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?
I love this show and no I am no extreme couponer! I think its weird and fascinating all at the same time that these people literally spend a big portion of their time clipping and collecting coupons just so they can create stockpiles of food and merchandise . Sometimes its tempting to follow their routes though!
I think its a crazy way to exploit a good idea. Using cupons is normal, stockpiles of groceries that will expire b4 you can even use them is not normal, its greedy and selfish. I dont like people who clear shelves, its so unfair, and in my city, our cupon teacher preaches not to be a shelf clearer. Shame on TLC for making America look greedy and stupid, another reason why “they hate us”
I’ve watched it a couple of times and it makes me crazy. First of all, I would feel really bad if I was the crazy coupon lady holding up the line. And second, I would want to kill the crazy coupon lady if I was behind her. Most of these people seem to have a food hoarding problem at the very least. While I agree with the concept of donating to charity, I shout at my TV asking “why do needy people want 500 bags of skittles or chips? Don’t poor people deserve to eat meat and potatoes, too? Why not buy healthy food and donate that instead of the junk that you can get with a truckload of coupons? It’s insane, and I’m glad I have no part in the madness.
I hate now that every time I use my coupons I get called an “extreme couponer” because of the popularity of the show. I also agree that now policies have changed at all stores, making it difficult to easily prepare lists and experiencing a lot of emberrassments and hassles at the check-out.
I feel like the connotation has changed when you use a coupon. We’re now associated with extreme hoarders and greedy folks from a reality TV show. I also agree that the shelves are usually emptied before and during a sale. Hence why CVS has become more and more a better option for me with their rainchecks. However, that kills my hardwork at planning, my time, and my money to drive to these places. I can’t name how many times I’ve done all the homework, got excited to hit a sale and then walked home empty handed or had to pay full price because I couldn’t pull off my transactions according to plan.
I hate watching the show anymore because I get sick of seeing people make grocery stores out of their basements and turning their house into a literal bomb shelter of pasta. Dumpster diving for inserts and having an entire attic full of coupons – totally outrageous and I have no idea how all those coupons would not be expired. Anyway, the show is unrealistic because they allow those people to make those transactions for the publicity.
In the past couple months I’ve seen my stores have changed their polcies more and more. One won’t let me do two transactions (so I can use more than 10 coupons per visit, not for same item but for an entire grocery cart worth of stuff – that’s insane! Excuse me for wanting to save money on a small percentage of items I am buying!) and often cashiers call over managers as if they think I am an extreme couponer and I’m going to shake down the place. Really.
I guess I have to agree with what you say that using extreme couponing won’t do good in cutting the budget. As a mom, this post has really helped me.
Just wanted to say its a wonderful thing to share what you have learned about saving, making money using coupons. The show inspired me at first then i became obsessed quickly before i knew it my stockpile reached 2 rooms needless to say i have had to back off and only go for deals my family uses I do donate :) and help many but it became overwhelming consuming every minuite of my mind and body and furthermore the deals seen on TLC are not the typical shopping trip and those coupons they use I AM SURE ARE NOT ALL FREE!!!!! so i agree I have stopped watching it encourages bad behavoir :(
But i love coupons and will contine but at a more sensible way :)
thank you for all your hard work putting everything together :)
WE LOVE YA :) XOXO
I have very mixed emotions about the new show. For one I do not feel it is necessary to clear shelves just because you have the power. But on the other hand the stores allow it. Then that brings me back to they will not allow this for very long if it keeps happening in the extreme measures as it is and is givin to the public as it is. But I will not lie my mother is a Coupon-er and does very well at it but the show takes it to far.
I like the show only because it did end up showing me how coupons CAN be utilized to save money. I have no intention of having a basement grocery store stockpile, but I have learned how to keep a modest stock of things I use most often and which will not go bad, like dishwasher detergent, cat litter, and diapers for my kids. So in that respect, EC has been a positive influence on me. My husband and I watch it and note how bad a lot of the food is that these people are purchasing. Microwavable high sodium Chow Mein noodles in every cart! YIKES!
And most of them are all fat because of it.
I watched the show once and it encouraged me to start couponing. It’s been two weeks now and I am still finding my way around – reading blogs here and there about couponing, even read books about it just so I know what to do. I still don’t get it but I am understanding a little bit.
Do I want to go extreme like those on the show? NO WAY! However, as a stay at home mom whose husband is supporting three families, I do want to help out a little bit…even just the toiletries…every penny counts nowadays!
