Extreme couponing-I used to do it and my niece and nephews still talk about the time I bought a cart of groceries for $1. It used to give me such a high and my coupon stacks were free from my local Starbucks on Sunday mornings.
Now that my diet is so restricted to meat almond butter, and eggs, I don’t find many coupons that I can use. Also, nearing age 50, I refuse to use scratchy toilet paper (only Charmin mega ultra soft for me). And no any other dishwasher detergent works better than Cascade.
Is it worth it for families to do extreme couponing? I watched a few TLC episodes to get an idea.
Most get 10 Sunday newspapers. That’s $15.00 and a lot of recycling.
And they spend about 25 hours preparing and shopping. If the average adult makes $31,000/year, that’s about $11.00/hr. Extreme couponing costs these folks about $275+ $15 in coups ($290) when they spend about $700 on groceries. One had at least 6 freezers. Hello? Shelf life? Is it worth it?
And what about the hoarding of items? With a limited shelf life on many things (i can tell you deodorant only lasts about 2 years really). Couldn’t most of it be donated to a local pantry or shelter and itemized on taxes or sold on ebay for lighter items or craigslist for heavier ones?
Let’s see what the TLC’ers bought (mostly govt. subsided grain-based processed foods, fructose-laden drinks and cleaning and hygiene products).
*yogurt (sugar v high)
*iced tea(likely sweetened)
*peanut butter (this is a bean, not a nut. Adictive chems in here) *frozen dinners-mostly these are pasta or rice
*vitamin water (soy, corn, sucrose)
*powdered drink mix
*fruit juice-this is pear juice and fructose
*gum-you look like a cow chewing it
*baby soap-usually full of fragrance and foaming agent
*potato chips-usu has soy
*cheap pet food-made from chicken feathers called “crude protein” *hot dogs & lunch meat
(not for those with insulin or leptin resistance-30% of people) *applesauce
*frozen meat (soy, sugar or other nasties)
*mayonaise (corn, soy)
*milk-full of sugar
*deodorant-3 yr shelf
*toothpaste-expires , is unable to clean and then is rendered useless. *laundry supplies
*toilet paper-This is usually the scratchy ‘Northern’ brand. *tissues
*meat stock broth
At least one family experienced a job loss and the stockpile was a lifeline. Another had hungry teen boys to feed. I get that.
What happens when the people do it just for the high? There are a couple of things they could do to free up garage space and save on taxes.
1. Donate to charities. You can claim the fair market (retail) price for items. You save on taxes, forgo the expiry dates AND help those in need. You can claim up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. At $31,000 per adult, isn’t that like $10,000! Hello! (I would really love to test this).
In retirement, I may do this-just items needed by local charities.
2. In addition, ebay is a super place to SELL coupons. People like me are looking for specific items and will pay for you time to clip and send them 🙂
So there you have it;
1. the “food” is crap, really but may sustain food insecure families (I have been there a few times and you do what you have to for calories) 2. there are $ making opportunities here
*donate items you don’t need in the next 2 years and take the retail tax deduction 3. sell coupons on ebay! I will buy them!
4. sell items on craigslist
Something else new I learned: “catalina coupons”-those that print out after the sale-means that next week, that item will go on sale.