Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday - Coupons, sales, work outs.

Wow has it been a crazy week. I started the work outs, have only lost about 3 pounds so far, weigh in again tomorrow. However, I am so totally sore I can hardly move. Am also having a little bit of a physical problem as well.

Not much happening on the craft front. Just haven't had the drive to do anything lately. I know it will come back soon though. My mom's place has this activity called "Chat & Do" a couple of times a month or so. In other words they do a lot of chatting and a little doing. The current project is a scrapbook to put in the reception area of the assisted living building. I got excited about this, thought this was something I could help with. My mind started thinking I could take my punches, Cricut, Sizzix, cutters and such to work on some pages. Well...that went poof, mom told me that they were cutting pictures out of magazines and pasting them to pages. In her words, "a whole lot of nothing" going on. To me it seems a little like grade school activities. I know that theses women have limited physical abilities, but it just seems that there should be more that could be offered to them. Since I have known them, the projects have been: decorations for their dining table, paper place mats, little frames from Popsicle sticks, the usual cut and color kids crafts. The one thing that was kind of interested that I heard about was some beaded holders that clip a napkin on much like a bib. I really wish there was something I could do, some idea to come up with, to help the ladies make something. Wonder if they have ever thought about making cards. I do know that a few of the women crochet, knit and sew for charity causes. Wonder if it would be to pushy to talk to the leader and suggest making cards to send to soldiers or vet homes.

Tonight, on TLC, we watched shows about extreme couponing. I would love to be able to walk in to the grocery store and buy $1,000 worth of groceries for $5.94 but I can tell you that for this area of the country it just isn't possible. Here is why.

1. The couponers in the show all mentioned that they has several sources for coupons. One lady dumpster dove for the coupon inserts. There is no place in this town that I would legally be allowed to go through the dumpsters. I could tell from the show that the lady was at a recycle spot, but the only recycle places we have are for profit so no one is allowed to take anything. Besides, they are not for paper any way.

2. Another person on the show buys extra papers for the coupons. Suggested one for each member of the household. Okay, that at least makes sense, except for one problem. Our local newspaper only puts the coupons in the subscription papers. The ones available to purchase at the store or in the machines never have the coupons in them. One of the narrator's comments was that one shopper purchased coupons from a clipping service for about $70 a month. THAT LITTLE POINT was not made, nor factored in to the ending total of what she bought. If you have a favorite web site for free coupons, let me know.

3. The next tip mentioned was to use store coupons which double and triple the value of the coupon. Not one store in this town will double much less triple the value of coupons. I do not understand how the one couponer was able to use her preferred customer card to double her coupons at Albertson's, we do have an Albertson's but that just never happens here, I have asked about it. Also mentioned was Kroger's and Safeway, which we don't have any of those stores either. Now shopping the loss leaders I understand, just would love to double a coupon from time to time at least.

4. Insane quantities these people bought. Just because I have a coupon for does not mean I need to buy it. I mean really, 154 candy bars, 1,500 deodorants, 100 cups of yogurts. Half of their house is used for housing their "products". Most have a supply that is equal to 2 or 3 years for their respective families. I don't know about you, but I am thinking WHY? Really, they do this every week, so you know that they are not using up their "products" as fast as they are bringing them in. Don't know about you, but I do not want to pop open a 2 year old yogurt cup. Looking at the stash of "products" the only thing I can think of is organized hoarding. The other thing that I noticed about this show, I guarantee you my local grocery store - even the warehouse type - is not going to 218 boxes of the same kind of pasta or 73 bottles of mustard on the shelf.

Also, I have never come across a coupon for produce, meat, or milk. In fact, most stores will exclude milk on most frequent buyer programs.

There was one shopper on the show that made total sense about it all. She has a family of 6 - three of which are teen age boys, something I am very experienced with having two of my own. She planned out the meals for a month. Checked the sale circulars for the loss leaders (that is the items that are really reduced, will actually be a loss for the store, with the purpose of bringing you in to the store and there by hoping that you will buy more) making the menus for the month based on these sales when possible. She made a list, bought only what she needed for the month's meals, checked the clearance bin for some extra savings, and she was done. Now, to me this makes total sense and is at least a realistic approach. One which I intend to get back to using. It really does work to cut your spending when you utilize this approach to it's fullest. It takes a bit of work to get it started, but once you get it going it becomes easier financially to take advantage of the loss leaders by stocking up on them when they hit. Sales run in cycles, have noticed that at the craft stores as well. So, if pasta is on sale this week, in another three or four months it will be back on sale. Unless you are going to eat pasta every meal for 90 to 95 days in a row, why bother. Of course, my view of this may be a bit jaded as I am in a constant battle with pantry weevils. They look like small maggots when they are in the larvae stage and eat through everything. They then turn in to small brown moths, which lay eggs that seem to melt in to every box and bag because I find them in my crackers, chips, pasta, rice, cake mixes, even in the Jello. Basically anything that is not in a hard plastic, glass, or metal container. I have a hard enough time keeping them out of a pantry of about 1 1/2 to 2 month supply, no way I am putting in a 2 year supply.

Okay, I am stopping there. Need to make sure I don't get started on any other soap boxes, at least not when I am this tired. Thanks for stopping by and come back again.

I have tried five times to get my response to the point in color. Everytime I get it looking like I want, as soon as I click publish, the color disappears.


  1. One thing I really miss about the US is the coupons! They don't use them here at all. In the US, I used to have a cool little coupon wallet with divider tabs for the categories and it was always full! I'd spend Sunday afternoons clipping coupons in the newspaper. We do occasionally get some in the mail, but they're only good at a specific store and for one week. They call them 'vouchers' here. Just not the same joy when grocery shopping!

  2. This is TV after all. You don't think the producers were going to take a chance that the store wouldn't have enough product to make the deals work? Walking out of the store with a handful of rainchecks just doesn't make for good TV! I noted the same as you--that they quickly glossed over the cost of the coupon clipping service coupons, and mentioned that some bought several copies of the Sunday paper (I think it's $2 here), but didn't mention that cost. And of course it wasn't figured in to the final total. I didn't learn anything new, but would love to have a smaller version of the one womans' can rack. Now THAT I could make good use of. I'm also a card maker. I've got stacks of card stock that I bought on clearance from my former place of employment. I really need to get back to that...I miss the creative outlet.