Saturday, June 11, 2011

TLC's Extreme Couponing show and why I won't watch it

Everyone, and I mean everyone, seems to be talking about this "great new show" called Extreme Couponing.  At first I was interested to watch this show.  I watched several episodes until I realized all the episodes had a common denominator:  FAKE.

Yes, this is just my opinion, and you may think you can really go to the grocery store and by $2,000.00 worth of groceries for 90¢, and if you really believe that I have a bridge to sell you.. for cheap too!

Here's what I see wrong with this show:
  1. All the Extreme Couponers say "wow, this is my biggest transaction yet".  Translation ~ I don't normally shop like this, I'm hamming it up for the TV show.
  2. How many episodes have you watched, where the Extreme Couponer is told she has too many items or coupons, and the transaction has to be split up?  HELLO~~~ this tells you right there, that they have never done this before.  If they did, they would know ahead of time to split up their transactions.
  3. I've seen episodes where the couponer says she bought tons of batches of coupons online ahead of time for the show.  Did you see that amount in her "total spent"?  Of course not.  TLC failed to show you the hundreds of dollars she probably spent on coupons alone!  Yeah, her total might have been $3 for her groceries, but that's before her cost of the coupons she pre-ordered!
  4. Seriously ~ who needs to bring along a trailer to go grocery shopping?  You think he does this every week?  
  5. Who not just purchases - but STOCKPILES diapers - when you have no kids???
  6. Did you see the chick who had her husband drive her around so she could steal her neighbor's Sunday papers?  Really?  Isn't that theft?  TLC is airing this crap, giving other dishonest people ideas on how to get "free" papers?
  7. What about that Jaime Kirlew - she was shown printing P&G printable coupons that had been on a known counterfeit-coupon list, and she also admitted to using certain coupons on the wrong items to get a better deal = COUPON FRAUD.  
  8. Most grocery stores have a limit to how many of the same coupon you can use.  At least the ones here in my area of NY - we are limited to doubling only 4 like coupons in the same transaction. This does not include Walmart.  Walmart lets you use as many as you want. The ones on TV are using 100's of the same coupon.  I just find this hard to believe that this was not just allowed only for TV reasons.
  9. Did you see the episode where the Couponer had too many items in her transaction, so the store manager got out a calculator to help her divide up her purchases?  A CALCULATOR!!  Do ya think he was sincerely helping her or trying to make himself look good on national television?  Puhlease....
  10. And let's not forget how this "great new show" is hurting everyday average couponers like myself.  Rite Aid has now changed their coupon policy, and lots of other major grocery store chains are making major changes to their coupon policies, thanks to this ridiculous new show, making it harder and harder for people to save money with coupons.
  11. I work my butt off couponing - it takes a LOT of time (I work on my coupons 7 days a week) and on an average grocery shopping trip I'm happy to save 50%.  I suppose if I wanted my family to live off nothing but pasta, cereal and candy bars I could save 99% like the ladies on TV.  Do you ever see them buying MEAT?  I mean, fresh meat, produce, veggies, fresh fruits?  No - everything is processed and again, they are just trying to buy a lot of ANYTHING they can get free to get noticed on TV. 
And this concludes my "Extreme Couponing" rant. 

And heaven help the next person who says to me "wow, you saved a lot, but too bad you couldn't get all this for $1 like those extreme couponers on TV". 


  1. I detest this show for these very reasons. It is so unrealistic. I supposed if you wanted to stockpile things you never use, or could never use up in a lifetime, you could snatch a free or almost free deal here and there. But I live in reality where this doesn't happen. I am now seeing people at some stores trying to follow suit. Not only are they being greedy, but their carts are filled with body washes no one uses, ice cream and Gatorade. I won't live like that. My goal is to not have to pay full price. I like to try and save 50%. I stockpile toiletries I actually use, but not a lifetime's worth. Money's tight and I just want to make my dollars go a little further. But this show that is fake and is spotlighting greedy, dishonest people is going to make it difficult for families to save a few bucks. Once again, it's us who will be paying the price.

