Do you use coupons?

marie26January 1, 2006

I have been cutting out the newspaper coupons but find that there are only a few that are actually worth using.

Do you use coupons regularly? What sites do you find them on? Is the money saved worth the time and effort that is put into finding the coupons? There are no places in this area that offer double coupons.

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The only coupons I use are for dog food/cat food. Our local Pet Supplies Plus does double them.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 8:51AM
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I don't use grocery coupons, but I do use Michaels and BEd, Bath & Beyond. I found I was cutting out dozens of coupons and not using too many. It just took up so much time.

But for anyone feeding a family, I think it is a good idea to use grocery coupons.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 8:01PM
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It really depends on the coupon. But you have to be a savvy shopper. Just because a person has a coupon does *not* necessarily mean they'll save money.

If it's an item that I'm going to buy, then yes, it'll save money. Often stores have loss leaders on coupon that are worthwhile. But saving 50¢ on an item that is priced $1.00 more than the item you'd normally buy is not saving anything, it's spending more. And if you wouldn't buy it otherwise, it's not likely a saving, since you're spending on it.

There's times that I might buy something if the price is a certain point and if a coupon makes it that point, then fine.

I started a price book years back that enabled me to see a pattern when stores have sales and best prices on items. Now on stuff I buy regularly, I know what's a good price point and what's not. So when it says "sale" it may not be a good value.

I have recently used several B1G1F coupons that are a savings. But I use very few coupons. Also a vendor gave me coupons for $1.50 off a package of cheese which made the price less than 11¢ per package. I buy quite a bit so this of course is a great savings. (Had 5 or 6 of the coupons but had to use them quickly).

Some stores honor competitors coupons. Most don't. And again, beware of buying stuff you wouldn't normally buy, unless the price is right.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Don't often get coupons for staples - usually the more pricey stuff.

And often the basic item is cheaper, even after one considers the after-coupon cost of the highly-advertised item. Someone has to pay for the advertising, after all - and it ain't the retailer!

Long term: if it isn't the consumer - it doesn't happen.

Good wishes for managing your spending this year so that, investing the savings knowledgeably - you shave a few days/weeks/months off of your working life ...

... that you add to your years of enjoying an interesting, healthy retirement!

Now's the time to lay the foundation and build on it, preparing for the "healthy" part, as well.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 4:17PM
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I NEVER shop without my coupons. The local harris tetters store had triple coupons this past weekend They limit the times you can come to 2 a day and there is a limit of 20 coupons per trip that will triple. I went 2 times friday, 2 times sat, and 2 times sunday.
My totals for the 6 trips all combined is below.
BEFORE coupons and rewards card:
AFTER coupons and rewards card:
I can not see not using coupons with savings like these.
They dont do triples vvery often but the local lowes grocery does double up to .99 cents every day and I do shop there alot. I will use coupons for items that I dont use but am gonna get free or less than 25 cents and donate the product to either clients of mine who can not afford it or to the soup kitchen. The prices that is charged in the stores today are way to high and there is no way I am gonna pay more when I can use coupons and save a ton.
I also stockpile items that are on sale and I have coupons for too. Stuff that will not got bad. ( bathroom tissue, paper towels, shampoo etc)
I have probably 50 bottles of shampoo right now in the closet. If the scouts have a food drive, they will get lots of food and health and beauty items from me and they know to come to me.
I also have around 40 bottles of downey that , with a sale and coupons, I paid 11 cents a bottle.Alot of my clients cant afford downey so I give them some along. They love it and so do I!!!! The local food bank knows to call me when they are low on items and they know I will donate to them along with the soup kitchen. There was a sale on canned veggies recently 4 for 1.00. I had coupons too. I donated 11 cases of green beans, peas, pintos, corn, potatoes and such to the soup kitchen. My out of pocket spending for these 11 cases was 7.24 and I send off for a 10.00 rebate on them too.
If you use the coupons right, you will save money . If its a item you dont use and are gonna get free are close to it, why not get it and donate it to those in need.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2006 at 4:04PM
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99.9% of coupons are for national brands. Even with a coupon, a national brand is often more expensive than a store brand. So no, I don't use coupons, they don't save me money. I go to a smaller store and buy canned fruits and veggies for about 60-70% off the national brand price. The actual fruits and veggies are not the same national brand, but they taste the same to me.

