I'm sure everyone has heard about TLC's show
Extreme Couponing. I have to admit that when I first saw the commercials for this show my jaw dropped. I mean who doesn't want to get $1,000 worth of food and household goods for $5.00? However, after watching some previews and reading about this show I realized that I do not want to be an extreme couponer. Why?
#1 I do not want 400 rolls of toilet paper and 600 bottles of shampoo.
#2 I have a life. I do not want to spend hours and hours and hours cutting out coupons and then planning out every day which store to drive to just so I can save $1.00.
#3 (This one should probably be #1) If you take a close look at the types of food these people are buying then you realize that they are not eating healthfully. Most coupons are for either household goods or prepackaged and processed foods. I saw one lady who had about 20 individual bottles of chocolate milk. I don't care if they are "free" or not I do not want to feed my family this junk all of the time.
This will become evident when you look down at the categories for the coupons I have found. Almost everything is processed in the grocery section.
#4 The show is misleading, too, in that these people have had to subscribe or buy several newspapers, pay for on-line coupon sites, etc to get these savings so they are spending more than just the $5 you see on the show.
#5 I do not have the room, time or energy to store all of that stuff.
I'm sure there are several more that I could list but you get the point. I like to save a buck just as much as the next guy so I do try to use coupons but if I see something I want or need and it isn't on sale or I don't have a coupon, I still buy it so I guess that shows my level of committment when it comes to couponing.
One of the most frustrating things to me about couponing is not being able to find the coupon when I need it. I have tried so many different methods in keeping coupons straight and I always seem to get home and then I find what I was looking for.
I started with these couponing books. I had 3: groceries, restaurants, other . . .yeah, that really worked out. I would get to the grocery store and see that toothpaste was on sale but I didn't bring my "other" folder so I would miss out on a sale/coupon combo.
I also had problems within the grocery folder trying to decide where to put the coupon. Do I put spaghetti sauce under "s" for spaghetti or "p" for pasta? Does polish sausage go under "s" for sausage or "m" for meat? I was just always so confused.
Well, last weekend I decided to get my coupons in order. I got a 1/4 inch 3 ring binder and some plastic sleeves and dividers.
I decided to organize the folder by order in which things are located in my grocery store. Produce is first but there are rarely produce coupons so I put Meat first.
Within the Meat section, I took individual plastic sleeves and wrote specific items on the outside such as: Deli Sandwiches/Lunchables, Hotdogs, Bacon/Sausage.
Groceries: Candy, Cereal, Chips, Condiments (including ketchup, mustards, dressing, BBQ sauce, seasonings, etc), Pasta, Popcorn, Soup
Frozen: Ice cream/popsicles, Pizza, Potatoes/French Fries, Weight Watchers/Smart Ones, Veggies
Dairy: Biscuits/Breads, Cheese, Yogurt
Household Goods: Household Cleaning, Dishwashing/Laundry, Paper Products/Tin Foil/Wrap
Personal Hygiene: Deodorant, Make-Up, Razors, Soap/Body Wash/Lotion, Toothbrush/Toothpaste
Other: Bath & Body, Magazines, Toys, Restaurants, Gift Cards
As different things come up, I will add another sleeve. For instance, today I found a coupon for $1 off 4 cans of Libby's vegetables so I will go to the Groceries section and add a sleeve that says "Canned Vegetables".