Saving Money With Coupons: Saving for a Tattoo?? Well – OK!

If you watched Extreme Couponing last night (October 19, 2011), you may have had the same initial reaction to Perry that I had.  She is using coupons so that she can afford ANOTHER tattoo?  Really? Doesn’t she have enough?

I sat and felt superior for about 2 hours, while continuing to work on writing posts for this site.  Because nothing else was scheduled in my DVR, TLC just remained on the TV while I was working, and what seemed like an endless loop of Extreme Couponing shows were aired.

And then the Perry episode was re-aired and all of a sudden, I was ashamed of judging her…both for her tattoos as well as her reasons for saving money.

My feelings for the Extreme Couponing show aside, Perry has NO reason to apologize or explain for the reasons that she is using coupons (although she should be ashamed for paying $0.20/bottle for mustard.  If there is one thing that every couponer knows – it’s that you NEVER pay for mustard…not when you are shopping at a store that doubles!)

The “tagline” of Moms Need To Know is “helping you stretch your dollar so that you can have more fun”.  To me, that has always meant that you save money on the things that don’t matter to you so that you can spend the money on the things that DO matter to you.

A few months ago, I went in to the Coach Outlet and spent approximately the same amount of Perry’s tattoo on a few purses.  I am sure that Perry would look at my purchase and think “What a WASTE”! (I don’t know this personally, but from looking at her, I am thinking that a fire-engine-red Coach purse is not on her “must-have” list).  Just as I initially looked at her and though “Seriously? She wants to put MORE ink on her body?”

The point is – you don’t need to explain why you are using coupons!

You could be using coupons to:

  • Help your family survive through a very rough time
  • Save money on toiletries and cleaning products so that you can buy more organic foods
  • Save money so that you can afford to take your family on a sensible vacation
  • Save money on a variety of things so that you can take an incredibly frivolous trip a Bora Bora
  • Save money so that you can buy a (completely awesome) fire-engine red Coach bag
  • Save money so that you can afford a new tattoo
  • Save money so that you can afford (insert your reason here)

Your reasons for saving money with coupons are YOUR reasons. You don’t need to explain them or justify them to anyone.

So be proud of your savings (as long as you aren’t being a shelf-clearing hoarder like most of  the people on Extreme Couponing).  If you wouldn’t tolerate someone coming up to you in the store asking why you are putting “X product” in your cart, why would you tolerate anyone questioning why you are “bothering” to clip coupons?

What are your goals for your coupon savings?

Looking for more Extreme Couponing tips? Make sure that you check out all the posts in my Coupon 101 and Coupon Ethics sections!


  1. Emily B. says

    We save to save- I am a private tutor and my husband is a teacher (not bringing in the big bucks)- even if we made a ton of money we’d still do it. My parents do very well and my mum/dad are beyond frugal- prob why they do so well 😉 Anyways, mum is miss couponer as well. I started learning from her. :)

  2. Chewy says

    Im not saving for any particular reason, except to get items cheap to free to feed my kids and daycare children. The money $$ I pay out for food, craft items, HBA items, cleaning items electric, water etc for my daycare are really out of my take home pay, so it changes each month. Every penny I can save on these items makes my take home pay pocket larger. Im sure you all can relate to that, like working extra hours and such. It all goes back in the pot for whatever reason. However, Im sad you would have thought, or judged any person b/c of tattoos. Tattoos do not change character and do not make anyone one person better or less deserving than any other person. It is art, to some a hobby just like collecting shoes, that costs money. Im really glad you had a change of heart regarding her reasoning for saving money and couponing, however I really hope you dont judge others b/c they have tattoos or other things done to their body.

    • Mindi Cherry says

      Chewy –

      thanks for your reply. I’m sorry to say that I DID judge her initially for her tattoos (I tend to be kinda conservative when it comes to that kind of stuff), and that was one of the things that I realized that I was ashamed of doing – judging her by her reason for saving money AND her appearance. I did change one sentence of the post to make that clear..

