Man Who Hates Clipping Coupons Uses Coupons To Spend $1 Per Day On Food

Sure, the exploits of the coupon ninjas are interesting, but we live, shop, and eat in the real world. Who has time to make a job–or at least a time-consuming hobby–out of couponing? Jeffrey doesn’t. Yet he began a challenge to feed himself on $1 per day in April…and is still at it. Using sales, coupons, and (ugh) rebates, he’s managed to survive, without a huge time investment in couponing. What are his secrets?

He kept himself fed, (mostly) sane, and even donated some unneeded items (like tampons and 27 boxes of corn flakes) He even learned to cook. A little. Here are some of the lessons he took away from the first 31 days:

You Can Eat More Than Junk Food On $1 A Day: Most people that I told I was going to be trying this challenge assumed that I was going to be eating a lot of macaroni & cheese and instant ramen. I actually was able to get fruit and vegetables into my diet on a daily basis. I only ate 100% whole wheat bread the entire month. While I could have made my diet healthier if I had more money, I believe that what I ate was better than what many people in the US eat without the strict financial limitations.

It Doesn’t Take Near As Much Time As You Would Imagine There is an initial learning curve when you really do need to devote a good amount of time learning how the system works, but once you become familiar with it, things shouldn’t take too much longer than they do for you now. While it is possible to spend a lot of time cutting, sorting and cataloging all the coupons you have, you don’t have to. I don’t. I simply date the Sunday coupon inserts with a pen and then only get coupons when there is a great deal that I want to take advantage of.

Anyone Can Do It: I only started couponing in February of this year to help out local food banks and avoided shopping as much as I could before then. I didn’t have a clue about anything about couponing or grocery shopping when I began. If I was able to figure out how to do this, I assure you that anyone can. It will take about 10 hours of learning how the different store systems work and about a month of practice using what you learn to become comfortable with using coupons. From that point on, you can expect huge savings in your grocery shopping.

The most helpful part of this challenge: using coupons and other discounts to earn a profit on some items, and investing that in products for which there are no coupons.

Eating Well On $1 A Day [Grocery Coupon Guide]

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  1. pop top says:

    That’s really great that he donated stuff he didn’t need, especially the female toiletry products. A lot of people overlook things like that when donating to homeless shelters or low-income “help centers”, but things like toothpaste, tampons/pads, toilet paper, etc. are needed just as badly as food. Kudos to Jeffrey for taking the time to help others while he did this project.

    • macoan says:

      Wish I had a safeway or other “major” grocery store that had cards that I could use to play more coupon “games”.

      I have the choice of Wal-Mart, and a few local grocery stores with prices already pretty high

  2. SomeoneGNU says:

    Sure he’s eating for a dollar a day, but at what time cost?

    • Dover says:

      “It Doesn’t Take Near As Much Time As You Would Imagine … once you become familiar with it, things shouldn’t take too much longer than they do for you now.”

      I can vouch for this. I cut about 30% ($30/week) off my family’s grocery bills with about an extra half hour before I go to the store.

      • Dover says:

        I mean, it’s not as extreme as many people who do spend more time, but it’s definitely worth it.

      • kalaratri says:

        Same for me. And that 1/2 hour includes checking out all the store websites for sales.

    • RandomHookup says:

      He says it takes about 1 hour per week in focused time. He’s a blogger, so his time isn’t worth much anyway.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        That’s what he said, but what is really true may be an entirely different story. A lot of people exaggerate a great deal when they are trying to prove a point.

        • wrjohnston91283 says:

          I use coupons, and we’ve gotten our food cost down to about $3-$4 a day, per person. It doesn’t take that much time.

          I get the sunday paper, and while reading it, flip through the coupons and cut out the ones for things I MAY want and put them into two envelopes (cold items / dry items).

          Then later on in the week when the grocery flyer comes in the mail, I spend some time going through that and mentally matching up what’s on sale with what I have a coupon for. A lot of the coupons do get thrown out, since they may never match up with whats on sale.

