TLC’s Extreme Couponing: Why We’re Still Talking About It

Extreme Couponing is back tonight for episode #8.

Last week we saw Amber & Tammilee putting their couponing skills to the test. This week features Chrystie & Treasure tonight on TLC at 9:30 EST.

Yesterday Cathy explained how Extreme Couponing has changed things for us as a site, as well as for almost everyone as couponers. She laid it all out on the line, discussing shelf clearing among other things and asked for your opinion. We read each and every one of your comments, as we always do, and heard a few common things repeated.

I wanted to address one of those repeated comments. It went something like this:

If you want couponing to go back to the way it was and all of the hype to die down, stop talking about Extreme Couponing. We are essentially feeding the craze by continuing to post about it and talk about it.

True.  Absolutely true.  However we won’t stop talking about it.  Here’s why:

As Cathy mentioned yesterday, we have seen an increase in traffic since Extreme Couponing 1st aired. Much of that traffic increase consists of new visitors. Many of those new visitors are brand spankin’ new couponers. Our site is their first introduction to couponing and we need that introduction to be one that stresses the reality vs. reality TV aspect. We need them to learn the ethical way to coupon. We need them to read it in our posts and see it in your comments. We need them to see couponing as black and white. There’s a right way and a wrong way to coupon.

We may sound like broken records with our talk about couponing ethically and shelf clearing and blah blah blah. And if you’ve been couponing for a few years you might only hear the blah blah blah. And that is fine by us. We trust that our lovely readers who are  seasoned couponers do so with integrity. And since you keep coming back we hope our occasional (a bit more frequent lately) reminder to coupon ethically doesn’t feel like us nagging. We have no desire to police you in the aisles or act as your mothers, we just feel it is our obligation to educate newbies in the correct manner. And never more so than with the massive increase in couponers out there!

So while it may seem like we are beating a dead horse, we won’t ever stop talking about it. We won’t be the slightest bit offended if you tune us out. But if you are new to the world of couponing (or have couponed for years), we certainly hope you understand and appreciate the importance of the right kind of Extreme Couponing!


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.


  • Carri Ames

    I try to remember to ask myself if I really need it, will there be another cycle before I need more? As for donating it to charity that is a commendable thing. HOWEVER remember that if you can get it for free so can those who would get it from food banks but only if we don’t clear the shelves. Especially if we only take what we need and put the extra coupons in a sharing place like they have have Fred Meyers and Walmart for those who can not afford the papers or ink to get their own~

  • Jan

    I think that it’s good to talk about the show, especially to newcomers to the couponing world. I’m sure many newbies have unrealistic expectations after watching the show. Sites like yours help all of us to learn to coupon in a normal and correct way.
    Thanks for all the great posts!

  • I would love to watch this show however, I don’t have cable… Grrrrrr…….

  • Darlene

    I can say I started to coupon after seeing the show. But before the show I would still stock up on food and I had a 3 month cycle that I would shop. One month I would buy meats to fill up the freezers, the next month would be the canned goods and the third month would be snacks and treats etc. for the family. Now I am no longer supporting 3 people but 5 people (I am helping my mother and I have a little one who will be 2 next month).

    I am not doing what those on the show do but rather take some of their examples and use them to supplement what I have been doing for years with using coupons to get some different items that cater to the growing allergies within my family.

    I don’t agree with those clearing the shelves in the stores, and I feel guilty picking up the last two boxes of a product when that was all there was on the shelf.

    I do thank you and the other blogging websites that are there to support and show the proper way to coupon. I just wish that the show would show some of the more responsible couponers.

  • Iva

    It’s a chain reaction. I ordered your DVD and now visit your site regularly. I think we can learn what NOT to do from shows like EC. Train wrecks are cool like that.

  • Angela G

    I have always couponed for certain things or certain stores because it was cheaper I can say watching the show opened my eyes of how to do it & make it work – the binder is a must! I agree that some people are just going CRAZYY in the stores!! Yes I am starting to see people getting upset about me couponing yet, I have others stop & ask if it’s worth it or what sites I use. I am amazed how many use this site – a friend of mine introduced me. I have saved my family of 11 over $700 in the last 6 weeks. But, I do think that as long as people do coupons smart & honest it’s good. I had a cashier just tell me that people are starting to use copies they make of the doublers! REALLY PEOPLE??

  • Julie E

    I’m glad to see this site still talking about it! I agree 110% percent that sites like FabFruGal are here to educate so that those just beginning to coupon learn how to do so in a manner that DOES NOT ALLOW them to become the type of ‘couponer’ that ruins the day of other shoppers, other couponers or cashiers! Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones, and those who think that the unethical and selfish practices they may employ are okay are free to do so, because I know that Karma is real.

    If I could get one thing across to anyone who is here because of the show on TLC it would be this: What you see there is TRULY extreme.. you will never see that same kinds of response everyday in the real world that you do on that show. It’s tailored for television and edited to draw people in. Just remember to do unto others, in couponing and life!

  • JB

    Did anyone notice that she was shopping at Shaw’s? They’re owned by the same company as Albertson’s. Their computer did the doublers automatically. I HOPE that they do that someday out here at Albertson’s. That would make a world of difference.

  • JB

    I can’t believe that she wasn’t allowed to do the two orders. That wouldn’t fly out here.

    • Nikki

      I thought the same thing! I’ve never heard of a store not allowing someone to do 2 transactions. I’d definitely take my business elsewhere if “my” store didn’t want me or anyone in my family shopping there more than once.

