Using Coupons in AZ ~ Extreme Couponing Here?

I've been sick today.  I'm upright now, so that's progress!

I spend my "extra" time on the computer and rarely watch TV, but my daughters have been great nurses, even finding me a show on Netflix.  We don't have cable, so I've never seen Extreme Couponing, until now.  I just watched two episodes.  Yes, you CAN do this in Arizona, but do you WANT to?

I have to say that I don't get the same rush of excitement like they claim to, at the register.  Maybe I'm too busy making sure everything gets on the conveyor belt while worrying about the person ahead or behind me who doesn't have a coupon, trying to scramble to find them one.  Or, maybe I'm just too old or have been doing it for too long.  Or, maybe it's the non-thrill of only doing one transaction instead of 18.  Basically, I'm kind of a boring couponer.

I feel like I had a pretty good grip about what the content would be, but I was surprised at the drama they tried to build in.  I found the drama part humorous.  "Will she be able to come in under $100 like she thought?"  Cue the suspenseful music.  If I have a plan to come in under $100 and am following all the store policies, I will come in under $100 — end of story, suspense over.  And, I come in waaaay under $100 on every shopping trip.  I just don't need as much as they "need."

I've been asked about the show many times, but found it hard to evaluate without seeing it.  Well, now I've seen it.  :)   I had a lot of "What!?!?" thoughts going through my mind.  My biggest "Whats!?!?!" were:

***  How can you possibly use all that stuff before it expires?

I guess we all have different levels of "stocked," so I don't want to be too quick to judge.  Most people would think I'm more than stocked on just about everything.  However, I feel like I have a good grip on what we'll use and and try not to waste very much.  But, wow . . . I think it's hard to argue that these people aren't overstocked!  Things really do expire!!

*** Why would you buy 60 bottles of mustard for 39¢ each when your boyfriend doesn't even use it?

They said it doesn't expire, but I beg to differ.  I'll be dead before I will use 60 bottles of mustard . . literally.  My husband is the only one who uses it in my family.  That's $15.60 sitting on a shelf, rotting . . . at least most of it would be at my house.

***  How much time and money is invested in this?

They mentioned one lady got leftover papers dropped off at her house.  But, I wonder how the others rationalize the expense to get that many coupons.  It adds up.  And, don't even get me started on the time it would take to get ready for trips like this!

***  Is this just an outlet for getting the "shopping bug" out of these women?

If it is, I guess it's better than going into debt on other expensive purchases.  I just hope they donate more than the show leads us to believe.  I hate wasting things, and extra clutter in my house isn't overly appealing to me either.

My advice to you is to consider the time and money you are putting into getting things you don't need . . . or even need, in some circumstances.  Is it worth it?  You are all busy people, I'm sure.  Some of you do this out of necessity, others don't.  Honestly, it's not a complete necessity for me.  It just makes sense, in moderation, for my family.  I know how much can be saved and it's difficult to pay full price for something and give up the savings I can use for something else.  If you can rationalize the time, consider donating more than you do before the items are wasted or it consumes your home.  If you can use everything you get, develop a good system for storing it so you don't waste anything.  Basically, don't go crazy!  :)

I love doing this website, but it makes me a little sad to know that the same information I provide can allow a family to stretch their budget and "make it" (Thanks for the emails with stories. I love them!) or it can bring out the hoarder in some people.  So, my public service announcement this New Year's Eve is . . . Please use responsibly!  :)  Really, it's not worth wasting your life away, if it's not working for you.  Maybe you need to cut back.  Enjoy your family, friends, and the life that is in front of you!

Some of you have found this site after watching the show.  I'm very glad you're here!  Don't beat yourself up if you aren't reaching "Extreme Couponing" standards.  You can save a bunch and be successful without having that many coupons!!

Thanks for being here.  Those are just my two cents.  If you have two more, please leave a comment.  I only saw two episodes and I'm only one person with one perspective.
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12 Responses to “Using Coupons in AZ ~ Extreme Couponing Here?”

  • Gina Galeana says:

    I agree Juli.  I just find it so excessive.  I know some of these people donate to church or other organizations which is great, but when they show these people they do have 42 bottles of BBQ sauce on their shelf in the house.  There is nothing that I want or need bad enough to spend 8 hours in a store trying to get a bargain.  Not to mention the 20 hours it took to prepare for that type of trip.  I think they just look for the hoarders for good TV.  I always feel better about myself after watching it because I'm not THAT crazy.  :o)  I do have a nice little stockpile and I use it to give to family and friends often.  But  most of the time, it's just nice to know that if we want peas for dinner, I have them. 

