Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Tell You!

Extreme Couponing on TLC airs tonight at 9:30pm EST.  I have been a little uneasy about the whole Extreme Couponing fad and honestly I haven’t watched and have no desire to watch the show.  On one hand I am happy to see a show open up the world of couponing to millions of people.  On the other hand I really don’t like the fact they only seem to portray hoarders and those they don’t really follow good couponing ethics.  Learn my lazy way of couponing here!

My fear is this show will actually hurt those that use coupons as a way to feed their families.  Because of this show I can see companies reducing the amount of coupons and stores tightening up their coupon policies.  Hopefully this fad will past and we can get back to what couponing is all about – saving money!

Becky G emailed me this article that was written by a admin on A Full Cup (a great site!) and I really think it hits a lot of points that new couponers that have seen the show should know about.  So take a gander at this and let me know what you think!

1. It Takes Time to Coupon
It takes hours of planning to take a $2,000 bill and get it down to $100. Extreme couponing like you see on the TLC show is a part-time or even full-time job in regards to the hours put in.

2. Extreme Couponing Isn’t for Everyone
The average person won’t put in all the time to be an extreme couponer. But if the show got you excited that’s great! Using coupons will save you money. Start off with a goal of saving 10% to 20 % off your grocery bill. As you learn the tricks of couponing you can work on increasing your savings, or find a happy medium where you save plenty but don’t go to the extreme to use every coupon.

3. Extreme Couponers DO Pay for Groceries
You can’t live off extreme couponing. (Unless you want to eat cereal and processed foods all the time). Most coupons aren’t for whole foods. The majority of coupons are for processed foods. Coupons for meats, milk, and fresh produce are rare (though they do happen sometimes, but you can’t count on these coupons regularly). Therefore, even the most extreme of coupon shoppers will still have to pay for these basic necessities to maintain a healthy diet.

4. Free Groceries Aren’t “Free”
It costs couponers more than the $100 for that $2,000 in groceries. In addition to the time investment, many use clipping services which do charge a fee per coupon. That $2,000 grocery shopping trip could cost them as much as 50 cents per coupon but as little as 2 cents. Lets say they got 1,000 items for $2,000. If they paid 10 cents a coupon for 1,000 items that’s an additional 100 dollars in expense. So really it was $200 spent out-of-pocket. Sure, that’s still amazing, but it costs twice as much as what you see on the show.

Click here to read the entire article!

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  1. I hate to see those extreme couponers emptying the shelves of mustard (just an example) when I am trying to buy at most 2. We should be focusing on getting what we need for our families and not outdoing each other to survive the apocalypse in our houses. No one needs 50 boxes of cereal (unless you are the Duggers).

  2. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

    While saving 900.00 out of a thousand is a great idea…I also work a full time job now and have a family to take care…I save a great deal of money (to me it’s a lot of money) with the coupons and specials that are posted here and on a couple of other sites. You were a life saver when I was laid off…and because of what I did then I will never pay full price for paper products or dental care again….when I can go to my local grocery store and have my bill go from 65.00 to 36.00 I am VERY happy!! I will stick to that! Thanks for the dose of reality!


  3. i have mixed comments about that show. although they do stress the fact that their couponing is full/part time job because it takes them hours to prepare and they will show all the hard work it takes – i seriously doubt most people would be willing to put in all those hours. i dont agree with the fact that they stock up WAY too much…some of them have rooms and closets filled to the brim with paper towels and one woman bought 60 or 70 mustards – like seriously we use like 1 bottle a year! they should only buy enough to last them 1 year at most I believe, they act like mustard will NEVER go on sale for the next 10 years lol. they could always donate extra to some shelters which would be something positive to do with the extra instead of have them sit there for years. if I had hundreds of paper towels on hand, I wouldnt have any motivation to look for coupons for awhile so I’m not sure why they keep doing it week after week

  4. I was yelling at the TV (in my husband’s hospital room, we don’t have cable) when this TLC show came on, because:
    1. There was no mention of food pantries, homeless shelters, etc. as to what to do with the obscene amount of surplus
    2. Only addictive, hoarding behavior was highlighted
    3. Emptying the store shelves ahead of the rest of us just wanting to buy 2 items is REALLY annoying.
    4. Is there anything that Americans do with decency, consideration and moderation?!
    I was tickled pink though, to see the lady buy shelves of mustard for 30 cents each and consider that a deal, when last week I got 5 spicy mustards at Publix for free! Obviously I am doing something right!
    And that is completely thanks to Southern Savers and everyone who makes this wonderful website resource possible!
    We are grateful!

  5. Thanks for the post. As with most reality shows, TLC left out much of the “reality” of couponing.
    And from some past experiences I have had, I don’t think many of the store managers in my area will be applauding me for all my savings from coupons at the end of my trip – good for her, but NOT always the case.

  6. Is it really saving when you spend 38¢ a jar for 60 jars of mustard if you will never use all of them(unless it gets donated)?
    $22.80 wasted, not saved, imo.

  7. I have already noticed a lot of the coupons coming out now are more of a buy this and this ex. but hot dogs and mustard and get $1 off.

  8. I saw the show once. It is ridiculous. Hoarding is exactly right. I would do it every now and then, keep the little bit I would use, and donae the rest. If I could get all of that and donate to the food bank that would be awesome! Now there is a good charity act. If a few women once every month or 2 would get together and do this for charity now that would be something to see. I like to coupon but not that much. I’m happy to save what I can. I defintily would not buy something just b/c I can get it for next to nothing. But it dos give me the idea now that maybe I can find deals like that and donate the food.

  9. Well it has already started changing the stores coupon policys. Kroger here in Newnan, Ga has already stopped doubling coupons as of this week. So thanks TLC it will now cost me a fortune to get groceries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. The local shelf-cleaner in our area is selling the stuff at garage sales all summer – I mean hundreds upon hundreds of Reach/Walgreens toothbrushes. And, yes, that makes me unhappy when I’m just trying to buy a few toothbrushes for our family. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those on TLC coupon show are set up at flea markets and garage sales this summer. . . the IRS should take note.

  11. number 4 is what i keep telling people that don’t coupon the most, because you can’t come across that many coupons for free. I don’t save nearly that amount but I also only spend about $15 every 3 months and that is for my Sunday only subscription to the paper my dad saves his coupons for me and my MIL also gives me coupons from her paper and if she gets any from her father.

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