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Are all Good Deals REALLY Good Deals for You?!

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OK, so I have received lots of emails from readers who are addicted to buying each and every good deal that comes their way regardless of a need for the item or even a desire for the item. When I first started couponing, I felt like any item that I purchased with a coupon was a good deal and was enabling me to save money— in reality I was doing quite the opposite. I now know exactly when a good deal is REALLY a good deal for me… and here are a few tips that may help you realize when a good deal is REALLY a good deal for you:

**Make a list and stick to it and I don’t just mean a a grocery list. You can make lists for everything in life– can you tell I LOVE lists?! I make a “gift list” for everyone I will be buying presents for during the year and I also put the price range that I’d like to spend on each gift. I also make lists for household items with price points as well. Lists really do help keep your budget in check and make unnecessary spending a thing of the past!

**Have a designated place in your house to store your great finds. You may also want to have a list of your inventory and when you a reach certain amount of “like” products– STOP buying them! For example, I almost went overboard with Glade candles and had to limit myself. I mean do we really need 50 Glade candles in our home at one time? I think not!

**Only shop with cash and leave that credit/debit card at home! Designate a set amount of cash to spend each month or week and only bring that allotted amount with you. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me!

**Shop with a friend who will let you know when you are buying something unnecessary. I’ve had friends nicely question some of my purchases and it really does help to make you stop and think.

**Do not shop when you’re hungry. You are definitely more likely to come home with items that you would not have purchased on a full stomach. Ummm… ya… I’m thinkin’ Twinkies, candy bars…

I am curious how all of you feel about this subject. Take the time to read through the questions below and let us know how you feel in the comment section.

Will you snag anything if it is free?

If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money?

Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)?

Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)?

Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies?

Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself?

Save a buck in these similar categories:

Spread the word on a great deal:

238 Hip Readers Commented

  • Renee says:

    Sometimes I donate personal care items to people in nursing homes who are on a limited budget.

  • Lisa says:

    I know I need to cut back on the spending and buy only what I really need- a lot of time I justify it if I am buying for someone else esp. my kiddo but hey I am a work in progress and I know I can cut back with a little spending- also the freebies help since I am still getting something … and yes I do donate some as well.

  • lillian says:

    If it is a GREAT DEAL less then a dollar kinda deal then I get it. My man does support me and loves I shop like this. As for space I have taken over my house, my parents and his parents. I sent out care package once a week to almost everyone and most of the time they give me a couple dollars and then that is what I have for the next week. As for donating I have done it once or twice but its just not for me.

    • Ginger W. says:

      I buy the stuff I need and then everything that’s free. If I can’t use it, someone else can and I’ll donate it! There’s a major shortage of food and personal care products for the homeless and poor. Share the love. Wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you?

  • I am lucky,, and coupon with my daughter,, which means, if she is going to RiteAid, and I need ONE deal, and she needs one deal,,, and she has time she will go… and get mine,, we seem to keep a running total of what we owe each other. Our rite aid carries Winder Dairy milk,, a higher quality product that we both live,, but don’t afford from the grocery store or at the dairy itself. I asked the checker and she says they LOSE money selling Winder,, I think it’s $2.49 a gallon,, and it’s basically organic,, so it;s a great value,, which helps us make up the difference to get to the $15 or $20 or $25 to use the $3 and $5 off coupons,, and they will stack coupons and just congratulate you.

    We discuss the coupons, plan the trips, decide whats necessary, and both of us have a nice pantry closet to store extras in. We share the deals, we help each other find coupons,, I save diaper coupons for her, she saves coupons for me. We even share the products that we get.

    I can always use extra boxes of cereal,, for us, or for my kids and grandkids… and since they have extended shelf life,, I can stock up when I can find the kinds we like for $.50 a box instead of $4.00!

    I have a stockpile of cheap toilet paper,, cereal, and other non perishables… and quite a few toothpastes and shampoos and toiletries…

    BUT, we’ve also found that panicking and buying something JUST becasue the coupon is expiring serves NO purpose,, they’ll be back around, and HIP2SAVe will help us find them and use them WHEN WE NEED TO.

    Today though, we went to Ben & Jerry’s and got our free ice cream (my daughter and I and two of the grandkids), I bought my daughter a bag from the Coldwater Creek website using the 25% off and free shipping that was in the Outlet section, reduced from $54.99 to $14.99 then the 25%, then they offered me another 20% off to apply for the cc. So I paid $9.60 including the tax, for a bag that she had already asked about. We just talked about her wanting a larger black bag,, and poof, there it was. Then she stopped at RC Willey,, they had the NEW “New Moon” DVD for $8.99 one per household, and she knew she wanted that… It was a great day to be a couponer, we had a wonderful day, had ice cream, got a new DVD, ordered a purse,, spent less than $20 total and it took about 90 minutes for the ice cream adventure, my online time, and the stop for the dvd. I printed a few other coupons for things I might use in the future, and have time to make comments here,, and my pantry is stocked, my bathroom is full of all the good stuff. Our meals are more varied, since I buy different items and try new things, but it’s not taking over my life.

