Have you all heard the latest craze of extreme couponing? It seems it is popping up everywhere, including reality tv shows. I have yet to see one of these shows myself, but I have heard all about them and how people can purchase thousands of dollars worth of groceries for something as crazy as $20.00. Seriously?! The catch…these people have mini grocery stores in their homes. Why? Why would anyone need to stock pile that much food?
On the other hand, I could see how saving a few bucks on groceries on a regular basis would be helpful. So I signed up for one website (a FREE one).. Faithful Provisions… and with the guidance of a couponing friend (though NOT extreme), I started cutting coupons and trying to see where I too could get some items here and there for free. I made my first attempt two weekends ago.
Mistake number #1 – taking the entire family. I was happy to find that I saved $40 on my shopping trip, but I also spent $140 more than I would have if I didn’t have my husband (the Professional Chef) and two kids with me! While my husband loaded us up on gourmet items that I didn’t have any coupons at all for, my kids managed to keep pointing things we needed that I am not so sure we really did need.
My regular one hour shopping trip ended up taking four hours. Why, you ask? Well, part of couponing to get the best deals requires you to travel to more than one store for the best deals. Of course my husband did point out the irony of spending more money for gas to travel between stores may be counterproductive to saving on a $1.00 box of macaroni and cheese. He has a point. With gas prices going up and up, I certainly don’t want to spend a fortune driving around more than necessary.
The whole process was a little overwhelming to the point where I didn’t even bother looking at coupons for the past week and skipped grocery shopping altogether this weekend. It just seems like an awful lot of work to save a few bucks. I know the people on these shows are saving thousands of dollars, but for what…to store food that they could be donating to the local food banks or charities? If you have that much motivation to go to the extreme, good for you, but share the wealth!
I may give it another try next weekend. We’ll see.