Extreme Couponing Education: Don’t Be A Crazy Lady!

Because they don’t tell you everything on reality television we are here to reveal the secrets of Extreme Couponing.

Have you ever had a confrontation with a fellow couponer in the store? I have and it was horrible.

It was January 09, 2009 the year of the EPIC Diaper Deal. It was very early in my couponing days and I was still trying to figure things out. I had been trying to figure out the Albertson’s diaper deal and finally had it figured out by reading in forums (There were not many blogs back then). I went to Albertsons and they were all out of diapers. I got a bigger pack and went up front to see if it would work with the deal. After talking to the ladies in the front for 25 minutes it did not seem like it would. So they recommended I call in the morning and see if the right package size was back in stock.

The next morning I called and they told me that they had just finished stocking the shelves. So I loaded up my children and went to the store. I headed straight for the diaper aisle. As I made my way down the aisle I could see a lady with her cart jam packed full of Pamper’s Diapers in the Jumbo Size. The diapers I needed for the deal! I looked up to see about 6 packs left in the size 3 which is what I needed. I jokingly asked her if she was going to take all of the diapers. This is how the conversation went…

CRAZY LADY: ya all of the diapers left on the shelf I am saving for my friend.
ME: Really I said, but your friend is not here.
CRAZY LADY: Well she just called me and she is coming.
ME: Well I am sure it wouldn’t be a big deal if I just took three.
CRAZY LADY: You can have any of those other box packages.
ME: Well those are not part of the deal you know that.
CRAZY LADY: All I know is that my friend told me to come and get these diapers.

I went to reach for the diapers and she flipped. Trying to grab them before I could. I managed to get two packages off the shelf and the ranting began.

CRAZY LADY: I can’t believe you are doing this. I have been here for 1 1/2 hours waiting for these diapers.
ME: I am sorry, but you can’t just save diapers on the shelf.
CRAZY LADY: Well they reserved all of these diapers for me (If they did that they would have been in the back, she was such a liar).
ME: Well I am sure you will be fine you have whole cart full (the lower section and the whole basket). I really just need one more to do the deal. (I was hoping she would see how stupid she was being and give me one package) I guess I was hoping she would come to her senses.
CRAZY LADY: Well I need all these diapers.
ME: Well I need diapers too, (pointing to me infant in the cart.)
CRAZY LADY: I came here last night to get them and they were out.
ME: So did I.

Finally I realized she was not going to relent and I was not about to take any diapers from her cart so I decided I would grab a bag of size 4 off the shelf and move on.

ME: You know if you don’t know the deal you are going to have to pay a lot more for those diapers, I will tell you if you just give me a pack of 3′s. (I kind of wanted to see if she was lying about her knowledge. You have to buy the diapers in sets of three in different transactions or you will not get your $20 back.)
CRAZY LADY: Oh I know that you have to but them in sets of 3.

I started to make my way down the aisle I had sick feeling in my stomach. I do not like confrontation and it just was icky to me fighting with a grown woman in a grocery store. I turned around and said,

ME: I am sorry I upset you. I really didn’t think it would be a big deal.
CRAZY LADY: Well I was just trying to be a good friend and get some diapers for my friend. She has seven kids.
ME: I think there will be plenty of diapers for her.
CRAZY LADY: Well I just needed the size 3. (She had multiple sizes in the cart)

I started to walk away and then decided with such a good deal maybe I should get some size 4. I turn around and she is putting the size 4 in her cart. I watch her for a minute thinking she might be about done b/c her cart will not fit anymore diapers. She starts to walk away and a couple of Albertson’s managers come up to her and tell her that the deal does not work at all Albertson’s that it is only some stores. That it was not advertised in their ad and she begins her rant and I head off.

I debated, are they right about it not working here? I know that it worked yesterday because the employee’s told me that people did it yesterday in that store. I decided I would try it and if it did not work just return the diapers. Three packages would not be a big deal. I went through the line and presto just like I read…..