    One of the bonuses is that people KNOW Jen and I coupon now,, so they call US when they find a great deal! It’s a fun together thing to do.

    My hubby doesn’t care one way or the other, but likes that I shop LESS now than I used to,, cause my list is SHORTER!!!

  • Kayla says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free? Yes, I can either donate it, save it for friends. We use all natural and organic products but I leave coupons for other items near the products in stores. I score all of our travel toiletries for free, we travel a lot. This allows us to donate the hotel toiletries.

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money? Not necessarily but occasionally we will buy something that is a deal.

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)? 20 dollars.

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)? Umm… No, I hate clutter.

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies? Freebies, yes. Great deals, not always. I clip a lot of Q’s and people think we buy everything. Truthfully, I buy very few things I have coupons for because it’s not always necessary.

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself? I donate full size items to womens shelters and kits for the troops. I save travel size items.

  • ,, and I can afford to donate to many charities,, and did you know that many of the thing you donate are TAX DEDUCTIBLE???? another way to save money.

  • ,, and I can afford to donate to many charities,, and did you know that many of the things you donate are TAX DEDUCTIBLE???? another way to save money.

  • Kate says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free?
    -No. I LOVE free things when it is something I can use or can give away, but otherwise it just takes up space and time. I will not go darting around from store or take the time to fill out forms for items I have no use for. I think I am too anti-”stuff”

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money?
    -it depends-if I never use the item, then no. But, if it is something I have never tried and end up really liking (like the 200 calorie pizzas from kraft first taste I got for 50 cents a box)–then yes it is a good deal. I know I won’t try anything new really unless it is an awesome deal. That way if I don’t like it, I don’t regret buying it.

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)? No. We have a very strict budget, and it doesn’t include that category

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)?
    -Just the storage areas

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies?
    Yes because I only get excited over specific categories of items

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself?
    -Anything I don’t end up using gets donated or given away–but I won’t get it in the first place if I don’t have someone specific in mind give it away to.

  • Tawanda says:

    I’ve found couponing is an excititng adventure.There’s always something new to try or a familar item that I can purchase for little OOP. However, I have passed on deals because I don’t thave the time to stop at every store every day for THE DEAL of the day.(and there will always be another one!) I will “purchase” something if it’s free or a money maker, because there is always someone that I know who has a need. I used to really dislike going to the grocery store, and I thought (ERRRONEOUSLY) that it didn’t make financial sense to shop at Walgreens or the like. My husband is a fan of the deals, and he shows interest when I mention a particularly great shopping trip, but to be honest, he’s just happy that HE doesn’t have to make groceries. I haven’t really had to budget, I guess in large part, due to getting the great deals that Collin posts. We live better than when we actually had a budget due to walking out of the store paying $5.55 for $80 worth of items many times.

  • Smitha says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free?
    Only if I think that its useful to us or friends.

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money?
    Yes, that do happen. One example is the McCormick coupon deal. I didn’t really need the Vanilla essence, I have some leftover. But since I make cookies and stuff, I will use it. So it was too good a deal to let go :)
    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)?
    No. I do try to stay away from the toy deals. Since we hardly stay in the same apartment more than a year, it might make moving harder.
    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)?
    Hmm no.
    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies?
    That’s a good one. ha ha.
    He supports me if its a deal in “Chips”. Even though, he disparages my snagging all those freebies, he never dissuades me. :) He’s concerned if its a new product sample. Says the manufacturer is getting a free guinea pig.
    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself?
    Since I am new in US, I don’t know where to donate. If I get more info, I will surely do it.

  • Jamie says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free?
    Yes – we will use many of the products, I give to family & friends, send packages to the troops and to our Vet’s hospital. All the leftovers get sold at our twice yearly yard sales – we made $2K last year!
    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money?
    Depends on how much it is and what it is.
    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)?
    No I handle the money and spend what I think is a reasonable amount – if we won’t use it and I can’t get it free I don’t buy it.
    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)?
    No I have an office in our basement where I store all our excess pantry items – I also have an area to store extra gifts.
    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies?
    Yes and he brags about it!
    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself?
    I donate & give away many things

  • Even if the item would be free with a coupon, if I am never going to use it, say like the diabetes meter, I would just not get it, its not fair to the manufacturer that put the coupon out there and I don’t want to wreck the system basically. I see some of these pics of people buying tons of things because it was free. I know the store makes out but the company that makes the product might just stop doing coupons all together so I just pass on things I don’t need and I only get up to about 2 if I actually would need it.

