Consumerist readers are divided on the subject of hardcore couponing: some are dedicated practitioners, and everyone else seems to think that couponers disrupt commerce and are poisoning their families with transfats, high fructose corn syrup, and greed. Last year, TLC made a one-off documentary, Extreme Couponing, that was such a hit that it is now becoming a reality series in its own right. Should you watch?
Consumerist reader LadySiren, married with 5 kids, is a coupon ninja by necessity. “My kids go through a box and a half of Pop-Tarts each time they eat them for breakfast,” she writes by way of explanation. Here’s how, in exhaustive detail, she bought 51 items at the supermarket this week using coupons, super double coupons, and catalinas, for only $45.56, saving $99.48. Her haul is pictured.
The Internet makes it super easy to share e-commerce coupon codes and even printable coupons. However, it also provides more opportunities for counterfeit coupons to circulate, which annoy retailers and disappoint shoppers. How does a beginning online coupon hunter know what to look out for?
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?
Are you curious about what dedicated bargain-hunters call the Drugstore Game, taking advantage of drugstores’ reward programs in order to acquire more toothbrushes and shampoo than your family could ever possibly use? What frugal person isn’t? Yet the forums where people discuss the tricks of this game can be intimidating, and it’s hard to know where to start. What if you’re not ready for major-league Drugstore Game? Is there maybe Drugstore Game T-Ball? Yes, there is!
Sure, not everyone has the time, inclination, or buying habits that make extreme coupon-shopping worthwhile. But everyone can benefit from learning some of the proud secrets of the coupon ninjas, such as coupon sources for products you probably already use, and combining sales, rebates, and coupons.