Extreme Couponing: Are You Tuning In?

It’s back!

The premiere episode of TLC’s Extreme Couponing

will feature a local couponer, Jessica Hacker!

The very first episode will document Jessica Hacker’s mega couponing shopping trip right here in Caldwell, Idaho.  If you want to learn how to do the whole Extreme Couponing thing… and do it RIGHT…

BUY our 90-minute DVD that reveals

the Seven Secrets of Extreme Couponing!

USE CODE: EXTREME to save 55% on the DVD!!

When the Extreme Couponing special on TLC aired back in December, we had mixed reviews.  While we do teach you how to coupon to the extreme here on our coupon blog, we felt the show depicted couponing in such a negative light and made couponers seem like obsessed freaks.

We are certainly hoping that since the Extreme Couponing special was made into a series, the broader spectrum of couponing will be portrayed. We hope they follow typical couponers like you and me, and shed a positive light on couponing this time around.

What are your thoughts?

  • Do you think showing Extreme Couponing on a national level will hurt couponing for you?
  • Do you think it will help mainstream couponing and we will therefore find more acceptance as a couponer at stores?
  • Are you tuning in?

And last question, what does Extreme Couponing mean to you?

  • 6 years worth of toilet paper stockpile?
  • Getting 50 boxes of cereal for free?
  • Simply feeding your family on less?

With all of this Extreme Couponing talk, we’re curious what our fab readers think!?



  • Brook Davis

    It MIGHT make it harder to find people willing to share their coupon inserts with you. I have about 5 friends and co-workers that just give me theirs because, otherwise, they would just go in the trash. I do think, if it does result in more people using coupons, it may encourage manufacturers to put out more coupons. On the other hand, if the redemption rates go thru the roof, they may cut back on putting them out.

    I think it may increase the couponing activity for a little while. But, reality is, really “extreme” couponing is a lot of work and time consuming and most people aren’t going to do it for long.

    For me, it’s so worth the time and effort. I think it’s important to be a good steward of the money that God has given me. And, I’m able to give my family of six (with two teenagers!) more because I take the time to find the best deal on everything!

  • Eileen Ladwig

    When will it air? I would love to watch it! I learned some things from the last episode and I hope to learn more from this episode! Thanks!!!

  • Jennifer

    I think the show will highlight the “novelty” of people who coupon to the extreme, but hopefully won’t portray all couponers as obsessive or as scammers. I coupon to stretch our dollar. My husband works 50+ hours a week to provide for us and it is my job to make sure we get the most we can with that money. And I have a sense of pride because I don’t get taken advantage of by companies charging too much for their products. Couponing helps me to be educated about the value, versus the price, of comodities we use everyday.

  • Angie B.

    I think the series has the potential to help couponers, but I fear it might do more harm. On the plus side, it might make stores, cashiers and manufacturers more aware of coupons, which could result in easier trips and less confusion. More likely, it may cause resalers to crack down on their polices, like Rite-Aid did last month, by enforcing stricter guidelines on the amount of coupons that can be redeemed.

    To be completely honest, it was the first special that exposed me to how much couponing can save you. While they showed a few hoarders on the original show, they didn’t quite say how they were saving so much. After a quick google search and a bit of a learning curve I think I have couponing figured out for the most part.

    I graduated college a few years ago and the job market has been awful. I lived on a cup of noodles diet for about a year and being able to save so much has not only given me more meal options, but should my budget get tighter, I feel a lot more confident about fending for myself financially. I really appreciate what this blog and couponing has taught me in regards to budgeting my money and making the most of sales so I can get by on as little as possible so the rest of my paycheck can go to paying back my student loans.

  • Angela

    I was pretty much repulsed by a couple of couponers in that first episode of Extreme Couponing. They looked more like hoarders to me! And a few of them seemed to be so obsessed that it has taken over their common sense and integrity. I really do hope they will portray the normal side of couponing. Just plain old considerate, non-obsessive saving of money with coupons in a strategic way, like a good FabFruGal. :o)

  • Karla

    The first episode was way too extreme. I felt like those people had mental problems. Even if you rotated the food they bought, there’s no way you could eat all that food within the experation dates. We all know that reality shows really don’t portray the correct information and you get only the bits and pieces that make good TV. When something takes over your life so extreme… there’s a problem. I felt like it gave “us” happy couponers here in Idaho a bad name. Hopefully the next episode will be more realistic.

