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Extreme Couponing… What are Your Thoughts?

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As many of you have emailed, there is a new show airing tonight at 8pm EST on TLC called Extreme Couponing. The show profiles four coupon-obsessed savers (as TLC calls them) trying to get as much as they can for as little as they can. The show sounded pretty interesting, but as I started to read the description… well, I am not sure if interesting is the right word.ย  Why you ask? Well, here goes…

*Important Note: The statements I make below are just my opinions. You do not have to agree with them and I have no problem with you sharing your points, even if they differ. I do, however, have a problem with disrespectful comments, inappropriate language and just being downright cruel. Those type of comments will be deleted. Thank you for your understanding.

So now my thoughts on this new show… I personally do not like how couponers are portrayed on the show. Now before I go on, I know they are portrayed like this for ratings… I get that. They want people’s jaws to drop and eyes to be wide open.ย  But, it still stinks.

Meet the shoppers of TLC’s EXTREME COUPONING:

Nathan started clipping coupons four years ago when he and his wife took a closer look at their finances. Now, debt free with more than 10,000 items stockpiled in his garage, Nathan is preparing for the biggest haul of his life. On his latest visit to the supermarket, Nathan is leaving with over 2,000 items – his most massive checkout to date. With 1,100 boxes of cereal, 300 toothbrushes and 60 bottles of hand soap, Nathan is looking forward to topping himself and saving thousands of dollars in the process!
Retail value: $5,743.00 Nathan’s cost after utilizing his coupons: $241.00 – 95% savings!

Amanda is a full-time Storage Facility Manger in Cincinnati, OH who spends up to 70 hours a week researching in-store promotions, clipping coupons and surfing the internet for the latest and greatest deals. She already has a stockpile of products from previous couponing ventures worth up to $15,000. But this extreme saver is most proud of her collection of toilet paper – over 3,000 rolls – enough to last the average couple about 40 years! Now, with the help of her husband, Amanda is preparing for her largest checkout ever consisting of nine baskets of food, beauty and pet products including 218 boxes of pasta, 268 containers of noodles, 100 bottles of sport drink and 150 candy bars.
Retail value: $1,175.33. Amanda’s cost after utilizing her coupons: $51.67.

To me a great show on couponing would be a show that is teaching the average person how to coupon. A person that doesn’t have 70 hours a week to scour ads and clip coupons, a person that doesn’t have access to an entire garage to store all of their “goods”… and really, who needs that many “goods”?!

It’s called reality TV… but in my opinion, it’s definitely not realistic. As a coupon blogger, I hope Hip2Save motivates and inspires all of you. I try to make sure the videos I make ARE realistic and with that I mean, you will be able to go to the store and snatch up the same deals shown in the videos.

Again, I know this show is called Extreme Couponing, but I’m just not getting the point of the show and maybe that’s because I coupon in such a different way.

I don’t coupon so I have a receipt to frame… OK, so that may be a little bit of a fib. In the beginning, when I first started my couponing adventures back in 2007, I was very excited about the savings displayed on all my receipts and I did proudly show them to everyone I could… even people who didn’t want to see them! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, I was annoying like that. And I do think that’s normal, as I would assume most newbie couponers are very excited about their new-found talent! …But I quickly learned that couponing can become all too consuming. From clipping and organizing coupons to going through the weekly ads and then planning your trips… and on top of that, planning your days around when you need to go to the store. Too consuming!

I am still learning how to have balance in my life, but one thing I have learned along the way… well, it’s quite simple. When it comes to couponing, Nothing is a BIG deal!

Example: I let my high value $2/1 Pampers Wipes coupon expire and I would have been able to score FREE wipes at Walmart. Guess what? Not a BIG deal! Do you get what I’m saying? Start thinking like that and all the annoying stress you feel about rushing to the store so you don’t miss that oh so amazing deal will be gone!

I love my hubby. Random, right?! Well, not really because he is the one who taught me to really understand that most things are “Not a Big Deal”. And as you may know from reading my blog,ย  I am a neurotic, high energy and very spastic woman… so for me to be able to step back and say, “It’s Not a Big Deal”… well, it’s HUGE and if I can do it, so can you!

Now I know I’ve kind of veered off from the topic at hand, but what I really wanted you to get out of my post is to not let couponing and deal hunting consume you. The same deals always come back over and over again.

Before I finish this post, I have a challenge for you – miss a deal this week and remember, it’s NOT a Big Deal! When you’re missing that deal, do whatever you like… take a bath, read a book, play with your kiddos, laugh, love, smile. Life is wonderful, so take full advantage of it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for listening to me ramble.

