TLC’s Extreme Couponing: What I Wish They’d Show

Extreme Couponing is back tonight for episode #6.

Last week we saw Desirae & Stephanie putting their couponing skills to the test. This week features Chris & Antoinette tonight on TLC at 9:30 EST.

I am hopeful this week after reading the synopsis on TLC’s website: A single mom uses coupons so she can afford to support her mother and daughter; a couponer tries to collect 700 donated items without spending a dollar.

Now that’s more like it. Hopefully the episode will live up to the overview and shed a positive light on couponing. Because extreme couponing can be an amazing thing if done correctly.

My husband was on his way home the other day when he remembered our daughter (who we are certain will be a bed-wetter until she’s in college at this rate) was out of Under Jams. He pulled into Albertsons to grab some. While standing in line a woman behind him noticed what he was purchasing and flipped open her coupon binder. She offered not only a coupon for the item he was purchasing, but an additional 5 coupons for future use.

Of course I had a binder full of them at home, but her kindness to a complete stranger is what struck me. Now that’s EXTREME COUPONING done right! Where were the TV crews to record that? That is the behavior we see so often while running this website. We not only see your kindness in the aisles as my husband witnessed, but we see it first hand when you give back BIG TIME during our Pay It Forward Garage Sale each year. And we get to read your emails about how you were able to use your stockpile to donate goods or help feed a family in need. We hear about how couponing has blessed your life and so you in turn bless others.

That is what I wish they would show. That is the reality of couponing we see in our community; the goodness of couponing we see every day.  Not the cart stuffing mustard hoarding or the focus on the gray areas of couponing, but the amazing way coupons bless lives. That is a show I would watch all the time! That’s the Extreme Couponing reality I know.


Still haven’t watched Extreme Couponing and not sure what we’re talking about? You can watch it on Amazon Demand! Catch up and watch Missy and Amy’s episode, 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.


  • Cicely Lundberg

    I am a new couponer, only been at it about 2 months. Another couponer saw me at Albertsons last week, with my binder, she ran up to me gave me 5 peelies, each for 50 cents off brownie mix, and she proudly said, “This makes them 40 cents a box! Have fun shopping coupon mommy!” and off she went disappearing down a aisle…
    I really love couponing – for saving $ and meeting great people….

  • Tracy

    I love helping others out on my shopping trips. A while back here was a lady in line at Target buying a pair of Khaki shorts for her son, I handed here a coupon for 10% off. She was so grateful. It’s contagious!

  • Becky

    Hehehe… that’s so funny… I did that exact thing to a guy the other day… even explained the whole sale to him… 🙂
    Gotta love playing the coupon fairy!!

  • margie

    i have many times handed over coupons. i feel proud to be able to help others learn how or just save them to save money. it is a great feeling. that would be awsome to see. i don’t think most of us want to clear the shelves just to have hundreds of the same item that will expire before we use it. i do have a small stockpile but over the last year i have learned that the coupons repeat and i can buy a 4-6 month supply and not have to hord. lets see some real couponing.

    • aimee

      i just started couponing and the 4-6 month thing is really great news for me. just today i bought 20 bottles of laundry detergent (for $.99 a piece) and thought – did i really need to buy this many? what do i do if i come across another sale? can i let it go? how often do these good deals come around? i hate the hoarding concept – it’s not practical never mind a burden on other shoppers. so great news – thank you for the info!! this can set more realistic perspectives for me.

  • Connie

    I got in on the cereal sale and netted several gallons of free milk. I wasn’t able to use them all before they expired, so I parked myself in the milk aisle and gave them away. It was so fun!

  • Alicia Warren

    So glad for your post. I have only seen snips of the extreme couponing show (I am too cheap to pay for cabel)…but can view a few minutes. It just isn’t realistic for everyone. I get it, loading up…but I prefer to spend less out of pocket, keep my money where I can use it (money is tight)….so, I try to get coupons from friends, etc and not buy thousands of coupons online, etc. It isn’t for everyone…extreme couponing.

    I have been couponing for 2 years now and I found a great place to donate too… all the stuff I make money on and will NEVER use I can find a useful home for.

    It feels so good. I have some “coupon” friends I have now met and run into at the stores…sometimes they tell me of deals….or if there is a good deal (like the hot dog deal a few weeks ago)….and I don’t need them, but see people shopping for them, I give my coupons…it is an awesome feeling. I just hate throwing out my coupons after they expire, and I love leaving them for others.

