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#1 Mar 02 2013 at 11:45 AM Rating: Decent
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Do you use them?

I battle myself between being cheap vs being lazy. Is the discount worth the effort? Some times it is, some times it isn't. With coupons, it seems to vary. You have meretricious ads from places like Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, etc. where the coupon advertises actual prices in attempt to bring in customers and there are coupons who actually give discounts.

I saw these ladies save over $75 on food from a case of coupons and became interested. At the same time, you have those coupons that cause you to spend more to save.

What say ye?
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#2 Mar 02 2013 at 11:49 AM Rating: Good
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Almalieque wrote:
I saw these ladies save over $75 on food from a case of coupons and became interested. At the same time, you have those coupons that cause you to spend more to save.

What say ye?


I saw a woman go from about 140 to 75 dollars with coupons.

The local restaurants throw coupons about once per month in the free shopper that is delivered. I use those on occasion. Other than that, I don't bring coupons with me when shopping.

Edited, Mar 2nd 2013 12:49pm by TirithRR
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#3 Mar 02 2013 at 12:11 PM Rating: Default
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TirithRR wrote:
Almalieque wrote:
I saw these ladies save over $75 on food from a case of coupons and became interested. At the same time, you have those coupons that cause you to spend more to save.

What say ye?


I saw a woman go from about 140 to 75 dollars with coupons.

The local restaurants throw coupons about once per month in the free shopper that is delivered. I use those on occasion. Other than that, I don't bring coupons with me when shopping.

Edited, Mar 2nd 2013 12:49pm by TirithRR


Personally, I want to be able to do that. I just don't think that I would save that much from buying a Sunday's paper. I'm looking for some tips and tricks!
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#4 Mar 02 2013 at 12:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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#5 Mar 02 2013 at 1:08 PM Rating: Good
I don't bother with restaurant coupons because the kinds of restaurants that have coupons aren't expensive anyway. My future ex-wife used to do a grocery store coupon thing from here and saved a lot of money.
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#6 Mar 02 2013 at 1:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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Newegg coupons and the like get used around here all the time. Most of the stuff that gets bought with them would have beeen bought eventually anyways. The occasional "really good" coupon can prompt a purchase faster than I would otherwise have made it. my best luck last year was actually on hard drive coupons. I ended up saving something around $300 on solid state drives and large rotational data drives, but i also buy more drives than your average individual probably does I would imagine.
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#7 Mar 02 2013 at 1:54 PM Rating: Decent
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I get 4 $1.50 off coupons for Camel cigarettes about once a month. You bet your ass I use them.
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#8 Mar 02 2013 at 1:55 PM Rating: Good
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PunkFloyd, King of Bards wrote:
I don't bother with restaurant coupons because the kinds of restaurants that have coupons aren't expensive anyway. My future ex-wife used to do a grocery store coupon thing from here and saved a lot of money.


The one local one I use the most, is a sandwich place. It costs about 11 dollars for an 18 inch sub, and they have "Buy one get one free" coupons.
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#9 Mar 02 2013 at 3:17 PM Rating: Good
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Coupons aren't all that prevalent here, if I happen to get one for something I want to buy anyway I'll use it and if I buy something online I'll spend a few minutes googling for codes to get a few % off of my purchase but otherwise, meh.
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#10 Mar 02 2013 at 3:34 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
PunkFloyd, King of Bards wrote:
I don't bother with restaurant coupons because the kinds of restaurants that have coupons aren't expensive anyway. My future ex-wife used to do a grocery store coupon thing from here and saved a lot of money.


The one local one I use the most, is a sandwich place. It costs about 11 dollars for an 18 inch sub, and they have "Buy one get one free" coupons.
Usually I'll trudge around looking for coupons for delivery places to offset the delivery charge.
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#11 Mar 02 2013 at 4:05 PM Rating: Decent
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I don't clip coupons, but if I get one from a package of something I already use, I'll use it for my next purchase.
#12 Mar 02 2013 at 7:06 PM Rating: Decent
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I should add that IMO, it's always worth it to use online retail coupons where possible. You can save 10 dollars or more on even relatively cheap orders.

http://www.retailmenot.com

I am not affiliated with the above site, but I do recommend it when ordering online.
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#13 Mar 03 2013 at 8:56 AM Rating: Default
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BrownDuck wrote:
I should add that IMO, it's always worth it to use online retail coupons where possible. You can save 10 dollars or more on even relatively cheap orders.

http://www.retailmenot.com

I am not affiliated with the above site, but I do recommend it when ordering online.