Join The Discussion

Comments 1219

  1. Lynne Wright

    In my opinion, it depends on whether or not you are stocking to use, donate, hoarding addiction or greed. Like anything in life – everything in moderation – everything has a balancing point. You have to be careful with food to avoid waste, all my new purchases go in the back of the pantry so that the older products get used first. Obviously couponers are spending money in gas and time – nothing is truly free – in my state I pay sales tax on any freebie I get so I am paying 10%tax/time/gas on anything I get. The guy that is donating – well that is awesome!

  2. mpage

    Couponing is no different from anything else in life in that there will always be people who take a really good thing and take it to an “extremely” unhealthy level. My biggest complaint with the show is that I felt it cast a really negative light on couponers in general. We already fight those “freaky” stereotypes, and I just HATE that this has only increased that mindset.

    • teresa

      I very interested in having you speak to my womens group at church My cell # 252-266-9457 Teresa Johnson or if you hear voice mail say Taskmasters that my business name so you can leave message. Our group is meeting on 5-21-11 thats a saturday from 4:00-6:00pm we would love for you to come. Our church is in Nashville. Coupon your way to a great vacation may be our theme . I will wait to hear from you. Thanks so much Teresa

  3. Shoppinglizzard

    I would love to have seen more focus on the benefit couponing has to the retail industry and non profits like local food pantries. I agree with other comments that it was nice to see the retired nurse as a featured couponer. Atleast for myself and anyone else I personally know who coupons she was the most realistic. Too bad ‘reality tv’ isn’t real. Interesting show though.

  4. Joy

    Thanks Collin for letting us know it’s ok to “miss” a deal. I have been couponing for about 2 yrs now and it was really beginning to consume me and cause unneeded stress. I have a husband and 3 small kiddos, let’s face it I don’t need any added stress in my life. The Christmas break has actually allowed me to stop couponing for a few weeks and man does it feel great. I’m not stressed about a deal I might be missing or worried over a better deal somewhere else. Stress like that takes the joy out of couponing. I love couponing and want to enjoy it not stress over it. Oh and about the Extreme Couponing show, I only caught the tale end of it where the guy had his gagrage stock piled with items enough to last 1,000 lifetimes and bought enough cereal to feed an army. In the end he ended up spending on items he wouldn’t ever use in his lifetime. Kuddos to him that he was donating alot of it but the whole thing seemed a bit out of the ordinary for the average couponer. Also I beleive it will give us normal couponers a bad rep as if we don’t have one already with people who take advantage of the coupon and abuse the whole idea of it. Ok I’ve rambled long enough!! Thanks again Collin for all you do! Your the best!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Aimee Sevey

    I did not watch this show we do not have any sort of cable tv. Couponing is the only way I can afford to even do things right now. It’s not about hording. I will even buy a great deal or grab a free deal to donate to my childs school or the food bank. I feel like if more people would actually coupon it would be a positive reflection on the economy and on those who are struggling or even hungry and suffering. Even if it is a little bit it is worth it. We do not live in times where it is morally acceptable to be wasteful or greedy. At least not in my family. It is sad once again that the media has to distort something just and good for money. When couponing has no false , sly money making stratagies or out out to get all that we can attitude. Most of us have families and do this for the greater good.

  6. Courtney

    I thought the show was facinating, but not really in a good way. We were blown away by the money they saved and it kind of inspired me to be more aware of saving money and not wanting the best brand of everything (I’m a chef…so that’s hard), but overall I thought these people were incredibly selfish. First of all, buying so much at once that you don’t need takes away from people who would also like to save money for their families. Second, how rude are you to take up so many lanes at a time and making other people wait behind you while you embarass yourself? Third, you’re really that unaware of other people’s time that you make those poor cashiers ring up thousands of items AND coupons? That one lady who’s coupons weren’t working really pissed me off. You’re overweight and you need hundreds of candy bars? These people were unbelieveable. I would use this skill for good and make a difference out there for the million starving families in this country. Delusional, selfish people.

  7. BoredOOMM

    Fame is fleeting and America is whacked out on weirdos. The participants did themselves no small favor by appearing on a show that was edited to say something totally opposite of what was actually said. I did not watch the show, and appreciate the words NOT A BIG DEAL. Move on and hug your kids, dog or neighbor. The economy is tough and not getting better. Coupons are a great alternative and the media will never tell a straight story with full facts….

    enough of my rant.