  • Tia

    The first time I saw it I was kind of in shock. I understand why people clip coupons, Obviously to save money, but come on.. If they are getting all that stuff for free they could donate half of it to food banks, homless shelter,woman and children centers.. Not just the food that is about to expire. I understand people like to save money, but I dont see how PAYING a coupon clipping service is saving money. WHo pays for coupons?? Isnt the point to save money?? I have a family of 7, 1 income and my childre are all under 8. So yes I stockpile on things like Cereal and toothpaste, but that never stays around long enough to make me look like a hoarder. My fear is that this show is going to affect stores, and their coupons, and hurt people like us who clip coupons because we have to!

    • Donaca

      I know of 2 of the people on the show who said on their blogs that they did donate to the food banks, and that they were asked by the show to see how much they could get for the smallest out of pocket.

  • shuriken

    * Do you think showing Extreme Couponing on a national level will hurt couponing for you?

    not really, have yet to run into anyone that can coupon on my level.

    * Do you think it will help mainstream couponing and we will therefore find more acceptance as a couponer at stores?


    * Are you tuning in?


    * 6 years worth of toilet paper stockpile?

    closer to 60? 🙂

    * Getting 50 boxes of cereal for free?

    walk in the park. my personal best is 250+/day

    * Simply feeding your family on less?

    no, i’m single. i coupon for the score, donate it–could care less. 🙂

  • Anna

    Watching the original show made couponing seem like a disease. It made me curious, and after a little research I learned that I can do it too. I don’t need $50,000 of groceries in my house, at the expense of my husband’s happiness or that of my children, like the hoarders on the original show. Couponers are not all cracked-up hoarders or dumpster divers.

    I had no idea I could save as much as I do every week. I really hope the show demonstrates the effort it takes, but the fact that couponing is a realistic option, and a normal way of life…that someone with a full-time job and two small children actually can do. When my daugher plays with her friends at preschool, she makes her friends use “coupons” when they play “grocery store”. 🙂

    I did get a good idea from the original show, that if I have enough coupons to get something I don’t need, ortoo much of something I don’t/won’t use, I take it to the homeless shelter. I feel good about it, it helps people, the store gets reimbursed, and it’s an easy, inexpensive way to teach my children about giving to people less fortunate than ourselves. I hope the series shows this side of couponing as well.

  • Cally

    I am not looking forward to this. I will watch, only because I know a few newbie friends who will be watching; I want to be able to point out correct information to them. Those newbie friends pointed out how they like the idea of getting all of that stuff for free.

    I dislike this idea I think it’s going to create more people clearing out shelves to get free items…because it’s free. Even if you donate the items clearing out the shelves is not okay. I donate items and I do not clear shelves. I will be pointing this out to my newbie friends. I will also be talking to them about pre-ordering if that’s something you really wish to do.

    If it does increase couponing…I think the stores might put out more coupons; but I think we will see a decrease in the value of the coupons. I think we will see more stores cracking down on what they will and will not except for coupons. Which could be good, but I have a feeling we will see more “Limit 3 per person.” Or some other type of restriction.

    My husband watched the show with me. He’s not really into the couponing, other then the savings we get. His take was that “It’s people who were one step away from being on the show hoarders!” I think it gives the real couponers a bad name, and is going to hurt the rest of us. Just my opinion though. I could be wrong. I hope it’s just a fad show. If it’s not I hope it’s informative and honest and not just focusing on those that hoard . I feel those people are a very small fraction of the rest of us who only buy what we need for our families.

  • Steven Monroe

    With the upcoming government shutdown, we all need to be diligent and take care and provide for our families, I have been teaching others and they have responded to not so much hoarding but to being diligent with their money. Inflation is for real and every free or discounted meal and product we use never will be wasted and the extra plus coupons goes to the military and our local food bank.

  • kim

    I’m thankful for the stockpile we have. Just a week ago my husband got laid off. We didn’t expect it at all. But how thankful I am for what I have stocked up. And that I know how to grocery shop with couponing. So I already know how to buy food for really cheap.

    Some might look at what I have and say really you need 80 boxes of cereal and 60 boxes of instand oatmeal, and 50 boxes of spaghetti and so forth. And I would say to those people yes I do and now with being unemployed thank heavens I have so much. Because now it has to last for a long time since we no longer have a job and won’t go on welfare.

