TLC’s Extreme Couponing: Week Four and the Scrutiny Begins

Extreme Couponing is back tonight for episode #4.

Last week we saw a generous Nathan fill his cart(s) for the troops and birthday twins Tai & Tarin rack up the birthday freebies. This week will feature Missy and Amy putting their couponing skills to the test.

We’re four weeks into it and I’m starting to feel the trickle down effect. I know I’m not alone. Last night I had a conversation with a fellow couponer. She said she has never felt more eyes on her as she roams the aisles with her binder. She is getting glared at right and left. People are whispering about her and the items in her cart. Disapproving glances prove the scrutiny is setting in.


With couponing, and not the most realistic couponing I might add, in the national spotlight many people are taking notice. Some are jealous of our savings and eager to learn the ropes so they too can unrealistically save $1,000 a shopping trip. Some have harsh words and accuse us of being cheap or ripping off the manufacturer/store. I understand both viewpoints based on what they are seeing week after week on TLC’s Extreme Couponing.

But let’s keep it real over here. Couponing the ethical and FAB way is empowering.

There is so much in my life I have no control over. I have to sit helplessly by as our government makes choices out of my control, regardless of whether I support them or not. I can’t dictate when my insurance company raises premiums or when the power company raises rates. I have to bite my tongue to keep expletives from flying as I fill my tank with gas (okay so I don’t cuss, but after I filled up yesterday I had a few choice words I wanted to say, then sit in a corner & rock myself. It hurt!). I can’t even control the weather. But what I can control and what you can control too is what you are paying at the grocery store.

I am in charge of that. I’m not a slave to shelf prices. And you don’t have to be either. You might never see a shopping trip like you do on TLC’s Extreme Couponing (the time, stress and planning that went into those trips would blow your mind. Reality TV is so not reality!) but we can guarantee you will save money if you choose to coupon. And if you choose to coupon you are choosing to empower yourself. You are in control. And that’s why we do what we do.

So have you seen/felt any backlash because of TLC’s Extreme Couponing? Do you feel empowered enough by couponing that you can take the heat?

Still haven’t watched Expreme Couponing and not sure what all the fuss is about? You can watch it on Amazon Demand! Catch up and watch Rebecca & Jessica‘s episode, J’amie & Tiffanys episode or Nathan & Tai and Tarin‘s episode for $1.99!

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.


  • JB

    I see what you mean by the looks from people when they see the coupons come out. I did my shopping at Albertson’s last night, and spent $100 on what would have been near $600. What I don’t think people realize is that coupons are almost hoarded just to get those savings, and I spent at least $20 in coupons to make a good majority of my stuff cheaper or free. I am an employee, so I had my little bit of a discount, on top of having the advantage of seeing what systems work best for the best savings. I think I was there for 2 hours. My kids chose to go with me, and I’m pretty sure they will NEVER do that again.
    We have a customer who shops weekly for her business, which ends with 4-5 cart loads, and I had so many people assuming that she was a crazy coupon lady. They actually were getting upset that we opened a lane for her to keep the lines reasonable. I think that show is giving those who want to honestly save money a really bad reputation. I would say that 95% of the couponers that I deal with are really nice and patient people. Some even share their coupons with us so we don’t miss out entirely on sales that we work and usually never get to take advantage of. I hope that the show takes a more realistic approach so that it doesn’t ruin it for the rest of us. They need to factor in time spent on coupons and money spent on ordering coupons.
    I’ve put together a good excel spreadsheet for keeping inventory on coupons, and one for a shopping list that calculates savings according to type of coupons. If anyone wants a copy of it, I can always e-mail it to you.

  • Rox

    Very well stated… I have yet to be glared at or stared down by people at the grocery store. But since Extreme Couponing has been airing I have definitely had friends as well as cashiers ask me…how do you do this (save so much money by couponing.) Well let me refer you to some awesome bloggers…Fabulessly Frugal being on my top 3 list.

