I rarely see a T.V. show on that catches my attention. I saw a show yesterday about clipping coupons, and don't remember the name of the show. Anyway, it had these people that were super duper coupon clippers. They would go to the store and the price would ring up to $600.00-$800.00, and then they would submit their coupons to the cashier, and their balance due would go down to something ridiculously low like $8.00. I watched a few of the stories on there, and it made me think how much I could save. The problem is I'm too lazy to go through the coupons. And, these people spent hours and hours clipping coupons and figuring out how to get the products for almost nothing.
One of my opinions of coupons has been that they tend to be for the brand name products that usually cost a lot more (if not marked up when they print a coupon for it), and that by the time I use the coupon I could have just bought the store brand. The intriguing thing to me was these people were getting the brand name products for practically nothing. They had stockpiles of soap, dish detergent, Kraft BBQ sauce, noodles, deodorants, etc in their houses.
I thought it would be cool if someone could use the "automation" technique to find the coupons for the products I want to buy. I thought about all the brand name products I buy, and that would be a good search term. For instance, these are the brand names I usually buy: Tide detergent, Palmolive, Colgate toothpaste, Kraft sauces and salad dressings, Downy softener, etc.
If there were a way to get coupons for these items, and do it easily, I think a lot of people would go for it. Many of the coupon websites want you to register, then the coupons I'm looking for are few and far between. It was a waste of time.
Anybody got a easy system?
There's a good chance they waisted $8.00
At Macy's and you can get a watch for 50% off (limited time!), then jump through some hoops and save an additional 20%. In the end you didn't save $1200, you spent $500.
That's a sales tactic.
Some people will always buy Coke, some people will always buy Pepsi. They're brand loyal and they wont become the other companies customer. A lot of people will buy generic soda, they're price loyal. They'll gladly buy Coke or Pepsi when they're on sale because they're "saving" money. Some people want to invest time to make it feel like they did something to be special (coupons). But it's a joke -- drink tap water, filtered and re-enriched if you're so inclined.
I was going to cite the case of eggs being excluded from cake mix originally but according to snopes it's false, http://www.snopes.com/business/genius/cakemix.asp
Though they do give real evidence supporting it and what reads like original research to contrast that?
My system is to not be influenced by price, to sleep when tired, and eat when hungry.
I remember seeing this show in late tv...
But, let's talk about automation.
The thing is that you can't automate something before you have done it already, in the coupouns case, you would need to know 1) where can I get these coupons 2) what are the rules of use (how many can be used at any time, how many per person, etc) 3) when the supermarket has a sale and if I can use the coupon at that time.
For what I remember of that show all the participans where family moms, so, they all would go shopping every day for some stuff.
I think that for someone in that situation (goes to the supermarket everyday) it could be somewhat easy to follow the prices of stuff and etc, for us I don't think so.
The shows you mention are no more real than any of the other reality shows. Managers of super markets make many allowances to the shows' shoppers which would not be available to the average shopper. There are many documented cases of this on the internet. If you listen carefully, even the people on these shows confirm this time and again. Almost all of them say, "This is my biggest shopping trip ever," or something similar. In other words, this type of shopping is new even to these super-couponers!
But basically the idea is to get coupons for items you want (buy several newspapers or buy the coupons on ebay), and then wait to use them until the store has a sale on the same item, thereby making the item much cheaper. By nature the whole process is time consuming. Remember you have to keep all those coupons organized so you can find them when you want, and then you have to keep your eye out for store sales either by perusing store fliers or reading the coupon websites.
Yeah, it is time consuming and frustrating. So I gave up that idea.
You had an interesting comment about the shows on T.V. I like watching the food channel shows, and probably coincidental, I noticed a lot of coverage of food trucks in Austin and Houston. The reason I say it is maybe coincidental is because I started following your blog, and I notice anything coming from that area.
Yet, it appears to be some really good ideas and food coming from these trucks, and they seem to be big in Austin. How are they?
We were up in Houston visiting a friend who was very excited about a thrift shop.
Normally I'm not a thrift shop kind of guy. I'm too particular about what I buy and I just don't like shopping that much.
But this time I was excited.
Reading a DF post the other day about Best Buy got me thinking about why I never even consider shopping there anymore. Gruber commenting on a piece from Forbes saying that the decline was in part due to the way the stores are setup "It really is that simple. I find shopping at Best Buy to be insulting and annoying."
This explained it for me. I was in one this summer and it wasn't messy like a house with kids living in it but retail-messy. There were so many things lighting up the walls, displays and isles. Even though I don't like these things today, these are the things I loved as a kid. The Best Buy ad in the Sunday paper was absolutely my favorite and going to a store was equally exciting because of everything you could see. Now all that is a mess and that's probably thanks to the Internet.
On-line I Amazon.com which allows me precise and accurate searches. I'm not looking down a row of televisions and trying to note their differences, the search has done that for me, it's become my preferred way to shop. Let algorithms and purchase rankings help me choose not a salesperson. It's somewhat ironic that the appeal of Best Buy is in-store breadth which takes time to comb through but people - especially kids reading the Sunday advertisements - who take this time usually don't have money to spend.