Extreme Couponing – healthy?

Hi! It’s Patty – one of the bloggers for Dustin. 

I just happened to turn on TLC and that new show called Extreme Couponing was on and caught my eye.  In the past I have tried to use coupons to save money, but honestly have found that as far as food – there really is not a lot of nutritious items that have coupons.  I find that the majority of coupons is canned soup, boxed meals, cereal, soda, packaged this and that.  My husband once challenged me to be able to get a bunch of groceries for a couple dollars like I’ve seen people do on tv (prior to this new show) and I was set out for the challenge, and seriously – it’s all processed food!  Sure there is the toothpaste, mouthwash, laundry detergent, etc.  But as far as nutrition….nada. 

With the economy as it is now, and with gas prices so high, how do you save money?  Would you sacrifice your health, the health of your family, and buy processed food with coupons, or will you pay up and get the healthy food?  I know what I’m doing – I’m going for the healthy food – shopping the parameter of the grocery store, loading up on veggies, meats, fruits, dairy and avoiding the middle isle’s as much as possible.  In exchange – maybe cutting out part of the Direct TV? 

In the time it took me to write this blog the lady featured on the Extreme Couponing show went grocery shopping; her total was $638.34 and after coupons it came to $2.64.  Wow!  She showed how she organizes her food purchases – her garage is lined with shelves and very neat – with tons of boxes and cans of food; but what caught my attention was they mentioned in this last grocery trip she purchased 20 liters of soda.  Seriously????

How do you save money?


  1. Patty, I totally agree! I don’t really want or need 20 boxes of cereal, or whatever else you get coupons for, and that’s how people ‘save’ all this money. I think I would end up with a lot of stuff I didn’t want. Healthy food is a priority for us, so that is not where I try to save money.

    Recently where we have saved the most money is insurance. In looking through our papers last year, I found we were paying for a non-required ‘reserve’ fund on our homeowner’s insurance, and getting rid of it save a couple hundred dollars. Slightly raising some deductibles can also make a huge difference if you can afford to pay the higher amount in the event of a claim. And then we just switched all of our insurance to a different company, and will save $600 this year. That’s four months of bootcamp! We also saved money by calling the cable and cell phone companies and making minor changes to our plans. Not huge savings, but every little bit helps.

    Fixing things yourself can also save a lot of money. Last month my rearview mirror had an unfortunate encounter with my garage door – don’t ask! We called our mechanic and they quoted us $575 to replace it. Instead, I went on ebay motors, found a mirror for $80 and then we looked up online how to replace it. Saved me almost $500! (Of course, it would have be cheaper not to break it in the first place, but still!) Way easier than using all those coupons.

  2. Good post – I’ve had the same thought. There aren’t many coupons for fresh produce or other “clean” foods. Grocery stores do run specials on produce which can help a little bit. (But of course you can’t buy 20 weeks’ worth of broccoli when it’s on sale!)

    In Madison we have a lot of CSA options which can be a good way to save money on really high quality,local vegetables in the summer. Especially with most health insurance plans in this area offering reimbursement for CSA’s, it can work out to be a great deal. Have to sign up for mine soon!!

  3. I agree sister (in law)! I have also been trying the whole coupon clipping and digital coupons with our grocery stores customer card, but most of the savings are on junk. Throw in the fact that 2 out of the 5 of us are gluten free and you have yourself a big challenge. I am looking at a CSA to get fresh, organic produce and I have heard that buying the basic pantry staples in bulk, online can save one some money. Maybe I will turn our backyard in to a veggie garden. Hmmmmm…. It just doesn’t seem right that the healthy stuff is always more expensive.

  4. Awesome post, Patty!! I totally agree. Most coupons I find or for things I won’t buy, aside from Stonyfield yogurt. They have coupons on their website and you can punch the codes in for more coupons on their website.

    We can look forward to cheaper fruit soon! Our grocery bill is by far our biggest expense, but we rarely have a clinic bill anymore, so there you go!

  5. Thank you! My church is doing an “Extreme Couponing” challenge that my husband and I agreed to take part in. I’ve NEVER used coupons… and so I thought cool, we’ll see how this goes.
    We ALSO only parameter shop at the grocery store. Fresh Fruits/Veggies, Meat, Dairy, etc.
    There are literally NO coupons that will help with what we buy. There are no coupons for produce, not even for frozen chicken or fish.
    Soooo it appears that we would have to eat terribly to even benefit from couponing.
    I think the coupons we’ll use are for diapers…

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