Sunday, May 01, 2011

"Extreme" couponing

Whatever the reason, be it the new show or finding blogs that make it easier than easy to shop using coupons, I have been caught up in clipping coupons and saving money for the past month or so.

Admittedly I rely on several blogs to match up coupons and store deals to determine what I am going to buy. I also limit the stores I will go to for these items to Target, Walmart, CVS, and Ralphs (Kroeger) - stores I go to anyway in any given week. I am suddenly thrilled to receive the random Target mailer with dozens of store coupons, as you can "stack" those coupons with manufacturers coupons from the newspaper and sale prices to get awesome deals. I am seeking items that are free or nearly free, or give a return of reward dollars (like at CVS). The items shown above probably cost about $10 total including tax. Some items were free with coupons, like the dental floss, and others were bought at CVS with reward dollars so that all I paid was tax (and received more dollars to use on my next transaction).

But, the real question is -- what am I doing with all this stuff?? The items that thus far have come up in the "extreme" category (i.e. free or nearly free) are not things we typically use. For hygiene products, we try to use organic or natural products. I am not brand loyal, per se, but I am a kind of a brand snob. When I see somebody on the Extreme Couponing show with shelf full of Kraft salad dressing, I cringe. There are coupons out there for the products we buy, and I am collecting those as well to use for my "real" shopping, but the stuff shown above is not intended for us.

Instead, I will be donating these items to my church, which in turn donates the items to food banks (I didn't encounter any extreme food deals this month - odd), and homeless shelters. In determining our own budget, donations were a little squidgy. It currently is part of our personal "discretionary" category, which essentially mean we have to be altruistic and donate money versus spending it on a latte. This way, I have one donation opportunity covered with little cost. In shopping for these items, I have fun, spend very little money (after a $9 investment at CVS, I have been able to keep buying items there that return reward dollars), get a bag full of stuff each month to donate to a worthy cause, and get that little thrill I suspect all the extreme couponers live for when the register clicks down to zero.


Recent favorite: So cute!

Working on: A wreath or two

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

This is the best couponing post I've read in awhile. GREAT idea. :)