Tonight on Extreme Couponing, which airs on TLC, we saw Kelly Charles from Georgia spin her magic at Krogers. Her husband, Joe, said she gets a rush from using coupons and shared how it has saved her family $24,000 over the past two years that she’s been couponing.
The stockpile in her basement is called ‘The Grocery Store’, according to an interview Mrs. Charles gave to WeCoupon.com. In it she has about 50 laundry detergent and 60 hair care products, among shelf after shelf of pasta cereal, juice, etc.,etc.
Her goal for the shopping trip was to purchase about $1,300 worth of groceries without having to pay a thing. One of the tips she shared was that she takes a walk through the store to look for unadvertised sales, early in the week. She then inputs that information into some type of I pad or computer. Her goal is to find coupons that week to match those sales.
This shopping trip started out with pasta on sale 10/$10. Having coupons for $0.50 off each, which will be doubled by the store brings those noodles down to a slim cost of zero. A deal of vitamins brought a smile to her face as they were buy 1/get 1 free making each bottle $2.12. Through in $2.00 coupons per bottle brings those bottles of health down to a trim price of $0.12 per bottle. She picked up 15 bottles for less than $2. She saw some close out condiments on sale for $0.81. She had coupons for $1.00 and that brought her to a point of making $0.19 per bottle. Her store has a policy that allows you to have an overage on an item and use it to apply to your overall bill. Buyers beware here: NOT ALL STORES allow you to do that. MANY stores will allow you to use coupons to bring the cost of that item to zero but not below zero. I believe that is a new policy at Rite Aid. Therefore, KNOW your store’s coupon policy before you plan your shopping trip.
Kelly actually shared some further information about her shopping trip on WeCoupon. She said that while it looks like she’s clearing shelves, in fact, she had pre-ordered items, but the show had the store stock the items so it looked like she was shopping and stocking it in her cart. She said the shoot was taking so long she actually was forced to give some of her list to some of the show’s assistants. That is one thing that all couponers seem to have in common, they need to be in control of the shopping trip. They are the ones that pour the hours into planning the trip down to the last detail to try and prove their shopping skills on the show. One wrong item or wrong size of an item, not enough of an item or the wrong brand will through off their groove. That was very stressful for Kelly, she shared in the interview.
At the register Kelly impressed all those around her by bringing her $1,313.03 total down to a – $.31. While ringing up the items the cashier made a humorous statement, “Well, at least you’ll be stocked up for a while.” But what else can you say when a customer spends 1 1/2 hrs at the register? Her haul included 42 more bottles of detergent, 55 bottles of hand soap, 100 packages of instant noodles, and 7 packs of toilet paper. Next on the agenda came the multiple trips to the basement carrying bag after bag to the basement.
Next up on EC was Rebecca Davidson of Idaho, who took her husband along on her mega trip to teach him the ropes. Her stash includes dehydrated veggies and meat. She uses her abilities to give overage to missions or food banks. “If it’s free and you definitely want to buy it, and then just make sure you give it to a rescue mission or food bank,” says Rebecca. “There is no reason one person needs 55 bottles of barbeque sauce.” Oops, I just woke up my family as I was shouting, ‘Preach it sister!’ to the TV!!!
Mrs. Davidson gets her coupons from six sets of coupon inserts. She chooses to shop at a store that doesn’t set out ads; they just have great prices all the time. She was setting a goal to shop for $800 worth of stuff for $50 or less. This time she was hauling along her hubby, Jason, a shopping skeptic. He thinks coupons are put out there for people to go shop and buy stuff they don’t need. He went along to be the cart pusher, but she’s hoping he will walk away impressed because her list had 700 items and she had a coupon to match each one. He was hoping for a quick trip, ha ha! She picked up 59 bottles of bbq sauce. They were on sale for $.98 that she paired with $0.75 off coupons so each bottle only cost the Davidson’s $0.23 each. A second cart was filled with diapers she got for $0.97 per package because she had several $5.00 off coupons for the diapers she got from the company after she wrote them telling them how much she loved the product. Cart #2 was filled with 78 boxes of cat food, most for the humane society. They were $2.99 each, but after $3 off coupons each box was free. She shared she had special ordered the item so as not to be a cat food hog (no, not a direct quote). he trip goes on and on and on. Four carts full the checkout left Jason a little exhausted. As the total went up and up, the tensions rose, too. The total before coupons was $895.65 which was about $45 higher than she anticipated. She watched the scanning with great detail until the register came to a screeching halt. It seems her massive number of coupons had snagged up the register. The manager, Linda, explained the problem. There was an item line limit. They took the remaining coupons to a different register to deal with it. Meanwhile, Jason asked if she had a coupon for a lawn chair. TOO FUNNY! The final total for her balance was a mere $51.75! She was ecstatic! The cashier said, “That is super couponing!” That would be the understatement of the day! Her haul brought in 40 boxes of tissues, 77 travel sized bottles of shampoo, and 210 assorted beverages and drink mixes. The planning and hard work paid off on several fronts. Her family was blessed, her husband was impressed, and the local charities got blessed as well. I wonder, can she write off that last bit of her shopping bill for charity?
Rebecca’s shopping trip was significantly less than Kelly’s, but hopefully she doesn’t despair. Mrs. Charles had the help of a computer on her trip and in her planning. Yes, one gal got everything for free, but both did a superb job of shopping and planning, but hand’s down, I want to thank Rebecca for pointing out that a family can share their stash and it’s okay!