    • Jennifer says:

      Why would a manufacturer stop issuing coupons for their items if a lot of us are using coupons to buy their items? Don’t forget, even if we get the item for free after q, they are hoping we will continue to use their product. And the amount of coupons that are generated vs. actually redeemed is very small. I think we win and the manufacturers win, also.

  • Cindy says:

    I guess it depends on the stuff. I always snag free H&B items. There is always someone or some club that is putting together care packages for soilders or relief efforts. I also sebd it out to relatives. They always appreciate it. I put together gift baskets for school and church raffles, and use them for teachers gifts. I have a room in my house and my parents house in which I keep all this stuff in it. I try not to go too overboard, (although hard sometimes!) and if I buy brands I would use. If I get over a certian amount of things. Like say 25 deodorants (BTW I have 6 people in my house and supply both my house, parents house and sisters house with all thier H&B items) I stop for awhile. I figure that there is always another sale.

  • jen says:

    I dont get some of the free items just depends what items they are ex dog food which i donate and I do snag alot of h&b items which i use for donations and gift boxes for a brother, nephew and a wonderful husband who are all military which i always send extras for them to hand out. As for my husband minding no he is so thankful i found hip2save the checking account looks better and so does are savings I take all refund checks and put them in a special fund ex a weekend getaway. No i dont have clutter cant stand it. I have two small totes to hide gifts for Christmas or birthdays.And as always I am so thankul for all your hard work :)

  • Tabitha says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free?
    No. Some of the stuff I know I’ll never use or buy so I’m trying to cut down on clutter.

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money?
    Once again, no. I try to only buy things that my family will really use.

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)?
    No. I’m new to couponing and horrible with budgeting. :-( but I try to keep it under $20

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)? No.

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies? Sometimes, but he also said that we don’t need any more dishwashing liquid. LOL! However, I’ve also felt like I’m hoarding and have to remember that the majority of this stuff will go on sale again. There’s no reason to have every cabinet overflowing with stuff.

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself?
    No. The deals I get are used by my family of 6.

  • Sakura says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free? If it’s something my family may use I will.

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money? I guess that would depend on your perspective. I found a smoker/grill that was regularly priced at $70 on clearance for $17. I’ve been wanting one, but wasn’t out looking for one when I found it. I think it was an awesome deal.

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)? I don’t, my great deals have to fit into my weekly grocery budget.

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)? No, I have a basement with a storage room where we keep the stockpile, extra clothes etc.

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies? Oh Yes! At first he couldn’t believe how awesome the deals were. Now it’s no surprise.

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself? I do some of both. I’m in the process of collecting used backpacks and blanket to put together “kits” for the homeless people in the city. I put a hygiene kit together with some easy travel type foods and snacks in the packs also. We are planning to distribute these when we have put together about 100 of them.

  • Taylor says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free?
    Yes! It’s fun! :)

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money?
    On some stuff…I usually make myself think of a reason to buy it or a specific person to buy it for…if it’s just dirt cheap though I can’t help myself!

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)?
    I keep it in check.

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)?
    Nope, they’re very neatly organized.

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies?
    He thinks it’s great that I get so excited about it. :)

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself?
    I really don’t pick up most of this with myself in mind…a lot of it I like to stockpile for Christmas shoeboxes through Samaritan’s Purse and our church, other stuff I donate through different means.

  • THERESA says:

    I HAVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT TO SPEND AND THAT’S IT. I DON’T GO OVER UNLESS IT’S A EMERGENCY. I USE COUPONS WHENEVER POSSIBLE BUT IF STORE BRAND IS CHEAPER I GO WITH THE STORE BRAND. IF I HAVE COUPONS I DON’T USE I GIVE THEM TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO PASS AROUND. IF MY FAMILY CAN’T USE IT I DONATE IT. I DON’T LET ANYHTING GO TO WASTE. I GREW UP IN A BIG FAMILY AND WE HAD TO MAKE DO. I STILL DO THAT TODAY. MY HUSBAND GREW UP IN A BIG FAMILY ALSO SO WE ARE FRUGAL TOGETHER.

