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Extreme Couponing = Extreme Backlash?

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Extreme Couponing… has it turned in to a broken record?

Well, all I can say is that it’s definitely a very hot topic. One that even Yahoo Finance highlighted today in this article, which discusses how the show Extreme Couponing is causing Extreme Backlash. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and if you feel the stores in your area are being affected.

As I hope all of you Hip2Saver readers know, Extreme Couponing is not realistic. And really, why the heck would you want it to be? Just think if Extreme Couponing was your life…

You go to bed at night dreaming about the mustard and BBQ sauce that is neatly stacked in your 2 car garage along with 500 packages of toilet paper, 60 bottles of detergent, 500 boxes of cereal and list goes on. When the alarm clock goes off in the morning, you slowly wake up to your hands moving in a cutting motion… and it remind you to get to printin’ and clippin’ those coupons. You run down the stairs not having brushed your hair or teeth… and start the long and tedious process of clipping your piles and piles of coupon inserts thrown all over the house. At about noon, you make your way to the computer to print coupons and order coupons… you don’t ever think about the amount spent to purchase these coupons. They are coupons, they are gold! And finally, after searching the Internet for the plethora of in-store deals to be had, you are off! Fast forward 6 hours and there you are – in the driveway. Your car is packed with bags and bags of…

Now I hope my little message above isn’t coming across that I don’t want you to use coupons. In fact, quite the opposite. Couponing is such an amazing skill to learn. One that has changed my life in such a positive way. That’s why I started this blog – as a way to share just how “Hip” those pieces of paper are. I also hope that I have and continue to emphasis just how important it is that you use coupons correctly. I want you to know how to properly use coupons the way the manufacturer’s intended, how to feel confident and empowered when you get to the register, how to stockpile in an un-extreme way, how to use your couponing talent to give back in a BIG WAY and most of all to just have fun with it and laugh at yourself occasionally! 😉

Life is too short to be so focused on these pieces of paper that you forget the whole reason you started clipping them in the first place. And, as I said in this video, if you save 90% on your grocery bill and you are spending the additional 10% on items you don’t need than you really aren’t saving money at all.

Join The Discussion

Comments 414

  1. Stephanie A

    I used to only coupon at TRU for items for my son. a guest actually gave me this site address after she bought a toy for next to nothing. i never had a problem using coupons there and loved seeing how much money people would save.. my husband recently got out of the army and is living on unemployment. we live with his parents and need to save money where ever we can. i watched extreme couponing every week and thought WOW! maybe that will help. i have a mini stock pile of stuff we will use and i dont feel bad for getting it for next to nothing. i paid retail price for conditioner since i was 17. i think i deserve to get it for cheap now. yes, not going to lie, i have 12 tubes of toothpaste i have accumulated… but there is also 7 people living in our house.. it WILL get used. it might take us 4 months to use it but it will be used. i find it crazy when people stock up on stuff they will never use… why would a woman who never plans to have children stock up on diapers? and wtf are u gonna do with 113 bottles of excedrin? i mean be realistic. ive come to hate that show due to what its doing. our local grocery store who has doubled coupons for YEARS is now only doubling up to .99 instead of $1. which has forced me to shop elsewhere. i will NOT be watching the next season of this show. its become ridiculous.

    • Jenn

      My store use to double up to $1.00 also and has changed to .99 cents. The workers there stated the the show is the reason why the policy has changed. One worker stated that the couponing has gotten bigger than their store, it is always busy, and shelves empty way to quick.

      • MA

        Sounds like business has increased! As long as couponers are doing things fairly, I think they would be thrilled with the business.

  2. Kimberly

    I just started couponging a couple of weeks ago. It is nice to be able to save money. I do not go as extreme as the Extreme Couponers. When I go to CVS or Rite aid I do only get a limit of one all the time. I have been having problems with my Rite Aid being out of stock on everything. If I do not go before noon here the shelves will be empty. If I was to get a rain check at Rite Aid they expire in 30 days and they still wont have that item in stock. So at Rite Aid if they are out of stock on the things that I want I decide not to get it or even worry about a rain check. I live CVS better because when they are out of stock on something then I get a rain check and it wont expire after so many days and if my coupon is expired they will still except it. I try to make sure that there is enough on the shelves for other people I will not clean out a full shelve. If there is one item left or two yes I will take those if I really need it. I hate going some place and people can take all of the stuff and not be affected by it. I know it is a good price for it but I would want to make sure someone else can have it also.