          I plan my meals for the week out in advance, and do that while I’m looking over what’s on sale – if I see that chickens $2/lb, I’ll be making something with chicken (and buying extra to freeze).

          I’d say an hour a week is about right – and you can do it while watching TV too.

          • Conformist138 says:

            Chicken DOWN to $2/lb? Huh, at my grocery store that would be considered an everyday price. But, I also shop at a really cheap warehouse-style grocery store with the rest of the huddled masses.

            That said, I really need to start doing this. I am broke and cutting my groceries from $100 to $30/mo would be seriously fantastic.

    • lukesdad says:

      Did you even read the article?

      • The Marionette says:

        Unfortunately some people just read the article title, type some stuff and click “submit”.

  3. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    He could have bought a case of Ramens and probably feed himself for 20 cents per day.

    It does remind me of a local news story about a woman saying that her $1400 unemployment check didn’t even cover the groceries. Either she was exaggerating, has thirty kids, or needs to watch the food budget a bit more. My family (of 4) spends quite a bit on groceries, but not $1400 per month (and if one of us lost our job, we’d definitely cut the amount down).

    • katstermonster says:

      Jeez louise. That’s ridiculous. I could buy an INSANE amount of groceries with $1400. I only spend about $200 per month for myself, and I could cut that by about half if I worked hard at it.

      • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

        And we’re in Iowa, so it’s not as if there is a Manhattan cost of living pushing the cost up.

        Honestly, I can’t imagine how I could spend $45/day on groceries for a family of 4 … Even if you’re serving T-bone steak for lunch and dinner, that’s quite a lot.

        I suspect that dining out was included in the “groceries” estimate.

        • aloria says:

          I live in the NYC metro area and I manage to feed myself on about $150 a month. I’d have to have a family of like 10 to get that up to $1400.

      • JamieSueAustin says:

        We spend $300 a month for three people (one of which is on a special diets). I use coupons and shop sales. Groceries take up a large part of our monthly income, but I couldn’t imagine spending 1400 in a month.

    • dolemite says:

      Yeah, but if you read the article, it says he must eat fruits, veggies, etc. Sure, you can live off of Ramen for a short period, but I’d hate to see someone’s health after living off Ramen 24/7 after even 6 months.

      • aloria says:

        I knew a kid who got scurvy from an all-ramen diet. Seriously, his gums turned black. It was incredible.

      • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

        I may have been joking …

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        The food he makes seems to be relatively edible, but I’m glad he doesn’t have kids. With kids, edible isn’t good enough – you’re raising picky and whiny eaters if you don’t expose them to properly cooked and flavorful food. All of the picky eaters I know had parents who weren’t the most creative or adventurous cooks. They either overcooked everything or slathered it in cheese, and their kids grew up thinking this was normal, even if it tasted horrible.

        • farlo666 says:

          im lucky in the respect that my kids eat whatever we cook, not picky in the least bit, but i guess its because they were started with a large variety early.

        • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

          Tell me about it. My husband is super-picky, and it’s taken me years to get him to eat any vegetables other than corn. His mom hates anything remotely spicy, so the only sauce/seasoning that was ever put on anything was store-bought bbq sauce. She’s also a germophobe, so she thinks she has to overcook any kind of meat to the point of dryness or else it will contain diseases. She tries to be healthy, but everything she cooks is packaged and frozen, or pasta with Ragu. Plus she buys snack cakes/ice cream all the time to eat after meals, and candy dishes for in between.

          And she complains to me all the time over how worried she is that my husband is fat.

          • grapedog says:

            I’m a picky eater because I like certain foods. My mother home cooked everything when I was growing up, always had dinner on the table every night, lots of variation from fish to meat and whatnot. Plenty of vegetables and variation in sides, though not much in the way of spicey, which is fine, i like to TASTE my food, not sear the flavor into my gums and tongue. Not everyone who is a picky eater had a horrible cook for a mother. I’d move back in with her in a heartbeat if my dad would let me, just for the food!

