Extreme Couponing In Arizona? ~ Do Grocery Policies Match the Show?

This is a free website (BargainBeliever.com — homepage) that will help you use coupons effectively.  It also shares general great deals on family fun in Arizona.

The website is usually updated many times a day.

There is an active Facebook page you can follow or you can get emails.

Please ask any questions you have.  I’m here to help!  Use the top menu bar for general information or click a green plus sign to make your own shopping list!  Enjoy!

I hear that the season premiere of Extreme Couponing is airing right now.  We don’t have cable, so I’ve never seen the show, but I’ve heard and read a lot about it and have been asked many questions.

Can you save like that in Arizona Yes, no, maybe so!?!?  You can save a lot, but . . .   There was a show that aired with an Arizona shopper who shopped at Fry’s.  I’m not sure exactly what she saved or everything she did, but I know she broke the written coupon policy that Fry’s has.  Later, Fry’s said the show was for “promotional purposes only.”  I don’t fully understand that, but that would make the answer NO — at least unless you can make it on the show to promote Fry’s!  At the same time, I believe the answer can be YES, if you invest as much time and energy as they do.

In Arizona, all grocery stores that double coupons will only double three identical coupons.  The remaining ones are taken at face value.  The managers are also allowed to impose limits, if they desire.

If you want to see specific store policies, for Arizona, I’ve have link to all of them HERE.  Feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have a question.

It’s pretty unfair for me to judge the show since I haven’t seen it.  However, my remote assessment is that you can learn some great principles from it and maybe some not-so-great principles too.  The show’s title is “EXTREME,” so you should expect nothing less.  Don’t be disappointed when you go to the store and don’t save what they do.  The reality is they don’t save that much each time they go and they probably invested more time than you care to.  They also had to purchase all those coupons or dumpster dive, which I consider to be an overlooked expense . . . in time or dollars.

The bottom line for me is that I love saving money for my family, but I have a deeper love for my family and other things in life.  I can’t let it consume me, which is sometimes a temptation.  I consider bargain hunting a hobby that happens to have more financial benefits than most hobbies.

Truth be told — I’ve grown to enjoy uncovering the deals more than getting them.  I feel like I’ve conquered my challenge after I figure out what they are.  Thanks for using my coupon match ups and other deals I post on Bargain Believer.  It brings a smile to my face to know that somebody got the deals when I’m feeling too lazy to leave the house to round them up for myself.  :)

Enjoy the coupon journey, but don’t let it consume you!

Reader Feedback

22 Responses to “Extreme Couponing In Arizona? ~ Do Grocery Policies Match the Show?”

  • Darlene Chapman says:

    I watch the show and you are oh sooo right! These people are extreme! Plus, the shows I've seen don't put limits on coupons and I find myself thinking "they would not EVEN let me do that at my Fry's"!  The one thing that really bothers me is how inconsiderate some of these people are..some of them will empty a whole shelf, I think that is just wrong. It will be people like that who will spoil it for the rest of us!  
        I have gotten some good advice from the show and I do find it entertaining but it's not realistic really-not for us normal folks. I am like you, I prefer to get the deals without spending every waking moment preparing for the deals. Thank Goodness for your website! You have helped me tremendously!  

    • Juli says:

      I'm glad you're finding Bargain Believer helpful.  I'll count on your to get the deals on the weeks I decide to stay home.  :)

    • Angela Brooks says:

      I have watched the shows and just could not believe the stores would allow such shenanigans. I have at MOST save 75% off my grocery bill at Fry’s. However, I am in a new realm of coupling that includes couponing for healthier foods and other products. This journey has and will be interesting in that WHOLE FOODS and sometime Sprouts are way over priced. I still go to Fry’s, Safeways, Dollar General, etc. from the to time.

      • Juli says:

        Even the show they did in AZ was not accurate. They allowed the person to use as many coupons as she wanted, not the typical three per item being multiplied.

        Make sure you check out the Sprouts and Whole Food websites and coupon booklets in their store. You can stack manf. coupons with their store coupons and get some good deals. It’s definitely harder to consistently get healthy food free/cheap, but you can still save a lot. Good luck on your quest!

    • Cindy says:

      Do you by chance know of websites that match sales and coupons that can be used in the Phoenix area stores? My cousin is new to couponing and I am trying to help her get set up! Thanks, Cindy

      • Juli says:

        I’m not 100% sure what you’re asking, but if you want all the sale/coupon match ups for stores in the Phoenix area — that’s us. We do all the major stores. The store names are listed at the top of the website: http://www.BargainBeliever.com

        Tell your cousin to click on the green plus signs and make a personalized shopping list.

