Extremely Unrealistic Expections – Let’s Get Real About Extreme Couponing

Posted 09-26-2011 at 03:13 PM by Rasha

Here we go again. The TLC show Extreme Couponing returns to TV the end of September. While we certainly love shopping with coupons, there’s no doubt this show has caused unrealistic expectations, especially among new couponers.

Let’s Get Real

Couponing WILL save you money. But Extreme Couponing is not the best way to do it. Truth be told spending hours loading up a cart, keeping track of hundreds of coupons, and overwhelming cashiers is likely to just lead to a lot of hassle and ugly looks.

Start Small, Then Keep It Real

If you’re new to couponing, start small with just a few coupons and a few deals so you’re certain to get them right. Then once you get the hang of it, sure get more deals, but let’s keep it real. Who really needs more than 1 grocery cart per shopping trip? (Unless you have 10 kids, then we totally understand.)

Don’t Expect Couponing to Always Mean Free Stuff

Yes, we all like free deals, but you can’t live off of them. All couponers DO pay money for groceries, the TLC show Extreme Couponing just likes to focus on the freebie deals. You can’t expect using coupons to always mean you’ll get things for free. Hello, saving 25% or 50% off is plenty of success!

What You Don’t See on TV

Keep in mind they only show on TV these shopper’s most extreme shopping trips, you don’t see that next week they’re back at the store buying milk, eggs, bread, meat, and produce and spending *gasp* almost full price!

Extreme Couponing is Extreme Work

The people you see on Extreme Couponing spend 30 to 60 hours per week on couponing. Do you have that kind of time to devote to couponing? If you don’t put in the effort you can’t expect the same rewards. It’s called extreme for a reason.

The Point of Couponing – To Cut You Grocery Bill

The truth is anyone can use coupons to reduce their grocery bill. You don’t have to be extreme to save money. So be smart, shop with coupons and seek out the best deals, but keep it real by expecting to save some money, rather than expecting to never pay for groceries again.

Not knowing the rules of couponing and misinterpreting the shopping tactics on Extreme Couponing has caused plenty of problems. No wonder couponers are complaining about the show. When people misuse coupons they affect all couponers. Now, let’s get the facts on the myths new couponers take away from the Extreme Couponing show.

Extreme Couponing Myths & Facts

Myth: I can use multiple coupons for the same item.

Fact: You are allowed to use 1 manufacturer coupon per item. Some stores will allow you to use 1 manufacturer coupon and 1 store coupon per item.

Myth: I can use all the coupons I want.

Fact: Some stores have limits. For example, at Walmart you are only allowed to use 40 coupons per transaction/shopping trip. Using more will require a manager’s approval.

Myth: I can use as many identical coupons as I want.

Fact: So you have a stack of coupons all for the same product, for the same amount off, they’re all the same coupon offer. Be aware that some stores limit how many “like” or “identical” coupons they will accept in one transaction. Also, some coupons now have limits written in their fine print, for example, P&G coupons now say, “Limit of 4 like coupons in same shopping trip.”

Myth: I can print as many coupons as I want.

Fact: When you print internet printable coupons you have to download a little piece of software often called a “Coupon Printer” before you can get the coupon. This software tracks your printing (just your coupon printing, nothing else). Coupons are limited to 2 per computer.

Also, you can NOT make copies of internet printable coupons. Each one has a unique code. If you try to make copies of your coupons you are committing serious coupon fraud and could face legal punishment. Just don’t do it.

Myth: I can use my coupon on anything made by the brand listed.

Fact: Read the wording. If it says the coupon is for ANY product of that brand, then yes, you can use it that way. If it says a particular type or size then you can only use the coupon on those listed items. If it mentions items excluded, then you cannot use it on any of those items.

Myth: All stores work the same.

Fact: ALWAYS learn each store’s coupon policy before beginning to shop with coupons. They do vary and you must stick to the rules if you want to save money with coupons. Check the forum on AFullCup for your store to find coupon policy info.

Photo Credits:
Phil and Pam
Move the Clouds



131 Responses to “Extremely Unrealistic Expections – Let’s Get Real About Extreme Couponing”

  1. gubbymj on September 26th, 2011 4:37 pm

    Walmart DOES NOT limit the amount of coupons per transaction!!!

    There is no limit on the number of coupons per transaction. – this was taken from their coupon policy that you linked to.

    However, if you do use more than 40, you will need manager approval which only requires the manager to enter in their key on the register. Super simple.

  2. Rasha on September 26th, 2011 4:59 pm

    BUT some people have been denied using more than 40 coupons in a transaction due to that stipulation in the coupon policy. It’s up to the manager’s discretion. While it’s true they don’t ALWAYS limit the number, the truth is, they CAN limit it and sometimes do.

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  4. sharaleighv on September 26th, 2011 5:29 pm

    My walmart informed me Friday that they no longer allow overages. According to the corporate site they do. I still had a successful shopping trip.

  5. murrell006 on September 26th, 2011 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the post. I hate the way that show has put us couponers on the radar so to speak. The local Krogers was saying limit of 4 like coupons in a trip so I checked with mgt and it was just the P&G coupons. The cashier had it wrong. Plus our Meijer’s only double 2 like coupons. :(

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  7. detquincy on September 26th, 2011 8:59 pm

    I watched the E.C. show and it does have some good points; like I organize my coupons better with the now called… “the bible”.
    Overall it has taught me to shop smarter, do a check at the store for the week’s sales before I buy, buy on sale (if I use type of item) and quit being brand specific. I’m not the boardline hoarding like the extremers on the show, but I have learned to buy on sale to get me through the next time the item goes on sale (if I use that item a lot).
    I have also learned in my store we get a lot of buy 1 get 1 free, and I can use two coupons for both (paid 1 and free 1). I also have found that my store that I shop frequently at will accept expired coupons for up to 60 days past expiration date on the coupon.
    I also use the coupon clipping websites as well to keep a small collection of extra coupons for items I buy a lot of.
    Since watching E.C. I have cut anywhere from on average 30-50% off my bill each week. Not the pennies the extremes spend for their overall bill, but I got my husband on board and that is a huge accomplishment when he started seeing how much we were saving on our grocery bill.
    One last thing besides groceries I check websites like living social, couptessa, dealfind to get money off at restuarants, outings, and dates with my husband.

  8. dlitefulmom on September 26th, 2011 9:44 pm

    I think extreme couponing has ruined couponing for everyone. I have only been couponing for about 6 months. The only reason I started was to save my family money on our grocery bill. The coupons that are now being issued are not as good as they were 6 months ago. I am still going to be couponing but its just taking a lot more effort to get the best deals. I can’t dedicate the time like some of these people but I am going to keep trying!!!!

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  10. Kathy on September 27th, 2011 1:12 am

    It IS because of these people who do extreme couponing. clearing shelves etc. that make it hard for us who are trying to save a little. 1or 2 items. They have NO respect nor care about the normal consumer!!!

  11. Crystal on September 27th, 2011 2:04 am

    I’m SO glad someone finally wrote about this nonsense! I am a disabled senior citizen on a very small budget so I do use coupons as often as I can BUT there’s no sense in using a 50 cent coupon if the item is STILL going to be $1.00 more than another brand of the same type of item! My advice is USE YOUR BRAIN. Another thing that irritates me is that they talk about all this double- and triple-couponing. I don’t know where THEY live but I live in western Washington and the only place I know of that allows ANY double-couponing is Albertson’s and then it’s a limit of four per week. There is no such thing as triple-couponing around here. And as for using a manufacturer’s coupon AND a store coupon on the same item, around here, that’s a big NO-NO.

    I do believe you can save a few dollars each shopping trip but to get $400 worth for nothing? Who fell off the turnip truck last night? That’s the only person who should believe such nonsense!