  8. Stacey

    I watched the show last night with my Husband and was amazed at the savings that each person could do but was blown away with the stock piling. (hoarding) as my Husband and I called it. There was no need for anyone to have that much stuff there is no way they could possibly use it all. My Husband just cleaned out our pantry and gave my Daughter a ton of stuff that I had got with coupons really really cheap or free. I didn’t need 10 boxes of scalloped potatoes or 10 boxes of cake mix and frosting and 4 boxes of pancake mix or the 4 bags of sugar so he gave her half of it so it wouldn’t expire and she would use it and it cleaned out the pantry. I think it can be taken to the extreme but I guess that is their right and so be it but I can’t see doing it. I would love to have enough Shampoo, Deodorant, Body Wash, Razors, Shaving Cream and all other toiletries that I put in my girl’s easter baskets and stockings stock piled really cheaply or better yet free for next year but I am not going to stress over it. If I find a good deal then I will stock up if not I will get it when I need it….Oh and Collin I love your web site please keep it up…

  9. angela m.

    i just want to know where they were shopping that let them use SOOO many coupons at one time. stores around here have 20 coupon limits to double….

  10. Susan

    I love Joyce! She had a wonderful story behind her couponing and I love how she shared her tips and tries to get other people to be aware of how to get a great deal. Can we start a Joyce fanclub? LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. rnlynns

    “Not a big deal” is a great attitude Colin.
    I actually enjoyed the show more than I expected too. It made me want to be more conscious of my non-coupon purchases even though I am able to keep 4 family households supplied with free/cheap health and beauty. I actually find that is where I save most of my money. I also don’t have rooms to dedicate to stockpiles and the one larger girl just seemed obsessed with *the buy* even when they obviously didn’t need the product. It was also only a 2 person household. What will she do when they have kids and how will she have room in the house for one?

  12. Angela

    I totally agree with you. Sometimes we have to miss a deal so we can score on a better one. Playing with my kids all day instead of running around to the stores was a way bigger deal. (to them and to me) I love couponing and my kiddos love to dumpster dive for the inserts with me, but sometimes it’s time to just take a break and enjoy time with the fam.

  13. Sherrie

    I have coupon-ed since 2003 it started out just because i could and it helped my family i stocked piled some what, then one day my husband was telling me that the guys he worked with hated going to the store and they wanted to see what i had so long story short i started couponing to help other people out with there grocery bill, i did have 3 rooms in my home 2 upright freezers and 1 fridge just for all the items I bought , recently i started a part time job so I downsized to 2 rooms (not whole rooms) 1 freezer and the fridge. I still love to coupon but i can no longer get my coupons like i was, at first i was getting hundreds of booklets then it went to 50 booklets then to 20 booklets now I’m down to however many i can find or that people give me.
    The part of the show that upset me is that they were all able to use unlimited coupons I have had so many problems with stores not letting me use more than 2 identical or they told me i couldn’t take that many products off the shelf because customers were complaining that items were not available so they took it out on the couponers. I don’t know if all coupons say the same thing in all regions or not but i have noticed lately that the Procter and gamble and a few other have read only 4 coupons aloud in one transaction. I do this to help other people, i have people on food stamps that come to me for stuff you cant buy on stamps or after their stamps are gone they come to me to get help to make it through till next month I also customers that are unemployed and can’t afford to go to the store so they come to me and usually are able to get a few extras that they normally wouldn’t be able to get if they went to the store on there own. Most of the people I help could do all this on there own but they either can’t get the coupons or they have no way to go to several different stores to save the money i help them save.
    I myself think its wrong that some people can get 1000 of coupons while others can’t even get 20 or 50 booklets. I have asked the paper that carries are coupon booklets if i could please get some of the left overs and i was told No because they have to return the left overs in full, now tell me are they really going to check thousands of left over papers for those coupons. Why not let me have them or give me a discount on them instead of tossing them away where no one can benefit from them. Its just doesn’t seam right, that they would rather throw them away.
    the red plum booklets come in our mail now and the post office will not give you extras they too would rather throw them away, it against postal rules to give them away. i know of some people that don’t even get them in the mail and other that just throw them away they don’t want them, I wish they would have left them in the news paper with the smart source and Procter and gamble ones, then people could buy as many as they wanted.
    I could go on and on but i will stop with this I think in some states couponers are discriminated against, because if I was to go to the store and lets say buy 300 toothbrushes with out coupons i would have no problem but let me have coupons for all of them< i would be told sorry we cant do that.

    • andrea

      I would like to know what store carries that much product on the shelf to begin with! And yes, where did they get all those coupons? I think the show must have been kind of “set up” and not very realistic.

    • lkptkaren

      Wow that is a wonderful thing you were going for your community. I did something similar for 2 family members and 1 good friend. I would pick up thinks I knew they used and did focus on stuff for the kids so they always had something fun in their lunches like the other kids.
      I know the people you are helping can’t afford to buy a paper but maybe they have friends or other family members who can pass them on to you to continue your assistance. I don’t think it is unreasonable for you to ask since you gas can’t be replaced with coupons.
      My husband has been ill the last 8 months and my daughter is getting married next month so my coupon shopping has been pretty minimal, but people like you inspire me to get back to work.