  • Jen says:

    My 2 cents… I have seen the show and the AZ girl she got a one time ok from Fry's like you said to do the trip. I have looked at her website and youtube video's she and her husband go to multiple stores to bulk up and donate a lot of stuff. It seems like they spent a lot of time on shopping. I always tried to use coupons but not until "extreme coupon" did I think to look for websites that show you how to do it right…duh everything is in the internet now. I get one newspaper per headcount in our household in our case 5 so I sometimes make 2 runs during the week to get a good deal. Since I have never paid attention to "how good" a deal can get and I am new I am still not sure if I am getting a deal but I will will know with time. I actually looked over 40 Az coupon site (and there are more) this is my favorite i just check with one other site to see if you "missed" something :) but this is the best one so far and I love the shopping list function.

    • Juli says:

      Wow . . . never knew there were 40 AZ sites, but I guess it shouldn't surprise me.  I've discovered many, but not that many — though I haven't specifically searched for them either.  I guess I just do my thing and try not to compare myself to others or compete.  If I did I'd probably never tear myself off the computer!!

      Always feel free to email me or leave a comment on the grocery list, if you uncover a deal I missed.  I'd love to add whatever you come across!

      By the way, I'm glad you're using the shopping list function.  (Click on a green plus sign, for others reading!)  Not enough people have given it a try and they're really missing out!  I love it too!  :)

  • Susan says:

    I agree–I think these people are a little over-the-top, but I guess that's why they call it 'extreme couponing'!  I love saving money and finding good deals but I think the cost in time and effort outweigh the benefits when you are spending hours upon hours preparing for each shopping trip.  I think it is great when they can donate some items, but I also see their huge stockpiles of 500 bottles of detergent in their basement that isn't donated, and I find it a bit annoying when people are 'shelf-clearers'. I do think that eventually these people might make it harder for us 'normal' couponers to save money.  Anyway, just wanted to throw in my opinion, and say that I absolutely love your site and find it very generous that you find enjoyment in simply providing your readers with good deals.  Thanks for all you do!!

    • Juli says:

      Yep, I’m with ya! :) I also have to wonder how much time is spent creating, recreating, and organizing space to store all of that. It’s too overwhelming to me. I do have a stockpile that’s more significant than most and sometimes that can overwhelm me and I know I could eliminate some of it and simplify my life in some ways. On the other hand, it’s great to always know I have a tube of toothpaste and don’t have to add it to a list or run out and get it. Some people would think I’m extreme, but I’m okay with that. I’ve settled on a balance that works for me. I hope you and everybody else can find what that is too!

  • Megan says:

    Great post, Juli! I'm a lot like you…no need to go to extremes, but glad to save money where I can. I really enjoyed reading this post – it came from the heart. Thanks for posting and thanks for doing what you do! 

    • Juli says:

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you can save, but don’t panic if you can’t get the very best deal so that you can have 50 on hand. :)

  • Suzanne says:

    I am really enjoying your blog as well, turned onto it by Karen at Desert Divas….I am struggling with just that: managing getting 4 papers a week: 3 AZ Rep and 1 AZ Daily Star to try to save money. I've certainly been stocking up on things we use regularly, but am finding in doing so, I have less money to spend to have what I call good recipes throughout the week, and I actually think I'm spending MORE stocking up. Sure I have deodorant that will last us the next year, and detergent, and soap…but what about great food? It also takes so much time to track down the coupons I want to use in the different flyers. Being a working mom it is hard to get a child in bed at 8, and plan all my groceries/match coupons, still watch a DVRed hour-long show (some sanity there) and then have any quality time. I'm thinking about cutting back. Some savings is good, but quality time is better I think, at least for me. I've watched that show and the amount of time they spend going into their shopping trips, definitely a full-time job.

    • Juli says:

      First of all, I applaud you and others who do this while working. It does take time and I know your lives are extra busy. At the same time, don’t go insane getting bargains!! It may not be worth it unless your finances absolutely require it. It really is a trade off. The bottom line is that you’re “working” to save money — some deals are easier than others and “cost” less time, but other “cost” more. Sometimes it’s just not worth it to go get something(s). I’m not even talking about just the gas to get there either . . . TIME!!

      I don’t work . . . well, Bargain Believer is pretty close for me. :) I have five people in my family and I get one paper, though my dad gives me his coupons too. (Ideally, I’d love to have three sets since that’s the number of coupons stores will double. I’m just too lazy and cheap to go out every Sunday to get an extra paper and it’s not always worth it to me — or I’m not sure until I see the sales weeks later.) You can read more about my organization method here.

