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Why I Won’t Be Watching Extreme Couponing

by Tara Kuczykowski on April 6, 2011 · 402 comments


As most of you are probably already aware, TLC will be airing a new series tonight called Extreme Couponing. I won't be watching...

To hear the words "extreme" and "couponing" used in the same sentence just makes me cringe. I mean the very definition of of extreme is "going to the utmost or very great lengths in action." Anything done to the extreme borders dangerously on becoming an obsession.

I don't know about you, but that is not the way I want my actions to be viewed by my family and friends -- or you, my readers.

:: Couponing As A Lifestyle

Couponing is a way of life, but taking it to the extreme isn't necessary to trim your grocery budget. Yes, getting hundreds of dollars of groceries for under $5 is a thrilling experience. However, take a closer look at those groceries. Do you really have the ingredients necessary to put together a wholesome family meal? I'm betting the answer is no.

I prefer to support practical couponing here on Deal Seeking Mom. A typical grocery shopping trip for our family of seven averages about $100 and consists of a variety of fresh produce and meats and the sensible use of coupons on products that complement a healthy eating lifestyle. I could be wrong, but I'd imagine this is the ultimate goal for many of you -- not simply getting free products for the sake of free products -- and I plan to share more of these trips in the coming weeks.

:: Our Stockpile

It may surprise you to know that I pass up a good portion of the deals that I share with you each week, freebies included. If an item isn't something my family uses, I'm probably not going to waste my valuable time and energy shopping for it. Yes, even if it would make a great donation -- storage space is at a premium in our overcrowded house, and unless I know we can shuttle something off to a dropoff immediately, I'll probably pass it by. However, I do want my readers to have every opportunity to save available, so I post all of the offers that I can without judgment.

That said, we do have a stockpile... a modest stockpile. I buy enough to last us 6-8 weeks, and that's plenty in my book. It makes for easier management of expiration dates while still allowing me to be generous with family and friends as the need arises.

I will say that I'm thankful to TLC for inspiring more people to learn about couponing. If you came here by way of the show and are interested in learning a common sense approach to using coupons and saving money, I hope you'll subscribe to Deal Seeking Mom and stick around!

What are your thoughts on the show? How do you approach couponing in your household?

{ 402 comments… read them below or add one }

1 shellie April 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Im watching the shows right now. Not because I want to shop like they do, but for the same reason I watch Hoarders, these people amaze me with their obsession. The first woman was actually in tears because she KNOWS she has a shopping addiction and her hubby hates it, but deals with it. I dont like other people's misery, but it's like a car accident, you cant help but look. I use coupons, and now that we are doing other things like readying ourselves to take over a business and purchase a new house I am being more disciplined at budgeting and couponing, but never to these extremes. I see all that stuff that will expire (TOOTHPASTE!!) in those stockpiles and it makes me sad. I do have a small stockpile now, but its dwindling and is what remains from I started about 2 years ago. Nothing in it has an expiration, and everything has been used or donated when it leaves the stockpile area. I do plan to watch the episodes, maybe for ideas on how to organize my items, or if they drop hints on how to organize items while shopping etc. I dont know how helpful it will be since I will never buy 300 toothbrushes and 77 mustards just for the hell of it.

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2 Holly April 6, 2011 at 10:03 pm

i just hope this show does not backfire on the average couponer. i mean i like getting good deals, but i have never gotten an entire grocery cart for 5 dollars.

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3 candy April 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I watched,,,,who goes through that much mustard.??????/ nobody normal...totally sick over that show...never again.

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4 Richelle@TheCarolinaClipper April 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I couldn't agree more! Couponers are a community of people who strive to use our hard earned money wisely. Yes, you can drastically reduce your budget. But my joy comes from giving back and teaching others how to save.

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5 Dody April 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I watched the show just to see if anything was useful, wayyyy crazy! I don't need 60 boxes of cereal at a time,nor would I buy a stockpile of maalox or toothbrushes. I mean come on! If i have to store food all over the house, it's just not worth it. I've been couponing and refunding for years, raised 5 children,never saved that amount,but fed my kids well and healthy on a limited budget. The trick is to know what's worth stocking up on and what's not.

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6 Juseaus April 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm

There's always donating those items to local churches & food pantries. That's why I'll be watching tonight. I really want to extend my coupon techniques to not only provide for those in my family but also to those who need it more than I do. There are so many people that could benefit from this so called "extreme couponing". My church alone gives away thousands of bags of free groceries each year. Think of how many more lives could be touched if we could all just do this even once a year!

