Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show or Tell You!

Posted 04-13-2011 at 12:00 AM by Rasha

 

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.

5. Store Policies Vary
Stores have different coupon policies – the way coupons were allowed at the store on the show may not be the same at your local store, even if it is the same “brand” of store. Some will double or triple coupons, some don’t. Some limit the number of “like coupons,” some don’t. Some will even limit the number of coupons per transaction. Find out your local store’s coupon policy before shopping with coupons. Don’t assume just because you saw it on TV that you can do it too.

6. Extremely Entertaining
The Show is EXTREME couponing…. This isn’t about Saving Sally going to the store and getting $100 in groceries for $55… thats not exciting TV… But that would be exciting for you if you’re trying to budget for your family and pinch pennies. You don’t have to coupon to the extreme to get the savings you need to make the most of your budget.

7. Donating Instead of Hoarding
Some people extreme coupon to help others. While the TLC show has yet to highlight this (it focuses on the hoarding side) there are some extreme couponers that do it for the good of friends or charities. A generous extreme couponer will get 100 boxes of cereal for free then keep 20 for their family and donate 80 to a homeless shelter.

8. Mistakes Do Happen
On the TLC “Extreme Couponing” they make the check-out look nerve wracking but they have yet to show a couponer actually have to deal with mistakes, whether the couponer’s mistake or the cashier’s. In real life check-out mistakes do happen. A couponing shopper may miscalculate a transaction. A cashier may not be well trained in taking coupons. It is important to remember that everyone is human. Be prepared to deal kindly with a cashier overwhelmed by your coupons or to face the embarrassment of having to decide whether to buy or return something that didn’t work out to be a good deal.

9. Extreme Couponing Websites
Learning to use coupon websites does take time and effort. You have to learn the couponing language including all of the common coupon acronyms, names of different types of coupons, and various shopping strategy terms. They make it look easy to get online and instantly know all of the deals, but there will be a learning curve to overcome if you are new to the coupon process.

10. Overnight Success is Unlikely
Some of the extreme couponing subjects shown talk of having used coupons for only the past year or so, whereas most extreme coupon experts did not get to that level overnight, or even within just one year. You can certainly learn the tricks of extreme couponing in less than a year. However, considering sale cycles average every 12 weeks and some coupons are released only around holiday seasons (like baking supplies go on sale plus coupons are released around the Christmas holiday season) it takes at least a year to create a stockpile diverse enough to get to the level of shopping only hot deals and basic fresh items.

Well, now that you’re feeling back to reality, don’t despair! You can learn to use coupons to save big on your grocery bill, whether or not you want to be an “extreme couponer.” Start with our Learn AFullCup in 10 Steps and you’ll quickly get the hang of coupons and how to use our website to make the most of your savings without having to do all of the work yourself.

*Image by Swansea Photographer

Comments

105 Responses to “Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show or Tell You!”

  1. Worth Reading: What they don’t tell you about Extreme Couponing — Bargains to Bounty on April 13th, 2011 7:26 am


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  2. 10goodreasons on April 13th, 2011 7:57 am


    This is such a good post. One of the things I need to do to get the best deals especially with catalinas, is go through the line several times. Only one store near me will let me do multiple transactions without a hassle. This is very time comsuming.

  3. SCLolly on April 13th, 2011 8:48 am


    I too thought that this was a terrific post. I am not as good as some of the experts here but, I do save money by using coupons and that’s the intended purpose. Whether I save 20% or 50%, at least I have saved. I too have noticed that people rarely mention saving huge money on things like meats and produce. That probably makes up the majority of my grocery bill. I really focus on trying to save on the things I use the most – paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and breakfast items – frozen waffles, etc. – for my 2 grandchildren.

    I think some people, including me, get discouraged sometimes when we see posts of people buying 20 items for almost nothing but, when I see what they are buying, often times it is nothing that I would typically buy. I don’t buy something just because I can get it for free.

    The main thing to remember is to keep your chin up and every little bit that you save will add up in the long run.

  4. xboxundone on April 13th, 2011 8:56 am


    I love this article! Gives the real truth about couponing and how the show is Extreme and the average person won’t always save 98%. I strive to save 30 to 60% on every bill. it adds up over time!

  5. theselenaverse on April 13th, 2011 9:19 am


    VERY well written article. Maybe people will understand a little better what really goes on in the coupon world. Thanks!

  6. Bloggoneit on April 13th, 2011 9:24 am


    I always wondered about the hoarding people. What is the benefit? Can they actually use all those items before they expire? It did show him donating to the local church but he donated cereal and not the 100 tubes of toothpaste he had.

