TLC’s Extreme Couponing: It’s BACK!

A new season of Extreme Couponing is starting tonight!

Are you ready for another round of potential backlash? Are you ready for couponers to be thrust back into the spotlight, the good, the bad and the shelf-clearers? Buckle up, because based on the previews, this may be a bumpy ride.

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

We are certainly hoping that since they brought Extreme Couponing back for a 2nd season, 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 has hurt couponing for you?
  • Do you think it has helped mainstream couponing and lending to 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!

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Still haven’t watched Extreme Couponing and not sure what we’re talking about? You can catch up on missed episodes for $1.99 on Amazon Demand!

Need help getting started on your journey

to Extreme Couponing… done right?

Our 90-minute coupon class on DVD will teach you step by step the correct and ethical way to implement extreme couponing. Use code EXTREME for a 55% discount at check out.


Comments

  • heather

    I’ve never seen the show, but I think the general public views couponers in a more negative way because of it. In my experience, backlash from the show and non-ethical couponers have hurt couponing. Almost all of our local stores have changed their policies within the past 6 months due to bad couponers. On the plus side, I think there might be more coupon use overall and it seems like there are more coupons available than there were a couple of years ago. That might just be the economy, though, not the show.

    Extreme couponing, to me, is feeding my family for less. I don’t hoard anything and I almost never have more than 5-6 of something on our shelves. I’ve never cleared a shelf and I’ve never used more than 10 of the same coupon at one time. (Not that those things are necessarily bad, but I think they are some things that the general public thinks of when they think of extreme couponing).

  • Michele Ruiz

    I feel the show displays the super natural side of it not the everyday real side of it, c’mon our trips are great but we don’t all coupon like that.

    And I do it to feed my family for less! we have successfully been saving 62% since I started 4 months ago!

  • TLC only has shows that showcase the extreme side of everything- Jon and Kate + 8, Sister Wives, Toddlers and Tairas, etc. I did think it was funny that after the very first show they had the show “Haorders” on. Most couponers are in it to get good deals and feed their families for less. But would we really watch a show about average every day people just getting by? Maybe not.

  • DaddyNoBucks

    My wife is a couponer. We’ve gotten a TON of free stuff, but never any $400 orders for free. We absolutely refuse to use coupons in an unethical way. In fact, the other day they accidentally scanned two $.75 coupons when we were only supposed to use one. The guy actually did an override to apply the coupon. My wife was studying her receipt when she got home and saw it. She ran back and demanded they take 3 quarters and put them in the register, even if it meant his drop would be high!

  • margaret

    I would like to know how do they aquire that many coupons? I never have more than 5 of the same coupon.

  • Kandace

    It’s the reason my family started to coupon. I never buy more than I can use or donate in a reasonable amount of time. I just recently started getting the inserts for free from a friend of a friend who delivers newspapers – potentially I could have over 100 of each insert but why? I would never use that much and I would never want to stockpile that much. I do not like lots of the people on the show but I love others. But I will be tuning in because every dollar counts and I love having a goal – even if it may not be achievable.

  • Tonya

    Ever since that show aired I have been more than frustrated with couponing. Ever since about February, every trip I would plan out to Albertsons would end up frustrating because they would be out of EVERYTHING. I only have a family of 3 so I am not one to stock up with millions… but when I am hoping to get 5 bottles of dressing or boxes of cereal and they don’t have ANY, after a while that gets really old. I found myself wasting so much time there (I have to go late at night when my hubby can be home with the baby) that I now feel like it is not worth the time and effort. I really think Extreme Couponing ruined it for us couponers. I had been couponing for over 2 years and I just canceled my subscription to the Statesman. I think I can find just as good of deals using my Target redcard and shopping sales week to week. Thanks TLC!

    • Tracy

      I agree that this show makes things more difficult at the stores. When the show was first on I was not even bringing my binder into the store (just an envelope with what I thought I would need) because of the negative reactions to it. “Oh you’re one of those people”. Over the summer I think the hype died down and things got better. I might just take a break for a while until this next storm passes. My stockpile should carry me through!