  3. amanda

    For the past month when I go to buy my four Sunday papers I have gotten comments/questioned from cashiers and from other customers standing in line. I feel like I am being looked at like a crazy lady who buys fifty jars of Regu…I want to telling them how I really feel about them questioning me but then I will look like the crazy lady.

    • Jl

      Just remember YOU are paying YOUR bills no one else. You owe no one an explantion.

      • Shontience

        Very true I like your this post. I have been couponing now for the past 4 months. This has given me the ability to save money and look for savings and value. I am not obsessed I still purchase items that I do not have a coupon for, however I do look for the better deal and buy when its on sale. As before I would spend without looking at prices and wonder why I would come up short on this or that. I know what its like to go without because you just do not have the money for it. I can now eat, bathe, clean my house and clothes, feed my pets and not have to pick between my basket I am getting at target or pay my light bill. I can do both with no hesitations.

  4. Shirl

    As long as the TLC show Exteme Couponing is making money from the advertisers I don’t see it being canceled. I personally don’t watch it. I feel coupons are for the retailers and not for the consumers. They reel in the shoppers with their manufacturers coupons to try their product for low cost or possibly free so they will liked it and continue to buy that certain product.They don’t want 1 shopper coming in with say 5 coupons and get the item free and never buy that product again. They want hundreds of shoppers to shop and buy that product after they have tried it out. I do see a change in the way manufacturers will allow how their coupons will be used. They are already changing the UPC coding so buyers have to use the coupons exactly how they were meant to be used. If it’s not used exactly how it’s stated it will beep and not be accepted. I also see many coupons that are coded for a family of products. The UPC codes will still match product VS coupon BUT the coupon will specifically state what needs to be purchased. The coupon goes through without any problem but it’s not being used as the manufacturer intended it for. That is the reason why they are changing the UPC coding.

  5. maryyyyy

    I have used coupons since I was in high school living in a foster home to help out the kind people who actually were wonderful..Zip ahead to my marriage and living in the wonderful state of Colorado I can remember coupons being only .10 cents and .05 cents and .07 cents..It is all about balance in one’s life. I do not live for couponing and stockpiling, but I do remember to bring my coupons and I know prices so I don’t overspend and I always compare the price per item..we save and save knowing that pensions and sss benefits, medicare are likely to be cut, couponing allows me and my family to live and eat healthily and happily..Your blog is so wonderful and I think you are a balanced, loving and wonderful human being, wife, mother..etc.Keep up the wonderful blog that helps people to live & eat well with coupons, they would not put them out the glossies if they did not want (manufacturers) people to try & use their products~~~~~~ Happy 4th of July to you and yours, bless you!

  6. Kim T

    I always say I’m looking for a deal, not a steal. I don’t have a coupon binder, just a little accordion folder that has always worked for me. I’ve always been proud to coupon and have am proud to save 20% – 30%. Of course if I can save more I will, but I try not to sweat the small stuff. Since the show has aired, I feel like I’m being watched by these new ‘extreme’ couponers. I kid you not, there were a good 15 women a few weeks ago with the mega coupon binders all vying for that great deal on mustard and dish detergent. I was scared if I grabbed an item they were wanting, I was going to get clothes lined from how hawkishly I was being watched lol! I REALLY appreciated this site because it always reminds me that I’m couponing the way it should be done – the unextreme way!

    • melindaramz

      I don’t even take my binder with me anymore because of the looks that I get from others.

      • Nancy

        I’ve also stopped taking my binder to any store because of that.

    • Dee

      I don’t take my binder inside the store either but I leave it in my car just in case 😉

      • NATALIE

        Same here. It just became too embarrassing with all of the looks I was getting. I am in no way an extremist, but just because I carried a binder, people automatically assumed I was one of “those” couponers! I loathe that stupid show!