  12. Nimadad on September 27th, 2011 8:32 am

    Any walmart I have been to does not limit the amount of coupons, but if you use $50 or more in coupons it does require a managers approval

  13. bren592 on September 27th, 2011 8:53 am

    Thank goodness somebody said this! These extreme couponers are ruining shopping for everyone. They clean all the good deals off the shelves and leave nothing for others. I’ve been using coupons for over 50 years, since I was a little girl to save on the grocery money, and I’m really good at it, but not greedy! I’m pretty much disgusted with what this stupid TV show has caused. There is no reality in reality television, it’s mostly made up as they go along. So, like the article says, “Get real!” You are not going to get rich using coupons, but you can save some money. Just be nice about it, don’t steal newspapers, or hog all the bargains and above all follow the rules.

  14. nancy on September 27th, 2011 9:03 am

    Please don’t clear the shelves! My local store will offer to order products for me by the case if I want a huge quantity of a product. They give me a rain check until it comes in. This keeps some product on the shelves for people looking to buy a ‘normal’ amount of the product. It’s a win win situation. Check with your local store managers.

  15. ShunShyne on September 27th, 2011 9:16 am

    Great article and I do agree about the Extreme Coupon show not showing everything and most stores will only allow you to use so many coupons in one transaction and can you imagine being in a store holding up the line that long. I truly believe they go to the store when it’s not crowded or film it with only a few people in the store to make it look as if they are shopping on a regular day.

    Also I use coupons and have small stock piles of soap, detergent, toothpaste. I do not have a need to stock pile on canned goods because it’s only 2 in my household. But couponing is good and saves you some money.

  16. Leah Rocha on September 27th, 2011 9:19 am

    As this article says these people spend alot of time doing this. I use coupons and love doing it and save around $400-500 a month but I work 50 hours a week and in my busy time of year I work 6 days a week 12-14 hours a day so I don’t have that extra time to do that. I live by the KISS rule and only clip what I am going to use. I started using a binder years ago because I found it so easy for someone who is busy and forgetful all in one shot.

  17. Kimberly on September 27th, 2011 9:28 am

    I use coupons occassionally. I typically save $5 – $15 a week. This is for items we always use and/or an item we want to try. There is no way I’m going to spend 30-40 hours a week to save $200. I would get another job paying that salary instead of spending that many hours obsessing over coupons. I’d rather spend my free time working on the house, spending time with family, and/or enjoying a hobby.

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  19. Hartca04 on September 27th, 2011 9:30 am

    Ok. EC is the worst edited show on TV. Shall I say, OVER edited! Yes, EC has changed the authentic/honorable/respectable couponers life. Yes, very frustrating. However, I am trying to stay positive… I personally know at least 10 people who have attempted to be the next EC star… Let’s just say they no longer clip/use coupons. That said— yay!!!! Stick together my fellow true couponers… It will be okay :)

  20. mzwix on September 27th, 2011 9:34 am

    I realize the show has caused problems with couponing but not every person on the show cleared shelves, etc. Several showed how to get a large amount for a an amazing price. The show has done good in helping people realize you really can save money with coupons. I have used coupons for years but it taught me several things that improved my couponing. And just because shelves are cleared in a store does not mean 1 or 2 couponers did it. In our area couponing has sky rocketed because two of the people on the show were from here so our stores are trying to respond by ordering more stock. Yes, I hate the problems it has caused. I hate having to get up every Sunday morning early to get a good deal because every Sunday is like Black Friday to me but I have embraced it and look at all the good it has done for me and for family members and non-profit organizations I am able to help. Personally I love the show and enjoyed watching every episode and will again this season.

  21. kaycedawn on September 27th, 2011 9:40 am

    I will admit that the show got me serious about saving money but I knew I wasn’t going to get the carts and carts for free! It’s a tv show! There is nothing real about reality tv…it’s called creative editing. I’m thrilled when I can save 50% when I shop. I am fortunate that stores near me double and on occasion triple or do double/double. It is best to start small and learn and it is imperative to learn the store policies. I personally have no issues with stores limiting items. One store I like to shop limits 20 coupons to doubling, and 3 like item coupons per transaction/per day/per household. I think this is fair. That means everyone has a chance to get a good deal. I’m all for coupons or stores to limit the number of items per shopping trip. It might be an inconvenience to have to go back (if I can) to get more of an item if I need it but i think it would cut down on the ridiculous and them maybe the coupons would get better!

  22. mzwix on September 27th, 2011 9:46 am

    I don’t get free every shopping trip but I do average 72% off my grocery bill every month. Yes, it does take time but it is worth it. And I don’t clear shelves to accomplish this and I do get free milk, eggs, meat, etc. Extreme couponing done right is just extreme savings. And the show does teach that too.

  23. Pinkpanther1215 on September 27th, 2011 9:59 am

    Yes, The show is a little unrealistic (who needs 157 bars of butterfinger candy bars and 67 packs of cold cuts that obviously expire after some time) but it did help me learn a few things as well. As others mentioned the organizing “bible” has made my shopping trips so much easier. I also learned some quicker ways to cut coupons too. I do agree that it has seriously affected store policy’s though. I am happy to save money, I don’t need to get everything for free (although i dont complain when i do) I’m perfectly happy not paying full price.

  24. J Fults on September 27th, 2011 10:00 am

    Recently, I picked up couponing again after several years. I will say that there is a very different perception from the public. The cashiers immediately get flustered and people behind me in line start making rude comments.

    I only have about 30 at a time but save 15% of my bill. My last trip to HEB, was very entertaining. The cashier (young girl) couldn’t get the internet coupons (from Coupon .com) to scan properly so she informed me the bookkeeper told them not to take any coupons anymore… An elderly man behind me began verbally threatened me… The manager came over, promptly corrected the cashier, and instructed her to post them manually. He was so embarrassed from the cashier’s behavior that he personally carried out my groceries.

    I just smiled through the whole ordeal but decided I might need to carry a WARNING sign that I am loaded with coupons!!!

  25. Andrea on September 27th, 2011 10:08 am

    Great article! I have been couponing for a year. Many of my friends who are new are devastated when they cannot save more than 20-50% on their bill. I have sent them the link to this article. Smart couponing is so much better than extreme couponing! Thanks, I enjoyed it!

  26. Janet C on September 27th, 2011 10:21 am

    these people pay money for coupons..the latest show said that she bought 200 papers a week…..That doesn’t equate to “free”. Also a store in my state changed their coupon policy for a lady to appear on EC…that gives couponers a bad name and gives people unrealistic expectations.

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  28. akerns88 on September 27th, 2011 10:26 am

    I am new to couponing and i have been clipping and saving all the coupons i can find . I am three weeks into planning and i do not expect to extreme but i am hoping to save close to 50% on my over all total . I am a disabled mother and have 8 mouths to feed on a budget . I do not expect my groceries to be free and i am following “Coupon Etiquette ” . I refuse to be a shelf clearer . And i refuse to buy more than we will use . Unless it is a super deal and the extras that i buy can go to my church’s food pantry , or my local woman’s shelter . I can say that the”Extreme Couponing ” has inspired to coupon . And now that my eyes are open and i understand that i can save SOME money on my grocery bills … i am excited for my first trip this Wednesday . I have already contacted my local Kroger manager as well as the Walgreens manager to make a good re pore with them and to have the explain the policy according to them to ensure i will have no problems checking out tomorrow . Well wish me luck !!

  29. ctsunshine on September 27th, 2011 10:38 am

    Thanks Rasha!

  30. Vegaskitty3 on September 27th, 2011 10:39 am

    Thank you for addressing this show and it’s shortcomings.I work for Cub Foods in Minnesota and we don’t double coupons. Our competitor Rainbow Foods does double coupons on Weds and some Sats but there is a limit of 5 doubled coupons and you must purchase at least $25 worth of groceries in order to use those 5 coupons in the first place. So to show these people getting 50-100 of one item doubled is ridiculous. It’s not realistic, at least here in the Midwest. And don’t get me started on the clearing the shelf issue. I may want to buy only one of those items and YOU got up at 4am so you could clear off the shelf before me?? Nuts!