    • Kristine

      I am in complete agreement. I don’t know if it’s the show, the number of couponers in general, or lower inventories at the stores, but I am running into the same problem. I have two kids (with one on the way), homeschool, run a ministry, and take care of our home and the time I have to coupon is limited. Once I squeeze in the precious research and clipping time, I head to the store (usually when I should be spending that time with my hubby) only to find that just about everything I need is out! I couponed for about a year and then I had to stop. I was getting SO frustrated. I am not doing it for the high, or even specifically to donate. I am couponing to save my family money, but the frustration is causing me to rethink couponing and find other ways I can save. And then I watched the trailer for Extreme Couponing and saw a lady openly ADMIT that she shelf clears! Not cool! Thanks for all the deals you post – I wish I could take advantage of them without the frustration!

    • I also agree with you ladies, I recently went to Walgreens to get 4 bottles of dish soap that was a great deal. I went on Sunday morning to walk in the store and see a guy and gal buying 40, yes 40 bottles and left me nothing! I was so mad but I’m not the type to say anything and I wanted to so bad. I just want enough for my family to hold us over to the next sale. A few items, not so much that we can’t even use them. To top it off, they cleared the shelf of some shampoo that was free for them and I heard the lady saying, “I just tell my kids to use this as bubble bath, cause we’ll never use this much”. Needless to say I was very frustrated over the GREED I feel that has taken over people.

  • Heather

    I watch the show just for entertainment, I don’t understand some of the deals because some they don’t pay tax (must be what state they’re in or something…)  I don’t think anyone needs quite that much stuff, but Hey if that’s what your family needs/ feels comfortable with/ you donate stuff then what the heck! Though I don’t agree that you have to do it ALL AT ONCE.  Though I was watching one  of the episodes leading up the the premiere tonight and the one lady was totally checking out your website! lol  I started couponing after this show came out so I don’t know how it has effected couponing in general.  Though everyone I mention anything about coupons they always bring up the show.

    • Heather

      Also, I wonder if the “shelf clearing” and like crazy amounts is mostly for the show… because I know there are people out there who do kinda hoard and hog, but i think the empty shelves might just be due to the popularity of couponing now a days… who knows really?  It’s easy to blame “some crazy lady that clears the shelves” then to just say “Bummer, probably 10 other people came before me and took 3-5 each.”

      • Susan

        Agreed that in some cases it only takes a few people buying a few products to clean out a store, especially in the case of drugstores or new items that are not manufactured in mass quantities.

        But at the Albertsons, Walgreens, and Rite Aid stores I normally shop at, there ARE a few people who go in early on the day of a sale and clear the shelves.  I’ve witnessed it personally, and also I hear about it from the cashiers.  If the shelf is empty of a certain promotional item that I’m looking for, I’ll inquire about it in case they more inventory that isn’t out on the shelf yet, only to be told “so and so was here this morning and cleaned us out.”  The cashiers even know these people by name.

  • Stephi

    The TLC show is actually what got me couponing.  With that said, I don’t wipe out shelves nor do I buy more than I need.  What I love is being able to stock up a bit, and not have to buy the same things each shopping trip.  I shoot for a 50% savings and my best so far is 42%.  I only use the coupons off the internet and then catalinas when applicable.  I also get the Sunday paper on Monday if there are any extra at our local grocery store. 

    I try to be organized at checkout and not a pain to be behind in line.  I have enjoyed saving money and trying to beat my last shopping tirp.  Who needs 5years worth of deodrant????  I do have a food storage, but I am slowly working my way to a year’s supply.  I appreciate sites such as yours that help me know about deals I may miss.  I shop every two week for groceries and hit Target and Costco once a month.  I save money just doing a two week menu as opposed to shopping every week.

    Everything in moderation, good motto to live by, even for couponers!!!

     

  • Jess

    I have been couponing for about 6 years, I have never seen shelves so bare as in the past two years. I no longer even go to Walgreen’s because when I go Monday morning everything I want is gone. The girls at the register who have become friends with over the first 4 years said there are now a couple of ladies that “hoard” all the great deals on Sunday. Albertson’s no longer have their great deals on the shelf but I can always get rain check so I am fine with that. I believe that this Extreme Couponing show has a lot to do with it which makes me sad. I think it is a fad that will pass with time though (like scrap booking and beaded watch bands, some will still do it but for the most part they get tired of it and quit) so for now I will wait it out. I love the rush I get when I find a fab deal but I do it so I can stay home with my children. I have found with the money I save from couponing and child care I would have spent I come out about even for what I would earn working full time.