    I remember couponing quite a bit and it’s somewhat addicting; however, now that I have more education about nutrition, it’s hard to find coupons for lettuce, tomatoes and organic strawberries.

  7. lotsofpurses on April 13th, 2011 9:25 am


    What a great post and exactly how I feel! I love to watch the Extreme Couponing shows because it inspires me! But, I don’t have room to have a big stockpile or have stores that allow the use of lots of the same coupon either. But, I just try to do a mini-version of all of this. And, it takes so much time to do this. I can because I have been layed off for almost a year – thus resorting to couponing!!! It took me a couple hours to get ready for a very small trip to CVS this week – maybe 12 items I got. But, it was only my second time going to CVS and am still learning!!

  8. TONIB4ME on April 13th, 2011 9:28 am


    RIGHT ON!! After our family seen this show-we so want to be the Extreme Family of Couponing. Now that we have done some of the background-not as exciting, but still inticing..we will have to drive about 2hrs away to go to a store that will double and unlimit the coupons, we had to buy a printer to print coupons off the net and order coupons, from a clipping service, not available in our local papers. With that said we have taught our kids not to throw in the towel at the fist strike-so we are going to go threw with, it at least once. With some great info gathered from the internet, we will be using coupons in every shopping trip and hitting up our local drugstore, which we never regularly stopped at before. Thanks for all your help!!

  9. sirabe76 on April 13th, 2011 9:36 am


    I love using my coupons to save on snacks, canned goods, and cleaning products but i mainly break even because I will use the saved money to buy my meats and fresh produce.

  10. teresalovesmark on April 13th, 2011 9:37 am


    I love this post also. In the area where I live, there are NO stores that triple coupons and most only double up to $0.50, so it is unrealistic for me or anyone else in this area (Southern MO) to expect to ever get savings shown on this show. What I do expect is to save each time I use a coupon to purchase things I use, for example, maybe I don’t get free toilet paper, but I saved $1 a roll and it is something that my family needs everyday. In this economy every savings is a blessing.

  11. bjones13 on April 13th, 2011 9:45 am


    This is a helpful article! I loved it! I usually save about 50-60% on each bill and I try to get more every trip..i know I will prob never get 80%+ but I do love saving on avg $200 every time I grocery shop!

  12. cathyvernham on April 13th, 2011 10:12 am


    Great article. Loved that you added about the coupon clipping service. In one of the first episodes all of the couponers talked about getting 10+ newspapers and using a clipping service. But they never add that cost into the price of their shipping.
    I shop twice a week, mainly because I only buy three days of produce at a time. (I’ve had to much if it go bad on me.)
    Anyway, when I add up my shopping cost. I add in the cost of each newspaper I buy and the cost of the paper andice for printing.

    I’m still learning when I should print online coupons. Great coupons seem to run out fast but I end up following many out because I don’t get a good store deal to go with them.

  13. Lee on April 13th, 2011 10:46 am


    Very good post!

  14. Moggy on April 13th, 2011 11:10 am


    Thank you for posting this. That show is getting bringing so much attention to couponers – most of it negative IMO.

  15. RobinWrob on April 13th, 2011 11:29 am


    I like the thrill of couponing and have had some really nice total savings. But, I do not use most convenience foods or scented products. (due to sensitivities and allergies in my household).

    Most convenience foods like rice-a-roni and hamburger helper I would never buy, too much salt and I can make better for less money with the basic ingredients and spices. I usually buy whole and natural ingredients to feed my family.

    So many coupons are for toiletries and as we call them in my household, “house smellies” things that have an airborne scent. With our allergies we avoid scented products, If I want to make a nice scent in the house I simmer some spices like cinnamon, cloves with apple/citrus peels etc. I do purchase these products when they are nearly free to donate to a pantry.

    My understanding is that people on public assistance can not buy toiletries, cleaners and other items that they might like. I keep a six month supply of these items in my home and donate the rest.

    This is a win/win situation, I still get the thrill of couponing for a great deal and the knowledge of helping someone else have a product that they could not normally be able to afford. I can only imagine struggling to afford feminine hygiene supplies, disinfectants and toilet paper, and I like to know that a mascara, hand cream or scented candle brought some joy to a person in need.

  16. Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show or Tell You! « Saving with a Plan on April 13th, 2011 11:32 am


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  17. deidre on April 13th, 2011 11:33 am


    Yes thanks for posting this. I know there are “bad” couponers, but one site that is legit is cuckoo for coupon deals. She makes sure the coupons are getting used on the right items and I also follow saving money plan that site posts some good tips as well.