        • Agnes

          same here, I stopped carrying my binder with me NOT because Im ashamed to use coupons but to be looked at like a freak who has a “garage full of mustard”. I got those looks all the time, thank god never got a mean comment in the face but the looks were enough.
          Couple weeks ago I had a down time because of it all I didin’t even go to Walgreens or CVS as I normally do, I only took coupons for items I needed into my wallet and went to stores I really needed to go.
          But I keep on repeat to myself Im normal couponer who never cleans the shelve , buy what I need and I have to save money for my family – so I think I will have to forget that TLC show ever exisited and still carry my lovely pink binder with me and carry it proudly .

      • melindaramz

        I leave mine in the car and try to make a mental note of what I have in there. Then I’ll send my husband out to the car to get what I need…(but sometimes obviously he can’t find what I need…you know he’s a man). Haha

    • Twinmama

      I take my binder regardless of the looks and stares and I dare anyone to say anything negative to me about it. Most of them are jealous and wish that they could learn to coupon and save.

    • Dee

      Let them look. Let them think what they want. If they have more money than sense then yayyy for them!. I have three kids to take care of on my own and they kinda like to eat once in awhile. They are what I worry about. Im not rude, I dont hold up any lines, I have my stuff ready to go at the check out. I even unload my cart in a certain manner so that the cashier can bag my items quickly. I don’t do multiple transactions. Im pretty considerate of others. Also I have a life, so Im not usually paying attention to what others around me are buying. Or how they pay for it for that matter. So if they want to be nosy and or judgmental then let them. Thats their personality defect. I have my own defects to worry about 😀

    • Michelle

      I still take my binder into the grocery store. I’ve had a few people stare, but I’ve also has quite a few ask questions about it. I used to be shy about taking my binder, but my budget is more important than the looks. Plus I have no problem sleeping at night, no nightmares of “getting that deal!” When people see my binder and ask if I am an extreme couponer, I simply point out that I only have 1 or 2 of each item in my cart….no 150!

      Don’t let the few crazies deter you from proudly and efficiently coupon at your favorite store!

      • Janie

        I agree completely!! I don’t use a binder, I use a small box with envelopes, filed to each section of the store, and I get a LOT of attention, not once negative(thankfully!!). I have a lot of people come up to me and want to look at my box and explain how I do it and will give me a high five or tell me they are super impressed with how organized I am. The cashiers ALWAYS comment on how efficient it is and I’ve gotten a lot of “You go, girl!!”s. I’m here to save money, not make an image for myself. And like you, I only get 1-2, sometimes 4-5(if there are a LOT of the shelf) of an item. I want everyone else to get good deals too!! )

  7. melindaramz

    I’ve been shopping a few times lately with my coupons and have heard the comment “Oh, you are one of those EXTREME couponers”…it irritates me so bad because I am simply trying to save a little money and I do not buy more than my fair share of items. There are those couponers that go out there and buy loads and loads of the same item and leave none for the rest of us. Those are called hoarders and it is not fair that what should be a money saver for some of us becomes a hassle just to get what we need/what is on our list. I love getting my grocery list together and taking my husband/kids along…we treat it as a scavenger hunt. BUT it is nearly impossible to do this anymore because of the greed of these so called EXTREME couponers.

  8. Anonymous

    Another perspective – Maybe the show has blessed other families who had no idea they could save with coupons. When I used to go to the store I’d maybe see 1 person with coupons every 3 trips I’d make, now I see about 3 people with coupon binders every time I go to the store. Couponing has exploded out of necessity. I don’t think there are more people shelf clearing just more people couponing.
    Some of them would rather use their time and talents starting a business or doing something to MAKE money but the economy is so poor that they HAVE to save. Some are working two jobs now and making less and still not making ends meet. Some are working more jobs and still the rate of unemployment rises.
    Our president said that energy prices would increase under him and guess what food HAD to follow suit. Did you know that food and energy prices are no longer calculated in the inflation rate? Blatant manipulation.
    By the way, I’ve been following this blog for a while and CONGRATS on over 110,000 FB fans!!!!!!!

  9. Sandra

    I don’t think there will be a second season of the show.

    Red Plum, Smart Source and P&G are filing suit against eBay for allowing the buying and selling of coupons. They are also in talks regarding the same with TLC. According to them it`s all considered coupon fraud… They are going to do everything possible to make it almost impossible to get coupons without buying the actual newspapers. They are also going to shut down all online sites that sell whole coupon inserts.

