Have you watched TLC's show "Extreme Couponers"? That show is just crazy. Here are some of the questions that go through my head when I watch it:
1. What store actually lets people do this kind of shopping?
2. Is it staged like other shows?
3. Do you really need that much of one item?
I am all about couponing but I think that this show is not even a smidge close to reality.
I have a small stock pile in my basement that fits on four plastic shelves. We are actually out of toothpaste right now. There is no store in my area that will allow you to shop and use coupons like the ones shown on "Extreme Couponer".
When I first started couponing several years ago, local stores were still doing the "triple" coupon deal. I have been able to get really good deals in the past, but it seems that coupon policies are getting stricter and you have to read the fine print and make sure all you T's are crossed while doing your shopping to get the best deals. My advice is to print off the current store policies and read through them to make sure you understand what they will and will not accept. Other coupon sites suggest taking this along with you on your shopping trips. It will make it easier when you have a cashier that may not be familiar with the store's policy.
Our local Wal-Mart will match competitor's prices. I live 45 mins. from the nearest Meijer and Menard's so I just take in the ad and they will match the prices. (The Meijer ad I have to print off, it doesn't come in our Sunday paper).
I may only get a few good deals a week, and build my supply slowly, but really can a family of five use 200 bottles of body wash? Give away what you can or won't use. There is always a need no matter where you live.
I also encourage you to do your couponing honestly. Don't try to work the system. Enjoy the feeling of saving money by being honest. Keeping your cool while couponing will help out also. Don't get mad at the cashier if they aren't familiar with the policy. You can always calmly ask for the store manager to be called to clarify any questions. (This would be a good time to pull out your current store policy that you printed off).
Have fun couponing and saving money!!!!