Extreme Couponing: Is it Capital District Fun?

Here’s a guest post from Louise. Thanks so much, Louise!

It seems like couponing is all the craze at the moment. I am by no means
experienced in this area. Originally from the UK we ‘don’t do coupons’, so
it’s a novelty to me. I’ve been watching the TLC series Extreme Couponing
and am amazed at the savings people achieve. But is it really possible to
achieve those savings in the Capital District and is it fun?

My husband and 2 year old toddler would definitely say it is not fun. My
husband witnessed me poring over the Sunday inserts for most of the day,
unable to comprehend my new hobby. He sits firmly on the side of it being a
waste of time and I’m not really saving money. My toddler thinks the best
bit is stealing the coupons I’ve cut out as a game of chase follows as I
try to retrieve the paper coupon, now mangled from his hand wondering if
the store will still accept it or whether they accept ones you’ve had to
tape together?

I’ve only seriously been doing it for 2-3 weeks. Last week I found more
information on the internet about how to do it from various blogs which
help you reduce your OOP (Out of pocket expenses- there’s a whole couponing abbreviation dictionary it seems). One of my favorites is Coupon Mom –it’s free but you have to create an account to access the information.
There is a lot of advertising on the site, which looks a little
overwhelming at first but it means you don’t have to pay for the site. It’s
not upstate NY specific so sometimes not all deals listed are available
here in New York. There’s also Savings4Mom, which is a blog written by someone in upstate NY and has all sorts of coupon tips, money saving offers, and even Facebook giveaways.

So far I have had the most success at the drugstores rather than the grocery store- which is disappointing as I spend most of my money at the grocery store- but then you don’t ever see coupons for fresh fruit or vegetables.

Who knows how long my latest hobby will last. My husband discovering the 9
tubes of toothpaste in the bathroom cupboard might have a bearing on that!


  1. Melissa

    Extreme Couponing is definitely extreme! I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to couponing, and some of those people were saying they put 20+ hours in a week! I follow sites like Hip2Save, and when it is easy enough, I grab a deal when I can. Like I scored a couple free bags of cat food over the past few months, and that was a big savings. I don’t pay for coupons and I don’t have time to do much in the way of comparison shopping or coordinating a ton of coupons. If we go out to eat or we need to make a purchase at a particular store (Payless shoes, Old Navy, Ruby Tuesdays, etc), I do a google search to see if there is a printable coupon, and I have had good luck doing that.

  2. I have also watched the show recently. And I know this blog comment is late. But I have found that shopping sale flyers along with couponing are my best options. Along with the above comment of a quick Google.
    Couponing actually doesn’t always help you, if you work, raise kids, and have to manage your home, primarily by your self. My husband works a ton of hours, so I don’t get to just spend half a day researching and shopping. I use coupons when I need to. Coupons can also be bad causing you to buy name brand items that you don’t need. A $1 coupon looks good till you read must buy 3 of the same item. Usually buy the time we get around to eating the 3rd item its gone bad or past the expiration date. So then it just ends up getting thrown out. So in the end I end up wasting money I use a lot of them on house hold items, like tissues, toothpaste, things that don’t go bad. I use coupons but only to a degree. It is very time consuming. And I only use what come in the Sunday paper. I have really started to shop the price chopper flyers. I personally don’t eat a lot of boxed, prepackaged, high sodium foods. I try to make stuff from scratch as mush as I can. So when it comes to coupons most if them are for junk food that I don’t eat anyways. Notice the kinds of food these people in the show buy. Granted some of them do it so extreme they get a plus in money and get to buy other items such as meat. But I try to buy all my meat for local farmers market. Along with my veggies. So depending on how you eat, couponing is all that’s cracked up to be.

  3. jess, I have the same problem. It feels like everything with a coupon is pretty bad for you. Discouraging, because groceries are so expensive even if you can find the time to shop around. But I’m grateful to Louise for the guest post, and I’m glad that she was able to get some dental health at a discount!

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