    • Debra

      I, too, have refered people to this site! Fortunately, I have had good experiences with cashiers AND shoppers. I had a lady behind me in line one day and when she realized it was going to take awhile, she smiled and asked if she could watch me check out. She asked me tons of couponing questions, all the while nudging her husband, telling him they needed to start shopping like this. I usually only through the checkout lanes with the cashiers I know are very educated and actually like coupons as well. It makes the experience so much more rewarding. I have a favorite Rite Aid cashier that acutally cheers on the cash register as it lowers the total. She’s hilarious! Facing empty shelves at times, I try to keep a level head and know that another sale will come around eventually and the extra dollar or two I have to pay this time if I need the item is definitely worth it rather than getting all bent out of shape. I love couponing and it has been a lifestyle of mine for awhile, but following amazing blogs like this one has really fine-tuned my approach. Thank you ladies for being rock stars!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Holly

    I think I’ve had experiences similar to Rox. People seem curious and the cashier at Safeway asked my friend and I if she could go with us to learn how to coupon shop. So far so good at this point.

  • m

    i’ve noticed the shelves being cleared out quickly, sometimes soon after the stores open . couponing seems to be changing to more of a “black friday” type of event which is exhausting. hopefully the stores can keep up with stocked shelves now that couponing is becoming more popular.

    • Lisa

      Completely agree. Makes it hard to get the deals anymore! Have to go the first day they are out, especially with doubler’s.

    • Angelic Buckley

      I am TOTALLY in agreement. I have to leave the house at the crack of dawn (sometimes way before) just to be able to get some of the product that I want. I won’t even attempt Rite Aid (in Caldwell) because I am scared of getting run over or worse by some of the cart-filling hoarders that like to shop there first thing Sunday morning. Also, Walmart has, until recently, been a “backup” of sorts for me, that I could use with price-matching, if I needed, but I’ve noticed that the shelves are getting cleared before I can get there after reading a post. I am not the kind to push people out of the way, or run people over for free body wash, or clear the shelves, but it seems that if you want ANY product anymore, you almost have no choice!! I LOVE the money that I have been able to save my family with couponing, but with all of the recent hype, I have to admit that I am DEFINATELY getting discouraged!!!

      • becky

        i have to agree with you. it does get discouraging when you go to get the deals and the product is gone already thats why i get up at 6am on sunday mornins when we have doublers. it stinks though cause i have to wake my 1yr old up in order to go

  • Renee

    After having a horrible coupon experience at a certain walgreens, I have been going to a different one in town and have had 3 amazing trips. Having coupon friendly cashiers and a friendly manager makes a world of difference.

    When I see another couponer with their binder, I smile and say something positive. It is tough when other customers give dirty looks to couponers.

  • Shawna

    The one thing that no one has mentioned much about, but that bothers me more than anything else is the shelf clearing. I know I always place a special order when I plan to purchase a lot, but it really bothers me that the people on this show do not special order and seem to take pride in clearing out the shelf. I feel this gives us respectful and ethical couponers a bad name, that we are all greedy and don’t care about anyone else who would like to purchase the same item later. I am really disappointed with some of the people who have been featured. Especially J’amie, she was the worst.

    • Renee

      And yet again in tonight’s episode, more shelf clearing being done. Loved the comment in the episode about the 5 thousand coupon inserts being from God. Sounds a little shady.

    • FrugalMT

      I just want to say – “shelf clearing is not right”, but want to add that shelves can quickly be cleared by several couponers just getting the deals because most times the good deals require you to purchase multiples (cereal esp.). so if the store only has 40 boxes of a certian cereal – it takes 4 to get the deal and just 10 couponers purchase – they are all gone – shelf cleared. I only get 4 papers, and have 2 computers so only 8 match ups, which i don’t always get 4 to print on my computers :(. Many times i don’t get all the deals because the shelves are already empty, and i try to go the beginning of the sale for 1/2 the deals, and the end of the sale for the other 1/2 so that i leave some for the other guy wether they are a couponer, a wic particpaten, food stamps, or regular payer.

      • Susan

        While it’s true that sometimes it takes only a few shoppers to clear shelves as you have described, it’s also true that shelf clearing has gotten worse and worse lately, and there are abusers. I’ve witnessed it myself, and I’ve had cashiers tell me that. I’ll be at a store early on the first day of a sale, and they will already be out of sometime because one person was there the minute the store opened and bought them out.

  • Krystal

    This week I was asked by a store manager about couponing. He was near timid in fear of offending me to use the term “couponer”. He has coupon ladies that come in Sundays and clear shelves nearly routinely. He sincerely wanted to serve them and the community as well; he sought any advice or assistance from me as a couponer so that the store would be stocked enough to serve everyone. We can help stores and people, sometimes one store or one person at a time to affect positively the store and the impressions of couponers.