Thanks. Making coupons is a really good strategy as most people don't use them, but for the ones that do probably wouldn't buy (or at least as much and/or as often) without them.
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#14 Mar 03 2013 at 9:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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If I'm purchasing online I'll make a quick attempt to see if I can find a coupon code for that retailer. At home I generally just use coupons on pizza or other delivered foods. Never went to the grocery store with my satchel filled with scraps of paper or anything.

My understanding is that both stores and manufacturers have become a lot more strict with coupons these days. It was cute when you had a small group of people working out the loopholes to get 10,000 rolls of paper towels for $10. It's less cute when it becomes a TV show and you have everyone coming out of the woodwork expecting to bleed you dry.
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#15 Mar 03 2013 at 10:12 AM Rating: Default
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If I'm purchasing online I'll make a quick attempt to see if I can find a coupon code for that retailer. At home I generally just use coupons on pizza or other delivered foods. Never went to the grocery store with my satchel filled with scraps of paper or anything.

My understanding is that both stores and manufacturers have become a lot more strict with coupons these days. It was cute when you had a small group of people working out the loopholes to get 10,000 rolls of paper towels for $10. It's less cute when it becomes a TV show and you have everyone coming out of the woodwork expecting to bleed you dry.


The only legitimate pizza coupons that I've seen lately are from "little Caesar's". Domino's (and now Pizza Hut) advertise "5.99" in large characters, with "ea." in small letters, giving the illusion that you're getting 2 medium pizzas for 5.99. This is opposed to saying "2 medium pizzas for $12.00". Pizza Hut's (and now Papa John's) coupons have always been misleading. Most of their coupons blatantly advertise their normal prices.

Pizza seems to have the best deals online, especially Papa John's. Back in the day, I used to reuse the same "2 for 19.99 large pizzas" coupon from Pizza Hut with an expiration date of "30 days". Back then, it was actually a discount, I'm not sure now.
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#16 Mar 03 2013 at 12:02 PM Rating: Good
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Whenever my parents do any kind of substantial shopping trip, they spend time to clip coupons first. Usually end up saving at least $40. I think my mother saved something like $67 yesterday.

They're especially useful when you can use them for the sorts of things that don't perish, so you don't need to worry about using it right away. Say for buying cans of tomatoes.

My parents tend to clip coupons whenever they see one that they might use, and just quickly file them by category. Then, whenever they're doing a big shopping trip, it's just a matter of looking through the circular and glancing in the relevant envelopes for coupons worth using.

Double coupon promotions are particularly nice.

It's not something I've ever really bothered with, but they raised a family of four and my dad has worked in sales the whole time. Saving $60 on non-perisheble groceries goes a long way.
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#17 Mar 03 2013 at 3:13 PM Rating: Good
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I remember my mom clipping coupons every week when I was a kid, and filing them into an organizer. Then we'd go shopping, and she'd give me the cereal coupons, and I could pick out two boxes that we had coupons for, etc.
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#18 Mar 03 2013 at 4:07 PM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
Almalieque wrote:
I saw these ladies save over $75 on food from a case of coupons and became interested. At the same time, you have those coupons that cause you to spend more to save.

What say ye?


I saw a woman go from about 140 to 75 dollars with coupons.

The local restaurants throw coupons about once per month in the free shopper that is delivered. I use those on occasion. Other than that, I don't bring coupons with me when shopping.

I went from $118 down to $51 at Safeway on Friday. Smiley: cool

60% is my goal (you can usually get 25%-35% by just going to the store and shopping semi-randomly really). Doesn't happen every time, some of the store brands will still be a better buy, and you have to check like price-per-oz kinds of things too. Stuff that keep a long time you can usually get really good deals on, like 25 cents on a bottle of shampoo or something. We'll buy like 10 and not worry about shampoo for a year. Have several shelves in the pantry set up for storing stuff like that.

Takes 5-ish hours a week to keep up with it. I'll buy a couple of papers on Sunday and clip coupons, new adds tend to come out on Thursday, and there's a couple of blogs that help keep track of local deals. Match up the deals and sales, and go out and buy what you need. I keep the coupons in my old baseball card album, semi-organized so I can find them, and quickly toss the ones I don't use when they expire.

