TLC Extreme Couponing Show “Amber & Tammilee” May 11, 2011

Posted 05-11-2011 at 09:03 PM by Rasha

Amber Bustanoby of Seattle, Washington.

She gets her coupons from friends, family, and even dumpster diving. She began couponing 3 years ago when her husband’s construction business failed. Meanwhile she was pregnant and working as a waitress. With couponing she was saving so much she was able to quit waitressing and instead be a mother and extreme couponer full time.

On this episode Amber Bustanoby winds up shopping with her 4 kids. Fortunately she was able to get a friend to go with her to help, the same friend that also helped her learn how to coupon through the internet (which you know we recommend! ;) ). Mid shop the late babysitter arrives and she can finally focus on her extreme couponing.

4 hours of shopping later….

$1,885.56 of groceries

for $44.26 total after coupons.


MBA graduate Tammilee Tillison of Spokane, Washington.
Tammilee Tillison lost her management job 2 years ago and had to make it work on her husband’s forest ranger income. She discovered couponing and uses her MBA education to extreme coupon.

She and her husband John live in a 2 bedroom house. It’s packed with her stockpile, though they make sure all food is current and not expired. She keeps 20 pounds of coupons on hand in order to prepare for the best deals. Last year she saved $10,000 dollars through couponing, which meant her and her husband were able to go to the Caribbean twice! For her husband’s birthday they are planning a trip to European cruise but her coupon savings need to fund it.

She buys…


after coupons… $17.71

Filed Under: Extreme Couponing


34 Responses to “TLC Extreme Couponing Show “Amber & Tammilee” May 11, 2011”

  1. Mynelja on May 11th, 2011 9:23 pm

    I need to find a friend like she did to show me how to coupon lol

  2. TamayraS on May 11th, 2011 10:22 pm

    This is the most unrealistic show i have ever seen, i coupon but this show is unbelieveably stupid. I watched it once and have never watched it again.

  3. kc on May 11th, 2011 10:54 pm

    I’m totally w/ ya Tamayra! I only saw part of a show and was shocked at what people call stockpiles…..I call it hoarding. I coupon as well, and stockpile, but only what fits in my kitchen and bathroom pantry. I’m all for saving money & getting free stuff, but come on be for real.

  4. Vanessa Tolson on May 12th, 2011 12:06 am

    The show is good for a laugh. =) I cracked up when she bought 60 bottles of hot sauce! LOL

  5. shellbellx3 on May 12th, 2011 12:26 am

    Great to see their efforts pay off! I was watching the register during checkout and am curious where they get multiple $25 vendor coupons..mmm
    Still, very impressive.
    I have NO problem with people stockpiling what they want – we all have friends and family that go thru hard times, right? Stop bitching and find something to be truly outraged at..

  6. 2sleepy on May 12th, 2011 12:38 am

    I think they live in an alternate seems like every single one of them has access to a store that doubles, accepts an unlimited number of coupons, and has prices that are way cheaper than the stores where I live

  7. teresa rigsbee on May 12th, 2011 4:59 am

    I just wanted to say that I did watch last night and what I found was the policies for coupons in their stores are more liberal than the ones I shop. I don’t know too many stores that double 1.00 coupons. Also, the stores around here will only double 2 items that are alike. I just dont understand how they are getting so many items that are alike and using coupons.
    I use what I think my family will need in a year’s time. That is my stockpile. I would not take up so much space in my house like they do just to brag about having so much food. They are hoarders and greedy to the fullest!!!

  8. jasdawn5 on May 12th, 2011 7:47 am

    Where are these women getting all their coupons???????????????? My local paper only gave me a good rate on 4 subscriptions, after that it’s full price.

  9. Vickie on May 12th, 2011 7:54 am

    I use coupons combined with store sales to save our family money. I always have at least a month’s worth of food and toiletries. However, I also want to feed my family fresh, local foods so I shop our local farmer’s produce stands. We spend about $500 for a family of 4 and I am completely fine with that. Admittedly, it is fun to get $100 of groceries for a few bucks, but it does take planning.