    • Ruthie Esparza

      I am new to coupons and started couponing after watching extreme coupons. I do think it is more work than I thought. I am a bit overwhelmed at this time and I do not think I am ever gonna be able to get 600 worth of groceries for 8.00 like some on the show, but I have made a couple of trips to vons and had 69% savings!!!
      @ Sherrie: I too had the problem with Vons on the limitations. The coupon says only 4 like coupons allowed in one shopping trip, but Vons told me that they have a store policy that says only 3!

      • Itscomingtoanend

        You know, there are people out there like you guys who truly have the right idea for their usage; but then there is always going to be those who take advantage of a good thing and ruin it for the majority. Fact is? There are even MORE limits now being placed on coupon usage due to the overwhelming ridiculousness of extreme couponing for the wrong reasons. You must have seen the show? It wasn’t portrayed badly in the sense that the couponers themselves “admitted” they had a “need” to shop. These people have “issues” like OCD. They simply MUST shop, and MUST coupon. It’s become their life. They take their children dumpster diving in disease filled filth just to get those extra coupons to fill that shelf in their garages that’s missing 4 more bottles of shampoo to go with the other 96 just to make it an even 100! You watched as they straightened their product out so they all face the front, and so on. Toilet paper under their kids beds, and paper towels practically lining their roofs. It’s just OCD, masked in one other word called “savings”. Then there are the people who do it for reasons like you guys above. Too bad itscomingtoanend. The stores are already cracking down on the limits of coupons, and EVEN to the limits of how long people can be in the checkout lines! And we have the extremists to thank, as once again, they took advantage of a good thing runing it for those who did not. ๐Ÿ™

  14. simone

    love this post, collin!

  15. Jessica

    I watched this show last night with my BF and we were not happy with this show. In fact, we were a little disappointed with how the couponers were portrayed. I agree with Hip2Save, some of us “average couponers” don’t have hours upon hours during the week to order coupons, clip coupons, & hunt for coupons/sales. I only have a few hours in my day to myself and I would rather not clip coupons out during that time. I also didn’t see a lot of “fresh” produce being purchased during these couponers’ transactions, nor what their bill was like for all their other trips. Additionally, I understand that people have a stockpile, and that’s great, but what happens when those things expire? Many people stockpile these items, but then the product goes bad. So what happens to the product then? I do applaud Nathan for donating all those boxes of cereal to his Church, but what about the others?

    • Itscomingtoanend

      I believe Nathan stated he has about $50,000.00 worth of product in his home. He may have donated a ton of cereal, and let some wives of soldiers overseas pack some small boxes, but WHAT is going on with the other thousands and thousands of dollars worth of product? WHO really “needs” that much stuff? I mean, c’mon. This is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) at its finest, and yet these people are getting applauded for it? I would have rather seen a show that versed the public on how to use coupons, and then showed a needy family saving enough money to buy their kid a bike or something then to see people go into a store to buy 50 cases of gaterade, 75 bottles of mustard, and 30 things of detergent just for the sake of catching the sale. All so they can fill the empty spaces on their stock pile shelves, only being down to what? 25 bottles of mustard? Meanwhile, those that needed one bottle of mustard that week couldn’t get the sale because the extremists wiped them out? C’mon. These people don’t need more coupons. They need therapy.

  16. Vicki

    Collin, I am glad you posted this. I have to say I love my couponing, when I do it & even when I don’t, because I have always been a deal watcher-buyer type of person. But, I don’t always go everywhere with my coupons & often feel ‘naked’ or like I’m doing something wrong if I don’t have one! But I have to take my couponing/buying/stockpiling, etc. in the throws that it comes…meaning, if I happen upon some great deals that week at Target, then Awesome. If not, then oh well. I think I have been like that from the start. Because as we all know, life just happens and you put the most important thing first. I haven’t even checked my favorite blog which is hip2save in about two weeks! Because we have just been spending time with one another and I wanted a break from shopping! And it’s all good! ๐Ÿ™‚ =) ๐Ÿ˜‰ I missed the show, but I would not have liked how they portrayed the typcial ‘couponer’ out there for all of America to see in those fashions b/c I coupon & am definitely not like that nor do I feel most of you that come here are. The only negative I have Ever had with my whole experience so far with couponing is several times I have been excited about going to get a deal at my closest CVS or even Wal-greens and time and again, that deal is completely nil and void to me b/c there is NOTHING ON THE SHELF. And I immediately think,’ Hmm, wonder if someone that coupons came in here and cleared the shelf?! Grrr.!!!! lol. And I do get agitated.’ But most of the time, that is not a problem for me. I am not greedy like that anyway, so why should someone else be? I agree, if the peanut butter is on sale and you have coupons and you can stockpile, that is cool. But don’t go and buy cases and cases of it. That is obviously a marked obsession. And who knows, those folks profiled on the show may have something else going on like, ‘hoarding issues?’ or even ocd. Who are we to judge? But who are we to know, either? I think we all know the Golden Rule and will do best by following it for ourselves and others. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Catherine

    I was intrigued by your post and would have not known about the show had you not told us.