The savings I get from couponing works about the same per hour as the second job I had for a while. If you aren't picky about what you eat or what soap you use, you can save a heck of a lot of money. I'll look for the discount meat when I'm there too, and produce usually has something on sale. There's some things we buy no matter what. Kids must have their favorite items of course, and we make sure they're getting some good food whether or not it's on sale. Overall though, I don't feel like I'm eating any less healthy than before we started.

Since we started couponing we probably have an extra $300-ish a month above what we used to have. Not incredible, but for 20hrs of work or so a month I'm not complaining.
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#19 Mar 04 2013 at 8:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't use coupons all that often, but unless I'm shopping for my "necessary" food items (eggs, milk, cheese, bread), all superfluous items I buy only when they're on sale or BOGO (I primarily shop at Publix, which I think is only found in the Southeast). I usually end up saying at least 33%, often more (so my bill usually comes out at like $40-50 for the week, with $20-35 in savings). Best I've done is like 55% savings once; everything I bought was on sale; most were BOGOs, and a few were just underpriced (like strawberries in-season; "4 for $5; save $9.99 off the normal price (for 4!)").

I had a coworker back in Gainesville who was a major coupon-hound. She never paid anything for a bunch of products like napkins, plates, deodorant, vegetable oil, etc; she snipped coupons, combined them with several deals (manufacturer, weekly deals, grouping deals, etc) and always got those items discounted to nothing. Granted, she might then have 4 boxes of Speed-Stick, but hey - that's like 2 years worth of deodorant!

She highly recommend this site for people living in the Southeast: http://www.southernsavers.com/

It has a bunch of links for what's on sale this week, where you can find coupons, and direct links to several sites that offer weekly coupons for free (well, at the cost of spam mail; she uses a separate e-mail address for them). I've used them a couple of times; kinda fun to get BOGO Progresso soups, and combine with a $1.50 off/4 deal.
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#20 Mar 04 2013 at 8:57 AM Rating: Good
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I always find a coupon code when I make hotel reservations. Basically it gives you the corporate rate.

Grocery store coupons are too time consuming, too limited in their offerings and likely to cause me (and others) to buy more crap than may be needed or even wanted.

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#21 Mar 04 2013 at 10:06 AM Rating: Good
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We get a Fantastic Savings coupon book every six months, that has BOGO coupons for about a hundred restaurants.

We use them, but then make it up to the restaurant by buying overpriced drinks or bottles of wine. And we always make sure to tip on the pre-discount amount.
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#22 Mar 04 2013 at 10:25 AM Rating: Good
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Unless I'm ungodly busy, I just plan my weak's meals when looking at the circular and considering what I have on hand. I won't generally take the time to actually figure out recipes, most of the time, but it's easy enough to glance at everything on sale and come up with a loose picture. I'm generally fully stocked on spices, so the only thing that matters is whether or not I need fresh herbs or citrus.

As a general rule, I don't spend more than $2 on meat. I don't each much of it, so it all ends up in the freezer anyway. And I don't eat much pork/beef, so that reduces things nicely. When there's a good sale, I buy as much as I can conveniently freeze. Of course, I do increase my costs a tiny amount by buying sandwich bags so I can freeze (trimmed) portions. Still works well, though.

I almost never buy produce that's not on sale unless it's something I really need or am really craving. Red peppers, for instance. I love them, but I won't pay an extra dollar a pound for them. Even worse with yellow/orange.

Only things I'll reliably buy for full price are onions/garlic (if I'm going to run out before the next week) and greens (kale, if nothing else is on sale).

All the rest of my produce is on sale. But I do generally buy sufficient fruit to last me through the week with at least one piece a day, preferably two. That goes to whatever is on sale (hate Bartlett pear weeks. Those bastards are never ripe...)

Fortunately, there are VERY few fruits and vegetables I don't love, and almost none that I can't tolerate. So it's not hard for me to be happy with whatever is on sale, as long as whatever is on sale is decently ripe (as in, I can use it within a week). Broccoli rabe is the only thing that comes to mind that I can't tolerate, and that's because I'm sensitive to whatever makes it bitter. One bite of it, even if it's been properly cooked, and all I can taste for at least an hour afterwards is bitters. Smiley: frown
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#23 Mar 04 2013 at 12:17 PM Rating: Good
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I use coupons for just about everything. I'll clip from the mailers and newspapers and then I'll check online. For groceries, I normally shave off about 10-15% off the final total, and since we shop on base, it's a pretty substantial savings that we have to begin with. For restaurants, we'll check the mailers and see what deals are out there and the best deal is where we have date night. If I order something online, I'll check to see what discount code there is. I don't spend a lot of time on coupon searching though. If I can't find something after 5 minutes or so, I'll just pay full price.
#24 Mar 04 2013 at 1:27 PM Rating: Good
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Pretty much the only thing I ever get coupons for is McDonalds and @#%^ that.

