Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Madness That Started It All

It was a quiet afternoon at home, spending some of my precious free time watching TLC when it happened. I saw an add for a new show called "Extreme Couponing." So I set my DVR to record the next episode, thinking "oh good, another TLC show where I can feel good about myself knowing I'm not as insane as the people on my TV."
Fast foward to the weekend, when I decided to catch up on some episodes of this show that were sitting on my DVR. My first impressions were as follows: 1) these people have entirely too much free time on their hands 2) really, who needs that many bottles of body wash/deodorant sticks/boxes of pasta (you get the idea) and 3) for all the insanity going on here....these people are getting insane deals. Like, saving up to 95% off their order. Ok, that got my attention.
My household is currently just my husband and I (and a dog and a cat) and we easily spend up to $150 per week on groceries just for the two of us. That's up to $600 a month, which I know is the grocery budget for some families of 4 or 5. I had never really though about using coupons before, for many reasons. I didn't think I could save that much money that would make it worth my while, I had no idea how to keep track of them, and I thought coupons were mostly for things I didn't want or need. After watching the show, I decided to do a little more research.
The world of couponing is not like it used to be when my mom couponed. There are THOUSANDS, maybe more, of websites devoted to hunting down the best bargains every week at grocery stores and drugstores so that you don't have to do it! These sites will tell you what coupons will match up with the sales to give you the best deal, and where to find those coupons. "So all I have to do is look at these websites before I go shopping each week, and hold onto the coupon inserts from the Sunday paper? I can do that" I thought to myself. And so I embarked on a journey to see if couponing really could help me save money on groceries every month.

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