  18. Extreme Couponing: A Great Article About the New TLC Show | Couponer101 on April 13th, 2011 11:34 am


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  19. javaaddict on April 13th, 2011 11:34 am


    Great article. I wish this show would make an attempt to be educational instead of sensational. After all, it is the LEARNING channel.

  20. Rosie on April 13th, 2011 11:38 am


    Great post!! I’ve only been couponing for a few months and it’s definitely addicting – I don’t go around trying to get every single free item out there – usually just what I KNOW we’ll be consuming. Like some of the others – when I first started watching this show I’d feel excited thinking “Wow! I can really save that much and get ALL THOSE items?” But when we start seeing the reality behind it (the many hours spent, the $ going to coupon clipping services, etc) it gets me a bit discouraged, only b/c I work full-time and just don’t have the time for it. But when I do dedicate a few hours each week to clip and match coupons it turns out to be a great deal FOR ME and am happy with my savings – like others said, I usually end up applying my savings to meats, produce, etc, but saving $, whether a few bucks or $100+ it’s always great!!

    Thanks again for this post!

  21. Shanna on April 13th, 2011 11:48 am


    Great information. Thank-you for sharing this. I agree with you. It wouild take an “extreme” amount of time to collect, sort and plan this type of a grocery shop. In addition, just bc it worked for someone does not mean that it will for you too. I think the good part of this show is the concept that couponing can save you money. I think this is great to share with people. The more the word gets out the better. It is a tough economic time and couponong can help to stretch the family dollar.I believe in giving back and If I were extreme couping, I would help my family members and others. This is something that should be shared. One gentlmen on Extreme Couponong purchased something like1,200 boxes of cereal and donated the majority to his church’s foodband. At least he helped the community by sharing his haul. Nice post! Thnak-you for sharing.

  22. Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show or Tell You! | Shopping Tips & Tricks on April 13th, 2011 11:58 am


    [...] at AFullCup wrote an excellent article and I encourage each of you to read it! Extreme Couponing – What [...]

  23. “Extreme Couponing”: What They Don’t Tell You on April 13th, 2011 12:00 pm


    [...] was contacted by one of the members of A Full Cup* and asked to post this really great article about what TLC neglects to show their viewers on their show “Extreme Couponing”.  It is [...]

  24. Kim on April 13th, 2011 12:03 pm


    I loved this post. It is how I felt all along and did not know how to put in words. I posted part of it and put a link on my blog for my readers to come over and read the rest.

  25. Sally Hanson on April 13th, 2011 12:08 pm


    This is such a great post. It’s true that people need to remember that Extreme Couponing is a show and there is much more going on behind-the-scenes than just bombarding the cashier with coupon cut-outs. It takes so much time to strategize your shopping trip that it would be the equivalent to having a full time job. I still like watching the show and it inspires me to look for great deals anywhere I can find them! I’m somewhat of a deal hunter myself :-D

  26. Daria @ Mom in Management on April 13th, 2011 12:17 pm


    I love the practicality of these insights. I watched the show this week and one of the women got $700 of groceries for $50 or something – BUT they spent 5 hours in the store alone and had to ask their friends to come to the store so they could get $10 off per person. I personally don’t want to pull in friend favors for $10, and when you break it down to hourly wage, it would be better to stay at work and just pay for the food.

  27. dkjmommy on April 13th, 2011 12:19 pm


    I don’t get why anyone would want over a years worth of pasta or a lifetime of mustard. Pasta gets bugs…and I for one don’t think that sounds appetizing at ALL!!!! I only have 4 tubes of toothpaste, toothpaste does go bad. If I can get a good deal on toothpaste I donate it to charity to help other people. And my family doesn’t use mustard that much at all, so I wouldn’t ever think of stockpiling a lifetime’s worth.

  28. Joanne on April 13th, 2011 12:32 pm


    This is a great article. And I agree with the comment about many people on the show being hoarders as opposed to donating. Really…who needs 150 Butterfinger bars? No one. That one extreme couponer who bought the 150 Butterfingers really got me annoyed because she was only doing it “because she can.”

  29. Tonya on April 13th, 2011 12:39 pm


    I agree with this post. I haven’t watched the show but from what I’ve heard, it’s really not a wonderful portrayal of reality.

    Even my teenage daughter who has watched it said: “Mom, I just don’t see why they buy 100 packages of toilet paper at one time, where do they put it? It kinda of reminds me of that show Hoarders.”

