Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Extreme Thoughts

Since I am a couponer, I'm sure you are wondering my personal thoughts on the Extreme Couponing show on TLC. Even if you weren't wondering...well, here are my thoughts.

Like a train wreck, I have to watch. I know there are other bloggers who say, "I won't watch that show" but I have's entertainment! It's like watching "Hoarders"...pretty much exactly like watching Hoarders except the houses are cleaner. Call them extreme couponers, call the hoarders...whichever way you call it, it's pretty much the same thing.
These people are overboard! That's why they are on TV. No one wants to see me at the grocery store buying 10 bags of Steamfresh veggies when they can watch Jane Doe buy 100 bags. So here is the reality of the show...
1) The couponers even comment that those shopping trips were there biggest ones ever. You know they don't shop like that every single week.
2) Even though they save so much money, how much time are they taking out of their day, their week, to get these great deals? Some of them say that they spend upwards of 30+ hours a week finding deals! Yes, it takes me time and energy to do the bit of couponing that I do but I have other things going on in my life and I like it that way. Getting free toothpaste is not the end all be all in my life. If I get it, great! But if I miss that deal, my world will not end and I will not sacrifice my time with my kids for it.
3) A lot of these "extreme" couponers get those coupon inserts themselves (which you have to remember that most of them pay money for at least some of them) but it was also noted in the first episode/special they did that some couponers use a coupon clipping service and pay for coupons. As long as you are still making/saving money buying those coupons, I don't see anything wrong with it BUT that expense should be factored in to their shopping bill.

It's a little sickening and I feel sad for some of these people (like the women who have 1000's of diapers but no kids...yet!) but the basics of what they do is somewhat correct. The reasoning behind why some of them shop like they do is understandable (their husband lost his job...didn't have money, etc etc). The sheer amount of items they have in their stockpiles is insane! NO ONE needs 500 rolls of toliet paper at their disposal...ever.
However, if you use the mentality that you can use coupons to match up with store sales and have a stock of items big enough to last you until the next big sale, then you are golden. If you do like Nathan does (he's was featured in the first special and again in the last episode) and donate items to good causes then that's extremely noble (although his personal stockpile is out of control!)

You can find a happy medium. I think that's somewhat where I am. I do have a coupon binder so I'm a little more hard core than most couponers, but I don't bring home 67 bottles of mustard at one time either (which, btw, I have NO idea why she stocked up at .38 each when I've picked up mustard for free, in the summertime, before.)

Clearing the shelves...not cool!
Buying so many products that it takes over your entire house...not cool!
Spending more time searching for bargains that you don't have a life...not cool!
Being realistic, shopping in resonable portions and saving money...very cool!

I hope you stay cool with me.

King Soopers haul!

I went to King Soopers this week not expecting to get toooo many great deals and walked out with all of this....

for $20.96, out of pocket, PLUS I have a $5 King Soopers gift card in my wallet!

Pictured are 7 "energy" bars (4 Power Bars, 3 Cliff), 10 packages of Steamfresh sides, 1 Colgate 360 toothbrush, 2 bottles of Suave kids detangler, 3 cleaning products, 1 3-pack of Puffs, 1 Suave deoderant and 4 boxes of cereal.

That wasn't my total grocery bill...I did go over budget this week (I try to stay under $75) BUT I did save 48% off my order.
The items in the picture were my best deals for the week.
The veggies were either .66 each or .50 depending on the coupon (I had some that were $1/3 and a couple $1/2).
The energy bars were either .16, .08!, or .38 because of the various coupons I had.
The cleaners were 1.50 and .99 each after sale and coupons.
The Puffs weren't an amazing deal ($3.50 for the 3 boxes) but we needed tissues and they were a part of the "Spring Cleaning" sale so I used them as one of my "buy 4 get $4 off" items.
The detangler was .99 and the toothbrush was $1
The Suave deoderant...well, it was on sale for .88 and I had a $1 off coupon. It didn't adjust down so they paid me .12 to take it out of the store (and it will be donated).
The cereal rocked my socks! The deal this week is buy 4 participating boxes and get a $5 gift card in return. I had 4 seperate coupons ($1 off each) PLUS I had an ecoupon that I didn't even remember I had that took an additional $3 the 4 boxes. If you factor in the $5 gift card, I MADE .24 on the 4 boxes!

I may not be an "extreme" couponer, but I think I do alright. I'm set with frozen veggies for a while, have some energy bars for those upcoming Nugget's playoff games, and I picked up a few other items that we needed.

How did you do this week?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Need just a little bit?

How about using coupons for trial/travel size products? I just recently delved into this realm this last week and I like it! lol

A lot of coupons will say, "not valid on travel size" or something like that...or they will say that the coupon is only good on a certain size (i.e. 8oz and up). When you see coupons that show no size restictions, see if you can find it in the travel section of the store! Big box stores have large travel sections that include not just personal care products but also laundry items. Yesterday I went to Walmart and picked up 2 of the Purex Complete 3-n-1 laundry sheets in the travel section. Each package contains 2 sheets and they were FREE with my $1 off coupon! PLUS there was a coupon inside for $1 off a full size product.

I already took the sheets out of the package and put them in a box that I already have of these sheets. I don't use them regularly but these are PERFECT to use when traveling. Even when we go to my in-laws house, and I figure I'll do laundry while we are there, I'll stick a couple of these in a gallon size ziploc bag and put them in my suitcase. Then I'm not mooching off my in-law detergent supply (not that they'd care) and I'm using a product I know I like.
I noticed Target also has packages of Tide in their travel section so that's something to check into as well. I've picked up travel size toothpaste for free as well and there are deoderants you can get for free sometimes also! Since the coupon says "any size" of that product you aren't doing anything wrong!

So really inspect your coupons when you get them and think outside the box as to how you can use them.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Faux makeup for little girls

Since I've become an Avon rep I've been working to get rid of some of my non-Avon makeup and only use the products I sell (as much as I can at least). I saw a post a while back about making faux makeup for your child and I had to pass it on. I've made two little cases for Nora (so far) and she loves playing with her makeup! She puts it on herself, on me and even Emmett (don't tell daddy but he asks for it). Since I'm about to do a post on my Avon site regarding "spring cleaning your makeup" I had to post about what to do with some of your old cases.

Have fun! Have some makeup to throw out but don't have a daughter to make makeup for? Send them to me! Nora will thank you. :)

Love and lots of faux makeup