        • JulesNoctambule says:

          In my family, a picky/whiny kid is a hungry kid. Unsurprisingly, none of my relative are picky eaters.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            I’m not talking about kids who are picky; I’m talking about adults who are picky because they weren’t exposed to enough variety as children. Picky kids can go hungry; picky adults are a pain in the ass to deal with. I’m glad Mr. Pi has changed a lot of his eating habits. He’s much more adventurous now than he was when we met.

            • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

              I was very picky as a child and wasn’t exposed to much. My mom catered to me, and I am literally one of the most adventurous eaters I know.I’ll try anything. The only foods I’ve not liked are organ meats and dark meat pieces of chicken. Now I haven’t had anything like Kimchi/gimchi, or durian, but I am willing to try both!I love raw sea snail though!!!

            • Conformist138 says:

              It really doesn’t matter what food you are giving your kids in terms of creating picky eaters, what matters is not letting them rule the menu. Sure, if you only fed them one dish and never gave them anything else, you might create issues, but being a sub-par cook isn’t enough to turn children off from decent habits.

              Like so many other people, my parents just didn’t give us the option to eat anything but what they prepared for dinner, regardless of if it was bland or not perfectly cooked (no one is perfect, dad did some frightening things to casseroles). We couldn’t be picky and we didn’t flip back on some picky-switch the moment we were on our own. We just realized our parents were correct in raising us with limits and rules. We are better people now because our folks were wise enough to do for us what we were too young to do for ourselves. Like other things parents do, eventually the child will learn to take the controls, but they have to be shown first.

    • Saydur says:

      That’s sheer lunacy. You can raise a family of four in some parts of the US on $1400 a month. Not easily and not with much in the way of luxury, but unemployment compensation is just a way to survive until work can be found. I couldn’t imagine spending more than $1400 on groceries alone for a four person family unless everyone lives on a diet of whiskey and caviar.

      • Bob says:

        Who the heck gets an unemployment check for $1400? Does this state only issue checks once a month? Many state issue those checks weekly.

        • Myotheralt says:

          True, but you can skip a week or three and then certify all four weeks at the same time. You would get about 4x as much.

    • t0ph says:

      No, she wasn’t spending 1400 a month on groceries, that was the total of her unemployment compensation for the month. Factor rent, gas, utilities etc. Her food budget was prob a few hundred a month.

      • kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

        Well, that’s certainly not the impression she gave in the TV news story. She certainly seemed to be saying:

        Cost_of_groceries > Unemployment_Compensation (1400)

        It wouldn’t be that surprising if unemployment didn’t cover rent, utilities, gas, groceries, etc. I expect that this is the case for nearly everyone. Everyone I’ve known who has gone on unemployment has had to dip into savings.

  4. ellmar says:

    “…without a huge time investment”, really? I got halfway through the article and realized that just reading about his couponing hijinks constituted more of a time investment than I was willing to make.

    Stick to the basics. Plan your meals. Buy what’s in season and on what’s sale. Buy ingredients instead of prepackaged processed food-like substances. You will save a bundle of money.

    • lukesdad says:

      And if you do that, plus take an extra hour or so out of your week to factor in the coupons, you’ll save a lot more.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Except that I’ve read several places that convenience food with the least nutrients are the cheapest items in the store (think ramen, boxed mac and cheese, etc…

      I buy 95% real food, fresh fruits and veggies (I don’t used canned), meat, etc… and we spend way more than if I just bought Hamburger Helper or something. Cooking fresh nutritious food is quite expensive, even shopping in season.

  5. pantheonoutcast says:

    Sounds like something I’d like to try when I’m retired. Or unemployed. Or lobotomized. Or I have completely lost the will to live.