  • Ashley S.

    Short story MIXED, I think it gives couponers a little bit of a bad name. People at work asked me if I had a “storage room”, I was like NO WAY! My house is way to small and I don’t need all that stuff. I have only been couponing for about 9 months and fabulesslyfrigal.com has really tought me how to coupon well for my family and my time. However the show is making couponing widly talked about… good!… great!…. people should know that they don’t have to pay full price, but the manner in which some of the people coupon shop on the show make them look like they are hoarders, thus making the couponer title make people think that you are a hoarder. That is not how I would like to seen.

  • Maria

    Ugh. Hate the show. It gives couponing a really bad name. BUT it did get my wheels turning and I decided to test it out. Frustrated with couponing at first, then I remembered hearing about this website started in the Treasure Valley….it was fabulously something…..searched a little and landed on this site. What a God send! I love this site. It was just what I needed to get my education on couponing and learning the ropes so to speak. I started back in May and I LOVE couponing. I have been able to pass it on and teach my sisters and my friends. Helped pull my head out of the financial mess I was in and rethink how to do things. There are better ways. I absolutely only buy what we will use, and do not hoard or shelf clear. We are a family of 10 living off one teeny tiny income. In a time when there is so much uncertainty, it does give me some peace knowing that we have a food storage building up and my family would not have to go without in the event there was something bad that happened. Couponing gives me peace of mind. TLCs show just shows crazy couponers shopping for the thrill of a steal.

  • Dayla

    I totally dislike the show, because in the end all it will do is drive up cost of food for all other consumers!  I wish there was an absolute limit to how many number of products that you can buy…no one needs to become a hoarder…simply coupon enough to make food costs more manageable.  While I greatly appreciate your website to help me get the good deals of the week, I am trying to figure out a time to buy when stores are actually stocked with the deals of the week.  I’ve only been couponing for about 3 months, so very new @ this…all I want is a lower grocery bill for my family & a normal stocked pantry, no hoarding here!  Does anyone else notice that is usually the processed foods versus the healthy foods that have the bargains?  So it is all how you choose to live your life & feed your body.  I just wish the show wouldn’t cost us dearly in the long run, like I am certain it will.

    • Susan

      “Does anyone else notice that is usually the processed foods versus the healthy foods that have the bargains?  So it is all how you choose to live your life & feed your body. ”

      Dayla, yes!  Before I started couponing in earnest a year and a half ago, my kid was the one who never had box tops to take to school because I never bought the processed food that carry box tops.  We were more of a “meat, dairy, rice/pasta, fresh/frozen fruits and veggies” type of family as far as groceries go.  You might find a few boxes of mad-and-cheese, a box or two of cereal, and a few cans of soup in my pantry, but never much else in the way of processed food. 

      However, our downside was eating out a lot.  When you buy primarily fresh, whole foods, it involves more preparation (obviously) than convenience foods, so coming home after a busy work/school day, it was easier to just go out to eat or grab takeout.  We got into a really bad habit there.  I was wasting money because the fresh foods I’d bought with good intention were going to waste because we weren’t consuming them regularly. 

      So, in an efforts to save money I got into couponing, and along with it came the junk food.  It did make it more convenient to eat at home vs. grabbing takeout and I did save a lot of money, but we were not eating a very healthy diet, and we found that we really don’t like the processed food all that much.

      After a while, I dialed it back to focusing more on fresh, whole foods and taking the time to prepare them.  I still coupon, but I get the best deals on drugstore and household items.  When it comes to groceries, my savings comes from taking the time to shop sales, stock up when prices are low, and focus on preparing meals and actually consuming the fresh foods I buy instead of letting them spoil in the fridge while eating takeout.  It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it. 

      I’d love to find an online resource that focuses on ideas for healthy eating on a budget. 