Can of peaches national brand: $1.59.
From my store: $.50.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 10:59AM
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Our supermarket will also double the coupon prices so I compare the store brand verse the brand with the coupon and buy whatever is cheaper.
I do prefer some name brands though and will purchase them if they are more expensive. I will try to wait for a coupon though and a sale.
Often if there is a really good coupon i will try the item and see if i like it. I did this with the tuna fillets once and we really enjoyed them. Normally I woudln't have tried the item because it was expensive. Now I always look to see if they are on sale and stock up when they are.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 11:19AM
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I clip coupons and try only to use them for items that are already on sale in the store, instead of using them on regularly priced items. I don't think I've ever purchased toothpaste or laundry products where it wasn't both on sale AND I had a coupon (and got double-coupon cents off). I don't purchase a lot of things that are namebrand, so I first save money by avoiding them, and then use the coupons on the things I do use, very wisely.

I've checked out of the grocery store when the "coupon Queen" was in front of me. All that crap, just because she had a coupon. I'm a whole-foods kinda' gal, so most of the things in her cart I'd never even had in my kitchen and most I don't even consider food. You rarely find staple foods that have a coupon, but I rarely spend more than my $50/week on groceries (2 adults) because I spend it on food, not pasteboard boxes, celephane bags and tin cans.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 3:46PM
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Grainlady looks like whole grain, to me.

Sound like sense ... or is that cents off?

o j.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 5:24PM
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The only coupons we use are for non-food stores. Bed and Bath, Jo-ann fabrics, etc. Clipping coupons is time consuming and the majority are for brands we don't use. We don't go grocery shopping as my mother did when we were little. (Every Thursday trecking down to the grocery store and load up a shopping cart filled with food for the week). We buy in bulk at the wharehouse stores. We have the room to store it all so that is how we save money. Hubby buys meat in large quanitites cuts it up himself and vaccumm seals it. Makes his own sausage, and grinds meat for hamburger. We season it the way we like and it really tastes better than what we use to buy at the grocery store. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 9:48AM
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I'm very selective with coupons, many of them I don't use.

However, don't just throw those coupons you don't want away or leave them in the magazine. Let your friends go through them, or take them in to work for everyone to have a browse. It may save them some money, they may use these products. That and it's a good way to encourage everyone else to start sharing their spare coupons. This gives you a much wider selection to look at, often they'll be ones from magazines/papers you don't read and those that were attached to products you wouldn't normally buy.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 11:16AM
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My library has a table where people exchange coupons.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 11:42AM
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My mom is coupon-obsessed. And she does buy a lot of stuff she wouldn't normally buy if it weren't for the coupon. I try to explain to her that she'd spend less money if she didn't use coupons but this doesn't compute in her head.

The only time I use coupons is when I'm buying something I buy all the time, such as my favorite toothpaste, shampoo, etc.

I do most of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, and, although their prices seem to be creeping up, their products are still cheaper than the national brands you find at the supermarket.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 2:13PM
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In my area there are big chain grocery stores, and then there is the local chain/discount grocer. The selection there is a bit less, and you have to bag your own groceries...they don't have bells and whistles (no Starbucks, no eat in deli with gourmet sandwiches, salad bar, etc) and their prices definitely reflect this.

I don't use coupons for foods because most of them in our local paper is for junk I won't buy. I do use them for toothpaste and non-food items I would normally buy. And I use the Michaels and other speciality store coupons.

A coworker uses coupons and shops at one the major chain stores. She's always bragging about how she saved 'so much money'. With her coupons, she's still spending more than I do at the no-frills store!

My son had to do a comparison of grocery stores for his economics class. Had to pick four stores and compare prices on the same item at each one. At one store the price of Jiff Peanut butter was THREE TIMES that of the store I shop at! So even with a coupon the savings would have been hard to realize. However, if I used the coupon at the store I shop at I'd save...but only if I NEEDED that product.

It all depends on the worthiness of the coupon versus the actual savings.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 3:49PM
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Yeah -s/he bought a product for $14.00, whose regular price was $16.00 - so s/he "saved" $2.00.