  • Kristin

    I’m really discouraged and disgusted. Since the show has been on the air, the shelves at my local stores have been cleared anytime there is a good deal. I shop on the first day that the paper comes out and the new deals start and I’m still having a difficult time even scoring ONE of an item. What a shame. The women that are ‘staring’ in these shows are forgetting what it does to the ‘little people’ who helped them get so popular.

    • Shawna

      Yes! I have had the same problems! I am not a hoarded, nor do I buy items my family doesn’t need or use just because they are free or cheap. Like J’aime did buying 46 mustards even though her family didn’t use them. I am just trying to make it as a single mom and this show is only showing that it is okay to disrespect your fellow couponers.

    • m

      Absolutely same experience….so frustrating with those “shelf cleaners”. I had an experience with one recently who had her daughter helping clean out the shelves, I said “Really??!!” but they didn’t care at all in the least. Ugh.

      • Beth

        I agree. I hearing more and more people concerned about the shelf cleaning since the show started. It really hurts the average couponer who is only trying to buy 1 or 2 that her family really needs in these rough financial times.

        • Kristin

          Since couponing each week takes work, I can only hope that soon these people get sick of doing the work. The disrespectful behavior makes me absolutely angry! I guess you can’t buy class (the way you can buy 80 containers of mustard…). It’s so disappointing to get jazzed up for a deal, get both kids ready and then find the shelf completely bone dry empty.
          I wonder if the companies are going to stop with high value coupons since they will have to shell out more and more cash as they are being misused.

    • Amanda

      I’ve noticed this too. It makes it hard to get your list to come out right when you have to skip out on items. My rule of thumb is if you don’t need it don’t buy it! If you don’t need 100 bottles of Tylenol then don’t clear the shelf!

  • K

    The other day while I was checking out at Albertsons I was chatting with the cashier about coupons and how I seemed to notice alot more people at their store using them lately. He said that the amount of customers coming in and using coupons since Albertons had been featured on Extreme Couponing was substantial. Unfortunately he said that many customers are getting the wrong impression from the show and are trying to use coupons in ways that they are not intended to be used – ie, ‘making money’ on an item and wanting cash back, or on incorrect items all together. It sounded like it’s been a big hassel for them, and I actually felt kind of bad. I’m still fairly new to couponing and over the last six months I haven’t really gotten any glares or snarky comments. Now I almost have to mentally prepare myself everytime I go in, even if I’m just picking up a couple things. It’s too bad, and I’m hoping that when this show blows over, everything will go back to how it was just a few months ago before the ‘Extreme Couponing’ craze.

    • JB

      I’m sure that it will blow over once people realize the time that is required for the great deals. Most people don’t want to have to spend hours on preparing for one grocery shopping trip. I know I don’t. I maybe do it 2-3 times a year. So my once in a while orders may seem crazy, but considering I only do it a few times a year makes it not seem so bad.

  • Amanda

    Since the show aired, I’ve noticed A LOT more “binder people” as I call them roaming the stores. While I’m happy that many more people are grasping the power of couponing, there does seem to be less product to go around.

  • Tammy

    I went yesterday to one store to get a few things with coupons…about 10 items w/ 8 coupons (store and manufacturer). Even the teens in line asked if I’d seen those extreme couponers. It started a whole conversation with them, the cashier…all of which lasted a lot longer than it took for my total to be wrung up and paid for.

  • Elaina

    I have been couponing for a couple of months and probably like most people, looking for ways to help stay above water while raising a family. I am choosing not to watch this show because couponing isn’t a game for me, I am buying things my families needs while making ends meet. Interesting thing still, now more than ever this show is everywhere. I turned on the car radio, and they were talking about it. I went into Alberstons and the shelves were wiped out of certain items and the store manager saw me fumbling with coupons and started a conversation about the show and then went on to say he even blogs about deals…Then tonight I went to Walgreens to get the splenda deal, and the clerk said he had only 5 boxes in back that he was holding for a lady that called ahead to reserve… and said don’t you watch extreme couponing? What is going on ….lol…

  • Diane

    I do not care for this show. I watched it with my daughter and she said “they are just horders”. Who really needs 100 bags of croutons (sp). I am unemployed and I started coupoing to provide for my family not to clear the shelf of all product. I went to Target for deal at 8:11am (the store opened at 8:00am) and the shelf’s were bear. This show leads people to belive there are not rules to follow when couponing. I do not know of a store that will “double” a hundred coupons do you?