      Kind of silly for them to turn away business!

  • Liz Allen

    I do wish Idaho did double coupons. I have learned some great tools, like the binder and being organized. I hate it when people clear the shelves, it is so frustrating because then some many others cant get the same great deal. I use to coupon over 20 years ago and I was young and broke. I will admit EC got me excited about it again and so I started with some excellent tips from this website. I am very cautious and respectful of others and do notice when cashiers are not happy to see coupons. I have never over done it but I feel the irritation of others at times. I will say I have been saving on average 50% of my usual expense. That you for inspiring me in such a time of need with the economy being so tough for everyone! Remember people it is tough for everyone, so please be ethical and thoughtful!

  • Julie V

    I was happy to see the Chris section on tonight’s episode with Chris & Antoinette. He pre-ordered and even made the comment, “rather than clear the shelf let’s see if our order came in”. He got something close to $800 worth of items for $0 and he donated all of it plus items that he already had in his stock pile to several charities and to soldiers. So much better than that one lady that cleared the shelf of mustard as her husband comment like, we don’t even like mustard.

  • I admit I am kinda tired of hearing about the show and what they do wrong yet I still come to your site for your deals and advice. It has helped my family tremendously. I only watched the show once and wasn’t hooked at all. It’s the same thing every week it seems, from what I read. Not too concerned with what people are piling into carts. I love a good deal like anyone else but I’d rather spend my time on sites like yours that can help My family. Thanks for the great info!

  • Jennifer

    My friend and I ran into a family couponing on Tuesday evening at Albertsons. I think they are fairly new couponers because he asked if they could just copy the coupons and I emphatically said NO! That’s a big no, no and illegal. His wife just turned to him and said, “See, I told you so!”

    I think we’re all feeling a little bit of “sting” from the show as well. Now at Walmart, I have to place each coupon on top of each item individually – I can’t just hand her the pile at the end. I haven’t been watching the show but apparently someone used a $10 off crest whitening strips and the register let it through on a tube of toothpaste. It took me a lot longer to check out, which I don’t mind doing because I know my coupons match up with the item – it just takes a lot more time for me, the cashier, and for all of the people waiting in line behind me. I guess all I can say is – come on! Really?

  • JB

    I don’t think that the show is completely useless. I see a lot of great tips on it, and it seems to be calming down from the unreasonable extreme shopping. I think that maybe they saw people misinterpreting couponing and are trying to explain that its important to follow polices. I heard them mention policies several times in this last episode, vs the ones when the show first started.

  • Michele

    I agree with your position…people need to hear (and be reminded) of coupon etiquette.
    I went to Walgreens on Sunday to pick up the body wash deal – just one deal. Their system was messed up and it wouldn’t print my RR. Of course it created a bit of a mess as the manager had to come out and try to force the register to print one for me (which she couldn’t do until after many attempts & finally the “Walgreens computer system rebooted”). In the middle of this chaos, the cashier (who had to call the manager because of the RR not printing) brought up the Extreme Coupon Show. I told her that it’s not a reality as it shows many people hoarding and buying things they will never use and I said how that type of show & the attitudes it brings about ruins it for regular couponers like me. She was quiet then. She was attempting to use that show to insult me because I was using coupons (and I remind you I was only getting the one deal). So absolutely, keep reminding all couponers and we’ll in turn remind cashiers, managers, other shoppers, etc!

  • Ang

    Growing up my family did not use coupons. Not because we had a lot of money(I think my mom would not have the patience for it). I must say that if it were not for the EC show I may not have tried it. Now for me I knew the first episode that what they were showing was in fact blown way up for tv. I knew that for our family this would not be what to expect. I am finding myself a bit discouraged by the empty shelves on the few deals I have tried but the truth is I am saving my family money and right now have been able to get things that normally would not have even made it on my grocery list. When I came home with something my son had been asking for (and kept hearing not this time) he found it in the bag before I even unloaded the car, ran out to the garage and told me thank you and was so excited. That felt good enough for me to be patient thru the empty shelves and keep plugging away at it.

    Cant wait for the class so I can learn more about saving my family money.

  • Melanie

    I have yet to find a store that will double 200 of the SAME COUPON! I also would like to see them take into consideration the money that these people spend to save money. You have to buy those coupons. There is no way you are given hundreds of the same coupon. Also, the one woman had 3 computers to print coupons! I like to save money but I refuse to spend to save.

  • S

    I agree that we need to watch ourselves, as individuals who coupon. At Albertson’s last week I bought the BOGO pork chops and a bottle of soy sauce. After MQ and doublers the new and young cashier was going to refund me 62 cents. I told her it’s not the store’s policy to refund money and she needed to adjust one of the doublers to 38 cents rather than the whole dollar. She did so and my final total was $0.00. Some may think that 62 cents is okay to have refunded, even if not store policy, but I know I would have felt wrong.

  • Kristina

    As one of the “brand new to couponing” people that Amber mentioned I appreciate the information on this site as well as the encouragement to do things not only ethically but responsibly as well. I don’t clip or collect coupons for things I know my family doesn’t like or won’t use.

    My husband is fairly skeptical about couponing and gets disgusted at what he sees on the show. I have had to talk him down a couple times and I thought we were going to have an all-out war in Kroger when I bought ten tubes of toothpaste. I just started couponing less than a month ago so I have no stockpile at all. I had to explain that we would be getting them for nearly free and would not have to buy anymore for at least a year. Once he realized that I wasn’t really going to extreme’s and clearing a shelf he relaxed.

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