    I pray something shuts the show down! Perhaps if this show disappears, the stores will go back to somewhat being normal! I shop Winn Dixie and Walmart, I have so far not noticed any difference and for that I am very happy! I enjoy shopping CVS and also have no problems there.

    Here’s a petiton that is on Boycott TLC Extreme Couponing facebook page
    I already filled it out!

    • Nancy

      I signed the petition and I am really hoping/praying this show will be cancelled it has caused more harm than good.

    • Anonymous

      I would love for them to shut down the show and stop the selling of coupons. I’m a couponer that would be perfectly ok with this.

  10. Nancy B

    My daughter and I go couponing every Sunday. I have a two-fold system. I only buy what we will use in our house and I try to get my “freebies” to send on to help others. I have started filling my 5th box for this year. My first three boxes went to our troops. Box 4 went to a church in Oklahoma to help tornado victims and Box 5 went to the Hip2Save tour. If I didn’t use coupons I would not be able to send on the packages. People who buy in excess and stockpile are called hoarders – no matter how you look at it. Thanks Colin for all you do to educate and help us.

  11. Ashley M

    My dad and his gf (who watches the show) just came by recently… Now mind you, I have been couponing for 4 years and I watched my mother doing so growing up. I have a storage shed that is full of items we use, a freezer in there which I also used a coupon on…., and a few racks my hubby built for me to store things on. Inside I have a few three drawer storage chests that I keep the things that will melt outside and my pantry full. When my dad’s gf looked at my stockpile shed this weekend, she said “Wow, that’s a great START!”….. Excuse me???? Four years of this…. It is far from a start! I have everything I and my family needs…. My hubby, 9 month old, and I will sometimes run into the drugstores w/ register rewards, ecb’s, etc and cannot think of ANYTHING that we need…. I’d say we are pretty set.

  12. skycouponing

    I have to say that I did indeed start couponing b/c of the show and that is the only thing I am glad came out of it. I don’t have a rite aid in south Texas, but I have noticed that they have already changed their coupon policy on b1g1 sales, so I am unaffected by that change, however our Kroger did stop doubling and tripling coupons so I am affected by that. I am not like some of the people who have started b/c of the show I know that it is unrealistic for me to save $400 on $500 grocery bill. But we are thankful for everything Collin has taught me b/c there were some times that we dreaded running out of body wash and toothpaste. We still feel that way with shampoo, conditioner, and toilet paper but I will get there soon. Thank you Collin

  13. Niki

    I coupon, but not extreme. I think spending time doing something else and play with my 4yrs old daugther is worth much more. I do not like the Extreme couponing show. It does not educate anything much except trying to show off few people who (mind my words) are so greedy. I mean, who in this whole universe whould need 2,000 tubes of tootpaste stored? It will expired anyway.
    That extreme couponing show should be banned. (i know it’s a reality, but it’s not a good example to other people)

  14. Dee

    I don’t mind more people couponing but I think this show is just getting out of hand. I feel that couponing has become harder and harder to do because shelves are cleared too quickly and people don’t seem to care about others. Also, I feel like stores are getting fed up with it not because they are losing money but because they probably have to deal with so many inconsiderate couponers.

  15. romes

    Dollar Tree has limited their sale of sunday newspaper to 3 per customer……
    I got a nasty attitude from CVS manager for buying TWO (i was buying one and my mother was buying the second one) Bayer aspirin when they went on sale two weeks ago. I offered to show our IDs but she didn’t care and instead just walked away.

  16. Mary Kenyon

    I knew I had to tackle this topic on my blog, since I am currently working with my agent on a book about the history of couponing. Unfortunately, I expect more restrictions on coupon use. And yes, I believe the Extreme Couponing show is directly responsible for the restrictions. Sigh. For 30+ years I have been an avid couponer, and it is hard for me to watch these changes take place. See