I think just about all discounts and stuff here are in store, coupons aren't as big a thing over here.
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#25 Mar 04 2013 at 4:05 PM Rating: Good
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The coupon thing isn't prevalent here, either. Some restaurants and shops give you a discount if you've got a special card from the so-called "Consumer Association", but I don't think I've ever come across a coupon.
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#26 Mar 05 2013 at 1:20 AM Rating: Good
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I'll usually use a coupon or two if they are the ones that are handed to me with my receipt. They are usually tracking what I buy and those coupons are usually tailored to what I usually buy, anyway. The Safeway here has a pretty cool thing going on, you can go online and add coupons to your card so when you swipe your Safeway card, you automatically get all of those coupons instead of having to clip them. They even have a "Just For U" section where they show you what coupons you would probably be interested in based on your past purchases.

Food is so expensive here, we'll take what we can get usually. But I don't have the time to scour the Sunday papers looking for that golden ticket coupon. And they have instituted a "no bag" rule here now. If you don't bring in your own bag, they charge you 5 cents to bag your groceries in a paper sack. There are no more plastic bags in the big grocery stores here.
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#27 Mar 05 2013 at 1:52 AM Rating: Good
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Food is so expensive here, we'll take what we can get usually. But I don't have the time to scour the Sunday papers looking for that golden ticket coupon. And they have instituted a "no bag" rule here now. If you don't bring in your own bag, they charge you 5 cents to bag your groceries in a paper sack. There are no more plastic bags in the big grocery stores here.


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#28 Mar 05 2013 at 4:45 AM Rating: Good
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Belkira wrote:
And they have instituted a "no bag" rule here now. If you don't bring in your own bag, they charge you 5 cents to bag your groceries in a paper sack. There are no more plastic bags in the big grocery stores here.
You get used to that I guess. As far as I know we've always had to pay for bag here at grocery stores, plastic bags though and they tend to cost 15-25c. They're more of an oh sh*t I need something but don't have a bag with me/I forgot to bring a bag type of thing.
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#29 Mar 05 2013 at 9:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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You have to buy bags at Aldi (think it's 5 cents for plastic, 10 for paper) and I'm always a little amused at the people juggling their groceries in salvaged cardboard boxes taken off the shelves rather than ponying up fifteen cents. And, no, I don't believe 15¢ is going to make or break anyone's budget. If 15¢ is what's standing between you and crippling poverty, you're already there.
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#30 Mar 05 2013 at 9:48 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
You have to buy bags at Aldi (think it's 5 cents for plastic, 10 for paper) and I'm always a little amused at the people juggling their groceries in salvaged cardboard boxes taken off the shelves rather than ponying up fifteen cents. And, no, I don't believe 15¢ is going to make or break anyone's budget. If 15¢ is what's standing between you and crippling poverty, you're already there.


It's not that they're trying to save money, it's that the boxes hold more and are sturdier than the bags.
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#31 Mar 05 2013 at 9:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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Trying to lump your groceries into what is essentially a shallow cardboard tray that used to hold soup cans is not because it's sturdier or easier.
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#32 Mar 05 2013 at 9:58 AM Rating: Good
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That's why you spend €2 or so on one of these and bring it with you from then on. Much sturdier than a cardboard box, plastic bags or paper bags.
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#33 Mar 05 2013 at 10:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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It would probably be for the greater good if I put some sort of sack in my car for shopping trips. But the 15¢-30¢ "loss" isn't enough of an incentive and it would take me many, many shopping trips to recoup the cost of the fancy earth-friendly sack.
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#34 Mar 05 2013 at 10:32 AM Rating: Good
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There's a trade show I go to every year. For the last 5 years or so, one companies 'freebie' has been a reusable bag. It's a good one. It folds up into a little pouch thingy. I have at least 4 in my car. I also have various other non disposable bags - mostly freebies. They're handy. I'm never without one. I even have a one that is just for carrying wine or other bottled stuff (I don't get nearly enough use out of it).

It took awhile to get myself into the habit of bringing them into the stores, but I got down. Now if I go into a store without a bag or two in my hands I feel empty.

