Former ‘Extreme Couponer’ Admits: It’s a Waste of Time

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For obvious reasons, the idea that you can snag hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for next to nothing has become exceptionally popular with today’s debt-ridden, budget-strapped masses. But does the “extreme couponing” popularized on TV actually pay off?

Of course not. The idea seemed unlikely in the beginning and seems even more so now that more shoppers have tried to mimic the astounding money-saving acrobatics displayed on the TLC show Extreme Couponing.

There’s a strong argument to be made that utilizing couponing as something of a part-time job is pointless because, considering the amount of time that’s required, you’d wind up making (or saving, as it were) far more money with an actual part-time job. What’s more, a paycheck is generally considered superior to, say, a stockpile of 50 jars of tomato sauce. Some of the couponing strategies shown on TV have also been proved to be bogus. As a result, even if you had the time and inclination to go “extreme,” supermarkets aren’t likely to play along and let you snag 400-plus rolls of toilet paper for free.

(MORE: Why Holiday Season ‘Self-Gifting’ Is Such a Huge Retail Trend)

At least with something like toilet paper, it’ll get used by a family — perhaps not for five years, but it’ll come out of the pantry at some point. In her MoneyCrashers’ post explaining why she quit extreme couponing after three years of active participation in the “sport,” Christy Rakoczy wrote that the biggest problem is that couponers’ homes grow cluttered with goods they don’t need:

When you do the extreme couponing and your goal is to save as much as you can, it’s not really so much about getting useful products as it is about getting products that you can get for free.

That’s how Rakoczy, who doesn’t have diabetes, wound up in possession of 60 or so diabetes monitors.

NPR recently interviewed Rakoczy about how she gave up her couponing habit, which comes across as an unhealthy obsession, perhaps even an addiction. The reformed couponer described how she acted during the height of her “extreme” behavior:

I didn’t have a lot of free time because I was going to stores whenever I had spare time on my hands to try to get, you know, the next deal. A lot of the stuff, the coupons would expire, so you feel like you have to go before they are going to expire. And if the stuff sold out, well, you got to go back again the next day and see if you can find it.

(MORE: Brand Names Just Don’t Mean as Much Anymore)

Dr. Phil’s “Ten Key Signs of Having an Addiction” include several that’d apply here, such as:

• Giving up or limiting social, occupational or recreational activities because of the behavior.

• Preoccupation with the behavior or preparatory activities.

• Frequently engaging in those behaviors to a greater extent or over a longer period of time than intended.

In any event, she quit cold turkey, after coming to the conclusion that “buying something you don’t need — or even acquiring it for free — isn’t a bargain.”

(MORE: Top 10 Conspicuously Expensive Purchases)

By definition, extreme couponing isn’t for everyone. It’s extreme, as opposed to mainstream. Nowadays, Rakoczy does what most shoppers do. She clips the occasional coupon, using it only to save a bit on things she’d be buying anyway. She no longer bothers spending hours week in, week out to strategize ways to get freebies — especially not when she has no need for what’s being “given” away.

89 comments
Wolfie
Wolfie

I wish I could just use 2 coupons every trip to the store! I don't need to be an extreme couponer, I just want to save a little money when I go to the store. Unfortunately the coupons almost never add up to the store sales and a lot of the coupons say one coupon per purchase so I can't use the same coupon for even double the products. I have been trying to find someone, just ANYONE that can help me with saving money on shopping but it's hard to do so. 

If I did somehow start to do this kind of super saving on bulk items, Hell yeah I'd buy stuff I didn't need but I would also donate these items or get them for people I know who could really use them. I have a lot of friends and family who are in debt or have trouble staying in a budget.

