Hard Times

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, May 3, 2011.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    husband only has 20 wks left of his unemployment benefits.........well, evidently unless ohio's unemployment rate goes up yet again..... Money has been sooooo tight for sooooo long. Now gas prices are downright OMG are you kidding???? Food prices going up again.

    So Yeah. That money only goes so far.

    I'm the person who rarely, if ever remembers to take a clipped coupon to the store. IF I take it to the store I usually forget to give it to the cashier. lol And these days I have all I can do at times to give the cashier the right amount of cash......

    BUT. We've got to do something. Aldi's is great, but it's also 20 miles from us. While before that wasn't such a big deal.........their food prices are going up too and gas is ridiculous.

    Been watching extreme couponers. Got easy child to watch it. Nichole can't as she doesn't have cable. But she's caught one or two shows online. While I don't think I really want 1000 boxes of toothpaste stacked in a room.........I DO need to be able to start buying things as cheaply as possible. And if that means 1000 boxes of toothpaste in a room, then I'll make the space and donate it if I have to.

    easy child is HOOKED. She's got her binder full of coupons. She's already gotten some make you faint deals. When we go shopping on thurs she's got coupons that will make a store actually pay her to take razors and bottled water off their hands. Store credit that will go to her next purchase, which the way she's going will go about the same way. easy child has an unfinished enormous room in her basement that sister in law is in the process of turning into a storage room. She's so organized you'd think she's been at it for years already.

    Nichole is trying. She has space issues being in an apartment. So she won't be able to do much in volume but every little bit helps. She's cutting coupons and getting freebies offline too.

    Me? I'm the woman who stinks at numbers. I'm downloading coupons, cutting them out of the paper........But told easy child I think we'll have to shop together or else I can see myself standing in the middle of the store with a blank DUH look on my face. This is a lot to remember number wise.

    I'm hoping this odd talent I've had since early childhood kicks in and takes over. If I have a certain amount of money to spend.........I can fill my cart right up to the last penny in sales tax without ever thinking about it or adding anything up. Drives husband insane. He's been trying to figure out HOW I do it for years. Fascinates cashiers who know me. This is all subconscious, there is no real thought process going on that I'm aware of anymore I've done it for so long. If I could get that way with the couponing.....or somehow combine the two, I'd be in great shape. I'm still surprised with my issue with numbers due to the brain injury that this wasn't affected too......but grateful it wasn't.

    So, I've already got my huge collection of coupons. Step if you need diaper coupons, you'll be good to go. lol I think between the 3 of us......diapers are just not going to be an issue for a long while.

    easy child is coming over tomorrow........for a coupon session. I put back coupons for katie, easy child, and Nichole that they use and I don't. They do the same. Then we swap. easy child is also going to make our game plan for the shopping trip on thursday. Thursday I'll probably do far more smiling and nodding than actually understanding. lol But I'm gonna try. Tomorrow I should get kitty litter for .89 cents!

    Many of the sites we go to for the coupons also list the instore deals so you can get the most savings out of them. Very nice. Thanks to this.......my doggies and Bruce will be eating high on the hog for quite some time. Rowdy won't switch dog food, darn it, but paying full price for his won't be bad at all if I get good deals for the others.

    I said I doubted I'd ever try this.........but our budget is demanding that something be done. :sigh:

    I got so many freebies coming in the mail...........I can't remember them all. lol

    Anyone else giving this a shot? I watch those women on tv getting 1800.00 worth of stuff for like 100.00 and I'm so like........now if I could do that, I could afford to paint my house this summer. lol wow!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I need help with this. I can't find coupons for the stuff I buy - or I do, and it turns out the generic is cheaper than the brand name WITH the coupon.

    So I gave up.

    HEY... Maybe sometime, you and Nichole and easy child can come to my house and show me how!!!