  17. live2exell

    I can’t get the article up but I’m sure I can figure the backlash. I just stared couponing and have cut my usual groceries and other items by 40-75%. I consider myself part of the TLC show created generation of newbies and have actually wished I wasn’t because there is a lot of stigma and worry surrounding it. I myself worried about what was going to happen to the future of products and coupons now that so many people were maxing their benefits. That the factories would be sending out more but seeing less profit and it would all come to a halt. Then I thought store sales don’t lower manufactures profits and vice versa and there are still many people paying full price for their items. Point one is valid but then I wondered if coupon discounts are fair to my friend who works 60 hrs and has 3 kids (one is epileptic, one is hyper nuts, and the other a teenager 🙂 oh and a childlike husband. She doesn’t have the time to coupon nor would she even remember to bring them to the store if I mailed her some. She deserves a break too, will the companies soon change their coupon policies to agree as well? Maybe that how the peelie coupon came to be. Are we creating a future of stores that don’t accept coupons but have agreements with manufacturers for lower prices?
    The stores in my area aren’t cooperative with coupons but supposedly they are supposed to be viewed as “cash” by the consumer if used properly. But then why does my store offer a double day on 5- $1.00 or less with a $25 minimum purchase? People check out multiple times and the cashier and customers (me and others) are inconvenienced. I forever am letting others go ahead of me in line out of guilt/kindness. Why don’t they even bother to keep couponed items in stock? Drug store corporates boast in the flyers that a coupon for the sale item can also be found in the Sunday paper but the stores themselves can’t order enough in advance to accommodate the ad? There seems to be a disconnect with corporate, the individual locations, cashiers, and couponers. I wish the stores would understand better.
    One last comment and I’ll get off my soapbox of opinions/concerns. I think the interest in couponing has helped the economy. The amount of products moving from factory to homes is growing and so is the local newspaper sales. The US postal as well for rebates and online purchases. Even the green movement should be pleased because the overnight mass volume of paper coupons should push for a quicker solution for electronic coupon discounts. I think you could be on the look out for a middle man website that offers a card that will supply downloaded (e-loaded) manufacturer coupons…no more blister fingers.
    So as a newbie I apologize for any changes we may be forcing into the system, but I hope they are positive changes for all of us. Thank you for teaching me how to help my family.

  18. Jo-Ann

    I love my CVS where the cashiers are always so friendly, AND coupon-friendly. The other day I was told by one of them that he has to carefully check my 2 coupons and would need an extra minute: the cameras are on them, too, not just on the customers and the cashiers are being monitored on their performance, including inspection of coupons. I was totally fine with that–I could wait a minute longer to get my savings. He is one of my favorite cashiers because has been able to quickly resolve any problems I’ve had with transactions that he didn’t even ring up.

  19. Bridie

    I wish the focus of the show would change to teaching people how to get started couponing, and how to realistically save 20-30% each shopping trip. I started couponing a year ago, and I think that’s a fair average for the area that I live in. We do not have any stores that double coupons, so most of my savings come from shopping at Target and stacking coupons there. A show that outlines a family’s strategy on how they get coupons, how they organize their coupons, meal planning from weekly deals and what’s in their (modest) stockpile – that is what people need to see! In the year I have been doing this I took my monthly expenses for food, toiletries, diapers, etc from $800/month down to $500/month. I don’t shop for pennies, but that is real savings to our bottom line!

  20. faith

    I just got back from walmart horrible …………… I was going to get a few bic razors and a pack of pull up wipes eggs milk well cashier refuse to take any of my coupons she gave me a million reasons why she wouldn’t i refuse to argue i just left it there and walked out thank you extreme couponing tlc this sucks

    • Colette

      Faith, you should call Walmart’s corporate office over that!

      • Dee

        Good luck with calling Walmarts corporate office. Nothing good has ever come of that for me! I once called to complain about an issue I had with a manager there. Their solution was to have the managers subordinate call me. What is she going to do about her boss? Ive called them about three times over the last few years with no resolution. No customer service skills! I hardly go there these days because I hate them.

  21. TeresaB

    What I have found over the past few months is that coupon availability is dwindling. had 20 to 24 pages of available coupons to print this past year. There have only been seven to nine pages available through their site in recent months. I have only been able to print one coupon per item on their site recently, where two prints were always allowed in the past year. We here in the eastern Iowa area are not receiving any of the high value coupons that we were getting this past year. In fact, we are not getting very many coupons at all. It certainly does not warrant buying multiple newspapers and truthfully, isn’t even worth having the subscription at all. Food coupons are becoming quite hard to come by. Sales at the area grocery stores are not offering the great deals on food that we were seeing this past year.

    Is this due to our economy or the manufacturers believing that all of us “Super Couponers” are hoarding fools?

