Posted 05-29-2012 at 05:07 PM by Rasha
The Coupon Information Center (CIC) in anticipation of the return of the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” had posted a retailer alert in regards to participation on the show.
“The CIC advises retailers that they should exercise caution when considering participation with the show ‘Extreme Couponing,’ including allowing filming at retail sites.”
“Some of the “guests” on the show, including at least one minor, have used counterfeit coupons and engaged in other practices in violation of State or Federal laws, manufacturers’ coupon redemption policies, and/or retailers’ coupon acceptance policies. Retailers may not be reimbursed for counterfeit coupons received from the show’s participants.”
“Some consumers have reportedly filed complaints against the show with the Federal Communications Commission… The CIC has previously contacted The Discovery Channel to express these and related concerns. As of this date, The Discovery Channel, to our knowledge, has not taken any action to remedy the situation.”
“In summary, ‘Extreme Couponing’ exposes its retail participants to potential legal issues and counterfeit coupons, which may not be reimbursed, as well as potential adverse publicity.”
You All Were Right
To everyone that has complained about the show, we just want to say, “You were right.” Even the CIC recognizes the major issues with “Extreme Couponing.” And since they’ve not been able to stop TLC, they took their warnings to the stores. Though clearly they didn’t all listen considering the new season has aired.
Speaking of stopping TLC, on Facebook we asked today, “‘LIKE’ if you did NOT watch Extreme Couponing last night!” and received 200+ responses. Thanks for responding!
(Thanks Brandie for bringing this to our attention!)
Posted 05-28-2012 at 01:12 PM by Rasha
TLC is at it again. The 3rd Season premieres tonight Monday, May 28th at 10pm ET/PT. Looks like they’re kicking off the season with a couple of couponers that certainly don’t fit the little old granny couponing stereotype.
First up, Dominique, a college kid couponing to throw a frat party.
Then Jeff, who comes from a long line of male couponers looking to prove himself to his family as an extreme couponer.
This brings up a good point. While there is no doubt the majority of avid couponers are women, there are indeed couponing men as well! Even here on AFullCup we have quite a few male members making the most of our couponing community. All are welcome here. Not that there ever was a doubt about that.
Posted 05-21-2012 at 05:58 PM by Rasha
There may be some economists claiming the recession is over, but in most households evidence points to the contrary. The Extreme Couponing “Fad” isn’t a mere trend, it’s a lifestyle change. For some, it has meant survival in these tough financial times.
While many jumped on the Extreme Couponing bandwagon thanks to the TLC show, here on AFC we knew the thrill of couponing well before then. And when couponing hit the big time, we were there for that too. Then when stores began to tighten their reign over couponing policies we’ve been up to date to keep members informed. Now with the move to more internet printable coupons (IP) and mobile coupons (including digital and ecoupons) we’re keeping up with the times. Though we’ve not forgotten tried and true newspaper clipping coupons either.
Is Extreme Couponing losing steam? For those participating in the fad, yes. Burn out happens quickly when you have unrealistic expectations. But for those couponing to save money and make more out what they have, they’re in it for long run!
Here on A Full Cup we are quickly approaching 1 million members.
Thanks to each and every one of you, we’re all helping each other to save money, improve lives, and never pay full-price again!
Thank you! Here’s to more couponing (whether extreme, just beginning, or in between)!
Posted 10-10-2011 at 10:48 AM by Rasha
Our “Not Extreme, Just Smart Couponing” contest is in full swing. Week 1 of the challenge is complete, though there are still 3 more weeks where you can participate and win prizes! (We’re giving away $400 in gift cards and 16 Supporting Member memberships on AFullCup!)
There were so many amazing couponing tips in the Week 1 Challenge. We selected 4 winners using Random.org. Here are their fantastic tips:
The 3-R’s of Smart Couponing
BlueMoon187 – “I follow the 3-R’s of Smart Couponing:
- Rule-following. I follow the rules set by the manufacturers and the stores. Always.
- Realistic. I know the limits of what my family needs and will use, and I don’t let chasing the deals take over my life or my home.
- Respectful. I respect others in the store and when trading. I try to be collaborative so that everyone can enjoy saving money.”
Expiration Date Anxiety
sarahboo1979 – “My # 1 tip would be don’t use a coupon just because it is getting ready to expire. If it is not a good deal let the coupon expire. More than likely another coupon for that same product will be re-released later. And the expired coupons you can send to the military families for them to still use when they can find a great deal for it.
Also check for local coupon exchanges in your area or consider starting one. We have a wonderful coupon exchange at our local library. There you can leave coupons you do not need, pick up coupons you can use and drop off expired coupons for them to ship all at one time to military families.”