  • Linda says:

    I love using coupons to get good deals. If it truly is a good deal, I’ll get it and keep it for myself or give it away to charity. I always get whatever free deals I can, and if I can’t/won’t use it, I’ll give it away to a friend (diapiers, colored hair treatment, etc.). If it’s free, I want it!

  • Kimberly says:

    My husband loves the bargains I get (he calls it robbing drugstores!). We have a healthy stockpile of items that we like, and I donate A LOT to the local women’s shelter. I got my sister, who has been out of a job since Sept., 7 packs of diapers this week ($3 to $4 a pack) and had more coupons so I got some for the women’s shelter as well. I don’t do any of the glade products because I don’t consider those necessities. But premium hair products and makeup do wonders for the self esteem of a battered woman. I have a close friend that works with the shelter and she has asked me to teach her how to do it…she can’t believe the haul I bring her each week. Number one priority–I do stay within our grocery/toiletry budget of $250 per month. It’s so rewarding for me to be able to give so much with so little. The time is well worth it!

  • RNHellokitty says:

    My husband is often in awe of how much money I am able to save. The only things right now that I feel like I MUST pick up are baby items that are a great deal because we’re expecting. If it is free, I will get it. SOMEONE will be able to use it. If I can’t, I find someone who can or I donate it. It’s free, all it costs me is my time, and that’s usually worth it.

  • RobinS says:

    Yes, I will snag anything that is Free. If I can’t use it someone else can.
    Since doing this type couponing in Aug 09 I have cut my grocery/household spending in 1/2. At the beginning of each month I withdrawal a specific amount of money from the bank for that months groceries/household items and I only use CASH to pay for my deal….means so much more than swipping a card!
    Thankfully no clutter but some of my cabinets and closets are very FULL.
    My husband fully supports my couponing. He stays home with the kids each Sunday evening while my friend and I go out and get the deals at Wags and CVS.
    The only item I have donated was the Glucose Blood Monitors i got for free and made $5RR
    So appreciative of all you do Collin…can’t thank you enough!

  • Erin H says:

    I started couponing this past October and used to do almost every good deal I could get my hands on unless it was something that I knew I’d never use. This quickly put us over budget and made me reassess my priorities. Now I stockpile things that I know we’ll use; toothpaste, shampoo brands that I like, frozen vegetables, etc., etc., when it’s cheap or free, or of course when it’s a moneymaker.

    I’ll only buy stuff that I wouldn’t normally use if it’s a moneymaker and I’d be going to that store anyway for something else. I give extra items away to friends and family, and when our church starts a food pantry later this year, I’ll give to that too.

    Each stockpile has a limit; I’ll stop buying toothpaste, for example, if we have a year’s supply unless it’s free and I have someone to give it to. There are only so many stores I’m willing to go to, and so many times I’m willing to run out per week with a little one in tow. Usually not too much, so it helps me figure out what’s worth it and what’s not.

  • Nancy says:

    I love getting the free samples in the mail. My boys love it too. They enjoy going to the mailbox and getting the free samples for the day (or the week).

    I purchased an item a couple weeks ago that I did not think I would ever use. Then something came up and I used it – now I don’t know how I lived without it. I guess that is the purpose of the coupons and deals. :)

  • Cynthia says:

    Yes I will snag any item that is free and give that to someone who can use it. I love to give to people it is a big joy for me that I can not afford any other way. Elderly neighbors, families in need from church, relatives who ever God puts on my heart. However I’ve learned to not let rushing off to the store for every deal crowd my life. When I’m going I get the deals when I can’t I let it go. Balance is key for me.
    I also agree with what someone else said, shelters have huge needs why not do what we can if we are already couponing what’s a few extra items if it’s within our budget.

  • Sandy says:

    My husband TOTALLY supports my coupons, and enjoys bragging to his friends what deals we had gotten. NO I will not buy anything just because it is posted. I TRY to stick to buying only what can be used withing a months time. However things that do not spoil and are a super dupper deal I am tempted for more. I do NOT buy and sell things, and to be honest don’t like those that do so. Sorry not to offiend anyone who does. Mostly my daughter calls it my “hobby” that keeps me busy. I am enjoying more free samples and have actually changed brands due to a sample or two so they do work !
    As the old saying goes ….try it …you might like it !!!

  • Nancy says:

    So far my couponing and free samples isn’t out of control. I have a MAJOR stockpile of toys and treats for the grandbabies that I indulge them with on occasion. I agree that if I know that I have no potential use for an item (like Polident, etc.), I don’t go for it. Many times I’ll see an offer for a sample that I know I’ll never use and I don’t respond. Otherwise … fair game. I am very concerned about the overproduction of products, etc. so am careful to not being an out of control consumer. I recycle all the boxes and paperwork that I receive from free samples. That is VERY important to me. I watch that show “Hoarders” regularly and that helps me keep my obsession with couponing/samples/recycling under control!