To buy something that, if you go to her/his house two years later to ask whether s/he's ever used it ...

... the answer'll be, "No".

So - s/he "saved" $2.00, did s/he?

I think she got conned - no, actually, she conned herself.

Don't you think?

One couild go broke making such "savings", seems to me.

Have a great weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 2:54PM
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Pretend money savers are the worst, and a lot of people seem to buy in to them.

First, it doesn't matter how cheap something is, if you buy that something and never use it then it is in fact very expensive. Too many people lean towards the must buy it while it's cheap or miss out on a bargain mentality. I'd rather be critical of purchases and miss out on a few real bargains if it means I also miss out on a lot more pretend bargains.

As for huge discounts, they're easily negated by a huge original price tag. These savings are pretend money, you never see it or feel it, by all logical reasoning it never actually exists. It's still spending, so I only buy the discount item after compairing it to all the other similar items which I might prefer.

And finally, it doesn't matter how big or cheap the packet is when you need a gallon of it to get the job done properly. I buy some fairly expensive products, but such a tiny portion does the task perfectly that they turn out to be very affordable. I've encountered 'budget products' that needed absurd quantities to work... Washing powder scoops that could be used as soup bowls!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 3:25PM
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It just hit me... 50 bottles of shampoo and 40 bottles of Downey! I don't think I could use 50 bottles of shampoo in the rest of my life! And Downey has a shelf life. I had to throw 5 bottles that I "got a deal" on. That's wasn't a deal for me was it? 11 cases of veggies? How big a family do you have? Maybe it's just local but 4/$1 is not uncommon around here. 3/$1 nearly every week. And I don't use fabric softener anymore except an occasional Downey Ball of vinegar. My gawd, I wouldn't have room to store that kind of excess.

Not to duplicate the other thread so I won't repeat. I do, however use coupons at Walgreens on a regular basis when I need to stock up on pain relievers. Their store brand of aspirin, ibuprofen and the like for 29¢/bottle. That's a savings and it gets used. Occasionally I luck out and get a B1G1F on top of it. But I still wouldn't buy 50 of them!

Again, judicious use is practical. Seldom is something unneeded a good enough deal to spend money on.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2006 at 5:36PM
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"Seldom is something unneeded a good enough deal to spend money on"

I like that.

That pretty well says it all.

o j

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 5:59PM
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I don't use coupons. I've tried, but found that it leads me to buy a brand or a product I wouldn't normally get. Also with these new "Millenium" coupons I'll call them. They are "save 1.00 for 3 boxes of cereal" or "save .50 on 3 boxes of crackers" It's seldom I see a regular coupon that says "save .50 on ONE box of rice" or "save 1.00 on ONE box of cereal" With coupons like these new multi item or multi product purchase I find that I have to buy more, which means store more and then EAT more or WASTE more (both not good options) and I'm not saving much money for that type of inconvenience.

I will however use a Linen & Things coupon or Macy's coupon if I'm in the market for something. I've also been known to use the Macy's coupon at Bed bath & beyond b/c they have 20% off entire purchase rather then 20% off ONE item.

Just my .02

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 11:51AM
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Last week, I bought new pillows, sheets, towels and a mattress cover at Linens and Things. I had saved all my 20% coupons and was able to use them all even though most had expired. They had to ring them up 3 at a time, though, and start over with a new sales slip in order to continue using the coupons. I felt that I got high quality products for a pretty good price.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 3:38PM
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Yes, I use them all the time. I'm not pickey on most things I buy and will try new brands. Now if the store brand is cheaper, than normal brand and coupon, I will buy store brand.
I cut them out at work while on my lunch break. Then the day I make my grocery list, I go through all my coupons and pull out the ones I plan to use. And like I said above, if store brand is cheaper, the coupon goes back in the envelope.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 10:51AM
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I do sometimes see things about people who save vast amounts of money by using coupons, but this seems to be half the story. I often get coupons for significant discounts, but only on significantly expensive items, so I have no doubts that given the same shopping list we could all go out and do our own money saving things and buy the same items for less - and often without using any coupons.

I've been doing a lot more shopping in £1 stores and 99p stores recently - but I'm careful as similar (or even exact same) items can be lower priced in the supermarket. Don't just assume they're cheaper than anywhere else.