Edit - Back when I was doing fieldwork, I had to assist with landfill issues a couple times. Municipal landfills are absolutely silly with grocery store bags. They hang in the surrounding trees, they float around in the air, the stick on the off-gassing piping, etc etc. Witnessing that helped me become a better bagger.

Edited, Mar 5th 2013 5:42pm by Elinda
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On the other hand, plastic bags are great for poopy diapers. Much better than canvas grocery totes.
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Edited, Mar 5th 2013 10:48am by Jophiel
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#36 Mar 05 2013 at 10:52 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
On the other hand, plastic bags are great for poopy diapers. Much better than canvas grocery totes.
I suppose the correct response would be a scolding for using disposable diapers, but cleaning poopy cloth diapers is one of the grossest things on earth.

I use up my accumulation of plastic bags each year at Christmas time as packing material. Also each jar of homemade gooey stuff gets wrapped into it's own bag before traveling.
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#37 Mar 05 2013 at 12:17 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Trying to lump your groceries into what is essentially a shallow cardboard tray that used to hold soup cans is not because it's sturdier or easier.


Well I don't know about those people, but I use the boxes they ship the ketchup and cereal in.
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#38 Mar 05 2013 at 2:55 PM Rating: Good
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I have a couple reusable bags, but my problem is I use them and take them inside then continuously forget to put them back in my car. It's annoying. The local Save-A-Lot / FoodLand offers you 5 cents or Hawaiian Air miles every time you bring your bag back in, which is nice, but not that much of an incentive.
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#39 Mar 05 2013 at 3:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
I suppose the correct response would be a scolding for using disposable diapers, but cleaning poopy cloth diapers is one of the grossest things on earth.

When my daughter was a baby we used cloth diapers for a couple months until my wife was sick of cleaning them. But wasn't really that touch, our washer has a "sterilize" cycle that super heats the water and cleans damn near anything. I got grease off of a pair of white pants my stepson was wearing while skateboarding but didn't actually wash for about 6 months after it happened.

Edited, Mar 5th 2013 4:39pm by Tyrrant
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#40 Mar 06 2013 at 7:24 AM Rating: Good
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Tyrrant wrote:
Elinda wrote:
I suppose the correct response would be a scolding for using disposable diapers, but cleaning poopy cloth diapers is one of the grossest things on earth.

When my daughter was a baby we used cloth diapers for a couple months until my wife was sick of cleaning them. But wasn't really that touch, our washer has a "sterilize" cycle that super heats the water and cleans damn near anything. I got grease off of a pair of white pants my stepson was wearing while skateboarding but didn't actually wash for about 6 months after it happened.
Smiley: disappointed

Obviously you didn't clean the poopy diapers or you'd never make the claim that it wasn't really that tough. Your washing machine could have a centrifuge cycle and it wouldn't change the fact that you can't put blobs of poo into the washing machine.

It's the pre-removal of solids from the diaper that creates the heavy exposure scenarios.
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#41 Mar 06 2013 at 2:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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As evidenced by the fact that his wife "got sick of cleaning them."
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#42 Mar 06 2013 at 2:44 PM Rating: Good
From coupons to poop-ons.
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#43 Mar 06 2013 at 2:59 PM Rating: Good
Worst. Title. Ever!
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Elinda wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
On the other hand, plastic bags are great for poopy diapers. Much better than canvas grocery totes.
I suppose the correct response would be a scolding for using disposable diapers, but cleaning poopy cloth diapers is one of the grossest things on earth.


Weren't there studies done back in the 90s that debunked the "cloth is better for the environment" assumption. Factoring in the environmental effects of cleaning the cloth (or collecting it, via a cloth diaper service) vs the reality that most of disposable diapers are recyclable, made from renewable tree growths, and only make up something like 2% of landfills.
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#44 Mar 11 2013 at 11:25 AM Rating: Decent
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I see no shame in wanting to save money. Just have to watch you don't go buy things you don't need/want just because your saving .50 cents on them. We have a local chain called Krogers and they about once a quarter send out coupons based off the things you purchase with your club card. They usually give 2 or 3 coupons that are for free box of ceral/lunch meat that we buy all the time, the other coupons are usually .75 cents to $1.00 off items we buy all the time. You know your getting old when this is exciting.
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#45 Mar 11 2013 at 11:27 AM Rating: Good
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The only opinion about coupons I have is that they shouldn't be allowed in the express check-out lanes. Checks as well.
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