    Also, from his blog:

    “All together I purchased 13 bottles of KC masterpiece BBQ sauce (will be donated to local food bank), 2 bags of Wheat Thins Toasted Chips (mine for snacks) and 1 Betty Crocker Warm Delights (will be donated to local food bank) with a retail value of $57.29 for $0.64:”

    So in other words, you wasted hours of time to get two bags of chips for 64 cents. Congratulations. You win “Lunatic of the Week.”

    • dolemite says:

      It reminds me of the women that look thin. It’s less impressive to say “well I eat salad 2x a day and bust my butt at the gym 2 hours a day to look like this.” They’d rather say “oh, it is nothing really, I guess it’s just genetics, I eat whatever I want!” So this guy says he hardly spends any time clipping coupons.

      • Marshmelly says:

        In the defense of people who say that…they’re not always lying. I used to be skinny as a rail on the pizza/fries/cheesesteak diet (literally ate one or more of those every day). I was nowhere near healthy, but still skinny nonetheless =P Prescription meds will pretty much give you a wake up call though haha…now I actually have to workout and eat right to maintain my weight.

      • number10ox says:

        I don’t know many women who work out and and eat healthy who then pretend it’s just good genes. There are plenty of women who have good genes and eat like crap and say, “Well, it’s just good genes.” Most people who work it to look good are proud of their commitment and endeavors,

      • aloria says:

        I eat whatever I want and I’m thin as a rail. I’m way too lazy to work out, too. Some people just get the short end of the stick genetically. However, if it makes you feel any better, I inherited some pretty nasty mental problems from my mother’s side, so it sort of balances out.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        What’s worse is when they say how little they eat and how hard they work out when it’s really genetics and they sit around eating crap all day and never get off their a$$. Skinny girls alway say that make fat people feel bad.

    • Saydur says:

      He spent time so he could donate foodstuffs to the local food bank. I’d say that’s a worthwhile enough endeavor.

    • leastcmplicated says:

      even if he doesnt use it, he spends the extra hour and donates it to a food bank… I think it’d be worth an extra couple hours a week to not only help out myself but loads of other people in the process.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        But that’s not the point of his experiment. The point was to see if, using coupons, one could feed oneself on $1 a day. Apparently, the answer is yes, if you have hours of free time to devote to the whole coupon culture, and more time to waste delivering unnecessary items to food banks. A gesture which, ironically, is sort of a slap in the face to people who legitimately would love to be able to survive on a dollar a day, but instead depend on the donations of those with excess; I’m not sure how the rich, tangy goodness of 13 bottles of barbecue sauce is going to offset starvation.

        There was nothing noble about his endeavor.

        • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

          I agree. I was thinking, “How will individual servings servings of cream cheese and high fructose corn syrup filled bottles of BBQ sauce help feed a homeless person?” Those seem like very random things to donate.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I started the first post and realized that he went to the coupon dispenser in the store, grabbed 19 of them, and purchased 19 packs of cream cheese. He either took enough coupons to deplete the shelf’s supply or he took all of the coupons and purchased that exact amount.

      Isn’t that pretty much a no-no when it comes to coupon etiquette? I’d be really annoyed if I knew one person was wiping out 19 packs of cream cheese at a time, then took more coupons to go back and buy even more in large quantities.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        It’s a no-no for etiquette period. I hate it when I see someone buy everything that’s on the shelf during a sale or any other time. Stores really should have limits. I know they get the same amount of money no matter what, but you get more happy customers when you have it available to a larger number of people. Plus, it’s just douchey to buy it all.

    • MaxPower says:

      I thought it was really ironic that he didn’t keep a single bottle for himself since he doesn’t have any seasonings or anything. He must really hate BBQ sauce.

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        There’s a good reason he didn’t keep any of that crappy BBQ sauce for himself–because it’s crappy BBQ sauce. I wouldn’t feed that to my dog much less donate it the food bank.

  6. SugarMag says:

    I got linked to his blog awhile ago. It is an enjoyable read if you like that sort of thing. It is detailed so you can see how it is done.

