Jaw Dropping Savings

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jaw Dropping Savings

Did any of you watch Extreme Couponing on TLC last night?  I couldn't take my eyes off of the show.  Even between commericals my husband and I were talking about it.  I think my jaw was on the floor the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME.  Don't get me wrong, these people stock pile and have enough toilet paper and laundry detergent to last them about two years, but they were getting hundreds of dollars worth of products and leaving the store paying pennies for it.  I just could not believe it.
So here's the run down:
Nathan - started clipping coupons four years ago when he and his wife took a closer look at their finances. Now, debt free with more than 10,000 items stockpiled in his garage, Nathan is preparing for the biggest haul of his life. On his latest visit to the supermarket, Nathan is leaving with over 2,000 items - his most massive checkout to date. With 1,100 boxes of cereal, 300 toothbrushes and 60 bottles of hand soap, Nathan is looking forward to topping himself and saving thousands of dollars in the process!
Retail value: $5,743.00 Nathan's cost after utilizing his coupons: $241.00 - 95% savings!
Can you freaking believe that?!!?  $241 for close to $6k worth of stuff.  I know exactly what you are thinking, what the hell is this dude gona do with 1,100 boxes of cereal.  Well, he is donating it to his church (after he makes a pyramid out of it in his front yard, lol). 
Joanie - clipping coupons started out as a hobby three years ago. But just three months in, she quickly discovered the financial gratitude associated with smart shopping. Now, Joanie is known as "The Krazy Coupon Lady" and to satisfy her daily coupon cravings this stay-at-home mom collects more than 500 coupons each week by doing something most women won't do - she jumps in dumpsters! During her latest trip to the supermarket, she fills four carts full of 250 items including 40 boxes of pasta and 20 liters of soda.
Retail value: $638.64. Joanie's cost after utilizing her coupons: $2.64 - 98% savings!
$2?!!?  Two freaking dollars.  Dude, I am HOOKED on this show.

Joyce - through careful planning and smart shopping, Joyce hasn't paid for a toothbrush, toothpaste or deodorant in 34 years. The savvy saver has been on her own since the age of 12 and at 15, was a single mother using coupons out of necessity. On her latest trip to the supermarket, Joyce brings along her daughter to teach her the basics of extreme couponing and ends up walking out of the store with hundreds of dollars in savings.
Retail value: $230.38. Joyce's cost after utilizing her coupons: $6.32.
Yep, again, pennies she paid.  This lady has her neighbors and even her hair stylist keep their coupons for her.  And careful, if you don't pick up your newspaper on your front stoop by noon, it's fair game for her to just walk right on up and help herself.

Amanda - spends up to 70 hours a week researching in-store promotions, clipping coupons and surfing the internet for the latest and greatest deals. She already has a stockpile of products from previous couponing ventures worth up to $15,000. But this extreme saver is most proud of her collection of toilet paper - over 3,000 rolls - enough to last the average couple about 40 years! Now, with the help of her husband, Amanda is preparing for her largest checkout ever consisting of nine baskets of food, beauty and pet products including 218 boxes of pasta, 268 containers of noodles, 100 bottles of sport drink and 150 candy bars.
Retail value: $1,175.33. Amanda's cost after utilizing her coupons: $51.67.
No joke, this lady bought 100 bottles of Gatorade.  I mean I could totally see this if she ran the concession stand at the ball diamonds, but come on. This lady had quite the adventure though, her cashier rang up her groceries and then began running her coupons.  Then BAM the register shut down.  Dude, that would be horrible.  This lady was pretty close to being on the verge of tears (I think I would have been too!)  So they divided it all up, and two and a half hours of being in the check out lane later, she left the store.  Could you imagine?!!?

Now don't get me wrong, these people have some pretty awesome savings, but no way in hell would I walk through the stores with four shopping carts!  That is just crazy!  People literally STARE at these people while they are checking out.  And then how do you even find a vehicle big enough to bring all of it home?  Seriously, it's almost like hoarding food!!  Just crazy.  But I guess when you get a high off of a 90% savings or more, it becomes an addiction.  Heck, I used to get excited about saving $30, these people would freaking laugh in my face.  This show has no doubt made me think about the way I coupon and I am going to start looking at them a little more seriously.  But I hope to never be this extreme.

Oh and have you ever read about this family?  They raised FIVE children, for a total of seven people, on a $35,000 a year budget.  WHAT!!!!  Yeah, AND they are deb free.  Did you hear me Dave Ramsey?  Debt free.  That is amazing!!  And now they don't live in a shack down by the river wearing shoes with holes in them and Dad doesn't walk up hill both ways to get to work every day. They drive "new" (used) cars AND they live in their dream home; set on three-quarters of an acre with a citrus orchard and five bedrooms!!  (If you watch one of their videos on their site you will find out they are quite the interesting clan, but hey, they are debt free and that's something to brag about).

I totally agree with a lot of the reviews that came out after the show aired that couponing should just be a lifestyle change, NOT an extreme hobby/obsession.  I love saving money, but this just takes it to a whole new level.

If you haven't hopped on the coupon train yet, my favorite site is http://www.hip2save.com/
And a new one someone just mentioned is http://www.southernsavers.com/

Good luck if you are just starting out, step it up if you are new into it and please don't ever become an extreme couponer.


Heather Rahn said...

OMG. I want to sit here all day at my computer and do nothing but print out coupons.

Aren't those shows like that addicting? I have started watching Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, and American Pickers, and I am CONVINCED that I have totally missed my calling.

Craig and Litney said...

That show was crazy. What i want to know is what kind of coupons were they using so they could use more than 1 or 4 at a time? I think i need to take a closer look at my coupons and figure out how to really use them. I saved 30 at Target two days ago and I thought I was awesome. Apparently not.... lol.

And Heather I am obsessed with all of those shows on History too!

Adrien said...

I hadn't even seen the show advertised, I just stumbled across it last night while waiting to watch the strange addiction show, haha. It was NUTS!

Heather Rahn said...

Just an FYI, you have planned my night for me. I am now going shopping. Your post made me browse some coupon sites and I found the following:

$10 off $50 at JCPenney's
25% off entire purchase at Express
15% off at Payless
40% off one item, $5 gift card with $10 purchase, or free jewelry with any purchase at Charlotte Rouse

Katie said...

I think they become hoarders though. Some of that is just stupid. Who really needs ALL that stuff. They get so excited that they are saving that much, but really who needs a basement full of things that not only they could use for the rest of their life but so could their kids for their entire lives. Like the one lady was takling about when she dies who she was going to give her "stock pile" to. REALLY???? Its very cool that they can get 95% saving, but its definitely an obesssion.