      I’m not perfect and despite being 42 and having done quite a bit of traveling, I have led a pretty sheltered, suburban life. I honestly have always turned up my nose at “Extreme Tattooing”. Last night was the night that it really honestly “clicked” for me how wrong I was for doing so all this time!

  3. Courtney says

    While I am not an extreme tattoo person I have a few and am currently saving for another (one to symbolize my kids). Couponing helps me save for everything else we do and that includes my tattoo. heck I just spent $80 on a trip for hubby and my son to take for cub scouts and I saved that and more with my coupons the last few weeks. They are spending the night on a Naval ship at a museum and son is SOOOOOO looking forward to it. Without coupons he would not be able to do it.

  4. Jessica says

    You know, I was so excited when I watched that episode (with the lady saving for tattoos). I too, live in Springfield VA!! I was wondering which store in the area lets you use that many coupons and where you can get an overage. She walked into Kroger. I thought, there are no Krogers around here. I looked it up online and the closed Kroger to this area of northern VA is more than 80 miles away. I do really like to watch extreme couponing, but I think I might have to stop. I feel so tricked after finding out she drove so far! :(

    • Olivia says

      Me too! I’m down in Woodbridge and I got all excited, planning a trip up to Springfield …then I googled the store, blah. I love couponing, but it’s not worth that kind of driving!

  5. says

    Hey ladies. It’s Perry. Yes, THAT Perry. I have seen a lot written about me in the past 24 hours, but this post brought tears to my eyes. I felt compelled to comment. Thank you for recognizing that couponing should be a fun thing, and it should be about meeting the needs of the individual. None of us are perfect – we all judge. But I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be the catalyst for a more understanding world – even if it is one tattoo at a time. :)
    And to Jessica – the reason that I traveled to Kroger is because none of the stores in our area allow cameras to film inside their buildings. I typically shop at Giant and Bloom and am able to pull in at least 90% savings.

    • Jessica says

      Thank you for clarifying! I’m going to try Bloom, I usually do Giant and Safeway.

      You can’t get anything for free at Hmart (Korean Grocery store), but they have pretty great produce and veggies for dirt cheap compared to the bigger stores!

    • Olivia says

      Yes, thanks for clarifying. I shop Safeway, bloom, Harris teeter, and any other store that has a sale. I did love your episode. And your dance. I don’t do a gig but I do get a really goofy grin…And I loved that you pointed out that you can eat healthy with coupons. Im not a vegan but I have three kids and we do make an effort to eat healthy.

  6. Jennifer Madden says

    Great positive post and If that is a picture of Perry, Perry you look awesome! I don’t watch extreme couponing on purpose. I am just a beginner myself.

  7. says

    I love the excitement of looking at the end of my store receipt to see the “savings” total. It gives me the motivation to save more. I wish I could save as much as these extreme coupon people. I would really cut down on my grocery bill! Continuously refining and organizing my coupon binder seems to help me remember where the coupons are and what I have. I think if Perry wants to buy a tattoo that is fine with me. I personally like to spend my ‘savings’ on household items and organizing supplies, being that I love to organize. Thanks for posting your thoughts.

  8. Your Tattoos Suck says

    Couple things. One, “Perry’s” tattoos were horrible and really cornball. Two, you saved $1200 or so at the store to buy a $20 tattoo? I know from being around tattoo artists (good ones) that something like that would be probably the shop minimum of $50 or so. Her tattoos were SO LAME I had to find somewhere online to vent. My wife watches this show, so I was just sitting there watching it w/her randomly & saw this lady who thought her tattoos were somehow good?! They looked like a 4 yr old drew them on her. No rhyme or reason whatsoever. So to think that she took all her money she saved at the store & applied it to her tattoo is a little overboard considering the size & complexity of the “art” *cough cough* is very minimal at best. Her “Vegan Pride” tattoo also running on her inner forearms? WTF is that? You couldn’t find a nice type style or an artist recommendation for something other than it looking like you drew it on w/a BIC pen? There’s not flow or serifs or anything, it looks like handwriting that was used to make a grocery list.