    He doesnt mind it, but I would have trouble with so much repitition and simplicity in many meals. (I wish I could eat in such a basic way most of the time but I unfortunately have a fussy and expensive palate).

    I respect that he ate what was available based on sale items and budget – NOT trying to make his tastes and cravings meet his funds. He admits he doesnt know how to cook but he was constantly open to ideas and combos and got creative as needed (ex: he had no spices or even salt and pepper so he would use the bottom “salt” and whatnots from a box of crackers).

    He didnt complain much either LOL, which I totally admire.

  7. Wetta says:

    I would cut more coupons and invest more time in saving on groceries if there was not practically a monopoly on groceries where I live. We only have one grocery store chain here and they push their store brand like crazy too. We have a couple super walmarts but I really wish we had more competition.

  8. RandomHookup says:

    Looks like he got the Panda Express entree and got a reasonable amount of meat: http://www.grocerycouponguide.com/articles/can-i-take-condiments-from-restaurants-day-75-eating-well-on-1-a-day/

  9. jessjj347 says:

    Ohhh interesting. I’ll be looking at his blog later.

    P.S. I’m currently about to make about $13 on a rebate for Blue Bunny ice cream. Sometimes using coupons pays off very well :)

    See http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=975514&t=2130564 if interested and if you shop at Shoprite.

  10. Tightlines says:

    I read halfway through his first day and quit. The man makes multiple trips to the grocery store to receive a couple of bucks with his “moneymaker” coupons. Oh, and 19 cartons of Philadelphia cream cheese. No thanks, some of us have lives to live.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Yeah, that’s the only part of couponing that I can’t seem to get around. I think that for many deals you have to stop by the store more than once because of things like limits.

      The one thing I’ve switched to doing is passing the store on the way to work so that I don’t have to waste a break at work or go on nights or weekends.

    • mszabo says:

      Not to mention probably completely emptying the in store coupon display so he could buy/donate all those cream cheese. Thats a pretty dick move right there. Sure he can do it but he singlehandedly prevented anyone else from getting the cream cheese deal.

  11. lain1k says:

    Still not convinced with the whole coupon thing. So far it hasn’t appealed to my lifestyle (work during the day and school right after at night) and my needs. I just cut out almost all eating out and shop regularly for food I know I will eat within the next week. I use almost all my food, particularly if it expires quickly (i.e. fruit and breads).

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      My only problem with coupons is my own laziness….so I subscribed to the Sunday paper and I don’t even have to leave my home to get my coupons. I like clipping coupons and using them. It’s my own little game to see how much I can save.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I’m not sold on it either. I tried it for a while and all of the coupons were for stuff that was absolute junk. Rarely did I find coupons for meat, dairy, good whole grain bread, steel cut oats, fresh veggies, etc…

  12. denros says:

    This would SO not work on the paleo diet. I guess the equivalent would be hunting, fishing, and foraging.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Heh. My roomie is on that; I’ve been trying to do it too as moral support… not fun!

      Fishing/Hunting does require licenses though, at least in certain locations.

  13. AllanG54 says:

    I use coupons like crazy and it takes me all of about 30 minutes once a week to clip and sort them from the Sunday news. Believe me, it’s much better to hand the cashier a piece of paper than a dollar bill and the savings add up quicker than you know.

  14. gparlett says:

    I’m about half way through reading this guy’s blog posts, and it’s fascinating, but it’s also abundantly clear that he LOVES clipping coupons. LOVES, LOVES, LOVES clipping coupons. I’d say it’s one of his top 5 hobbies.

    If you know what a Catalina is, you dont’ hate clipping coupons.
    If you bought 600 boxes of cornflakes BEFORE starting the challenge you don’t have clipping coupons.
    If you know what a ‘money-maker’ is you don’t hate clipping coupons.
    If you regularly pick up 5 or 6 copies of the Sunday coupon inserts, you dont’ hate clipping coupons.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Ugh, Catalina. Not very tastey or healthy. Homemade blue cheese dressing is my drug of choice.

