Tonight a show on TLC caught my eye, extreme couponing. Now I love to save money just like anyone else the more I save the happier I am. I thought maybe I could catch a few secrets from this show. I have book marked a few money saving sites that lets you know internet deals and have printable coupons. I don't check them daily but when I do I have come across some great deals. I do try to buy the Sunday paper every week. Not only do I enjoy looking over it, especially the local sections, but I by it for the add: coupons. I am a coupon clipper. I have a special folder in my day book that is just for them and I carry it with me most everywhere I go.
There are certain restaurants I will not go to unless I have a coupon. Last year we bought a discount book. If you have not seen these they do hold hundreds of local restaurant, golf, movie and other sorts of coupons in them. We used it till the thing was expired and dog eared. You have to buy these books but if you use it like we do than you get your money out of it. However there are two outcomes that came from that book I did not think about. The positive one was we spent a lot of time as a family going out to many new restaurants. It became a great bonding time for all of us and we tried places we normally would not have. The flip side we went out to eat a lot more and that unplanned spending got very high. With these coupons you often order more or higher priced meals than you would normally get leading to higher bills. Still over all we had good experiences with this book but we are not planning on buying it again.
Curious I started watching the show.
I was blown away. The profiled couples were mostly husband and wife pairs and there was one family with a child yet these people had enough in there home to last them years. I am not exaggerating. They had 3 years worth of toilet paper, thousands of boxes of pasta, you see the insane quantities in which I am talking about. For two people! It is great to save money, to catch a good deal but how much is your house worth? In all the cases these families were above ultra organized but hoarders still comes to mind.
In a house that I am fighting for every inch of space having stockpiles of shampoo is not as important to me as a place to put the legos. People were dedicating rooms, floors, and garages to this collection of their own mini supermarkets. This is insane. As a family of 6 we do not keep that much on hand and yes we buy in bulk for nearly all items. Unfortunately I do go to the store often but I don't think I would know how to handle the amount of stuff these families buy, or coupon to free.
Lately we have been trying to eat up what we have in the freezer and pantry. This has lasted us for weeks now. Even over Christmas. We have only had to buy a few items to complete the recipes and of course your daily staples and we go through a lot of milk, bread, eggs and frozen pizza.
Now financially they did fantastic. The total price of there grocery bill was so high sometimes over a thousand mostly in the upper hundreds. When they would walk out of the store after the coupons the out of pocket price would be a fraction. A few times under $10! Wow that is savings on stuff you don't need.
That part was inspiring. They were great savers. I wish I could save like that but I don't want a stockpile. But I know who does. Every week I am asked by multiple organizations to donate food, supplies, all kinds of items. I can't give to all there are a few I do give what they ask for every time but there are many others I would like to help. With two young boys, one baby and another on the way time is also hard for me to give and cash is tight. So for what I took from this show is that if those people can save and stockpile like that then I can do more to help those in need.
When looking through the Sunday coupons there are plenty I don't clip because I would not use it. But from now on I am going to make an effort to clip more find those great deals and give it away. Just think how you could change some ones life and fill a food pantry. I am by no means saying I will be like the families featured. I don't have the time or addiction that they do. But I want to help and I do have drive and determination.
So here's to a new passion for the new year... semi extreme couponing for the community.