    I found it interesting and sort of disgusting. I first started couponing because a local gal was a guest on a radio show and she had amazing stories of getting free or nearly free items….but she also donated on a regular basis to varies charities and other organizations. Same as you do Collin. So I thought great! I can do it too. She also emphasized not getting overwhelmed and just do one deal. Don’t try to get them all. Great advice.

    What I didn’t like about the show was the hoarding of stuff. Not one person on that show mentioned that they donate any of their purchases. Some of that stuff expires. It is their right to keep the stuff but if you are getting it free anyway why can’t you donated 10 toothbrushes out of the 40 you are getting free.

    The other thing about the show is that they were all East coasters (nothing wrong with that) but I have found hear on the West coast, we don’t get the same coupons and some of those deals mentioned are great but I haven’t seen anyone hear get anything near that. But I still dream.

  18. Christy G.

    Curious how most of you acquire your coupons? I found that interesting on the show. One does NOT buy papers, but purchases all of her coupons online thru the clipping services. How economical is this? And how do you know which coupons to buy? Do you wait until your sale ad starts and then hope you receive your coupons in time? I’ve done this before only to receive them AFTER the sale. Ugh! One dumpster dives. Does anyone really do this? And if so, how do you know which dumpsters (assuming newspaper dumpsters only, right?) are okay to look thru? Can you really score a lot of coupon circulars? And another buys at least 10 newspapers a week. I almost think buying coupon inserts is better than this so you can get exactly what coupons you truly use. What do you think? What do you really think works best? I need some help! Thanks in advance! And Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Francoise Van Heusden

      @ Christy G.: Yours are good questions. There are some really great blog and forum posts out there about ways to acquire coupons. You touch on a few, but there are many more. I very much suggest you read a couple of these posts. Try doing a search on this topic or go to Hot Coupon World & look around if you haven’t already. I think that’s where I remember reading some very useful stuff on this topic. Over time, you’ll increasingly get a feel of how you most want to go about filiing your coupon stash. And you’ll also probably find that you use a varied combination of sources. I truly hope this was helpful.

      • Christy G.

        Thank you! Your comments were very helpful. In fact I have spent the majority of my time today on Hot Coupon world and am really enjoying it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for taking the time to provide me with some insight and helpful info. Thanks again!!

  19. Anonymous

    smart girl
    from someone who is definitely old enough to be your mother.
    save the energies for the really big deals in life – mothering, home, family….

  20. Francoise Van Heusden

    I can’t thank you enough Collin for this post. My mom couponed, so it’s all I know. I’m over 40, so that’s decades of couponing. (Before coupons even had barcodes, and some were even valued at 3 cents!) All this time, I’ve been more than a casual couponer but less than an all-consumed couponer. Then, with the advent of the internet in general, and blogs more specifically, my couponing reached new, fabulous heights over the past few years. But lately I’ve been feeling like it’s irresponsible/unacceptable for me to miss a deal. Like throwing useful items and food away! And with this feeling comes a sense of….panic or dread, for lack of better words. Increasingly, I admonish myself for missed deals. This all, of course, has been stealing away the enjoyment, empowered spirit, and even occasional spontaneity I find inherent in couponing. Until reading this post, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was happening. This transformation… I’ve been hoping it , whatever “it” was, would just go away. Now, with your words of simple wisdom, it’s so obvious that the ever growing expectations I’ve put upon myself in terms of couponing are neither necessary nor useful. And also, not to be overly dramatic, potentially destructive.

    In addition to copuponing, my mom taught me that if you’re going to do something, whatever it is, to do it the beat you can or donโ€™t bother. Well, “best” doesn’t necessarily mean MORE. And missed deals, intentional or otherwise doesn’t in any way suggest failure. Thanks SO MUCH for reminding me of this Collin. I truly needed that. What a fabulous way to start the new year.

