Meet Crissy, The High Priestess Of Coupon Clippers

Crissy Thompson (pictured left) is among the coupon clipping elite. 11Alive News followed her around one day to learn some of her secrets. At a local Publix, Crissy managed to get two-thirds off her grocery bill and at CVS picked up $140 worth of goods for $5. Often, she spends only $10 a week on groceries and that’s with 3 kids and a husband. Check out some of her techniques and her favorite coupon web sites, inside…

Crissy’s incredible results don’t come without preparation. She usually spends an hour week getting prepared for her shopping trip which takes her 3 to 4 hours and includes 3 to 7 local stores.

Like any good soldier, Crissy starts by gathering her ammunition. She does this by buying 2 copies of the Sunday double paper which renders 4 sets of coupons. Next she hits her favorite web sites which include: gottadeal.com and hotcouponworld.com

Crissy decided to show the news crew a sampling of what she does and they proceeded to hit CVS and a Publix, two of her favorite stores.

At Publix, Crissy made good use of the buy 1 get 1 free coupons. Most grocery stores will also let you buy just one item and get 50% off. If you can then pair that with a coupon, you can get the item for free or next to nothing.

Crissy also explained that when a coupon reads “1 coupon per purchase” you are not actually limited to using it only once. For example she took 2 boxes of cereal that were buy 1 get 1 free for $3.79 a box. Crissy also had 2, $3 off coupons to go with each of the boxes of cereal. Crissy made over $2 on the cereal. At checkout Crissy’s total was $15.38, she saved $36.22.

Next they went to CVS. Crissy says the best deals there are coupons and Extra Care Bucks. Extra Care Bucks are given on specially marked items. You receive the bucks at checkout and use them on a following purchase. Most people would simply use these Extra Care Bucks the next time they came to the store, or forget about them altogether. However, Crissy uses them the same visit by splitting up her purchase into separate transactions.

They arrived at the checkout counter where Crissy proceeded to split her checkout into 5 transactions. She took the Extra Care Bucks from each transaction and applied it to each following transaction. Apparently, CVS has no problem doing this for Crissy. All said and done, Crissy bought approximately $140 worth of merchandise for under $5. Crazy, huh?

It looks like the Crissy-craze is catching on, she will even have her own website soon. What are your favorite little-known coupon tricks?

If I Didn’t See It With my Own Eyes [11 Alive] (Thanks to Josh!)
(Photo: 11 Alive)

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  1. boss_lady says:

    I know it seems kind of simple and lame in comparison to Crissy, but I keep my coupons in an envelope so that they’re always handy when I’m out. I don’t have scheduled shopping days, so this way I go through my coupons quickly before making a purchase and use any that apply.

  2. backbroken says:

    This explains why it took me 25 minutes waiting in line at CVS to buy a candy bar.

  3. Vroomtrap says:

    I am torn in the savings vs. working hours to get your products. On one hand you could spend half a day trying to clip coupons to save say 50% on your items. So you were gonna spend $200, you’d save $100, but how hard would it be for you to be creative or just work for $20 an hour for 5 hours and make that same $100 you saved then spend an hour and get what you want. The average person is so obsessed with saving that they don’t realize that they are actually losing their life (which you can’t get back) to save less then they are actually worth per hour.

  4. Manok says:

    I usually separate my coupons into envelops and try to only buy what I have a coupon for.

    Me and my wife spend an hour on it during the week. Also, the “free” sections in most on line deal sites have coupons you can print to get expensive items..usually cleaning products..for free or next to nothing.

  5. heavylee-again says:

    There is such a thing as going over board. Obviously, saving money is great, but it may come at a cost. For example, all the time it takes to collect and sort the coupons, and the 3-4 hour shopping trips. God bless you if you have the time to do it, but not everyone does. Sometimes, it gets to the point for me where I wonder, is the time worth it for me to save XX dollars. If it’s gonna take me an hour (of prep time and driving to multiple stores) to save $5 for example, forget it.

    Further, not every store or cashier would allow people to massage the system like Crissy does. She probably has built a good rapport with the cashiers and the stores, but it’s not guaranteed to go over well for everyone.

    As a side note, you KNOW the people in line behind her grumble the whole way through her 5 transactions.

  6. John Whorfin says:

    Outsource your coupon cutting?!

  7. wring says:

    i check consumerist’s Morning Deals every morning!

    @boss_lady: and this too.

  8. jharbert says:

    Coupons are great if all you want to eat is food laden with sodium, preservatives, and near-poisons like hydrogenated oils. We used to clip coupons all the time until we realized that the only grocery items for which coupons are available are incredibly unhealthy for you. Coupons for organic foods and even produce are pretty rare.

    We’re lucky enough to have a farmer’s market nearby, and we’re members of our local food co-op. We don’t spend any more on food than we used to, even with the massive couponing, and we’re much healthier today than we were two years ago.

  9. Bladefist says:

    I bet the people behind her in line love her

  10. AMetamorphosis says:

    Clipping coupons and following sales as well as stocking a pantry & buying in advance allow me to cut my grocery bills by about 60%.

    I don’t go as indepth as this person does, but she is right about it saving tons of money.

    Another good bit of advice is to wait 3 – 4 weeks AFTER a coupon comes out because by then, the manufacturer wants to report high sales and success of their promotion and 9 times outta 10, the item has been reduced in price @ the store prior to you applying the coupon.

    Free Sample sites are good too. Try http://www.fatwallet.com & http://www.slickdeals.net. I have not had to buy any travel items for years as a result of sending samples to myself.

  11. Eibmoz says:

    It seems, especially with gas prices so high, that going to so many stores is not worth it. I agree with Jharbert as well, usually coupons are for items unhealthy, and things I normally wouldnt buy.

  12. Juggernaut says:

    “For example she took 2 boxes of cereal that were buy 1 get 1 free for $3.79 a box. Crissy also had 2, $3 off coupons to go with each of the boxes of cereal. Crissy made over $2 on the cereal.”

    Get the fuck outta here!! They paid her to take the cereal out of the store… c’mon!!

  13. friendlynerd says:

    I love playing the CVS game. I often get those “$2 of a purchase of $10 of CVS brand products” – then use them to buy things that are already on sale. And use ExtraBucks if I have them.

    CVS could usually care less how much you game them on coupons.

  14. opfreak says:

    I love these odd ball super coupon clippers, sure you could pull it off.

    But I live in an area without ‘double’ coupon news papers, no cvs, And in alot of these super coupon clippers: we dont have stores that double the amount of the coupon

  15. stryker1800 says:

    im a manager at a CVS and we have absolutely no problem splitting someones purchase into multiple transactions. the problem is people take it to the extreme and get multiple CVS cards which obviously ripping us off and my store particular will black list people have we have a list of people that me and the other managers watch when they are buying stuff to make sure they dont use more then one card.

  16. MissPeacock says:

    I find that many times, getting the store brand version of an item is cheaper than buying the name brand with a coupon.

  17. stryker1800 says:

    @backbroken: that would also not happen in our store or whoever was running register would be torn a new one. lol sorry for double posting by the way

  18. The down side of this is that if everyone did this – the wait would be much longer and ultimately, manufacturers and stores would institute tough policies

  19. Angryrider says:

    I’m mind boggled!!!!! Yet I slowly comprehend it. She really is going overboard with the items… I mean soo many coupons for the same item? Bleargh!

  20. @Joseph: OOORRR you could work to make $100 extra a week, and still SAVE $100, making a net gain of $200 a week? AND, even though you say that they don’t realize that they are actually losing their life… I know some people who find getting a great deal a rush! My mother found it relaxing, actually. Good for Crissy. Wish I had the same tenacity.

  21. bohemian says:

    I stopped bothering with grocery coupons because (as others already said) they are mostly for overpriced, chemical laden processed food. Most of the non food coupons are for overpriced specialty cleaning products that are not much of a value to begin with.
    I do get some decent coupons from Target at the register since they generate coupons based on your past purchases. Target had a $10 off a new prescription that was worth it and JcPenney does $10 off coupons sometimes.
    I do keep a coupon sorter in my bag but most of them are for % off various stores rather than the typical grocery store coupons.

  22. Hambriq says:

    Most of the stuff that she’s buying is all unhealthy garbage, and she looks more than a little bit jowly. So my question is: how do you coupon clip and still eat healthy?

  23. kborer22 says:

    when i worked at a super maket, i think they had a crazy deal on snapple, and with coupons this we would have had to pay the lady like $3, so the manager just came over and said we were not allowed to do that, so she just got all of her snapple for free, so in a way she is scamming the system, but since she has a bunch of other stuff on the shopping list, well she gets away with it. BTW, THE PEOPLE WITH ALL THE COUPONS SUCK!

  24. bravo369 says:

    i only look for coupons if i know i’m getting a big ticket item…usually electronics or computer stuff.

    I also would hate to be behind her in the store. I was in line behind someone like this once. The woman asked what everything rang up for and said “wasn’t that on sale?” or “that was 30 cents off!” she only had about $30-$40 worth of stuff too. I was tempted to just give her the $5 she was looking to save, tell her to shut up, and keep the line moving.

    Also, working as a cashier for years, it’s usually the women who shopped like this. The guys tend to pay the total and leave. Get in, get what you need, get out. that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

  25. Doofio says:

    As good as this all sounds, as it becomes more common practice by more and more people, stores are just going to change the coupons to avoid “system beaters”.

    I worked at a grocery store for almost 3 years and almost every front end employee, including managers, hated people like this. Not because of the money they saved, but because they would usually come in at the busiest times of the day and hold up the lines, and nothing makes a manager grumpier than having to actually do something and hop on a lane to help out or deal with impatient customers.

    Half the time, the people would hold up the lines even longer because a good majority of their coupons were expired, or the customer didn’t read them carefully enough so they would bitch and complain as the lines got longer and longer, which led to more complaints and more pissed off customers.

    And that little bit about having 5 separate transactions…in most stores, they may let you do that once or twice..but if you make a habit of it…they’ll simply throw in a “policy” forbidding it.

  26. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Sounds like a thrilling and fullfilling life she lives.

  27. virgilstar says:

    @jharbert:
    Agreed! If all you want to do is feed your kids Cap’n Crunch, Hamburger Helper, and other sugar/salt-laden junk, then go ahead and clip coupons. When was the last time anyone saw a coupon for fresh vegetables or organic milk/eggs?

    The rest of the coupons are always for things that you simply don’t need, like Swiffer cleaning systems, Glade air fresheners, or the newest flavor of chewing gum.

    If saving money means ending up with a house full of plastic doo-dads, and eating like a kid in a candy store, then I’ll take a pass, thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      @virgilstar:

      I love when the *uneducated coupon haters* insist that you can only buy unhealthy sugar laden over processed foods with coupons.

      To answer you question, I currently have coupons for fresh produce, meat, eggs and dairy products in my pocket book. If you know where to look and how to shop you can completely avoid the *bad* stuff and still save 60-70% off your food bill.

      But by all means, PLEASE do not start using coupons. Means more for me!!!

  28. Vroomtrap says:

    @verucalise: Yeah that’s definitely true. I guess that’s why I’m torn. On the one hand, I know there are lots of people who enjoy it and find pleasure in getting the upper hand. I think it’s great that this lady is launching a site to share her secrets though. She does live in FL though and I’m sure stores are a lot nicer down there. In Washington D.C. you might have a harder time trying to do five separate order checkouts back to back.

  29. HungryGrrl says:

    @Hambriq: Right on. I rarely find coupons for things that I will actually put in my body.

    But I understand the basic coupon+on sale combo- coupons usually come out for new products, then about a month or so later the items will start to go into the sales cycles of the stores. If you clip coupons and put them away for a month it’s very likely that you’ll find the same items are also on sale, and thus get the best deal.

    But nothing is a bargain if you don’t NEED IT.

  30. 21stCenturyDandy says:

    True story, folks:

    A new CVS recently opened up down the street from my apartment. As part of their “Grand Opening,” they mailed out special coupons (including vouchers for free items and $10 off coupons) to local residents.

    I walked into the aforementioned CVS the other day, armed to the teeth with said coupons and vouchers. Somehow — I’m still not sure how it happened — I walked out with a liter of milk, a liter of Diet Dr. Pepper, a can of tuna, a box of brownie mix, a Symphony chocolate bar and a bag of cotton balls — for FREE. I’m pretty sure the check-out guy made a mistake, but he seemed very confident in his coupon deduction skills.

    In any case, I’m not complaining! Oh, and did I mention that I also received a $25 gift card, just for transferring my prescription to CVS Pharmacy? Sounds like another FREE shopping trip is in order! Go CVS! I’m high on savings.

  31. nikkomorocco says:

    my mom used to do similar for toiletries. i have 3 brothers and 2 stepbrothers that lived at our house, needless to say, you’re looking at a lot of soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc…so she would look for the coupons for those items, regardless of brand, stack em up and then wait until the stuff was on sale and she’d walk out with 30 bucks worth of stuff for 3 bucks or whatever.

    food though, it seems like all the food on sale is horrible for you. i’ve tried the coupon thing, but rarely do i find something thats healthy and tasty.

  32. forgottenpassword says:

    @kborer22:

    Doesnt sound like the lady was scamming anyone. Just being a savvy consumer.

    As an avid coupon user I really HATE dealing with cashiers who scrutinize my coupons like I was some sort of scam artist trying to get away with something. Walmart cashiers are the worst at this. EVERY single time I use more than 5 coupons at walmart I always get shit from the cashier.

  33. Hambriq says:

    If you look on that website HotCouponDeals.com and read the “Brag Posts” where people post pictures of all the great deals they got, you’ll notice that very little of it is actually useful at all. People have stockpiles of hair products, toothpaste, tampons, etc.

    I mean, it’s great that you got $60 worth of hair gel for $8.00 out of pocket, but in my mind, that’s still $8.00 wasted if you weren’t going to buy that hair gel in the first place.

