Extreme Couponing

by Erika Torres

Eric and I have become a little bit obsessed with TLC’s Extreme Couponing. Eric wants to bring in a haul worth $1500, and only pay about $5. The problem with this is 1) I’m not that obsessed, and 2) where the heck would we store all that in our itty bitty love shack?

But, I decided to try and stretch our grocery budget this month. Normally, we spend about $300 a month on groceries alone (is that a lot? I don’t know). Then we usually spend about $100 on household items, such as toothpaste, shampoo, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc.

Well, this month, we’ve come in around $350, and this includes two trips to Target and a mini stockpile of toiletries that could easily last us two months. So basically, while we’ve spent about the same as we normally do, we’ve been able to stretch our dollar to get way more for our money. And for the first time in a looong time, we’ve actually been able to buy meat this month! As in pork chops, shrimp, chicken, and steak! Normally, we don’t buy meat often because it’s just so darn expensive, but by buying and stocking up when it’s on sale, we’ve been able to freeze meat to use for future dinners. I love all the food options we have now, and we don’t have to eat like paupers!

Here was a recent haul:

I spent $51.97 total (before taxes).
I saved $93.07 or 64%.

This is no where near Extreme Couponing, but I’m learning the ropes.
Here is the breakdown:

Jumbo Raw Shrimp
Regular Price: $25.98
Sale Price: $7.98
Coupon: -$2
PAID: $5.98

Bright Green Cleaning Products
Buy 2, Get 1 Free
Regular Price: $3 each
Coupon: -$2 off one
PAID: $4 for all three!

Regular Price: $13.98 ($3.99 for each Pretzel Chips, $5.98 for Hummus)
Coupon: Buy 2 Pretzel Chips, Get Tribe Hummus free!
PAID: $8 for all three

(2) 65-count Glad trash bags
Regular Price: $11.79 each
Store coupon: $4.99 each
Manufacturer’s Coupon: (2) -$1 each
PAID: $8 total ($4 each)

Sale: $2.99 each
Coupon: $1 off
PAID: $2.50 each

Eggs, Soup
(used 2 “free” coupons from store coupon booklet)

Salad Dressing, Sale Buy 1, Get 1 Free
Regular Price: $3.99 each
Sale Price: $3.99 for both
Coupon: -$1 off
PAID: $1.50 each

Dannon Yogurt
Regular Price: $2.50 each
Sale: $3.98 for both
Coupon: -$1 both
PAID: $1.50 each

Garnier Fructis Shampoo, Hair Styler
Regular Price: $4.99 and $4.29
Sale: $2.50 each
Coupon: -$1 each
PAID: $1.50 each

Soft Soap Body Wash
Regular Price: $5.69
Sale: $3
Coupon: -$1 off
PAID: $2

Axe Shower Gel
Regular Price: $5.99 each
Sale: $3.99 each
Coupon: Buy 1, Get 1 free
PAID: $2 each

So now you kinda get the idea. It’s combining the sales with the coupons, to get the most bang for your buck!

Are you pro or anti-coupon? Do you use coupons?
What’s your monthly grocery budget? For how many people?


nettanz April 29, 2011 - 9:27 am

i`m not that in to cupongs…more like special offer,half price,near expiry date and secondhand of course!

nashe April 28, 2011 - 8:24 am

I think couponing is great and i don’t get why some people have to be snobby about it! Why pay more if you can save some $$ with coupons?

(Wow, i didn’t know meat could be expensive. It’s pretty affordable here and I’d just shrivel up if there’s no meat for a day!)

LBC Teacher April 27, 2011 - 5:45 pm

I want to be a better couponer, but it overwhelms me. I am going to work on it though! I’m impressed with your stuff!

Heather April 26, 2011 - 11:42 am

Hey girl,
You’re doing great! Couponing just takes time to learn the ropes. If you want to stop by our blog, we blog a lot about frugal recipes, how to coupon, hot deals to stock up on and freebies. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have and I’ll be happy to help! Here’s one of my latest shopping trips where I saved $91.68!