  21. Rosanna Meinke

    I also watched the show and for the most part they seemed more like people that went through a rough phase in their life and now that the couponing has helped them and they have more control of their finances they have become addicted to the control they feel with having stuff. Unfortunately the one lady doesn’t understand what she is putting her family through by constantly backing out of plans and dinner dates to go grocery shopping when she already has years and years worth of products. I also don’t think the show gave a real picture of what everything actually cost! To have 1100 coupons for cereal you had to purchase those coupons somewhere. So the cereal in itself to purchase that amount of coupons online would have been at least $33 at .03 cents each. Plus if you figure in all the other coupons he had to have purchased and the cost of it , it was not quite as cheap as portrayed on the show, still good deals but not all the cost was added in. They also didn’t calcualte the other shoppers coupon costs in either, i know the one lady said she spend $70 for that weeks coupons and it wasn’t figured into her cost either, so when you already have years worth of stuff but you are spending money on the coupons plus some additional money they are not always saving money when they don’t need it and their stockpile is overtaking their home. Look how much money they could save if they just live off of what they have for a few years! (except for perishables of course) My hats off to the two ladies on the show who were not as extreme and were also teaching and sharing with others. I think the show really could be a great help to informing people of what a “normal” coupon shopper does rather than hurting our image by portraying us as greedy hoarders! I know there are weeks at atime I don’t shop because my stockpile is sufficient and my family time is more important. I also have received calls about hurting families and have loaded up boxes of products and given it away. It truly is greater to give than to receive. Thanks for reading my thoughts Good luck finding deals and sharing with others!

    • Christy G.

      I agree with you and was thinking the same thing .. they weren’t factoring in the costs to purchase the coupons in the first place, so not all of that info was completely accurate! I really liked the lady that did the dumpster diving. She didn’t really seem to be spending anything out for the coupons and didn’t seem to have the stockpile over taking her home either. She was much more realistic in my eyes. Fun show to watch never the less.

  22. andrea

    amen~~~~ I feel the high of couponing since I am very new to this!! I love the deals I love that someone is giving me 50 dollars or more to spend on my groceries and get the awesome deal~~~AMEN its no big deal to miss the sale I felt oh well maybe next time~thanks for the post~

  23. NolaGirl

    Extreme Couponing should be a game show where all the items “purchased” get donated to charities, and the shopper who saves the most gets a deluxe pantry organizing system as the prize. There should be a disclaimer that products & coupons were ordered in advance for the show.

    Remember reality TV is NOT REAL.

  24. Priscils66

    I enjoyed watching Joyce on the show because she seemed to approach couponing in a more realistic manner. I especially was pleased to see how she tried to educate others about saving with coupons. That is the way it should be. Empowering others!!!!

  25. Carly

    I love you comments, Colin. I am a huge fan of hip2save and as a pretty new couponer, your site has been so helpful. I LOVE getting good deals on things and have been able to do more for others (and myself!) because of your team and their hard work finding deals! ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband has also been very supportive when it comes to my “crazy couponing adventures” and has helped me keep things in perspective. Sometimes just because something is a good deal, is it really worth spending some money on if you don’t (and never will) need it? Do you really need 3,000 rolls of toilet paper just because you could get them for free or close to free? (like the girl portrayed in the show) Anyway, I agree with you and am thankful for all you do! ๐Ÿ™‚ Keep up the good work!

  26. Kari Joyner

    First let me say I absolutely love using coupons and sharing my success stories with my husband to see the look of surprise on his face as well as other family members.
    I think the show was very interesting but was shocked at how much food some of the families had….1st the family were 3 people or less and they had enough food to last many many years….most of the food would spoil in about 2 and i don’t see how such small families could eat that much food.
    Please Don’t get me wrong they had lots of great ideas on how to maximize our own shopping experiences and i am grateful they shared it with all of us, but i wondered at times if these people had a possible addiction to shopping or coupon clipping??
    Now one family did make a purchase and donated a large portion of it which is great and show me something i should try to do which is be more charitable.
    But overall these small familys had way to much food and i was quite shocked and worried about that waste of food.

  27. Nancy

    I can tell you that I will never be an extreme couponer but I do want to get better. I went to Target tonight. My bill was $36 before coupons and I paid $18. I was happy with that. What I didn’t have a coupon for was heavily discounted or clearance clothes. So, all in all everything I got was a great deal. I spent very little time researching thanks to Hip2Save. About missing a deal …. it happens to me all the time. I let killer coupons expire which is upsetting. But I work full-time and have four grandchildren. Today I realized that I let two free cheese coupons expire and I started to get upset when I realized that I had started the Engine 2 diet today and I can’t have cheese. Problem solved. It’s all about balance!

  28. Mandi

    I just watched the show this evening. I think the thing that I like most about what you do, is that you give back your savings to people in need.

  29. Smart Shopper25

    I have to admit, I was in shock when I saw this show. I love to get a deal too…BUT this is completely insane. I have to wonder how many stores would actually allow this? And do you really need all that? One lady, in a family of three, got 40 jars of pasta sauce…you know how long it would take to consume all that?? It makes me think that they might be ruining it for other couponing couponers…if you know what I mean:)

  30. Chris Kervick

    We are featured on Extreme couponing on Wednesday April 6th at 9:30. Check us out at or Coupon Phenomenon on facebook!