    • Steph

      I’ve noticed and wondered the same thing. I think it may have to do with the manufacturers needing to make a profit, and with more people couponing, their profit margins are going down. That’s the reason for print limits on printable coupons. They can’t limit how many people use clippable coupons, so they are just cutting back on how many they put out. 🙁

  22. debbie

    I watched the program a few times but not any more. I found it boring,repetitive, and too extreme for me.

  23. Amy

    I think the there are two problems hitting at the same time. More people are using coupons due to the economic issues (I know I turned to them after losing my full-time job and only getting part-time work). That combined with the increase in raw good costs have driven up the cost for manufacturers just to make the products. Just think how much the high gas/oil prices have added to each grocery item. Grain prices are high making milk, eggs, and meat prices all go up and the weather has been terrible in some places hurting crops. These ingredients then go into other products driving up costs. This all squeezes down a product’s profit margin and probably is the main reason you are not seeing high-value coupons anymore.

    I dislike the Extreme Coupon show but think a lot of the recent changes all come down to margin and how much the manufacturer/retailer require. Sucks for all of us who coupon, that’s for sure.

    • Jo-Ann

      Yes, I agree, Amy. The larger economic context of the recession and higher gas & grain prices is definitely affecting manufacturer & retail store profit margins, which in turn affect regular prices (higher), sales prices (higher), & coupon values (lower). Thanks for pointing this out. 🙂

  24. Mary

    Im getting tired of cashiers who dont know what they are doing. I am tired of having to argue that my coupons are valid and them just thinking I am some crazy couponer or somebody cheap who wants something for free.

    I went to walgreens the other day and bough 2 bottles of Clorox with a walgreens coupons (2 for 2.99) and 2 bottles of Dial soap on sale for 1.97 and I had 2 coupons for $1 off each. So my total should have been just under $5 right? Well I gave them a $5 RR and the kid said my total was 1.60. Now does that make sense at all? I noticed on of my dial coupons wouldnt scan and he just acted like he scanned it. I added it up in front of him and said I should only owe tax…if that and he said “no 1.60 is the tax” Then I realized he probably scanned in the coupons wrong. He scanned my RR second and I think that messed it up but I could be wrong. i was thinking he should have scanned it last. I argued for about 2 minutes but then was just really embarrassed and left. I didnt do anything wrong and I looked dumb even though I was right. I could have asked a manager but I was already feeling stupid by then and people had started to look so I just left with the little dignity I had left.

  25. Rachel

    I am not going to change my coupon carrying ways due to people staring at me. Most likly they are wondering if I will show them how. I have no shame in holding up a line. It is not my fault that the register does not read my coupon properly nor is it my fault the cashier is a jerk. I do not stockpile much. A few drawers and what ever canned food I can get. I would bet my life if those other people could save a few bucks they would. Everyone wants to save money it is just they don’t know how. If you don’t want to save money or pay less you are an idiot! Keep couponing proudly don’t back down from what you belive in.

    • charlott

      Good for you!! I agree

  26. Anon.

    I do not know if anyone has noticed, but Angelique(the gymnast instructor) and many of the other ECs had stated that she relied on blogs to fill her in on couponing deals. I do not know if this is just me, but it annoys me that she is taking advantage(and not in a good way) of whomever wrote the post, as that author may not have been able to fulfill the purchase of the deals THEY came up with. I mean, imagine spending a few hours planning and informing others of CVS deals and when you get to CVS, all the items you planned on buying were in Angelique’s cart because she managed to get to the grocery store before you. I love getting deals and am not the type to get upset when I cannot get a deal, as I am 16 and couponing because it fascinates me and I like to save money, but these ECs are really getting to me; it has gotten to the point where I watch the show with my brother and a few friends and we discuss how these ECs are unbelievable.

  27. couponchick

    I TOO am a newbie because of the show. I just had no idea that the savings were out there. It has inspired me to be more aware of cost and savings and coupons, but the show is just not realistic. Sometimes there are just things that you need in your house that you just don’t have a coupon for and THAT IS OK! I am just happy to save a couple of dollars. It is more than what I use to pay. BUT, I think everyone needs to keep themselves in check when it comes to quantities and how much is in your home. There are too many charities and hungry people out there that will gladly accept (AND put to good use) the stockpile that extremers are sitting on.

