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.