    My Grandma did this. She was great - we got all kinds of "freebies", some of which I still have - like the Del Monte fruit & veggie stuffed animals and Christmas ornaments... Country Yumkins, they were called. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Country_Yumkins

    And all kinds of other stuff... Grandma had a room FULL of coupons.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Step try couponmom that one is good. Even has tutorials. Krazycouponlady is also great.

    Tip: don't be afraid to download and activate their coupon downloaders. This is what activates the coupon codes and is necessary for printed coupons. I was for a while...........and yeah, so couldn't print any coupons offline. lol AND make sure to sign up for all drug stores, krogers, kmart, dollar store, ect discount cards. They really help a ton.

    I'm sure we can get together and have a couponing sesson.......just need to catch a weekend easy child is off again.

    I'm still a "coupon virgin". lol I've got some store discount cards to get still and thursday will be my first time trying this. Dollar General has a discount card.......stumbled across that online yesterday......never dreamed they would. lol
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh.............and another tip.................you can print coupons multiple times! It will tell you when you've reached your limit. :bigsmile:
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I'm an mid-extreme couponer - there are MAJOR rules you have to follow or you will get SKREWED royally. This is why I am a mid-extreme couponer.

    Things you do not know about extreme couponers - First off their secrets are VERY guarded

    The food coupons go in cycles as well as the ads - when all the secrets get out and you learn the system? The food chains change the cycles. NO KIDDING.


    You will have 30 bags of PASTA and 10 jars of sauce for 3 months time - the stuff goes in cycles. SO BUY ACCORDINGLY AND COUPON ACCORDINGLY - WHEN DF SAW ME come home for the first time with 30 bags of noodles he flipped - but they didn't go on sale again or coupons come out again - FOR FOUR MONTHS - and guess what? THEN the coupons came back out and the noodles were on sale again - and by then? ALL .16 cent a bag noodles were GONE - well 15 of them were .16 cents and the other 16 were FREE. yeah - so THEY have to keep their nose out of it - and YOU have to find a place to stash 30 bags of noodles. NOT EASY .......AND THEN you have to worry about MICE...What's lost to pests wasn't a deal anyway. I have stuff in tupperware tubs. I also call out SWAPS...I have this what do you have. Worked okay until people brough outdated junk for my good stuff. No more of that.

    They have up to 4 and 5 printers in their homes, they know how to use printers at work, have their friends use their printers use coupon trains and go to coupon train meetings at libraries. Most will buy coupons on line too - (didn't know that did you - you can buy coupons on amazon, ebay) and for .10 a coupon for a .75 off coupon - you still make money. (yes I know you are welcome lol) Find a reputable place, but KNOW your ads ahead of time our you can buy coupons that will be out of date, not match your ads. You can find places on line that will PRE-Advertise your ads so you can know whats coming up and match ads to coupons. Also there are places on line that will pre -advertise coupons.

    Binders take a lot of extra time to clip to right size and I've done it - I have one - it's a waste of my time - I use a shoe box. I also have 3 boxes -
    box 1 - stuff I use for food
    box 2 -stuff I use for non-food
    box 3 - coupons I probably don't use but MAY use coming up for fillers or FREEBIES - on 'deals"
    envelope - give away coupons - stuff I absolutely positively know I will never use and even if there was a freebie deal? I wouldn't do the deal just to get the get.

    I also have a box in my pantry of things that I get as freebies to get freebies I can use - and those freebies go to the Harvest hope food bank.

    BUY yourself a subscription to - ALL YOU magazine from WALMART - BEST COUPON MAG EVER - DO NOT BUY IT ON THE NEWS STAND - althouh the newstand one has coupons sometimes the mail one does not.

    www .cellfire .com = coupons right on your cards to stores.

    ww.redplum.com printable coupons

    U Promise - Sign up and save money towards a college fund for your grands


    www. fastfixin .com

    another good one - commonsensewithmoney

    proctor and gambel
    manwich (always wants you to play games lame, but worth it)

    You can do a google search for nealry any product - go to that web site and check for "OFFERS"

    the big thing now - is FB and LIKE

    the 3 above ? Printable - AND you can print in different zip codes but once you reach your print limit that's it. THAT IS IT - so be sure when you print it you are going to use it.

