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It’s Time to Get Real About Extreme Couponing…

Coupon Picture

Extreme Couponing is Popular for a Reason

That reason is- Almost all of us moms out here are trying to tighten our budgets. Raising a family in a tough economy is a challenge, for sure. And a big expense in any family is the monthly grocery budget. So when you see other moms who are able to get hundreds of dollars worth of food for almost FREE, using coupons– Yep, that makes us sit up and take notice!

Great Article on Realistic Expectations

I found a really great article today from A Full Cup- Extremely Unrealistic Expectations- Let’s Get Real About Extreme Couponing, that you should definitely check out. It gives a great break down on how couponing works, and busts some of the myths that the show promotes. After reading it, I thought I’d share my opinions on the show too- and I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments too.

What I Love About Extreme Couponing

  • I mean, after watching that video- how could you NOT get motivated to start using coupons, right? That’s pretty darn amazing. AND- what I love most is that in this clip, {although I never saw this full episode} she isn’t buying excessive amounts of anything- this looks more like a “real” family shopping trip to me. So, if she can combine her coupons to get savings like that- that totally rocks my socks, and is what using coupons is all about!
  • I’ve been learning how to maximize my coupon savings for the past few years, and feel pretty proud when I can leave the grocery store and read that I saved 35-40% on my grocery trip. But so many of my friends made fun of me for always having a coupon stash in my purse! So I do love that the popularity of this show has made it more “trendy” to use coupons- and my friends don’t laugh anymore. They’ve seen how those .25 cent coupons can add up to serious savings.
  • I also appreciate that Extreme Coupoining has gotten more people interested in using coupons, and has taught a lot of other women out there some great new tips to help their families save money- and that’s a great thing.

The Darker Side of Extreme Couponing

  • We all watch in amazement as the several-hundred dollar totals on the show drop to almost nothing, and while we feel impressed, most of us also feel totally discouraged. It’s obvious that none of us can shop that way on a regular basis!
  • I also get really angry when I see people on this show breaking the rules– that hurts all of us honest shoppers out here, as companies crack down on their policies, or simply offer less coupons all together. Very frustrating.
  • Another thing that makes me feel negative towards the store is the way that it shows- well, even promotes– unethical behavior. Women on the show have purposely misused coupons, which is against the law. I wish that if they had shown this, TLC would’ve added a disclaimer that this was not something they approve of.
  • Also, the hoarding- when one person clears shelves, it has a negative consequence on other families. It’s even worse when it’s a product that they don’t even need- they’re simply buying it to put the overages towards another item’s cost. It is smart to buy in bulk when you can find the lowest price, so you’re always spending the least amount possible. But 40 tubes of toothpaste? 90 bottles of shampoo? 100 containers of ketchup? This is not a realistic, or necessary, stockpile. Especially when it takes over your whole home, children’s closets, etc.
  • And, like Rasha mentions in the article on A Full Cup, “The people you see on Extreme Couponing spend 30 to 60 hours per week on couponing. Do you have that kind of time to devote to couponing? If you don’t put in the effort you can’t expect the same rewards. It’s called extreme for a reason.”

What do YOU think?

Do you clip just coupons from the Sunday Paper? Do you print them from places like Coupons.com or RedPlum? Do you use technology to make couponing easier, and get digital coupons from new sites like Cellfire? Do you sign up for tons of newsletters and mailing lists for coupons? Or…..? Share in the comments- what works best for you, your best tips, what’s realistic to expect for savings? And make sure to visit A Full Cup to read their Extreme Couponing Myths and Facts too.

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Comments

  1. Great article girl!

  2. I actually liked your article better than the one you linked that is circling the blogs. I don’t think that the TLC show is ALL bad, I also didn’t expect realism from a TLC show. I wrote my own response piece to the Full Cup article on my blog.

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