Serendipity April 25, 2011 - 9:58 pm

I try to buy coupons but I just can’t seem to find ones for the products I purchase. I don’t think I’m looking hard enough. But, I am trying to buy things on sale. That counts, right? PS Where do you shop?

Teacher Girl April 25, 2011 - 4:08 pm

Wow girl! You are doing a great job. I always try and do coupons and they I end up forgetting them or I use them, but I don’t search for the sales so I don’t save as much as I could. I guess I am just not willing to put in the effort and I feel the way you do about putting all that stuff in a small space. I have no storage space left as it is! Still, I would love to be good a couponing. I could probably get to Europe on the money I could save.

Lindy Mint April 25, 2011 - 2:46 pm

Wow! 64% is quite good, considering you probably didn’t spend 20 hours per week on your coupon habit like those people do. I keep thinking one of these day’s I’ll get into couponing, but then I never do.

PS: Where do you get your coupons?

IntrigueMe April 25, 2011 - 2:14 pm

Wow, jackpot! Good on you guys! I never use coupons because when I finally find one that I like, I forget it at home while I’m grocery shopping and I honestly can’t be bothered to go back for it or to pick up what I need later. I usually budget about $400/month for groceries, gas, and bus tickets… so if I broke that down it would probably be about… $250 or a little more for groceries alone. I did notice looking at your prices though that groceries etc. seem to be a lot cheaper in the US as opposed to here in Canada.

jobo April 25, 2011 - 1:24 pm

I’m impressed! those are GOOD FINDS! The shrimp especially. I LOVE having shrimp on hand for cooking. I may need to start couponing 😉

A Super Girl April 25, 2011 - 1:20 pm

I’m so impressed! I’d be pro-couponing if it didn’t seem like so much work to find coupons…and if I felt like I could find coupons for things I actually eat. I get so excited when I get those store coupons at the check-out counter, only to look at them and realize I will never use them because the product isn’t something I’d normally buy.

I do at least try to buy the generic brand at the grocery store. Does that count? 🙂

Sonya April 25, 2011 - 12:43 pm

I’ve been trying the deals a lot more lately too. Sadly I feel like I’m spending more, but at the same time I’m also getting more. I’m going to have to figure out what my stopping point it because there are certain things we just don’t need a huge stockpile of! Plus I’m trying to declutter and that just brings more clutter!

Randa April 25, 2011 - 12:32 pm

My guy is the same way – we’ve been using coupons but every time he watches the show, he wants to be those people! Ummm, yeah. We live in a tiny apartment. Not going to happen. Great haul!

LatteLove April 25, 2011 - 12:17 pm

I love the idea of couponing, and do it when I can, but I usually find myself buying these we don’t use (or at least not before the food expires.
I find it more cost-effective for me to only buy what we need and only look through coupons after I have a firm list made so I don’t purchase something just because i can get a deal on it.

There’s a balance!

Andrea April 25, 2011 - 12:13 pm

Great haul! Since I live alone, my grocery budget is only about $25 a week. I also spluge on about $5 of organic produce at the farmers market every week.

I’ve been able to cut down my toiletry budget down to practically nothing by using coupons and ExtraCare Bucks at CVS. I haven’t paid more than ten cents for soap, body wash, tampons or toothpaste in the past two years. I can’t imagine paying full price for that stuff again.

The Coach's Wife April 25, 2011 - 12:00 pm

We are about the same.. we try to stay under $80 a week, and that includes toiletries!! So some weeks we are mostly spaghetti for dinner, and that is it! the only thing that saves us is that since my hubby is off coaching, he’s only home 1-2 nights a week, so I hardly ever make dinner. I’ll make something that will refridgerate well so we can have it for lunches, but if I had to make dinner 5-7 times a week our grocery bill would be a lot higher. You really scored on that shrimp! I’m impressed!!


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