  2. Here's something else that really ticked me off; On last week's episode, a woman bought all her groceries for very little money, after spending 7 hours at the store. At the end, she said there is no reason for anyone in this country to go hungry. All they have to do is what she does. Is she bleeping kidding?! How can she say such a thing knowing that even she's not doing what she's doing?

  3. I watch this new show purely for the entertainment value and I've gotten my husband hooked as well. But one of our fave things to do is to point out all the flaws of the show, which you mentioned. I don't do any extreme couponing but even I can tell that they do a lot of this stuff just for the show and to make themselves look good on TV. I'm with you in that I would be more than happy to save even 50% off my grocery bill. And I could see it coming a mile away that stores would be changing their policies purely because of this show and I'm sure the many copy cats who will be attempting to do this very thing at the store. I do like one thing about the show however, and that is the folks that donate what they don't use to charity. I think this part at least is inspiring.

  4. I run a coupon exchange across the country including many military families overseas so I was excited to see this show and how it would apply to our exchange. I thought this show would be an asset to new couponers but after watching "Amanda" in pursuit of more for her own stockpile and the way she treated her husband; ("You, pointing at him, over here now!" Where's my envelope of coupons?) I was so disgusted by this and you could even see the cashier was appalled. Come on folks, we are not fighting a war, we are not going into battle hoping to save the wounded with 90 bottles of mustard and 80 toothbrushes! I encourage my group to shop when it is slower in the stores for the checkers, don't clear a shelf, don't steal peelies or blinkies, always talk to the managers first to make sure they are within the guidelines and that couponing is hard work but not life or death. I also ask my group to stockpile things; freebies they won't use, money makers they won't use and donate every three months in their respective cities to a charity they believe in. We all do it on the same day in the name of the coupon exchange! I hope that more people will remember couponing can do so much good; not just for your own family but charities too. Check out my blog to learn more: Thanks! Julie Ann

  5. I commend you for saying this out loud! I couldn't have said it any better myself and feel the same way you do. And the sad part is, I don't have cable TV or satellite to even watch full episodes, I've just watched what I can catch online. ;)

    I think it's sad that they classify "extreme couponers" by how many candy bars, bottles of bodywash and toothbrushes one can purchase in a single transaction, knowing full and well that they don't need that many. What burns me even further is the few ppl here in this area that clear the shelves from store to store to store and then turn around and sell the items at flea markets and yard sales as their source of income, all while drawing state assistance.

    I was interviewed for that show and contacted repeatedly by the show's producers wanting me to go on it and I kindly turned them down. There was one question though that they asked me, "What do I do that makes me stand out from others as an extreme couponer?"

    Well, the answer was simple.... I don't need to buy the 2000 deodorants, 400 bodywashes or 600 candy bars in one shopping trip to be extreme. My extreme couponing extends beyond the grocery store! I feel that I am a GREAT steward with our money! We live at the poverty level and receive no assistance. We play the credit card games (as in rewards and such and stay debt free), do mypoints, swagbucks, discounts on tickets WHEN we're able to go do something, cpns for clothes and purchase out of season, etc. If there's money to be saved, I'm all over it. And we don't receive any funding or help from family either.

    I think it's really sad what all this has become here lately because of the show. I feel fortunate though because I know the store mgrs here and so I'm not under much scrutiny because they know that I am an ethical couponer, always have been for the past 18 yrs.

    If you wanna check out more about me or the deals I find, you can check out my blog:

  6. Thank you! Thank you!!! Amen! I have never seen the point in buying what you don't need or will never ever use... Where are you saving money if you do that? I love this and will be sharing your rant on my FB page Thanks again! It really lifted my spirits! :)

  7. I totally agree!

    People can save money with coupons by matching them to the store sales. I have even got items for free by doing this. But my overall average of savings is around 50% to 60% off my normal grocery bill; not 90%! Yes, I have saved 90% to 100% when I go in the store to "just get the free or near free item" with my coupons. So far my monthly savings per month averages around $400 - $500 a month (sometimes less).