  • Deana

    “Ditto” to almost every comment!!! The show is mentioned everywhere I go, and I notice the shelves are bare in no time. People lining up at the doors waiting for stores to open, and yes I’ve seen the stares and weird glances too. I too just want to buy a few things to help save money and make ends meet. I’m not buying things we don’t need, or hoarding things. I will admit that I have about a six month supply of toothpaste and pasta, but I did NOT buy these all at once. It has been a slow and methodical build up over time. I do believe that the new couponers that are products of the show will soon realize that it is not as easy as the show makes it out to be. I have no problem with the cashiers scrutinizing my coupons more closely, in fact I’m glad when they do, it will help cut down the fraud that occurs, and we all benefit from that. To my fellow non-shelf clears….cheers, and a tip of my proverbial hat!

  • Kelly

    All of the shelf clearing that goes on in the show is very rude. If they were clearing the shelf by buying 5 or 6 bags of something then it might be a different story. Nobody need 100 bags of crutons though

  • Emily

    On the shelf-clearing topic….I completely agree that it’s giving the wrong idea to new couponers. I’ve become increasingly frustrated lately with the Similac coupons. My daughter can only drink Similac due to allergies and I can’t find it anywhere anymore! I’ve driven to as many as 4 different stores in my area in one day to try and find it!

    • JB

      Similac being cleared isn’t really a coupon issue. Its part of the WIC program, so when the moms come in to get their checks worth, they usually get 9 at a time. I notice that they all seem to come around the same time, beginning and end of the month. I rarely ever see any sold outside of that.

      • Myia

        This is partially true…For the cans that’s why they are mostly gone. But for the ready to use, its the coupons because WIC doesn’t allow the ready to use unless your dr prescribes it. I am the same way! My little guy has allergies and can only have the Similac Soy and they stores have a more limited supply of it (typically there’s 2/3 more of the regular than the soy) but with the high value coupons that came out a few weeks ago places like Walmart they were $3.84 a bottle so if you used the $5 coupon you made $$ . I agree with the being frustrated about the shelf clearing. I went to 5 different Walmarts two different days and the a few other stores looking for the Nivea body wash and they were all cleared out…I think though when you have really high value coupons people are more eager to go use them right away. If the product is normally around $3 (like at Walmart) in a week or so you should be able to get them again, once the surge of couponers have used them.

        • JB

          My daughter had the same issue, and the Albertson’s brand worked just as good. It was a gamble trying it out, but when there isn’t anything else available we were forced to try something else.

      • jolene

        Have you tried putting in an order with one of your local stores? Maybe if you explain your situation to a store manager they could help you out somehow. You’d think with all the people using WIC checks right now stores would order more WIC approved foods.

  • Rebecca

    After couponing for years in boise I learned LONG ago not to expect to get the deals when they first come out. I get the ones I can, and get rain checks. I didn’t even bother with the body wash this week because I knew what the shelves woul…d look like. Instead i will try back in three weeks or so. There is no point in getting upset over empty shelves because that’s what happens when you have a ton if couponers in a small area. And another deal WILL come along. And by the way, yes I filmed an episode for the show. And my store new EXACTLY what I would be buying and how many of each so they could prepare…to me its common courtesy. And yes, my shopping trip for the show was NOT typical..but it was fun! And if anything it shows its entirely possible to do. And I donated 90% of it. Sorry for the novel I wrote…discussion if the show intrigues me ๐Ÿ™‚

    • JB

      I agree, prearranged trips make some of that more likely, but only because it was planned right to the very last item scanned. Like I said before though, it takes serious planning to get the best of deals like that. I am noticing that its getting harder to have special orders as much anymore.

  • Amy

    I love love loved the comment “you can’t buy class.” it is so true – if you could, would there be a coupon for it? A groupon? I would beg people to clear the shelf on that one – but seriously… I don’t shop on Sunday and I brace myself knowin that my time may have been wasted when I arrive to empty shelves but I too try to remember rain checks and price matching (if I have time to stop elsewhere). I am extremely fortunate in our financial situation – couponing allows me to stretch our dollars so I can do more with what we do have. It’s heartbreaking how many are truly in need these days. If there is anything I can do to help an individual(s) I try to find it. Melts any anger and frustration with couponing away to give and share with others.