  34. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Keeping my dignity is worth more than the 60 cents off a can of Pringles.

  35. Hambriq says:

    @HungryGrrl: But nothing is a bargain if you don’t NEED IT.

    My thoughts exactly! If you weren’t going to use the product in the first place, it doesn’t matter how good of a deal it is. It’s still wasting money.

  36. cwsterling says:

    @kborer22: that almost happened to me once. Lady came in with a ton of coupons for huggies wipes and somehow they were in our system. I was taking them off and it got to the point where it said coupon cannot exceed the purchase amount. I had to call a manager over and she took care of it and didn’t have to deal with it after that.

    Turns out the coupons were for BJ’s wholesale, and weren’t even for the item she was buying, she was basically buying half the product, and still wanted the entire coupon.

  37. amyschiff says:

    @MissPeacock: I agree. There are a lot of great store brand products out there that are just as good, and cheaper.

    Having been a cashier, I can’t bring myself to do the CVS extra care bucks thing. It’s not hard for the cashier, but multiple transactions slow things down for the other customers. The CVS stores in my area are certainly not designed for large purchases (not much counter space and no belt at the registers), so this slows things down further.

    I do like what she did at Publix though. That is pretty reasonable.

  38. rbaldwin says:

    I want an electronic system where it will load the coupons onto your store card. Has anyone started this yet?

  39. RandomHookup says:

    There’s a reason this woman is in the news folks; it’s because she’s good at saving money beyond what most folks are willing/able to do. This is how she contributes to her family…$100 in savings is probably worth $175 in pre-tax earnings. Many of the people who do this are stay-at-home moms/dads who can’t hold down regular employment, so the “get a job” comparison doesn’t work.

    There are lots of ways to save big money, but they aren’t going to work for most people because they aren’t willing to put in the time and effort.

  40. gjaluvka says:

    Oh come on – the comments about processed food are just ignorant. I’ve recently used coupons for bagged apple slices (oh gee,I’m sorry, they weren’t organic, though), all kinds of frozen veggies, orange juice (the ones I like best), etc. Coupons have no nexus whatsoever with a particular type of food. They are about trying to get you to favor one product over another. Yes, the bulk of coupons are for crap, but that’s only because the bulk of what a grocery store sells is crap.

    And no, you won’t find as many coupons for organics, becausee those who buy them will buy them anyways for the most part.

    If the implication is that I need to shop at Whole Foods and the Farmer’s Market to eat healthy, well that’s just snobbishness. I do shop at both but my budget won’t handle it full time.

  41. cerbie says:

    @Juggernaut: and, if enough people do it, policy will change. Not all stores will allow that, right now.

    So, I’m browsing over at hotcoupon…where are the coupons for Bob’s Red Mill stuff? Bean sprouts? Mushrooms? Bell peppers? Carrots? Real lettuce? Olive oil? Spinach (you should have known that was coming!)?

    I’m not saying there isn’t good stuff there, and I might hit it up for deals, but I don’t see enough to save more than about 10%.

    The way I’m really hoping to save is to catch a road-side vegetable stand or two. The weather has not been helping (and it’s the right time to get tomatoes).

  42. Jesse says:

    @Doofio:

    I worked at a grocery store also for many years and absolutely hated the people with coupons for many of the same reasons you stated.

    In addition, half of them didn’t have the right size or quantity and we would have to waste time getting their order in compliance so the customer could save their precious $.40.

    She probably holds up the line further by paying with a check too.

  43. raleel says:

    My sister in law used to work at a grocery store at the customer service counter. Many times people would get all kinds of coupons there at the automatic dispenser with thr receipts, and wouldn’t take them. She’d collect them, including the $5 off your next purchase and $15 off your next purchase ones. She regularly was able to save and actually get paid after her grocery shopping. She also says she likes “sticking it to the Man”.

  44. Gaambit says:

    @jharbert: That’s pretty much what I was thinking. Everytime I look at the coupons in the Sunday paper, it is almost always for crap I wouldn’t normally buy anyway (and as it is, the stuff is usually pretty expensive to begin with!) I shop at Publix, and I alway just buy their own branded items for pretty much everything except coffee. To add to this, Publix doesn’t usually have their own coupons (nor do they have a “card” like Kroger – their prices are already kinda low) so I never really feel the need to worry about coupons.

    That’s why I think everyone flipping out over groveries bills adding up is funny. If you people wouldn’t insist on name brands, it wouldn”t be as bad.

  45. tator says:

    My grocery limits coupons printed off the internet to ONE.

  46. Not for anything… but up here in Upstate NY there’s a store called Price Chopper that I LOVE, and they have super deals here and there like “Buy 5 general mills products and receive $5 off your next order” (there’s some fresh fruits and veggies for free!) and their coupon machine generates coupons based on what you just bought… So it’s coupons I WOULD use for things I DO NEED. And they also had a thing out, you could pick 1 manufacturers coupon and they would double it up to $3.00 – I bought a package of diapers for $2.00, saved $6.00 in one shot. So sometimes… it IS worth it, and some stores DO give you options for saving on the good stuff ;-)

  47. sereth says:

    I’m with everyone else in regards to the health of the products she buys. I’ve searched all the online stuff and my paper every weekend and it’s money off processed junk that is already heavily subsidized by the government. Anyone see the latest farm bill? Yep- same old same old.

    Sure clip coupons save all that money for your soaring health care bill in 10 years.

    You want to highlight someone ..find the person who can save this kind of money buying real food. Then I’ll be impressed.

  48. @Joseph:

    I am torn in the savings vs. working hours to get your products. On one hand you could spend half a day trying to clip coupons to save say 50% on your items. So you were gonna spend $200, you’d save $100, but how hard would it be for you to be creative or just work for $20 an hour for 5 hours and make that same $100 you saved then spend an hour and get what you want. The average person is so obsessed with saving that they don’t realize that they are actually losing their life (which you can’t get back) to save less then they are actually worth per hour.

    Joseph, you’re only right if you’d actually work during that time where you’re clipping coupons. People like to use that excuse, but in reality, they’re not going to pick up a side job to work five hours a week at $10 an hour. It’s much easier (and much more optional) to spend some time shopping around or looking for coupons to save that $50.

  49. alexiso says:

    I’m an avid coupon clipper however it’s all for snacks, junk foods and cleaning products which makes me mad because I try not to just buy those things.

    Does the CVS have walkouts when people are behind Crissy? I understand the concept of “it’s your turn at the register” but splitting something into 5 transactions is a little too much.

  50. @Gaambit:

    If you people wouldn’t insist on name brands, it wouldn”t be as bad.

    There’s a significant difference in some name brand and store brand products. If you want to eat old bread and drink water every day of your life, be my guest, but I will enjoy what I eat!

  51. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Joseph:

    Hell man, if she’s a stay at home Mom, she might consider the whole saving money thing to *be* her job. If so I bet her husband throughly appriciates her hard work.

  52. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Juggernaut: Well these are manufacturers coupons, so the store doesn’t really care since they’re reimbursed. The store is actually making out on that particular deal by letting her use two coupons instead of one (since they’ll be reimbursed $3 of the $3.79 they would have lost on the free box).

    When I was a cashier, some lady once gamed the coupon system enough that we ended up paying her money (like $3) by the end of the transaction by having a bunch of coupons for baby food that was on sale. I asked the manager how she could be allowed to do that. He said that it didn’t matter to the store because it would get reimbursed by the manufacturer and even end up in better shape over it. Provided that only a few people did it, there wouldn’t be an issue raised over it.

  53. halftank says:

    If you /really/ want to save $$ @the grocery store, buy less crappy processed foods and learn how to cook.

    That said, the Mambosprouts coupon you can grab @Whole foods (or whichever organic grocer you have where you live) have decent coupons on healthy food, and you can use them anywhere.

  54. Tank says:

    @Joseph: i think you answered yourself – the “average person” doesn’t earn $20 an hour, and if they did, and spent 5 hours working, isn’t that the same as spending 5 hours clipping coupons? either way, there’s 5 hours you won’t get back. if i was going to do either, i’d probably pour myself a cocktail and get out the scissors. (at home, not at work)

  55. aristan says:

    I do this as well. I have gone to the store, purchased $200 bucks worth of groceries, and walked out with a receipt for a negative amount. I was actually paid to take their groceries.

    The cashiers think it’s hilarious. The management generally grumbles, but they get paid for it. The coupons get them not only the value of the coupon but 8 cents as well.

    It all depends when you show up. I make sure to go during slow times, and let people with small orders go ahead of me. I never make the baggers help me out, and I don’t divide it into 11 orders at the checkout. I buy everything that I can in one order, then come back later for more if I need to. Sales are for a whole week people, you don’t have to do it all in 15 minutes and hold up everyone who just wanted lunch.

    This reminds me… Bi-Lo and Harris-Teeter are having triple coupons this week.

  56. RandomHookup says:

    True, lots of the coupon-eligible stuff is not the healthiest, but the majority of folks are going to buy these products anyway. Might as well save money on your Ding Dongs and Mars Bars.

    @raleel: I love folks who leave behind the valuable Catalina coupons. I get lots of free stuff from folks who think coupons are for “losers”.

  57. heavylee-again says:

    @Hambriq: Most of the stuff that she’s buying is all unhealthy garbage, and she looks more than a little bit jowly.

    Jowly? I haven’t seen any other picture of her other than the one at the top of this page, but based on that picture, she looks like an attractive woman who is not sickly skinny.

  58. aristan says:

    Oh, and I do a good deed. It’s very easy to get free toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap. I buy all I can, keep what I need and donate the rest to a homeless shelter.

  59. timmus says:

    Of course the other aspect of using coupons is that it’s almost always for bottom-barrel foods from companies like Quaker, General Mills, and Kraft. Then all you have in your cupboards is crap foods chock-full of hydrogenated corn syrup. So in effect not only do you lose the hours in your life spent clipping coupons, but you lose actual hours from your life, too, from getting less healthy. Eating the cheapest quality foods is not necessarily smart.

  60. J.Xibalba says:

    There is a little-known secret with coupons that an individual at work introduced me to – you don’t have to buy the product on the coupon to actually use the coupon as the bar code on coupons are for a range of similar products or similar manufacturers.

    I have only tried it once, but this person at work is incredible. She reviews products that she is already buying and then searches through the Sunday paper for coupons with matching bar codes. She has a spreadsheet detailing all of this information. For example, she is able to get her laundry detergent for almost nothing since the coupons for Swiffer by Proctor and Gamble also work. I can’t remember which products she is able to use battery coupons with but they always net her a huge deal on products that she is already buying.

    Anyways, I am with many of those posting above that I would rather work a little more and choose other areas in my life to be frugal – coupons are too time consuming for professionals. But for those that have the time, enjoy…

  61. uberbucket says:

    There are no stores in my area that take coupons acquired on the internet anymore. Too many scams I guess.

    The last coupon I used was for a free bag of cat food.

    As stated earlier, the majority of the coupons out there are for products that are unneeded or for products that aren’t particularly healthy for you. Except for maybe the “$5 off you next purchase over $50″ checkout coupons.

  62. RandomHookup says:

    @Xibalba: Of course, your friend is practicing coupon fraud.

  63. revmatty says:

    I use coupons if they’re for something I’m going to buy anyway. As many people have noted, the store brands are usually just as good and cheaper than the national brand even with coupons. If I’m going to know $50 or $100 off my weekly bill that’s great, but if I have to invest four extra hours to do it then I’m coming out behind because I could’ve just worked an extra two hours and been at the same position financially.

    My guideline for frugal shopping is to have a menu for the week planned out so we only buy what we need, and shop several times per week in small trips to different stores. I get great prices on cereals, crackers, canned goods, and frozen vegetables at Shop’N’Save, but the quality of their meats and produce isn’t very good so I go to Schnuck’s on a different day for those. And I try to avoid shopping on weekends when it’s jam packed.

  64. @Joseph: Like anything, if depends on how you do it and if you enjoy it. I’m nowhere as good a couponer as Crissy, but I clip my coupons Sunday evening while lazing on the couch watching the Simpsons and King of the Hill. It doesn’t take any time away from things I’d be doing otherwise (except sewing as a hobby, which is my other “while watching TV” habit).

    It takes me probably 20 minutes to make a menu and grocery list and pull coupons from my sorter to match my menu and list, but I have to make the menu and list ANYWAY or the whole food thing doesn’t work right in my house because I need the organizational help. So for me that’s 20 minutes of organizational time vs. ordering pizza twice and snagging fast food at least once in a single week because I forgot what food is for what and don’t remember to start dinner in time to eat it before midnight.

    @Eibmoz: “I agree with Jharbert as well, usually coupons are for items unhealthy, and things I normally wouldnt buy.”

    You have to be selective. I’d say 2/3 of any coupon selection is of no interest whatsoever. But there’s ALWAYS some kind of coupon for baking supplies, like Pam (which you can get organic!), or flour, or spices (which are spendy, man!). There’s ALWAYS coupons on staples like pasta — I probably get a Rozoni Healthy Harvest pasta coupon every two weeks or so — olive oil, vinegars, mustard, etc. There are ALWAYS Newman’s Own coupons. MorningStar runs coupons every couple weeks. I get organic pasta sauce coupons all the time (which is something I just can’t be bothered to make from scratch). Wine coupons appear every six weeks or so. Not great wine, but stuff that’s reasonable as a table wine or that at the very least you can cook with. There are always coupons on toilet paper. Sometimes you get coupons for Pyrex, or GladWare, or miscellaneous kitchen items that are good to have.

    And while, no, I don’t usually get coupons on cleaning products since we use 7th Generation or make our own, coupons are ALWAYS running for shampoo and shaving cream and razors and toothbrushes and toothpaste and all that stuff. Cat food and cat litter coupons are also a HUGE HUGE savings for me.