ShawnMarieHardy
ShawnMarieHardy

This is just great if you like buying brand name processed foods and products that aren't very good for your body or the environment. It is not good for people like me who eat mostly raw and unprocessed organic foods, and use environment-friendly cleaning and beauty supplies.  Also, you can't tell me that there isn't some level of addiction involved in extreme couponing - especially in those who have years and years worth of supplies. 

ruzzel.dayrit
ruzzel.dayrit

Not only it is fun but has a big help on budgeting. I would totally agree about this though, who would say having huge discounts is a waste of time. http://bluepromocode.com/

RuthFerreira
RuthFerreira

This article is so misleading.  The true extreme couponer doesn't buy items that she doesn't need, that's the number one rule of extreme couponing.  Unless you are planning on donating it, there is no reason to buy it.  The object of extreme couponing is to save money, it is not to waste money on stuff that you don't need it.

  I'm an extreme couponer, I never buy an item I will not use just because there is a deal for it or there is a coupon.  The one example of the woman featuring in this article buying diabetes morning is a true example of her to put it mildly stupidity.  This one act is actually irresponsible because there are people who actually need these monitors and if she cleared the shelf because there was a deal, the person who really needs won't have it.  

As an extreme couponer, I know that I will only use 30% or less of the coupons that I put in the inserts every week.  The money I save on one item will cover the cost of the paper so I don't worry that I didn't use all the coupons in the inserts.  I don't feel bad throwing a coupon away once it expires.  One thing that I learn is that we can't chase every deal or use every coupon. For example, I won't travel to a store that is 20 minutes away because they have a deal.  The money I use on gas will be more than what I save on the time.  As an extreme couponer, you have to be smart, if you aren't, you end up being feature in a article to makes you look like an idiot.  

Couponing works and you can save thousands of dollars a year but you have to have a little intelligence and common sense to be successful at it.   I save myself thousands of dollars a year and I also help other people save because I shop for them.  I have about 30 or more clients and a legitimate business that helps me support myself and also help a lot of people in this tough economy. 



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jrichardson256

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tamcm
tamcm

I just watched an episode where a woman had a lifetime supply of "feminine" products, but won't ever need them because she's had a hysterectomy and has male children. Say what??? So donate them to a women's shelter or something!! I think being frugal, wise with finances is an excellent and somewhat lost "virtue" in our society, but this is nothing more than a new kind of self absorbed hoarding. If you can't use it in a year's time, donate to a food pantry (and get a tax deduction), a soup kitchen shelter or a mission/church. There is nothing noble about "having the most stuff" free or otherwise!

LimeTats
LimeTats

Omg get over it! At least these people aren't addicted to drugs or alcohol! They could be killing people through their actions rather than buying 60 diabetes meters. So what?! You get to do anything you want with your time and money and they have that right too. So how about you turn the table and people call you names over your presumed wasteful nature. All this jabbering is 'presumed' knowledge over things that you truly no nothing about. But again things could be worse and these couponers are not hurting people... Priorities people...how about looking closer at your home and family, and those things that truly matter.

KristinNollMarsh
KristinNollMarsh

It is a shame that a lot of people think the choices are "extreme couponing" (ie. buying a lot of stuff you don't need and spending a lot of time) or not couponing at all. There is a happy medium. I started couponing 2 years ago and cut my weekly shopping budget from $150-$200 a week to $50 - $100 for a family of 4 with 2 pets. When I started couponing, I was buying all generic items from Walmart or in bulk from Sam's Club and thinking I was getting the cheapest price possible. Now I spend 50% or less than that getting brand name items (that I need and use), I don't buy junk food and I only spend 2-3 hours a week, including the time at the store shopping and driving. 

Most of the savings doesn't come from just the coupons - it comes from knowing when and where to use the coupons and stocking up when the item with a coupons is cheapest. The key is not to wait until you need it to buy it.

For example, my favorite deodorant is usually $4.49, but I won't buy it until the store puts it on sale AND there is a coupon. The other day I bought 2 of them for 75¢ each, even though I already had 5 in the cabinet. That way I'll never run out and have to spend $4.49 for my favorite deodorant or have to buy generic (which you still can't even get for 75¢!) The big difference is that items I used to buy every or every-other week I now buy every few months. It's not much different than buying in bulk from Sam's Club or Costco - you are just buying several  individual items using coupons/sales rather than a discounted bulk package from a warehouse store. (FWIW- my deodorant at Sam's Club comes in a package of 3 for $9.38, which is $3.12 each. I never pay more than $2 for it couponing!)