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7 rebecca April 7, 2011 at 2:51 am

I agree, I love to donate and have set a goal of 500 pounds of groceries for a year since the local food bank here gives you a slip for donation by weight. However, I don't know if you realize what extreme really means if you think it's good for donating. Most "extreme couponers" take it too far and cause stores to rethink and restructure policies, cashiers/managers to feel couponers are greedy, and end up clearing shelves of products others would like and sometimes equally are in need of like your donation recipients. I honestly feel that you have your heart in the right place and your values too, for sure but to coupon to the extreme like these people is not how to solve others needs. I do agree with you though that if everyone who coupons made an effort to grab an item or two each trip that could be put into a food pantry pile for a monthly donation, it would make quite an impact in their community! :D

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8 Christina April 6, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Well, long before this show came out my mother and I called our coupon excursions 'extreme couponing'. Not because we're nuts like those women, but because of the extreme savings and the extreme fun we have shopping. And athough I do think that some people have a problem, better to have a problem where you aren't spending a lot of money than the people who are spending themselves into bankruptcy like so many other stupid people here in America.

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9 Julia April 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Ok you got me at $100/wk for groceries for a family of seven. Maybe I'm missing on how to do this?! LOL

I think it's ridiculous the show I saw before where someone was dumpster diving with their kid...and she was wearing gloves but he wasn't...ewwwww. I think she had some disorder because that is just crazy...

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10 Tara Kuczykowski April 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm

LOL, remember that my kids are still very young -- my oldest only just turned 9 and my youngest is 3. Ask me what we spend again in a few years when they're all teenagers!

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11 Amy April 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm

My goal when I started couponing was to reduce my household grocery budget to about $200 a month. But then again, I had 2 young children and an infant. I am now expecting and just realized that I will have to always make at least 2 boxes of mac and cheese or 2 pkgs of hotdogs for lunch with just me and the kids. That was a reality check for sure!!

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12 Bettye April 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Now we know why the shelves are cleared when we want to buy our measly 2 boxes, and can't!
I'd love to shop in a store where the cashiers smile and willingly make 18 separate transactions, just for you, and the manager applauds. Give me a break! Oh, and they don't have to wait and there's nobody else in line. HA.

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13 Linda C. April 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm

The one woman who was shopping with her husband (don't remember her name) there was NOBODY else in the store except the workers! The checkout girls were standing in front of the register waiting for them. The store must have agreed to let them do it if they came during closed hours/down time.

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14 Jennifer April 7, 2011 at 9:22 am

Bettye! Hahaha...That is exactlly what I was thinking... LOL... If I made a comment on this thread it would be almost word for word what you wrote! I wonder what would happen if they went to Walgreens??? How many smiling cashiers would there be then? lol

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15 Lacey April 7, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I thought it was a bit unrealistic. At one point they were in Vons and she had 18 or so like kind coupons. It is Vons policy to only take two of like kind. So this is a fake or whatever you want to call it. And to be in the store for 5 hours to buy stuff you don't need?!? Who has that kind of time!?! I was hoping that they would shine a nice light on couponing but not sure that happened. I hope that they don't ruin cashiers and couponer; at time already strained, relationship. Interesting to see the impact of the show in the next few months.

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16 Lacey April 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Also can I ask how others organize their coupons? Would love to have this be a discussion topic. Think we could learn a lot from each other. Also is there a app to our coupon database? Would be nice to type the the product name and get the coupon while I'm in the store rather then always having to do it from my home computer.

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17 Susie April 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I cannot see stockpiling a lot of items I do not use. I am a grandma and my needs are different. I had stockpile some items such as cake mix, bbq sauce and other items I ended up throwing them out, date old, wasted eggs and milk before I found some bugs in old cake mix etc. So disappointed w/the waste I decided to only get items w/long shelf life. I am not saving when I throw out 10 to 20 cake mixes and a lot of outdated syrups and etc. It appears meats and cheese products cost me the most. Our Krogers closed and the only store that doubles coupon is Harris Teeter and unless on sale their prices are usually a little higher than others. Harris Teeter here only takes 20 coupns per transaction? Confining

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18 Jen April 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I agree, I threw out some cake mixes and other items when I was sorting thru my stockpile at Thanksgiving for a food drive. I now try and concentrate on items we actually will use. I now know to avoid cookie and cake mixes because we just don't eat that many sweets and if its even only 25 cents each it adds up when its mutliple items. My husband works way too hard to just throw it out!