    It’s insanity to me… besides the fact that 90% of what you get in food is processed foods. That is totally unhealthy and is the leading cause of obesity in kids as well as adults.

    For me, I use coupons only on those items I actually need and use… not just because I can.

    8 hours per day or longer to cut the coupons is absolutely crazy!

  30. vicki on April 13th, 2011 12:43 pm


    Thank you for saying this. We as couponers we know this, but for the people just starting they don’t. Thank you for writing this…

  31. skizzatt on April 13th, 2011 12:46 pm


    Great article! I have often wondered if those extreme couponers think about how they will use 100 boxes of pasta before they get bugs in them and before they go bad.
    It is a shame they don’t give away what they cannot possible use before it has to be thrown in the trash. There are many hungry people who could use those food products etc.
    I think I drive my family crazy saying “I have a coupon for that”.
    But, I am not that extreme!!!

  32. mwnjw on April 13th, 2011 12:47 pm


    THANK YOU so much for this post! I’ve been a couponer for years, and I am continually frustrated — I think because I expect too much. I have lived in a rural area for the past 5 years. Although I diligently follow the blogs and organize my coupons well, inevitably I will go to my grocery store loaded with a list and coupons, only to be disappointed with higher prices and limits on “like” items, total coupons used on a purchase, and (especially with the drug stores) having to pay a lot more out of pocket than I originally intended. I know things are listed with the drugstores as free, but you still have to pay for them out of pocket before you receive the coupons which make them free.
    Watching the show did inspire me. I’m already doing it right; I just need to make sure that I pay very close attention. YouTube has really helped as well — there are tons of tips and tricks available.
    Thanks for the article and for this site — you are the most helpful I’ve found!

  33. Heidi @ The Good Stuff Guide on April 13th, 2011 12:50 pm


    Thanks for this great post! I loved the points that you brought up. the show does indeed make it look tempting to pay nothing for groceries. I’m relieved that I’m not missing anything!! I’ll just look for additional easy ways to implement couponing.

  34. New Extreme Couponing episode tonight « The Brainy Buyer on April 13th, 2011 1:03 pm


    [...] only see a portion of the true “Couponing” process. Rasha at AFullCup put together this great article about what they don’t show or tell you on the show. It’s definitely worth reading [...]

  35. Amanda J. on April 13th, 2011 1:07 pm


    Actually the one guy last week did donate those boxes of cereal, so this article is false in that statement.

    But again people, this is TV so they go extreme to get the ratings.

  36. TLC’s Extreme Couponing Show — Home School Moms World on April 13th, 2011 1:10 pm


  37. Rasha on April 13th, 2011 1:16 pm


    True, but they emphasize the hoarding, not the donating. I hope in the future they’ll focus more on the donating aspect since preview write-ups do make it appear that they are planning to take the show more that direction due to viewer backlash.

  38. Sharon on April 13th, 2011 1:18 pm


    You are so right. This show isn’t about Extreme “couponing” It’s really about using coupons to become a hoarder. I think we should refer to it as Coupon Hoarding!

  39. Kat on April 13th, 2011 1:32 pm


    Thank you! I have friends who say ‘Did you watch that?’ or ‘You should try what THEY do, you would save even more!’ I think not. I would love to save more, but I am not going to invest 30 hours a week in it, and we don’t have double coupons or stacking or any of that stuff here- the stores forbid it. I spend aboput 5 hours a week on my couponing between clipping, printing, submitting reviews for free coupons, organizing and planning shopping trips and so on. I enjoy doing it, its like a puzzle, and its necessary for our family to minimize costs to make ends meet. But I usually only save 40 to 60% of my grocery bill after I buy my couple papers a week (and my ALL You magazine subscription). It frustrates me when people assume that I started couponing because of this show- I can’t even count the number of people who have said exactly that. NO WAY! I have been doing this for 30 years. My mom taught me how when I was a kid because we had to make ends meet then. My Father-in-law has been been a coupon sharp even longer. I wish they would profile people who use coupons reasonably, so that more people can learn it and understand how to do it (but I guess that wouldn’t make as great a TV show as watching people stockpile and hoard so extremely)

  40. Julie Beck on April 13th, 2011 1:51 pm


    A GREAT article..it’s posted on my site Kingdom Klipper now!