I don't "extreme coupon." I shop smart using coupons for maximum savings. It just takes rethinking HOW you shop.

girlofcelje
girlofcelje

I coupon but I do it for other people as well as myself plus I send for alot of samples and freebies.If Im not going to use it or give it away I dont get it .I just  gave away alot of samples over the holidays and for a couple going on a trip .I dont go out of my way to coupon and kept it within reason I personally think couponing has had its golden age and its been portrayed in a crazy way on TV Many do it on a simple and logical basis that makes sense money wise Im a diabetic and the coupons for glucerna have been helpful as well as the samples for needle heads .Another friend of mine used Nicorette gum Dont hoard the stuff give it to those who need it

SassyQ
SassyQ

Couponing has been very profitable for me . I am a personal shopper for several people and have turned my savings into savings for others . I am a single mom who has utilized my talent to save for others as well as myself .

EllaBella
EllaBella

most extreme couponers sell their extra items on ebay- just go on there and you will see basically everything you can get at a drug store but discounted. so if you got the item for free then sold it on ebay - you are making an income. i also see people like that at flea markets and yard sales- i asked once and the lady told me she makes up to $1400 on a single flea market saturday!  of course they will not tell you that on the show ! 

IonicAlan
IonicAlan

I'm glad some of the extremers are not stockpiling some of the grocery items but instead donate what they're not going to use anytime soon to a food bank or church.

tlg
tlg

Like with anything, you have to use common sense.  I have a family of five (three small children).  One of my children has special needs and because of that, I have to spend a lot of time going to appointments and utilizing different therapies.  I don't have the luxury of getting a part time job.  So I coupon.  I don't buy things that I know we won't use and if I think we have an overabundance of one item, I will find family and friends (who don't coupon) who might need them.  It does take time, but once you start, you kind of get into a routine.  It has definitely saved us a lot of money.

guest2013
guest2013

I've ALWAYS thought extreme couponing was a waste of time.  Unless you have absolutely NOTHING else to do in your life, maybe its useful but who needs 50 jars of tomato sauce just because you have a coupon for it.  I use coupons but ONLY for those items that I REALLY use and if I have to buy 2 or more of the item to save 50 cents, it gets tossed.  I can't rationalize buying two of something to save 50 cents.  That just DUMB, and if the coupon expires before I get around to using it -- oh well!

JenniferBrewer
JenniferBrewer

I think couponing does work but you have to sort  through the  coupons and  get what your family is going to use and what is needed  don't go and  use coupons just because  use the coupons that you don't use or  don't  need and  trade them with friends.   to get what you do need.   that is what i do  i just buy what i know my  family is going to use.   

ToniMajorOlley
ToniMajorOlley

I am an extreme couponer and I absolutly love it my family is set for a while now :)

Crustypro
Crustypro

Too bad for this guy and anyone who misses out. I know I won't have to pay for shampoo, razors, deodorante again. I think the statement whether you think you can or you can't you're right, applies here. And negative people are the way they are. But yes, with some homework and using math you can indeed save a lot of money. You can get free items. You can stick to a budget. Last week I bought 140 worth of food and a few tolitries for 42.00. Tomorrow I am getting 120 worth for 50. I stick to a budget of under 100 for the week. Maximize digital and paper coupons with the catalina and you can get stuff cheap or free. (last week schick razors normally 6.99 a piece where on sale for 2/7, the store had a 5.00 off digital coupon on 2, I also had a 5.00 coupon . So i got the razors for free and had 3.00 off on the rest of my order (which gave me 6 free cans of beans since they were on sale for 50 cents) That is just one example. This week, they have a deal for spending 15 on unilever products, get 5 in a catalina. I have coupons that will bring the 15 dollars down to 8, it will cost me 3 dollars then for 3 deodordents, a box of q tips, 2 body washes.