Freezer items also. We really don't care for some of the freezer stuff that coupons are available... My kids won't eat the frozen soft pretzels or pizza rolls if they were starving LOL!

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19 richard Stanton April 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Somebody please tell me what store allows you to purchase 1100 boxes of cereal at one time. EVERY store I have ever been in has signs limiting quantities to "reasonable family quantities" I would not be surprised to find out that TLC has made previous arrangements with these stores to allow this. And what about the cashiers that treat you like you are stealing from them by using coupons? If TLC is going to do a reality show like this then it should be REAL!

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20 Jennifer April 7, 2011 at 9:24 am

I think they should be wearing micro recorders so you get to see the "real" reaction of the cashiers when you buy 1100 boxes of cereal!

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21 Melissa April 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

the guy that got all the free cereal called ahead to order cases of it.

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22 Richard Stanton April 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm

It was pretty obvious he ordered ahed, but do you really thing any store would allow a pre-order of an item that was obviously a "loss leader" for the store that week? and in such quantity? Id like to think the buyer explained that he was donating the cereal and the store allowed the purchase for that purpose, but I would be more inclined to think the store allowed it for the SHOWS PURPOSE!

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23 guest April 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Maybe these people should spend the six hours they look at coupons with their kids instead. After all this time and money buying more coupons I don't think it's really worth it. I am a single mom with 3 kids (2 in diapers) and I have a stockpile but these people are ridiculous.

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24 Tamara April 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Oh my goodness!!I like the fact that the ladies are so crafty with coupons but...really why so many of each item?Clearing the shelves of an item?It is selfish in my opinion.I have a family of 7 people and I would never need that many mustards.Not 1 of those ladies donated to a food pantry,church,needy family (more than they think they are).Unless of course they donated while I made a break to the bathroom.I am just curious if shopping trips like that is what ruins the good coupon policies.

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25 Elisha April 7, 2011 at 12:46 am

I think that the mustard person donated, as did one cereal person. Not many others, though.

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26 Stacey April 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I agree that I hope his doesn't ruin couponing for those of us that use it to truly support families on small budgets. But the show ignores he ultimate rule is couponing - it is only a good deal if its something that you would buy anyway, otherwise it's money you didn't need to spend and the money spent on it was actually wasted - not saved.

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27 cathy Hauk April 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm

can you say ridiculous, thanks to you , I have saved a fortune on our groceries, and will probably never pay ful price for my make up deoderant and shampoo again, but really a pallet to take your groceries out. at the risk of inciting a riot these people, are crazy.... get a grip.

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28 dee April 6, 2011 at 11:16 pm

I just want to say these people are not normal..well with the exception of the mothers with 7 kids..i can see why they needed all that. I coupon but in no way do I ever buy more of at top 10 things. I don't clear shelves..I don't need to stuff things under beds....I save a ton of money..I am a normal couponer and consumer...this show is crazy!..PS even with my normal couponing i still donate to charity on items i use coupons with...dee

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29 Linda C. April 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Enough bags of chips for 800 PEOPLE! Maybe they can pay for the triple bypass with the money they save couponing. Good thing she had coupons for Maalox, too!

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30 Linda C. April 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm

ps: Tara thanks for letting us post our honest opinions, it seems my wacky negative comments have been removed from the KCL website (she's very pro-Extreme Couponing having been featured diving in a dumpster on the first episode).

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31 Melissa April 7, 2011 at 11:28 am

IMO the girl and her husband don't need to be eating chips. obviously if you have that many its just easier to binge on them! not even her party for 20 friends would out a dent in that chip stash.
and the girl that bought hundreds of candy bars? where's the healthy alternative? why aren't baby carrots ever free!