  • Jami

    The show inspired me to start using coupons! After watching it over the last few weeks I have learned a few things but it really will never be my cup of tea. I wish there was some comparison to the big box stores, I love my Costco runs!

  • Kelsey

    As I’m checking out, I look at the carts of people in front of and behind me. If I have coupons that match any of their items (and I always do!) I ask if I can give them some and save a little money. When they see my 6″ binder, they agree. They assume I’m going to make some magic happen! I can usually save someone $5 or $10 bucks and it makes them happy! It also shows them that I’m not a jerk that wants to wipe out their store. The cashiers love it, too.

    The only way to turn the tide on the bad reputation that is developing is to share and be kind.

    **There was a gal at Target buying a lot of pet items with no coupons. I opened up my binder and showed her what I had. I’ll tell you – the Pupperoni and Dentastix coupons were flying!! We had so much fun and ended up chatting later.

    • Diane

      When I am shopping and I see someone buying something that I won’t need right away I offer some coupons. I offered a person some coupons for razor’s cause she was getting two and they are so darn expensive. But its cheaper to buy a new razor than to get refills. She was very happy and thanked me every time she saw in in the same isle that she was in. I also offered someone some coupons and she in turned offered me some coupons for a product that I wanted but had no coupons for. People will stare at me with my binder but o’well, I HAVE to do this in order for my family to eat some times. Times are hard and I try to save money as much as I can.

  • Abby I.

    Wow! After reading all these comments I think a lot of us feel the same. There are good shopping days and bad ones…I love couponing and I’m really happy there are sources out there like your website to help us out! I also, though have felt the “trickle down effect” For instance I went out yesterday to grab some quick mid-week deals and have never felt more scrutiny!!! At every store I went to, (usually these stores are awesome!) the cashiers looked over every single coupon, and argued with me over every item I purchased. It really took the fun out of it for me, I do understand they don’t want to get in trouble now with the whole “coupon fraud” fiasco, but they have to understand there are very legitimate coupon shoppers out there who are playing by all the rules. We should be respected as shoppers too!!

  • Theresa Stegall

    With gas prices the way they are you have to factor that in as well all the running to different stores to possibly gain a couple of freebies w coupons. Lately I find I’m just wasting my time and gas trying to get the deals and face empty shelves. What are the chances that my raincheck item will come in before the expiration date of the coupon? Is it worth my time to stand at customer service to get a rain check for a coupon that expires in a week? With the large number of couponers in the valley I have found myself with a lot of good valuable coupons that I BOUGHT, (didn’t take a whole brand new tearpad of coupons or peeled off all the coupons on products – all behaviors I’ve witnessed by greedy individuals recently). but can’t find the product on any store shelf and believe me I go to a variety of stores near daily so that I don’t lose money on all these coupons I bought. Similac, Purex, the softener crystals, mars easter candy, I got my 5 from my Sunday papers and ordered more off of ebay but all this turned out to be a waste of money. I have lots of coupons I would love to use but there are no products on the shelves to use them on, and I am a Sunday morning shopper too! It is now norm to see nearly half of all shoppers in the stores that I go to with binders, if they all have their 5 coupons too and want the same deal well… The effects of too many couponers in too small of an area, there is only so much product to go around.

  • Lena

    Ugh! I am so tired of this show and the reputation that comes along with it! But I am also tired of the greedy shoppers that do show up at the crack of dawn and take all that they can from the shelves (and come back later in the week to do it again!) at my local Walgreens, Walmart and Fred Meyer, even Albertsons.The Walgreens on 12th and Greenhurst in Nampa have started a “limit per customer” on the REALLY great deals, but it doesn’t seem to slow these people down much. I don’t think they are really thinking about others in this deal. But also I hope the stores will start to catch on and stock the shelves a little deeper on the really great sales. And finally I HOPE this show will GO AWAY – it’s annoying.