So if you want to do it, need to do it. You can.

g073167g
g073167g

I have been caught up in the couponing idea.  I have saved some money and I love to do that, but I have found myself using my credit card to buy those things that I felt like I couldn't pass up.  It was an endless cycle, always feeling like I had to buy something because I had a coupon and could save "so much money".  Finally I've come to my senses and I'm really having to sacrifice just to pay off my credit card.  I do have some items stocked up which I will use just to get out of the crunch I've found myself in, trying to pay off the over spending.  Not only can I not use my credit cards to buy those so called bargains, but I won't be able to go beyond the basic necessities (milk and eggs and bread) for the next 2-3 months.  Gotta use some common sense here to stay out of debt and get back to a cash only situation.  

A little wiser now, I hope.


AlannaRuvalcaba
AlannaRuvalcaba

The people who are naysaying the most vehemently are the ones who got roped into watching this show...or tried minor "couponing" themselves unsuccessfully and think that's the best there is unless you're a hoarder with nothing better to do.

I tried using coupons before I found a good couponing blog, and I would have agreed with the latter...thinking that you don't save much money, you get stuff you wouldn't ordinarily use, it just normalizes the price of the overpriced brandnames...etc.

HOWEVER: if you follow a blog, you get tips on which stores to get the best deal for the stuff you NEED. No one is forcing ANYONE to buy 60 glucose monitors, nor advocating it. The blog I've been reading, in fact, says to only buy a couple of anything and never, never never clear the shelf!!! If you shop judiciously, buy the things your family needs and combine the seasonal sales with your coupons, you are doing yourself a favor in this economy. I'm not going to lie...I have at least six bottles of children's cold medicine in my cabinet right now that I got for a decent price. Why? Because I have children, and like many out there, I know what price to expect when the baby is sick, and we run out of that overpriced fever medicine!!!!! Guess what? Now I have plenty, it's not expiring any time soon, and so the next few times baby is sick, I can keep the ten dollars in my wallet. How many colds do my kids have in a year, and how much can I save over paying retail for the medicine IM GOING TO END UP BUYING ANYWAY?

Before you assume that all couponers are crazy hoarders, read some blogs. Many of these crazy couponers are donating their items to churches, homeless shelters and battered women's shelters. I am sure, like on TV, that there are some who don't...but don't knock it unless you know what you're talking about and gave the idea a fair shake.

zweipfennige
zweipfennige

I could have told you  this!  

 Rarely, coupons can save you money -- IF you would buy the product anyway, without the coupons.  Play with it, see what works for you.  Then discard what doesn't work.  I find it may be somewhat worthwhile to stock up on non-perishable items I will use, say, within a  year.  Why pay $x for one bar of soap, if you can pay $3x for 6 bars of soap you'll use in as many months.  Coupons also make sense as ways to try name brands you might not otherwise try.  But I've tried stocking up on anything on sale and found it's NOT WORTH IT!

This is not to say you shouldn't watch the ads.  Seasonally low prices, for example, can save you a lot.  Buy when the price is down, but only as much as you'll use in a reasonable time.  Food banks throw away canned goods older than 2 years and dry goods older than 6-9 months.  Keep that in mind when stocking up.

AndrewDay
AndrewDay

"Dr." PHIL IS NOT A CREDIBLE SOURCE, TIME. HE DOESN'T HAVE A PHD. IF YOU'RE GOING TO QUOTE PSYCHOLOGICAL THINGS, QUOTE AN ACTUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL SOURCE.

AlishaSmith
AlishaSmith

I wonder if the doomsday preppers are into extreme couponing LOL

SAKal7
SAKal7

I think coupons help out for sure, but the whole idea of "free" is bogus. Well, that is if you are walking to the store... So if you're having to drive to the store, like the majority of us out there, then you are spending money (gas) to get your so called free items. I am in no way against extreme couponing to help out with shelters or food banks. I would definitely do that every now and then because I love my community!! <3 Fort Worth, TX!