    • Juli says:

      Ha, ha . . .  about not that CRAZY!  It did that for me, too.  My kids said a couple times, "You do that."  I was like, "Yes, but NOT like that."  I'm getting defensive now!  Obviously, I do some of those things . . . like cut coupons and use them.  That's all I'll admit to now.  :)

  • CJ Wheale says:

    I actually watched 1 episode of the show…I too don't spend very much time in front of the TV, but felt like I should watch it to see what all the hype was about.
    Here are just a few of my many opinions about the show and the subject of "extreme" couponing:
    1) I do stock up on mustard…hubby likes French's spicy brown and goes through a bottle every 10-14 days. However I do not consider 39 cents to be a stock up price…we see it several times a year (here in AZ) for $1 or less and I get it in conjunction w/coupons (Fry's makes them all worth $1). This being said, I still only keep 6-10 on my shelf. The same holds true for hot sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc.
    2) I get a little defensive when people (employees &/or customers) at the store call me an "extreme" couponer…I don't "buy" coupons (or extra papers) and I do not use fraudulent coupons. I do have 2 computers and sometimes enlist family members to print q's for special deals and I have several friends with whom I trade q's and we freely give them to whoever needs them at the time. My "stockpile" is modest and only contains items we can and will use in a reasonable period of time or will be donating in the near future…I take a haul to the food bank or nearby shelter every  4-6 weeks.
    3) I also do not support the blogs (or the notions) that it's okay to use shady tactics…taking peelies off products that you are not purchasing (this one irks me to no end!), clearing shelves of products, taking advantage of scanner errors, copying coupons (and other fraudulent practices) all are off limits to me and my coupon buddies. I'm seriously afraid that these activities jeopardize the art of couponing.
    4) I spend less than 2 hours per week getting my list together, clipping, printing and trading AND shopping…blogs like Bargain Believer and Cook, Coupon, Work make this possible as you all do the match ups for me and it's rare that I find a coupon or deal that you've missed (I try to share if and when I do find one).
    I could go on and on, but will spare you all the diatribe :)
    Happy (and responsible) couponing to all throughout the new year!

    • Juli says:

      Agreed!  I'm not anti-mustard stocking people, but it's just an example of what we'd never use.  And, yes . . . only FREE in AZ!

      You make some good points and sound like you know what you'll use and are wise about it all.  That's the way to do it!!

      Oh — and I'm so with you on the peelie coupon thing!  You'll never see me suggest finding them in one store and taking them to another.  I may say there might be one on the product and to look for it, but with the understanding that it can be used at THAT store for a good deal on THAT product!

      Happy New Year to you, too!

  • Krista says:

    From Facebook . . .
    I agree, it's too much. Unless you plan to donate the stuff you will probably not use, then it's kind of being greedy lol

  • Julie says:

    From Facebook . . .
    oh i have watched a couple of these too…they show the many racks of "items" in the coupon'ers basements etc. NOT for me. I too wonder about the expiry dates on much of that stuff…i mean seriously…who uses 200 chocolate bars before the exp date??? ugh…to me takes the fun out of it..(unless they donate to foodbanks etc)

  • Thanya says:

    From Facebook . . .
    I watched once and ran. My husband watched the other day and asked me why anyone would buy 50 mayo's and if its possible. I explained no when I had grief for baby wipes a couple months ago at Fry's so I hope they can that show soon.

  • Nancy says:

    From Facebook . . .
    Good thoughts, Juli! I've wondered many of that same things about expiration dates and shopping just for the thrill of it for the extreme couponer. Just because someone *can* get 500 bottles of BBQ sauce (or whatever), doesn't mean they *need* 500 bottles of BBQ sauce. Now if someone is going to do all of that work and get a bunch of stuff for free or cheap that they can use to bless someone in need, well, then I think it's a worthwhile endeavor.

  • Margo says:

    I've watched the show a few times, and I find it very entertaining.  I once saw a young gentleman, from AZ, on the show, and then a few weeks later, I actually saw him at Fry's in Tucson shopping with a young woman.  They were in the shaving aisle, and bought 20+ shave creams.  Maybe, he needs that many, but really they do go one sale all the time. 
    I think that most of them have an addiction problem to coupons and getting something for nothing. 
    I understand the ones that give the extra items to charity, but the rest, with the special pantries in their basements, seem to have hording problems. 
    Really, who needs 200 jars of Ragu, in fact who can use that many in a year.  You just know that it will expire before they can use it all, and they'll just end up throwing it all away.  The people on the show must not have a life. 
    I saw another show where one woman whose grown children even build her a very complicated mechanical coupon sorting machine, it gave me such a laugh. 

    • Juli says:

      Wow, I might want one of those machines. I’m guessing it didn’t take chaos and make order out of it, but if it did, I might buy it! :)

      That’s funny that you ran into the man on the show. I’m guessing the 20 shaving gels assured you it was the same person. :) I just don’t get it. I guess it’s the multiple transaction thing. Not only have I never had 20 of the same coupon, but since they’ll only double up to three, that’s all I get. Sometimes, I end up with a fourth coupon (family members give me the extras). Usually, I hold onto it and get it on another trip, assume it will go on sale again, or just miss out. There are rare occasions when I really want it and will go back through the line and get it, but that’s so rare. I like a simple check out process. 20 would stress me out! I’m glad the show is entertaining for you. The bottom line is that the producers are going for that and they’re accomplishing it. It is called “Extreme Couponing,” and we should expect no less!

  • Tom says:

    From Facebook . . .
    Most of the items I get in big quantities I donate. I have started donating to the food bank in Casa Grande.

  • Lilly says:

    From Facebook . . .
    i guess i need lessons, i can only price match & do a coupon here & there!

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