    We need to watch ourselves and not judge. Because we don’t know what’s really going on it ones life. People might be looking at you and saying your an extreme couponer and your nuts. But you know different.

  • Angela

    I don’t coupon to “beat the store at its own game” or to purchase 100 boxes of cereal at a time. I do feel the original show portrayed couponing mostly in a negative light, but fortunately, I don’t think most of us are like that. I WILL watch the show because its fun and interesting.

    I coupon to save my family money, but mostly because it allows me to build up a food storage at a fraction of the cost. I didn’t have anything in storage before couponing, and was overwhelmed by the thought of trying to feed my family AND build up a food storage at the same time. Couponing allows me to do both affordably. I have a reasonable stockpile that would sustain my family for many months if something happened to prevent purchasing groceries, and THAT is a wonderful feeling. THAT is why I continue to do it, even though there are never enough hours in the day to do all that I need to do…even though it’s so frustrating to be excited about a sale only to find the shelves cleared when I get there….even though it’s a lot of work. I feel strongly about the importance of self-reliance which is why couponing has become a way of life for me!

  • Elaina

    I haven’t seen the show and I am new to couponing. I started because I needed creative financing to help raising a family on limited income… I would personally feel sad if this show gave a negative spin on couponers because honestly so far what I have read; couponing is real work to save real money and it’s not a game for most families who are just trying to get by. I hope it is a fad show as well.

  • Tonia

    I actually had a hard time convincing my hubby that all the time I was investing into couponing was worth it. I was still trying to figure out the best organizational method to use and made a lot of mistakes when I first started. I learned a lot by trial and error. I watched the show hoping to get some insight on a better way to use coupons. I learned some great tricks but was very disappointed in the way coupon shopping was portrayed. One of the four shoppers I think truly needs therapy. The amount of food she had was not a food storage or a stockpile, it was hoarding in the worse way. You could see her husband’s frustration over it too. The others weren’t quite so bad and at least they were donating their stockpiles from what I understand. The dumpster diving with her young son was, yet again, over the top. Some of the things they did on the show I wouldn’t be surprised if the producers encouraged them to go over the top to sensationalize it a little bit more. It’s a reality show after all. I will say that after my hubby watched it with me, surprisingly he has been a LOT more supportive of my shopping trips which in turn has made me feel more confident that I CAN do this! I have had to get over a lot of insecurities about using coupons as far as dealing with unhelpful cashiers, the constant toe tappers and such. I’ve learned to shop at night without my kids when the stores aren’t so busy too. My advice is don’t give up. If I can do it so can you!

  • myssssss

    If a person is donating to the many food banks and shelter for battered women and other places helping families, fine to stockpile and stock up other than that to me a big waste of time..the good buys are gone before I ever get to the stores I like sometimes I call WAGS to save me some purex and some other things, but I am not going out of my way at $4.00 a gallon of gasoline to save a few cents..I coupon reasonably but I am not going to be extreme couponing, saving say 60 big pkgs of tp and 100 pkgs of oatmeal, those types of purchases would require many coupons and lots of time, neither of which I have at all..we are a 2 family household that would be throwing good money away, the oatmeal would go stale and the tp I don’t know, I would give it away and be left with nothing at all for us, I volunteer and work so I have little time to go to this and that store and I take a bus and that would take me forever..counter productive for the way I want to live a this stage of my life, I like a good bagain but this to me extreme couponing is more like hoarding!hmmmm………….

  • Kelly

    I have heard from a couple of people who have declined to be on the show…and yet others who have chosen to be in the spotlight in order to “help others” learn to save. I’m not convinced this show is the forum to do that. It seems as though it has actually hurt more of us than it has helped. I believe holding coupon classes might be a more helpful avenue, if one is truly interested in helping others through couponing.

  • Whitney alves

    I think that there is a differnce between couponing and an obsession with free… I think that you should get what you need for your family or things you dont use donate, but a thousand boxes of cereal is a little overboard. Dont go into the store and clear all the shelves and leave nothing for other shoppers… this puts a bad taste in the mouths of other shoppers and stores. I know where I live that happens a lot. One person will go to all the locations in town and clear the shelves and then leave nothing for other couponers or shoppers in general. Giving couponing a bad name. I think that certain extreme couponing has led to the stricter coupon policies and the loss of certain perks of couponing… I think if you use your morals and coupon the right way that you benefit yourself and others in a positive way and also encourage others to do the same. I think that your site is great!! Thanks for all the insight!!