  10. hairr6 on May 12th, 2011 8:20 am

    Everyone keeps asking how they do it. I have to tell them all that unfortunately we don’t have the stores in our area to do as well as these people. All our stores only double to .40 as compared to Kroger and the Schnucks that double .50 and 1.00. That does make a big difference. Especially with $1.00 sales. That automatically almost doubles our out of pocket.

  11. kwgaynor on May 12th, 2011 9:11 am

    I think it’s great what these gals have achieved. One person’s stockpile is another person’s own little grocery store, and it makes sense to buy items that are free or very cheap when you don’t need them vs. buying them when you need them and paying full retail. I just started learning couponing, and it’s just me and my husband, so I don’t anticipate buying 10 boxes of cereal at one time, but I sure could to donate unneeded boxes to food pantries.

  12. SillySimple on May 12th, 2011 9:44 am

    I feel like ever since this show started airing there are whole shelves empty at the grocery store when something goes on sale. Like it is teaching my fellow shoppers how to be annoying shoppers!

  13. xoxamanda on May 12th, 2011 12:33 pm

    i live in washington state which is where the two girls on this show are living. the first girl was shopping in a seattle albertsons. albertsons only doubles 3 coupons up to a 1.00 per TRANSACTION. And its only about once every two weeks. this lady used about 400 coupons that they doubled… seeing somebody where i live, going to stores i go to and somehow getting special rules kinda makes me mad. did the store just bend the rules to this particular customer for the show?

  14. FHResearch on May 12th, 2011 1:03 pm

    Wondering what happens with all of the groceries? Where are they stored? Are they ever all used before they expire? Does the kitchen get super cluttered?

  15. Valerie on May 12th, 2011 3:00 pm

    Last night’s show had someone stopping in front on other people’s driveways and stealing their newspapers. I can’t believe they would actually show this.

  16. brandierivera23 on May 12th, 2011 5:10 pm

    This show is extremely unrealistic and I am afraid it is going to affect us regular couponers! I use coupons with almost every purchase and it makes me very happy knowing I can get a substantial discount, but these people are taking it way too far. They are going to ruin it for us normal people are really depend on coupons daily to get things we wouldn’t normally be able to afford!

  17. JGWJ on May 12th, 2011 9:09 pm

    So, how do I get to zero $$ when my avg coupon is .25 off a $1 item AND most manuf
    coupons say right on them “no doubling”, AND many say “can’t be used with other coupons”. My Mich stores don’t double, don’t let you use more than 2 coupons per item, if you have the store card–it doesn’t take but a few cents off some items, and…..the store says you can’t purchase more than 2s or 3 like items. On top of that…some of our stores take most the stock off the shelves–when a good coupon comes out–so by Monday the shelf is bare. AND…(thinking that us loyal customers are stupid)…some stores hike up the price of the item-the same wk its on sale and then lower it the next week. Like I said…how does a .25 coupons-off a $1 items….get me to zero?

  18. rubymemaw on May 12th, 2011 9:27 pm

    I am all for getting the max you can out of a dollar. I don’t understand the people who have stockpiles that they can NOT possibly use in their lifetime. If you are able to get those many items of a particular deal, why not donate to local charity. I saw one episode where a guy had to pre-order the cereal that he found a great deal one. It was thousand’s of boxes. He did purchase it and donated it to the food bank at his church. It would be awesome, if the ‘extreme’ couponer’s would do more of this.