  31. snoozie on September 27th, 2011 10:41 am

    What I hate about that show is how misleading it is. Sure, their bill at the store is $2.47, but what they don’t calculate is the money that these shoppers are CLEARLY spending on coupon clipping services .10 – .40 per coupon) and newspaper circulars. while 10 cents is still an extreme deal for deodorant, it’s not free if you paid 10 cents for each coupon – it’s .10. In my state, you also pay the tax before those coupons are taken off. Neither are the crazy amounts of square footage they dedicate to storing their personal grocery stores in their homes. For sure they are saving lots of money, but they are not eliminating their grocery bill.

  32. Fari on September 27th, 2011 11:23 am

    Excellent article! Thanks!

  33. Trish on September 27th, 2011 11:28 am

    I agree. I’m saddened by the opinions of couponers that have been sparked by Extreme Couponing. I’m not a TV person and have only seen the show once or twice, but it was enough for me to know that the way these people shop is NOT realistic for most households, unless one person stays at home and treats it like a full-time job.
    To Crystal, I understand your frustrations over the advertising of doubling and tripling coupons and so forth, but why are you so angry over it? I have one store in my area that doubles coupons that are up to a $.75 value I think, but I don’t even shop at that store because of the quality of the food. And are you sure you do not have anywhere nearby that allows you to stack store and mfr. coupons? Nearly all major drug store chains will allow you to do this, such as CVS and Walgreens. Check their corporate policies and print it out to take with you the next time you shop. Often the cashiers aren’t quit sure what to do with stacks of coupons and fear getting in trouble, so they will decline you. ALWAYS ask for a manager if you are certain the corp. policy says you can do something. I have issues sometimes with a particular cashier at one of my Super Wal-marts. And although there are a billion cashiers there, I always seem to get the same one late at night. She HATES dealing with the BOGO free coupons because they have to find the price and then ring it in…so one time she told me that they don’t accept them, even though it was a MFR coupon from the Sunday paper. Being that I had a line, I told her that was NOT true but that I would just take it up with customer service. Went over to C.S. and she was questioning the cashier I had because she said what she had told me was not true and happily refunded my money for the amount that wasn’t discounted. Always be polite to your cashiers, but push the issue when you know something isn’t right…in a loving way of course. :-)

  34. kellynelso on September 27th, 2011 11:43 am

    Well said. The point is made right here in the comments that you should check the store policies at EVERY store you use. And check regulalry to be sure nothing has changed.
    The tv show reminded me of the money I saved when I coupon shopped and brought me ‘back to the fold’. But I am still realistic about the savings. A gret trip for me is 40-50% off an actual trip involving everyday food purchases. It’s enough to afford the little luxuries and to buy the goodies I would otherwise skip.

  35. Beckyy on September 27th, 2011 11:46 am

    This show drives me nuts. As far as shelf clearers go no I dont really like them either. But I can always get rainchecks to lock in the sale price and go back next week and get my item. The ones that really tick me off are the ones that go in the stores and buy the hot toy for Christmas and then put a bunch of them on ebay for exhorbinate prices. Those are the shelf clearers I hate.

  36. grace on September 27th, 2011 11:55 am

    I have found out for groceries that if you shop on Wednesdays at local supermarkets they ususally have the best deals for Wednesdays and Thursdays, then prices go to regular price. I live in So. Cal. so we do not get double (only to $1) or triple coupons. But grocery stores like Superior, Frescos, and Sprouts are a great way to shop for cheap.

  37. Holy Cow on September 27th, 2011 11:57 am

    Each Walmart may be different. Some Walmarts will limit you to 40 coupons and you must end the transaction. Some Walmarts may have a supervisor enter a code to override the 40 coupon amount. Do NOT assume every Walmart’s policy is the same. Ask BEFORE holding up a line and making a scene.
    ALWAYS know that particular store’s policy. Their sister store 3 miles away may be different.

  38. jprints on September 27th, 2011 11:57 am

    wow! Thanks for taking the pressure off! Really :)

  39. CATHY on September 27th, 2011 12:05 pm


  40. kate on September 27th, 2011 12:17 pm

    detquincy – Where do you use coupons that are close to 60 days expiration? Curious. I too use coupons to save money on our grocery bill. I also have a stockpile at certain times of the year.
    It’s time to stockpile non perishable food items, peanut butter, tuna fish, pasta, etc because the food drives will begin in October. The toy drive is right after that and then another food drive to replenish the shelves at the foodbank due to the holidays.

  41. Cheryl on September 27th, 2011 12:18 pm

    I watched a couple of episodes of EC. was throughly disgusted. Most of the people I saw should be on Hoarders. One of the Ladies went crazy on her husband because he wanted to get into her supply and take out a shampoo.

  42. pat on September 27th, 2011 12:32 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I hope alot of people will consider reading and agree that clearing shelves and making the life of a cashier miserable will soon cause store to stop taking coupons. No I am not a cashier nor am I an extreme couponer, but I do save a few dollars a week. Ther must be some people who copy coupons because now if I have 2 of the same from enternet I have to show them that it isn’t copied. Please stop over doing so we all can continue to save a little money. We all know every bit helps nowadays. Have a blessed day :)

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  44. Valerie on September 27th, 2011 12:45 pm

    I agree with all of you about E.C. kind of ruining it for everyone. I have found some really good deals but I would never clear a shelf so someone else couldn’t get the same deal. I am over the show, hadn’t even seen it until after I started couponing, but those people scare me. It’s like any of the other shows where people have an addiction. We will see some of these people on Hoarders in a few years because their stockpiles are going to collapse in on them. That’s what greed gets you.

  45. Kacey on September 27th, 2011 1:07 pm

    One of the biggest issues I run into using coupons is that the cashier does not know their own employer’s coupon policy. I have all of the policies printed in a binder, for easy reference. Sometimes, I get irritated having to argue with a cashier, when I am clearly right! Keep your polocies handy!

  46. Shell on September 27th, 2011 1:40 pm

    Every store/state/area is totally different. Some people are LUCKY enough to have double or even triple coupons. Also, EVERY Walmart will be different due to the area they are in. Some Walmarts may not limit and some may. Yes, their coupon policy says one thing but I have learned from experience it is up to the manager’s interpretation and the same goes for Kroger stores. Also, according to the Coupon Information (a leading nonprofit that works with MANY companies) has stated that those coupon clipping sites/services are technically illegal. Coupons are not to be sold!
    I think the biggest thing is seeing more and more garage sales selling their grocery store conquests. It may not be illegal but it’s irritating that these people will “buy” 30 items and only go and sell it for a profit.
    The show “may” have some good points, however, all of their bad points seem to out weigh the good. TLC is no longer a learning channel but a cesspool of over exaggerations and ignorance.

  47. onaravenswing on September 27th, 2011 1:50 pm

    Ha.. I love to read all the posts. I started couponing about 6 months ago. I do save money and I keep my coupons organized. I don’t clear shelves and my husband and I have alot of fun. I refer to it as “poker”. You have to know when to hold your cards and when to play a good hand. Good luck to all you couponers new and old out there… have some fun.

  48. Margie Maupin on September 27th, 2011 1:51 pm

    I have been couponing for 20+ years and regularly saved 30-50% off my grocery bill when living in Oklahoma where several stores double coupons up to and including the $1.00 ones. Now that I’m in South Texas, there is only 1 grocery store in town (except Walmart) and no more double coupons. The Extreme couponers I see on TV appear GREEDY by storing up products that probably will go bad by the time they use them. Who really can use 50 bottles of ketchup? It must be some sort of game to extreme couponers, and it hurts all of us couponers.