  28. Chrystal

    Since the show started the stores around here have limited how you can use coupons. Vons for example will only permit 2 of the same coupons, Ralphs nearest my home will no longer take ANY internet printed coupons at all. When I do go to Vons they have literally gotten a magnifying glass out and inspected all coupons before even swiping them.

    I try to help my coworkers learn to find good deals and they always say they want to save like the Extreme Couponing show. I explain that while its great to get a lot for a little, you don’t see them buying much produce or meat or things beyond soda/tp/dry goods/boxed goods/cereal and toiletries.

    I never thought the show to be realistic because no one can live on spaghetti alone!

  29. April

    This show has given the public a negative image of those of us who use coupons. Locally coupon policies are constantly changing, the ads aren’t very good nor are the coupons in the inserts. I buy my newspapers at work from the lady that stocks the paper vending machines, and lately they have been selling so many papers that the newspaper company is running out of inserts to fill their papers with, meaning people are buying papers (great for the newspaper company). When I take my binder shopping with me, I am sick of hearing “Oh your one of those.” After hearing it three times in one trip, the person that got in line behind me a couple of weeks ago made a comment, and as calmly as possible but in a little louder tone, I informed them that I was doing what I could to make ends meet for my family since my husband lost his job six months ago and if this is a way that can help I am going to do it. Not all people who use coupons wipe the shelfs clean or do it just for the rush or to stock pile on things they don’t need. The person apologized and said they never looked at it from that point of view, and a few people who were checking out next to me praised me for standing up for myself and others who are in my position, and for making them feel more secure about using coupons becasue they had quit because of the label that we are now given.

  30. DEBBIE


    Because of you I have learned how to maximize my savings when making any kind of purchase and only buy what I need, when I need it. If the sale is worth it and the savings are even more worth it, I will buy alittle more. That just means that I won’t need to buy that item for awhile. I do buy more items sometimes to help a friend or even an agency in need personal hygiene items, etc. Thank you again for setting up this blog and helping us couponers save BIG!!

  31. Rebecca

    I started couponing in March 2010. I have saved my family all kinds of money, but there is one major diffference between my couponing startegy and the strategy employed by most people on “the Show.” I use “Common sense.” I only use coupons for items that my family will buy anyway. It feels amoral to me to buy large numbers of products just for the sake of getting it cheap or free. The episode that rEALLY blew me out of the water, was where the couponer made it out of the store with something like 99 packages of lunchmeat!!! Who in their right mind would ever buy 99 packages of deli lunch meat??? Stuff goes bad, stale, old, and no amount of freezer space can save you. I have also recently been the victim of the cleaned out shelf club!!!

  32. Barbara

    i agree the show has given a negative image of couponers when it first aired; however, it seems to be dying some in my area. When it first came on I got A LOT of negative comments from people and cashiers weren’t very nice. Before the show went off for the season I noticed a decline in this behavior. It is either more people are getting on board or getting tired off the show. Since the show is off it has really improved. I’ve been fortunate this past month mostly nice people.

  33. Natasha Luckett

    I’ve decided patience is what is called for. As well as my faith that 1) the American public has a short attention span and within a year or so they will be on to something else. 2)Most people are lazy or too busy to coupon long term. We all know the beginners “high” you get when you first start couponing. After a while people realize that couponing takes dedication, an attention to detail, and the ability to have patience when waiting for the right deal to come up. All it will take is a few months of bad deals, or struggling at the register with coupon policies. Most people will get frustrated and stop. Long term retailers want you to use their new products. There are less $$ out there for the public to spend, they still need to entice us to try their products so those coupons will reappear again.
    My short term survival guide has been the following:
    1) Check to see if your paper does Sunday only delivery. I now know that all my papers have their inserts and their sitting on my front doorstep. I try to treat my delivery person regularly to homemade jam or fresh produce out of my garden to make sure I get all my papers regularly.
    2) I have unfortunately given up shopping at stores that aren’t part of my daily route to work, home, school. The stores I do shop in I frequent more often and do smaller transactions to not bring notice to myself. I’ve also worked really hard to develop relationships at certain stores with specific cashiers so they know I’m a person and not “one of those people” I may not get as many deals and I don’t “ever clear a shelf” but I save time in less hassle at the register.
    3) Anywhere that has self checkout and lets you use your coupons at the self check out register I do it. I find that I can process most of my coupons myself and the few I have a problem with the cashier is more apt to help me because I only have a couple of “problem coupons” and two their so busy with all the other self checkouts they tend to be less picky and push the coupons through. That being said most self checkouts are 15 items or less.