    @MissPeacock: “I find that many times, getting the store brand version of an item is cheaper than buying the name brand with a coupon.”

    Yes, you can’t be stupid about it. But if the brand matters to you (I personally am not switching conditioners based on price or sales; I found the one I like, that’s what I’m buying!), they’re very helpful.

    @virgilstar: “When was the last time anyone saw a coupon for fresh vegetables or organic milk/eggs?”

    I get organic milk coupons every two weeks or so, and organic egg coupons every threeish.

    And guys, people have been “gaming” the system like this since the fifties. Stores and manufacturers still find enough profit to keep doing it. Probably two or three dozen people who saw this story will start trying to coupon with her, and 99% of them will end up buying things they wouldn’t otherwise have bought (which is the point of coupons — entice people to new brands or products) and never manage to do it to Crissy’s level.

    But seriously, all you, “Coupons are only for bad overprocessed foods!” folks, have you ever TRIED couponing? I seriously get plenty of coupons for organics and for THINGS YOU COOK FROM SCRATCH WITH. The only time I buy “overprocessed” foods is when I get couponed chips for my husband or for the Super Bowl or something. (And, yes, a few things that are technically convenience foods like pasta sauce and premade pasta and Newman’s Own salsa. Sorry, I’m not doing that from scratch.) If you’re not throwing away 2/3 of the insert right off the bat, you’re not doing it right — if you’re going to save money, you’ve got to get rid of brands you don’t use, things you don’t need, things that are bad for you.

  65. TTFK says:

    Years ago I had to deal with a couple of extreme transaction-splitters. It got to the point where we told them that after two transactions they would have to wait in line again.

    Well, all except for the one scammer we tossed out. Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly ok for a business to fire a customer!

  66. AMetamorphosis says:

    If the coupon makes the item free or damn near …
    I buy it & donate it to the local food bank or shelter.

    I’ve collected hundreds of dollars worth of items for our local food banks from doing this and would be surprised if I’ve laid out 20 bucks of my own in the last few years.

    Its good karma, helps less unfortunate people & yep, it sticks it to the man.

  67. AMetamorphosis says:

    @aristan:

    THANKS !

    Its nice to see others use coupons to help the less fortunate

    PS. Our grocery store frequently runs coupons for organic milk & produce !

  68. Brunette Bookworm says:

    Too bad I buy mostly organic and there aren’t many coupons for that stuff. I do get sign up for emails from companies like Horizon, Eden, Seeds of Change, etc. and many of those have coupons in them. This week, I got a $1 off on organic milk and I’ve gotten other ones like this as well. Most of the time, I buy from smaller stores and buy local produce and meats. I may spend more but I enjoy food and cooking so money on that isn’t that big of an issue for me.

    And like Ewbrows McGee said, you can get coupons fro ingredients, it’s just looking for them. Yes, most coupons in the paper on Sunday are for pre-made items, but even a few dollars off each time helps.

  69. AskTheAdmin says:

    Can I get my wife a training session with Crissy? It sounds like if she tries hard enough they will soon start paying her to shop!

  70. Erwos says:

    Yeah, this works for stay-at-home moms. For the rest of us with jobs, this isn’t so helpful.

    I’ll repeat my usual tip: shop online after dinner. You can make much better food decisions when you’re not tempted by what’s passing by you, or by a growling stomach.

  71. forgottenpassword says:

    @Xibalba:

    THis sounds interesting, but I have enough problems with cashiers giving me grief over my coupons. If i tried this…. there is no way I could get away with it. I had one cashier give me the stinkeye once & started making sure every coupon I submitted was matched up with every item in my bags (after he had already bagged them!).

    Maybe a housewife with two cartloads of groceries (and two screaming kids in tow) could get away with this, but a single guy shopping at 5 am with maybe 2-3 bagfulls of groceries cant.

  72. rmz says:

    @RandomHookup: “Coupon fraud?”

  73. Ken says:

    or instead of savings a few dollars here and there while eating unhealthy, she can use her time and talents and find ways to make her millions.

  74. @backbroken: I’d be willing to give her a few bucks to hurry the hell up. Seriously, FIVE separate transactions? I’m surprised she didn’t get lynched in the parking lot.

  75. Sorry to say, to all of you who’ve said most food is over processed, bad for you, ETC…. I’m sure you ALL grew up with many of these products! You probably had favorite cereals or snacks that we now, as adults, view to be less than healthy. (Oh, to have a bowl of King Vitamin again….) It’s just learning how many convenience foods you find saturated with preservatives and what not, can be made homemade with little effort. If you can take the effort to learn how to save lots of $$$ clipping coupons for food/ammenities, you can take a couple extra minutes to teach yourself the many EASY ways to cook.

    And whoever said she’s probably a housewife, and she considers saving money her job- MOST DEFINATELY. I’m an at home mom and my husband LOOOVVESS that I save us loads of cash.

  76. PinkNightmare says:

    Good God! Look at this – I would CRY if stuck behind the person whipping THIS out at the grocery store! (It’s the sixth post down…)

    [www.hotcouponworld.com]

  77. computermom says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but I don’t use the products for which coupons are offered. We eat lots of produce, range-free chickens and brown rice. Our household needs are simple. I’m in a high earning bracket and can better use my time writing code rather than clipping coupons. If that wasn’t a factor, I still wouldn’t want to cram my cupboards full of loot scored with coupons.

    But thanks anyway ….

  78. matt1978 says:

    @verucalise: Finally, somebody with some sense. The way all these assholes talk, you’d think Crissy was some sort of criminal for not buying organic food or driving 50 extra miles to some farmer’s market.

  79. @verucalise: You can also read the panels on the side of the boxes. I don’t buy “convenience food” unless I know what every ingredient in it IS and what it’s FOR. Hardly any “convenience food” we buy has more than five ingredients. When I buy pasta sauce, it’s basically tomatoes, olive oil, and some spices. My pasta is flour & B-vitamins required by law to be added into processed grains.

    Yeah, it takes a while the first few times you do it, and I did have to look up some chemical names online to figure out what they were and if I was willing to eat them (sometimes really basic things, like baking soda or a vitamin gets its loooooooong name), but once you know the brands that fit your criteria, you can just snag them on the shelf.

    And of course, there’s nothing WRONG with eating something that could be labeled “heart attack in a box” as long as you do it rarely, sparingly, and as a small part of an overall healthy diet.

  80. J.Xibalba says:

    @RandomHookup:

    I would agree that it sounds like it could represent a possible variant of coupon fraud, however she is merely presenting coupons to the cashier and they are correctly ringing up for discounts on products that she has purchased. Manufacturers obviously know how they create and produce coupons and have created them in such a way that they could be used across products.

    Traditional coupon fraud (and those that have actually been convicted) usually involves mass printing of valid coupons either via the internet or on paper and then creating and selling fraudulent coupon books for a profit. Penalties can be serious and include jail time and significant fines.

    AS said before, I would rather shop at a discount grocer like a Super Wal-Mart and spend my free time doing other things…

  81. RandomHookup says:

    @computermom: Sorry, I missed the part of the user agreement that said we had to do everything Consumerist says to.

  82. @Eyebrows McGee: Yes, and I do just that! But in this day and age, it’s more expensive to eat healthy. People just have to enjoy the good stuff sparingly.

    @matt1978: EXACTLY, thank you :)

  83. ViperBorg says:

    @backbroken: Exactly. Get some cash together people. I’m all for saving money, but your wasting my time AND money with your damn coupons.

    All-in-all, we need to have a better scanning system for the coupons, perhaps? Make them faster to use and not make it take near a half an hour to make your purchase?

  84. RandomHookup says:

    @Xibalba: True, it’s not big business, but using coupons on products in violation of the terms is fraudulent. Some retailers have actually gone after these kind of shoppers. Not often, but it doesn’t make it legit.

    It’s like discovering your credit card will open someone else’s hotel room. It doesn’t make it right to move in.

  85. J.Xibalba says:

    @RandomHookup: It’s like discovering your credit card will open someone else’s hotel room. It doesn’t make it right to move in.

    Overall, I agree with you about cross-product coupon use esp since reimbursement on different products would more than likely leave someone in the red – that would truly constitute fraud. My fascination is more with wondering why coupons are produced that way since there is plenty of numerical room in bar coding and yet the manufacturers still left such a hole. Anyways, it was interesting to learn.

  86. aristan says:

    @AMetamorphosis:

    VERY glad I’m not the only one!

    BTW, if you ever see the coupons for Blood Sugar Monitors, buy them, even if you’re not a diabetic. The coupon is generally for the price of one of the monitors, meaning that the monitor sells for $20 and you get a $20 coupon in the paper. So it costs you nothing. Your local Homeless shelter, EMT, and Senior Citizen Center will kill for these.

    EMTs in some places have to buy their own monitors. I have an uncle who is an EMT who says the monitors wear out very fast because they use them on every patient. A monitor that would last most people years gets worn out in less than a couple of months for an EMT. The hospitals will provide the strips, but not the monitors.

    Be nice to your EMTs (or shelters & centers) and get them the monitors.

  87. nonzenze says:

    Yet another sign of the impending destruction of the American ideal: instead of trying to do something productive we shuffle little pieces of paper around at various locations and pretend like it’s worth something.

  88. chewiemeat says:

    But consider the value of your time. She spent 5 hours. I order my groceries online and they’re delivered into my kitchen the very next day. They charge me under $10 to do it and all I have to do is click a button to re-order a previously used shopping list.

    So, she saved $135 on her shopping trip, but she spent five hours to do it. If you make $5/hr, that’s a very good return on the investment of your time.

    On the other hand, there is a point where you are losing money, because your time is worth more than what you are saving. If I break my salary down to an hourly wage, it’d be around $60/hr. Spending 5 hours to save $135 would actually cost me $300, leaving a difference of $165. That does not take into account the cost of fuel and the frustration of being jammed into a supermarket full of idiots and their snot-nosed tantrum-throwing spawn.

    I don’t use coupons. I don’t even go to the store. I go to a URL, select a shopping list, click a button to arrange for it to be ordered whenever I want and they do the rest. I literally spend less than ten minutes a week dealing with groceries. With a very limited schedule, saving five hours a week is very close to being priceless for me.

  89. PinkNightmare says:

    @aristan: Awesome idea! I will definitely do this!

  90. OrbitalGUn says:

    I skip coupons all together and just try to make my trips as fast as possible. Most of the stores I frequent have self-checkout lanes. I like to go shopping over my lunch break. There are very few people shopping in the middle of a work day, so getting in and out is a breeze. It’s not that I’m opposed to savings, it’s just that I can’t stand other people and am willing to pay extra to avoid the inconvenience of having to deal with them.

  91. chewiemeat says:

    As for the person who said “most people don’t make $20 an hour, so this is worth the effort”… $20/hr is only $40k/yr which accounts for a significant chunk of the middle class. Christ, you make $11/hr flipping burgers at In-And-Out burger.

    This really comes down to a personal choice. Do the math. Is your time worth more or not? If it is, don’t waste your time and effort doing this crap. If coupon crap will make a serious dent in your income for the amount of time you spend doing it, then go for it.

  92. arsbadmojo says:

    Meh, too much time spent and gas wasted for the benefit. What if there’s a great coupon for something you won’t even use? Buy it because it’s such a great deal? That’s money wasted as far as I’m concerned.

    When my daughter was born and my wife stopped working I tried to be Captian Coupon. I got pretty good at it, but then I found Aldi. The Aldi label products meet ot or beat the name brands nearly across the board, and are about 37% cheaper than Kroger for me. Now I have a lot more time, save about the same ammount and get only the things I really use.

  93. darkryd says:

    Awesome that she does this, but how much flack does she take from the checkout counter staff for this?

  94. DeliBoy says:

    @nonzenze: I thought the American ideal was prosperity though hard work and frugality?

    As far as ‘pretending it’s worth something’: Did you read the part of the article where it discusses legally walking out of Target with $380 worth of goods for only $0.02?

    Consumerist, I want an idiot tag so bad.

  95. teapartys_over says:

    @jharbert: Considering what I spend on groceries, kudos to this woman for being so thrifty. I totally agree with the other posters that I never see coupons for the stuff I buy – fresh produce and organic or free-range meat (I don’t care as much about produce but mass-produced meat is nasty IMO), and ingredients to make food from scratch. I seriously don’t understand why people don’t make their own salad dressing or tomato sauce, but that is getting a bit off topic. After reading down the comment thread I’ll definitely look a little harder for organic milk coupons and baking ingredients (flour is getting more expensive just like everything else). Plus things like cleaning supplies or aluminum foil, but that stuff probably accounts for a pretty small percentage of my grocery bill.

    It’s kinda sad to see that even making my own food from scratch will never match up financially to what a creative person can do with coupons and processed food, but I guess that’s the way it is right now with subsidies.

  96. @darkryd: If she shops at off times, probably not very much. I coupon on Tuesday mornings — it’s me, a few SAHMs, and the old folks who come on the shuttle. I’d never, ever, ever do it on a Saturday. THAT’S what’d get you lynched, at least at my local grocery store. (One or two coupons, okay. 30 coupons, people start to get reeeeeeeal antsy at you.) If you have a 24-hour place, middle of the night is good, too.

    Anyway, when the store’s not busy, the check-out people usually don’t mind, and it’s not like you can’t chat with them while they’re ringing up. I also don’t make a big deal if a coupon rings up improperly or refuses to ring, unless it’s like a $5 coupon. I usually say, “Oh, don’t worry about it, I’ll use it next time,” if a 30-center won’t ring. The checker actually usually wants to key it in by hand or check my bags to be sure I have the right coupon! But then, it’s Tuesday, there’s nobody behind me in line, and I’m being polite.

  97. mike says:

    I think this works for some people, not for others.