  49. coppytop on September 27th, 2011 2:11 pm

    The E.C. show is exactly what the name implies – EXTREME! I agree, the show offers a few good pointers, but overall is unrealistic and doing more HARM than good by featuring hoarders! As a regular couponer, who wants to save money and get a good deal, it makes me crazy when I go into a store on a Monday (or Tues, or Wed…) and the shelves are empty because of people who think stockpiling (hoarding) is the way to shop. Makes me so mad! I think E.C. should change the premise and name of the show by dropping “Extreme” and changing it to “Realistic” Couponing. Then they should follow REAL families and REAL shopping scenarios, teaching PROPER couponing tips & techniques that abide by PROPER store policy!!! It would be a lot more interesting to watch – thats for sure!

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  51. Cyndic on September 27th, 2011 2:26 pm

    It is no big deal, whatsoever, to get ‘manager’ approval at Walmart. That manager is simply the Customer Service Manager (CSM) that usually has to come and ‘help’ the cashier READ and understand the coupon, instead of just looking at the picture! CSM for overages, too…. something I have had only twice – $.84 and $3.19 Super fun tho!!!

  52. maghinayali07 on September 27th, 2011 2:31 pm


  53. carrie on September 27th, 2011 3:23 pm

    I began couponing just last month…I am having fun with it! I get all the free stuff I can, then donate it!!! It feels wonderful to help my local community.Relax….we Americans are too lazy to stick with a fad like this. Takes too much time. I know a handful of ppl who started this and are already done!

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  57. lasrina on September 27th, 2011 3:55 pm

    Haven’t seen the show BUT our local chain, Lowe’s Foods, was involved in EC here in North Carolina. Lowe’s has since issued a statement that it’s unhappy about having been part of the show and won’t participate again.

    Here’s an article about it:

    There’s a link to Lowe’s statement, on Facebook, in the article.

    I heard that the stores involved even suspended some of their regular coupon policies for the show. So that may explain at least some of the results…

  58. Let's Get Real About Extreme Couponing | Fab in Chicago on September 27th, 2011 4:05 pm

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  59. Connie Herbel on September 27th, 2011 5:39 pm

    I am so glad someone talked about this. I’m surprised that this show will go on because I thought that the early episodes caused the stores to stop it – or at least put a big hardship on it. I don’t see how they are going to be able to do it like they did in the early episodes. I wish they would dedicate the show to being realistic and honest about couponing and not so extreme – but then they would have to change the name.

  60. bobby58 on September 27th, 2011 7:09 pm

    I have just started couponing and I am not a horder. I went into our local giant eagle with 2 smucker coupons. I purchased my groceries along with the correct items on the coupons, the cashier made such a scene over these 2 coupons, I was completely mortified. There was several people behind me as she called a manager2 make sure I could use my coupons. My husband is laid off I am trying 2 do the best I can, I didn’t buy 12 of anything, I am totally humiliated and don’t think I will go there again. They don’t want couponers in their store. This experience wasn’t worth the 1.50.

  61. Kris on September 27th, 2011 7:13 pm

    I love the show just for the fun of seeing what people can accomplish. I started couponing because of it and now spend the same amount at the store but get so much more for my money (small stockpile started for beauty supplies and household cleaners). I am realistic though and realized that the show made it seem way to “extreme.” Thanks for the information you posted.

  62. Jenn on September 27th, 2011 9:00 pm

    I watched the entire first season of Extreme Couponing, and I strongly feel several things:

    1. These people need to prioritize better. Sure, you’re saving hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year, but at what cost? Free time? Time spent with your significant other? Your children?

    2. Many of the practices shown are questionable, if not downright prohibited in many stores, including some of the stores shown in the shows

    3. Extreme couponers are ruining it for everyone. Thanks to them using loopholes and often outright abusing coupons, many stores are cracking down on coupon policies (some are even banning internet coupons altogether; a perfect example of this is a local grocery store that used to accept them), which hurts all of us.

  63. Liz on September 27th, 2011 9:00 pm

    I don’t like EC. They even explain that they like clearing the shelves. So unfortunate that they can be so greedy. I find it very difficult to even take 6 of the same item.

  64. wilmama4 on September 27th, 2011 9:15 pm

    I am trying to be a consistant couponer. I can’t say that I’ve acheived that all the time, but that’s my goal. I try to stock up on about 2 items a week, and use other coupons to save overall. I try to make it a goal to save 40%-50% on my groceries. I never got them for free…well, I did get a bunch of spices free, and some sodas…but usually I just saved a ton. So that has been my goal. I bought 20 bottles of laundry soap for $1.35 each. That held us over for the summer and I have a couple bottles left…bought a bunch of kitty litter for $.60 a bag…that sort of thing. I don’t have any plan on spending 60 hours a week on couponing…it would drive me mentally insane, not that that is much of a stretch. I don’t have a problem with anyone doing it tho. It does feel like such a win when you can get something very cheap or even free.

  65. Merrell on September 27th, 2011 10:11 pm

    Yes, that show has totally affected some people in the way that they shop. I go to Walgreen and use my coupons and I try to be considerate of other and limit the number of deals I try to get. This makes it extreamly hard on other couponers when there is nothing left at 9 am when all the deals are swipped from the shelf by greedy couponers! I notice I run into at least other couponers each Sunday. That is weird to me. like it is way more common to see that I guess with the economy the way it isand all. all I ask is have a little heart and limit yourself instead of raking the whole shelf! Thank you!

  66. Merrell on September 27th, 2011 10:12 pm

    At least 4-5 other couponers….sorry typo.

  67. searcher on September 27th, 2011 10:40 pm

    I can definitely see the difference in coupon values since this show began airing.

  68. michelle on September 27th, 2011 10:44 pm

    I went to a FREE class by one of the women who was on Extreme Couponing and it was wonderful! The information she shared was valuable, concise, and real. She has a website/blog that I subscribe to that gives me the best deals for the local ads and Sunday coupons (and online things, too.) My daughter and I saved a ton this summer by couponing the way we were shown – and we are not hoarders,just frugal.

  69. Anessa on September 27th, 2011 10:58 pm

    Nicely written! I’ve been couponing since I was 10 (thanks to my mom teaching me how it works) and I have noticed a big change in coupon policies. Plus I noticed companies are changing their coupons and putting limits on them. I wish the show would show how it truly works. I know on this new season one of our local grocery stores didn’t uphold the coupon policy so one the shoppers could look really good on the show. I wish they would show how it really works. How the rest of us have to do it. The limits, the doubling, everything!

  70. Annie on September 27th, 2011 11:25 pm

    I have a feeling the new extreme couponing shows, ideas, ect., will pretty much disappear after a while. Sure things will be more competitive for a little bit, but in the end I think this will just pass off as a fad (for the people new to couponing). I predict only about 5 – 10 percent of the new couponers will stick with it, but many will forget or give up on it, just for the fact it is pretty time consuming, and the economy isn’t that great right now. I have faith that the old school “unextreme” couponers who have done couponing most of their lives will have things pretty much the way they have been in the past. That’s my opinion anyway. I do want to thank the “reasonable” couponers for their knowledge in the art of couponing.

  71. elaina on September 27th, 2011 11:44 pm

    thanks for the post…can’t stand the show…it ruined everything!

  72. scottd09 on September 28th, 2011 12:06 am

    As far as I know, Walmart doesn’t limit to 40 coupons. It will just require a CSM to come over and verify you aren’t breaking the “rules”.

    I’ve needed a CSM nearly every time I use a coupon regardless of how many I use anyways!

  73. jane on September 28th, 2011 12:07 am

    Just a comment to Crystals post. Albies will let you use 3 doublers per transaction and they prefer you only do three transactions. However, if you shop early in the morning when most people are sleeping, they really don’t care. And as for using store coupons and manufactures coupons together, they certainly DO allow that at every store that I’ve ever shopped at in Western WA. I have a large family on a fixed income and I am able to coupon almost all of our groceries and some paper products for about a 90 percent savings, so it IS very possible to do. The Turnip Truck comment? It takes a bit of planning and being organized but is most definately realistic . Sorry it’s not going as well for you. They do have couponing parties and classes you can attend. HAPPY COUPONING!!!!!!!!