    But the reality is that usually people go into a store to get other items too such as meat or produce that we normally do not have coupons for (unless we have Catalina coupons to use).

    I wish they would have a show with "honest" couponers that show how to really save money the "honest" way and in a more realistic situation. Because you can save using coupons, but normally people do not just go in and clear a shelf of 200+ products.

    And normally people do not get items that they do not use! I know that one of the reasons they did this is because they were "money makers" and the credit was applied towards their items they may not have had coupons for. Yet, not too many stores actually allow overages!

    Most of the stores I go to will adjust the coupon value if my coupon is value is higher than my item on sale. Example: If I have a coupon for $1.00 off toothpaste and the toothpaste is on sale for $0.88, then the store normally will only give you $0.88 credit on the coupon. This still allows you to get the item for free, but does not allow you to have an overage to apply to other items.

    Personally, I refuse to get things that I do not use myself or cannot donate, even if I could get it for free.

    Maybe they will change the way they do their show for next season since there have been so many complaints.


  8. Wow, that's an interesting way to look at it. I have mixed feelings about the show. While it did open my eyes to couponing, I don't believe in some of the things they are doing and it has made stores change their policies which sucks for people like us who use coupons normally and don't dive into dumpsters in the middle of the night!

  9. Great post, I've only been watching for 3 weeks and like everyone else has stated, I see the flaws as well. For example, they pointed to all the detergent for free and I know that I never see more than $1 to $3 off on products like Tide and that is hardly enough to get it for free. I'm also disgusted with the mass of items they are getting, it is just too much! I was happy last week when I saved $13 on my $35 bill and I'm a newbie to this!

  10. Extreme Couponing has been taken to a different level with that show. I have to admit that it did inspire me to start using coupons to help with my family's NEEDS! I don't go out and buy things that I don't need and I don't buy 20 of the same item. I get so overly upset when I go to the store to get what I want... and there is NOTHING THERE! These couponers that clear the shelves are absolutely out of control. Go ahead and clear the shelves and create your massive stockpile so you have everything you DON'T need for the next 5 years... and when you run out of money for the things you NEED... I'm NOT sorry to say SORRY to YOU! UGH! Please.... the show has good and bad... but there is not a single store in my area of Ohio that allows you to double more than 2 like coupons for 1 item! People are overated! I am trying to start up my facebook page lima krazy coupon lady for the people in my area to give coupon classes, make binders etc. But when I say coupon classes... I mean how to use coupons the right way and NOT clear the shelves.... How to create a stockpile of what you NEED for 3 months in case of that occasional lay off or lack of work. A single mother with 3 kids, I save as much as I can... and I am trying to teach the men and women how to do the same! Someone please quit airing that show!

  11. Bravo!!! could not have said it better! Thank you for posting this, I shared it on my facebook as I have some people wanting to start couponing because of that show.

  12. I have enjoyed watching purely for entertainment in the past but have decided not to even watch for that reason...because that is still giving them their numbers to keep the show going. Maybe we should just all stop watching it for any reason at all..even the entertainment factor or to point out the flaws.

  13. I so agree with you on that show. I watched 2 episodes and that was about all I could stand. Becauseof the show, even the coupons that are published have changed with in the last 3 weeks. I say boycott!!!!

  14. I gave up couponing altogether. We live about half an hour from stores that take coupons. The gas stations who sell Sunday papers can't save me one until I get there in half an hour because the WHOLE bundle of Sunday papers get stolen before they ever get put on the shelf. Of course when I did get into the pharmacies or grocery stores, coupon deals were just cleaned out shelves. Disgusted.


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