    I don’t want to spend 3-4 hours “planning” a shopping trip. My budget is not that tight. For a mother of three and a husband to feed, this can be a great money saver.

  98. KevinReyn says:

    Last time I checked this was the Consumerist, where shoppers bite back.

    Please keep that in mind and lets not belittle people who are trying to take care of a family of 5 on an unknown income or budget.

    The elitest comments about work more or eat healthier while they may be options for you they are not options for a lot of people. Ever noticied the disparity in cost between truely healthy food and that crap that is always on sale? You have to have a fairly decent income to even be able to walk into those aisles. That is the travesty here not the person who might be holding you up in line trying to save some money. Get a grip on reality here folks. Not everyone is a “professional” and even some of us “professionals” may need to find savings elsewhere.

    I amy be way off the mark but comments like those that Joseph@ make, make me want to puke. Makeing judgment on people without knowing all the circumstances is why this country is heading in the toilet.

    Let me give you a real workd example of why people might actually need to do these things because you obviously cant get your head out of your ass long enough to think about it.

    My brother made less then 20k a year for years and in many cases it wasnt much more then 15k and raised a family of 5 on it. They ate industrial grade food, he traded his skills for goods (bartering) and was quite adept at it. But bottom line is they did not go hungry. However his wife was a coupon Chrissy. And I for one was amazed at what they were able to do.

    I was a “professional” for most of this time makeing significantly more then he was for years and I couldnt figure out how he did it. I simply couldnt imagine. Then I had to learn how. My son was born with significant medical issues. As of his surgery where they removed one of his kidneys we had incurred nearly 3/4 of a million in medical bills. Now yes I have insurance but that is still a hughe chunck of money out of pocket. I am not looking for a sympathetic nod we dont need it. What I am trying to point out is that you havent a clue about what is the circumstances. Now that the major medical stuff is over will I stop trying to save? Hell no. I can spend time with my kids on sunday when I go through the coupons and guess what I can take them with me for 2 to 3 hours of FUN at the store.

    Bottom line is whne you ready to step up and pay for someones groceries then you can dictate how they pay for them. Until such time you have a right to leave the store and buy your pack of gum elsewhere or you have the right to strike up a conversation with the person behind/in front of you because after all you are in a public place and you might just meet someone neat and have a great conversation.

  99. EasttoMidwest says:

    This is like work. She is bringing goods into the household in exchange for her time. AND she and her husband get to stay in a lower tax bracket. If she’s spending 12 hours a week and getting the value of $300 worth of goods, that comes out to $25 an hour, without having to worry about before and after taxes. And no boss, flexible. Seems a great way for a single income household to bring in an extra $1200 a month. Heck, that’s a mortgage payment.

  100. RandomHookup says:

    @Xibalba: Mostly it’s laziness (and stinginess) on the part of manufacturers. Instead of paying to register a bar code that includes only that product, they make due with a “group code” that covers more products. And sometimes the the terms of the coupon (“buy a detergent or bar of soap or a scouring pad…”) make it impossible to adequately code the coupons.

    There is some institute/organization that sets the standards on coupon bar codes and they don’t always match what the companies want. For example, there’s no code for more than I think 3 items, so a coupon for $1 off 5 is really coded as $1 off 3 and the computer can’t pick up the difference. It’s minutia, I know, but your friend is an expert, I’m sure.

  101. christoj879 says:

    :/ While I’m sad that this information is being published, I’m happy to see that not a lot of people are interested in the effort it takes to get free stuff.

    I’m not at the point where I need to be grocery shopping for a family while couponing, but my free bag of assorted toiletries/remedies for free every week keeps me happy.

  102. @teapartys_over: “I seriously don’t understand why people don’t make their own salad dressing or tomato sauce, but that is getting a bit off topic.”

    ‘Cause there’s a finite number of hours in the day and some things I really enjoy making from scratch (bread, baked goods, chicken stock), some things I hate making from scratch (pasta sauce, anything involving roasted garlic), and some things I’m just rotten at no matter how much I practice (creamy dressings, white sauces).

    I do make vinaigrettes from scratch, but I like ranch dressing sometimes, and that’s just easier to buy. My scratch-made ranch sucks chocolate salty monkey balls, and the “lite” stuff from the supermarket is healthier than what I attempt to make anyway.

    I can usually knock 25-30% off my grocery bill with coupons, FYI, and I buy ingredients, a handful of “convenience” foods on the low end of convenience (pasta sauce, premade pasta), organics where I can, toiletries, kitchen supplies, and cat stuff. (I buy 7th Generation for cleaning supplies, and that doesn’t coupon.)

    My husband also grew up with a lot of junk food (I didn’t) and while he eats pretty healthy now, he likes junky comfort food now and then. So the rule in our house is that I’ll buy him whatever, but only when I have a coupon. Which means he can have Dr. Crazy’s Super Triple Fudgie Brownie Trapezoids only once every eight weeks or whatever. He gets a treat, we get to buy it cheap, and the frequency of the treats is controlled.

  103. ChuckECheese says:

    @RandomHookup: Crissy saves money, is overweight, probably has high blood pressure from too many frozen entrees, and paper cuts. Her house smells like Glade Plug-Ins, the stove hasn’t been used since Thanksgiving, and her entire family uses the toilet a total of twice a week they’re so constipated.

    There’s an 8-year supply of mouthwash stashed in the hall closet. Her children’s friends wonder why the kids all have canned green beans and instant potatoes stowed under their beds. Every three or four years Crissy calls the exterminator to kill the weevils and she drops off the 4-year old Chex at the food pantry.

  104. HaloZero says:

    WTF, I looked around for deals like this and no supermarket even has coupons in my area. Where did she get Target coupons?

  105. no.no.notorious says:

    i love coupons. end.

  106. strathmeyer says:

    I make more money per hour than she saves so I’m really getting a kick outta these replies.

  107. Meet Crissy, she’s the reason the god damned check out line is not moving. Jesus! Now she’s writing a check?

  108. enm4r says:

    I find just walking around the super market and buying what’s on sale has cut my bill by probably 33%. Most people tend to stick to the same core products (be they healthy or unhealthy) and once you learn the way the supermarket discounts them, you can save a ton. For example, I know that chicken breasts are buy one get one every 3 weeks or so near me…so I buy enough to last me 3-4 weeks at a time. There’s $30 savings right there. Walgreens has mile for $2.89 every other Friday/Saturday…Nature Valley had a 10 for $10 sale last week, so I bought like 20 boxes of granola bars…(probably excessive) and that’ll last me 6 months.

    Do I store everything? Not a chance, but I do pay attention to what’s on sale and I shop at a couple different places. Even if you aren’t going to spend hours clipping coupons (I’m definitely not) you can tailor your shopping to save a decent amount of money without much effort.

  109. inboulder1 says:

    How to lose a life. Check her for OCD.

  110. teapartys_over says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: True, it’s not worth wasting your time if you really hate making something. I get all up in arms about those two items because I don’t mind making them, and every time someone gives me vinaigrette from a bottle I feel like gagging – you can taste all the added sugar or HFCS, plus whatever else is in there. Same with pasta sauce, if you’re in the habit of making it, the jarred stuff doesn’t taste as good. But I work at home and if my time were more limited with a commute I’d only do things I enjoyed and not sweat stuff I don’t care about, so you’re totally right.

  111. nonzenze says:

    @DeliBoy who said “I thought the American ideal was prosperity though hard work and frugality?”

    Yeah, hard work at actually creating something and frugality in actually doing more with less. What she does is actually economically (and IAAE) completely worthless — it creates no net utility. All she does is shuffle around paper creating pretend value. The fact that she benefits is immaterial — she still has made anything useful or provided a useful service.

    *To be absolutely fair, you could argue that companies benefit from having tools that push consumption of over-inventory goods. They don’t have any interest in just giving those goods away though.

  112. PaperBoy says:

    You can make coupons work for you in almost any situation, but not every coupon for every purchase. Hats off to Chrissy, and the snobs here should stop making assumptions. (And grocery clerks, sorry that you had to do the hard part of your job, but customers aren’t here to serve you.)

    When I was out of work, I started using coupones and found coupons on name-brand items at the grocery store were still more expensive than generics at the same store, or the bulk purchases at Costco. What I was able to do was identify about 30 of my family’s most commonly purchased items, and then I shopped the best deals for those items. For food, buying what was in season was fresh and cheap, and bulk buys and freezing from Costco was best for meat, chicken and fish. On things like coffee filters and paper towels, finding a generic, store-brand or off-brand that I liked was the best deal (who needs name-brand garbage bags?).

    The rest of the time, it was look for store specials and, if you use that item all the time, stock up when it’s on sale. Coupons were best on toiletries and personal care products, esp. on name brands that you don’t want to stop using. Generic mouthwash – yuck! I’ll wait for a Listerine coupon, thanks.

    The key that I found was to concentrate on the things you bought most often, and experiment to find the best value for your buck on those few dozen items. That cuts your core bill week to week, then you can save more by watching for sales, specials and appropriate coupons. Biggest waste of money was buying things we didn’t use just because we had a coupon. Only exception was when it was a new product we wanted to try.

  113. teapartys_over says:

    @KevinReyn: Hear, hear. But I do hope that people on the most limited incomes can find some ways of finding decent healthy food, like CSAs or local meat farmers if you’re so lucky. It’s something I would still strive for even if we hit rock bottom, but I agree completely that it’s not always possible. One thing is to get quality meat but cut back on it and don’t eat it as a large chunk of your plate (like steaks or burgers), more of a flavoring. That way maybe you could buy local grass-fed beef (more nutrients) and just eat it 1-2 times a week as part of a stew or sauce or rice and beans, etc. Stew meat and chop meat are obviously a lot cheaper than steak cuts. There are also some great roasting cuts that are very inexpensive.

  114. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @Joseph:

    You wrote: So you were gonna spend $200, you’d save $100, but how hard would it be for you to be creative or just work for $20 an hour for 5 hours and make that same $100 you saved then spend an hour and get what you want.

    First off, 20/hour x 5 is not 100 dollars after taxes are taken out. So, maybe she’s have to work more like 7-8 hours for that 100 dollars after she paid child care, taxes, paid for gas, etc. Assuming she could get a 20/hour job.

    And second, doing this once a week at “off” times probably makes it possible for her to not work & be home with the kids, something it is difficult to put a price on.

  115. hi says:

    So businesses scamming you is bad but when you scam a store by using loopholes it’s ok? Sorry I don’t buy that. Do unto others as they would do unto you right?

  116. @inboulder1: Piss off.

  117. KevinReyn says:

    @teapartys_over: Yeah I hear what your saying. And believe me they made things work that I was just shocked were possible. But then I was in my little upper middle class bubble of ignorance and we laugh about it now, how clueless I was. Fortunately for him he finally got someone to take a chance on him, he is a very smart guy, and now he manages a large HVAC shop here in town and is pretyt comfortable, but he still hasnt lost his methods.

    I guess my point in it all is that I was pretty surprised at some of the responses I saw here. I thought most of the consumerist regulars had similar value sets but it appears those values are contingent on if they are personally affected or not. But alas I take solace in the fact that many of those posting the arrogant comments like “I make more then she saves” are probably a paycheck away from being in need of coupon cutting lol.

    I love to use coupons – its a fun activity for me and the boys, we shop together and when they are older, and they cant wait, they will get their own little lists and it will become a game for them to see who can get their list the fastest. The net side effect is I spend some quality time with my kids and I am able to keep a few dollars in my pocket that would otherwise go in my belly.

  118. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @virgilstar:

    You wrote: Agreed! If all you want to do is feed your kids Cap’n Crunch, Hamburger Helper, and other sugar/salt-laden junk, then go ahead and clip coupons. When was the last time anyone saw a coupon for fresh vegetables or organic milk/eggs?

    All the time? There are plenty of coupons for “Buy a pound of bacon/gallon of milk/bottle of salad dressing?etc, and get bread & tomatoes for BLTs/5 pounds of bananas & Vanilla Wafers/lettuce and veggies for a salad to go with the dressing?etc.

    They are out there, but they require a specific purchase and since they are higher value coupons, they are often sent to people who have signed up with the company or their advertising arm.

  119. firesign says:

    i buy store brands. i buy stuff that’s on sale. i use coupons. i do this with stuff i would buy anyway, and maybe try something new also. when it’s costing me $52 to fill up my hyundai with regular, you can goddam bet i’m doing all of the above. you haters can suck it. and maybe there are some of you out there that can afford to buy all your stuff at whole foods or wild oats or whatever, but i sure as hell can’t afford that kind of markup. double coupons at kroger ftw.

  120. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @aristan:

    BTW, if you ever see the coupons for Blood Sugar Monitors, buy them, even if you’re not a diabetic. The coupon is generally for the price of one of the monitors, meaning that the monitor sells for $20 and you get a $20 coupon in the paper. So it costs you nothing. Your local Homeless shelter, EMT, and Senior Citizen Center will kill for these.

    Will do. Awesome idea. I see these coupons all the time and think: “I have one, what do I need with a second one?”

    Now I know! Thanks so much!

  121. KevinReyn says:

    @hi: So businesses scamming you is bad but when you scam a store by using loopholes it’s ok? Sorry I don’t buy that. Do unto others as they would do unto you right?

    Hi

    The definition of a scam
    A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle.

    Yes when businesses “scam” us that is bad. When businesses say one thing and do another that is bad. When businesses refuse to honor their own policies yes that is bad.

    When you play by the rules and follow the policies even though you might play a little harder or for that matter actually put some effort into using those rules and policies to their fullest I fail to see how that is taking advantage of them.

    FYI another definition for you
    Take advantage of,
    a. to make use of for gain: to take advantage of an opportunity.
    b. to impose upon, esp. unfairly, as by exploiting a weakness: to take advantage of someone.

    I see this purely as definition a. because no one is exploited unfairly. Dont believe it lets look at it.