  • Patty

    I think it’s terrible you would joke about you daughter and her need for Under Jams. Perhaps, when you are older, and need under jams, she can joke about it on her blog to the world….

    • Julie E

      Good Lord, learn to take a joke. If she was saying it about someone else’s child then you’d have room to complain. It must be terrible to live life without humor.

    • Amber

      Patty I probably should have explained a bit better. Our daughter is still little (age-wise) but is pretty sturdy (build-wise) so she can no longer fit in diapers. We are right in the thick of potty training at night and I’m just feeling exasperated! Hence the statement!

      • Chandra

        Any mom who has been there SHOULD “get” that. 😉 Good luck. I remember feeling the same way… THREE TIMES. Good news is, they all get it eventually.

        • KD

          I totally understood the potty-training thing. I have three kids, and two of them potty-trained during the day, and then instantly got the night time thing. The third one was wearing Under Jams until he was 5 1/2. By that time I was ready to bang my head against the wall. Just when I’d given up hope, he caught on. Good luck. So been there.

  • Robin

    I was walking through the store the other day and saw a lady in line with a couple of things in her cart that I had coupons for. I went through my coupons and found what I knew she could use and handed them to her. It put a big smile on her face to get them.

    When it comes to the show extreme couponing, it really bothers me the way that they go in and clean out the shelves. I get so upset when I walk into a store on the first day of a sale and it is still early in the day and find that they do not have anything that I am looking for. I know people are donating some of these things to good causes and helping to stock up their own shelves, but what about those of us who can’t go to the food banks but can’t afford to buy somethings at cost. I am living paycheck to paycheck and could really use some of these items and can’t seem to get to them fast enough. I had the formula coupons, and have a baby on the way and had a hard time getting any of the formula. I really could have used it and was only able to get a few but heard of someone who went and bought a bunch of it, didn’t even need it, and just donated it all. That was a little dissappointing for me. And extreme couponing seems to do the same things alot.

    • FurgalMT

      I find that the stores in my area have to restock often – even at the beginning of a sale, not because 1 or 2 people are clearing the shelves – rather because many shoppers (couponers and non couponers) are keeping them busy. for example – I bought 3 boxes of cereal during an earlier trip in the day, and when i came back just a couple hours later the shelves were empty for that particular item-they only had approx. 12 boxes on the shelf to begin with – and while i walked arround trying to get several other deals, i noticed others with only one or 2 boxes of the cereal in thier cart, so did i clear the shelves (no), did another person clear the shelves (no), was it several people who utlimately cleared the shelf that day (yes), not 1 person but serveral, did they restock the shelves yes. But hey lets blame it all on the “Extreme Couponers” (being sarcastic here), cuz TLC is making it Happen that way. Not! I’m sorry but stores can only carry so much and stock so much on the shelves and only be so prepared as (as they may order more but not get thier whole order) it happens (a lot more than we know).

      Yes we all want to get the awesome deals but there is only so much to go arround, and if that “DEAL” requires 4 boxes of cereal and there is only 12 boxes on the shelf to begin with and 5 people come into the store for that deal only 3 are going to get that deal to begin with. Do i miss out on some deals yes. our CVS only puts out a minimal stock – thus only a couple people are able to take advantage of the deal (tooth paste and floss when free are gone the 1st day and not restocked.) I’ve gone into our CVS and found only 3 or 4 on the shelf on a non coupon week.

      I only get 4 papers and can only print and addtional 2-4 coupons (if both computers and printers are cooperating). I don’t clear shelves and I don’t purchase extra coupons online, i’ve only been couponing 3 months and have acquired a sufficient stockpile (and missed out on a lot of great deals because the stores weren’t prepared). The sales will come arround again. I may be lucky enough to score the deals and i may not, we live on a tight budget and i survived 6 months of unemployment (no income) on what i’ld stockpiled without couponing. The Lord will bless us and provide in our time of need, for which i can testify is true, and have faith in. I didn’t know from day to day or month to month how our needs would be met but they were.

      • margie

        i think the shelves being empty works both ways. i have seen many people clear the shelf & i have also seen limited stock on hand. i agree with robin, it makes me sad to see so many people buying product they don’t need and say they are just getting it to donate. i also live paycheck to paycheck so couponing has provided many things for my family for the last year. i have posted many times i would love to see donation buyers waiting till the end of the sale for those of use who can not go to food banks have a chance to buy it. i live in a small mountain town in idaho that does not have a food bank. lets all work together and share this wonderful thing we call couponing.

  • Samantha

    I really like so many of the comments made here.