Soon after this experience as I continued to coupon I learned that diaper deals come back! This was not the last good diaper deal of the century. But I also learned that NO COUPON DEAL IS WORTH ACTING LIKE A CRAZY PERSON. It was a huge eye opener to me and has always helped me to remember that I am not the only person wanting to get good deals and I want to be careful that I am always considerate of others. Have you ever had a confrontation with another couponer? What would you have done in my shoes? Oh do you like my shoes? I got them from Famous Footwear.


  • she was a CRAZY lady! I’m all for helping a friend…though that was just rude and selfish.
    I would have done the same thing you did. Maybe I would have asked the cashier if there was a limit..? if so maybe ask a employee to go get you a size 3 from CRAZY lady’s cart. lol

  • Sadly I too have run into crazy couponers and crazy register clerks. The couponer couple I ran into at Kroger was freaking out over a cereal deal. Grabbing all the cereals that COULD be in the deal then when they were in the carts spending at least 45 minutes working on the groupings. The crazy clerks think for some reason they have to shut the gates on couponers in case we take the money that might fill their paycheck. Both make for frustrating and upsetting grocery runs. Take it easy people!

  • Wow. What a nut job. This sounds like black Friday shopping. I heard at our Wal-Mart (I live in northern CA) there was an incident where the police were called. Two people in a physical fight over a black Friday deal. lol You should have said OMG look what’s that diaper coupons?! Snag…got my third pack. j/k

  • Cute shoes BTW. 🙂

  • why coulnt she let you have some and go to another store in your town to get the diaper deals i wish i would have used coupons when my kids where in diapers! oh well! i am excited couponing now is awsome i loved it!

  • Your shoes were the first thing I noticed in the picture. They are very cute.

  • Like Kerry, I too noticed your shoes right off–very cute. I’ve been couponing for 2 months (thanks to Fab Frugal!) and I haven’t had any run-ins…I hope I don’t because I wouldn’t have been as nice as you!

  • I love this article! I’ve been clipping for about a year now and still have so much learning to do (including dealing with crazy people) and my hardest challenge has been learning to let deals go as they do cycle again. Thanks for posting this!!!

    • Sarah, I am the same way. I get frustrated sometimes during Albie’s doubles when there is nothing left, and then I get discouraged. BUT…then my sweet hubby reminds me of all the great deals that I DID get that maybe someone else missed. Everyone deserves a chance to save! Love the website Ladies!!!

  • I remember that sale well! Awesome and EPIC. By the way, was the crazy lady’s friend with the 7 kids Cathy? Lol.

    • Cathy of Fabulessly Frugal

      Ha ha ha! NO! At that time I only had 6. Hee hee. The whole thing stressed me out at that time (I thought I needed to buy a life time supply of diapers), so I didn’t even do the deal!

  • I’ve ran into some mean couponers..They’re vicious! I was reaching for my 3 boxes of cereal to do a deal (the very last boxes left) and from right behind me a couponer snagged it from right in front of me and ran off! I just let it go and went to a different store down the road which had plenty in stock…jeez

    I will never forget the epic ice cream deal at albies last summer (free or moneymaker, a glitch in the catalina machine). I was grabbing some ice cream and these ladies with literally 20 gallons of ice cream in there cart were laughing so hard and cracking jokes about how they’re going to donate all that ice cream to a homeless shelter and the food bank. YEA RIGHT. Pretty sure that was all for themselves. Who says stuff like that? I found that bizarre. All in all, I’ve only encountered a few bad seeds while couponing, but the majority has been very rewarding and positive 🙂

  • I am happy to say I have yet to run into rude couponers. I have only had interaction with nice ones. I have been told of a better deal or shown a peelie, etc. I even met my neighbor on the other side of our subdivision because we were reaching for the same product and both stopped so as not to take it from the other. When I hear of people like your crazy lady I think she must sbe an unhappy person.

  • This is exactly what has given couponers a bad name. It is sad, because in all my experiences, shoppers are nice. I have given coupons away, and coupon Karma has come back and given me the ones I need.
    I have had an argument with a cashier though. I just had her void the transaction and went back later. I never go through her line. Like someone said, you would think it was out of their paycheck.
    I recently argued with an employee at a local establishment after I had spent almost $200 for a party for my child there about a refill on a soda. When I asked the manager “Are we really going to argue over 25¢ worth of soda?” he smiled and said “no, we are not”. Customer service and politeness win at the end of the day.
    That crazy couponer will get hers. May all the peelies be gone before she gets there!