  41. EXTREME COUPONING – TONIGHT ON TLC 9:30pm EST | Blessed By Bargains on April 13th, 2011 1:52 pm


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  44. mrsdgw on April 13th, 2011 2:53 pm


    It’s what they do show that scares me. Do you ever pay attention to what they actually purchased? 14 pounds of cheese, 10 jars of mayo, 27 packs of toilet paper etc. They aren’t shopping to fill a pantry or to make certain meals. They seem to just be shopping to fill a cabinet. I truly think coupons are a great way to save money, but if you’re purchasing way more than you’ll ever use in a reasonable time, are you really saving?

  45. Extreme Couponing: Hype vs. Reality | Madame Deals on April 13th, 2011 3:20 pm


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  48. Great Article: Extreme Couponing-What They Don’t Tell You on April 13th, 2011 4:10 pm


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  49. Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show or Tell You! — Savings Blogger on April 13th, 2011 4:23 pm


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  50. Tracey on April 13th, 2011 5:06 pm


    I have been couponing for 10 years now and frugal most my life. I save 600-1000 a month with coupons but it is alot of work and it is seriously like a part time job for me. It used to be alot easier to coupon 5 years ago as compared to the last few years. There are alot more stores not letting you stack coupons or like the show perceives “more than 3 transactions per person” Like the one girl called in family members to stand with her. Most stores wouldn’t allow this unless the person standing there was paying etc. This show is making couponing a “fad” which seems to happen every 5 or so years but making it a bigger fad and making alot of stores change policies and companies find programs so you can print from multiple computers etc. 80% of my coupon trips have impatient cashiers or don’t want to take more than 10 coupons.Coupons are a great way to save but also a marketing gimmick. I know alot of people who are now coming into couponing and buying things they never did before. yes they “save” money but they were living fine without those things and spending more over time.I remember when couponing was having a bunch with you and helping that old lady save money buy giving her coupons that you had or helping a single mom. I do have a stockpile but that is because i have kids and it consists of one wall not 3 rooms. It is cheaper on alot of things to just buy the flour in bulk and make your own things and freeze them. I love coupons and the show does entertain me. I just wish they would be honest on how they get free coupons and etc for endorsements. We need a show on how to garden successfully etc. Teach America to rely on fresh stuff and hard work and the pleasure of growing your own stuff and do everything in moderation and be honest about every endeavor

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  57. rainranda5 on April 13th, 2011 7:50 pm


    Very nice article, and so true. I didn’t understand last show why that chick would get 70 things of mustard at.38 cents each. who in their right mind needs that much mustard. LOL

  58. sue1bill1 on April 13th, 2011 9:18 pm


    I watched Extreme Couponing for the first time today. I am just starting to shop after years of being ill and remember the days of triple coupons which made it easy to get things for free but that was before computers were big and have no idea where to get 20 coupons so I can buy 20 of the same item? I guess I have a lot to learn. I will have to ask my husband if they even still double coupons in our area!

  59. Sally on April 13th, 2011 9:19 pm


    I haven’t read all of the comments, but as to the donating vs. hoarding, there was the one guy,(I believe on the very first show awhile back) that did donate all of that cereal to a food bank.

  60. Bobbi Sarmiento on April 13th, 2011 9:27 pm


    Rasha, this was a great write up. We linked you in our blog http://blessedbybargains.com/?p=11201 :) thanks for the info!

  61. YvetteNChris on April 13th, 2011 9:52 pm


    I will say upfront I did not read EVERY response to this article, but I for one am upset about one point in it. One should NEVER be embarassed at saving money!!!! There is NO reason to be embarassed that you ask them to take something off because the total is more than you expected. It’s your money, not the person behind the register, or the person behind you. You earned it, and how you spend it is completely, entirely up to you and is for no one to judge!! That one point upset me, buecause it seems people look down on couponers. The only way we are going to change society’s attitude about us (including me) is to speak positively about ourselves!! With that said, this was a GREAT article on pointing out the reality, and time involved in couponing. It takes dedication and discipline (to not spend more or stray from your budget). It is very time consuming and I for one appreciate sites and blogs like this that help save time and money.

  62. Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show Or Tell You « Totally Temberton on April 13th, 2011 9:53 pm


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  63. amber on April 13th, 2011 10:00 pm


    Well put!

  64. Extreme Couponing: What They Don't Show or Tell You on April 13th, 2011 10:25 pm


    [...] [...]

  65. Frugalcountrymom on April 13th, 2011 10:47 pm


    Great article, I also noticed on the show there is no one ever behind these people and the super markets are so nice catering to these people because of camera, but in reality sometimes you have annoyed people behind you waiting for you to hurry. Other times you might have to argue with cash register person if they make a mistake or don’t want to take your coupon.