  19. pheephee on May 13th, 2011 8:01 am

    Chain stores can have different coupon policies in each store. I used to shop at a store that had unlimited doubles, the same store in a different city only double 4 like coupons.
    I think the high value coupons that were like $16 or $18. Were from where the register wouldn’t take the coupons and the cashier probably just added the coupons together and took them off that way.
    Also just because you couldn’t or wouldn’t use the amount someone else bought doesn’t mean they can’t. For instance a jar of peanut butter would last us months,and someone said their husband eats a jar a week so they stock up.
    Whenever someone says others should donate or donate more I wonder how much they donate themselves. When the average shopper who may buy one of each item sees you buy four or six they may think that’s way too much. Then you see someone on extreme couponing buying fifty and you think it’s too much not knowing what they do with. For some charity begins at home , so maybe they donate to other family members.

  20. nursemom on May 13th, 2011 1:02 pm

    The show is fun to watch but like so a many others I do not have stores that treat couponers as anything but thieves. Lots of limitations which I do not understand as the get reimbursed and paid for taking coupons. I save lots of money but found with the price of gas I can not drive to towns with friendlier stores and I often spent a lot of money on unnecessary items, and coupons.

  21. britbailey121 on May 14th, 2011 2:45 am

    The show is pretty fun to watch and inspiring if you can get the deals the people on the show get. I recently started couponing and I’ve learned that none of the stores in my area double coupons and have pretty hefty limitations. It’s definitely a challange but if I can save half of what these people save then Im willing to give it a try.

  22. ttamara on May 14th, 2011 8:43 am

    I have a big problem with this show but I won’t rant about that. What I noticed in this show is that TammiLee did something that cashiers hate. She waited until all of her items were rung up, then handed all of the freebie coupons over. The cashier had to go through the slip to find the items one by one so that she could type them in by hand and write the amount on the coupon. They didn’t show it but this process is VERY time consuming. It’s also rude. Hand over your freebie coupons along with the product FIRST. It saves time and aggravation for both customer and cashier.

  23. sktjm5 on May 14th, 2011 10:48 am

    Of course the show is unrealistic, it’s TV! Some of the stores bend the rules for these shows because they have to get their approval before filming, several of them have stated this…it’s all for ratings! For example, the P&G coupons state no more than 4 used per transaction but when these women use them, they have stated that the store let them use them all in one transaction so that they weren’t in the store filming for 6 hours!! Ever notice that you never see them buying fresh meat or produce?! Most of the items in their baskets are staple items that have a long shelf life.

  24. lucybeau on May 14th, 2011 2:49 pm

    I think these shows are awesome…and I appreciate Amber….the ladies who do use coupons to help support there families!!!

  25. tiggy818 on May 14th, 2011 7:14 pm

    The stores where I live don’t double anything over .50. With all the limits, my dollars aren’t to their levels.

    I think it’s awesome these people are able to do what they are able to do, but I am a bit envious of the doubling over .50.

  26. cindyklou on May 15th, 2011 6:30 pm

    wow, you all just answered all my questions. I couldn’t figure out how they did it on the extreme couponing show. My stores don’t double and limit is one per item so now it all makes sense. I am not alone. You all have the same problems as i do. I will still try to save some money but my hopes and dreams of extreme couponing is over but a couple of bucks here and there is a couple of bucks. Right?

  27. pheephee on May 16th, 2011 9:46 am

    Maybe the couponers on the show don’t have fruits or fresh meat in the cart because it’s higher in the stores they coupon in.
    I use to shop at Giant Eagle a lot and I rarely bought milk, fruit, fresh vegtables, or fresh meat there, eventhough I bought those item every week. I bought them at Aldi or Save-a-lot where the prices were a lot lower.
    I give the cashier my freebie coupons along with all my other coupons after everything is rung up,but I put them on the top of the stack. I make sure the free items are the last items that are scanned so they are right on the screen and they don’t have to scanned through the list.

  28. ms jen on May 17th, 2011 7:26 am

    i have been couponing now for a short time and the amount of money you can save is amazing there has been so many times were my husband and i have went to our pantry to figure out what were having for dinner and there would be nuthing but odds and ends now we can go to our pantry and have more to choose from ……… i think for most of these stockpilers its ok because they dont have to worry about not having , they got plenty.