    (cute shoes, btw)

  • All I EVER run into is rude couponers. They need to regulate coupon use or eliminate it completely. One deal only. No basket fulls of product. There are other people in this world other then YOU with the 50 bottles of soda or the 30 bags of chips or the obscene amount of diapers. People need to grow up.

    I do not crazy-coupon. I use them for the select items I occasionally need from the inner isles. And even then I use ONE coupon (that is generally connected to my frequent flyer kroger card) how hard is it for people to get that?

    And hella yea cute shoes!

  • I am always running into nice couponers. People are always pointing out deals they saw, products marked down, and coupons in the store. I have seen the crazy ladies too which have cleared the shelf of a great deal, but luckily great deals come more than once.

    • I usually meet really nice couponers. This is really one of the only bad experiences I have every had. But it opened my eyes to how crazy people can be. We hope that our message is clear to help give couponers a good name!

  • I have mostly met nice couponers who have shared tips with me. I will say one Sunday afternoon the Walgreens manager where I shop did refuse to let one couple empty the shelf on a product that was free after the deal. He was very polite to them but he did say that the deal just started today and he could not let them talk his whole week’s stock as he knew that many of his other customers would want to share in this great deal. I wanted to yell Thank You Thank You Thank You. It’s so nice that he understood how the rest of us feel and that he cared about all of his customers. Now that store has my loyalty.

  • my wife and I live in a very rural place in Utah for the nearest stores we have to drive about 115 miles to Colorado for target or Walmart etc. anyway we plan our trips for the trucks that come in and leave so we arrive at the stores close to opening not so we can be the crazy coupon er but to try to compete since we only go once every week or two, lately there has been a lady like the one described she must show up at opening and clears the shelves she always has a new friend, What in the heck is she doing with all that stuff, anyway I thought is was funny because we ended up getting stuck behind her at the register a few weeks ago and she was arguing with the cashier about the deals and coupons this lady is and has been couponing fraudulently getting the cashiers to PUSH coupons after talking with some associates they now check all of her coupons and double check all of the deals, people like that really bug me,this is why the stores are limiting all of the coupons

  • I once saw a couponer take a box of cereal out of a a little old lady’s hands. I had a box in my cart so i gave her one of mine and the couponer said to me “Now you can’t do the deal. Give me your cereal.” I said “I’m going to get what’s in my cart.” Then I walked away and an employee met m e at the end cap and handed me another box. He was tring to restock the shelves and the couponer was grabbing cereal from his pallet. The couponer was I front of me when i checked out and was doing TTV transactions on 50 boxes of cereal. It took 45 mins because she was fighting the whole time with the cashier. The cashier was the only one in the store because they were in the middle of lunch breaks. When i got to the front of the line I had 3 TTV transactions and I screwed up one of them. When the cashier told me it it didn’t work I just said “Just viod it and move onto the next one.” She thanked me for not holding up the line. It’s so stupid because the is always another sale just give it a couple months. I’ve founding kind gets me alot more than being a grumpy and mean couponer.

  • I had a kind of similar experience at Walgreens, however it wasn’t diapers it was a razor deal 2 years ago. A women wiped the shelves clean just as I was coming in to pick up a few she didn’t leave one on the shelve. I decided to come back the next day and see if they restocked(this was before I realized mean greens rarely restock if they have been wiped out) and the same women was their returning all those razors, she did just for the rr.s. I sometimes I cannot believe some of the couponers out there.

  • I had a kind of similar experience at Walgreens, however it wasn’t diapers it was a razor deal 2 years ago. A women wiped the shelves clean just as I was coming in to pick up a few she didn’t leave one on the shelve. I decided to come back the next day and see if they restocked(this was before I realized mean greens rarely restock if they have been wiped out) and the same women was their returning all those razors, she did just for the rr.s. I sometimes I cannot believe some of the couponers out there.

