knows what the chickens were fed” eggs for .99 cents. It makes for a happier (and healthier) Easter for me and my family.

On a somewhat related note, who else is glad that Jamie is back?

I have a feeling that this coupon chaos might be a hot (button) topic. Share your thoughts. I do love coupons for things my family could use within a 6 month time period.

I also would love to hear what is on your Easter menu.

Laura

Linking to:

Foodie Friday

25 comments :

Jen said...

THANK YOU! I have felt this way for quite sometime when it comes to the couponing craze. Why do I need 100 boxes of Hamburger Helper and sugar-laden cereals when my kids are perfectly content to have oatmeal with fresh fruit. It is very rare that you can get coupons for fresh or nutritious foods, which what I prefer to buy. I will say that if you go onto the Whole Foods website that they offer their own store coupons. I am sure other "healthy" stores do as well.

I wrote a post earlier in the week about a wonderful restaurant that we enjoyed in Florida and it was largely in part because of their commitment to fresh, local ingredients.
http://oursoutherntable-jen.blogspot.com/2011/04/amelia-island-eats.html

The benefits are well worth the cost to me.
Wishing you a wonderful and Happy Easter!

Kim said...

I am a couponer and do so to help my families budget. I started almost 2 years ago and really enjoy it....it gives me the ability to buy what my family needs and have extra so that I may help others. I have watched 1 episode of Extreme Couponing and hated it....it gives normal couponers a bad name. Your right no one needs a gazillion bottles of hot sauce or whatever product they are buying. Anyway.....hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend and please don't judge us normal coupon using people by that crazy show!!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

We love our coupons... especially the "Fresh and Easy" $5.00 and $10.00 off your purchase ones... we can use those at Fry's (which is the one of the very FEW places we can find a variety of Chicken, as Brian has gout and can not eat Red Meat).... soooo bring on the coupons! Happy Easter!! :):):):):):):):):):):):)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

A coupon is only good to me if it is on a product we use--usually, but not always the same exact brand. I don't care if a coupon makes it free...if we don't use it, I don't buy it! Happy Easter to you and yours!

JeanFB said...

I did the same thing... started watching the show, felt guilty, then continued to watch. Once the woman put 35 bottles of Maalox in her cart, I happily turned it off. 34 1/2 of those bottles will expire before they are ever opened. 'Nuff said. Thanks for sharing!!! (I go for the organic stuff too - peace of mind = priceless!)

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Laura,
YOur voice is the voice of reason. It is crazy to by 57 bottles of mustard, or anything for that matter! What do these people do with all of the stuff? ANd can they use all of it?
Interesting!
Happy Easter!
Yvonne

fairfieldhousenj.com said...

Laura,

I rarely do coupons. If I have one for what I need and use; yes. But I won't buy something I normally wouldn't to save. Most of my shopping is the perimeters; going to the isles for few things: cat food, toilet paper, spices, etc. We buy all of vegetables and fruit from the local farmers markets or grow them ourselves. Our meat is from the butchers. Our fish from the fish market. I do miss the whole food store I shopped at when I lived in Ocean County. Easter is traditional == ham, mixed steamed veggies, baby red potatoes with chives in butter; apple sauce.

Your Friend,
Deborah

jewelstreet said...

I have not done extreme couponing, but I have done coupons to the point where I got my groceries free other then the tax. It was interesting but really hard work. I did it as an experiment, and I will never do it again. Extreme couponing would drive me to drink.

Besides, I always forget I have coupons. I'm lucky to get out of the store with just what's on my list anyway. lol.

GARAGE SALE GAL said...

Hi Laura,
Not have cable TV so I miss thoses shows..
I use coupons for things that I use/buy!
I bought the ham for Easter at the co-op as feel the same way about food. I don't shop there all the time. I make my own laundry soap and house cleaning products..for years!
Why is it that the "healthly" food is more expensive?? I'm also going to grow some veggies this year without chemicals!
Easter Blessings to You!
Warmly,
deb

Enjoy France!!! WOW!!!

Bloggymom said...

I don't even step into the grocery store... just too dangerous (I order online).

I don't do coupons. It is just too much of a hassle. I watch the sales and try to keep as close to my budget as possible. I am looking forward to the farmers markets this summer (we live in a farming town).

I am so excited to see there is a Food Revolution 2. I plan to watch it as soon as my crazy life slows down.

Loui♥ said...

Hi Laura..
I do use coupons..
but only for things I use..
have done so for years
I do not hoard, but always have two of most frequently used items on hand..that habit started when as a military wife overseas,basic staples were limited in the commissary! I learned if it was on the shelf, BUY TWO! Who knew when the next shipment would arrive!
nowadays, I plan my meals around the sales,planning which route to take to conserve on GA$!
My Easter meal will be Ham, Potato Salad,Fresh green beans and Pecan Pie..I am a Southerner!
Happy Easter to you and yours!
Loui♥

CalypsoInTheCountry said...

I totally understand how you feel. I always wonder how people have a whole cart of groceries and only pay like $3.49 or something! I don't buy a lot of processed foods. I buy mostly fresh and organic which don't really go on sale much and don't usually have coupons. I use coupons for toilet paper, personal products, etc so the couponing doesn't really save me tons of money!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Laura Sweetie...
Love my coupons. I am always looking forward to when they have all of our coupons worth 1.00 at Fry's, that is when I buy my condiments and paper products, cleaning supplies. Yep, I love, love the coupons. I usually save about 30.00+ dollars with my coupons, and fill my pantry with items that we need. I too use those Fresh and Easy ones as well at Fry's, every little bit helps. It sure does.