I also try to be open minded about what I buy as my usual shop has a good number of in-store offers that change from week to week. Often they're for store brand products, which tend to be similar quality (sometimes better actually) than brand name but without the high price. Things change around a lot, I often just write approximations like "Fruit" or "Pastries" on the list and see what is cheapest at the time. They tell you to eat varied food anyway.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2006 at 11:18AM
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I don't use many coupons myself anymore. Alot of times I find that the store brand is still cheaper than if I used a coupon on a national brand. Plus it seems like alot of the coupons that are out there want you to by 2 or 3 of the item to save a $1.00.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 9:15PM
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When I joined AAA, there was a promotion for giving you coupons on items you used. I filled out the form with the types of items I would like coupons for. Since it was AAA, I expected coupons of higher value. All I got were the coupons that you find in the Sunday circular that had been cut out for me. They certainly went through a lot of bother with this promotion. But the coupons they sent me are a joke!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 11:13PM
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I just checked Quicken... I saved $724.67 at the grocery stores in 2005 using coupons clipped from the papers.

I do not buy what we do not want just because I see a coupon.
My family neither eats more nor wastes more.

Couponing really cuts my grocery bill... and it only takes about 30 min a week to clip, file and pull.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 1:37PM
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I hate coupons. i used to clip them, put them in a holder, use them whenever possible, and end up with a lot of expired pieces of paper in my coupon wallet. I finally gave up. I spend a lot less these days by buying store brands, sale items, day-old stuff, even paper products in bulk sizes. I think I come out better now than when I used coupons. One of my stores has "clipless coupons" meaning good sale prices. I'm not even tempted to look at those colorful coupon sections delivered every Sunday with my newspaper.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 8:58PM
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I go through the weekly ritual of clipping coupons, but use maybe 1 out of every 15 I clip. Like others have said, the coupons are for national brands and a lot of times you can get the store brand items for less. And unfortunately, Publix, the supermarket I shop at, does not double coupons. I find where I save $ the most with coupons is for things like toothpaste, shampoo, etc. at CVS. They will have BOGOs or deep discounts and with the coupons, I can get an item for next to nothing.

One thing that irks me about coupons is that a lot of times you have to buy 2 or sometimes 3 things to get the discount.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 5:40AM
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I Do use coupons sometimes - only if they are in the store ad on that rare occasion I will be going to that store, and something I would buy anyway. I'm picky about certain food items - some MUST be name brands. (some of the store brands or generics are horrible. Some are great.)

Even if I have a coupon for something I can tolerate store brand over name brand, I still compare prices. Sometimes the name brand is cheaper than the store brand after coupon.

But I don't go out of my way looking for them. I have found that coupons mostly are there to promote a new item (or newly designed packaging), or an item that one would not normally buy. Usually it's some new junk food item, or, "convenience" packaging.

And SOME stores even jack up the prices on the items during the "coupon" period.

In my area we have about 5 or 6 major grocers, and a couple of smaller ones. Thus, I can compare by ads. The major store that (by name) professes you can get for less - gets trashed. (They are expensive). Another major store gets trashed - expensive. One that proclaims to be low price leader - ISN'T. One major store I like for certain items is farther away, so unless I'm doing some very serious shopping, it's not worth the gas to go there to save a buck or 2. Two major grocers right down street - we use whoever has best price on those 'mini-runs'.

One of the "off-brand" smaller stores has the best produce and prices...(I just hope they will be around for a very long time!), AND overall prices are very good. Great prices on canned goods also.

I don't mind having to buy multiple items to get a good price. (Afterall - I stock up whenever possible) I go crazy when we're down do 1/2 bottle dish soap. 8 small cans tomato sauce, 1 loaf bread. 1 lb cheddar cheese...etc. (Probably because I can't just hop in the car and go at any given time)

Coupons can be great. I just quit wasting my time on them years ago when I realized how "the program" had changed.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 8:42AM
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I never use coupons on food. We eat 90% organic food and we do not eat typical brands of food that coupons that you would find in the newspaper. I only go to two food stores, Trader Joes and a local organic food store.

