Confessions Of An Extreme Coupon User



Back many, many years ago a television show named “extreme coupons” blew peoples minds when it aired, by showing how people could eat for free, they walked into a grocery store and did not pay one thousand dollars but around ten dollars or sometimes the grocery store owed them money after using a coupon for every product that they had checked out.

Things were hard at my home, I had moved, took on one business and gave up two and the payday went way down so I had to adjust or spend everything I was making “just” at the grocery store.

I am sure what I always did without before food was hair products and I would use a razor till it hurt to dig the hair off my legs. Cleaning supplies was a huge bottle of dish washing liquid that I used mixed with water to mop the floors, wash clothes and wash dishes, sometimes to wash my hair and body.

After I watched a few episodes of this show I said to myself ” I can do that!” And I did. By no means did I get one thousand dollars worth free but two or three hundred each time I did go grocery shopping, and yes several times I received money too.

Most of the people like myself were always thinking ” how can you use five hundred of any product before the expiration date!” and the answer is you can`t.

With this in mind I would buy what I could use up in a year with the exception of can goods that I stocked more than anything at the time.

But when it came to hair and body I was stocking so much of this because it was always what I NEVER had enough of to last a month. I never paid more than .99 for a ten dollar razor that came with two blades that would last for a good six month is taken care of properly, but again I could get the disposable for free. Bath soap free, shampoo free, conditioner free.

After a couple years of doing this the manufacturer cut back on the amount of the coupon so that no one would get it for free. Next step they took was four coupons per day of any one item.

The show stopped airing because it was just impossible to get anything free anymore, unless you stacked a store coupon with a manufacturer coupon and I still do this practice 🙂

This year I made the resolution to use up the stockpile, especially the food. But the food was always moving and I would restock, or rather maintain the food stock.

How can using coupons break you from liking foods?

I use to love to chew gum but after stockpiling a small tub of gum, all for free, I stopped chewing.

I use to love my protein bars, not anymore. Popcorn? Nope I have no ate any in years and I gave away what I had before it expired.

Soup? Rice? Pasta? Blah! Blah! Blah! I only eat my homemade now and I have lost my taste for rice and most pasta.

As for the freezer section I have just about gave up all meatless burgers. I will only eat one brand now.

I still have enough hair care to last me several years as well as deodorant ( this will harden over time!) razors, body wash and bath soap, tooth paste and tooth brushes, mouth wash, shave creme and body lotion.

NOW what I can never seem to get enough of is toilet paper and dog food. So I cant ever say I will completely give up using coupons but I will show down.

I really wish that TLC would air a show called Extreme coupons before and after to see how much those people have used of those stockpiles 🙂

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry



A Day For Shopping Plus

First thing I did was look up a phone number so I could get the address to write a retarded man that is in jail. Then I found out his trial is tomorrow, I hope the people over him does him right and gets him on a mental place and not prison, all he did was walk around naked. I wrote him a letter letting him know we care and love him. I will write another tonight and mail tomorrow.

Then I started my day but in no rush.

I went and bought gas for my push mower to get more cut around my home.

I needed envelops for other mail so I went to Dollar General and I also got two packs of marigold seed.

Next I went to the post office and mailed off all the letters.

I had to turn in the towing fees to my insurance company so I dropped by the office for that because they make a copy to mail in so I will get a check.

I wanted to talk to the manager at Publix about how the baggers pull the cart away before you can get your purse and that is how I think my keys got gone. but he was out and I did not want to talk to the assistant manager. I bought toilet paper and crackers.

I stopped to buy shoes but I did not see any I liked, Tony bought another rod and reel, like he needs more!

Last stop was for Diet Pepsi at another dollar general, the first was out, three twelve packs for nine dollars is the deal this week.

Since this coming weekend is race weekend at Talladega Race track and everyone was stocking at every store I stopped at, its going to be a madhouse here around Thursday evening.

I did not make it to mowing any grass because I got called away to work for a few hours late this evening.

How was your day?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Buying Meat On A Budget

Around once a month I restock red meat for Tony and Chicken or turkey for me, but I am trying my best to go back meatless so I did not buy any type of meats for me.

Last week was the week, he was out of just about all meat, except venison, so we went meat shopping at the old Piggly wiggly, now known as pic n sav located in the heart of Anniston, Alabama.

The first thing that caught my eye was hot dogs by John Morrell were on sale for .39 per package of eight so I bought five packages for $1.95 because these freeze well and last for a very long time. I will get four meals per package making each serving of meat only .10 (20 hot dogs = 10 meals)

Next was ground beef, I got the smaller packages cheaper by the pound, I bought two for $5.98 ( one was $2.98 and the other $3.00 )and that made 12 patties for burgers making each burger around .50 each. That is six meals.