Realistic Coupining for a Real Family
peak7263 – “I am very new to couponing. I am a well educated, computer savy, and former military female who is now a stay at home military spouse with two home schooled young children. I love saving money, but hate shopping. I have zero time in my schedule, not to mention no space in military housing to stockpile. Therefore, I needed to learn how to start couponing under real world conditions – not try to “extreme coupon”. I tried to learn on my own, but the sheer amount of information on the internet rendered it useless. Plus, most of the information is either not applicable in the average person’s life, or leads to dead end web sites. So I attended a local “workshop” where I learned two pieces of advice that became invaluable. First, don’t let the process overwhelm you. You need to learn what are considered to be realistic results, what you can really expect to save and how much time you can really expect to spend each week couponing – not what TV portrays. Pick no more than three stores at which to coupon until you master the basics and feel comfortable. Doing this one step simplified the process so that I was no longer overwhelmed and discouraged. Secondly, most of us do not have the space or desire to stockpile huge quantities. So I was told that when stockpiling an item, buy no more than what our family would use in a 6 month period. The reason for this is that most things go on sale in 3 to 6 month cycles. I had been getting so much information from so many sources. However, these two pieces of advice finally gave me that all important starting point.”
Use a System That Works for You
rose3trs – “I actually, do not use a binder for my Q’s. I tried, but found it too bulky and time consuming to use. I use an index card box, with the sections clearly labeled. The box fits nicely in the carriage seat and is much easier for me to use.”
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.
Phil and Pam
Move the Clouds
One of the first question newcomers to Couponing have is “Where do you get Coupons?” It can quickly become overwhelming trying to understand what types of coupons there are and how to get them. My goal here is to help you learn all the types of coupons and know where to best look for them.
Each Sunday you can typically find a couple inserts in your local paper that contain coupons. These inserts are the bread and butter for couponers. There are three companies that do this: Smartsource (SS), Redplum (RP), and Proctor & Gamble (PG). SS and RP can be found most weekends, except holidays, and PG is typically released once a month. In the AFullCup Forums you can find out which inserts will be released, and also get a list of coupons that may be found in your inserts.
One thing about newspaper inserts that is important to understand is that not all inserts are created equally. Many coupons are released in certain regions or newspapers. Larger newspapers tend to get more of the coupons than small town newspapers. Also values of coupons may vary by region. So seeing the list of coupons coming out does not guarantee your inserts will have them. But the positive side is you know the coupon exists and you can then work on getting you hands on them.
An increasingly popular type of coupon is the printable coupon. These can be found all over the Internet, but there are areas they are more commonly found. Most printables can be printed twice, each will be a unique and legitimate coupon. Simply hit the back button after printing is complete, or by going back to the page and hitting print again. You must print to a printer and not to a scanning or pdf program within your computer. If you want to save on ink most stores will accept printables in black and white. Remember it is illegal to scan or copy printable coupons, and you won’t get away with it since most coupons have a unique code on each.
Coupon Dedicated Sites
There are three main sites that are dedicated solely to printable coupons – coupons.com, redplum.com, and smartsource.com. Redplum generally adds coupons on Sunday’s, and the others add at random intervals. Any coupons you print (and are still available) will reset at the start of each calendar month.
Quite often Manufacturer’s will have coupons available right on their product’s webpage. Check on your favorite sites to see if they have any. Also, many companies will email you a link to printables if you sign up for their newsletters or member clubs.
Offering coupons on Facebook is rapidly increasing in popularity. Often these coupons are high value and only available for a very short time. So it is definitely recommended to get a Facebook account, even if you only use it for getting coupons.
All in One
So right now you are thinking how much time is it going to take me to check every site every day for new coupons? Luckily there is a wonderful resource on AFC to see when new printables pop up. As new coupons become available members will post them in the printables section. So instead of needing to check all over the Internet you can just keep an eye on this section to get a hold of all the hot new printables.
If you keep you eyes open in your grocery store you may be able to spot coupons all around. There are several types of coupons to look out for in the store. The coupons usually don’t last long so it’s a good idea to grab a few to use on a future trip. You can keep a hold of them until the item goes on sale and get a better deal. Just remember to be kind to others and not take all the coupons.
Various stores and manufacturers will put out booklets of coupons. These often surround a holiday or major event. Keep your eyes peeled near the entrance of the store and on any large displays for booklets they may have put out.
Tearpads of coupons are often attached to the shelves and placed in front of the larger, more expensive items. Tearpads are basically a pad of coupons of which you can tear a few off. Even though they are in front of the more expensive items, check the wording of the coupon. You may be able to use them on smaller or cheaper items.
Blinkies are small machines used by smartsource to distribute coupons in-store. They are attached to shelves and dispense one small coupon at a time. They got their name because they usually have a red blinkie light on them.
These coupons are actually stuck to the products, and you have to peel them off. Look for little rectangles attached to your products. These often have long expiration dates, which is helpful for holding them till a good sale.
Coupons come by so many different names that it can easily be overwhelming trying to understand them all. You now have a good idea of all the types of coupons there are out there, and should have a good idea of how to find them. Coupons can be anywhere, so keep your eyes peeled!