  74. Let’s Get Real About Extreme Couponing | CHI Nano Ceramic Digital Flat Iron on September 28th, 2011 12:40 am

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  75. Carol on September 28th, 2011 7:17 am

    Thanks for the great article. My Publix has now placed ALL free coupon books behind the customer service counter to keep people from stealing every single one of them and leaving none for the rest of us. It is a hassle to stop and get them then check it all out at the beginning of a shopping trip but I appreciated being able to even get one! It’s too bad it has to be like this though.

  76. rebeltreble on September 28th, 2011 8:10 am

    I never really ran into the situation of extreme couponing before last week. I don’t coupon as much as I could, but I like to use them here and there for brand names products I like to get. I had some manufacturer coupons for the pantyliners I use and the store was having a sale so I could pick up two packs for nothing. Pretty good deal so I headed out only to find they had been completely wiped out. I went to another store and the same thing happened. At the third location I saw a woman with a cartload full of them and asked if I could have one or two boxes. She got really angry at me and told me to get up earlier next time. The store employee that overheard told me she was an extreme couponer that cleans out all their locations when deals like this happen. In the parking lot I walked by her truck which was full of about forty bags of pantyliners. I thought about taking two boxes since I know she didn’t pay anything for them, but I guess I’m too honest. It sure did make me angry at extreme couponers though, but now looking back I think it is funny she was so obsessed about pantyliners!

  77. Extreme Couponing: Still Trying To Figure It Out? – 6 Months Later…. on September 28th, 2011 8:41 am

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  78. JC on September 28th, 2011 9:16 am

    What I find funny is this. The Show could not be made had the stores these people are shopping at NOT agreed to lift restrictions and allow them to use coupons on items they weren’t actually buying. http://www.jillcataldo.com/extremecouponingreality (this article is very EYE OPENING)
    So since the stores agreed to let this be done, they, to me, encouraged this insanity for the sake of publicity for their store. And now they want to enforce policies after creating this monster!
    While I am NOT an extreme couponer, and the show actually sickens me, I think the stores brought this upon themselves.

  79. 29yearsofsaving on September 28th, 2011 9:46 am

    Why do the grocery stores violate their own coupon policies in allowing these “extreme couponers” to be filmed in their stores?

    Is it worth the negative word of mouth that their regular customers go to with their friends and family? Is that few minutes of air time worth it?

    Lowe’s Foods is the latest example. They admit they tossed out their own policy on coupon use to be filmed for the episode that will air this season.

    As a result, as a regular customer and an ethical coupon user who follows store policy, I quit shopping there.

    What these stores do is discriminate against their regular customers and we get the backlash from customers, cashiers, managers of these stores who look at ALL coupon users as “those people!”.

    Face it, you’ve seen the looks, you’ve been treated like you were trying to steal something or intentionally hold up a checkout while you used coupons.

    I’m not going to contribute a thin dime to any store who feels they can participate on that miserable excuse of a show and then be treated like I’m trying to pull a fast one by using coupons. I’m not going to contribute to their revenue stream when they intentionally discriminate just to get their few minutes of “fame”. There is NO other reason for their allowing filming to take place in their stores!

    If the stores would hold true to their policies, there would be NO TV SHOW TO FILM!

    This show does NOTHING to teach good couponing skills, or ethical and honest couponing at all. And yet, the stores support this show by participating.

    I’ve heard the horror stories from cashiers who have seen this new breed of couponers spawned from watching this miserable train wreck of a show, the arrogance and ignorance is unreal! They don’t learn the stores policies, they assume they can do as they please and worse, argue with the cashiers and managers.

    Now, I’ve eliminated Lowe’s Food from my list of stores I will shop in and for good reason, I don’t appreciate being treated like a chump who is expected to follow policy while they can get their few minutes of face time on TV and knowingly ignore their own policy. That’s not integrity, and they’ve lost me as a customer.

  80. Extreme Couponing | Black Hills Bargain Hunters on September 28th, 2011 9:52 am

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  81. Tory West on September 28th, 2011 10:05 am

    Figure this one out:
    “I saved so much money, I went broke!”
    Moderation is essential in everything.
    Don’t get trapped into “saving” money until you’re in big trouble.

  82. froggymama on September 28th, 2011 10:34 am

    This show has affected things in my area, now at Walgreens they keep the Sunday paper behind the counters and they limit one paper per person. They have also put limits on the great deals to one per person per day. I normally don’t do more than one per day anyway, but this show has made it hard for me to get these deals. You have to go early on Sunday or you are out of luck.

  83. Rasha on September 28th, 2011 10:38 am

    @Walmart Coupon Limits: You all are missing the point. I used Walmart’s coupon policy’s limit on coupons as an EXAMPLE of how stores can limit how many coupons you can use. MANY stores limit coupons, but since they vary so much by region it’s hard to use that as an example. Whereas a nationally published coupon policy for a major store, now that’s an example that can be cited, regardless of how store by store MAY vary, the coupon policy does state they CAN limit coupons.

  84. ddcornelison on September 28th, 2011 11:22 am

    I agree with Jenn. These people should spend more time with their families. I know in today’s world it isn’t always realistic but I live with a 5 year old and haven’t watched a tv program in over a year. Our tv is used only for her videos. I read to her and we spend time together. I like to coupon and have had to print out store policy because one of our local stores say they no longer take internet coupons. The barcodes were legible. The watermark was there and I hadn’t even printed 2 of them. I had one each of what I needed. Had to call over a manager and show them the corporate policy and they let me use them. Aggravating. I live in the TX panhandle and we don’t have a lot of extremers here, Thank heaven. Best wishes to all couponers. Save money but spend some quality time with your kids and turn off a show that isn’t real.

  85. jennifer brown on September 28th, 2011 12:25 pm

    I just want to say that while I am not a shelf clearer, whenever I do shop I usually do Have to have 2 BUGGIES. One for groceries adn 1 for my kids. hehe. They are 1 and 2, and just dont have enough roo for groceries if I only use one buggie.

    Thought yall coul

  86. jjerseygirl on September 28th, 2011 1:24 pm

    This show has caused a backlash among supermarkets and big box stores. I am not noticing limitations on coupon use in Virginia that I never saw before this show aired. The people featured may make excuses that they’re sharing with charities but what they’re doing is HOARDING. Perhaps they should next appear on HOARDING: BURIED ALIVE!!! That’s where they really belong. They’re ruining it for the rest of us.

  87. Rachael Simmons on September 28th, 2011 1:35 pm

    I want to thank you for reading/posting this article. As a “reasonably” couponer, I get irritated by the extreme couponing show. I go to the grocery appropriately 1 time per week. I save appropriately 35-40 dollars each time. This is nice, plus, I sometimes am able to buy “treats” for my family. I respect the coupon policies of the stores I shop at. The most identical items I will buy in one trip is 3. That is plenty for my family of 4. That is what I want to see on the EC show…normal people, buying normal things–things you can use to make dinner with–and saving money. Not someone buying 100 sticks of deordoant or clearing shelves out of greed.
    And their antics make it harder on us who use coupons reasonably and responsibility.

  88. shaun on September 28th, 2011 2:11 pm

    This show got me into couponing. I both love the show and hate it. “Look at all the diapers we have! Guess which one of us has a baby?” (neither). Or the lady that claimed she was shopping for some needy people. At the end all the “stuff” was stacked on her table with her saying “If I can do it anyone can do it”.

    I noticed the quality of coupons dropping here past few months that I haven’t even opened last months sunday papers. Can never get anything good at walgreens because all their good stuff is either a lie or bought right away. And I noticed (don’t know if they’ve always done it) but now they are listing prices with “.50 coupon found in most papers”. Not reading the fine print in their isles I don’t have that coupon. I’m not getting a deal.