  • Michele

    More how to information (planning, researching, organizing, etc.) and less reality show garbage (will he/she have enough money at checkout) could make this a very watchable program. Not holding my breath though.

  • jen

    I will not be watching, the last show made me sick. I get two papers and sometimes I cant even get 2 of the super deals. They clear the shelves for the cool factor, not cute. !

    • Donaca

      Get a rain check…or rather expect the shelves to be empty. Rite Aid is always like that. BUT rain checks are GREAT. They last usually for 90 days. Recently safeway had a deal on Gerber baby food that was a BOGO free, and I had a rain check for a sale amount. They honored the sale amount WITH the BOGO!

      • shaz

        rite aid is cracking down on gretting the ups now when they are sold out 🙁 plus several times my coupons exp. before the warehouse got new stuff in.In my area I have to drive far to get to a store where everything is not gone right awayPlus add te $4 a gallon in gas..But I have been looking for 6 months and no one supposedly will come out and say they coupon or will trade coupons.The closest couponers are 30 min away.my newspaper wonk work out a deal, I called them they are in the Philippians.And they were not helpful.Any Ideas?

  • Donaca

    I think the extreme couponing will hurt the rest of us. Why? Because it is getting more people in greater amounts to start couponing. Which would be fine if people were honest. But most aren’t, there is a huge amount of fraud with coupons, especially internet printables.

    I think eventually all coupons will be put onto customer loyalty cards, and paper coupons will be gone. Grocery stores are just loosing too much money to human error and fraud.

  • KD

    Hate the idea! I have been couponing for three years now, before couponing became mainstream. The longer I have couponed, the more I have watched the deals lessen, the coupon values decrease, the shelves empty, and the nasty in people increase. This is not a game for me. This is only about feeding my family. I never buy more than my family could use. I don’t need a “high” from coupon shopping; I need food on my table. I’m afraid this show will just create more “game players” leaving less coupon and products for those who actually need them.

  • fairy dust

    I figure any reality show with “Extreme” in the title is out to shock not to show true values and ideas for moderate couponing. However, even knowing that, I’d still watch it… if I hadn’t cancelled our cable to save money – LOL! We get the basic networks but no longer get TLC and I can’t find the show yet on Hulu or anywhere else online, so I’ll just have to be content with reading people’s reviews 🙂

  • Julie

    I think there has been an increase in the number of people who just want the thrill of getting free stuff rather than doing it as a way to feed their families. I know for certain it hurts families like mine who are actually poor but don’t want to use food banks or food stamps. I’d much rather that some of these commenters left a couple boxes of whatever on the shelves for my family so that we could get it, but I guess you think we poor people should just go to the food bank and get food instead of trying to take care of ourselves. Sooo generous of you!

    And realistically more people using coupons, especially using the to stock up on free stuff, is going to mean fewer high value coupons coming out and fewer really great sales. Manufacturers do have to put real money into this, ad if it’s no longer profitable for them, they will cut back. Remember the costs of most of their raw materials are rising and so are transportation costs as the price of gas goes up, and manufacturers are actually under no obligation to provide you with a lifetime supply of free cereal and pasta.

  • Bobbie Z

    I believe the more this strategy is shared, we will likely see manufacturer coupons with lesser value…..I believe they depend on stockpiling the billions $$$ they accumulate when shoppers leave those coupons at home but now???? Time will tell….

  • Ann

    I actually was at the Albies when the show was being taped…was neat to see and wonder about all her deals. I was there getting mine, but that day, I wasn’t to excited for the deals. So I guess I will just have to watch and see what deals she got. I am afraid with all this couponing fad, the deals will get fewer and far between and become less of a deal. I am on food stamps hoping I can get off after my stockpile is built up,, but am afraid all this attn. will make that goal harder and longer to reach. Hope it does all of us justice but guess we will see. Can’t wait to see all the comments and reactions after it airs.

  • Nancy H

    Has anyone else seen this about one of TLC’s Extreme Couponers probably commiting coupon fraud? Here is the link:

  • Tonya

    I just started couponing and I live in Nampa. I would love some help at getting started. I am not sure of the policies in the area and who doubles coupons and what not. Can you help???

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