Tony loves his cubed steak so he got a large package for $5.71 for six pieces and this will be the most expensive meals of meat making each meal $2.00 because he has two steak sandwiches as a meal. Three meals.

The pot roast was on sale at the price of $6.54, another pricey meat purchase because six meals will be made from this one roast costing around $1.10 per serving of meat.

NOW to the best deal of all:

A boneless center cut pork loin on sale for $9.51 but I sliced at home and made 20 thin sliced boneless chops. Making 13 meals and each costing around .73 each meat meal.

Now lets see how much I spent on how many meals of meat:

Total $29.69

With thirty eight meals – Price per meat meal based on total price of all = . 78 per meal.

So there you have it thirty eight meals for under $30.00, that is how you make ends meet when you have little money to spend.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Never Pay FULL Price!

For those of you who do not know me I am an extreme coupon using woman that will get everything , if possible, cheaper or free.

Since I have a nice stockpile I have cut the amount of shopping down from 100% to only, hmm, I would say 25% or less some weeks. And I made a resolution to use up this stockpile and not buy anything that I already have a stock of, no matter the price. Well okay if its free I will get it, but I have cut the amount of coupon clipping down also, so no coupons equals no shopping.

I was out of coffee! All I had left was hazelnut and that is not a flavor I like to wake up to so I did my research and my favorite coupon shopping store had coffee buy one get one free and no less than my favorite! Gevalia. I did not have coupons for this brand but I was lucky and a couple of friends send me two and that was all I needed. The price was $8.39 making each $4.20/ $4.19 and I used a $1.50 manufacture coupon for each, I got both for $5.39. And they had Tombstone Pizza buy one get one free at $5.27 and I had one $1.00 off two manufacture coupon that I printed making both just $4.27.

So my total was before sale and coupons $28.67
But I paid $9.66
Plus tax 1.37
equals = $11.03

I cant believe I bought pizza! I have been so good with eating fresh foods and no junk food. I guess my body needed it 🙂

All that I bought from Aldi`s this week was apples, oranges, bananas and strawberries and I did not spend much cause that store is awesome for its weekly sale, tomorrow starts a new sales week and I will try to get one of those ads and share the savings so you`ll know if you need to shop before you drive all the way to the grocery store 🙂

What deals have you gotten recently?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Week Six – Thoughts And Fears

Six Weeks. How am I doing on this journey to stop shopping and use up the stockpile? Getting off coupons and boxed, bagged and frozen foods?

Did I go buy newspapers this past Sunday? Yes I did not. I was not proud of myself either and about the only thing I need with coupons is the toilet paper and I could have probably bought “just” those from a clipping service, there were no dog food coupons so I am paying full price for that at the moment.

My problem is not just providing for me, I can live in the produce isle, its I have to feed others and they do not like change.

The only things I bought using a coupon this week was one five pound bag of self rising flour and a can of Pam.

The flour was on sale at Publix for two dollars and the coupon was for twenty five cents, that doubled so I paid one dollar and fifty cents for the flour, this will last me a long time. The Pam was buy one get one free, at Publix they split the price so nothing rings up as free, just half price, making it just one dollar and fifty cents. I used a thirty cent coupon that doubled and it was just ninety cents. No stockpiling I was out of both.

Now what I did buy was produce and at Aldi`s but no coupons and no stockpiling.
Here is what I got this week:

Navel oranges- two ninety nine a bag

Roma tomatoes- one sixty nine – six tomatoes

Strawberries- one forty nine per sixteen ounces

Four cucumbers – forty nine cents each

Celery – sixty nine cents per pack

Cabbage – one thirty nine per head

Iceberg lettuce – eighty nine cents each head

Mushrooms – one thirty nine per eight pounces

Green beans – one eighty nine per large carton

Russet potatoes -one fifty nine per ten pounds

Red Delicious Apples – three forty nine per bag

Total : $19.46

This will last two people one week. Although I have cabbage I grew and put away in the deep freezer we still like fresh cole slaw and the frozen will not do.

So if I stick with just buying fresh and using up all the vegetables in the freezer then I will be only spending $80 to $100 per month on fresh produce per month. Well until I am growing all of this in the summer.

BUT as I break this addiction, I do feel the pain, I think about what day it is and how many days till the current sale will be over at each store. This may take a while!

