There’s been a lot of buzz in the media lately about “extreme couponing,” and all of these shoppers who are walking out of the store with baskets full of groceries and dry goods with receipts a mile long totaling $0.00. We don’t have TV, so I haven’t been privy to the secrets of these super shoppers. But I do have grocery receipts a mile long with far larger totals at the bottom.
In my mind, I think the fiscally responsible thing to do would be to sit down with a newspaper and a pair of scissors and get to work. But then I think … who has the time to do that? Is it really cost-effective to spend hours of my time clipping coupons when I can just run to the store and buy what’s already on sale anyway?
Well … my cousin’s family visited for dinner last night, and it turns out that his wife is Queen Coupon. I mean … she has this coupon clipping thing down to a science–by which I mean she clips her coupons with an industrial strength paper slicer and has a fully-stocked fallout shelter in her basement which might feed our entire island for the good part of a decade should we finally get the “big earthquake” we’ve been promised for the past several decades.
As you can imagine, I had a number of questions for her all based around my premise that I dislike grocery shopping only slightly less than I dislike doing the laundry. So, I really needed to be convinced. That’s when she tells me she spends less than $200 per month on groceries and household goods … to feed her family of six. (Including a new-born baby’s diapers and formula … and we all know how much that “stuff” costs.) I’m not even going to tell you what a *small* fraction that is of my monthly grocery bill. For a family of four. Because I can’t calculate a fraction that small.
After I picked myself back up off the floor, I had a few more questions. I mean … this couponing thing is all good in theory, but tell me about the quality of the products. I’m not going to fill my kids full of high-fructose corn syrup, pesticides, and dyes. Frankly, I have no use for 10 boxes of fruity-puffy-glow-in-the-dark-sugar-Os. Even if they were only 33 cents a box. Will I be able to find good deals on organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and hormone-free meats and dairy products? She says I can … I just might have to look harder.
You may not know this about me, but I’m somewhat of a skeptic. Normally I would have simply poured another glass of wine and toasted her good work, calling it a day. But, if she can feed her family for that price, think about all of the things I could do with the rest of my grocery budget. Shoot. I could go to Disneyland. Every month.
Careful not to put the cart before the horse, I thought I’d check out some of my favorite brands online to see if I could find any coupons for the products I really prefer. Guess what I found!?!? Coupons! Check out some of these great products …
Here are a couple of sites to help you get started:
And then I discovered this gem … how one guy ate relatively healthy food for $1 (one dollar) a day for an entire month. He is my new hero.
Clearly, this means I’m going to have to give cooking another go. You see, it’s a multi-layered challenge … I’ll keep you posted …