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Extreme Couponing… well, almost.

We’ve all seen it or at least heard about it. Extreme Couponing. Every Wednesday TLC airs the show showcasing people who use nothing but coupons to buy groceries. The end result is a ridiculously cheap bill (free or under $20, etc) after spending thousands.

But there’s an underlying issue. They’re hoarders. Plain and simple. Who the heck needs 1000 bottles of Gatorade, 200 bottles of Tic Tac’s, or even 800 bottles of headache relief medicine. They’ll all expire at some point and pretty useless to stock up on. If you’re stocking up on stuff you need like canned goods, household items (toilet paper, laundry soap, etc) and personal items… you’re good.

Everyone likes a bargain. Let’s admit it, we’re cheap. Dirty cheap. If we can get it for free, then hell… we’ll get it for free. We all sign up for free samples (I’ve got TWO coming in 4-6 weeks) and we print off as many coupons as we can. I’ve already touched on this subject and I’ve saved quite a bit, but nowhere near what you see on the show. I don’t have 24 hours to commit to matching coupons to savings or hunting for friggen coupons. I select them online, have them sent to me and then when it comes to shopping we use them. The most we got out of our coupons was when Walmart recently had their annual anniversary sale. It was cleaning supplies, but heck, we saved $16! That’s a good deal.

Yesterday I was pretty thrifty. Okay, nowhere near saving $20 but… it was good. I needed shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and hair spray. I had three coupons: Herbal Essences ($0.75 off), Secret Deodorant ($1 off) and Olay Soap ($1 off). Then I had my $10 off my next purchase on my Shoppers Optimum Card.

This is my haul. Total bill: $42.56; Paid: $32.56. Saved $13.10. It would have been cheaper if I didn’t buy the nail polish, but I threw them in there anyways. The biggest savings was the toothpaste and the soap. At Shoppers that can get you at $6 each.

So while it might not be what you see on the shows… I’m happy I was able to save a little bit.

Speaking of saving money… I am working this week (M-Th) and I have challenged myself to take a lunch each day (Friday is a training day and I’m going out for lunch; Friday is also payday). In the area where I am working this week it is very easy to spend my money… Subway, McDonald’s, A&W, etc.

Instead, I’m making lunch and gave myself a $10 budget for the week. This is for items I don’t have at home and need to make my lunches.

I went over my $10 budget by $1.34. For that, it’s a pretty good deal. I love that we now have a Walmart Supercentre. It’s a better deal for fruit and veggies than the other grocery stores. I plan on making turkey burgers, butternut squash soup (evaporated milk is better for you than cream), chicken stir fry and beef, rice and bean burritos. I love apples for snack, especially Red Delicious. It’s low in acid content and just the right amount of juiciness for my liking.

I want to challenge myself with budget goals more often, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. I don’t think you can beat a $1.14 squash. Mmm, squash.

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