    First of all, in the article, I totally know how you feel with the daughter who wets the bed. Sometimes that is exactly how it seems, like she will be in college before we’re through the struggle. It’s not her fault, it’s just the way she sleeps, but it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s kinda nice to know other families are dealing with it too, you know.

    I am also new to couponing, 4/17 was my first set of inserts, and I was able to share some coupons this week. It was really nice to be able to do that. I was already buying 6 packages of lunchmeat, I could definately spare a coupon or two. ;0) That also leads into what some were saying about buying things you don’t need. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Of course, I can also see the other side of that when what is on sale is a moneymaker. I guess it’s a fine line. ;0)

    Couponing is addicting. It gives you a kind of high to know you got something for nothing or very little. It’s almost naughty, like you’re getting away with something. lol! I can totally see how these people on the show got to where they are.

  • Samantha

    UnderJams? Aw, as a frugal gal, I’m surprised you haven’t discovered the joys of plastic sheets 🙂 True, you have to wash them each time she wets them, but it beats those expensive nighttime diapers. I save even further by making my own laundry soap. Highly recommend that method 🙂

    And I can relate – my 6 year old boy shows no signs of letting up on the nighttime wets *sigh*

    • Samantha

      *wash the bed clothes/jammies, that is.

    • Amy

      Some kids are really sensitive about wetting the bed, my son was horrified by it. As a parent I wanted to lessen the frustration and embarrassment by providing nighttime diapers. As expensive as they are, it was well worth the cost to me for his piece of mind!

      To each his own…

      • Samantha

        I have a question for those of you who do use pull ups, etc at night. Do you know anything about the “Overnites” ones? I can find coupons and sales on them, but I am hesitant to use them because I don’t know how absorbent they are. I’m afraid my daughter is going to outgrow the pullups soon and we will need to figure out an alternative. Poor thing sleeps like the dead. Nothing wakes her up.

        • Amber

          We only use Under Jams and Good-Nites because my daughter is allergic to something in Pull-Ups. They are quite absorbent! She’s never leaked through them and she pees a few times a night!

          • Samantha

            Good Nites! That’s the ones I was thinking of. Thanks for the info. Some times I can get them cheaper, and they have bigger sizes, but I don’t want to be changing her sheets every morning. ;0)

      • Samantha

        I’m glad you found something that works well for you and your family 🙂 Many of my friends haven’t ever heard of plastic sheets, hence the reason for mentioning it. Sorry if I struck a nerve. Didn’t mean to 🙂

    • FurgalMT

      i had the exact opposite with my boys – they weren’t bed wetter’s (they actually never wet the bed – even when potty training), now daytime potty training – I swore they were gonna be banned from K. (Both boys were almost 4 when they finally got it down during the day).

      As for me I was an occasional bed wetter till about the 2nd or 3rd Grade. Plastic sheets were mom’s answer. Plus she cut us off drinks about 2 hours before bedtime.

      • Melanie Riley

        I have a 5 year old who has Autism and a 3 year old with development delays and a 7 month old baby. None of them are potty trained yet so I love diaper and pull up coupons!

  • heather

    I was at walmart last night shopping for the first time in 9 months with coupons I prefer to hit it hard for a few months and then only if i need something saves me time and also my sanity, I quit my job 8 months ago and other then picking up a few parishables here and there I have bought nothing just living off my modest stock plie!! last night was the first time I have couponed at walmart, 1 time about a year and a half ago I tried to use two coupons (only 2) and the cashier flipped out treated me like a criminal and wouldnt take them ( they were printed……thank god we have come along way since then!! so as I was shopping no joke there were 39 couponers in the store ( i counted them)it was like a party everyone was nice I saw people sharing coupons and when I ran into a lady and she was like u have coupons for bernaise sauce ( she saw it in my cart) where did you get those i love that sause i told her I had ordered them but I had more then I was gonna use so I gave her enough to get 6 packs, she was so excited, i thought it was pretty cute since she had a whole binder but not that one:-) I also had 100 extra stride coupons for cheap gum and I had already bought my 100 at another store, I went around and passed them out to people and shared 20 packs of gum with 10 ladies it was like being santa, I even had extra doublers and passed them out with the gum that is what i like about couponing, sharing the wealth, helping others, and remembering we all have a common goal ……to save money:-) I hate these “Extreme couponing” shows, they will be the worst thing that has ever happened to couponing!!!