Tiffy
Tiffy

I hope she has donated all of the unneeded food and goods to a homeless shelter or food bank. 

SeanGardner
SeanGardner

Its pointless - where do you get these wonderful coupons? All the coupons I get in my mailbox or sunday paper are for expensive name brand products that I never buy, and the savings are minimal AND the coupon clearly states that you can only get ONE of the product... ya that extreme couponing is a load of BS. 

cathyvilla
cathyvilla

@Wolfie I have system that might work for some if you have the stores, technology, and devices available to you. The system allows me to spend only about $60 to $75 a month out of our budget on groceries and household items for myself, my husband and our 2 pets. I am more than willing to share with people who are truly interested. I am not exactly sure how to share here since I do not want to post my email address in a public forum and it is a rather long to explain.

fionamewo
fionamewo

@Wolfie When the coupon states one per purchase it means one coupon per item so you can use more than one of the same coupon unless the coupon states no more than four coupons per person like the proctor and gamble coupons do

UseSomeSense
UseSomeSense

@RuthFerreira  Ruth: How does the extreme couponer justify 700 bars of deodorant, when the average person might take 3 months to use just one? You said they "Don't buy anything they don't need" Well, do they need 700 bars of deodorant? It is an obsession. EC's spend their entire day doing this to save money when in reality they could work part time and get a REAL paycheck. How about the EC's who order 10 cases of something at the store and get it all for free?


The stores need to stop this garbage. Stop the addiction by disallowing people to wipe shelves clean all for the addicting high they get from getting things free. Then they have to store all the crap. The shelf life will long expire before you ever use this. Stop the madness! Donate what you have now and get some help.

Wolfie
Wolfie

@RuthFerreira Could you give me some pointers then? lol I just want to save a little money on my grocery bill. :D

bstev
bstev

@RuthFerreiraI totally agree with you. This article is misleading. I am an extreme couponer as well. I have saved tons of money since I started. In fact I have saved over $700 since the first of the year. I never purchase items that I don't need just because they are free unless I am going to donate it. I donate items every month. I not only coupon to save us money but I do it to save my family and friends money as well. I just think it is crazy for someone to want to pay full price for stuff. People have told me that couponing is stupid and then in the same conversation say they don't have enough money or talk about getting so little for so much. I do not use all the coupons I get but I do keep them to trade at my couponing class that I teach. I do drive 20 min to shop because my town is so little that there are hardly any stores. But in 20 min I can be in an area with many many stores. I also have a small stock pile but as i said before I am not the only one that uses the stuff my family and friends do too. I think it is great that you have a business to help others. Maybe I can do that one day. But for now I will be getting ready for my shopping trip tomorrow where I will be getting me, my friend, sister, and mother-in-law an all together total of 88 items for $7. Happy couponing!!

Alathea
Alathea

@LimeTats What about the 60 people that need those meters that are now not on the shelf? How far will they have to travel now, at a different price and cost of fuel, to get those (and any of the other items that people have cleaned off the shelves)? 

danmoto
danmoto

@SassyQ  You do realize these couponing concepts are all set up for you to spend.  It is not a talent.  It is a hobby that businesses have created for you.  It's all a game to generate traffic.

RuthFerreira
RuthFerreira

@SassyQ I do the same thing but on a much larger scale.  It makes me feel so good to help other and have my own business.  I'm glad to hear that someone else is doing that also, I'm sure a lot of other people are doing the same thing. 

danmoto
danmoto

@EllaBella  Highly doubt it is profit of $1400. You should clarify the difference.