    The manufacturer – Get their product purchased and into the hands of the consumer who may tell their friends how good it is and lead to more sales. Believe me if it wasnt in their best interest you wouldnt see coupons.

    The Store – Depends on the shopper. In many cases that same shopper that takes advantage of the coupon also buys stuff that is not on sale and thus they make their money off that AND the money the get reembused from the manufacturer. In most cases the store actually makes out better.

    The Clerk – Ok so god forbid you have to do your job. Who give a flying F if its me makeing 2 or 3 transaction or 2 or 3 other people? Your job is still the same, that is what you are pulling a paycheck for. So ok maybe I am taking advantage of you but thats a stretch.

    Other Consumers – Ok these can be the people who get hurt by this but in most cases even the multi transaction cases the hurt it minimal. I am still going to buy the same amount of groceries regardless. And the actual time taken to take my payment between them is really insignificant but time can dialate when its the only thing your focusing on, take a deep breath and breath it will pass.

    And lastly a third definition
    Loop Hole
    a means of escape; esp., a means of evading or escaping an obligation, enforcement of a law or contract, etc.

    Coupons and coupon handling procedures have been around for a very very long time. If there was a loop hole to exploit dont you think it would be closed by now.

    Just to give you a little food for thought. If coupon abuse was such a bad thing why do you think that stores offer doubling and tripling of coupons or for that matter accepting of coupons from other stores?

    So yes when a company tries to willfully screw someone you bet pitchforks and torches to the front gate. Using a system that is in place for the sole purpose to generate more revenue for multiple participants and doing so to its fullest extent? Big pat on the back for a job well done.

  122. qrius says:

    i think it all depends on ‘opportunity cost’ economic term. if you are capable of using that same time clipping coupons to do something more profitable/worthy, this coupon clipping doesn’t make sense. but if you are not employed or have no other income, I see nothing wrong w/ clipping coupons. It’s essentially like working and making money.

    as much as I’d had to be after her in line, not everyone have the same opportunity to make money

  123. wring says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: best comment evar

  124. KevinReyn says:

    @aristan:

    The glucoise monitors idea, cheers!! This is the elightened mind set I have come to appreciate at this site. I never thought to do so but I will now as well as others.

  125. DamThatRiver says:

    For some reason, I’m reminded of that woman I read about here quite a while ago who would collect ketchup packets whenever she got fast food and put it all in a bottle, even though coupon clipping is nowhere near that weird.

  126. kwbridge says:

    Mambo Sprouts [www.mambosprouts.com] has coupons for organic products like tofu and soy milk. You can have them emailed or mailed to you. The downside is they only come out 3 times a year. Not a huge savings but they are useful for products I actually buy.

  127. whatsthisnow says:

    Coupons are awesome. My parents fed and groomed 5 kids using sales and coupons, and there was no shame in it. Otherwise, we might have had to use food stamps, etc.

    As an adult I still shop sales and stock up on healthy-ish foods, dried goods, and other things. Otherwise we eat mostly fresh foods. I do often use coupons for household items.
    This year, using just Walgreens sales and rebates I got at least a year’s worth of deodorant for 2 people for 10 bucks, and free toothbrushes, after rebates. Am I putting them out of business? Hardly. Also, it took about 10 minutes of effort, per week. I think it’s worth it.
    To the person who thinks it’s ridiculous to stock up on tampons: Are you kidding me??? Those things cost a fortune.

  128. DeliBoy says:

    @nonzenze:

    “The fact that she benefits is immaterial — she still has made anything useful or provided a useful service.”

    I honestly feel that attempting to respond to this would be fruitless and a enormous waste of time. Your basic misunderstanding of the way the real world works is showing, and I think we are real close to hearing all about Ayn Rand.

    You make me long for an old-skool Usenet-style killfile on The Consumerist.

  129. MercuryPDX says:

    @boss_lady: I do the same. I have an envelope I keep in my car with all my register coupons from the previous shopping trip, and store loyalty cards that would be taking up space in my wallet. I transfer any clipped newspaper coupons from the house to the envelope.

    I know I’ll need the car to go shopping, so I’ll always have the coupons and store loyalty cards with me whenever I go.

  130. @whatsthisnow: “To the person who thinks it’s ridiculous to stock up on tampons: Are you kidding me??? Those things cost a fortune.”

    And it’s not like, if you get knocked up and don’t need them for a while, you can’t donate them to a woman’s shelter!

    When I’m all stocked up on “feminine products” but get a great coupon, I buy them anyway JUST TO DONATE THEM to the battered women’s shelter. They ALWAYS need them and they DO cost a lot!

    (And now I’ll do it with glucose meters too, now that I know!)

    @teapartys_over: :D I want your pasta sauce now!

    My favorite stew takes four hours … it’s dead easy, only 10 minutes of prep and then add things twice during the four hours, but you have to have four hours at home to make it, so even though it’s cheap, easy, and tasty, only a few of my friends who beg the recipe can make it, since they’re not home from work until 5:30 and want to eat before 9:30 at night. :P

    I work half at home and half outside the home, so my menus are sort-of split between things that take a lot of babysitting (but not much work) and things that I can pull together in 10 minutes (and tend to involve more convenience items).

  131. BlackFlag55 says:

    Not to be the old fogey here, but in order to realize these savings you have to eat manufactured, boxed and canned crap with ingredient labels that read like a laundry list from Dow Chemical. Sure, there are occasionally two-fers on fruit, or vegetables, occasionally on “meat” (I wouldn’t eat super market meat on a dare, but then I raise real beef). Coupons strike me as the wicked witch leaving bread crumbs to her lair of fake cardboard “food” that keeps physicians in business. It looks like saving money, but you have tyo eat their crap.

    But you gotta admire her effort and planning.

  132. Gin&Yonic says:

    I belong to a CSA for my fresh produce and get staples like peanut butter, cereal & pasta for very little, if anything, with coupons. I make bread and baked goods at home. I’m not doing this because it’s my ‘job’ – I’m an attorney who uses some of her free time to keep costs down.

    Also, the 5 transactions at once is BS. That’s just rude. I do two transactions, max, going to the end of the line after each one. There’s no reason other people need to be inconvenienced so I can save some money.

    I don’t think I’ve paid for toiletries or cleaning products in a few years, thanks to CVS & Rite Aid. They’re not just sitting in my basement, collecting dust – I stock up on free or nearly free items and donate what I won’t use to the local battered women’s shelter. It’s a low cost way to help families in need.

  133. mermaidshoes says:

    i think separating one visit into five transactions is pretty damn obnoxious. i’d clock her if i were a checkout person.

    additionally, i usually find that most coupons are for things i wouldn’t buy anyway. i’m not really saving if i’m buying something i don’t want to eat.

  134. @KevinReyn: Thank YOU. Sometimes people don’t have a choice… I hear you! My 8 month old is on a hypo allergenic formula that costs $45 A CAN, every 2.5 days. (Fighting with our insurance to cover it) It costs more to feed her a month, than it does for us…

  135. drjayphd says:

    @inboulder1 @Voyou_Charmant, @strathmeyer, @ChuckECheese: Nice to see the “don’t read the article, chime in with not-all-that-witty response” crowd turned out today…

  136. @DeliBoy: OMG, Ayn Rand. Haven’t heard that author’s name in ages….

  137. KevinReyn says:

    @verucalise:
    Ugh! I hear ya. That stuff is rediculously priced. We were fortunate enough that our little guys both could tolerate normal formula. But I always felt bad for the parents stocking up on that stuff knowing how fast you go through it and how much it cost. Our big expense was diapers, with out little guys kidney issues we blew through them like a hot knife through butter. We had to keep him well hydrated which meant he went more and due to a side effect of his initial condition he produced like a 12 year old.

    I intially chimed in on this thread simply because here is someone trying to save some money and we dont know her circumstances and people are so quick to judge. I really didnt expect that from this crowd I would have figure they would have been cheering her on.

    @mermaidshoes: I had a not so witty response for your desire to clock someone for asking you to do your job but the more I thought about it the more I realised you already did my work for me.

  138. As the cashier I am I would call management over just to kill some of her time and point out just how obnoxious she is being. It wouldn’t even be her bothering me. It would be the five people in line behind her threatening to kill me.

  139. ideagirl says:

    @SEARCH ENGINES: Nope. I was doing this in the 70s and 80s, and people like Crissy were on the news all the time for this type of shopping.

  140. lamorevincera says:

    I admire her tenacity in this, but this just isn’t something I can do myself. It’s not the work involved, but the fact that I could not, in good conscience, hold up a line like that (re: splitting one transaction up into 5).

    You never know what the people in line behind you are going through. You could have a person behind you who really needs to get the medicine they’re buying home to their sick baby, or even just someone who’s had a bad day and just wants to get home.

    And knowing how incredibly slow the CVS stores around me are, I’d honestly be ticked off that I had to wait 30 minutes or so in line, simply because someone ahead of me wanted to play the system. I just can’t see that as being considerate of others, which is pretty important to me.

  141. You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

    I suppose if you’re a bored housewife with nothing better to do and your husband puts you on a tight budget for groceries then this would be the way to go.

  142. RandomHookup says:

    @lamorevincera: I wouldn’t do this either. Just go thru the line 5 times and it is a more fair solution.

  143. KevinReyn says:

    @lamorevincera: Lets be realistic folks. I mean ok splitting into 5 transaction is a bit much I will give you that but she has a right to do it if there is no policy against it. And I am going out on a limb here with the assumption that if she does all her prep work ahead of time which it appears she does, and she has to hit 5 to 7 stores in the process. I bet your ass that she has this down to a science so as to get it done in the quickest way possible. I really cant think this would take that long if you had it planned out. 30 min? Um maybe if your cant find your check book each time you want to write a check for each transaction. I mean come on lets find another nit to try and pick this poor girl apart.

    If you dont want to do it thats cool but again why beat someone else up for wanting to do it?

    I have done a couple of transactions before and it goes like this.
    Scan scan scan hit total.
    Swipe card type pin hit ok get reciept
    Scan scan scan hit total.
    Swipe card hit credit sign receipt I am outta here.

    To be honest it usually takes more time for the cashier to keep up with me then it does for me to get the job done. When you do get a shapr cashier (rare anymore) its a joy cause your in and out in no time regardless of the line.

  144. rwyuan says:

    Coupon Crissy must be such a so fat! I can’t believe that Child Services hasn’t removed her children already considering all of the nasty processed food they have been forced to eat. I’m sure Crissy must be so stupid that all the coupons that she uses must be on things that she doesn’t actually need. I can also intuit that she waits for a line of 10 people to form before cutting to the front of it to check out five times in a row. Furthermore, I think that she must be thoughtless to actually expect the cashier to ring out four more times than minimally necessary (you know – each unnecessary check-out is deducted from a cashier’s pay). Instead of spending a hour or two clipping coupons (which is such a low-class activity), when can’t Crissy just find a $100/hr job that she can do 2 hours each week? Is that too much to ask to avoid the stigma of using coupons?

    As for me, I don’t wallow in such a base activity such as coupon clipping. I’m a yoga instructor with zero percent body fat who on consumes organic, free-range, vegan, skinless chicken and hydroponic vegetables (I don’t like my food to touch to dirty, dirty dirt). Whenever I’m not self-actualizing or spending moments of soul-fulfilling profundity with my children, I compose tetra-stanza poems that are immediately purchased by my well-bred patrons for thousands of dollars each.

    If Crissy can’t do the same, it clearly a mark of her moral and social inferiority. But I will try not to judge.

  145. whatsthisnow says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:
    That’s genius! I’ll definitely look into that.

  146. ChuckECheese says:

    @rwyuan: I love your hilarious post. Face it–Crissy is better than us. All we can do is cover our shame with organic collards we bought at the farmer’s market. There is no coupon for self-redemption.

  147. mythago says:

    Good for Crissy if this works for her and her family. Where it gets tiresome is when others use her, and folks like her, as a soapbox: if only those lazy poor people clipped coupons like she did they wouldn’t sit around using up my tax dollars, blah blah blah.

  148. wjmorris3 says:

    @RandomHookup: I have to second this, as a grocery store cashier.

    A coupon usually has a barcode of 5-BBBBB-CCCDD-E. The “5″ tells the computer that it’s a coupon. The 5 “B” digits tell the computer what company issued the coupon. The 3 “C” digits tell the computer what products the coupon will work with. The 2 “D” digits tell the computer the value of the coupon. Finally, the one “E” digit, the check digit, makes sure that the eleven other digits are correct.

    The key here, however, is that if there is a conflict between what the barcode says and what the text says, the text always supersedes the barcode. I know some of my customers try to play the cute little “coupon decoding” game to cheat the system, but any use of a coupon other than the manufacturer’s intended use is a form of coupon fraud.

  149. Slytherin says:

    @backbroken: ROFL!!!!!

  150. teapartys_over says:

    @verucalise: I’m curious if you’re still on this thread, whether you were unable to breast feed? If that’s any of my business, of course. It’s just that I’m pregnant now and I see most of the time formula is such a scam. They seem to try to convince you that even if it’s just a tiny bit difficult at the beginning, you should just make life easier and use formula. Next thing you know, you’re paying a ton for formula and there’s no more possibility of breast feeding. I know a couple of women who had a hard time at the beginning and they both say if they had known then about the cost and inconvenience, they would have tried much harder to make breast feeding work. And then you get into the issue of not all formulas work for all kids, and suddenly you’re paying $45/bottle. I hope I’m not stepping on your toes, I’m just wondering if you feel like you were supported enough w/ breastfeeding at the start, or maybe you’ve even adopted and it wasn’t an option or there were other circumstances – I don’t know.

  151. @rwyuan: BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA!

  152. Scrugger says:

    Oh, the self righteousness!

