The Realities of Extreme Couponing
“Oh my god, can you go to another line…” says Joyce an extreme coupon shopper featured on this past episode of Extreme Couponing via the The Learning Channel. She explained the typical reaction from the checkers when she approaches the checkout.
Does your presence at the grocery store get the sort of reaction seen on the show? These coupon rock stars have more than proved their ability to bargain shop and ring up the savings. For the first few minutes of watching, I sat their with my mouth open, stunned. I couldn’t believe it. I had the kids watching with me and, believe me, I think they have a new perspective on my coupon shopping trips!
Back in my early twenties, I scored great deals with the Vons double coupon policy. I usually ended up with boxes of band aids, shampoo and other hygiene products for nearly free. Never did I imagine to start buying in excess such as those featured on the show.
This show definitely covered the extreme. I agree with Consumer Queen, I thought TLC would shed more light on the how-to use coupons for maximizing your budget. Amongst all the other reality show, addiction or OCD programs, this definitely left me feeling that there was no doubt a few of the individuals understood they had an addiction. Confessions about lost time with family to facing their bottles so they appeared more orderly. A bit Sleeping with the Enemy-esque.
Despite all that, there were a few great tips even for the occasional coupon shopper. For example, selecting employees who have more patience because they are the least likely to get frustrated and they tend to go the distance and make a coupon work. Plus, if you know they are coupon shoppers themselves, they tend to pay closer attention to how items are ringing up. This comes in handy when you have a stack of coupons and a line of grimacing shoppers behind you. One of Extreme Couponers mentioned to pick male or younger employees. I once had a grocery store clerk tell me I could make her job easier by writing the product price on the free coupons. Guess what? I took her advice and started doing that. It helps me get through the process quicker. Win-win.
Hopefully TLC will be casting a variety of couponers for the remainder of the series. I have done a bit of everything that was mentioned, including going with friends who dug in dumpsters (although not while pregnant), ordering several newspapers and more. It can become a bit excessive. And if it does, the upside is that the participants could be cast for A&E’s reality show, Hoarders.
An example of Extreme Couponing is Nathan’s coupon stock pile–he saved an incredible amount in this shopping trip.
All the grocery stock piles that were shown were impressive! But as many coupon clippers have expressed before, you cannot have brand loyalty if you want to save like the mega savers. Plus, I saw a lot of packaged and processed foods in the carts.
Interested in starting your own general store? Check out the many Savings.com deal pros with weekly grocery store deals. Already got a system and stock pile? Check out the TLC Extreme Couponing casting page for more details on how to appear on the show.
If ever there were an Olympic sport for couponing, these shoppers on the show would win the gold medal of working it — go extreme couponers–online or in-store!!!
While I know a large percentage of our audience is using grocery store coupons, my question for the coupon clipping fanatics out there, where do you draw the line?