  31. Valerie

    So looks like people are still following this post, and seems like I have a few hundred posts to catch up on. On another blog that I follow they posted this link that talks about coupon fraud and how it probably happened to one of the couponers that was featured on last weeks episode. I found it interesting to say the least.

  32. Desiree Mandelbaum

    Hey Guys,

    My name is Desiree Mandelbaum, and I am a Casting Director for a new docu-series about people who “Eat for free”. I was curious about couponing, it looks awesome. Would you be interested in speaking with me? We are casting nationwide and would LOVE to get in contact with people, and see there different techniques on eating for free. Attached is our written verbiage about our casting. Thoughts?


    Desiree Mandelbaum
    Casting Director
    Untitled eating for free project”

    All-new Docu-Reality Series Seeking

    People who eat for FREE!

    Do you get a thrill out of spending little to no money on food?
    Do you dedicate your life to scoring meals in clever ways?

    Have you perfected the art of dumpster diving, coupon clipping to an obsessive degree, or bartering your way to a full stomach?

    Do you crash events, meetings and open houses
    just for the free feast?

    This all-new series for a major cable network will explore the lives of people who have mastered the art of eating for free. We will follow individuals who dedicate their lives to acquiring food in crafty ways and revel in the thrill of their success.

    If you are a resourceful renegade who has forged a way of living that enables you to eat practically for free, whatever your reason/strategy may be,
    We want to meet you!

    To be considered, please send us your name and contact info, along with a brief bio explaining your specific situation and approach to eating for free. Make sure to include a recent photo of yourself and send email to:

    • Itscomingtoanend

      HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH If this isn’t a joke, it should be. But, I won’t be watching your show. I’m pretty sick of watching shows abou how others scam and sham to get by in the world – and this is coming from a housewife, mother, son, and grandson who lives on a very meger income. Yet, I don’t feel the need to scam to eat.

  33. Kelly

    With the show airing again with new episodes this past week I wanted to see your thoughts and was so glad to see we are on the same page. I fill like I miss deals all the time. I have 3 boys 5, 3 & 1 and getting out of the house to get all those awesome deals is just not realistic for me. Thanks for the great post!

  34. grundy

    I wonder were they get all of those coupon booklets. I know that I would like to have a few extras but who really has the money to get that many papers. I know that if I could have as many coupons as they did and buy as much as they did for very little money I sure wouldn’t be keeping it in my two stall garage and HORDING it! I would be donating it to some of the churches that I know would love to have some of the products that I wouldn’t be using. There are so many food banks that could use some of that to give to the people that really can not afford to go to the store and buy it for them self.

    • Itscomingtoanend

      AMEN to that sistah! AND can you imagine taking your children for an outing to scour filthy and disease filled trash containers all around town in hopes someone threw out their Sunday papers? UNREAL.

  35. Izzy

    I admire Nathan and Extreme Couponers. I wish that I could do the same, but in Portugal it isnยดt possible. They just donยดt have a coupon system like the US and Canada. I miss living in Canada… All you couponers keep up the good work, and remember to give to charity.

  36. Itscomingtoanend

    Well, at first I was intriqued. I even joined Nathan’s website for a while. However, I gave it a try. I went out first and bought “one” Sunday paper. I went to another store to try and get more since it was a Sunday evening, for free. I was told they go back so that the store can be credited, but the casheir said if I could find any that were lying around in disarray, I could take what was left. I found two. I grabbed those, but I looked like an idiot as everyone stared at me doing it. Not cool. Then I get home and start clipping.

    Now, we only shop every so often, and we have stayed basically with the same items for years that we eat and use. Being in our 50’s, we know what works for us as a small family of three. Once I started clipping, I found myself clipping coupons for things I wouldn’t even really eat or use simply because I would save a few pennies. Then I had to go online and search the store’s flyers to see if any of them matched up. Then I had to research each stores coupon policies and had to make sure I did that every time I shopped in order not to be surprised by a “new” policy. Then I found myself mapping out a route to Walgreens for some things, CVS for other things, Krogers for another, Meijers for another, and the list goes on. THEN I slapped myself in the forehead and WOKE UP from this crazyness. It was around Easter this happened, and I ended up saving $3 on some rolls that were on sale – but I spent $1.75 on the paper to get the coupons! LOL… But I was happy for the small savings on the rolls since it was the only time I would buy them for the Easter dinner. However, I also spent a few bucks on a coupon organizer I won’t use anymore, so I actually lost in the end! I still have the coupon organizer I bought full of coupons either ending this month of May or have already expired, simply because they weren’t things either I could find, nor that I would actually use. One coupon I had for Easter candy and it wouldn’t even ring up right at the register causing a back flow. UGHHH. A silly and embarrassing little scene to save 50 cents!