  89. Rafi on September 28th, 2011 2:13 pm

    I moved from Europe to the USA just recently together with my husband, retired from the US Army. In Europe there doesn’t exist couponing like here so I was not familiar with it but found that grocery shopping is quite expensive in the US (especially for non-processed food). After understanding the couponing better, I now know why it is like that. And yes, I saw the show Extreme couponing and was quite shocked that it is possible to do that and I felt like an idiot because it was clear to me that the reason for the itmes being so expensive is that people, who do not spend the time for collecting coupons are paying the additional price for the difference that stores and manufactorers are losing with couponers. So to not be the “idiot” I will have to learn the rules of the game which will take away some of my quality time. Comparing it to Europe, and please do not understand it as a critisizm, just a try to start thinking about the background of all this and how you profit or loose as an end-user, I would like to give my personal opinion here. I believe that only the store and the manufactorer are making the profit. Instead of offering a constantly “normal” low price they offer coupons and people will try to get the same item to stock up, so they will sell much more products than it would happen without coupons. And believe me, they still earn huge profits with that. Also, there must be a huge handling process behind the coupons, that does cost extra money and the end-user again will pay for that while purchasing the item. It is all calculated into the price. And there are the extreme couponers who empty shelves and block the cashiers – even more loss and somebody will have to pay to catch up the loss – and it will not be the manufactorer or the store. So coupons sound great for saving money, but paying the price to have this system might not be so funny. I would like to compare it with ALDI, it is a German store and it expanded in the USA but unfortunately not in the Western area. The German Aldi is even better than the US Aldi. They have high quality groceries for a constantly low price (brand items with own labels). I always did 90% of my grocery shopping there. Never had to have doubts about that I could have gotten it somewhere cheaper or better. I spent a little time on grocery shopping and never had to look out for coupons or go to different stores. And they had even greater weekly offers – without coupons. I was happy with this. Aldi is able to offer the items at a low price because they have a low handling cost. There would be a need for a big change of thinking within the whole nation to get there. Who wants to store 5 packs of toilet paper, soaps, deodorants etc. constantly in the house (well, guess who is happy about that and got your money already). Wouldn’t it be nice to get it when you need it for the low price – and maybe products would not be wasted for nothing only because there is enough in the storage left? Wouldn’t it be nice having always fresh stuff in the house and not to occupy the shelves in your own garage with all these items? Honestly, I cannot afford it to not look for coupons and pay those “regular” crazy prices. So I will have to sacrifice my free time and join the coupon game to get just normal prices. One person alone cannot change too much, but if people would start thinking differently more and more, the stores would have to adjust their selling politics. I still believe that it could be possible one day. Do you?

  90. oldsgt24 on September 28th, 2011 3:16 pm

    I have been a couponer for the past 26 years. I have seen couponers come and go. I have shopped from kansas to md, georgia,texas, Lousianna and many states between policies change and then change back. The one thing that still gets my gruff up is the people who try to cheat the stores. This is what TLC will bring out. These are the ones who put extra coupons in the stack to turn in and steal coupons and papers. This is the bad side that TLC brings out. These people have found a new way to steal. They were there when I first started and now they will come out again. There is always someone who steals, but when they find a new way like couponing it affect everyone. These are the ones who were forging coupons before and now will be out in full force. Thanks TLC, I don’t want to blame you for the problem, but your show will give them thier five minutes of fame when they try to cheat the stores. It seems some people just want to be noticed at any cost. Good luck to the many couponers that i have met they have been honestand try to support thier families. Those are the ones TLC doesn’t see. They are not hoarders. Just people who are making ends meet with thier knowledge.

  91. Ben on September 28th, 2011 3:31 pm

    I think it’s crazy when people try to subvert the rules. I find that my biggest rush comes when I find a good honest deal. It’s like treasure hunting. But when you start trying to get around the rules, it’s more like stealing and that isn’t any fun. Some of these extreme couponers are more like con artists than couponers.

  92. brambos on September 28th, 2011 3:44 pm

    When this show first aired, my Kroger and WalMart refused to allow computer printed coupons at all. Saying they were forged. Their reason? THIS SHOW. I would rather be off the grid and just coupon to save money. I am not trying to draw attention to myself, only save a little money on things my family needs.

    Businesses are cut-throat to stay afloat.

  93. Anne on September 28th, 2011 3:49 pm

    I have to say Extreme couponing has caused alot of bad things to happen. First in my small town, the main grocery store ( what use to be a Super S, now a lowes) use to double up to a doller coupon, now its only up to 50 cents. That was a major blow to any body who uses coupons in my town. I use to be able to get cat litter for 47 cents, now I have to pay almost full price. The bad part is the only other store that we have that has grocerys is a family doller and you can only do so much there. And both stores arent coupon friendly. The other thing in my town is the fact that our town recycle bin gets picked threw. On any day of the week you can see people hanging off the side, trying to find coupons. Its says on the side not to do this but since the show, people want those coupons. But we usually shop at the next town over, and thats where we get the snotty comments and rude looks. We have had to get manager approvel at wal-mart and HEB (both where big shopping trips) and they werent rude but the pople around us where. Then theres cashiers and baggers who make comments, that go back to them thinking all of us are extreme. I guess my point is the show put a stigma on all of us because we use coupons, there needs to be somebody showing that all couponers are not extreme.

  94. SkillciaX on September 28th, 2011 5:13 pm

    I say who cares.. I don’t shop at places like Walmart because they are full of cheap crap… Go buy some natural organic products and save money on your health insurance because you’ll be buying better products for you and the environment. I’d rather be healthier than watch people on this show “get out free” or 75% buying a bunch of carbonated pop and other junk that these people are clearing shelves over saving some money on products they don’t need…

  95. Pennys2 on September 28th, 2011 5:15 pm

    The one thing they don’t tell you is how much they pay for the coupons they may order extra or from coupon sites. In my area they dont allow overage, they take off exactly what the product costs.

  96. Christina on September 28th, 2011 6:24 pm

    I’m sorry but I don’t get WHY you would whine and complain about the shelf cleaners… IMPO it HELPS the rest of us because when that shelf is BARE we can get a RAIN CHECK or several SMALL rain checks (which is what our household personally does) and this allows us to save the SAME amount of money but stretched out over a MUCH longer time period!!! It’s all in the POV people!!!

  97. Christina on September 28th, 2011 6:34 pm

    To shaun ~ Walgreens almost ALWAYS has their paper just inside the door when you get in… all you have to do is grab one on your way in and browse the paper… or even visit their website to be able to know what is with the in paper coupons and what is not… it is also a great way to take the time to see if you have a manufactures coupon that can be paired with the store coupon… for instance a couple weeks ago I got my boys some of the Brach’s Fall candy to include a couple pieces in their lunch each day for JUST $0.28 per bag because I used their store coupon to make it $0.79 AND had a couple $1 off of 2 packages coupon… Now my kiddos have a treat for desert each day for a few weeks :)

  98. Kelly on September 28th, 2011 7:15 pm

    It is nice when one can use coupons that one finds in the local store for items on sale but when people do clear the shelves before the rest of us have a chance to get the few that we want is preposterous. Now maybe some of these people will slow down and pay attention to the fact that other people are wanting the same as them so DON’T BE SO GREEDY!

  99. Patricia on September 28th, 2011 7:37 pm

    I want to thank you personally for bringing this issue to the public concerning Extreme Couponing. I am a cashier and also love couponing the right way. What I see along with my co-workers is the overwhelming abuse in the way coupons are being used. It is very sickening to say the least. People are literally trying to get something for nothing. They are hoarding, leaving others who are trying to save in honest way, empty. I cringe and get a knot in my stomach everytime I see someone who has coupons which is not fair to those who are using coupons in the correct manner. They treat us like dirt when we refuse to honor their coupons. This is not just coupon fraud; it is STEALING. This doesn’t help our economy. If this doesn’t stop, the people who are abusing coupons is going to ruin it for the rest of us who are using them in a correct manner. It could come down to that coupons would no longer be accessible from the internet. In fact, I speak for cashiers at my store, we would not be disappointed if coupons were no longer accessible on the internet and that the coupons would be more specific and limited in their quantity. Some of you might judge me on this but unless you have work in the last 2 yrs as a cashier, you have no idea what we have to put up with. Just one bad couponer can ruin your whole day.