The kind of food that I would buy a national brand, for example, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, is such an impulse purchase that coupons would not help! Not only that I do not want to save money on Ben and Jerry's. Then I would be liable to buy B&J that I don't need!

I use internet coupons when I order things on the internet. For example, if I am ordering Gap clothes for my kids, I will do a search on "coupon gap" and there may be something, which often there is.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 1:22AM
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Don't get the newspaper except on some Sundays they sometimes deliver it for free. The coupons pretty much suck. Excuse my French. But it's true. Not many worth saving.
The ones that come in the mail for BB&B and Linens & thangs are good coupons. And from time to time I get thank you notes from Lowes with $10 giftcards. No I'm not kidding.
the little coupon spit-out machines in the supermarket are good though and the store circulars have good coupons.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:54AM
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By the way there was a website they showed on the news a few years ago that basically told you what coupons were currently out there and where to find them. That way you could see which ones you wanted and streamline your clipping.
But I can't remember what that site was. It started out only in Atlanta where we have like 90 thousand supermarket chains but they said they were going to expand. Does anyone know what the site was called?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 10:56AM
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This may be the coupon site that you're thinking of, I have been using it for at least five years now. I save thousands on groceries every year! I love to see how much I save every week, it's amazing!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2006 at 7:40PM
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blookhound, I had looked up The Grocery Game a while back but never really understood how it works. I didn't want to join to have to find out. Do you know how much it is to join now?

This is my understanding of that site: It types all the prices from the local Sunday ads as well as the coupons that come out that Sunday? What about future weeks? Do they print all the coupons that have not yet expired or only the new ones?

Am I correct in my description of what the site does? What else does it do? TIA

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 12:33AM
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I do cut out coupons. Generally they are for items that I buy for the most part. Sometimes I will cut out things that I would like to try but wait to find a good sale and combine. I buy most of my toiletries/paper goods @ Walmart as they have better prices than the grocery store and I will often go w/ coupons there. I might save $5-$10 week on various items but I feel that it's worth it. Recently a local grocery had deodorant for $1.00 each (brand my husband uses) I had 10 ($1) off coupons as we kind of pool coupons at work so.. basically I got my husband enough to last a year for free. Same store recently had certain General Mills cereals for $1.77 box. I had a coupon for $1 off two boxes so I paid $2.54 for two boxes. Had kids w/ me at store and told them to pick out what they wanted. Coupons can work for you but it does take added time.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 3:02PM
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The grocery game tells you when to use your coupons. It keeps track of the grocery sales as well as the coupons. So each week you can print out a list that gives you the original price, the sale price, the coupon discount, the new discounted price, and the percentage that you've saved. I cut coupons weekly and file them. Then I use them when the item is posted on "the list". So I'm actually buying the product when it is at its cheapest price and I'm getting the best deal!

If you go to the grocery game website I think that you can sign up for a four week trial for only $1!


    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 7:46PM
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Marie26, do a google search for "grocery coupon forum". There are quite a few sites out there that offer the same info as thegrocerygame for free, weeks in advance. These early posts allow you to gather your coupons together and match them to the sales rather then scramble that week and hope you have the coupons to match the sales.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 9:48PM
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I used the Grocery Game for a few months and saw a significant savings. It was time consuming cutting the coupons and creating a filing system, but once I found a system that worked, I had it made.

I don't have alot of room to stockpile like they advocate, but I saved alot of money. There were many times I used the coupons and got $200 worth of groceries for about $20.

The drawback of the grocery game is it is time consuming. I'd have to go to the store to buy the Sunday Paper, clip the coupons, file them - all on a Sunday, then I only had until Tuesday to go shopping. This was ok when I wasn't working, but once I started a FT job, something had to give. I just didn't have time for it anymore, so I gave up my membership.

I think if there is something available online free and in advance like xamsx noted above, I would be more inclined to use that. The Grocery Game (aka Teri's list) was just too rushed for me.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 1:50PM
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Sparksals, the coupons that are in the Sunday papers seem mostly to be for brand names of items I wouldn't normally purchase and many of them aren't for food. So, when you paid $20 for $200 worth of items, did this mean that you actually had many meals from the $200 worth of items or did you still have to go out and purchase food for cooking?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 3:14PM
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