    YDF - your daily freebie - GREAT source to check every day for FREE magazines - I get 20 magazines a month sent to my "business" at home - that are freebies. Most have coupons in them.

    I also sign up for EVERY SINGLE company food website there is for their EMAIL coupons - and check that daily - on average I get about 200 emails a day offering freebies coupons.

    ww.vocalpoint.com - THIS IS A GREAT place to get freebies, coupons - houseparties.

    Best thing to do ?

    Get a note book - and in ALPHABETICAL ORDER - make a list of all your websites, user names passwords - info etc - *you will thank me later for this - (get some tabs and do the a-z thing)

    Make ONE separate EMAIL address JUST FOR your COUPONS, FREEBIES etc.

    WALMART gives out freebies too -



  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    O.M.G. ... Who has the TIME?!

    OK maybe I do - but wow...
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yes.........I've discovered FB and the like button. I'm slow, took me a bit to "get" how that one works. lol

    I'm also signing up for product newsletters to get their freebies/coupons via email. Also thinking about coming up with a separate email for this project..........as between the normal emails I get and this? It's getting sort of out of hand.

    I'll check out those other sites too. Thanks a ton.

    I don't think I'll ever be "extreme"........I'll settle for moderate and staying within our budget. Don't mind the 30 bags of noodles sort of thing. I have the space, and cleaning out the family room is giving me more space. I've got tons of shelves on the stage for such things. lol And this seems to be giving husband motivation to throw things away.

    Just plain using coupons will help. I plan to use only coupons for stuff I normally buy too. None of that.........ohhhh it's cheap, lemme buy it and never use it junk for me. I'm currently trying to break easy child of this as it's not usually a good idea. You wind up wasting money that could be put to good use elsewhere.

    I'm currently doing "shoe box" method..............easy child is binder. I may have to do binder because if I can't SEE them, I forget I have them and they won't get used.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I do it when I'm surfing the net........hanging out here or on fb. I'm doing it NOW. Printer is busy, have like 5 windows open. :rofl:
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    A good tip is to use the "checklist" option on many of the coupon sites. Since the sites match up the sale items to the coupons, it makes it easy. Just "check" what you want to buy and print out a shopping list with the sale items and the coupons matches.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm already overwhelmed.

    See - my play on the net time is mostly during the day and I can't get to most of those sites from here.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Apparently I need more help than I thought.

    I managed to access a couple of sites (couponmom, cellfire) and went through about 25 pages of coupons.

    I found two I might use. If I have the $$ for Toaster Strudel in the first place. I'd save about $1.25 total.

    I guess I just don't understand - how to do this. To me, 20 minutes of searching for a total of $1.25 is pointless and frustrating. This is one of the reasons I rarely bother with the coupons in the paper - because I rarely find anything I will use.

    I almost never buy anything brand name anyway - it's frequently store brand, or the extreme value brand that maybe is odd-sized or imperfect. (Like the difference between Dole and Kroger brand - packaged at the same place, but the beans in the Kroger can might be too small, or cut wrong.)
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Yup. I'm a generic person myself..........hence why I shop at aldi's. So this name brand stuff is new to me too. I told easy child as long as I can get the name brand for as cheap/cheaper than the generic or store brands, I'm good. Otherwise.....store/gerneric for me. That kitty litter I'm getting for 89 cents is not my normal brand......I dont' care for it much. But for 89 cents I can certainly live with it and use it. It's when it cost as much as my normal brand and husband brings it home that I get major ticked. I have to scoop that one almost constantly to keep the smell down. I can't tolerate litter box odor, makes me gag. It's why Bruce is the last inside cat I'll ever have. Now watch him live until he's like 30. lol

    You might be able to make more sense of it if you read some of the tutorials on it. I think couponmom had some good tutorials ect.
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I guess what I am going to have to do is, for a while, write down what I buy. And what I pay for it, so I know what a good deal is and where.