  • Nancy says:

    one more thing. I don’t limit myself to a budget per se. My children are grown and it’s just my hustand and I. Our grocery bill isn’t what it used to be so if I see a fantastic sale on a product that I know I’ll use, I buy extra. If I run across a clearance sale on children’s clothing that I can get for pennies on the dollar for my grandchildren, I buy them. If I spent $50 or so extra dollars that week, I don’t worry about it because it will result in savings for their birthdays and Christmas.

  • Jo says:

    I will usually pick up an item, needed or not, if it is free and something someone can use. I have 3 grown daughters who now come and ‘shop’ in my basement for toiletries, dish soap, etc. and I love it. They are gradually learning the skill of couponing on their own, which will leave me with more to donate to women’s shelters and food kitchens. My husband has come around to the idea and now looks forward to hearing my deals of the day. As far as clutter goes, while I have a large stockpile the only real clutter comes from the actual coupons themselves. I have a very hard time disciplining myself to managing cutting them out and getting them into my binder each week…early in the week.

  • Felicia says:

    I will not snag anything if it’s free. Especially since I started figuring out how much tax I was spending on these “free” items – 8% on the original price. A lot of times the price before store/manufacturer coupons is pretty high. Also, I don’t have space for all kinds of free things. There are things I have bought in the past that I do donate. However, I donate often anyways – old clothes, etc. things that we once needed/used but no longer have a use for. I hate clutter!

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money? — Nope! I went a little crazy when I first started couponing, but not snagging every deal has really saved me time and money. And I don’t want couponing to take over my life – I want to be able to continue it long term, and have to be reasonable.

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)? — I have a certain amount of money set for all groceries (food and toiletries) each week, so yes. I do not have a certain amount set for “deals” b/c I try to get a deal on everything I buy!

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)? — No, I try to be organized. I like to have a stockpile of things we really need and use and not piles of useless things we don’t need.

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies? — Yep, he is supportive of me saving money.

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself? — I do donate.

    And to be honest, I try to ignore deals that I don’t need. I know it’s nice to buy things to donate, and like I said before, I do donate plenty, but I really try not to let the deals overtake my life. If I run to every store every week to get every deal, it keeps me way too busy w/ no time for the other important things in my life. And there were times when I WAS doing this, and worrying that I wouldn’t be able to continue saving money b/c it was just too much.

  • Zsuzsanna says:

    I have just reached my limit on toothpaste and diapers. I think I am so stocked on these items after only 2 months of couponing. I do noticed I buy things I normally would never buy, but I think it is ok first to explore and figure out what works for you. I did start to limit myself setting a budget of $50/month. (I only shop at the drug stores, and occasionally at Target)
    I only seldom go to a regular grocery store, otherwise I am a Costco girl. I still have to complete my default list from Costco and price everything to unit prices. That is my list to compare to other stores deals to keep it simple. I plan to take that list with me everywhere like a cheat sheet. That should also help to keep me on track with my purchases.

  • Lorrie Vaus says:

    Thank you for this post. I have thought of writing you. I recently heard a radio program about being addicted to porn at work. I thought, “what about being addicted to Hip2Save at work”! I am. I try not to check at work but when I get home and check, the coupon or free sample is often gone!

    I realized that I go for anything that’s free when I came home with Monkey Butt Powder! I don’t have a budget for couponing. I am much more selective now than I was in the beginning. If it’s not a dollar or less I don’t get it. My boys are saying… “we don’t need anymore shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, razors, deodorant, floss, etc.” I give to my friends who are out of work or single with children. They’re thankful and I’m blessed.

    I have been having very much fun couponing. I enjoy the relationships I have developed with most cashiers. I try to soften the ones who put the walls up when they see the coupons. I tell them that they can’t label us and put all couponers in the same boat. We’re not all rude and demanding.

    I appreciate all the time you put into sharing the fun and savings with me. Especially today when the whole finance department had Starbucks and free pastry for break!

    Looking forward to the next fun thing I can get for free that I would never buy in a million years, i.e. Monkey Butt Powder!