    Everyone who’s bitching and moaning about waiting behind her, take a deep breath. Standing in line for an extra five minutes isn’t going to ruin your day, keep you from destiny, or kill a small puppy. Patience is a virtue that sadly most of the public lacks.

  153. MMD says:

    Are we all looking at the same photo?

    By what scale is this woman fat?

    Between the free-floating misogyny and “blame-the-victim” comments I sometimes wonder why I read this site…

  154. donkeyjote says:

    What’s the difference between 5 small transactions and 1 long one? 2 minutes.

  155. anyanka323 says:

    I’m with the people who have commented on how long her transactions take. As a cashier, I don’t mind if people use coupons, as long as they give them to me all at once and actually read them so I don’t have to give them back to them. Anything to save some money now.

    As a customer, I would be annoyed to be stuck in line behind her during her multiple transactions. I know we all need to have plenty of patience when shopping, but we all have our limits.

    Coupons are a lot of work for the benefits you get from them. I find it is only worth cutting and searching online for them if you get at least 25% off your purchase. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time.

  156. @donkeyjote: and in a retail environment, 2 minutes is much longer than it sounds.

    5 small transactions still takes quite a bit longer, because she has to pay for each transaction seperately, so it is the processing/etc that is going to make it take longer.

    obviously if there is no policy against it, then she can feel free to do it. but just because theres no policy against someone being a douchebag, doesn’t mean they SHOULD be one either.

    she is just being obnoxious. coupons take forever anyway.
    if i was behind that person in line, i’d change lines or hope the cashier has the power to do something.

    theres a line you cross from being a good wise consumer to being a dumb obnoxious douchebag.

    ***understandably, there are situations where this could be more reasonable. i do understand that maybe she has 5 children and both her and her husband have jobs just trying to make ends meet. H

    **HOWEVER, you have to realize that no one else in the line behind you knows that and most do not care. NO MATTER HOW TOUGH your life is, you still have to be considerate of others too, not try to take in all the sympathy you can.

  157. and, just a second thought… people really think she is that overweight? where the hell are you from? she seems to be a fine healthy individual, there are PLENTY of people that are much more “overweight” than most of you are claiming she is… i don’t believe she is really overweight at all.. sorry she isn’t 96 lbs. and only eating an apple for breakfast and an orange for dinner.

    i had to at least come to her defense on THAT aspect of this.

  158. katekate says:

    @forgottenpassword: As a former cashier, though, I have to say that at least 50% of the time, people have expired or otherwise invalid coupons, and they get pissed when we tell them that.

  159. CStogdill says:

    Damn you guys can be harsh.

    Let’s boil this down: Crissy is doing something that works for her and some other people would like to take her knowledge utilize it for themselves. If you can do that great, if not, you’re not out much more than your time reading the article.

    End of story.

  160. ChuckECheese says:

    A couple people seemed to take exception to my previous comments about the inside story on Crissy’s coupon-clipping life. So I decided to turn to last week’s Sunday paper to hunt coupons, maybe for crow I can eat later. I’m going to list everything that I found in the 2 circulars, SmartSource and redplum

    SmartSource: BBQ sauce; ziploc bags; sweepstakes; airborne; glade air fresh; contrived yogurt snax; baseball caps; omaha steaks; discover app; shampoo; deodorant; candy; nutrisystem; pledge; air freshener; dow bathroom chemicals; stain remover; bug killers; windex; english muffins; sleep number beds; discover card app again; oil of olay; oreck vacuum; checks; tampons; dog snax; air freshener; address labels; bras; weird arthritis gloves; direct tv; and grandy’s restaurant? (33 items)

    and redplum: frozen garlic bread; fruit juice; arthritis supplement; canned dog food; skin lotion; skin lotion; sandwich crackers; visine; check printing; bras; foot pads; dish network; and eyeglasses. (13 items)

    Here’s what I’ve learned:

    1. There’s almost no food. BBQ sauce, english muffins, Ocean Spray juice, steaks, candy, kids’ yogurt snax, frozen bread, snack crackers. 8 items. Most of the items are barely food–they’re really unhealthy snacks. The only near-staples are the muffins and the juice.

    2. Most everything is discretionary and premium-priced, such as credit cards, satellite tv, name-brand cleaning products, pseudo-gourmet beef, silly inflatable beds and name-brand toiletries.

    3. All these things are priced at a premium over similar products. Some of the items require large purchases–you must buy 10 cans of dog food to get 75¢ off. Even with a coupon, there are almost certainly much cheaper alternatives available, e.g., I’d never buy eyeglasses at EyeMasters.

    In the old days, I remember getting coupons for coffee, frozen OJ, sugar and paper towels. Indeed I would be constipated if I tried to eat this food, what little there is. There are 3 separate ads for air fresheners.

    My jokes before were aimed at the fact that for most of us, these coupons won’t allow us to buy needed products, and we won’t really save any money if we try, because we’ll have to buy premium brands and unhealthy, unneeded items. YMMV: In other cities, there may be more couponage. FWIW, I have no interest in organic foods or farmers’ markets. I don’t consider one’s grocery shopping habits an issue of terpitude–it was just teasing.

    By the way, on Scott Tissue’s website, you can get virtually unlimited $2 off coupons for TP and other products.

  161. CrissyT says:

    Wow….just wow. I do not know how this article got put on this website, but it did. And many of you (who say your time is so valuable) have nothing better to do than judge, degrade, and villify me? To me, that seems a bigger waste of time than providing for my family on a strict budget. Yes, we are a one income family. Yes, I feed a family of five with anywhere from $10-$50 a week. Yes, we eat fresh fruits & veggies, and YES, there are coupons for them. We eat fresh meat as well. And guess what? I use these magic little pieces of paper to do it with, instead of food stamps or any kind of welfare. My family gets provided for, and it costs you nothing. Not even time, because, unlike the majority of the people I see responding here, I am actually considerate of the people around me, even complete strangers. I will stand back and let people go in front of me. I shop during the slow times…early morning on the weekdays, and late at night. And if I am doing more than one transaction and someone happens to walk up, I will stop and let them go. So no, I am not holding any of you up, not wasting any of your time. You seem to do that on your own tho, by posting so many negative things. Coupons allow my family to eat much better than we would. And yes, every once in a while I do make a box of hamburger helper or something easy. But most nights, I make dinners from scratch using items I got with coupons. It is possible and they are out there. Seems like most people are looking for an excuse not to use coupons, but there are no excuses needed. Either you do or you dont. I quit working, making $14 an hour. In exchange for that $14 an hour, I get to stay home with my children (priceless), provide for my family better food than we ate when we both worked, I have more time to cook better foods, and so much more. So for me, it is definately worth it. But please dont jump to conclusions so fast. It is very disheartedning to see so much negativity. And over what? Someone you will more than likely never meet, and something that does not affect you negatively in any way.

  162. k1ll3rdr4g0n says:

    You do know that stores just price things up to cover the cost of the product – coupon? Else how could they make a profit off the already increased priced products?

    I still would like to know how she saved ~$36 on:
    “Crissy also explained that when a coupon reads “1 coupon per purchase” you are not actually limited to using it only once. For example she took 2 boxes of cereal that were buy 1 get 1 free for $3.79 a box. Crissy also had 2, $3 off coupons to go with each of the boxes of cereal. Crissy made over $2 on the cereal. At checkout Crissy’s total was $15.38, she saved $36.22.”
    According to my math that was only, what? $10? So, wait, the store gave her about $20 to walk in and take stuff off the shelves? If so, I should quit my day job and cut coupons for the rest of my life.

    So lets argue this coupon thing for a second. So, lets argue that coupons do indeed save you money.
    I decided to do my own investigation.
    I googled for “dominick’s coupons” (its right down the street so why not) and found:
    [www.chicagotribune.com]

    Seems pretty legit right? Because all newspapers are trustworty. Well, I proceed to the coupons link and it seems fairly user friendly. I click on a few coupons, and low and behold it wants to install some spyware/adware crap on my machine. Over my dead body.
    I don’t give up easily. So I googled for “grocery coupons” and came up with: coupons.smartsource.com
    Seems legit, although the idiot who programmed it put in JS code to prevent you from going back in your browsers history….why would they want to back to the previous page?
    In any case, I selected a coupon and again it wanted to install crap on my computer. I even dugg a little deeper and one wanted my email + zipcode (why would you need my email to show me a coupon?). Then I also stumbled upon a site that looked like the first but the HTML was screwed up and wanted to install the same crappy spyware.

    $.60 says she has 10 tons of spyware/adware on her machine. Dibs on helping her uninstall that crap + the $140 she “saved”.

    So in the end, you are not “saving” any money. Because the money you “saved” you have to use to hire some geek to come and fix the computer you screwed up. Or do what most people do is just buy a new one after they have trashed the one they currently have.

    I have seen some useful coupons floating around, like $5 off at best buy or something…but it is NOT worth installing spyware and getting paper cuts for the amount of money you would save from coupons. Morale of the story, everything is good in moderation.

    Someone prove it to me with broken down facts that coupons are actually worth it. Otherwise, from personal experience, I am telling you that the news article is a little fishy in terms of how much she ACTUALLY saved.

    Sorry for my rant, its late and I’m tired. So if some of it seems a little…unapporatite it’s my asleep brain typing.

  163. aristan says:

    @ChuckECheese: I am a coupon to the extreme. I’m one of the ones who buys multiple papers. I do not use the coupons I don’t need, you have to remember that these are -advertisements-.

    First off, let’s start with the dog food. The coupon was for Alpo, right? My local store had it on sale for 10 for $10 last week. A dollar a can. And they double coupons. So, that 75 cent coupon is worth $1.50. So that’s a can and a half of dog food for free.

    And last time I checked, my dog planned to eat on each of the next 10 days.

    Here is another example, I’ll work the math for you:

    3pk Zest Soap

    Original Price: 2.29
    Sale Price: 1.50 (2/$3)
    Coupon Value: 70 cents (35 doubled)
    Total Cost: 80 cents (Price per bar: 27 cents)

    When was the last time you spent twenty-seven cents on a bar of national brand soap? 1964?

    Hell, I can’t even claim to be a coupon genius anymore. I used to do all the hard work. Now I use a service that tells me “Hey, on March 30th, there was a coupon in the Smart Source for 75 cents off of Product X. Supermarket Y has it on sale for 1.50 and they double coupons! It’s free!”

  164. NancyNally says:

    No one around here doubles coupons at stores.

    I coupon clip and use them on a limited basis and manage to save a decent amount. I scan the ads every week and clip the coupons for the products that we use anyway – the brands of toiletries, the brands of cleaning products, the cereals, etc. I keep them filed and then when we go shopping I pull the ones that are on that week’s list. I also keep an eye out in the grocery store for products that we use (like cereal or spaghetti sauce and pasta) that may be on super sales but not on that week’s list and stock up when they are on sale.

    I save maybe $250 a year just from the coupons, which take practically no time to do…not sure how much more I save just by keeping my eye out for the sales as we work our way through the store. It works for us, saves us some money and takes practically no time or effort.

  165. daniinpa says:

    @CrissyT: Crissy, thanks for chiming in. Not everyone here is so negative, but there are a lot of elitist and immature people on the internet.

    If you’re still here, I would like to know how you find coupons for normal items? Most of the coupons in my Sunday paper are for snacks or non-food items, and most of them are for new products the manufacturer is trying to push. I would have no problem devoting time to couponing but it is rare for me to find a coupon I can actually use. How do I do it?

  166. CrissyT says:

    The first thing I would suggest: If there is a product you like, no matter what it is, send the manufacturer an email, or give them a call. Most of the times they will respond with coupons. This is especially good for products you dont see many coupons fdor. Also, the sunday paper coupons go in cycles. It is not the same coupons every week. Check them often. As for organics, http://www.mambosprouts.com has some great coupons they mail out quarterly I believe.

  167. ChuckECheese says:

    @aristan: All the power to everybody who can make this work. But it clearly doesn’t work in some markets/regions and for some people.

    The dog food coupon I referenced is Pedigree brand. I do not have a dog (cost $0) so I don’t know the prices. If you use this coupon, you will save 7 1/2¢ a can. Your deal on Zest soap is great. But I don’t get coupons for Zest soap, and my supermarkets (Wal-Mart, Albertsons, Lowes Big 8) do not double coupons. So I get 40¢ off frozen garlic bread slices and $1 off Oust air freshener.

    Clearly there are big regional differences in coupon availability. Crissy must live in a part of the country where there are a lot of coupons available. If I tried to live on coupon purchases, I’d starve. I check the coupons every week I get a Sunday paper, and I usually browse the mail ads that show up on Tues or Wed each week. They rarely have deals that make it worth my while to make a special trip.

    Albertsons and Lowes here have extremely high grocery prices, usually 2 to 3X (no exaggeration) Wal-Mart’s. I don’t like paying $5 for a 5-lb bag of flour, $6 for a gallon of milk and $3.75/lb for hamburger. El Paso has higher than national average grocery prices. Nobody gives coupons for produce here, although there are ethnic markets with inexpensive produce.

    I’m aware of that smart-buyer online service you speak of–it was featured on Consumerist a few weeks ago. It is not available in El Paso, a city of nearly 800,000 people.

    So my conclusion is that some of the snark you find on here is due to the fact that there are meaningful differences in coupon availability throughout the U.S. The rest of the snark comes from the fact that internet commenting is more locker room than group therapy. Nothing personal, Crissy; it’s just the nature of the beast.

  168. @CrissyT: “Also, the sunday paper coupons go in cycles. It is not the same coupons every week.”

    Definitely. Some weeks it’s a total waste and I pitch the entire insert. On the flip side, P&G BrandSaver week is my favorite. Good for me, good for my local shelter!

    Locally we get coupons doubled to $1 but not over; where I used to live they had double and triple coupons, no limit. That makes a biiiiiiig difference in how well I do couponing. I’ve also lived places where there’s no doubling.