  • mks6boys

    I have also run across empty shelves and try to remember to request rainchecks or price match at Wal Mart, but Albertson’s went above and beyond for me on the Kellogg’s cereal sale, in my opinion. I asked for a raincheck for the Crispix and they were happy to do it, but I said then I wouldn’t get the free milk cat, so how would that work? The supervisor thought about it for a minute and then did a special order, let me prepay using coupons and doublers, and all the cats printed when he rang it up…perfect! But in the same store, another cashier accuse me of doing something “wrong” by requesting a raincheck (for ground turkey) and implying that “couponers” just ask for a raincheck so we can get the better price later. I’m just wondering what she thinks the definition of a raincheck really is…lol? Yes, they were out of stock, otherwise I would have bought it, but she sent me to the back of the store to specifically ask the butcher block if they had more (they did not). Not sure why she couldn’t call and verify herself. Both experiences in the same day, ahhh! Left a compliment for the first scenario and just walked away from the complaint, although I shouldn’t have because I felt very offended and insulted. I always follow policy and don’t try to trick anyone or misuse coupons in any way.

    • JB

      What store was that at? I would have complained. The cashier should not have sent you anywhere and is suppose to do it herself or get someone who can.

  • April

    I drove 15 min. to the closest Albee’s and I was going to do the Purex Softner deal. I had 15 coupons and I had my softner in the basket and when I got to the cashier I told her I needed to do alot of trans. She was not very pleasant about having to even touch a coupon. So I would do two trans. and if a line came I just went to the back of the line. By my 3rd time doing that I started chit chatting with her and she told me how they HATE coupons, and now that the show is out it’s only going to get worse. Well when I got back in line again she needed a break and she told me that she informed her co-worker of what I was doing! Well then she turned over her shoulder and was speaking under her breath to her co-worker and the co-worker was laughing and saying ‘Your bad” while looking at me! I knew for sure what they were speaking of but I wanted to complain but I knew that it was only my second time shopping there and I want to go back, but if that happens again with a employee I will take care of it. As for the show and the on lookers I really could care less! I have a family of 6 I have to provide for and since anything can happen I need to be prepared! Not only if my Husband loses’ his job but what about a earthquake? I live in southern CA so it’s possible! I’m really a nice person and I just need to go about my business and save money! Let’s face it those people are not paying our bills!

    • JB

      Again, just for telling you that they hate coupons, you should have complained. There are cashiers who get frustrated with the idea of having to actually work for their paycheck. Granted, there are some days that we get worn out from just being busy, but I’m sure that her manager doesn’t feel the same way. Coupons are just as good as cash in hand. There is no loss on our part for taking them. We LOVE them for sales. Sales=Hours which means more work. Without the customers, there’s no sales, which means layoffs. You would think that she’d appreciate that. It upsets me when I hear about cashiers treating the customers like they’re nothing but an irritation.

  • Amy B

    I have been coupon shopping for over a year now and love it. That being said I have noticed some of the store employees being less than friendly with coupon shoppers. I have to drive an hour to any store I go to so I plan a big list to get the most out of my trip. When cking out of an Albertsons I noticed the coupons were not adding up and I told the employee that she must have missed one of my coupons – I counted and double counted before I gave them to her. So told me I had to pay for all my items and then re-ring them my self a the self ckout and if I didnt get the same total she would look at it! She then went on to tell me that I was making the other customers mad becuse after all they were paying real money for their items! I had my two small childrem w me I just wanted to cry! Lucky for her there was a survey at the end of my recipt – I made sure to get her name before I left.

  • Jackie

    My husband and I watched extreme couponing together the other night and the shelf clearing really frustrated me. Not just for the other couponers but what about the families that don’t coupon and just want to pick up a box of cereal for their kids? Not cool. I’m more of a casual couponer because we have such a small house that I can’t stockpile (700 sq ft + baby!). Do I really need to shove disposable razors, pasta and cereal into every nook and cranny of my home or would I rather look around and see a nice, neat, clean, organized home that I feel comfortable and stress-free in?

  • ME

    I actually had an oposite reaction of someone that watched the show. While I was checking out with some friends at Albies with doublers. She sat and watched all of us to see how much we spent and how she could do it.

  • jolene

    I have been couponing at the same stores for about a year now and only have a small window to shop at roughly the same times. So I’ve found that the cashiers who know me because they ring me up all the time don’t give me grief because of the coupons. They know that I don’t always do ‘extreme’ coupon purchases. Sometimes I don’t use coupons. If I only used coupons what would I put the cheap BBQ sauce on? It’s the clerks that don’t know me that give me grief. My pet peeve is when stores don’t constantly enforce their coupon policy. At Albees I can only use 3 doubler per transaction in Federal Way but I heard they can use 9 per transaction in Lynwood. I’d understand if it were different between say WA&ID but Lynwood is an hour away!

