Saturday, February 9, 2013


Mark, Kathy, Todd, Mom and I had a discussion on Thursday evening about some of the strategies that we can use for the challenge. Extreme couponing came up and I agreed to post some information.  I am by far not a coupon extremist. I see the value with saving money, get enthusiastic, clip coupons and for some reason don't use most of them before they expire.

I haven't used all these websites/tips but got this information while I was taking a financial class. The guest speaker, a coupon queen, shops for a family of 4 and spends only $250 mo on groceries.

Websites: (sign up for weekly emails) (try new products for free)


Giant Eagle - doubles coupons up to $.99
CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Target - accepts mfg coupons and store coupons for the same item
Walmart - will price match with local ads and will give you money back if the coupon makes the item free

Note: I would double check with the stores to make sure that they are still offering these deals. For example, Giant Eagle is eliminating their food perks program, which I did not list above.

And here are some of my personal tips:
Nature's Bin - earn one point for every dollar you spend when you use your shoppers card. Once you get 500 points, you get $10 towards groceries
Earth Fare - sign up online for their Tomato Bank program and you get weekly coupons/freebies. If you give them your cell phone # you get 500 points which equals $5!

We need to clarify the coupon rules. For example Kathy asked if you are at Giant  Eagle and the deal is BOGO, can you use the free one for the challenge? Mark replied no.  My question is, does that apply to other deals? For example, the Earth Fare coupon that I printed today is for a free chicken or veggie burger if you spend $10.  How will that work if I'm gathering items pre-challenge?  If I'm accumulating points while doing ordinary shopping (ie, Nature's Bin), can I use those points during the challenge?

If anyone else has any tips, please post!


  1. Spend $10 and get something one get one...these are strategies used by stores to get you to buy extra items at an elevated base price. These should be included in the challenge ONLY if all the purchased goods are included. These promotions would not benefit someone trying to live on pennies a day - you certainly couldn't ask the store just for the free one!

  2. How about if the store offers points for every $ you spend? For example, at Earth Fare, I got $5 for giving them my cell phone number under the Tomato Bank Reward Program and will continue to earn points (which eventually amounts to cash) as I spend money there. This is a store that I regularly shop at.

  3. I would say the $5 for giving your cell phone are applicable, but only if those points are earned on purchases made for the challenge. If you had no income and no way to buy the groceries that earned points, you would not have any points to spend!

  4. If you come up with a clever way to accrue points, get a friend (or even stranger) to use your account or something, I would say those earnings would qualify.