  29. Angelpay on May 17th, 2011 2:40 pm

    I’ve been couponing for awhile now and…. this show is totally staged. How often have you found a store that was this coupon friendly and would even take coupons for products you didn’t buy (freeze frame the show… they are using coupons for products that are NOT in their cart. It’s fraud to do that but … maybe the store doesn’t care as long as they get TV coverage!… or maybe they just decided not to look that closely, .. who knows.)

    Also, consider this, if a shopper wipes out the shelf to “give” to homeless shelters … what about the low income families who don’t qualify to go to the food bank but … would still like to take advantage of the sale for an inexpensive deal — guess they’re out of luck!!

    Botom line, experienced couponers know this show is total fiction. As with most reality TV shows, they have found the few NUTS out there who turn their garages into grocery stores and stock it with coupon purchases. Then they take them to the one store that’s willing to not question the coupons during the taping of the show and .. voila – it looks like they cleaned up. Wow!!! PLEEEEESE — Give me a break.

  30. brigarkee on May 18th, 2011 2:00 pm

    I watched a show with the “diva” twins, it was their birthday and they were getting all these things for free, but when I saw their stockpile, and they have enough diapers to change a baby for a lifetime, but, NO BABIES!!! I am thinking to myself, donate the crap you are not going to use… Local church for the love of Pete!
    The shows are obviously staged, which is a little defeating to watch, knowing that it is next to impossible to accomplish the same thing. To the person who said something about charity starts at home for some, I do agree to an extent with that, but then, GEEZ, donate diapers to a family member or friend who HAS a baby… what a waste. Ok, so, maybe bad example, they are stocked up if they ever have children, but when I think about all of this food, and expiration dates, I have no respect for someone doing this kind of stockpiling if that junk isn’t ALL getting used before the expiration date. By the looks of some of these people, it just may very well be.

    I’m all about saving money on things people use and need, I will always try to save as much as I’m able on my purchases, but my life is already to chaotic and hectic to mentally go through the battle of couponing to the extent some of these people do.

  31. Natsaver73 on May 19th, 2011 11:03 pm

    I wondered how they got soooo many of the same product and the store doubled them all. The one store that doubles around here ,Oklahoma City, will on double the first of the stack of coupons for the same product. The rest will be deducted as shown on coupon. So these hoarders are committing coupon fraud. They are ruining it for the rest of us who are happy to save as much as we can without breaking the rules. I went to another store and the cashier told me that they are’nt allowed to let people check out getting any free products and they will only honor e-coupons or printed from internet that are $3 or less. And they do not double or triple anything.

  32. kay jay on May 20th, 2011 12:14 pm

    Does anyone know where in Michigan they allow triple coupons? How often do the people on the show really shop? did they do this once for the show?
    We need to see realistic people shopping.

  33. Rasha on May 20th, 2011 12:16 pm

    @kay_jay Try asking in your state forum: :)

  34. curlygirl75 on May 21st, 2011 12:18 pm

    I have been an avid couponer since I ventured out on my own. I’ve always been about getting a deal. I know which stores to shop at that double my coupons and which double only to $.50. I don’t know of any that double over that or triple for that matter. I shop at all stores not just the ones that take coupons. It’s about taste, quality and of course getting the best deal. I’ve seen extreme couponing on TLC and questioned who needs 60 bottles of mustard??? Really? I’ve managed to stock up and save on things that I will use. And I give away to friends the coupons that I don’t need and they do the same. I subscribe to my local newspaper, have a monthly magazine that offer great coupons in each. I get coupons on-line as well. I’m frugal, not cheap. If I find a store that offered triple coupons I’d go there, but not at inflated prices or driving more than 20 miles out of my way. Especially when the price of gas is nearly $4.00 a gallon!!!
    I even plan my meals for a month at a time and only buy what I need for that month. My budget will not allow for anything more than that.

Leave Your Comment Join A Full Cup or login below to comment!

Post as a guest.