    Reality in coupon world for most of us.

  66. Ruth Hill on April 14th, 2011 12:22 am


  67. Donna Paquette on April 14th, 2011 3:12 am


    I know you can’t shop like that at all stores. The stores that I shop at limit your rewards card purchases to a limit of 5 of the sale items. I do not know how these people are able to go to a store and clean out shelves. Don’t the managers of these stores worry about keeping product on the store shelves for other customers? Thank you for showing us the true story of extreme couponing.

  68. MissyEby on April 14th, 2011 7:22 am


    1. I will be on next weeks episode.
    Yes it takes time. I don’t dispute that.
    2. I will give you that it isn’t for everyone, on my first trip I saved 67%. I have saved more than that every week since.
    3. I haven’t spent a penny this year on groceries….yes it is April the 14th. We eat very healthy lots of fresh fruits/veggies and meats. (I pay for it with the OVERAGE from my COUPONS!)
    4. I do NOT pay for a clipping service. I get coupons from friends, family, perfect strangers give them to me!
    5. I in FLORIDA ( NO DOUBLE or TRIPLE coupons here!!) I follow the wording on the coupons to the letter. I follow ALL store policies EVERY time too.
    6. I find that statement to be true, you wouldn’t watch “Average Couponers” :)
    7. I do just that, I supply several food banks with coupons or with the goods that I “purchase” with my coupons. It is TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
    8. I will tell you that the “checkout process” is after being in the store for
    5-6 HOURS….I NEVER spend more than 30-45 minutes in the store on a regular trip….but you have to make sure that they got all the right shots for the camera.
    9. yes there is a “learning curve” however there are lots of folks willing to help others along the way. I provide free classes as a ministry out of churches and have taught nearly 3000 people. :)
    10. Yes it takes time to get the “stockpile” built up, but if you are willing to “try” different brands, you can almost always get what you need/want for next to nothing!!!

  69. Denise Niblick on April 14th, 2011 7:31 am


    my daughter-in-law and I have been couponing for years. before it got “fahionable”. we did it out of necessity as there are 5 of us trying to make it in this ever increasing downspiral of economy. we spend 45 minutes every day working on couponing and making our lists for the various stores that have the deals. we go in one big circle that covers 2 miles in our town. I n our state, the stores do not double coupons so we have to be better than the ones on tv that get theirs doubled. we find that CVS and Walgreens are the best with giving back extra care bucks for another shopping trip and the same for register rewards. its like free money people on stuff you will use. we like publix for the bo/go and if its a deal we will get more and give to the food pantry. its the planning and the clipping and it doesn’t ake us long and we save every shopping trip. we feel we eat better than ever since we get to try new things and I , for one have lost a couple pounds from not eating all the junk I used to buy. just because there is a coupon out there, doesn’t mean you have to buy it. our stores limit 40 coupons per transaction and we plan our shopping that way so there are no mistakes when we get to the register. so, my advice for you newbies, is don’t give up. our grocery bill used to be 180.00 a week and now we split the 50.00 tab and it eases bot our checkbooks and bags full of savings. It will be for you too. we have a stockpile but not like you see on tv. we have 6 hall cabinets and 1 shelving unit, and we keep everything rotated as we add new. Hang in there !

  70. Nana on April 14th, 2011 7:36 am


    You must remember that there are expiration dates on most items. Hoarding too much for yourself is being selfish. The expired items are not good for you to consume, nor will food banks accept them once they are expired. No win situation.

  71. Nonna Beach on April 14th, 2011 7:46 am


    Good post ! I have done a couple of posts on the things I liked and disliked about the show. Last night, I was happy to see Nathan donate enough products to make 1,000 personal care kits for our deployed military !!!

  72. Extreme Couponing: What They Don’t Tell You — Cut Them Coupons on April 14th, 2011 8:31 am


    [...] I want to say thanks to Becky and Rasha over at A Full Cup.com for sharing this great article with me about the new TLC show Extreme Couponing! [...]

  73. bocamom4444 on April 14th, 2011 8:42 am


    Great info! I have been saving for the last couple of years by coupons, but want to take it the next level. Your article gave me lots of tips and advice. Thank you!

  74. Cathie on April 14th, 2011 8:55 am


    On last night’s show “Nathan” showed us his room full of 1000 tubes of toothpaste. By my estimation, assuming these are not at all perishable (which I highly doubt) this is approximately 100 years worth of toothpaste. THAT IS CRAZY.
    I have been using coupons for over 30 years, and at first I was disappointed in myself for not pulling off this kind of shopping trip. Now I am just disappointed that a channel known as “The Learning Channel” chooses to air this kind of sensational crap, which does no good that I can see.