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Stretching Your Budget – March 21,2016

At a couple grocery store`s I was known as coupon queen not because I used coupons for everything but I always followed the rules and I was never nasty if a coupon did not work, I would simply take that item off, plus I ALWAYS had all my coupons ready and in order with my list and I knew what I would pay.

Some people do not understand how to use coupons at an extreme level and that is okay, any savings is money in your pocket.

But ….. with using coupons ,I know most everything in the food department is the boxed and packaged foods that are not really good for us and since I am walking away from that type of food I can help in other ways. What I call old fashion shopping as I did when I was a kid after mom passed away.

Cook the food your self. If you can follow the directions on a box to prepare what`s inside, you can cook anything, just follow directions also known as a recipe 🙂

This week Tony was out of meat, I can take it or leave it and I am choosing to leave it more these days but I am not a meat snob, people should eat what they want, Anyways here is the way I bought meat and how I make meals.

Bought :

Chicken breast

Shoulder steak

Ground beef

Pork roast

Pork chops

I paid, with tax included $27.73 now lets see how many meals I can get out of that amount of protein.

Chicken breast – four meals, making fried chicken, can feed more if I make soup or pot pies.

Shoulder steak – three meals, possible four meals, depends on how I cook it.

Ground beef – eight meals as just burgers, possible to make more meals depending on how I use it.

Pork roast – Five meals as b-b-q sandwiches, possible more meals if I make a pork dish and feed many.

Pork Chops – Six meals making fried pork chops/ b-b-q chops.

With a quick total of meals = twenty six meals or more. Making each meal with meat around one dollar.

Twenty six meals means nearly a month of dinners with meat for under $28.00.

Note: I only cook meat for dinner and I often have meatless days and I use beans or eggs as a protein.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

.99 Red Potatoes And .49 Bay Carrots

ALDI is the place, but you already knew that! Yesterday the new weekly sales ad came out. March sixteenth to March twenty second.

The closer Easter gets the more I am seeing sales for having a nice Easter dinner.

First I will do the Produce picks of the week:

Baby carrots – forty nine cents per sixteen ounce bag

Yellow onions – seventy nine cents per three pound bag

Cabbage – seventy nine cents per head

Red Potatoes – ninety nine cents per five pound bag.

Black berries – ninety nine cents per six ounce package

Mandarins – two dollars and thirty nine cents per three pound bag

Meat picks of the week :

Smoked ham- butt portion- ninety nine cents per pound

Smoked ham- shank portion- seventy nine cents per pound

Spiral sliced ham – Half ham- one dollars and forty nine cents per pound.

Spiral sliced ham – Double glazed brown sugar- one dollars and seventy nine cents per pound.

Butterball turkey – One dollar and nineteen cents per pound.

Boneless leg of lamb roast – Six dollars and forty nine cents per pound

Chicken thighs – forty nine cents per pound – Family pack around five pound packages

Spareribs – two dollars and forty nine cents per pound

Frozen veggies :

Green beans – one dollars and forty nine cents per sixteen ounce package.

Broccoli florets – ninety nine cents per twelve ounce package.

And that is the specials this week at Aldi`s grocery store.

It depends on which way you like to go for Easter dinner. I would love to have a cook out and have the spareribs and chicken cooked out on the grill with a little bbq sauce, steamed green beans with butter and spices, maybe a few red potatoes. Lets not forget the bbq onions these are SO GOOD!

A couple pounds of ribs = $5.00

A couple pounds of chicken = $1.00

Green beans – $1.49

A couple pounds of Potatoes – .40

Two onions – .25

Just a little over $8.00 for a nice meal for two 🙂

What about you can you make a nice meal on the cheap from Aldi`s?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Week Five – Thoughts And Fears

March 15,2016

How am I doing on this journey to stop shopping and use up the stockpile?

Did I go buy newspapers this past Sunday? No I did not. I did not even look at the preview to see how many inserts where coming out nor did I hunt up the preview of what coupons would be in the inserts.

I have to say that I do feel the hurt of breaking this coupon addiction. After all its something I did for many years and it never hurt anyone, instead its always helped. Maybe God sent all those coupons to get me through this rough time, it was coming and sent me coupons to stock up so I would have. Or maybe I am just full of crap and stocked everything like there was going to be the end coming or something 🙂 Maybe attack of the zombies.

One thing that I have not been able to do and that is stopping the Monday morning look at the new Publix ad that will be out on Wednesday. I do write down the ” stuff” I would buy with coupons and the cost. But for the most part all I want to buy is Dog food and toilet paper for a stock up price. But that urge is still there.