    As for 89-cent cat litter? I usually get petsmart brand, unscented because the kitties won't use the perfumey stuff, use my pet perks card and sister in law's employee #. So... 40# for like $8. I actually don't mind the non-scoopable kind (which is too scoopable, and cheaper!), but the kids make a MESS with it when they scoop. And then they sweep the mess under the box, so I don't notice till the box starts getting a little too high for the cats to get into... They used to sweep it under the carpet, till I removed the carpet a few weeks ago and about blew my top. (If you're gonna sweep it... Sweep it UP.) I'd love to pay 89 cents for cat litter.
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    No, no, no, no....

    See the real trick to couponing is not caring what you buy (per se).

    Let me share my method:

    Every week I make a shopping list:

    Lunch Meat
    Baking (items like butter, cooking oil, flour etc)

    Now, as long as I get items that fit the category....it makes no difference what exactly the item is.

    And that's where your matches come in.

    SOME kind of cereal will be on sale. Usually Kelloggs or General Mills. So....check the ad...print your coupon...and that's the cereal you buy this week. Buy two.

    SOME kind of cheese will be on sale. Usually Kraft. Sometimes Sargento. So...check the ad...print your coupon...and that's the cheese you buy this week. Buy two.

    SOME kind of meat will be on sale. Check the ad...(print the coupon if there is one on meat...usually not)...and that's the meat you eat this week. Buy some to eat now, some to freeze for later.

    etc etc etc

    Yes - it will make for a strange assortment of items in your pantry at first....but eventually, you'll be stocked on all kinds of things (and they will all be name-brand, high-quality items).

    If you are determined to get a specific cereal (Special K), or a specific kind of juice (cranberry), or a specific whatever...it's going to blow your savings. It's very hard to shop if you are determined that you have to have a specific kind of thing - and you will usually end up having to buy the generic or pay more for the brand name not on sale.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My issue is that most of these people on extreme couponers have access to stores that double or triple coupons. I dont. There are no stores within a 50 mile radius of me that even double coupons. Now I try to at least use what coupons I can and I have all the store cards but buying 30 bags of pasta isnt a great deal when I cant double coupon. It would be a great deal if I had those 50 cent off a box when they were 5 boxes for 5 dollars and the coupons were doubled!
  16. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I agree about the store ads. My local supermarket does not take internet coupons. Their ad is on-line and I see which cereal is half price, than that's what we buy. Also the coupons in the paper, a lot of the time, coincide with the sales in the store, making it even better. I plan my meals for the week based on what's on sale that week.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    That's basically the "gist" of it...

    It does stink if your store won't double a coupon or take the printables.

    (My particular beef is a certain grocery store chain who puts printable coupons on their website, but then only lets you use two (total) printed coupons for your whole shopping trip. Why put them on the website if you don't want your customers to use them???)
  18. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    DF... Yeah... My shopping lists look like this (like you suggested):

    Fresh veggies and fruit
    Meat (occasionally it will say ground beef)

    I buy Ramen about once in a blue moon, and then only when it's like 6 cents a package. It's horribly unhealthy and I get tired of picking the dried noodles out of my sofa. And if I buy some for Jett, we have to hide it because Onyxx steals it... And so on.

    Everything else? Is what's cheapest. I don't write Ramen on the list, that's the kids.
  19. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Oh, yeah.

    I buy the generic BAGS of cereal for the kids. About 2x what's in a box, for less than the box costs. I have NEVER seen them on sale.
  20. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    That's a hard list to find great deals for, too...

    Categories like fresh veggies, meat, milk and eggs usually don't have coupons.

    You should be able to get a steal on shampoo and soap at the drugstores, though.