  • I’ve had mostly good experiences, but I have to say I’ve been the crazy one. However I’m a nice crazy couponer. I was buying 40 Starbucks Refreshers (all free w/coupons). I had given the store manager my list like I usually do and he said he didn’t get them out of the truck for me yet and to take the ones out front. I took all of them, knowing they’d be restocked within a half hour.

    I cleared the (small) display and a woman asked if there were more. I told her they would be stocking them but to help herself to any I had, any flavor, any number she wanted from my cart. She smiled and took a few. By this time they were headed our way with more. She was in such a good mood that it put me in a good mood too. She was telling the cashier about it and the cashier said, “Oh, that’s Chris. She’s our nice coupon lady.” That made my day.

    As a P.S. I always try to shop at the end of the sale, so everyone can get theirs before I arrive. I also tell the manager early what I want so they can order more and get them in before I shop. If the coupon or deal isn’t going to expire, I special order anything more than quantity 10 or get rainchecks.

  • Sadly, one of the only confrontations I’ve ever had like this was with a woman who teaches classes for fabulessly frugal. Even sadder, after contacting you to let you know of the offense, she has continued!! to teach classes for fabulessly frugal. Sigh…

    • People can change. It thought you all worked that out a year ago? We thought it was a big misunderstanding and everything got worked out?

  • I ran into a crazy couponer about a year ago at Fry’s. The deal was on Glade Warmers. Buy one and get a free refill. She had about 20 coupons and was in the process of sweeping the product off the shelf! I’m serious, she was literally taking her arm and pulling all of them into her cart. I stood back and waited to see if she would put any back. She looked at me and asked if I had a coupon for the free refills. I showed her that I actually had two of the coupons. She took about a minute to look in her cart, then looked at me and said she could probably part with two. I thanked her. She had taken all of the fragrances off the shelf and even offered to let me choose my favorite. I again thanked her and went on my way.

    • Wow that is crazy. Well at least the lady gave you a few. Unlike the crazy lady I met. People can not get so crazed about the coupons deals that they forget to think of others.

  • It can be disappointing to travel half an hour to find the shelves empty, I have cleared shelves, but only before harvest when I am in a truck for 12 to 15 hour a day six days a week. It doesn’t matter if I have a coupon or not I need certain things, so now I try to plan ahead better and shop the wear house stores so there is some left. Don’t always happen perfect, but I try to leave some for others.

  • I was at Walgreens one time in the early AM and there were about three couponers there, but we were all nice to one another and took only our minimums…no fuss. I decided since I was done shopping to let the others go ahead of me…and I also learning couponing, so thought I would watch and see. As I was rang up, the cashier, who was an older bitty, says to me in a frank and flat tone where I knew she wasn’t joking, “You couponers! You are all alike…robbing the store of their money!” She continued, “It’s people like YOU who make it hard for people like ME to shop for items when you buy up EVERYTHING in the store and they don’t pay me enough around here…I might as well be on food stamps!” I was shocked! I smiled because I thought she was teasing, but she was serious! I kindly continued my smile and said, “Well, I am sorry you feel that way and I wish you didn’t have to struggle, but you can’t blame me for shopping to feed my family either…” And I grabbed my bag, my change, and purchase bag and headed for the door. I do see her from time to time and I am always pleasant, but I don’t ask her how she doing…not that I don’t care to know, but I don’t want to be berated about my purchasing habits again or hear the sob story. Is that bad?

  • This is why some stores have now put limits on the amount of coupons you can do in a transaction. And some manufactures have put limits on their coupons. A lot of Procter and Gamble coupons say a limit of 4 per transaction. Fred Meyer now has a limit of 5 like coupons in a transaction and also 2 internet printed coupons per manufacture per day. I am a cashier and for the most part people are really good about coupons and only once in a while do I get people who argue about a coupon. A lot of people think cashiers do not like couponers but that is not true of all cashiers. I dont mind at all. I also am a couponer. I think it is totally wrong for someone to buy a deal to get a register reward. I wonder if now that Walgreens has this new program if you return something that gave you rewards if they will take away the rewards you earned for the deal. I know they used to give paper rewards and at one time Fred Meyer would take the ones that were for money off your order. I know a lot of places have now gone to putting them on your card and not giving out paper coupons.