       

  • Nicole Schmidt

    I loved the first season of the show, it just really got me pumped up, but then all of the rules at the stores started to change making couponing even harder and more time consuming.  I watched last nights episode and saw previews for an upcoming show where the lady is proud to be a shelf clearer and it was really sad to think that these folks wouldn’t want others to enjoy this great feat and have the thrill that couponing gives.  Probably won’t watch it again…

     

  • Shannon

    I think the idea of showing people how to coupon is great.  However, I don’t like them showing people using coupons for different items than what is being purchased.  I also don’t like hearing them encourage shelf clearing.  I stopped Sunday morning to get the Charmin Basic at Walgreens and there were a dozen binder couponers standing around b*tching because the theraflu deal wasn’t working.  There was no toilet paper, and these binder couponers had every package of W brand pads in their shopping carts which left none for anyone else.

    I think the show has made couponing more difficult for me because they are scrutinizing every coupon, some cashiers act as if you are stealing from them and the stores are limiting the coupons they will take.  For example,  Kroger here in WV will only take 2 of each internet coupon.  I have multiple computers and sometimes would like to get 4.  I am forced to either make two trips on two different days or take my husband along to get the other 2 items.

    Couponers in general have always been reasonable in their shopping but since this show started the ‘new’ couponers are making it hard on everyone else who is doing it the right way.

  • Judy

    After seeing this I thought it was a good time to share about the disappointment I have seen here locally. I am all for getting a good deal and for stocking up, but when you go to yard sales and you see tables of items couponers have either gotten for free or for hardly anything and they are trying to sale it for a profit, that is messed up. If you have to much on your shelves, donate to your church. Love Inc,  or local pantry. There are many people out there right now in this economy that can’t afford and are going without. Makes me very sad, and I think that is something that gives us all a bad name. Where has the generosity gone, why do some think it’s ok the make money on things they paid little for or got free? Maybe if others were more aware of all the needs out there they wouldn’t be so selfish and would get what they need for thier families so there is still items left for others to buy.

  • jAMIE

    I think it wil be surprising to see where the show goes from here after the stores and manufactures get smarter after being made fools of by this show.  A store can’t make it financially if every one of their customers is walking out with carts full of free food. The way I see it is when a store offers double coupons they are paying for half of that free food and the coupon manufacturers are paying the other half.  Before the show not that many people knew it was even a possibility to get so much for so cheap, now everyone who has cable and has stumbled upon the show knows how to do it, you get your hands on a bunch of coupons however you can, hopefully legally, but we all know that not all do and we stories in the Statesman about newspaper thefts.  Of course not everyone is willing to go to all the trouble of extreme couponing but we can all agree that it sure has taken off in Boise/Meridian.  Some people if they can hoard they will, getting free stuff is addicting.  I see more store limits coming in the future and then how exciting will that show be. I do hope they don’t show that thief Jaimie on there again with her coupon fraud, what a jerk!  I have no respect for any of those people on the show because they are all taking good deals off the shelf for everyone else who truly needs it.  If you have to convert your garage and rooms in your house to a storage facility for all your loot you have a problem! Hello you will never in your entire life be able to use all that.

  • Elizabeth

    I refuse to watch this show and many other reality shows because I don’t want to promote or in any way support this kind of lifestyle.   Our local library gives away a limited supply of Sunday preview newspapers with coupon inserts on Saturday afternoon and if I am able I usually try to run by and get one copy.  I routinely have seen people take 6-8 free copies at a time.  I appreciate blogs such as this one where people can go to learn how to coupon in an ethical way.  

    I totally agree with Susan.  Taking a little extra time to prepare healthy meals and watching the sales for produce and meat etc… is a much healthier way to save money and also much more satisfying in my opinion.  Although I also realize that budgets are very tight for many families right now and not everyone has as many options.

  • Janet

    I gotta say, you might not like what I have to say. Couponing is a great way to save money and your budget while providing affordable groceries for your family. The program showed a gross exaggeration of what goes on with the average couponer. Most of us just want to save money on groceries.

    Also, have you considered what the impact of this extreme couponing may have for your future? The stores and manufacturers are getting wise to those who abuse the use of coupons. Yes, it is legal, but is it ethical?. And, for how long will the discounts continue? As the companies crack down on these couponing tactics, those of us who are just out to feed our families for less will suffer. Also, if you bankrupt the companies or markets that help feed your family you are only “biting the hand that feeds you!”.

    I am all for the grocery stores limiting coupons to a certain degree.  Those coupons were never meant for the hoarder. They are meant to get people to try or continue to use their products. We can benefit from those intentions and lower our grocery bills. But, if abused those savings could quickly become a thing of the past.