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32 Miss L April 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I watched the show and it's gluttony at it's finest! I know it's partly entertainment, but REALLY?! I agree that most people want to save a few bucks on their grocery bill in this recession. Myself included! Everything is going up in price I've noticed. But to buy all this stuff just seems sooooo over the top. When i look at the items most of it is frozen, processed, boxed, and canned. I realize some people eat this way but it's not healthy. I won't judge people on how they eat but this has got to make dieticians, doctors, etc just cringe! On the flip side Jillian Michaels of the Biggest Loser may have more contestants in the near future than they can handle. So i guess somebody wins. Just S.A.D. I also didn't notice anyone say we give away a certain amount to a church, food bank/pantry, a sponsored family, or neighbors. The one woman who was so proud of all her items with "face forward" labels crammed all over her home and in her daughter's living space was just pitiful. To teach your children that hoarding things you can't possibly use is a good thing bothers me. I'm just overall concerned, are you?

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33 Mary Ledford April 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I did watch extreme couponing tonight. It was fun to watch! But, I agree with you, 100%. NOBODY needs 65 bottles of mustard! I'm just starting couponing. It has been fun and I love saving $ whenever I can. Mary

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34 Elke April 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm

I didn't watch the show tonight but I watched the first show and it reallt turned me off. Who in the world takes a Day off from work to go shopping?
Who needs a Pallet of Crereal? how sick is that at least he gave some away to Care and Share. People like this give us who save money with coupons a bad name. I will not watch it again. By the way, I like these people they are so cheap they can't even bring there own bags :-( but I guess most of us do :-)

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35 Marianne April 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I did watch this show because, unfortunately, my husband watched it first and said "I'm cutting the food budget. You should be able to do this too." I kid you not! Then I had to explain to him that these peple FIRST have a big problem. Most of them are hoarders or have other issues. Then I explained taht thse stores were ready for these people by lifting their coupon rules and having the items in question avilable and in the quantity they wanted. I don't knowabot you, but there is NO WAY that ANY local store would let me get away with half that stuff!!
NONE of them except for the 1 man donating th cereal was doing anything good withtheir purchases and I saw NO meat, produce or anything healthy! If I have excess in my pantry it's things that I use to bless others in their time of need and that is a very small area in my pantry. I have already heard the buz that manufactureres and stores are going to start pulling back! I am so angry that this showe aired and I wish it would go away!

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36 K. Renee Kawcak April 7, 2011 at 12:22 am

I noticed that all of the people on the show shop at places that double and triple coupons. I live in Florida and there is not one store that will double or triple a coupon. On rare occasions you will see KMart do this up to a certain $ amount and even then, the price is so high that it doesn't work well. Somewhat frustrating.

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37 Save At Home Mommy April 7, 2011 at 12:26 am

I am so happy to see this! I totally agree. We have a stockpile as part of my strategy to plan ahead but only enough to last a few months at most. I think some of it is glutonous and a little sad.

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38 Olivia April 7, 2011 at 12:34 am

I think TLC should have labeled the show "extreme coupon hoarding". Pretty soon there will be meetings for coupon addictions. This show I cannot watch - it does not show people how to coupon shop - the ins and outs. There are alot of men and women who are just starting to use coupons and they want the tips. I have been couponing for years and I still learn a new tip everyday

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39 Melissa April 7, 2011 at 11:29 am

there was an episode of hoarders right after the show lol

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40 Casey April 7, 2011 at 1:06 am

I totally agree with you. I don't watch that show!
I started couponing last year, following you and several other websites for good deals, and it does help me save a lot of money. Thank you so much! It's a fun shopping experience with couponing, who doesn't like saving $$ whenever possible? But when people turn frugal life to obsession, it's a totally different story.

Oh, speaking about $100 for a family of 7, I'm very amazed! Is that for each week? Since I don't remember seeing any posts about your own shopping trips, is that something you may consider doing in the future?

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41 Jenny April 7, 2011 at 1:09 am

My husband laughingly pointed out that it's ironic: Extreme Couponing was follwed by Hoarders: Buried Alive.

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42 EFJIO April 7, 2011 at 1:10 am

the show is staged. none of it is real. who cares, it's fun to watch. go cry in a corner u whiner.

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43 Vernitta April 7, 2011 at 4:31 am

"go cry in a corner u whiner" Is this directed at someone in particular? Or, are you simply a troll trying to start an argument?

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44 Lisa April 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

Vernitta this may be a post from one of the people who appeared on the show.