      I feel that’s saved me some time and I get enough bargains. I would say I average going to 1 1/2 grocery stores and 1 1/2 drugstores each week. (Walmart or Target count as either — I do shop there sometimes too.) No, I don’t do a half. :) It seems like I hit anywhere between zero (fairly rare) to 4 places a week. I’ve been “off” drugstores lately (rare trips the last two months or so), not because they haven’t had deals, but because I wasn’t feeling motivated and am well stocked. Don’t feel like you need to go just because there’s a good deal. You can pass on an extra tube of toothpaste, even if it’s free! Chances are something close will come around again and if it doesn’t . . . is that buck or two you have to spend really going to kill you? Relax sometimes!

      Do you ad match at Walmart? I go, usually just for produce, though sometimes get another item or two while I’m there. I feel like I save so much on “real” food that way. I know some people bash their produce, but I’m happy with what I purchase. I’ll admit is doesn’t always all look wonderful, but I’m flexible and skip what looks bad and buy something else. I spent about $12 there today and got . . . 8 fairly large gala apples, 5 bananas, head of lettuce, 4 roma tomatoes, bag of grapes, 2lbs strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, 3lbs of carrots, and 10lbs of potatoes. I really wanted cheap cucumbers 6/$0.99, but they didn’t look good, so we’ll live w/o them. It wasn’t the very best I’ve done, but I’m happy with that price compared to walking into any one grocery store and getting something close to that. If you haven’t done it, consider giving it a try. You can ad match other items too, but you won’t get the doubling value, unless you’re lucky enough to live near a Walmart that’s doubling coupons now. If you do . . . I’m jealous!!

      Appreciate the savings you get, but don’t worry about getting it all or building a stockpile like the show highlights!! Enjoy the end of your week!

      • Suzanne says:

        Thanks Juli, it is so helpful to hear others' perspectives, and that time can be worth so much more too. That is definitely what I've been finding. I think it has definitely been worth trying though, to see how it does work for me, giving it a few months. I love your blog by the way!

        • Juli says:

          Don't ever give up completely!  Just consider whatever you save a success, even if it's not a "crazy coupon trip!"  :)  Try choosing one store each week and take the pressure off preparing and going everywhere else.  If you're motivated and have time, maybe one more.  Time really is valuable!  I wish you success on your savings journey and hope you can enjoy it along the way!

  • Maria says:

    Thank you for all your hard work. We use your deals to shop to fill our pantry at church, help Dream center with some of their needs, help family members who struggle from paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the time or energy to shop. I love to give…….thank you and blessings upon you and your family abundantly because you are touching so many lives from that keyboard Juli.

    • Juli says:

      Thanks, Maria . . . for the encouragement and for what you do to help others! It’s great to be able to donate things we acquire at such a good price! One of my favorite things about giving is seeing something I give being multiplied. For me, it’s an added blessing to see the information I provide being used to help individual families who make the purchases and beyond. Thanks for sharing and using the information to help others!

  • Heather says:

    I use to be a cashier at Fry’s there are ways around the store policies. Doing multiple transactions is the best one. I’ve had several people come through with stacks of coupons that made multiple transactions and did great. I started asking my costumers where they got their coupons and not only used them myself but started giving out the websites to help out others.I was one cashier that loved coupons as much as my customers and they new it. I always told them that I’m a firm believer that coupons save lives.I live in the small town of Maricopa Az. where we only have 3 stores Fry’s, Basha’s, and Walmart so multipal transactions or price matching with coupons work best. I’ve seen great success, although I will admit mine wasn’t as good as I’ve seen, but it is possible.

    • Juli says:

      I like to stick to store policies so that the playing field stays the same for everyone. But, if managers allow multiple transactions, than I don’t blame people for doing it. They need to make up their minds — allow it or not. I’m glad you had customers help you see how much money you can save. I get cashiers that ask me all the time. It’s nice to have a place to point them to — BargainBeliever.com :) Glad you found the site and I hope it helps you save even more!

  • Kristina says:

    Can you do extreme couponing in Phoenix? Because I am 25 and live in Phoenix and would love to start extreme couponing. I would love to be on the show, that would be kool. If I can’t really extreme coupon here in Phoenix, I am planning on moving to another state with my fiance for his new job to come. So, maybe I can extreme coupon wherever I move to.

    • Juli says:

      I don’t think you can do it like on the show, unless you have tons of time to devote to it. #1 Fry’s stopped doubling coupons — only Bashas’ & Safeway do now. #2 There is a limit of up to 3 coupons that are the same, that they’ll double.

      But, I wouldn’t let that scare you away. You can save a lot! AZ has one of the most competitive grocery markets in the US, including its coupon policy. I’m not sure you’ll save more anywhere else, on a consistent basis. Honestly, I wouldn’t let anyone’s coupon policy determine where I’d live. You’ll find ways to save wherever you are. Good luck!

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