  75. punken13 on April 14th, 2011 9:13 am


    Thank you for this!

  76. AmaraL729 on April 14th, 2011 9:23 am


    Thank you for writing about this! I think it’s important to remind people that this extreme lifestyle is not appropriate for everyone. On the flip side, there is a lot you can do with coupons to save real money without clipping and stockpiling taking over your life. (I’ve been rambling about this very topic on my blog at http://iamanoverachiever.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/why-extreme-couponing-isnt-for-extremely-busy-people.)
    Just joined your website and am looking forward to learning more.

  77. Extreme Couponing: What They Don’t Show or Tell You | A Purpose Driven Home on April 14th, 2011 11:00 am


    [...] because the way couponers are portrayed is on the side of hoarding and craziness to be honest.  Rasha over at A Full Cup shares with us why this new show is an unrealistic view of couponing. 1. It Takes Time to Coupon It [...]

  78. Sara Tetreault on April 14th, 2011 11:28 am


    I haven’t seen this show but I’ve certainly heard the buzz around it. I don’t use coupons since there aren’t coupons for simple, whole foods which is what our family eats. For a family of 4, we don’t spend much on groceries – we just meal plan, cook our own food, and eat at home. The “saving by spending” lifestyle isn’t very sustainable or frugal. Coupon shopping can trick you into thinking it is.

  79. Rasha on April 14th, 2011 11:34 am


    You can use coupons on things like health and beauty products though! Big savings on your household needs without having to use coupons on actual food. http://www.afullcup.com/Coupons.com-Coupons

  80. Extreme Couponing WHAT they don’t tell you! « CouponKADIE on April 14th, 2011 12:07 pm


    [...] limit the number of coupons per transaction. Find out your local store’s coupon policy before shopping with coupons. Don’t assume just because you saw it on TV that you can do it [...]

  81. oldsgt24 on April 14th, 2011 12:29 pm


    Thank you thank you thank you. TLC does mainly emphise the hoaders. I have benn donating to shelter and friends in need for the past thirty years. I am not rich and don’t expect to be. As a couponer I can’t go in the store and buy in the amount on TLC although I do take my daughter and husband and we make several trips when there is a good sale. I donate whenever and however possible. I don’t have much time to spare and yes couponing does take up most of the times. If anyone hates coupons out there they should think of how panties, Toys for christmas get to them. Most is by people like me who stay in the background doing what we do.

  82. katemyers on April 14th, 2011 1:21 pm


    A revelations that the show brought me was per purchase can be interpreted as ‘Per item purchased’. I always thought it was per trip through the line – but that is typically ‘per transaction’ or ‘per order’. I’ll be checking this at my Safeway.

    As a couponer who’s going on 1 year, I can typically save 40-50% if I don’t have budget killers like diapers and milk. If find myself cringing if I go to a different store and realize I could have saved even a few more cents on an item elsewhere.

    I wish the show showed how Buy One, Get One deals already put you at 50% off. If you add in a coupon and a doubler it can be huge savings depending on the price.

  83. Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show or Tell You! on April 14th, 2011 2:04 pm


    [...] Well, there is an article you might want to read on A Full Cup that you might want to read, Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show Or Tell You! [...]

  84. sle061276 on April 14th, 2011 3:00 pm


    thank you so much for this! I printed it to take to the coupon class I will be holding soon. I dont want anyone going into this with unrealistic expectations. I am an extreme couponer and get hundreds of dollars worth for free every week but its not as easy as it looks and it takes a LOT of time and planning!

  85. Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show or Tell You! | The Constant Bargainer on April 14th, 2011 4:06 pm


    [...] Click HERE to read the article. [...]

  86. lbslott on April 14th, 2011 7:09 pm


    Thank you for posting this, although I wish the “newbies” to couponing were there ones seeing it. I think we all realize that certain things have been built up on the show and other things have been portrayed less. My only beef with the show is I fear it will make companies either stop taking coupons or make their policies really strict. Since the first airing of the show (don’t know if that happened as a cause or just coincidental) we in the Houston area have lost doubling & tripling of coupons at Kroger. I’ve shopped at Kroger as long as I can remember, and now have to figure out where I’m going to get the best deals…or am I going to have to go store hopping…or the dreaded Wal-mart….??? Anyway…I just think the show is NOT helping us “average” couponers…I think it is hurting us.

