Friday, July 22, 2011

Frugal Friday - "Extreme" Couponing

I don't know about you, but I was beyond intrigued when the show Extreme Couponing aired.  I could not get over how much money these women (and a few men) were saving.  I mean some of them were getting thousands of dollars in products EACH WEEK for FREE - and sometimes even EARNING MONEY ON THEIR PURCHASES!!!

Growing up, I was no stranger to coupons.  My mom would use them when she got them in the mail or the paper, if it was a product she was regularly going to purchase.  I remember her little coupon holder and even found one for myself when I moved out on my own.  It had a clear pocket on one side for the coupons (stacked in order of department of course) and the other side held a notepad, perfect for writing this week's list on.

A few years back, I even started subscribing to some online sites where I could go and choose my coupons and have them sent to me: was my favorite.
But I was pretty forgetful with my coupons and time after time, they sat unused in my little coupon holder, so I kinda stopped doing it altogether.

And then I saw some episodes and got excited about it again.  My excitement subsided when I realized that in Canada, there must be some different coupon legislations as there's no way we could EVER get those kinds of deals!!  Apparently, there is only one store in the Country that allows coupon stacking and my grocery stores sure don't coupon match!.... so I forgot about it....

Until this past weekend when I saw it for the first time - a SERIOUS COUPONER!!  Yup, strolling the cat food and litter aisle at Walmart, there she was!!  A thirty something gal with her binder opened up, as she scanned the prices of cat litter!! She noticed my look right away, I was so intrigued I wanted to ask her questions like where do you get your coupons?  is there a tip to organizing your stash?   How much money do you really save?  But I didn't know how to do it without coming off like a totally lunatic.  Then, as she passed me again, I tried to sneak a peek at her binder and she got really embarassed, closed it and booked it down the aisle, never to be seen again!!

Shoot!!  Missed my chance.  I'm not so sure why she was embarassed.  I wasn't judging her, I was thinking she was awesome!  It got me excited and inspired again.  Obviously, this lady relied on coupons enough to need a binder, so there must be something to saving money this way after all!

Later when I relayed the story, my brother mentioned his girlfriend had a binder and even brought it out for me to see!  That was enough for me, I immediately got out the coupons I did have:

Got myself a binder

Labelled up some dividers and some great little plastic pages

and until I have a second to buy some proper business card pages for the coupons, I subbed in some regular plastic pages to file them in

Oh, and then I set to work ordering all sorts of coupons online. 
Now all I have to do is get our printer working so I can start printing even more coupons for some of our favorite brands!

I'm excited to see how this goes and will share my progress with you!!

Are there any couponers (extreme or otherwise) out there that want to share some tips with me?


S~ said...

I would definitely say that I am couponer but not an extreme one. I've seen the show and, honestly, it is pretty unrealistic (at least in my area). Our stores double coupons (sometimes triple on certain days) BUT they will only do that up to the purchase price. NEVER will they pay you for things or even credit the bill the reduce the cost of other items. Still, free is pretty good!
In response to the show though, a lot of stores have started severely limited the number of coupons you can use per transaction and, sometimes, even per item (i.e. only 3 of the same coupon per transaction). They tie that limit to your shopper card so they can monitor it and so you can't override the system.
Awesome binder though! I keep a spreadsheet that lists all of my coupons, the expiration date and any special restrictions. It is organized just like the sections of the store so it makes for a quick reference.

carebear3117 said...

Here is Canada we could never get those deals that they get on that show. You are so organized. I always go to the store and then realize that I forgot my coupons at home.

Pretty Little Things for Home & Life said...

Good news ladies! It's actually pretty easy to get some great deals here in Canada afterall. London Drugs actually allows coupon stacking and Walmart will allow you to get the credit on an item if your coupon is worth more than the value of an item. You just really have to pay attention. My suggestion is for you to google their coupon policy and carry it with you when you shop so that you can pull it out if your store has any issues.

Also, I found out this weekend just how important it is to actually know the price of your items and watch the til when they are scanning.

Two items I purchased this weekend (Skinny Cow ice cream bars and Oasis juice) scanned up incorrectly and since Walmart follows the Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP), since both items were under $10, I ended up getting them both for FREE!!!!

I'm just getting into this myself, but it's so interesting to read other Canadian Couponers' blogs and get tips and tricks!