    Finally and I know this is very hard for some people. I always carry my coupon policies. I politely stand my ground, and I refuse to be treated like a criminal for doing something legal. I know some days it doesn’t seem worth it but until we stand our ground and don’t let the stores push around “normal people who use normal coupons” were going to keep being treated this way. Hope this helps.

    • optimist

      How about having faith in something good – like the intelligence, thrift and industriousness of the American people instead of being negative?
      Coupon Newbies are trying to save like everyone else. There is enough for everyone and if there isn’t it’s usually due to a strong centralized government more than anything else.

  34. Dee

    I dont believe that anything on that extreme couponing show is true. Honestly I have never even watched it, but I hear about it all of the time. Stores have limits on the amount of like coupons that they can accept per transaction. Taking coupons in bulk or bulk cut coupons is against every manufacturers policy. Stores who turn in an extreme amount of the same coupon do not get reimbursed for that very reason. Its crap!!! Just my opinion.

  35. mizsnow

    I watched to the show in the begining but the more I watched the more disgusted I became with it. I will admit the show got me interested in using coupons more often becasue like a lot of people my family is living on a very limited income. I have been ill for the last 3 years and unable to work and my husband is on disability so we need all the help we can get. I have saved more money since and have even gotten some items for free but never do I clear shelves or fill 4 charts full of items to add to a stock pile at home. I buy what we need and also try and help out my elderly inlaws. The people on that show have mental issues of some kind that is driving them to buy out stores and create stock piles of items that they may never use admitdly. I feel they are using these items fo fill some kind of void in their life just like a drug addict uses drugs etc. I think the worst of them would have to be the man with the 9 month pregnant wife who was so obssesd with his stock pile he would go down and stare at it like it was his pride and joy. I hope this show goes away and things return to normal very soon.

  36. Cat

    I grew up watching my mother coupon with her little envelope-accordian type thing…& as soon as i saw this show i knew things were going to change; some for the better & some for the worse. I honestly don’t see any point in “extreme couponing”. Why would anyone need 5,000 tubes of toothpaste? I understand that this show has helped educate people about saving but it’s also turned people into greedy monsters who just want to show off their skills at stockpiling. If they’re so good at couponing, why not just get what they need to last them til the next sale…(or does it not work like that? :/ )

  37. Susan Crawford

    I use coupons every chance I get. But I am definitely not an extreme couponing. I am on a fixed income and using coupons help. But when I can get something for “under a certain amount usually $1.50 then I give it to my local food bank. They do ask for health & beauty items, and when I can get diapers then they also go there. Food stamps do not pay for these items. And hey anyone with coupon binder, I say more power to you. If I could afford to do that then I would. IF it makes you happy to have a stockpile of things then good for you. But honestly, how much do you really need. And I cannot afford to have cable so I do not watch extreme couponing. It sounds like a silly show and they should cancel it.

  38. Kathykayh

    I, like many of your readers, enjoy getting a good deal and passing on tips to other newbies. However several times lately I get a to a store and the shelves are empty due to a couple of women who fill their cart with the items. I have even suggested to them that they should leave some items for the rest of us and got dirty looks in response. I feel management should limit the amount of times you can do the same transaction so that everyone can share in the good deal!

  39. Penelope Fisher

    I think the purpose of coupons is to promote interest in products and increase sales. I do not think that companies issue coupons so that people can resale items or wipe out shelves in stores. I use coupons all the time and it saves me a lot but I only purchase what I will use and only purchase 4 items at most from one store. Sometimes I may purchase more of the item on another day but that is seldom. Those that buy so much of one product are not being considerate to others because they deny the other person to even use their coupon. Sometimes the shelf is completely empty and the coupons expire before they are reshelved. Those that donate their products could sometimes better volunteer their time it takes to get all the coupons and shop for the products.

  40. Toy Store

    Childrens toys & games at cheap prices available from

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