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

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

.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

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

Save More Money 2- Clothing And More

Besides the obvious and that is using coupons for certain stores, there is a time to buy clothes and get them so cheap you will not believe they sold them at that price.

Right now all stores are preparing for the new spring shipment of clothes. This means ALL winter clothing will be dirt cheap, they want it gone so look out for those five dollar racks, three dollar racks and one dollar racks of clearance.

Some stores like Old Navy have specific areas for there clearance but stores like Walmart and K-mart put them in the isles and at the back of the new clothes that just came in. So look carefully and you`ll find those deals.

Now, why buy this clearance when Spring and Summer is near? When Winter comes back around you can look like a million bucks for just a couple bucks 🙂

The same goes for Summer, around the end of July and beginning of August, watch out for the clearance because school clothes are about to hit those shelfs.

Don`t forget about shoes and boots!

There is something else that people should know. When to buy a T.V. and get the best deal.

That would be right now! Yes! right after the super bowl all the t.v.`s hit the clearance section, right up front on the floor. And there is one other time that the older goes and the new comes in and that is around September. Why? the store`s are about to jack the prices for th early bird Christmas shoppers and they will lower the price back to normal for black Friday. I am not kidding.

Cars? You bet there is a good time and a bad time to buy.

The best time to buy a car is at the end of the year, The dealers want them out for the new cars coming in soon.

When is the worst time? Right now. February and March when everyone gets their income taxes back. The new and used car prices jump, waiting for you to spend your refund with them. Some dealers are even matching your refund amount, meaning they will take off whatever you spend with them on certain cars or as a down payment.

Now do you have any secrets as to when to save on products you would like to share?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Week Three – Thoughts And Fears

Sunday February 28, 2016. The last Sunday of the month. Means P&G insert and a couple more.

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.

I am seeing a trend in crappy coupons and there could well be a motive behind this. So many people have learned to use coupons to an extreme level and the manufacturer could be tired of “giving” products away by the truck loads.

Canned good coupons have been the worst, especially the store coupons .50 off six cans! or better yet I seen one that was .25 off three products.

This week I seen a product that I will stock when its back on sale, this comes on sale around once a month so I will restock for a year, if possible. I also found another coupon in this weeks inserts that I can double and get this for free. Two more that I do not need to stock for myself but I will try to get as many as I can so that I can donate to the nursing home, cause we got someone there and they always need these items.

Just because I bought the Sunday newspaper does not mean that I will shop this week using coupons. Some times I have to hold on to them till the last minute before the product is on sale, I prefer buy one get one free sales and using coupons with those, or stacking a manufacturer coupon with a store coupon and getting the items free or for pennies.

Can I go cold turkey and stop shopping? I am sure I can if I have to but God has blessed me with coupons and the skills to provide for myself and others. I am learning how to do things better in a more organized way, how many of what I use per month so that I can stock for 6 months to 1 year. How long to keep something in the freezer before I need to eat this or give it to a needy hungry family.

So I have not stopped but slowed way, way down.

How about you, did you get the coupons this week?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Week Two – Thoughts And Fears

Here we go, another Sunday passed and I did not go get the Sunday newspapers, means no new coupons.

I did do a preview and I was just not interested in any of them, not even one coupon. The printer is out of ink so I cannot look to print.

Is this another week of cold turkey and no coupon shopping? Only buying fresh fruits!

Not exactly…..

I do look at all the sales ads each week for the grocery stores that I shop and many weeks I don`t see anything I want or need to stock, but this week is a week I can actually use something that is on sale at a buy one get one free deal AND apply a coupon for that double savings AND I have coupons that are still good for another week!

What was the big need to stock up on while on sale? Dog food and Toilet paper, I will always till the day I die have to use toilet paper and lets face it the dogs are the kids and no one would starve a kid, now would ya?!

So the deal on the dog food is Purina Dog chow at $5.69 each on sale buy one get one free, per four and one half pounds.I bought four bags and I used one $1.00 manufacturer coupon for each, making the deal $1.85 each. So I paid around $7.38 for all four bags and that`s eighteen pounds.