  100. Merrell on September 28th, 2011 7:48 pm

    Wow Christina! You are just the reason for most of these comments on this page regarding the TLC EC. I have three kids and don’t always have the time to run back to the stores. Try to go twice a month for what we need. When I do have a sitter to watch my kids I try to go early and get back asap because I like to spend time with my family not spending my time CLEARING every store in sight! I have always limited my deals and allow myself 1-3 on each item depending on how many are left in the store. Being curtious to other couponers. I save alot of money for my family without the greed involved. So you inticing these people to go ahead and CLEAR so you can have your rain check is pure ignorance on your part.

  101. Carl on September 28th, 2011 7:58 pm

    I agree with the above comment about coupons not being as great as they were 6 months ago. Seems like the products & brands I prefer are issuing fewer of them. But I’ve never believed these stores of saving hundreds of dollars in a trip… not in my neck of the woods, anyway.

  102. TLC: Extreme Couponing To Air Tonight! | Tricias Frugal Finds on September 28th, 2011 8:21 pm

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  103. CrazyCoupons on September 28th, 2011 10:52 pm

    For the very first comment about Walmart does not limit their coupons. Well here’s where it gets interesting! OURS does, they limit them to 20. What’s MORE interesting is I just found out ours is DOUBLING them but you HAVE to ask them to, up to 60cents and it cannot say DND. So Walmart is not exactly living up to their corporate policy. What a shock! Now, ours is doubling only because I’ve heard they are competing w/Harris Teeter so who knows but i do not they are doing it because I tried it. They even tripled them one day last week so yes there was a mad dash for some of us to get some of the goods. But again, they only did it because they were competing against another store..i find this really amusing since they talk about having the lowest prices around yet they must be losing business or I really doubt they would bother. Our store cashiers are rude, they don’t care, when they see you pulling out your coupons you can feel the eyes boring into the back of your skull as you’re unloading your cart. Ugh. Ah well, I’m saving while i can!

  104. dogloverdebdogloverdeb on September 29th, 2011 12:38 am

    Since the show started, the manufacturers coupons are getting worse. Where u only had to buy 1 or 2 of an item, now u have to buy 2 or 3. If u live in NJ, most stores only allow u 4 of the same coupon which they double. They only double up to 99 cents. And Walmart is the worst – they only double 2 of an item. And we do not have super Walmarts here. I think the show is put on. How can a store double more than the item is worth. A manufacturer will not give back the money for this.

  105. conniel18848 on September 29th, 2011 12:56 am

    I really have good stores in my little hick town. I can use as many qs as i want adhereing to thier policies.
    And all i shop allow stacking, my grocery store will always manually put qs through if they dont scan of course as the manager explains to the checkers. Our registers arent updated to handle the new bar codes lol.
    90% of the time i need a managers overide from useing lots of qs no problem they all know me by name and many times will open a register to check me out so i dont hold up other shoppers. Although i try to be polite and let others ahead of me but almost always in the middle of my order more get in my lane. I always appologize for holding them up usually they are facinated with how much i saved. Im not trying to be extreme its a hobby and shopping is my stress release and i lead a very stressfull life.
    I treat it as a game the store is my aponant and if i save more than 50% i won.

    I do have a large stockpile because my kids shop at moms mostly and we have elderly parents who cant shop anymore. If i cant shop for them someone just takes from my stockpile to them like last may i fractured 4 ribs and couldnt move my husband just took thier groceries to them. 5 weeks ago my FIL died the day of his funeral my husband had a heart attack, next week we had a major flood and my BIL was hospitalized the next week mom had a stroke needed me, this week my husband is haveing another catheterization to repair another artery. No time to shop much so just grab the perishables for them. Here you can clear a shelf if you’re q is $1.00 off 2 so EC is a laugh in my town i use alot of qs but for different items.
    They need to show shopping in a very small town to see how well the extreme couponers can do instead of the set up shows in large cities. Here most stores only get shipment by weekly so shelves are empty alot. And during the

  106. dottie on September 29th, 2011 4:45 am

    Even if the show is entertaining, as a couponer, it gives us a bad rep!

  107. carol nelson on September 29th, 2011 5:32 am

    I hear a lot of negatives about the Extreme Couponing Show, but here in my little town we have experienced a positive effect. Our stores are actually planning ahead and ordering MORE inventory on their Ad items. If your stores are being “wiped out” of their ad items,don’t blame the customers. Maybe it’s time to educate the managers. Couponing is here to stay, they should be prepared for it. You can spend the same amount of time asking for a Rain Check as you can whining about the item being out of stock because someone else got there first.

  108. Lauren on September 29th, 2011 8:22 am

    I just LOVE it when I go to the store on a sunday to get a paper and ALL the coupons are stolen out of the papers. I went to complain to the store manager and I get, “Yea, we know people do it, we find the papers all over the store!” Are you kidding me. I have seen a guy walk back up to the paper rack and put 5 Sunday papers back and have the coupons in his cart. THIS IS BS.
    I now live in Orlando and they have started to paper band each sunday paper, harder to get the coupons out for the thief’s. In the state of FL it is against the law to even double a coupon. I wont buy ones that are for sale on Ebay, and I love it when I hear that they have “friends” in the news paper business that get crates of coupons for them. As for the rain checks, big whoopie..you wont get the coupon to go with that rain check and it does not help out the everyday shopper. Yes I think the show has ruined just everyday couponers. “stop whining?” Pardon, us, we are not whining and you are clearly one of the ones in which we speak of that dont care about what is left for other shoppers. I am not out to hoard/stockpile as if there is a war about to break out, just put food on the table and save some money.Oh and all those expired coupons I dont use, I send over seas for our troops, they can use them 6 months after expiration dates.


  109. karatemom2 on September 29th, 2011 10:29 am

    I have to agree with the comments that EC is “extremely” unrealistic. I have a family to feed and I can’t do it with free candy bars, Powerade, and Chex Mix (although my kids would probably prefer I did feed them this, lol). I love a good deal too, but I need it on products my family will actually use. The shoppers featured on this show never buy “real” food.
    Now on the positive side of EC, I do like how some of the shoppers donate a lot of their freebies to local charities.

  110. Coupon Savvy Dad on September 29th, 2011 12:41 pm

    I agree with the majority the show has caused our grocery stores to drastically change their ads. Before the show you would not see an ad item have a limit so extreme that you can only by one or 2 of the products per customer.

  111. Laina on September 29th, 2011 3:30 pm

    I find it disgusting how this show is publicizing fraud!! I suggest, reading this article… and you will realize that a majority of the people on the show are also committing fraud and “bending rules” to achieve their deals…

  112. mohawkclairol on September 29th, 2011 4:33 pm

    While I appreciated that a couple of the Extreme Couponers actually donated a few items to local food pantries, the overall theme bothered me. I work with an organization Coupons For The Community. We are a group of women & men who meet weekly, dole out coups that match that week’s sales then shop for Pantries & Soup Kitchens. We rely on monetary donations & coupon donations. We’ve been together 2 yrs & have donated over $200,000 worth of food, non-perishables, & the BEST- items that are not covered by food stamps: fem hygiene, toothpaste/brushes,cleaners etc. We love coupons but PLEASE~ if you’re not going to use items consider donating! Find us on facebook & http://www.couponsforthecommunity.org

  113. Deb S on September 29th, 2011 5:17 pm

    I am so glad to see the article on extreme couponing. I know that the show has made it harder on couponers every where. I saw the trailer for the show last night; it featured a woman saying, “Yes, I’m a shelf clearer. Too bad. You should have got here before me.” Extreme Selfishness would be a better title for the show. IMHO

  114. Shawna Knight on September 30th, 2011 1:31 am

    I have yet to actually watch a full episode – the commercials and reviews turn me off with this show.