I have about used up all the meat that was in the freezer, except the deer. I am making a good dent in using the frozen vegetables that I put away from the garden or that I bought with coupons. I have even used up some of the died potato flakes and the Libby`s can goods. I am actually out of canned Tomatoes :/ now those I do, did use a lot. I may find some to stock because it`ll be months before I get to can fresh tomatoes, if its God`s will for that to happen.

I still buy the once a week fresh produce, but its only what is on sale, if its cheap enough I will freeze or can some of the fruits or vegetables for later but mostly I spend around $10 a week.

Something that makes me want to stop, is that with coupons I cannot hardly ever get free stuff anymore and that was my rush. I could walk into a grocery store get a cart full of food and hair and body, vitamins, cleaners etc., $200 worth and pay the taxes or sometimes nothing at all and at times the store would owe me 🙂 I am sure those days are gone. Oh well I am trying to quit anyways, for a while till I use up this stuff.

Do you have an addiction that helps but you want to break?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

.99 Kiwi Packages And .99 Strawberries Packages

March 9th to March 15th. Aldi`s Weekly specials.

This week is much like all the other weeks and Adli`s have an AWESOME sale. Since I am breaking my couponing addiction I am leaning on Aldi`s to help me. I can still shop but spend less and its for the most part ALL fresh produce that I buy and that is good for my body and to shrink the waist line.

Since Easter is nearing there are a few things Aldi is carrying for the occasion and with low prices too.

First the produce of the week sale:

Kiwi – ninety nine cents per package, usually six to a pack.

Strawberries – ninety nine cents per sixteen ounce package

Grapefruit – thirty three cents each.

Lemons – one dollar and seventy nine cents per two pound bag.

Navel oranges – one dollar and seventy nine cents per four pound bag.

Peaches – one dollar and seventy nine cents per two pound bag.

Plums – one dollar and seventy nine cents per two pound bag.

Nectarines – one dollar and seventy nine cents per two pound bag.

Aldi`s meat of the week sale :

Ham :

Smoked ham- butt portion- ninety nine cents per pound

Smoked ham- shank portion- seventy nine cents per pound

Spiral sliced ham – three dollars and forty nine cents per pound.

Spiral sliced ham – Half ham- one dollars and forty nine cents per pound.

Turkey and Chicken :

Butterball turkey – One dollar and nineteen cents per pound.

Boneless turkey breast – eight dollars and ninety nine cents per 48 punce package (frozen)

Family pack chicken breast – one dollars and forty nine cents per pound, average weight five pound packages.

Frozen veggies :

Green beans – one dollars and forty nine cents per sixteen ounce package.

Broccoli florets – ninety nine cents per twelve ounce package.

So what would I have for dinner?

Baked Lemon pepper chicken with buttered Broccoli florets and a kiwi, strawberry and peach salad in a dab of mayo dressing.

There ya go, now plan what is for dinner with this Aldi`s weekly ad.

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry – Aldi`s shopping carts.

Week Four – Thoughts And Fears

Sunday March 6, 2016. The First Sunday of the month. There were three inserts in the Sunday paper.

So did I cave and go buy this weeks Sunday newspaper? Yes I did. And was I happy with the coupons? No I was not. This is another week that the coupons sucked. I have really got to start looking for a preview before I buy them from now on out.

I feel like I am wasting money or just providing my friends with free coupons because there are none I want so I get none in return. Sure there was good coupons for shampoo but I have more than enough, about the only ones I will use will be for the no more tangle spray for my hair but I am going to have it cut so I really wont need that anymore.

I swear I am coming to the conclusion that it is time for me to stop buying inserts/ Sunday papers for a long time.

Some say that it takes three weeks, twenty one days to break an addiction, I am guessing that I am getting used to not shopping with coupons so the addiction is fading.

For the most part I am just buying fresh produce and cheap at Aldi`s grocery store and Meats for Tony at the new pic n Save they are cheap! ( was piggly wiggly) and there are no coupons for those items, except the butterball ground turkey.

From me growing and canning more food I am coming to realize that I can manage again without coupons and shopping. But I will add that I needed help and coupons was sent to me buy God when I asked him for help, I didnt just need food I needed everything at the time, when I began to use coupons for everything. I do have a small stockpile of goods that I am using daily.

I think its time for a new chapter in my life and that is going back to my roots and grow my own and make my own. So I need to close this chapter with coupons, or maybe set it aside and let it rest for a while, till the stockpile is used up.

Minimalism, talk the talk so walk the walk.

What do you think?

By Andria Perry
Photos by Andria Perry