I haven't seen this show yet. I saw it advertised but haven't got to watch it as of yet. It is on my next to do list. Maybe this next week I will get to see it.

Well my sweet friend, are you packed yet? All ready to go? I am SO tickled for you. I can't wait because then we get to visit as well. I know your posts, and you will be sharing. So we are all going to get to go. Yea!!!!

Have a wonderful Easter sweetie. Many hugs and SO much love, Sherry

Vicki said...

I had never heard of this show until my son told me about it on Sunday. I haven't seen it. I did catch the Hoarders show the other night. My first reaction is extreme sorrow for those poor people, my second reaction is I need to clean out my craft supplies! I use coupons and shop sales, but do not have the space to store more than 20 for $10 cans of green beans! (our dog is on a green bean diet) Plus, now that it's just Dan & I, how could we eat that much food? Since I live down the street from Sprouts, I'm getting into the "buy it each day" routine with my fresh fruits/veggies. Great post...

Kristina said...

In our family, my husband is the "couponer," and sale-finder. He's not extreme about it, but his efforts do save us a bundle. He's always so excited to show me what he's found, and how we can save. Bless that man! I'd say we do about 90% of our shopping together, which is fun.

Also, this week I was thrilled to find a fresh egg provider! The family of one of one of my students has their own chickens, and they sell the eggs for $2.50 a dz. I feel so much better about these eggs, and they're so much cheaper...and I feel great about paying the family instead of the grocery store.

Miss Sandy said...

I am a coupon clipper too and try and save where I can. Our family prefers the organic fruits, vegetables, and meats too. Sadly, it does cost more to eat healthy but in my book you can't put a price on good health.

My eater menu will be a waffle brunch just after a sunrise service. Thick Belgian waffles, fresh fruit, home made clotted cream and syrup, nut toppings, bacon, sausage, hash-browns, and scrambled eggs. (Maybe not so much on the healthy side but we can indulge every now and again.) Oh, and chocolate bunnies too! We have a tradition of a big family breakfast on Easter.

I hope you and yours will have a blessed Easter holiday!

Stitchfork said...

I clip the coupons for things we use. But sadly, many times when checking out realize I left them at home. Need coupon rehab!
Have a Happy Easter!
xo Cathy

Heather said...

The ideas of coupons are great, but rarely are they worth it. "Buy 3 and save 20 cents?" When all you need is one and it's not that expensive anyway? No thanks. Plus we don't buy most of the stuff they have coupons for. Or, the store brand is much cheaper, even without coupons.

The Pennington Point said...

I've seen a couple of those shows and they do look ridiculous. They spend so much time on it...I don't have that kind of time and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. For those that use coupons, good for you! But I never use them. I just try to make most things from scratch and I don't buy much processed food. I can see that it would probably be a good idea if I looked into coupons for cleaning products, etc. But I'm not going to. It's not my thing. Love this post. Lisa~

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, I have Jamie's show on my DVR and look forward to seeing what he has to say. I admire so much your dedication, especially the idea of the organic veggie coop. A friend and I have actually discussed how we can start one of these. You have first hand experience that is invaluable in the respect how effective "thoughtful" eating and consuming can be. I appreciate so much you bringing awareness to healthy eating and how easy it is to adapt to. Ann

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, I have Jamie's show on my DVR and look forward to seeing what he has to say. I admire so much your dedication, especially the idea of the organic veggie coop. A friend and I have actually discussed how we can start one of these. You have first hand experience that is invaluable in the respect how effective "thoughtful" eating and consuming can be. I appreciate so much you bringing awareness to healthy eating and how easy it is to adapt to. Ann

KaseyQ said...

I am a couponer, though not extreme! It can be addicting, and will take over your life if you let it. For me, I personally do it for emergency food storage (because fresh foods won't keep) and so that I can spend a little extra money on things like free-range chicken & their eggs. I also use it for health & beauty products and fun treats for our family. I rarely eat the cereal I get on sale for breakfast- but I do enjoy it for dessert! And on occasion you can find some great stuff, like a couple of weeks ago when I got 40 boxes of whole wheat pasta for free. Couponing definitely isn't for everyone, but for me it helps me to feel like I contribute to the family finances, even as a stay-at-home mom, and I enjoy the intellectual challenge as well. :-)

Pams Party said...

I am also a pretty big couponer, but would not be considered "extreme". I have a healthy stockpile that again would be a lot for some but not extreme. It consists of one 5 tier shelf in the basement. I have 3 kids ages 9-14 and a limited food budget. Couponing definitely helps to feed the family when the kids seem to eat non stop. I agree Extreme Couponing does a disservice because what they show is NOT realistic. Many of the viewers do not realize it is set up as shock value and most of the items are just duplicates of the same item. It is much more realistic to get a weeks worth of shopping to $40-$50 not $4-$5. Time is also an issue. Many of those extreme couponers spent a ton of hours cutting coupons and collecting inserts. I spent just a couple of hours a week cutting, planning, shopping and still save at least $100 a week.

His Way or Her Way said...

I love and use coupons faithfully. I just can't stand to pay full price for things. It really does help with the grocery bill too. I enjoyed your blog and will be back!

Lori

Michael Lee West said...

I'm sending my DIL here--she's cut her grocery bill to $30/mo by using coupons. She'll love this. Great post!