The toilet paper was quilted Northern $4.99 each on sale buy one get one free.I bought four packages of nine double rolls and I used one .55 manufacturer coupon for each,making the deal $1.95 each. So I paid around $7.78 for four nine packs or thirty six rolls of toilet paper, that averages out to around.22 per roll.

Total before sale and coupons was $44.82

I paid : $15.16
Taxes : $2.14
Total : $17.30

Not to bad, better than full price and it was something that I was nearly out of 🙂

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry

Save More Money – Five Ideas On Food

There are little things that people can do that will save money on their grocery bills, With or without using coupons.

1. Shop weekly instead of monthly. This was a hard thing for me to learn how to do since I get most of my monthly money the first week of each month. I must give credit to learning how to use coupons to this new way of shopping.

When you shop once a month you are missing the dirt cheap sales all through the month. You get one sale and that is it and the foods that is on sale may not be what you and your family eats the most.

Be sure to check out your favorite store to shop online, they usually have the new sale ad posted. Make a list and know what you are going to spend and stick to your list! that way you will not over spend and have to put things back.

2. Buy some foods in bulk. If you can buy a ten pound package of Chicken legs for just pennies per pound, this is where you can really save money and feed your family.

All you have to do is remove the chicken from the original packaging and separate the chicken into meals. Freeze in freezer bags. depending on the size of your family, you may have bought enough chicken to last a month of once a week chicken meals.

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But don`t stop there, if you remove the chicken and the skin from the bones do not discard the bones and skin. Put the bones and skin into a large pot and cover with water, bring to boil then reduce the heat and let this boil softly for a couple hours. The result is fresh made chicken broth you can use for many meal to come or if you boil the chicken and have broth left over save this broth also. I store mine in the freezer in Old plastic mayo jars till I get enough to pressure can in the canner.

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3. Rice and noodles. These are other items that store well and last for months and months. you can just about always find both or one or the other on sale and if you apply a manufacturer coupon you may just get them free. I tend to take them out of the packaging and store them in air tight glass containers or large plastic containers with well fitted lids.

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4. Produce. This is another reason to shop weekly. You can afford to buy fresh produce by choosing the weekly sale. While bananas may be just .59 per pound, some weeks they are just.25 per pound. Most produce can be frozen for later use, especially fruit. Bananas can be frozen, after being peeled and placed into a freezer bag, and used for smoothies, made into ice cream or dipped into chocolate and ate frozen.

5. Bread. We have bread store`s here in Alabama. They carry fresh bread and bread that will expire soon, both are sold at a cheaper price, and they have a super sale table where its even cheaper than the already cheaper prices. This is when to buy in bulk and freeze. I just stack it in the freezer and when I need bread lay it out on the counter and let it thaw. Since there is just two of us and I really am not allowed to eat bread I will pull out only enough per meal so not to waste.

By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry

Stockpile Sunday

February 14,2016

2016 Resolution number one – Stop shopping and use stockpile.

I did not stockpile shop last week at all. I bought twenty dollars worth fresh produce at Aldi`s and that was it.

I would like to say that there is a thing that most know as shopping addiction. I am not really addicted to shopping but I am addicted to shopping with coupons and getting things free or dirt cheap.

Over the years I have built a nice but small stockpile of just about anything a person can use to run a household. From body and hair products to cleaners and can goods.

I am down to four cans of tomatoes, I have not bought any canned tomatoes in three years. I am not sure of I will stock as many as I did before but most were free or no more than fifteen cents a can, all name brands too. Maybe I will grow and can my own this year.

I am sure I would have a three to four month supply of food if I did not leave this house or buy anything.

My problem is, I want to stop shopping altogether, with or without coupons and live on what I can grow and can myself.

Now this presents another problem, Sunday newspaper. I am used to buying several each week just for the coupons. I know I have to have dog food and toilet paper so do I go pay full price or buy those newspapers for the coupons and the opportunity to get it half price or less and stock it? But be tempted to buy more because I can get it for pennies with coupons.

The battle is one. On one shoulder sits the little red devil and on the other sits the little white angel. Who or what do I pick?

Will this stockpile Sunday cease to exist?

By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry