A few nights ago, my 20-year-old daughter, Amy, urged me to watch an episode of the reality series, “Extreme Couponing.” Pretty amazing how someone can load up their shopping carts with $400- $500 worth of food, and pay something like $4 or $5 at the register.
How does it happen? Well, from what I saw, they clip a lot of coupons from newspaper inserts. They go online and download digital coupons onto their loyalty card, and get other in-store coupons. In some cases they can use two different types of coupons for one item. Then they look for a really good sale or double coupon days at a grocery store.
“Mom, we need to try it!” Amy urged. But finding out that the shoppers spend 30 or 40 hours a week on couponing dampened my enthusiasm. I use some coupons, but I don’t want to spent much time on them. And I don’t want to buy a lot of junk food or products we probably won’t eat, just for the sake of getting a good deal.
I’m a little familiar with Web sites such as pinchingyourpennies.com and couponsense.com, that offer lists of all the coupons being offered in specific areas of the country. Couponsense also lists store sales so you can match them to coupons and bring the price down. In Utah, MediaOne’s Grocery Guru, Ken Roesbery, takes people shopping to show them how they can apply coupon to sale items and save a significant amount.
Avid couponistas pointed out that the first thing you should do is find out your grocery store’s policy on coupons. Some don’t allow you to use two coupons for the same item. It happens that I got a press release today outlining Smith’s store policy. So if you’re thinking of couponing, here are some guidelines for the way Smith’s accepts them:
- Store Management has the right to accept, decline, or limit the use of ANY coupon(s).
- Store Management has the right to limit the quantity of coupons and /or items purchased in a single transaction, by a single Customer, or in a single day.
• An Electronic Digital Coupon and a paper Manufacturer Coupon cannot be
used on the same item.
• A Store Coupon and a paper Manufacturer Coupon may be used on the same
• An Electronic Digital Coupon and Store Coupon may be used on the same item.
• We do not accept expired coupons
Doubling does not apply to the following coupon types:
- Store Coupons
- Electronic Digital Coupons
- Items prohibited by law
• One store coupon per item may be used. Store coupons are nontransferable and
duplication of these coupons is prohibited.
• Couponed items will not be sold to dealers.
• We do accept “free item coupons” from the Internet if all purchase
requirements stated on the coupons are met.
• We reserve the right to reject any Internet coupon that is altered or does not scan properly.
• Only one Internet coupon per item will be accepted.
• Internet coupons that display characteristics below will not be accepted.
Out of proportion
Do no scan properly
Appear to be altered in any way