My friend Eileen heard a new term recently that describes many of us in the midst of the coupon craze, and I absolutely loved it. Rather than calling ourselves “extreme couponers”, why not think of ourselves as “strategic couponers”? (Or maybe even strategic shoppers?)
I'm not all that much an extreme couponer myself – just this morning I overspent on a pack of Pillsbury crescent rolls because we needed them for dinner tonight, and my coupons weren't with me when I ran in to Kroger at 6:17 AM after exercising. (Eek!) I figure though that by saving with coupons at least 80% of the time, a little over-spending at the grocery store every once in awhile really. is. okay. (But it's hard for me even to remember some days!)
I do however want to shop strategically (so that I don't overspend on Crescent rolls . . . ughhh!) How about you? Do you consider yourself a pretty reasonably minded strategic couponer, or have you gone full out into extreme couponing? I'd love to hear what couponing looks like in your home, as I know many of us are on different ends of the coupon spectrum. I'd also love to know how frequently you shop with coupons . . . 10% of the time? 50%? or every single time you shop?
Happy strategic coupon shopping!
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Tammy :) says
I had to wonder if I’ve gone overboard on the couponing since we needed toilet paper and my husband to me it was okay to “splurge” on it since I didn’t have a coupon or a sale! 🙂
Mostly I’ve been happy if my coupons cover the price of tax. I’ve recently been doing the double coupon days at Foodland and it’s awesome. I went from 102 to 81 yesterday and that was only buying things that we will use. I don’t have the cabinet space to have a huge stockpile, and the only thing I’ve bought more than 3 of has been Capri-Sun! For me, I think of it as if I save money on some things, then I can afford the more expensive items like milk, good cuts of meat, and tons of fresh fruit!
We use coupons 80% of the time when we grocery shop and 100% of the time when we go out to eat. A lot of what we buy doesn’t have coupons often (milk, bread, cheese, eggs, etc) but I do price match, make a plan and go into the stores with a plan. We don’t walk out of the store only spending pennies, but just like you Laurie, if we save coupons on other things, we can afford to pay for a gallon of milk.
I’m lucky that my husband is supportive and actually likes to watch the total go down (just this weekend we went from $103.96 at Target to only $78.51). I don’t clear shelves and I do look for the best price.
But… I’ve heard people say that they only use a coupon if there’s a sale and I have to disagree with that. If that coupon is about to expire and I know I need to have spaghetti sauce, I’m happy to save some money with a coupon and no sale than save no money at all.
Definately strategic, but I think there may be a couple of “extremers” at the store I shop at. It never fails I will go to the store the afternoon the ad changes and shelves will be cleared. I use coupons when I go to the store about 80% of the time. Otherwise I am just looking for the best price. For example, when Kroger had Gatorade for .69 each a while back, I bought 50 even though I had no coupons (it was still a decent deal in my book). We drink a lot of Gatorade at the house and there was still tons to go around after I stocked up. I would say I generally save anywhere from 30% to 75% on a good day. Most of the time it’s around 50%.
Thanks so much for sharing guys! I’m right where you all are – while I’ve had a few simply amazing coupon trips, in general I’m pretty content to save 70-85% on my groceries – the very few times that I’ve hit that 99% have been fun, but they never include milk and bread, which my family needs!
Strategic couponer…I like that. That is a much better description of those of us that ethically coupon in my opinion. I use coupons pretty much every time I go to the store. While sometimes I save 80-90%, usually it is just around 50-75%. Just today at Publix I spent $79 for $216 worth of groceries. I strive to do things “by the book”. While there are many that go by the rule of “if it scans, it is OK to use it”, I have never believed in that. Just this past weekend, a dollar store in my area had a sign on the door stating that beginning September 2nd, they would only accept coupons for what is on the coupon. Not understanding what the sign meant (because I have never intentionally misused a coupon), I asked the cashier about the sign. She stated that they were “victims of extreme couponers”. She went on to say that there were ladies that would come in with stacks of P&G brandsaver coupons and use the Crest whitestrips coupons on Gain and dish detergent among other things. She stated that the corporate office had told them it was OK to accept them as long as they would scan. I was shocked that this store would knowingly allow this. I guess they must have gotten into some trouble for them to have posted the sign as they did. While I love to get great deals, it is things like this that make me self conscious when I walk in a store with my coupon briefcase/binder. I will gladly refer to myself as a “strategic couponer” from now on. Thanks
I, too, am a “strategic couponer”. I use coupons about 90% of the time and I save about 75% each time.
I like the term ‘strategic couponing.’ I think it describes very well the way I use coupons. I use coupons the majority of the time I go into the store; probably 90% or more of my trips I am using coupons. However, that is not to say that I have coupons for everything I buy, of course! I may have coupons for 2/3 of what I am buying, but that is just the things I’m buying that are on sale, bogo plus coupons usually, so I get the best price possible and have it on hand. However there are some things that just do not have coupons or that are just something that is a good price without a coupon, or just something special for my family!
I would definitely NOT say that I am a “Extreme Couponer”, although I wouldn’t mind leaving the store w/ hundreds of dollars of stuff for pennies. I dont go to the drug stores without my coupons UNLESS it is absolutely neccessary. I go to the store w/ my coupons once or twice a week & stock up on the things that are on sale, but I never get more than 6 of 1 item to make sure that there’s enough to go around for everyone. However, there are not always coupons out for the things we need when we buy groceries, but even though I don’t have a coupon, I always search for the best price to make sure I’m not wasting money.
I still think that couponing is going a lil crazy right now, but in my opinion its just a matter of time before people get frustrated w/ it & quite & hopefully things won’t be so crazy at the store!
I use coupons most of the time but I allow for times that I do not have coupons. I also teach couponing classes and tell all of my classes that Extreme Couponing is not a reality show- that stores “relax” their policies for the show. I do consider myself a stategic couponer and usually save between 60-70% when I shop. I also would love to walk out of the store with a cart full of groceries for 14 cents BUT only if it is groceries we will use in the near future. I do not need 80 bottles of mustard or 100 boxes of cat food! lol Now 100 gatorades would last about 3 weeks in my house. If anyone figures out how to get 100 of them for 14 cents just let me know! 😉
Colleen B. says
I definitely use coupons any chance I get. I hate having to buy something that I know I have a coupon at home for. So I wouldn’t say I’m an extreme couponer, and I don’t spend 40+ hours a week couponing. So I’m guessing strategic couponer is me.
That’s me. I’ve been known to run in the store without coupons (and mentally kicking myself at the same time). I use them about 90% of the time. My husband doesn’t understand it, the strategy, the stockpiling, the coupon binder I just bought that zips and has a handle and a shoulder strap, but he loves that I’ve cut our grocery bill in half.
I’d have to say I use coupons 80-90% of the time but I still don’t consider myself “extreme”. In general I save about 66% at the grocery stores and a little better at the drug stores but you’ll never see me walk out of the store with a cart full of groceries I paid 14 cents for. (Not that I wouldn’t LOVE to do that! LOL)