MelissaSkinnder
MelissaSkinnder

@Crustypro"(last week schick razors normally 6.99 a piece where on sale for 2/7, the store had a 5.00 off digital coupon on 2, I also had a 5.00 coupon . So i got the razors for free and had 3.00 off on the rest of my order"

Yes well many stores will NOT let you do that any longer. You cannot combine paper and digital coupons for the same item to give you that "overage". So you are either lucky your store still allows that or you are fraudulently using the coupons. "that's just one example"

Crustypro
Crustypro

So I find what I save on non-food, snack items etc, allows more money for better food/veggies. I will spend under 100 bucks this week on food for 2 weeks, plus free items for down the road (those tolitries, plus some dishwasher soap, taco shells, cereal, chex mix, hot sauce) and also get 5 lbs of organic meat, 4 bags of veggies and about 2 weeks worth of fruit. Just saying it can be done, it is up to you.

RuthFerreira
RuthFerreira

@AlannaRuvalcaba I totally agree with you.  The title of this article is irresponsible and inaccurate.  This is the experience of one person who was not following the first rule of couponing: never buy something you don't need unless you are donating it.  I used to spend about 700.00 a month shopping for my family but now I spend around 300.00 and it is mostly on meats and vegetables.  Even for the meat, I used coupons for the chicken and always go to Acme and look for items that have a 1.00 or 2.00 off sticker.  At our local Acme which is in direct competition with Walmart, there are always meat that is discounted because they are within two days of their sell by dates but if you freeze it, there is no issue with freshness. 

claytonjesse766
claytonjesse766

@AlannaRuvalcaba I agree people ask me all the time don't u have products u don't need I say no I don't get caught up like that I buy only stuff I use and I only buy about 3-6 months worth and then I will stop couponing for that time . I find I stock up when stores have sales on shampoo or body wash in the long run it does save me money I don't. Buy 60 meters because I don't need even one meter even if it was free. Like with anything use some self control

RuthFerreira
RuthFerreira

@zweipfennige"Rarely, coupons can save you money", This statement is so wrong because you obviously don't understand couponing and store sales.  This week I actually earned 2.50 when I bought four bottles of Head and Shoulders, this is an item that is normally priced at 6.99.  With a buy one, get one free coupon, CVS coupons and extra bucks for the deal.  I got four bottles of shampoo for free.   I earned 2.50 extra in Extra Bucks that I can use to buy something else.  Since this deal comes every four or five weeks by the time the deal is offered again at CVS, I will be out of this shampoo.  

I started couponing about 8 years ago and before that I also thought that couponing was a waste of time. I was so wrong.  In my small town, I shop for a lot of people.  I can get mothers diapers for 6.50 or less, so they don't have to pay 9.99 or more for them.  They can spend those 3.50 or more on other stuff for their children.  They have no idea on how to coupon so the fact that I can use coupons to help people who really need has becoming my job and I'm a pro at it. I only charge them for what I paid and very little for my time. 

At the grocery store, it pains me to see people spend 200.00 for items that they could get for 50.00 if they shopped wisely.  People marvel when they see me getting an order which includes cereal, snack bars, cookies. laundry detergent, pasta, etc for 25.00 or less when the original total before coupons and store deals was more than 100.00 but anyone can do it if they take the time.  It doesn't take a lot of time if you use the many websites which already had all the deals detailed for you. 

RuthFerreira
RuthFerreira

@SAKal7 That is also bothers me about the show Extreme Couponing.  They don't factor in the cost of the coupons or cost of gas, etc.  I would love to see them factor in the cost of the coupons.  For hauls that are shown in Extreme Couponing, the cost of those coupons are more than 50.00.  I buy coupons online, I know the cost of coupons and the cost of papers so you are right, it is not free.  If you are getting toothpaste free, you had to pay at least .10 for the coupon that was used for that toothpaste. 

