Coupon Crazy

Saving a jaw-dropping amount

Oct 22, 2012 | WRITTEN BY CHRIS RUSSELL

There are two definitions of "saving money." You can sock it away, or you can never shell it out.

A great way to pull off the latter is with coupons. Some of us don't like to fool with clipping them or downloading them from deal websites, but they add up quickly–and they add up big. If you ask a couponing friend how much they save on their average grocery bill, they'll probably respond with 20% or 30%.

Or, in the case of Delaware's Rodney Osborne, quite a bit more.

Osborne is an extreme couponer, a trait he learned when struggling with money during the recession. He got so good at couponing that he now employs his talents to purchase food at a steep discount–and then give the food to local charities. Recently, he was able to donate $500 worth of merchandise for 50 bucks.

"I am hoping to kill two birds with one stone: Donate to charity and teach those in need how to get more bang for their buck," says Osborne.

Couponing, buying used and other ways to save money don't get the play that earning money gets, but they are just as effective. When you earn money, that's new money coming in. Saving simply means your old money doesn't go anywhere. But the difference in your budget, whether you earned $100 or never shoveled it out to begin with, is just as large. So try couponing wherever you can.

Here is another little-known fact about clipping coupons: It gets you thinking. Some people are so savvy and enjoy the cost-cutting process so much that they'll start to look for other ways to get a lot for less. It gets them in that overall mindset, which can stretch your monthly budget dollars to absurd amounts.

The next chance you get, sit down and determine what ways you can make your money go further. If no one is in the house during the day because of jobs or school, then shut off the heat. Who cares if the house is cold at 2:30 if no one gets home until a quarter after five?

That's just one example. Figure out how your household works and take advantage of the money-saving opportunities where you can. Trust us, they are out there.

Source: This Week (Delaware)

Reader Comments (18)

I struggle with couponing. It's fun, it's a hobby I enjoy and it really does save $$$. What I struggle with is time. Thanks for the article & reminder! Time to change another habit!
Member at 9:21 AM, October 22 2012
The content of this message is KV approved. Check out the Frugal Living forums for more practical wisdom and support.
Member at 9:33 AM, October 22 2012
Couponing doesn't do us much good since we don't eat processed foods and some family members have food allergies. And I don't really want to support crappy processed food by buying it for others (it's not good for them anyway).
Member at 9:37 AM, October 22 2012
I avoid processed food and I still save big using coupons. CVS is one of my favorite stores Today I bought Skim Milk Paper supplies(toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels-bulk supply) , Oil of Olay, free greeting cards, coffee,and chewing gum. Over $131 in retail. Spend $47.00. Will get $15.00 rebate from Proctor and Gamble and an additional $5.00 from CVS beauty Club. Total cost after coupons, rebates, sales and CVS extra care bucks $27.00 My grocery store has double coupons. I save on whole grain bread 100% cranberry Juice, whole wheat bread yogurt,Morningstar farms products, spices and veges. I stay away from processed foods and snacks. Couponing can save you a ton of money if you plan ahead, buy what is on sale and have a supply of pantry staples to avoid making unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
Member at 3:02 PM, October 22 2012
coreyandsara, You have it all wrong. Our family only eats Organic non-processed foods and we are also 100% gluten free and 100% dairy free. We save between $100 to $400 a month in groceries. Is it harder than conventional food? YES. But it is not impossible. Our food budget is $100 a week. In the last month Whole Foods (double coupons) has paid us to take 3 cases of chicken broth, green beans at $0.50 a can, and $0.13 a box of soy milk. We have had some great deals at Sprouts and Natural Grocers too. Even King Soopers (Kroger brand) has had some awesome deals with coupons (they double coupons up to a total of $1). Last month we donated over 100 cans of Muir Glenn Organic Tomatos (the big ones) to a food pantry and we did not pay a dime for the cans. Go out there and get those coupons!
Member at 3:13 PM, October 22 2012
Does Whole foods really double coupons?
Member at 4:04 PM, October 22 2012
Albertsons doubles manufacture coupons up to $1. You can also use store coupons with manufacture coupons. If you are consistent, it will add up.
Member at 8:36 PM, October 22 2012
Thx for the comments peeps. Im motivated now!!
Member at 8:40 PM, October 22 2012
I to stay away from processed foods. By watching sales and matching coupons, it is not unusual for me to save 40 - 50%. And that is without double coupons because no one does that here.
Member at 9:02 AM, October 23 2012
Yes that has been my problem as previous posters, most coupons are for food I don't eat or buy for my family. BUT I do think it is very noble for guy in article to buy and donate. People who are hungry and need a meal could care less if it is processed.
Member at 9:14 AM, October 23 2012
People assume there are no coupons for organic and healthy food and health & beauty but they are WRONG. Try sites like Common Kindness and Recyclebank and GlutenFreeCouponing.com. Also, there are loads of great coupon bloggers that teach you HOW to use your coupons most effectively. Things such as the order you give your coupons to the cashier can make a BIG difference in the final price of your order.
Member at 10:20 AM, October 23 2012
I used to use coupons, but living in a very rural area makes it very hard. The gas it takes me to get to a major city,offset the savings I was getting. Now I order online.
Member at 7:54 PM, October 23 2012
I agree with MissRitz. I have two stores a walmart and an HEB. No doubling and limited choices. One hour from nearest large city. I do use coupons but cannot do extreme couponing. Every little bit helps though.
Member at 9:57 AM, October 24 2012
HorseCRNA, my Walmart doubles coupons up to $1 on Tues. Have you checked to see if yours does as well?
Member at 5:55 PM, October 24 2012
Whole foods does not "double coupons" but they take 1 manufacture and 1 of their own coupons for the same product.
Member at 6:57 PM, October 24 2012
ORRRRR you can not give in to the liberal/socialist pressure and enjoy everything in moderation and use coupons to do it! Big Mac here I come!!!
Member at 10:11 PM, October 24 2012
typical tea party member above ^^ Doesn't know how to spell can not = cannot!
Member at 8:36 AM, October 30 2012
In Nor. Cal., there is no double coupons. I use Whole Foods along with Mambo Sprouts for a lot of organic coupon savings and luckily we have the 'Fresh & Easy' British chain. It doesn't take coupons other than their own but the savings really adds up. Plus they have a great volume of organics.
Member at 9:57 PM, October 30 2012

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