    (And ignore the haters. There’s always some dope who has to chime in on frugality posts going, “Saving money is stupid!” Must be nice. :P )

  169. hotcouponmama says:

    I own one of the websites this shopper frequents. And I too am a coupon shopper. The fact is, there are hundreds of brands out there in the organic/natural foods segment that have $$ off coupons. Last week, I bought $50 worth of organic tomato products for $19. Next week, I have planned out a trip that will save me $200 on organic foods, many of them being free.

    HCW has a database with every coupon out there we know about, and we even have a couponing board for shoppers transitioning to a green lifestyle as well – and those members there get some screamin’ deals on organics.

    As to the savings? I am a FT MBA student, and I’ve couponed while working FT jobs as well. My savings over the last five years off retail…$55,000!!! You know where that money goes? It fully funds a $16K 401K plan. So I am saving after-tax dollars that I use to fund a pre-tax account. The savings for us, combined with the interest earned is huge. And we’re a 6-figure earning household. You’d be amazed how many people are professionals who coupon. We have mods who are pharmacists and lawyers. We have members who are business owners. For many of us, we want to keep what we have, not give it away paying retail. And the cashiers in my area…they’re thrilled cause I share the deals with them. They are working for little above min. wage – they are happy for the extra coupons I throw their way.

    Is couponing for everyone? Not really. You have to commit to wanting to save that kind of money. But there’s lots of ways to save on food and get the quality of food you want – you just have to be willing to be out there.

    As the forum owner, I am thrilled when I read about how this has changed our members lives. They have paid off debt, houses, cars. They are going back to school with their money. They are retiring early. They donate THOUSANDS of dollars and products back into their community. Many of them (myself included) even have keys to their local foodbank so they can drop off goods whenever they want.

    We appreciate those who pay full price and think nothing of it – it keeps the good deals coming for the rest of us!

  170. ncgirl says:

    @rwyuan: @rwyuan: @rwyuan:
    AMEN!! I laugh my ass off at all these righteous people who come on here and say they will ONLY eat organic, all natural, no-antibiotic, free-range, grass-fed, blah, blah, blah. You all know that is a complete crock, right? It is not more nutritious, better tasitng, healthier…but I guess if it makes you feel superior to the rest of us, more power to you!

  171. lamorevincera says:

    @CrissyT:

    Crissy, I’m VERY glad to hear that you are so considerate of others. From my experience, people who know they’ll be there for a while and are willing to let others go first are damn near fictitional.

    Having been a cashier, I can tell you that most coupon clippers aren’t very nice people. I hate to say that, but it’s the truth – they try very hard to slip in expired/wrong store/wrong product coupons, and when you tell them that you can’t ring a coupon up because it’s for a $100+ Sonicare system and they’re just buying a $3 toothbrush, they scream and insult you. It gets to the point where you see someone with coupons and sit there mentally going “PLEASE, not my register, PLEASE”.

    I’m very glad to hear of your consideration for others, and I am quite happy to eat crow here. :)

    As I said originally, I do admire your tenacity and resourcefulness.

    /munch munch munch… mmm, crow
    //I have a feather stuck in my teeth now. ;)

  172. hotcouponmama says:

    I do want to add – we have a whole section at hotcouponworld where we shed light on coupon fraud. We’ve ferreted out fraudlent coupons before the manufacturer even knew there were problems and alerted the CIC, a non-profit that deals with coupon fraud.

    We also encourage our members to treat cashiers kindly.

  173. RosyGlasses says:

    @bonzombiekitty: It’s even better for the store than what you describe. The store gets $3 back for each box of cereal. Plus, the cost of the promotion is almost invariably borne by the manufacturer – so the manufacturer is making sure that the store loses no margin on the cereal. So if the store buys the cereal for $2.79, and marks it up to $3.79 every day, then the store also gets back at least $2 on the buy-one-get-one offer. I work for a major food manufacturer in marketing, and we put out coupons all the time. A really successful coupon for us would have a redemption rate of about 1.5%. While Crissy herself costs us money, the benefit comes from the 99% of other customers who see our coupon in the newspaper, either cut it out or don’t, go to the store, and then pick up the product on the shelf and buy it without a coupon. I wish I were as disciplined as Crissy with the couponing, even though I likely make more/hour than she saves.

    @RandomHookup: Regarding the bar codes, the codes are set by some quasi-governmental organization and each manufacturer applies for the first five digits. Most companies have brands save because you can have, technically speaking, 99,999 unique codes (the last 5 digits of the UPC) per manufacturer code (the first 5 digits of the UPC). Most brands don’t have that many different items. So at my company, you can use a coupon for one product, technically speaking, on I think 8 different brands.

  174. kimandkathess says:

    I don’t see what everyones problem is? Not everything we coupons buy is “bad” for us! I once shopped at walmart and was able to get $350 worth of stuff for nothing, as a matter of fact, they had to give me $9.00 out of their register! And as for not getting deals on healthy foods we do. I have gotten many, many, many fruits and veggies free as well as juice. Even organic foods. So I think you all need to do a little research. And if the world goes into another depression…guess who’s gonna be stocked up on food. Obviously not you! Don’t be a hater.

  175. skatanic says:

    @Doofio:
    I used to work at a CVS and everyone there felt the same way. Except my manager was a push over and would allow even the most outrageous coupon fraud. So not only would my manager make me look like a jackass for trying to prevent said coupon usage, some customers had the nerve to complain that i had a “bad attitude” while ringing up there 75 coupons with a line full of impatient customers.

  176. RandomHookup says:

    The problems with coupons are often not caused by the consumer — UPC on the coupon is wrong, one store in a chain decides they will do it a different way from the rest of the chain, cashier decides the rules on the spot (I once had a cashier tell me I couldn’t get the $10 on your next order coupon that printed out from the Catalina machine after I bought the right items — he thought paying 16 cents for my order wasn’t enough — we called the manager). I’ve been cursed out by customers because the coupons wouldn’t scan right (it was the right coupon, just some problem)…I’m sorry I wasted your time at 8 on a Sunday morning.

    Bigtime couponers will tell you the big savings are in the Catalina deals and Rx transfer gift cards. But then again, I’ll eat anything.

  177. Illiterati says:

    @Joseph: “…how hard would it be for you to be creative or just work for $20 an hour for 5 hours…”

    In some cities, I would totally agree with you. However, where I live now, making $20 an hour is exceedingly rare. Most people in my rural town are lucky to be in the $10/hour range, if they’re employed at all. My take is that if you’d otherwise spend that time, say, watching tv or just dinking around, this extreme couponing might be worth the effort. Even without going to Crissy’s extremes, we can all take away a few useful tips from her experience. I love feeling like I just stole a box of Lucky Charms after using a good coupon trick.

  178. dirk1965 says:

    Most of the coupons I see are for crap I don’t need or want.

  179. KevinReyn says:

    @CrissyT:
    Cheers to you young lady. Thanks for stopping in and putting some of these trolls to rest. While this site has lots of quality posters and very knowledgable folks. There will always be the elitists who choose to snub their nose or look down on those of us who try to make the right choices in life.

    Keep up the good fight.

    @lamorevincera:
    You prove my point. While many are quick to jump few in this world are willing to accept that they may have jumped to soon and even fewer are willing to publicly retract.
    “thumbs up” to you for being mature enough to not only think what you said but to publicly state it.

  180. clickable says:

    @jharbert: You are absolutely right, and it’s something I always notice. The worthwhile coupons for “food” items are usually for expensive, highly-processed junk with little or no nutritional value. We hardly use them. There are quite a few lower-value coupons (35 cents, 50 cents) on dairy and produce items, or staples like oil, tuna, sugar, or condiments, and in the summer we use lots of coupons for ice cream, nutrition be damned :).

    I’m still an intensive coupon clipper, for personal care items, makeup (drugstore-type brands, not high end), cleaning and household products, and pet supplies. When I have two $3 coupons for L’Oreal foundation, for example, and the store is having a weekly two-for-one special, I can get two foundations for a fraction of the cost of one. Each one rings up separately at the register (so I can use both coupons for buying two items). Because of the “twofer,” the register will later deduct the price of one of them. So, for example, if the foundation costs $12, I’m buying two for $12, applying a $3 coupon for each one, and end up paying $6 for both. At CVS, I usually plan to use other benefits that lower the price even more – buying products when there are Extra Care Bucks offered, and using coupons CVS sends regularly by e-mail, such as, for example, $4 off any $20 beauty products purchase, or store coupons for specific brands. I buy all my cosmetics, skin care, and personal care items, and many household products, using this strategy. It quickly adds up to substantial savings.

    I find you need to stay focused on whether the “bargain” is really useful to you or whether it will gather dust because you realize you don’t want to switch from your “regular” brand. If you’re careful to buy only what you can use (or donate to a shelter or food bank), coupons can still be very valuable even if you mostly avoid the food-related ones.

  181. clickable says:

    @strathmeyer: Imagine that, not only are you earning so much that you feel compelled to mock people who need to be more frugal to make ends meet, but you even have time to hang out on Consumerist. Good for you.

  182. clickable says:

    @DamThatRiver: Huge difference. I don’t understand how you can see a comparison. Taking more ketchup packets than you will use during your visit is unethical at best (“stealing” would be the right word, frankly). Using coupons skillfully (i.e., combining a manufacturer’s coupon + a store coupon during a week that the item is on special to begin with) to bring the price close to zero is not in the least bit unethical. The worst you can say about that is that it irritates the guy at the register and the people in line behind you. You’re comparing rotten apples with sunny oranges.

  183. rawblem says:

    No offense, but you people are terribly unoriginal in your thinking. I attended at a hacker conference (HOPE last year) a coupon-clipping seminar. No joke.

    The guy who was giving the speech would get paid to shop, much like Chrissy here. He’d make $2 on each pair of cereal boxes, or $1 on each bottle of nyquil, or whatever.

    There were a few things he did to get even more out of it. He wouldn’t buy anything he actually needed. EVER. BUT, he always walked out not with goods, but with money. He walked out of the store every time with a huge wad of cash… (figuratively… he actually walked out with $500 in-store gift cards that he paid nothing for).

    Basically, he’d find what he considered a winning combination, like the cereal example. He’d go online to a website where you can buy 100 or 500 of the same coupon from someone who’s sitting at home just clipping them. So he’d buy 1000 of the $3 off coupons, and 500 of the buy one get one free coupons.

    He’d go into the store, he’d bring 500 boxes of cereal to the front, use the coupons, AND BUY A $500 IN-STORE GIFT CARD.

    THen he’d walk out of the store, drop the 500 boxes of cereal, and drive home, keeping NOTHING but the $500 store gift card. He’d literally trash the goods he just purchased and leave the store with $500. Sometimes he’d even do the right thing and donate them to food shelters, but the point is he didn’t care at all what happened to the cereal. He just made $500.

    In fact, for some products it got even better. Some allow you to rip off the labels and get everything from movie tickets to clothing items. So not only did you make $1.50 on each Sunny Delight you bought, but you ALSO make an $8 movie ticket for every 4. That means for each 4 units you buy, you make $8 + $6…. and even if you never intend to use the movie tickets, I’m SURE you could resell them to someone for $5 each. The sad part with this one, though, is that he was unable to donate any food items without labels or proofs of purchase. The shelters wouldn’t take them, and so he often just left them on the side of the road somewhere.

    Remember, this is completely without even using the goods you’re buying. This is just using coupons only and then throwing hte products into the garbage.

    For all those people saying using coupons to buy goods you’re not gonna use is pointless, that’s wrong. If you’re MAKING money on every unit, you don’t care if you’re buying shampoo, food, or dog shit. It ultimately doesn’t matter. You’re getting paid to walk out of the store with it… the more you walk out with, the more they pay you.

    It’s only obvious when they set up systems like this that people will take it to extremes.

  184. ghoster says:

    I find that the coupons in the Sunday paper are only good for a certain length of time, most 30 days. If the item doesn’t go on sale to make the trip worthwhile, I just have to throw it in the recycle paper pile. I do get some bargains from time to time, but I am not driving all over town just to get them. And as for places like Wal-Mart, they have already cracked down on people in our area. Their price matching is good only if the item is named specifically, even if it is in the picture portion of the ad, if it is not named, they will not honor it. And they look at me funny for any coupon derived from the computer printer. Sometimes, it is worth it and sometimes, it’s best to forget it.

    Around here, stores will not give you cash back for saving on coupons. I had a $1.10 coupon on a box of cereal and I used the coupon. The cahsier took 10 minutes of everyones time to call the office and see if she could allow it because their store policy was nothing over $1 was allowed. My jaw dropped. So I went to a sister store across town the next week, and they said that was wrong. They also added that I should not have gotten any money back from it, but the coupon should have been taken at $1.10. I kept trying to tell them that the darned box of cereal was $3.68 so there was no way I was going to get $ back. So, I just don’t go to that store now.

  185. Diningbadger says:

    How wonderful to save on 99.9% of store brand crap. Has anyone taken a look at the sodium and fat in coupon items? Not to mention sugar!

    Sure, I’d like to save big bucks on stuff like the rest of us but not at the expense of a corinary.

  186. quiltinaway says:

    I love all you people who pay full price for products so that I can get them for free. (Somebody has to pay for it – so a big fat THANK YOU to you!)
    When I get all my shampoo, makeup, razors, dishsoap, dishwasher soap, pain relief, vitamins, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deo, and even printer paper for free I’m laughing all the way to the bank!

  187. TheWoman says:

    It is true that most food coupons are for unhealthy junk. You have to be picky. I just used coupons for organic soymilk and organic frozen blueberries. There are lots of coupons for condiments. While these won’t feed you, every dollar you don’t spend on ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, or salad dressing is a dollar you can spend on something really good for you. Also, most people do buy junk, at least occasionally. Why pay more than you must for the junk?