SundraDauzat
SundraDauzat

If you have multiple coupons you can get multiple items.  One coupon per item is what all that language means.  Unless it states, for example, $2.00 off of 2.  In that case you have to buy 2 items and you cannot use more than 1 coupon.  Manufacturers are also often limiting the number of like coupons per transaction, such as P&G limits 4 like coupons per transaction.  You can order coupons online or get some from friends or neighbors if you don't want to buy more than 1 paper.  Printables online lets you print two per item.  I only order coupons for products that I use, and my paper doesn't have many coupons in it.  Depending upon what region you are in also determines how much you will save.

coupongal
coupongal

@SeanGardner There are also tons of blogs that walk you through couponing, so just do a little google-ing and you'll see that you really can save quite a bit with coupons.

coupongal
coupongal

@SeanGardner Look into your local stores' coupon policies. Many grocery stores double coupons, so if your coupon is worth 50 cents off, the store will actually give you $1 off. The trick to getting items at such a cheap price is waiting for sales. If a $4 item goes on sale for $2.99, and your 50 cents off coupon doubles to $1 off, you could get it for $1.99, or half the original price. Yes, each coupon states you can get one - PER coupon. All the stores around me allow 3 or 4 of the same coupon. So if you have 3 of the same coupon, you an get 3 of the item.

just2sync
just2sync

@UseSomeSense @RuthFerreira Not buying what you need means you don't buy too much as well. It covers the whole don't buy 700 bars of deoderant thing. I just started and am building my stock pile. The suggestions I got were to buy enough for the next 6 months and then when something I use is free just buy some more. It's stupid to buy so many bars of deoderant. For the  6 people in my house , including 2 kids who play some sports people I  keep it stockpiled at about 30, that includes about 5 bars each per person. Sometimes it can go up to 40 or 50 if there's a good sale, and I only do that because people misplace there stuff a lot.

TekG
TekG

@forkywitherspoon Geez.....whats with the name calling?? good on her for saving money...... there's nothing wrong with that. i wish i could save money shopping instead of paying over $100 for like 10 items. the retail price of stuff these days is CRAZY!!!

RuthFerreira
RuthFerreira

@Alathea @LimeTats The reason they offer those meters is because most people get it for free through their doctors or with government assistance.  Those meters are sitting on the self collecting dust and that's the reason manufacturers work with stores to basically give away those meters so they can can continue manufacturing them.

zweipfennige
zweipfennige

@RuthFerreira @zweipfennige  

You seem not to understand what I said.  But never mind that. 

If you avoid the overpriced name brands, you can save even more money.  I buy a name brand shampoo for between $0.75 and $1 for a 15-oz bottle.  That's a savings over your H&S of $6 a bottle, right there.

Manufacturers build in these coupon savings when they price their items.

Seanmyr
Seanmyr

@coupongal @SeanGardner Most of the coupons my wife and I see are one per coupon per visit.  So even if you have 3 or 4 of those coupons you would have to go back to the store 3 or 4 times just to be able to use them.  Granted, if it's a really good deal then maybe it's worth it but I have yet to find a coupon and a sale that I can use together that's so good that I will waste that much of my time just to be able to get 3 or 4 of an item.


Also, just like the lady in the article, why buy something even if you can get it for free (or nearly free) if it's something that you would never use?

RuthFerreira
RuthFerreira

@coupongal @Seanmyr @SeanGardner A lot of people, even cashiers don't understand that one per purchase means one per item.  The reason they had to use that disclaimer is that some people try to use more than one coupon per item.  Some coupons do state you can only use four per shopping trip but you most of the time, you can use like coupons in one transaction. 

coupongal
coupongal

@Seanmyr @coupongal @SeanGardner Often they will say "one coupon per transaction" which just means one per item. Sometimes they do say one per visit, but most of the coupons you get in the newspaper inserts are one per transaction. It definitely depends on the store, but from my experience with most of the stores around the Raleigh, NC area, they limit it to 3 or 4. I'm really only familiar with Harris Teeter, Kroger, and Target though, so your grocery stores could be different.

You're right about buying things you won't use even if they're free. That's just hoarding. I buy stuff we'll use and sometimes stuff to donate, so nothing gets wasted here.