    • Miriam

      I agree with limiting the number of coupons. Most stores around here limit it to 4-6 and for most items, that will tide anyone over until the next sale. I also agree with limiting the number of a sale product that users can purchase because it helps things stay in stock so one person doesn’t have ALL of the product in their cart.

  • Anita

     

    DO MANAGERS OVERRIDE FOR EVERYONE OR JUST THE SHOW?

    I had just started learning how to coupon “effectively” when the show started and to me it did seem like the show gave a bad taste about couponers to many people and I noticed that the stores changed their policies shortly thereafter. Now the stores in my area will only take one or two coupons at one time. It stinks!! There are other rules that changed too, so to me it does seem like the show contributed to this wide spread policy change at many stores that has crippled the process of saving as much as you can on items you actually use. I stopped watching the series during the first season because I thought it was terrible for the couponers to empty shelves on items that they did not actually use, just because they could. So the show did turn me off, but I gave it another chance last night and the main question I have is……………it seemed like many of the extreme couponers have to have the manager override the system in order for the transaction to happen because the system locks up after the limit on coupons is met. My concern or question is do managers do that for everyone or is this done for the sake of the cameras and the show

     

  • jolene

    I’m not a fan of Extreme Couponing. The latest ads with the lady saying that she is proud of being a shelf clear make me sick and I have to turn the channel. I think the biggest problem with the show is all the new couponers it creates that don’t understand sales cycles. There are a lot of people who are see the show and don’t understand that toothpaste will be free again in a couple months.  I have had other customers make negative comments when I pull out my coupons because of EC. I don’t shop at Albertson’s, RA, or Wags  anymore because by the time I get there the good deals are gone.

    I do a lot of freezer cooking now. Since I cook for 2-3 months at a time in one weekend I have been going to Winco and Costco. I have my grocery budget on a prepaid Visa so my excess grocery money just accumulates and doesn’t get spent on something else. I do use coupon’s for things like pasta, rice, and frozen bread dough (because of a Fab Freezer recipe! THANKS!). I usually just use food coupon’s at Winco to bring the total down.  I don’t use as many coupon’s since the show started but I’m still a frugal person and have a full pantry. Coupon’s aren’t the only way to save money.

  • Kat

    I think the show gives couponers a bad name and promotes hoarding.
    It is not portraying real life at all.
    I have noticed stricter store policy changes in the last few months.

  • Erika

    Anyone who thought that reality tv was based on reality is just fooling themselves.  Do we really think that this is how these people act when they aren’t on tv?  I work with 24 underprivellaged girls 5 days a week and this has been the hardest part – explaining that reality tv is totaly fake.

    That being said, “EC” has been terrible for my community – I only have 2 grocery stores to chose from and they are almost always empty.  This isn’t totaly because of the show – we have had some major economical growth in our area and the stores have been a little slow to catch up with the demand, but I can say that right after the new season started my comunity hosted a “EC” night at the library for people to come learn what it’s all about, and the shelves have been bare of sales items since…

    The lady who taught the class did emphasize that integrity is important, and that NOBODY needs 67 mustards… Or however many it was.  She did a great job, but the decisions are always in the consumers hands on things like this.  I think the show has done more harm than good, but I don’t think it will be long lived.  As for me, I plan on being a 95 year old coupon lady.  I won’t let this minor setback ruin it for me!

  • Sherry

    1) The couponing they are doing is too extreme for everyday use. 2) I consider those stock piles hoarding. No way could anyone use that much product and  yet, they keep buying. Donate or stop. 3) Yes, they are ruining it for the rest of us. I purchase 5 papers every Sunday. Plus print some. Never over 2. I have went to Walgreens & Walmart and had cashiers give me dirty looks. I feel degraded for purchasing 5 boxes of pop tarts (Even though I have four children, two teenagers. And those are a bi-weekly buy for me, regardless of having coupons or not) I just don’t see the “need” in 100 boxes of noodles or 25 cases of gatorade. Unless your running a not for profit business. 4) NONE of the stores within 100 miles from me double or triple coupons. Plus, there are no stores that offer the store “discount’ card they all refer to. The stores often do stuff for them to get on the show. Its not how the “average” couponer is treated! 

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