    I think the problem is some of the newbie couponers are being trained with bad habits. Many of the TLC EC are bloggers and what is shown on the show doesn’t seem to match what they teach on their blogs. Maybe in the intro they should have Krazy Coupon Lady & Mr Coupon explain the etiquette like never clear shelves and if your doing a huge transaction order it with the manager. Instead of falling in a bed of coupons.

    In this tech age maybe the stores could set up special orders on the website. I order chicken on line with Zaycon. Some of the stores like Safeway have online shopping. It seems like it wouldn’t be that hard to set up. If it were more convenient maybe more people would do it this way and they would write less rain checks.

  • katie

    As I sat and waited in the longest line Tuesday night at walmart, I was surrounded by many people who made lots of comments about couponing. The lines were insane for 8:00 at night. Many people were frustrated. The lady behind me made the comment that no wonder they were in the coupon lane. I told her there was not a coupon lane. Her and her husband began talking about coupons and how insane it was and on and on. They also made some not nice comments. I just smiled and explained that not everyone is that extreme. This sparked the woman in front of me to chime in as well. The man than made a comment about how everyone seemed to have a binder..etc. The whole time I was in line a good 45 minutes this went on. When we got up to the cashier he too joined the conversation about coupons and how he has regulars and how one of them had bought 40 something bottles of hot sauce. I think the problem is that. They focused on the bad. The gentleman behind me watched the coupons I had, which was not much, I used most of my doublers at Albertsons, but needed a couple of things. When my total came up, he kept saying, wow that is impressive. Now it would have been better if they cashier had not messed up on two of my items, but oh well. I think the show has shown the wrong side of couponing. I think it is sad that instead of people wanting to know more or seeing it for the good, it only shows the bad and now we become these you are them. I want a sign that says I don’t buy more than I need, I only store what I will eat, no I will not clear a shelf, I am not like the show.

    • Diane

      I saw the show the other night and the stores make exception to the rule when the camera are rolling. If I remember correctly one lady had a lot of doublers at Albertsons and the cashier took them all, they did not enforce the 3 per transaction as they do with normal couponers.


    I guess the show is all about getting ratings and making people want to watch for entertainment value but it does suck for us couponers who have to deal with the rolled eyes and the “Oh, look it’s one of them!” point outs in the stores. I’m just trying to battle the economy and save a little where I can and don’t like getting categorized with the hoarders and selfish couponers just buying stuff they could never in a hundred years use all of or even use, just to get it for free to save a ton and look like they are the best couponers ever on the show. I wish the show was a lot more realistic of what we have to do to save a buck. If they showed the caldwell lady waiting in line 18 times to do her 3 doublers per transaction (like we all have to do) and also showed a clock of how long she waited in lines, clipped coupons, how much she spent on all those coupons, most people would say OK I could save a lot but there is no way I am wasting that much time and effort. I do think the show should have to address the fact that coupon fraud was used by J’aime to get her total so low. She totally ripped off the manufactures of those coupons, and do you think that they will be putting out any more $1 off coupons in the near future for us after this? probably not. I asked my kids if they have watched the show because they HATE my couponing and will stay in the car or hide in the store rather than go through a check out line with me if I have to use a coupon. How funny, they said that they love the show and think the people are so cool for getting $800 worth of groceries for $5.

  • bess

    these comments are all so interesting! i’ve noticed more shoppers with coupon binders since the show started, and like the feeling of “i’m not alone.” ๐Ÿ™‚ plus, i think the increased knowledge of coupons has helped me be a bit more assertive when a store is making a mistake with coupons. recently, a local kroger was running a promotion to receive a $5 gift card when 4 select general mills products were purchased. i purchased the four items and used coupons and then asked about the gift card. i was told that using coupons negated the offer. i politely asked them to show me where that was printed. since it wasn’t printed anywhere, a call to the manager got me the gift card, but left me not wanting to shop at that particular kroger anymore (another kroger gave me the deal with no hesitations). luckily, we have a few to choose from. i went to another one this week, where i was told i couldn’t use my $1/1 toaster strudel coupons because i had an e-coupon on my kroger card for them. thankfully, i had my printout of what e-coupons were on my card, and could show that i did not have ANY for that product. the cashier was polite about it and had to over-ride the system to give me the savings. in both cases, i hate that i had to be the “squeaky wheel.” but you’d better believe i was going to get the savings! ๐Ÿ™‚ thankfully, i had my politeness filter on and i think that helped both experiences.

    p.s. i really loathe kroger’s new coupon policy that they will not combine a kroger e-coupon with a manufacturer’s coupon. as a result, i’ve removed a bunch of kroger coupons from my shopping card – the manufacturer’s savings are better! wish we had an albertson’s!