    However my sister in law does and she actually made me feel like a failure because I paid about 80 dollars on an over 200 dollar transaction. Started telling me what I did wrong. I personally thought I did stellar on that trip considering it was almost two cart loads and had meat as well as milk and eggs (no coupons for those) and had the kids and my husband (who kept throwing extra stuff in the cart)

  115. mailemaikai on September 30th, 2011 7:03 am

    I agree completely.

  116. jeremy on September 30th, 2011 9:40 am

    I started couponing 6 months ago. I buy 8 papers every Sunday and clip coupons I need and put them in my binder the rest I donate. I built up a small stockpile in my pantry peanut butter soup granola cereal dish and laundry detergent. My partner experienced a slow down at work and we basically lost half our income. If I hadn’t had my stockpile we wouldve had a problem. The show is extreme but it helped me save and helped me through a difficult time. I live in Orlando and I save 50-70 percent on my shopping trips I spend maybe 2 hours a week couponing. I use coupon web sites like this to match up the deals with the coupons and shop on Thursdays the day the sales start at Publix. I will continue to coupon and will not feel bad about it. Best of luck to everyone.

  117. Tom on September 30th, 2011 9:44 am

    I agree with everything in the article except for one thing, the part about printable coupons. I took the time to actually read the privacy policy that rides along with the coupon printer software. Not the large print claim that all it does is prevent coupon fraud, the fine print policy you need to click a few links to get to see. That was an eye opener. You agree to allow the company to track EVERYTHING you do on your computer, web surfing, email, purchases, bill payments and more. I’ll pass on the “free coupons”.

  118. Brandy P. on September 30th, 2011 1:17 pm

    I would totally have to agree that many people get unrealistic expectations of this show. However, I have found that it has helped me learn how to save money. But I do it without going crazy. The only time I have ever been known to go “extreme” is when I find something for free, and then I will get as many as I have coupons for and usually the most coupons I have of the same thing is 4-5, and then I’ll call my friends and let them know of the deal too. But anything else I just get what I know I will use and even if I only save $10 I’m still happy knowing I saved something… today I saved 65.50 at the Commissary on post and paid $155 after savings and getting $5 cash back. This was a savings of 35%. Yes I saved a good amount of money and yes I did get a couple of unexpected free items, but by no means did I go crazy with items or get upset that I didn’t save 90% on my grocery bill, because that’s just unrealistic.

  119. Crystal on September 30th, 2011 1:59 pm

    Not only does the show make it difficult for “average” couponers, there are expiration dates on toothpaste and deodorant.
    It’s just hoarding.

  120. Geanie Schmidt on October 1st, 2011 12:49 pm

    I have a question Arnolds has a healthfull coupon for .55 off any one. Publix runs a BOGO often. The coupons says limit one coupon per item. Couopo not to be combined with any other offers or coupons. does that mean I can’t use it on the bogo at all or can I use 2 coupons one for the free and one for the bought??

  121. Breeze on October 1st, 2011 1:03 pm

    I am surprised that they do not bring up the cost of the coupons that some of these people buy. I have noticed some say, oh I purchased $100 worth of coupons…. So they should tack that cost onto their ‘final’ report. They did not pay just $135 for all those groceries, they paid that plus the cost of the hundreds of coupons or newspapers they purchased.

  122. Acorns-2-Oaks on October 1st, 2011 3:53 pm

    I’ve noticed that the show gave me a bad attitude and unrealistic expectations. I didn’t feel good enough if I “only” saved 70-80%. I must have been doing something wrong. I got angry when I couldn’t use overages, ( not at the stores, just with myself.) Wow, free is free, why did I feel I needed more. I found AFC soon thereafter and learned what Intelligent Couponing is. Thank you for this wonderful article.

  123. Diane on October 1st, 2011 3:55 pm

    I LOVE to coupon but I HATE it when I go to my local Wal-Greens on Sunday morning to get a few good advertised deals- like free razors etc and cannot get ONE because some extreme couponer has 15 of them in their cart!

  124. QponingDiva on October 1st, 2011 4:00 pm

    To comment on one of Crystals post, my local Target, Walgreens, CVS, RITE AID, an a few other stores let you use a store coupon plus a manufactures coupon together here in my town. But I have found if the cashier is Not familiar with their stores coupon policy its easy for them your say No rather than to take the time to find out. That’s why I always print out whatever store where I shop coupon policy and take it with me just incase.

  125. abentley55 on October 1st, 2011 6:00 pm

    it’s really sad when you see these people bragging about getting 100 bottles of salad dressing for free, when you hear how badly food pantries need food.

  126. TinaC on October 1st, 2011 8:14 pm

    Who cares if someone else wants to get 30 bottles of ketchup? Let them, it’s the store’s job to monitor their policies and they will stop them if something is off. Maybe they are using their time to get free stuff to donate to food panties, maybe they are poor and making tomato soup or their family out of it, bathing in it, whatever. It’s none of our business. People are too worried about what others are doing and that they are “ruining” things for them. It’s petty jealousy that someone else may be getting a “deal” they aren’t, pure and simple.

  127. sakitan on October 1st, 2011 10:25 pm

    I don’t have cable so I have never seen the show. But people who know I coupon think I live like this – with mountains of Old Spice and Dove soap. No, I don’t, and I am angered you think that.

    And then they want my help to live cheaper and don’t take it *-*

    Anger inducing …

  128. lm611 on October 1st, 2011 11:21 pm

    I think that we are forgetful of the simple fact that coupons are absolutely vital to the growth of any Company product. They need couponers to exist. They aren’t losing money at all by coupon use, and financially the companies like P&G and all others already write the use into their pricing. The coupons are part of their millions of dollars they set aside for “marketing” and people- its working. So if they are now making that 1$ coupon a 50 cent coupon, its because the company is testing to see how many buyers will buy at that discount now. Please remember the company isn’t losing money if you use 4 or 40 of their coupons. And the stores ALL make money accepting and mailing in the coupons, so if they put restrictions on the use, its because they aren’t organized enough and don’t have the man power to sort and mail the coupons. So they put limits. I dont like the guilt put on the American coupon user. Its not fair to do that to the average american consumer.

  129. kimberly on October 2nd, 2011 12:12 am

    I started couponing about 6 mths ago. I’m a single mom of five and also shop for four other families. We typically save about 60% of our bill. I don’t hoard or clear shelves…I personally like EC and from a different perspective…I think the manufacturers paid for this show. Coupons aren’t going away. Their use is up 30%, which means people are buying brands and things they wouldn’t normally buy because they see the savings…this really helps the manufacturers…and the stores don’t take a very hard hit either because they r being reimbursed the amount of the coupon. Just food for thought.

  130. nancy on October 3rd, 2011 12:02 pm

    Since I’m too cheap to pay for cable (actually it’s more I hate the extreme price of cable tv), I’ve never seen this show, though I have seen some like it. I’m not an extreme couponer but probably cut my grocery bill in half maybe more every two weeks. To me, the value of couponing is when I find an item I know I will use, I will stockpile it. Or if I know it’s something the foodbank can use I’ll ask the store manager to order me as much of the item as I have coupons for so I don’t clear off the shelves. I stockpile things like pasta sauce,dry soup, cleaning supplies, foil etc. I look for items that have a spectacular price due to the company changing the labels or changing an ingredient or two so they are already offering it at a greatly reduced price. The type of couponing I do takes a long time, I can’t imagine trying to get my entire order for free or near that…though I came pretty close one time when I had coupons for meat (extremely rare where I live). I wish I lived in a state that had wine tags! Ah well! When I started couponing in the 80′s I saved the money in a savings account and then used it to start a brokerage account–and bought apple stock…thank you coupons!

  131. Grem458 on October 3rd, 2011 11:21 pm

    J Fults I can tell you HEB corporate policy is that we DO NOT take internet coupons that do not scan. If the manager let you do it, it was simply to get you out of the line and quit holding up other customers. It was his singular decision to let the coupons that he knows he will not get credit for go because it will cost him less in the end to move the line and keep the other customers happy.

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