      • yusefyk says:

        With all the posting you do on this thread about your superior tastebuds, I’m surprised you have time to cook at all.

      • lilyHaze says:

        Catalina is not referring to the salad dressing, but the coupons that print out with your receipt. Some items have “deals.” If you buy x of something, you get $y off your next purchase. If you have manfacturer’s coupons with these deals, you can buy them for cheap/free. When the Catalina prints out a “$y off your next purchase,” the man in the OP probably used it for produce/meat.

  15. tonberry says:

    i read through about 10 days of his blog. the problem for me is that every time i look at the coupons, they are for products i wont use. and i am not buying tens of packages of cream cheese to save some money on another product. he goes back multiple times and ends up getting a total of 64 packs of cream cheese. he buys a lot of kellogg’s corn flakes. we won’t eat those in my house.

    right now i am spending less buy using the cook this not that book, this week alone i made my own pesto which my wife loved. and last night we made home made guacamole which turned out fantastic, ended up being cheaper than buying the stuff pre-made. plus the way we are eating is much healthier now.

    • number10ox says:

      Re: the boxes of corn flakes

      From the first entry on his blog, “All you would eat is cereal and junk food,” she countered. That is not a healthy diet for a month.”

      Maybe he mixed together the cream cheese, barbecue sauce, and corn flakes. If ketchup is a vegetable, why not barbecue sauce?

    • Lisa34 says:

      If the idea of coupons stresses you out – maybe this will help. :)

      Skip the food coupons and try to coupon just for health and beauty products.
      The first week of the month go to a coupon clipping service like mycouponhunter or ebay.
      Search out for household items like laundry detergent, shower gel, feminine products, toothpaste etc.
      (Becareful to check expiration dates)
      Order 10
      If you can combine the with a sale you will really score! Even at regular price that is still $ on something you would be buying at full price.

      I love coupons but don’t have time to coupon 365 days per year. I generally stock up/donate a couple three or four times per year. I don’t do CVS ECB or Walgreens cataline because it’s not worth a trip for me to just buy 1 item for free and there is usually a limit of 1.

      If you have a source of newspapers then buy some folder files and date them every Sunday. Stick the coupon inserts in there. Check the forums at hotcouponworld. They will list the good deals by date and title of insert. This way you can retrive the insert easily by date and only clip what you need. You won’t have coupons all over the place! :)

      My point is that it does not have to be an all consuming hobby or nothing. You can do it a couple times per year and have a nice supply of HBA products that you bought at a discount.

  16. 4Real says:

    um because this idiot keep buying more then he needs it makes the companies produce more. STOP the Madness… just buy what you need for the week. dont frickin stock up on crap.

    • JamieSueAustin says:

      You say that… till the zombie incursion… then you’ll be wishing you all those delicious cornflakes.

  17. number10ox says:

    The author describes his 19 cartons of cream cheese as a “money maker.” Who is going to buy that? I don’t think rushing to eat 19 boxes of cream cheese before their expiration is “eating well.” How long did he spend finding these deals?

    Personally, I’ve never been a coupon clipper because even with the coupon discount, what I buy is cheaper than the product on the coupon. I tend to buy store brands and to buy what I’m going to eat in the next week. I spend far less on groceries than my husband does and he’s typically banned from the shopping trip these days.

    If you always buy name-brand products and the latest, newest products, then coupons may serve you well. If, however, you shop carefully and with your head fully attached, using coupons will probably just raise your grocery bill.

    This is like the CVS lady who buys 30 toothbrushes to stick in her cabinet in case a house guest needs them because it gave her free bleach. Somehow the money she wastes on unnecessary toothbrushes is ignored.

  18. venomroses says:

    About the “Earning a profit” to be able to purchase some items. I’m pretty sure most stores do not let you do this!