    • Amber

      hahaha…were you in a boise walmart? My sister got some coupons from you last night and she was sooo excited. It was her first time. LOL

      • heather

        yep that was meeeeee…I was coupon santa, I should do it more often it made me leave with a good feeling when i was having a horrible day….everyone was sooo happy!

  • Nichole

    everyone made a big stink about all the fabricated and put together “evidence” in the j’aime episode, but i haven’t heard a peep about Chris who had a WALL of jeans from that $5 off target coupon. Target coupons say ONE PER TRANSACTION on them. How did he get 50 Target $5/off jeans coupons????? does he have 25 computers in his house? Where’s all the PEOPLE CRYING FRAUD???? Oh is that because there were no black people in the shot so no one cares?

    • Amber

      Since when did this become a race issue. Get a grip!!

    • Becky

      Wow, you seriously are playing the race card? Jamie was committing coupon fraud, easily provable, it would be hard to prove this guy copied the coupons, chances are he has access to a lot of people and had them print off the coupons for him. But the race card? Wow.

    • elisabeth

      I had questioned the same thing about how he obtained so many jeans coupons. But then I realized that he is very active in ministry in his church and all of his donations go back to the community in the name of his church, not necessarily in the name of “Chris”. So I am sure he printed some from his computer at home, maybe some at his school computer lab, some from the pastor’s PC at church and that doesn’t even cover the church members that didn’t mind helping out by printing from their personal and work computers. Honestly, with that magnitude of help, I would venture to say that they probably didn’t run outta coupons, Target probably ran outta jeans! The collective power of people working together is a strong thing!

      • Tracy

        I sort of got the feeling that he involved his church. I think others helped purchase them and he collected them at his house for donation. The show just shows the pile for shock value and implies that he bought all of them. I was less irratated by this episode than others. His stockpije was cleared out for charity. Also Antoinette has a more reasonable stockpile. She only seemed to have a few of each item (until her purchase for the show that is!)

    • heather

      so no one has ever don 12 transactions at albertsons?? or rite aid or gone to their car and came back…maybe he went and did 10 individual transactions 5 times?? And by the way I consider myself a very “normal “family and in my household we have an entire network of computers, 1 main computer that runs the network and the printer, I run a 2 other regular computer off that on is my daughters and one is my business computer..we then all have lap tops so in my house i have 6 computers and at my mothers they run a business also and there household has 6 computers also, so just my family of 7 people total I can print 24 coupons…and believe me there have been a few times I have done it!!

      I also just used 50 allegra 5.00 coupons (only a 4 month supply for me) at two different stores they were 1 per “transaction” and I asked at the 1st store if they wanted me to do 35 individual transactions they were like god no we will do them together and at the other store the wanted to do them individually so its the stores choice!! I don’t judge others or guess about what they “might” have done to get something because I dont want the same judgement cast upon me……I worry about my deal and my family and the 2 single dads with 3 kids each and no child support that we “adopted” and the 2 very sweet elderly couples with extended family living with them that dont have jobs and on e is disabled, we also help my neighbor and have a family of 7 people so when I walk in a store and buy 20 body washes or “clear a shelf” im using what i buy and weather I buy the last 2 or the last 20 there is no difference and divided up that is really only like a 1 month supply….how many of you only buy a 1 month supply of anything???

  • Katie

    I was in the checkout lane at walmart, a young man in front of me was buying lots of things needed to furnish an apt. I of course cant help talking to strangers. So I asked if he got a new place? yes. Did you just get stationed here? no, just got back from a 6mo deployment yesterday -1st time in own place – dont have to share with 20 other guys. Well i could not help myself i looked at what he was buying and gave him 10 coupons. Welcome home soldier

  • Amber

    just remember folks…
    1.) another deal IS just a couple weeks away
    2.) When everyone else has used up their coupons in a panic thinking they got a “once in a lifetime” deal…you will find a true deal! 🙂
    3.)A lot of people suffer ” coupon burnout within the first few months. this spike in couponers will peak soon and die off.
    4.) enjoy the stockpile you have built up in the last couple years/months and rejoice in the fact that you don’t have to endure the mad competition at the grocery store. 🙂

  • Michelle Stolzenburg

    When I know I won’t be using a coupon, but it is soon to expire. I will bring to the store and set it in front of the item, so someone else can have the savings.

  • I spent way more than I’d planned at Build-a-Bear and was in the checkout line with my grandchildren, secretly wishing I’d put some limits on them, when the woman ahead of me gave me several coupons I could use immediately. I got $10-20 off that day’s purchase, thanks to her kindness.

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