  87. TLC's Extreme Couponing. Let's talk about it! | Cinnamon Hollow Reviews on April 14th, 2011 10:11 pm


    [...] I was sent a link to a site that explains a little bit about what the extreme side of couponing doesn’t show you. It takes A. LOT. OF. TIME. AND. PRACTICE. to learn how to do this. I do know that [...]

  88. Extreme Couponing - When is enough enough? | Saving On The Essentials on April 15th, 2011 10:28 am


    [...] more of Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Tell You.   This is a wonderful article over on A Full Cup that you should check out if this show has you [...]

  89. Great Couponing Tips on April 15th, 2011 10:40 am


    [...] loved this article about couponing that was posted over at A Full Cup. It’s full of great tips on using coupons [...]

  90. Extreme Couponing ~ What they don’t tell you | Nifty Thrifty Savings on April 15th, 2011 8:11 pm


    [...] is a great article about Extreme Couponing written by Rasha at AFullCup. If you have been watching TLC’s Extreme Couponing series, you will want to read up on What [...]

  91. Do You Use Coupons? Rarely? Regularly? Extremely? | Tim And Angi's Blog on April 16th, 2011 5:04 am


    [...] the rest of the 10 things they don’t show or tell you! then come back and tell me what you think of extreme coupon users? If you enjoyed this [...]

  92. A Week of Stumbles « Joyfully Thriving on April 16th, 2011 6:11 am


    [...] Have you watched the new TLC about Extreme Couponing? I don’t appreciate the way they portray some couponers because I worry that it will give the rest of us a bad reputation. That said, Rasha wrote an interesting article entitled Extreme Couponing: What They Don’t Show or Tell You. [...]

  93. Retail Therapy on April 16th, 2011 6:52 am


    Thanks for sharing! I also reposted – great tips.
    ;)

  94. What They Don’t Tell You on TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” « Clever Housewife on April 16th, 2011 7:48 am


    [...] can read a really nice article about the Behind The Scenes of Extreme Couponing HERE. That gal that wrote it, Rasha, did a great job at trying to fill some of the newer couponers in, [...]

  95. Extreme Couponing: What wasn’t shown! « Jennifer's Deals on April 16th, 2011 12:25 pm


    [...] I found a really interesting article about this lovely little show Extreme Couponing. Like I have stated before, this show is not one of my favorites. This article highlights some really interesting points. Read it here. [...]

  96. Extreme Couponing – What They Don’t Show or Tell You! | Simply Saving Sense on April 18th, 2011 11:58 am


    [...] Below is a post compliments of Rasha at AFullCup.com [...]

  97. janicebru2004 on April 18th, 2011 8:24 pm


    i would just like to know how they are getting toilet paper and paper towels for free, Im trying to figure that one out…..

  98. Extreme Couponing 101: You Won’t Find Many Bloggers Teaching This Course on April 19th, 2011 9:25 am


    [...] A Full Cup: What They Don’t Show Or Tell You [...]

  99. Extreme Couponing | New to Mom on April 19th, 2011 10:08 am


    [...] There also some things that the show does not tell. [...]

  100. What TLC Extreme Couponing Doesn’t Tell You (Linked) on April 19th, 2011 12:55 pm


    [...] thought linking a great article that arrived in my mailbox was another great way to get the word out about “normal” [...]

  101. aunt_B on April 19th, 2011 9:07 pm


    Good post! I just started watching this weeks episode, which is a repeat, and noticed that the first lady was on AFC! I had to rewind and chuckle!

  102. Extreme Couponing-What The Show Doesn’t Tell You | momondealz.com on April 20th, 2011 5:31 am


    [...] Here is the complete article. [...]

  103. Extreme Couponing – Stockpile Expiration Dates - Grocery Coupon Blog on April 20th, 2011 10:52 am


    [...] preparedness for emergencies (such as loss of job, power outage, etc.). But sometimes these stockpiles seem overboard when you realize that these bulk items will likely expire before used. That’s why it’s [...]

  104. Extreme Couponing vs Everyday Couponing on April 20th, 2011 8:06 pm


    [...] I was emailed an article from A Full Cup, a couponing forum that I belong to, that really sums up what I am trying to say and would like to share it with you. Here are the points that Rasha from A Full Cup covers in her article “Extreme Couponing- What … [...]

  105. Laura F on April 20th, 2011 9:17 pm


    This is a great article. I love couponing and saving big, but I don’t think I want to be an “extreme couponer”. I do stock up on things, but only things I know my family can use and not waste.

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