    Lorrie

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t think I will snag anything, just because it’s free. Plus, I am new to coupons, so I haven’t really run across anything free unless Collin posted it. I don’t think snagging the great deal for something I wouldn’t buy in the first place is really saving me any money. I agree with everyone else, having a coupon is really addictive, and sometimes I find that I am spending way more money than I should on things that I probably won’t ever use. I don’t have a spending limit on these great deals, but I am about too, as I am spending way too much on crap I don’t need. I currently have 18 bottles of John Freida Root Awakening. I love that shampoo, but was 18 necessary? My hubby is somewhat supportive, but hates the coupon clipping, sorting, and constant monitoring of Hip2Save. But I will say this, I have 6 kids, and have a good stockpile for Christmas which is always a financial issue in our house. I did get the Target deal today of Mouthwash, ( at first it was single bottles, and I was depressed, and then on an endcap, there they were, Bonus Packs). I had $2 of Q’s, plus got a $5 gift card, and was super excited because that equaled $2.48 for all 6 bottles, and mouthwash is a must in our house. So while he is supportive, I need to cut back, financially, and time wise. I wonder how Collin budgets her time….housekeeping, shopping, family, friends, and then of course keeping us all posted on what the good deals are.
    I live in a small town, and haven’t found a place to donate too, and I also pay 6% sales tax pre Q amount, so I don’t really have that much to donate. I did get the good deals on the Princess and the Frog movie deals, both the Kmart and the Toys R Us. I also did the Toy Story DVD deals twice, and plan on selling those, along with the extra PATF movie, to sort of pay for what I got as presents for my kids, which would then make them just about free, which is much needed here. Eventually, when there is more time for the deals, I am sure I will get the freebies, and find a local place to donate what I don’t need here. I liked the idea of a yard sale, like some others have posted, never thought of that. And of course I appreciate all of Collins hard work, to keep us newbies on the right track.

  • cathy says:

    I love couponing and my husband says I need counseling because I am often so excited about what I have gotten for free. Let’s just say he drew the line when I came home with free cat food. You guessed it. No cat! The next time, I just restrained myself and showed him the coupon for free cat food that I didn’t use. Obviously we donate. I have a box in the closet where I drop toiletries for the church or military that gets donated. All are free. Yipee.

  • Kimberly Harris says:

    Collin,
    I do so enjoy the freebies but if it is a product that we don’t use like poligrip or something then I will pass. Since I have been following your web page we try lots of product that I for sure would not have purchased or could not have afforded to purchase. For the past several weeks Wal-greens has not had much freebies. In the past they would have 4 or 5 items free with Register Rewards, anyone else noticed? I do donate many items to my daughter that is a college student and my mother-in-law, aunt, friends, so great for gift bags. Christmas presents last year:) made large gift boxes with many different products and food items. Family now is asking for gro. box gift. I save all year and at Christmas the gift boxes could retail cost at about $ 200.00. Everyone loves them.
    At first my husband was not to crazy about the coupon stuff but he is onboard for sure!!!! He went to the Stern web page (fishing line) and printed a rebate form, then we went to Wal-mart and he found two spools on clearance and with the rebate final cost was $1.00 each for a $8.00 spool of fishing line. He was so proud of himself and I was so proud of him.
    We do not have a allotted amount for gro. but we should. at times I have had a bit tied up in rebates but not much out there right now or at least that I know about.
    The problem I have is that I get so involved with coupons that I never really gro. shopping. What I mean is I come home and have sale items or register reward items but not a meal plan for the week. Thanks Collin for all you do. Sincerely, Kim Harris

    • Betsy says:

      walgreens has has some GREAT freebies the past few weeks. The Gillette moneymaker was THE BEST! I have so much deoderant and bodywash! I’ve given some away to the missionaries from our church. Also, the colgate total moneymaker was pretty sweet! Except, I had to checkout several times because of the limit of 1. I’m hoping the beginning of the month will bring new freebies.

  • Angie says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free? Uh, yes absolutely. I will find a way to use it, donate it or gift it. Why not share the love??

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money? Now, that totally depends on the item. If it is something you are going to use like dish soap or laundry detergent, then yes. (Although, I started making my own laundry soap so I never buy that anymore) But if it is something that you have to wonder if you will use or do you know someone that will use it, then no. I usually become the coupon fairy and leave the coupons on the shelf next to the item and hope it blesses someone.

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)? I just try to stay under $400 a month for everything.

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)? Maybe a little bit in the garage ;) Hey Collin, how about a Follow me segment on Organizing the “Stockpile”?

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies? He acts like he doesn’t care really but I catch him telling his buddies about the deals I get. HA HA! Yeah he likes it!

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself? I just recently filled a cute “green bag” as a shower gift with 20 or 30 freebies. And I just made a special “freebie” trip to Meijer for a Haiti mission. (Peanut butter crackers, toilet paper, etc.)