    The price of gas if tipping around $4 a gallon, and I am going to parade all around the town to different stores to save what – buying one sour cream container at Meijer’s so I can get another free? AND I won’t even go through the first one before it actually expires? Doesn’t make sense, and still doesn’t. AND I do not have a big home or a garage and a big freezer that I can turn into a grocery store and meat market. To be quite frank? I would feel like an idiot if I did. SO WHAT you get free stuff? Who is going to use it and when? I understand you give a lot to charity, but NOT enough, since you still end up keeping (hoarding) 300 years worth of deoderant and over 500 toothbrushes! I AM one of those people that go to the local food bank every other month. I AM on social security with a young son. And to tell you the truth? I get squat from the food bank and I live RIGHT near Nathan here in Kentucky! So I don’t know what food bank he is donating too, but if I get a toothbrush I am lucky. If I get name brand anything I am exstatic. Usually I get a bunch of under brand named cans of beans and a box of rice I will never use unless I was crawling on the road living in a box. Meanwhile, I look at Nathan’s “stock pile” on TV and am mortified. I’m surely not raising my hands saying “you go boyfriend!”.

    With that said, I am also one of those people that can’t find an item in the store when it does go on sale because it has been wiped out either in the middle of the night by an extremist, or first thing in the morning. And to be behind and extremist in line would put me in complaint to the manager at this point.

    Well, its all coming to an end! Once again you people have taken advantage of a good thing and ruined it for the majority. Publix has already put their action into plan, and Kroger is in the process now. Coupons will be limited, limits on quanties, and even limits to time spent in line is now in place in Publix, soon to be implemented not only in Krogers, but with other stores following suit.

    As for me, I am back to shopping at Walmart, or at Krogers for our usual supplies, and with our Kroger card. When I can use a coupon that doesn’t put me into making it a job, or sucks my gas tank dry, it’s an oddity – and yet, I am very satisfied with the savings I do get. What I buy is only what I need. No frills, no bells and whistles, and no hoarding. Personally, I got the impression from watching the show that the extremists all had OCD issues and felt more compelled to just shop. It wasn’t for necessity. It was a game – a game at the expense of others – others being the stores, and the others who frequent them for items they can’t find. You caused the stores to have to order more and more items to fill your barns, and now thankfully, instead of upping their prices to us, they are going to crack down on the extremists instead – and with that said, I applaud them!

  37. margo

    I have used coupons on and off for a number of years and of course the store card for extra savings. When the television show began to air, I (like others on this blog) was intrigued and amazed at what these individuals were able to do….but as the shows waned on and the more I watched, I realized that these people need help. They disguise their hoarding and other issues under the guise of couponing and saving money.

    Now, please don’t get me wrong – the effort and time they put into their couponing is commendable. But I truly believe that these individuals are hoarders, and they need to get some help

    And for those couponers who are playing the game just to get ‘free’ groceries just because you can – you in the end are hurting the rest of us. Free groceries? Okay – think about this other fellow bloggers: how much do free groceries cost the rest of us: merchandise goes up in price, we end up paying more for their free groceries.

    Because the stores are slowly and surely changing their coupon policies by adding limits to purchased items and extreme couponing will be the thing of the past – a few bad apples spoiled the whole barrel.

    I feel that emptying the shelf of product and denying other customers that particular product is not only hoarding but also (I consider it to be) a selfish act. I know, I know, some of you will say: well, the store should not have accepted that order OR the manufacturer should not issue coupons or the store should not honor the coupon. Don’t blame us for using coupons to our advantage,etc, etc etc.

    Rebuttal: I agree, the store should not allow you to purchase ALL of the product on the shelves and no, the store should not honor that many coupons for that one product.

    I am not against saving money, goodness knows, we all could use a bit of help from any direction, but really, how much are you saving in the end of all of this hoarding? The food will eventually go bad or stale; even the sundries items will expire and be useless.

    And if some of these individuals are truly donating these items they should not have a hoard in their garage, under their beds and so on. And really, who needs that much deodorant, or pasta, or toothbrushes, or toilet paper,or any boxed item.

    Like I said I use coupons; I get excited when I see 35 cents off of Land o Lakes Eggs for goodness sakes (not because it doubles,but because I like that product)….all I am trying to say in this is that: all things in moderation, think about other shoppers when using ‘extreme couponing’, think about how much you are truly saving in the end. Chances are not as much as you think.

    I am not trying to be high minded or a negative Nelly – only that the television show has really hurt every day coupon users, and spotlighted a few individuals who are clearly dealing with hoarding issues. And yes, I too agree that is it about time that the grocery stores start cracking down on these extreme couponers – and hopefully not penalize the rest of us by higher prices!

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