  • My whole town is full of couponers that clear shelves and tear pads. I don’t shop on Sundays, so by Monday I can usually count on the good deals being gone at Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Albertsons…. The only place that hasn’t been hard hit is Kmart. I have learned to not count on deals and roll with the punches- this makes couponing less frustrating. I have not had a negative confrontation with a couponer, but I have heard of a lot of fraud going on. I have also heard from cashiers of people using expired coupons. These are the people that frustrate me far more than shelf clearers.

  • Wags in our town will only let you get two deals now, thanks to God for that!!!!!!!!!! I am not about to run over anyone for anything, one can get rainchecks at most any store now..Why be rude, it ruins a persons day to stand there and go nuts to another customer…I say let everyone have what they need, I know a person who goes to 3 stores each early morning and loads up the day of store deals, who does that, I work, volunteer a lot and have a hubby and want peace and quiet in our home..I don’t need anything that would require me to hit many many stores in the early morning anywhere..this week on anderson cooper there were two people who are extreme frugal people on a cable program, one pees in a jar and puts it in her compost, the other fellow repurposes everything, they both dumpster dive, which I would refuse to do if I was starving, the woman a millionaire at age 48 she is older the guy married for 29 years, loaded I am sure, come on what kind of life is that.really really really..It is november 1st, all saints day, dia del la muerto to most latin people, remembering our saints and dead family and loved ones, really why can’t people enjoy their short time on this earth and be kind, loving & generous we are not coming to come back from the dead to get anykind of deal and most people who pass from this earth don’t take any items with them at all, their loved ones cry out for one more second of their living not items they got at Walgreen, Rite-aid, walmart, target etc. don’t be ridiculous at all, life is very very precious~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Also the hurricane and the deaths come on come on really??? Can’t people understand that in a matter of minutes one can die and lose everything in that death to boot..I get a kick out of people who coupon it to death, a new ad for turkey day just came out it is good from nov 1 thru nov 22 because grocery stores are always open on thanksgiving day…so why hurry about anything is there a law that says one has to get nuts about purchasing anything remotely near a turkey for thanksgiving, I don’t think so, to have a place to call one’s home no matter what it is, food, family, friends, oh, my that is a lot to be thankful for, who cares about the other holidays too..there is no law stating one has to go nuts shopping and running up credit card bills to buy presents for family and friends and pay the cards off months with interest after the buying spree? I think the true meaning of any holiday is each and everyday, treating the people you love well and being generous of spirit and of yourself!!!!!!! Why wait for a specific date to be kind and loving, how ridiculous to think one has to hold on to material possessions and buy stuff to show others how much you care? After our families last birthday for the year which is coming soon, we have dinners for our family and love them and listen and help them, that way we are really honoring the holiday season the way we were taught by our late parents…I enjoy your blog, but really extreme couponing is not in my lifestyle…just mentioning it not critical of your blog at all..

  • I haven’t been in a confrontation but I have been witness to quite a few. I saw one at a PX on a military installation in Germany that left one lady with a bloody lip and nose. All over a deal on little girl panties. Ironic thing was that neither female had daughters. I grabbed my boys and headed for home. There is no “deal” out there worth that behavior and I wasn’t about to expose my young sons to it!

  • I’m sorry. I don’t mind confrontation at all and it’s not about the product you are trying to buy, but the principle of the situation. I am ALWAYS kind and courteous to all shoppers. If someone has a few items and no coupons, I let them go ahead of me. I am very very nice to the cashiers. Their job sucks with big headaches and small pay. I don’t mind telling someone they are being greedy and I am just as stubborn as bull headed. If I need something to complete my transaction and someone is there that just cleaned the shelves, I will first politely say something to that person. If that doesn’t work, then I get a little more forceful. IF that doesn’t work, I will get the manager. They have the right to limit the amount of product someone buys. I will get my point across and I will get what I came after.

  • I did ran into another couponer, but it was totally opposite, she started sharing her coupons with me and giving me advices since I was a beginner at that time. We became good friends and continued helping each other’s with coupons. Unfortunately I moved from NY to CA and lost contact with this wonderful person Luise !

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