  • BamaVicki says:

    My first thoughts about ‘getting all the deals out there’ is this: EXHAUSTING! LOL~ I have been at this for about 6 months and have learned what works best for me is to mostly focus on things we already use and need, and certainly I think of others and who might could benefit from a really good deal, esp. if it is FREE! Like, cough & cold medicines during the winter months!
    I don’t run myself ragged over couponing b/c I also have a family to attend to that requires lots of love and devotion that I am happy to give! :) I have taken my husband on one of my Wal-green’s adventures though and he knows how much I use coupons and have become passionate about it so he has seen me ‘get the deals’ and so have my children. Anything good/worthwhile, that helps build someone as a person as far as knowledge that is good, then I want them to be in on it and learn and partake. So that is how it works for me. :) As for giving things to other people; Absolutely! I love doing that. I made those bottle gifts (back in Dec.) that Sarah (at Thrifty Mom) had introduced and everyone that I did that for said how unique it was and several things in there were from samples that I had taken the time to receive in the mail. So, score! I love this way of shopping and will NEVER go back to what I did before, which was VERY LITTLE! I am forever changed! And I am always telling/showing others about my savings and basically how they can do the same. It is just education, knowledge…those two together are powerful for anyone. Something that you know, for the good of yourself & others, overall, can make for better generations to come.
    P.S. There have been ‘deals’ that I have fallen short of, like the Procter & Gamble Go For The Gold rebate (the $35 Visa w/all the free stuff in the end!) …well, wasn’t able to score that, and did not every win anything at the Rite Aid Life game, either. And I have found myself rushing across town to Target or even another discount drugstore, only to find that they were ‘out of stock’ or the price didn’t quite match up, etc. So that makes for dissapointment but mostly it’s all good! Thanks Collin and others for a free education in couponing!

  • Annie B says:

    I request every free sample and score (almost) every deal that’s free. If I can’t use it I give it to someone who can. I definitely know how hard it can be to avoid deals that are so good even with stuff you don’t need. I have made a habit of making my list for the week, checking for deals with JUST that stuff, then seeing if there’s anything else too good to pass up that I might need soon. Shopping with a friend is a great idea, though, I might try that!

  • Julie says:

    I haven’t snagged everything I have seen for free. I try not to read your posts on “free” cookies. I don’t need them in the house ;) so those I am able to look over. I also don’t always try to get every free sample you post either. If I don’t think I will use it, I don’t get it. This has taken some time for me to adjust to because there is something to say about “free” that we just can’t resist sometimes.

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money? Good question, I look at this two ways. If I can definitely see the need for the product in the near future either for gifts or my kids. YES, it’s a good deal. Another way I look at it, is for the store rewards. If I gain money in the long run, I think it’s a good deal. The Vaseline Lotion a while back that was $6 at CVS, but you get $6 bucks in rewards. I think it’s a good deal because I got to try a new product that I would have never picked up in the first place because of the price. I learned though the $6 in rewards can go a long way with coupons and such. On the other hand, I really really try NOT to buy everything I see that is a good deal. I have about 6 Glade candles at home that I am afraid to use because I think I will forget to blow them out. SO I realized that I probably shouldn’t buy candle deals because I am just a freak about lighting them especially with a 21 month old at home.

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)? I really SHOULD do this, but no.

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)? Just the coupon cutting mess ;)

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies? My husband and my brother both keep me grounded on the great deals and freebies. They both have stopped me from purchasing items not on the “need” list, but OH do I display my proud receipts on the refrigerator. My husband is not a huge fan of the “stock pile” approach, so this forced me to clean out my utility closet and prove him wrong. I tell him $.19 mustard is better now then $1.19 later. He is slowly catching on.

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself? I am considering the donation thing, but I either don’t have time/money to shop for all freebies and great deals, so I haven’t really got anything to donate. I definitely recycle more now with recyclebank.com.

  • Ashley says:

    Yes I will absolutely pick anything up that’s free. If I can’t use it someone can so I will either give it to a friend or family member or donate it. If a ‘good deal’ is something that I will eventually use but maybe didn’t NEED it right now I will usually still get it. And I think that it is a good deal because you’re eventually going to use up all that soap or cereal etc that you got for cheap or free. I don’t really have a set amount that I spend or limit myself too. I’ve spent $150 and I’ve spent $5 so my range is pretty big. But like I said if its something I will eventually use, might as well get it while its on sale. My hubby is great! He sometimes wonders what takes me so long at the store but when I show him the receipt and how much I saved he’s good with it. Clutter drives me nuts and its my nature so I really have to watch getting overloaded with stuff. If it gets to be too much then I just throw it in a box and donate it. I love to donate stuff…I’ve even donated coupons that I couldn’t use to our local pregnancy resource center and they were so thrilled.