  • Pamela

    The show is terrible!! I no longer shop any where else then my corner Albertsons. The managers there go out of their way for couponers!! During doublers the “use” to keep them at check-out, you didn’t need to have them-they also allowed you more than 3 at a time. Reasoning(And yes I asked) they want our business, they make money off our coupons and hope we will buy more items. (LIke myself) Last double day-two ladies came in, cleared the shelfs, then had a big hissy fit about having to go out and buy all the newspapers to get the doublers. They then called corp. headquaters and complained. Guess whatt?! Now my Albertsons will only take 3 doubles per person, only 3 transactions at a time. And, doublers are no longer at the check-out. These two ladies ruined for everyone else!!!! No, I won’t say which Alb’s , the managers and checkers already have been through enough. I will continue to shop at this store-they treat couponers with respect. Their customer service is awesome. Unlike these two ladies and people on this “show” I’ve never cleared a shelf. Sorry so much for the rant. I hate that show but LOVE this site. Thank you for having such a great site for us “regular” couponers.

  • mamie

    i just been couponing a short time i think the show on tlc is very very desceptive you really have to love it and want 2 save the money along with a art of knowing how 2 do it and when to do it i think the sunday newspaper has profited of off the show i hope it dont ruin it 4 us i no my local piggy wiggly grocery store want take printed coupons now b/c 2 many fake 1s was coming through and there cash regester are very old they dont even scan they ring everything up the old way so this left a lot of room for stupid people and dishonest people 2 mess it up 4 the honest people i think it want last long b/c these people will give up they will get tierd of all the time and work it takes b/c of the show on tlc is so deceptive i would luv 2 c the goverment give out food coupons instead of food stamps i c alot of people who get food stamps that abuse them by selling them and other things just think of how much money the goverment would save just in this one area ive worked all my life i graduated from college and i am retiered now and on monthly income coupon allows me 2 feel like i didnt just work 35 years 2 eat it seemed like all my money was going 2 the grocery store every month since ive been couponing me and my husband r getting 2 do more things since we have more money in r pockets not some companys bank account

  • Alisha Parsons

    I would love a coupy of your spreadsheets ๐Ÿ™‚ couponsavvy531@yahoo.cp,

  • Wayne

    I aqlso would like a copy of your spreadsheets please.

  • Renee

    People always complain about how the store doesn’t have enough product but stores order products MONTHS in advance-like Walgreens put in an order last year for a sale going on today. They can adjust the order for more or less or order more but they don’t have the space for 1,000 sticks of deodorant. I think more “extreme couponers” needs to go work retail for a few years and see first hand their destructive ways. Is it that hard to special order something? Most know the sale a week in advance anyways why go and clear the shelf and say “I was here first-tough luck”. Ugh-I hate that show and what it has made people here in my town. I can’t even shop with coupons anymore-it’s a waste of my time. I have literally 89 rainchecks in my binder for 1 store that I still can’t use because of warehouse outs from a crazy couponer.

  • Stacy DaSilva

    Lots of interesting and intelligent responses!

    Like I said in another thread, some people do shoot me rancid looks, some are curious and interested. I ignore the nasty people. I just chuckle in my head and think, “I guess you just LIKE throwing you money down a hole in the ground.”

    I really don’t care what people think. I tend to go to two stores regularly, enough that the cashiers recognize me. They know I don’t pull any scams, they know I’m cheerful and will help bag to get my big order off their line. And I’ve done the math and I have my coupons and money ready.

    I started being thrifty as a single mom on peasant wages. I had WIC and food stamps for a few months even. But as I worked my way through the world, found the love of my life and a good career, I would never give up being thrifty even now that I don’t need to be. It’s smart, it’s fun, it’s teaching my kids how money works and how to be self sufficent if hard times roll back our way. So anyone with something to say can say it. I’m going to buy most of my clothes deep discount or consignement consignment and carry my coupons everywhere. My fiance LOVES it. The clients I meet with at work say I’m stylish. I’m caring and providing for my family.

    These are the opinions I care about. Strangers? Blergh.

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