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45 Nicole April 7, 2011 at 1:16 am

I watched the new shows tonight. The new episodes where much more realistic then the first one. I wish my Albertsons would let me do 18 transactions :)

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46 Meg April 7, 2011 at 1:48 am

Are these people hoarding food for the second coming of Christ? It's ridiculous. Stockpiling food is actually wasteful since everything has an expiration date. One woman in particular was obese. Not surprisingly, her cart was full of junk food. I don't think the checkers think too highly of crazy coupon shoppers. It takes forever to ring up their purchases. Worse yet, can you imagine standing behind one of these people? We live in tough economic times and I'm all for saving money, but these people are selfish. What's the point of purchasing a gazillion boxes of cereal?

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47 Lakeicia April 7, 2011 at 1:53 am

You share my sentiments exactly. A coworker knows my penchant for savings and suggested this show for me. I politely advised her nah, I don't think so, plus it's Wednesday and I shall be watching the new episode of "House of Payne". I already have gone through a process where I felt guilty if I got something and didn't have a coupon for it listening to all the comments about those kinds of deals. I am all for groceries that allow for healthy wholesome meals for my family while saving as much as we reasonably can. :)

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48 rebecca April 7, 2011 at 2:58 am

I've recently come to the point in my couponing where I too won't jump at every sale or freebie because I just don't need it. I find the people in these shows to be mentally ill or worse, morally bankrupt. I think coming home with a great bargain is a real "high" and I can see how that rush can be addicting but the extremes to which these people go to is just plain scary! I hate to think anyone would believe most coupon users act this way.

I do find it very interesting that this show is creating a division of sorts in the couponing world. There are the newbies which is a given but now the term "extreme" couponer is becoming the new term for those shelf clearing, crazed shoppers so the Deal Seeking Couponer has to come up with a term that is somewhere between the two. Interesing!

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49 Lauralee Hensley April 7, 2011 at 3:38 am

I didn't watch. I coupon, but not to the extreme. Some of these people are the ones causing coupon policies to change and be very limiting to those who really do need the little bit they save with the coupons they use.

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50 Jvkrthanks April 7, 2011 at 6:42 am

couldn't agree more, I won't be watching it either, I feel sorry for these people who have a serious addiction problem... and dare I say a greed problem...hey, If the shoe fits...

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51 Janey April 7, 2011 at 6:46 am

EXPIRATION DATES! 70 boxesof cereal? 120 bottles of mustard?
My kids would never eat cereal they did'nt like just because I had a coupon or it was free...That's a product that would sit on the shelf until it got thrown away..WHAT ABOUT LIMITS? My store would not allow a purchase of 120 soaps with coupons..they dont stock 120 soaps to begin with! THE NAME OF THE STORES WERENT SHOWN!

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52 Melissa April 7, 2011 at 11:33 am

the one store was a krogers. i didn't notice if they showed the others.

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53 Amanda April 7, 2011 at 7:18 am

This show made me sick. I did watch because I was curious. A woman bought all the mustard on the shelf and her husband doesn't even eat it! They make anyone who uses coupons look crazy, and in my area a lot of places are already unfriendly about using them. I wish it had never aired!

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54 deb April 7, 2011 at 8:01 am

I so agree with the comments posted. I watched and found each episode to be the same, just different cast members. (obsessive ones) I use coupons but do not shop at midnight to ensure I get 65 of any item. I do donate to our local food pantry but even they do not have accessive storage for 100 cases of cereal that would expire before they could be used. My stockpile will get us through maybe 2 months, and my brothers tease me about this much. Thanks...I keep my closet space for clothes.

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55 Linda April 7, 2011 at 8:10 am

I did watch the show last night, and wondered... WHY? I have a family of 6, laid off a year ago, and shop with coupons. I save about 75 % off of my grocery bill. But this does not happen every time. I buy to feed my family, with a small stockpile when the opportunity arises. I do not see why anyone would buy the quantity that I saw on the show, and I have never seen any store stock so many bottles of mustard on one shelf.
I agree that the show should teach people to shop coupon wise, but as with other "reality" shows it is only made for the effect it may have on the viewer.

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56 Chelle April 7, 2011 at 8:18 am

Everything TLC does disgusts me and this show is no exception. The people on this show have a real problem with obsessive tendencies, shopping addictions or hoarding. They need HELP, not to feel like what they are doing can make them famous or something. Grrr. TLC exploits people and families to make a few bucks and it makes me sick. Not to mention from the comments I read, it's not realistic at all. Just like most of TLC's reality shows ("Jon & Kate, etc) are known to be almost entirely scripted. So much for reality. Yuck.