  • Lacey says:

    I bought a rubbermaid container for my gifts that I get a a great deal for my list of Birthdays. The lists help tremendously. I have also labeled each gift with a name so I don’t forget. I will get it if it has overage I can apply to another product and if it’s free and I can donate it. I got tons of baby aspirin and my g-ma uses it so I gave it to her.

  • fairy dust says:

    Will you snag anything if it is free? I probably did a lot more in the “beginning” about a year ago, just out of sheer excitement (getting freebies is fun!), but now I keep it a little better under control and just go for freebies I’ll use or know someone who can use.

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money? It depends on the store. When I pay out of pocket to get something at Target that includes a gift card, I don’t consider the gift card as a true rebate – I’m not really saving $5 – because I have to go back to the store and find something else to use it on, often spending more out of pocket. Same with ECBs at CVS. So I tend to shop the deals at those stores only when I really need or want the item anyway. However, I get a little more carried away at Rite Aid because I do get the money back to use in any way I want, so to me those items really are free. And to my total surprise, my husband actually knew what Monkey Butt powder was (he’s a biker) – LOL!

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)? I have an overall budget which would include deals like these.

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)? Not too much so :) I cleared off some old shelves I used to use for my in-home business (now defunct). My problem is keeping the items organized so I can find things when I need to.

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies? He’s a self-confessed pack rat, but my three shelves of deals seem to bother him (probably cuz he wants those shelves for his stuff – LOL!). But when I explain the deals to him – especially the ones where the store’s paying me to take the items – he gets a huge kick out of it, although I also think he thinks it’s pretty silly but he’s humoring me.

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself? Anything I know we will use or our son or friends will use, I keep. Everything else is fair game for donations. I end up with freebie diapers from signing up for samples and I haven’t had a baby for 20-some years, so I take those into work where there are lots of new parents. Same with many different food samples if it’s not something we’re interested in here at home.

  • Michele says:

    I won’t grab ANYTHING free, because if I don’t use it or if I dont know anybody that will use it, it’d just be sitting on the shelves for however long.

    I think you are still saving money if you grabbed something you didn’t intend on buying in the first place, because you might run out of that something and need it. When that time comes around you might have to pay full price and be out money. In the end you save, yes.

    No, I don’t have a set amount. The lower I can get something for the better, haha. So far (i’ve only been couponing for about a month now) I have only gotten the things on sale that were GREAT sales and I couldn’t pass them up. We do live on a cash-only basis, so if I don’t have the extra cash for something we don’t get it. Hubby and I are a “young couple” (I’m 21 and he just turned 23), and we do not have any credit cards or as of this moment, plan to get any.

    No, we have some shelving in the master closet that was not being used, so it has become the stock-pile shelving. :P

    Kind-of. He likes the fact that I save him money, and that it makes me happy. I’m currently a SAHM, so it helps. However, he won’t do it himself.

    I, so far, have saved most of what we have gotten for us because it’s stuff that we will use. I have also given a few things to some family members that I know could use them.

  • Heather W. says:

    First off, let me say I had to chuckle when I read these questions b/c I have just started to ask myself these questions….

    Will you snag anything if it is free? -Pretty much, yea. If myself, my family, or my friends can use it, or if its something I can donate, yes.

    If the great deal that you snag is something you hadn’t intended to buy in the first place then are you really saving any money? -Ha sometimes yes, sometimes no, if I get it cheap enough and if I will replace it with something I would have bought, then yes.

    Do you have a certain amount of money each month allotted for those great deals (i.e. $5, $10 etc.)? -No, I haven’t established a set budget yet, I kind of factor it in with grocery and household needs plus I buy in bulk most of the time which saves me in the long run.

    Are all your great deals and finds overtaking your house (i.e. creating clutter and using up much needed space)? – I plead the 5th! =)

    Does your spouse or significant other support your need to snag all the great deals and freebies? -I would say yes, he’ll go shopping with me and help me print coupons. He’s the designated cart pusher =)

    Do you donate many of your freebies/great deals or do you keep them all for yourself?
    -I donate some if I won’t use it or if it can be put to good use. I work at a hospital so I have donated quite a bit there.

    • Mark says:

      Thats right Im the cart pusher!!!!!!!

      • Mark says:

        Wait a minute…I just blogged on a website I would never go to if it wouldnt be for this coupon obsession that a certain someone has! It gets bad when you start to treat the store workers like they are almost family because you are there so much! lol

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