    While there are rarely coupons for fresh produce, you can still use coupons to get it free or really cheap. A few months ago there was a deal where if you bought 7 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal you would get a coupon for $10 off your next order, good on just about anything in the store. I used coupons to get those 7 boxes for $2 total, then I had a $10 coupon I could use on produce. I did that several times. The food pantry was grateful for the 50 boxes of Rasin Bran, which is reasonably nutritious, and my family had fresh pineapple as often as we wanted. There are deals like this rather frequently if you know where to look. Also, I have seen frozen vegetables free after coupons.

    Many coupons are for non-food products. I got up this morning and took a shower. I used free soap, free shampoo, free conditioner, free shaving cream, and free razors. I then got out and used my free deodorant, free toilet paper, free lotion, and free makeup (applied with a free makeup brush). I brushed my hair with my free hairbrush and used free hair styling products. I brushed my teeth with my free sonicare toothbrush (I did pay for the new brushhead I needed) and free toothpaste.

    I then changed my baby’s diaper with free baby wipes and diapers that cost about $3.50 per pack of 35.

    With all the money I saved using coupons on these items I can afford to buy healthful foods for my family.

    Could I make more money working? Not in a part time, mostly work from home, very flexable hours job where I can take time off whenever I feel like it and bring my children with me when I have to. When I do get a babysitter, I usually pay her with stuff instead of money.

    $1 saved is not really $1 earned. Depending on you tax bracket, $1 saved can be $2 earned.

  188. Coupons4u says:

    ” Many of the people who do this are stay-at-home moms/dads who can’t hold down regular employment, so the “get a job” comparison doesn’t work.”

    This comment is way out of line. Most people CHOOSE to stay home to raise their children. It has NOTHING to do with holding down regular employment. The parents that do stay at home; their job does not end at 5pm nor do they work 8 hrs job. They work 24/7 with no pay, no thanks, and no one else to help.

    There are people out there that want to save money and will find a legal way to do so and there are people who dont’ want to and don’t.

    THose that don’t and feel the need to grip about couponers being considerate of other people, well those that don’t use coupons need to be considerate of those that do. Your time is as valuable as everyone else. No one is above anyone else. So what you want for yourself, is most likely what others want for themself also.

  189. jswede1149 says:

    I am amazed at the lack of education in this thread.

    I will preface my comments. There are shoppers who have an addiction problem. They use coupons for the wrong reasons. There is a valid argument with this specific group.

    I am a vegetarian who coupons. I do not buy much “junk food”. I saved $160 through coupons and sales in two hours. I do not need to shop until July. Ninety percent of my coupons are organic coupons; the other ten are a mix between HBA and entertainment coupons.

    I spend 20 minutes a month clipping and sorting coupons. I spend 3-4 hours a month grocery and sales shopping. I live within 5 minutes of two grocery stores and a Target.

    I never run five orders at once (there is nothing wrong with this if done in an expedient manner). If I have a large cart of items, I allow people with smaller orders to check out ahead of me. When I am at the grocery store, I check out at the Uscan (non-12 item or less lines) to ensure we do not tie up the cash wraps.

    In the last 2 weeks, I’ve saved $448 in four hours. This is $448 less dollars my husband will have to earn over his professional career. Why would any of you purposely retain longer careers because you can’t be bothered with coupons? This is a sure sign of pseudo-intellectualism.

    Please desist with these spurious comments. They have little basis in reality.

  190. Coupons4u says:

    @Diningbadger:

    There are quite a lot of coupons for dairy, bread, meat, and healthy and organic foods.

    You might have a corinary because of the amount of money you’re spending but I won’t because I eat healthy with coupons.

  191. antikitty says:

    Some of these comments are rather rude. If so many people posting here are in such a great position to never have to save a dime and waste a few hours a week to save 50%+ on their groceries and such then why are so many in this country losing their houses, cars and behind on their bills? With the gas prices going up daily making electric bills, grocery bills, travel expenses, etc to go up tremendously even people who feel they are in a good economic position now are going to have to learn how to cut back and save. Many jobs in this country are being cut and more to come with the way the economy is going. I am surprised so many people still believe they are too good to cut coupons or try and save however is best for them. Charging you credit card up doesn’t constitute being able to afford it.

    Not only lower income people use coupons the way Crissy did in this article. Alot of middle and upper class people do as well, they use the extra money they save to put into investments or retirement, whatever. Thats usually why they are in the higher economic bracket, because they are savy in ways of spending wisely and saving money.

    For people who think that a few hours a week is too much time to spend looking for a good deal to save money to put into retirement, your childs college education fund, or live debt free you may be the same people who couldnt take the extra time to learn what an adjustable mortgage really is and as soon as it adjusts and your mortgage jumps up an extra $500 a month you will need to learn fast where to find the deals and coupons. I am sure hotcouponworld.com or whoever will welcome you open arms and teach you the ropes.

    P.S. not all coupons are for “junk” food. I am vegeterian and I prefer to eat organic in most instances and I still get coupons for the items I love and am able to save at least 50% each time I shop on my grocery bills and my freezer and pantry is fully stocked. Plus I am usually able to get toothpaste, razors, shampoo and such items I use on a daily basis for free or close to it. And you usually cant get store brands for that cheap so its almost always brands I have always used and loved.

  192. antikitty says:

    Also, alot of these people you find on sites like hotcouponworld.com and such who are stockpiling items you may think are useless donate alot of stuff to charity and dont have to break their bank doing it. Though you may think getting 50 toothpastes useless even if its free but when you walk into a battered womens shelter with them and donate them I don’t think they would agree that it was a waste of time to find the deals.

  193. cheynesnana says:

    to Hambriq…
    If you look on that website HotCouponDeals.com and read the “Brag Posts” where people post pictures of all the great deals they got, you’ll notice that very little of it is actually useful at all. People have stockpiles of hair products, toothpaste, tampons, etc.

    So… You don’t find all these items useful??? Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shaving cream, razors.. etc??? These items can be had for free or pennies.. and they can be kept for a long time.. so why not get them free and stockpile instead of having to pay full price when you need them?

    Also.. it’s HotCouponWorld.com… :)

  194. cheynesnana says:

    to rwyuan… Furthermore, I think that she must be thoughtless to actually expect the cashier to ring out four more times than minimally necessary (you know – each unnecessary check-out is deducted from a cashier’s pay).

    I’ve been a cashier.. no one gets docked for extra transactions from one person.. and who exactly would decide if it was an unnecessary check-out??? The store that is making money whether one person buys in 5 transactions or 5 people buy in 1???

  195. ruabich says:

    Consider this:

    In the amount of time it took some of you to read the article, read the comments and post a batch of shit – I will have scanned through my Sunday coupon inserts of which I usually manage to get 20 copies of each, separated each page and stapled each like coupon together (there is actually a youtube video showing a similar operation), sorted and filed each coupon by catagory in my coupon briefcase, prepared my shopping list after reading the local sale flyers, clipped my coupons to my list and be on my way to shop when the store opens at 7 am tomorrow morning.

    Now, think about this:

    Staple hygiene items such as deoderant,shampoo, body soap/wash, shaving cream, razor blades, conditioners, lotions, Qtips, tooth paste, tooth brushes, mouthwash, not to mention cosmetics, personal products and any other daily use body producs, based on a family of 4 using all or some of these products regularly, can cost upwards of 100.00 per month.

    Any given month, at any given national chain store, all of these items can be had for free – yes free using sales, store discount cards, store coupons and manufacture coupons. You are buying brand name, high quality items now, not store brands or other generic type items.

    So – you find these items on the correct “free” sale and you stock up – say 1 years worth. That is a realized savings of 1,200.00 per year (using above figures). To get just these items free, you may spend a total of 2 hours including finding, clipping, and sorting of coupons, scouring sale flyers and matching all of the above up, driving to the stores and purchasing these items, bringing them home and putting them away. So consider you have just saved 1,200 for 2 hours work, that is 600.00 per hour. Can any of you say you make that kind of money?

    Now, if you are really diligent, and have paid very close attention to rebates available both from the manufacturer of the product as well as the store where your purchased it, or maybe even both with the inception of online rebate filing, you can profit in real cash

    This is all being done legally, morally and ethically, with very little effort on your part.

    With just doing this – you can take the 100.00 you would have normally spent in CVS on toiletries and head on over to the grocery store and stock up on free range chicken and organic veggies. That is a whole nutha post – I can also explain how to leagally, morally and ethically get your organics free or very inexpensively.

  196. RandomHookup says:

    @Coupons4u:

    ” Many of the people who do this are stay-at-home moms/dads who can’t hold down regular employment, so the “get a job” comparison doesn’t work.”

    This comment is way out of line.

    I think you are over-analyzing my comment. I wasn’t being negative about the SAHMs — “can’t” in this case meaning that it is impractical, not that they don’t have the skills or willingness to work a full time job. It’s just almost impossible to stay at home with kids and have a normal full-time job.

    I’m a hard-core couponer, so I am not one of the naysayers.

  197. ruabich says:

    @RandomHookup:

    It is not impossible to be a SAHM and work full time – normal or not. SAHM by day – full time employee at night. It is not hard at all. I stay home with the kids during the day whilst my husband whittles away his day at work 1st shift – we dual parent 2nd shift and 3rd shift sends me off to my RN job at the local hospital.

    Other SAHM’s enjoy the benefits of telecommuting. There is more than one way to skin a cat

  198. mustbcrzy says:

    Out of 83 coupons on Coupons.com…I found 6 that I could actually use. We have certain brands of products (shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.) we use and I’m sorry, but I’m not going to buy products we don’t use just because there are coupons for them…even if I could end up getting them free!

    A lot of the people on HotCouponWorld are stockpilers (hoarders…though they don’t like to be called that). Some of them buy large quantities of particular items they have gotten free or nearly free, such as blood glucose monitors, and then sell them on Ebay. They even sell coupons on Ebay…I could not believe that!! Some of these people are crazy and the people who BUY coupons from them are crazier!! This has gone way past coupon clipping to save money!!

    Here are some posts from those coupon clipping fanatics:

    “A great way to get TP is through ECBs or Walgreen specials, that is how I have gotten most of mine and even had enough to send 2 12pack rolls to my daughters.”

    Wonder how much postage that cost her? Why can’t the daughters buy their own TP? After all, they all live in the same state.

    “Re: LOTS of K-Y jelly $90 value ends 01/20/08 9:00 PM EST

    WINNER! You are the grand prize winner ***********..these are great for all of the CVS deals + the clearance products you find * also look for the gift sets. When those are marked down the $3 can cover the entire cost”

    What is this woman going to do with that much KY???? LMAO!!!!

    And this one just floors me…here’s one of the hoarders I was talking about…

    “Re: What do you have in your stockpile that will last you more than a year?

    spray sunblock
    make up
    face cleanser
    lightbulbs,
    paper plates, cups
    cleaning stuff
    toilette paper
    tissue
    detergent
    dawn
    fabric softener
    spag sauce
    tomatoes
    pastas
    mustard
    canned meat like salmon
    ketchup
    tooth paste
    deodorant
    razors
    pork n beans 60
    dry beans
    dole jar fruit 18
    dole fruit n gel 12 4pks
    brown rice 10 2# bags
    boxes rice dinners, boxes potatoes, 36 boxes
    bbq sauce over 30
    a-1 -16 bottles
    heinz 57
    salad dressing 28 and 10 dips for wings
    baggies
    trash bags
    foil
    breakfast bars/snack bars
    shampoo conditioner
    body wash
    spices/marinades
    hair colors
    tea
    welches low sugar grape drink
    powder cool aid, hawaiian punch, tea singles
    peanut butter 12 jars
    sugar free jelly
    sugar free relish
    sugar free bread n butter pickles
    cooking oil – 22 bottles
    syrups, karo, molasses
    bread crumbs
    cream of soups, stocks, soup,
    box pudding, gelatin, pudding cups
    ds cereal – post hbo

    This is hard, some of the stuff I am about to buy again.

    After next week I will have enough for a year of:
    mayo, tuna and canned chicken, chef Boyardee

    ketchup and hamb chips/ whole baby dill pickles – I need much more than last yr.

    I have a good stockpile and most of it will last a year, but if something goes on sale I will buy more and rotate my stockpile for a yard sale or donation.”

    Would you buy any of these things at a YARD SALE?? I know I wouldn’t!! Some of these people have serious problems with hoarding it seems to me. These people shop every week and sometimes more than once or twice a week…buying the same things they already have a years supply of. Maybe they have some sort of mental disorder…I don’t know!! I’m all for saving money, but holy crap coupon addicts…get a life!!

  199. mustbcrzy says:

    Go here to read the bashing some of you received…lol

    [www.hotcouponworld.com]

  200. mustbcrzy says:

    @cheynesnana:
    You said…..So… You don’t find all these items useful??? Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shaving cream, razors.. etc??? These items can be had for free or pennies.. and they can be kept for a long time.. so why not get them free and stockpile instead of having to pay full price when you need them?

    I don’t find them useful if it’s not the brand I use! There are certain brands of razors, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, etc. I like to use. Why would I want to buy something, or even get it free, if it’s not the brand I prefer and won’t use?? I don’t care how long they can be kept!! I had an aunt everyone called “Aunt CooCoo” because she was always buying stuff she didn’t need or use just because it was on sale. One time she bought 10 pairs of men’s shoes in different sizes just because the store was having a good sale on them. When asked why she did it, she said, “Well, you never know when someone is going to come along and need a pair of shoes!” She still had all those shoes the day she died…guess no one ever came along!! LOL

  201. Jbball says:

    What a fucking bitch. Splitting purchase should be banned and the person trying should be murdered on the spot. Fucking cunt.

  202. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    Since there are new posting rules in place now, it appears that absolutely nothing has changed.

  203. ameretto says:

    can u get me a good deal on some felweed and dreamfoil?