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57 Jessica F April 7, 2011 at 8:45 am

Tara,
Thank you so much for this post! I've shared it both on my personal Facebook and my Page, which is also a deal finding blog.

I have had friends of mine accuse me, even jokingly of being an extreme couponer because I can go to CVS and walk out with a couple tubes of toothpaste and some laundry soap at a 92% savings. That is NOT extreme couponing! That is buying what we are going to use anyway and being smart enough to not pay full price!

I have received poor treatment from a Rite Aid store manager who no doubt sees all couponers as these extremists and so I find it frustrating that they do exist and ruin it for the rest of us.

I also want to tell you that your site was the first site I started following to start learning about couponing. It is still my favorite and I can't thank you enough for helping me and my family save big on the essentials! And also, you inspired me to start my own blog and I'm having a great time with it!

Much love and respect,
Jessica

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58 Lisa B. April 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

Yes, I did watch Extreme Couponing last night, and when it was over I regretted my wasted time. These people need to get a real life and stop trying to make a career out of shopping for things that they will never use before they expire. I mean, come on, who in the real world would spend 70+ hours per week preparing for a shopping trip. Sounds to me like she should be able to hold down 2 full time jobs. Thanks TLC---But No Thanks! I'm done with this series and hope that more people are too.

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59 Lisa April 7, 2011 at 8:59 am

I did watch the show because I wanted to see where these people live, i feel like they should be on the show hourding buried alive because they are clearly out of control. I hope they do not ruin couponing for everyone else with their awful behavior. Really how much mustard do you need in a lifetime!

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60 beri April 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

I challenge everyone to watch the documentary Food Inc.. and the go to the store>>>> I try to shop primarily at Trader Joe's because of the no preservative ..Not much more expensive there for organic as apposed to Target ( my fave)...I shop Aldi's for produce and Walmart,rarely, as I work at Target and can use my discount of 10% on top of clearance price plus xtra5% for using my Target debit card and the of course COUPONS!!!)

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61 Bonnie April 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

I tuned in to see if I could learn how to use my coupons correctly to help my family save money on our grocery bill.I found it also interesting that no mention that some of these so called stock piles are being used to make money at their garage sales also known as stockpile sales. I know a woman here that goes to stores and takes all the peelies off products and takes the full tear pads so she can sell and share with her internet horders. She has stockpile sales every sat and Sunday in our neighborhood where the garage sale shoppers park on my grass and block my driveway on a continus basis. This woman needs to open a store to do this.I would like to see a show that teaches the proper use of how to use coupons the Legal way to save money for a family. I guess there is no more normal here in America, It all has to show us in a Extreme light which is embarrassing to our country. I just want "Normal" back again.

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62 Bob April 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

Extreme Couponing, (EC) is like anything else; you can still get some useful information from it. Do you need to jump in with both feet? No. I think couponing is great especially since I’m not working and presently looking for a job, luckily my wife is working. So, until I can find work I’m a full time househusband, (yes, I share in the housework when I’m working). My wife and I started watching EC a couple weeks ago. EC did draw my attention to the art of couponing. I used to clip a few coupons from the Sunday paper and saved a few dollars but I didn’t pay much attention to the great deals out there… if I had just looked a little harder. A few days later I purchased some clear plastic note book sleeves and made a coupon note book, I also purchased a paper cutter, ideas I got from EC. My wife’s little coupon holder wasn’t big enough for all the coupons I was gathering from the paper and the Internet. The paper cutter saves me a lot of time and arthritis pain. Of course my wife rolled her eyes when she saw this and said “Let’s not go over board and turn into Colonel Mustard, OK? Just get things we need”. Of course I shot back with quotes from EC, “I’ll never pay more than a dollar for a box of cereal or pay full price for anything ever again!” My wife and the kids looked at each other as if to say; Daddy’s not well. I decided to continue to ham things up and let them all think I was going to the extreme. A few days later after hearing my wife remind me several times to “Just get what we need” I got my shopping list and coupons together and went shopping. I think I did pretty well for a beginner; I saved 34% which includes the meats and produce I also purchased. I’m sure I can do better once I learn more about the system. My wife was very pleased when she found out I didn’t go nuts on mustard and I saved 34%. I told her, “I’m not Colonel Mustard…I’m Mr. Mayonnaise, I got 40 jars of mayonnaise for $8.00 so where do you want me to store them?” Followed very quickly by, “I’m just kidding…I’m just kidding!” So the family is relieved that daddy isn’t nuts and we are saving roughly $200.00 more a month. I’m working on saving more but I think I’m off to a good start.

