Guest Post from: Christina Wong, my daughter and the author of the blog:
I have heard mixed reviews of the new show on TLC called Extreme Couponing. My mother and I called our coupon adventures extreme couponing long before the show aired. These folks take it to a whole new level. They devote entire rooms in their home to their stockpiles, including any other spare space anywhere in their homes. They talk about spending sixty hours a week couponing and some even watch houses in their neighborhood to be foreclosed on so they can take their newspapers for their coupon inserts.
In a recent episode, one woman featured said that she spends over sixty hours a week doing this and that anyone who said they are spending less than ten hours a week is lying. – Um, no, we both spend far less than 10 hours a week.
This is exactly the type of thing that scares away people who are nervous about trying couponing! I spend far less than ten hours a week on an average week from start to finish. There are weeks that I spend more time on it because there are an unusually large quantity of deals, or if I feel like spending more time trolling the aisles for other deals such as clearance and closeout deals that aren’t advertised.
So if you have watched Extreme Couponing and feel like using coupons will turn you into a fanatic, don’t be afraid. Couponing can be simple and easy, and it often is. If you want to spend an few hours a week saving money, you can. You don’t have to fill six grocery carts with mustard your family does not like, keep forty years worth of toilet paper in your children’s bedrooms and house a stockpile big enough to feed the Army in your garage to save money.
All of that being said, watching the show I feel challenged to find similar deals to what they find. One area where I struggle to save money consistently is breakfast foods. The only way I have been saving in that area is buying eggs when they are on sale for $0.99 a dozen and watching the price of milk, and buying my yogurt cheap. I am currently spending more on breakfast foods than I am on dinner or lunch. In the next few months I will be watching for deals on cereal, one of my favorite foods to eat in the morning, and I’ll be buying a big bag of 7 Grain Mix from Wheat-n-Things, similar to rolled oats used to make oatmeal. Although I am not a huge fan of eating oatmeal, it can be added to muffins to make them very healthy and delicious. Muffins are easily made in large batches and frozen.
So while I am not sure that I will continue to watch Extreme Couponing, I have learned ways that I can improve my grocery savings and I can’t wait to spend even less on breakfast each week! What is the biggest part of your grocery budget, and how are you going to take steps to improve it?
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