    The store I work at is one of the few here that will even let you stack your coupons, and store policy is that your amount of coupons cannot go over the purchase price of the item. (Like if you had a 8$ item and 10$ in coupons, you can only use 8$ of those coupons.)

    • RandomHookup says:

      True, but there are other ways to make a “profit”. He is doing rebates on some items…so he might get refunded the original price rather than the price after coupons. I couldn’t figure out his method, but much of his moneymaking deals come from rolling his CVS Extra Bucks…you can use them on another item that generates Extra Bucks and combine with other coupons to end up with the items for no out of pocket cost and as many or more (Extra Bucks) as when you started.

      If the stores are giving him overage (applying extra coupon value to other items he is purchasing), it’s the stores doing it…not him. I have one store that never overdoubled coupons before (say giving you $1.10 in coupon value for a .55 coupon doubled for a $1 item), but now, with new register programming, they do. It’s not my fault they do…and sometimes, when I’m only buying that item, I wish they wouldn’t.

  19. NoFriggingWay says:

    90% of stores do not allow you to earn a profit at the store. They will give you a item for free but that is it. If the coupon is for more than the item is worth, they will give it to you free, but you do not make a profit. Doing so if considered fraud and stores will call the police over a $0.25 problem.

    • macoan says:

      Most of the time, as long as at the end of everything (end of order), there is not a NEGATIVE balance (that is you still are paying something), most stores & cashiers could care less.

    • Lisa34 says:

      Actually it’s fraud on the store’s part if they keep the excess. They are being reimbursed for the full amount from the company. If it’s a store coupon that is different but for a manufacturer coupond the customer should receive the full face value of the coupon. That isn’t to say stores don’t make their own rules though. For example Target is notorious for not giving the full face value of a coupon when there is an “overage.”

  20. Losiris says:

    Something worth noting is that he is in a state that does not seem to tax for food. Here in North Carolina (and most other states) you pay tax on food BEFORE coupons, but after discount card/club card pricing. If you have a “free Item” coupon you still have to pay tax on it. Seeing as the retail value of all his items by the end was in upwards of $6oo tax alone would be double his budget.

  21. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Why do men always go to the ER for stomach viruses? Seriously. He threw up a couple of times on day 2 and runs to the ER like a baby. I thought he was trying to save money.

  22. Winteridge2 says:

    I would guess that most of those who are too busy or don’t have time to do coupons probably spend 2 or more wasted time each day on their amazing blackberry/ipod/raspberry useless electronic gizmo. We spend a few minutes sorting coupons on sunday and often save 1/2 of our grocery bill. Is your time worth more than $20/hour?

  23. rengreen says:

    I looked over his daily menus, and while I agree with posters who said he’s obviously dedicated to shopping, and puts in more than the minimum time most people do, I don’t believe his meals are all that unhealthy. Repetitive, yes. Perhaps he can add frozen vegetables to every meal, that would go miles toward being a more healthy diet. But he seems to eat mainly brown rice and whole wheat bread, and a lot of peanut butter, which is a part of a healthy diet.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I pretty much eat like this. I just add a lot of pepper and other spices to most of my food for flavor.

  24. RockerGal says:

    hmm the odd thing is that when I am strapped for cash I actually do this. Then again I do love the “hunt” in coupon-ing, and it helps that my husband is a hunter so I don’t buy meat. (aside from chicken)

  25. BryDawg says:

    I followed the advice of couponmom.com for a while several years ago. My savings were great – I’d routinely get about $150 worth of grocerys for around $50 – $70. I typically went to the same cashier and she’d turn it into a game by trying to guess what my total would end up being before she even rang up the first item (needless to say, she knew my face/methods). Anyway, I got out of the habit and really need to cut some expenses again, so will try to get back into it. It really doesn’t take a lot of time once you get into it and it’s awesome to look at the receipts when you’re done and see how much you really saved. I haven’t yet mastered the art of shopping at CVS and getting the Rewards Dollars (even though I do shop there). I need to pay more attention and figure that system out.