So, I still watch EC and if I notice a good idea I might try it. I also get ideas on the Internet. I’ll stock up on things but its things we will use and NOT throw out because it’s expired, I really hate wasting food.

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63 beri April 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

I challenge everyone to watch the documentary Food Inc.. and the go to the store>>>> I try to shop primarily at Trader Joe's because of the no preservative ..Not much more expensive there for organic as apposed to Target ( my fave)...I shop Aldi's for produce and Walmart,rarely, as I work at Target and can use my discount of 10% on top of clearance price plus xtra5% for using my Target debit card and the of course COUPONS!!!)....I agree with the mustard comment and as a Christan, I would donate most of!!!! Military care pkgs, homeless shelters and food pantries are in need......

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64 amy April 7, 2011 at 9:11 am

I like the fact that the person who special ordered 1100 boxes of cereal did donate it - but c'mon 60 or 70 bottles of mustard?????? I will never go through that much in my entire life probably. Even if you are a big mustard person, do you really need that many bottles - with all your savings from allllll your groceries and stockpile, if you happen to run out - couldn't you afford to go pay a buck for a bottle of mustard???/ And 300 toothbrushes - I do like free toothbrushes, but each of us gets one every time we go to the dentist, that I would never touch that amount. I do like their stockpiles of laundry detergent, cleaners and paper products - that stuff isn't going to go bad, but some of their stuff is just out of control.. That one lady spent like her entire day in the store between 9 carts and checking out for over 2 hours, then hauling and unloading it at home. Sheesh!

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65 lisa April 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

Let me first say, I am a long time couponer. I will not watch that show, because I feel it exploits couponing & takes advantage of manufacturers. I am thankful for savings opportunities, but I am worried they will dwindle with people obnoxiously taking advantage of the deals. Hope they don't ruin it for normal couponers.....

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66 Jennifer April 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

Yep! And I was wondering why the Krogers in Tx and La have stopped 2x and 3x coupons! ): It seems like it happened as soon as this show aired!

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67 Kellie April 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

I watched the show and was amazed that a store would allow one person to do 5-18 seperate transactions! I would never DARE do that, very rude to the cashier and the other people in the store. M boyfriend was teasing me (I have a mini stockpile in the bathroom and run to CVS every Sunday AM to grab a few deals). I love saving money, but the folks who buy up entire shelves of product just because they are free have a major problem. And keeping toliet paper under your child's bed is just plain dumb. That is your child's room, not a store room!
My least favorite "extreme couponer" was the blond woman who kept putting on make-up so she looked good at the grocery store. If she wanted to maintain a lifestlye where she could spend like a rich person, she should have gotten a job. Who grocery shops for hours in high-heeled boots like that??? What a nutjob.

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68 Melissa April 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

exactly! the whole get a job part! at least she isn't in pj pants though.

18 transactions? she should have to get back in line or go to a separate line. that was a waste of the stores time IMO.

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69 Jessica April 7, 2011 at 9:22 am

I'm all for couponing and having a small stock pile of items you will use, not 52 mustards. That is absurd. I may not be the best couponer our there, but I am completely happy when we save 50% on groceries we need that trip. Sure I will pick up a free mustard or 2 while we are there... but that is it. My husband watched these shows with me and said it would be a cold day in hell when our stockpile ventured out of the 2 closets. I couldn't agree more with him.

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70 Jeanine April 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

When I saw the show was coming on, I was a excited, I am new to couponing and don't do it very well. I was expecting good tips, not insanity. I love the idea of saving money, I am a new stay at home Mom and want to cut corners as much as possible. I bought a Sunday paper the other day and someone had slipped the coupons out, I'll know now to check ahead of time! What I'm finding though is most of the stuff that has coupons, is stuff we don't use. Another thing I've learned is when I have a few coupons the clerk acts like it's no big deal. But I recently lucked up and had about 10 and the clerk was aggravated with me.

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71 Bob April 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

I help bag my groceries, joke around a little plus I'm a regular customer so the clerks don't ever seem to get aggravated with me. I see a lot of customers simply standing there doing nothing and not saying very much, not saying you are like that, but I guess it tends to make for a long day for the clerks and they seem to like to chit chat too. Hey, who knows maybe they mutter, "What a moron" after I leave...

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