As a newbie couponer, do I want to learn from experts? Yes I do! but it does not mean I will be one of those who are emptying the shelves.
It’s plain and it’s simple – We all teach our kids to share, so if there is a good deal, don’t grab it all. Leave some and don’t be greedy.
Ditto! Totally sux! :/ they put the EXACT same coupon insert out for 2-3mos at a time here. And there ae no great or useful ones.
And there r most def ppl doing this in Ohio- I know cause EVERYTIME I’m dumpster diving in my akron area lol I see that I’m competing with someone else (in each dumpster I’m at)…their stacks of 20+insert leftovers r in there ):P
I’m trying, but I’m not very @all good yet lol. Got my first FREE item 2wks ago (all on my own :) lol very exciting! (2cliff bars ;P)
I just found this site today…looking for coupon matchups to walmart. A new season of Extreme Couponing is going to be starting next week, season 3. I have to say that yes I will be watching the show only to learn any tips that I can since it was Extreme Couponing that got me started using coupons as of last November. We finally were able to get cable again after 2 years of living on a non-existant budget and I came across this show and was hooked with the idea of saving anywhere I can. I learned a lot from the shows and now I can save up to 50% on a very modest stockpile. We are a family of 5 living in a 700 sq. ft. two bedroom home — so the idea of going extreme is not possible nor even considered. I barely have room for the 5 of us much less 400 rolls of paper towel. lol
I find the show entertaining even if over the top at times.
I like watching the show for entertainment & it gets me in the mood to clean out my coupons from my 1 maybe 2 news papers a week. I did see on 1 episode a college student using coupons to throw a party & I saw they were using this site. The show didn’t show the top bar, but did show the side bar not noticing that the sales tag logo & the red name was there minus the last letter in mom.
I used to sell advertising at a television station. Now I am teaching how to coupon. Whether people hate or love(as I do) the show Extreme Couponing, you have shown on your website by all the comments sent to you tangible proof of how very many folks tune in to watch, and how carefully it is watched with such attention to the smallest details. If I was an advertiser, this is the show I would schedule my commercials on! It’s truly a phenomenon!
Rainchecks! Always get rainchecks!!!! Most stores will allow you at least 5 items plenty of time to find more coupons…..
There is no way those people can get that much for free! NO WAY! I am a stay-at-home mother of 5 and couponing is better than me working outside of the home. I do not stockpile; I give freely. I am not extreme but I rarely buy something without a coupon.
I occasionally watch the extreme couponing show, but find that the items they buy will not be a healthy choice for my family. All the processed foods, that may taste good, are FULL of sodium that my husband can’t eat and will be upset if they come into the house. I don’t understand how someone can have 75 bottles of laundry detergent and still have the need to ‘buy’ more. Or have over 150 deodorants. I would change the name of their stockpile to hoard, be it organized or not, it is still excess and not healthy.
I will say that the show did get me to start couponing, but NOT to see how much I could get for free. I am a single mom and I never thought of couponing before so I wanted to see how much I could save on items that we actually use and need. I went shopping last week and saved $30 on a $70 bill and I was a little offended when the girl behind me jokingly called me an extreme couponer. I don’t want that label when I go shopping for necessities
with a small amount of coupons! I don’t try to
score 100 bottles of mustard for free and I
don’t have toilet paper under my children’s
beds! I have a small stockpile that would last us
about 6 weeks and then I don’t buy anymore of
those items. I do buy multiple papers because most Grocery items are sold in sets of 2-4
(2for$5) (4for$10). My family is actually eating
healthier because of coupons! I never see
coupons for those disgusting noodles those
ladies hoard (thank God). I always get loads of
coupons for fruit, yogurt, cheese, veggie
burgers, oatmeal, milk ect. I will never stop couponing, it has become a money saving way of life but I will always correct someone that calls me an extreme couponer just because I use them
I love the show. I don’t understand a lot of how they do get all the good deals but I do. I am a couponer I love free stuff too. I have a family of 6. I have a stock pile and I also donate. My family and I donate to the homeless shelters and to people we know that need need it. Last year we donatedover 20,000 dollars. Donating baby and toys stuff we give it to the cancer wards at the hospitals. My 4 kids are understanding about the giving to people who need it. It has taught them that they better people for helping others. I believe that you can do coupons if you don’t take and be greedy but it you share with others and take and use it ad a learning tool for others.
I have watched the show and got some really good ideas from it. With that said..I am far from an extreme couponer. I have mastered CVS but the grocery store is still a work in progress. So my strategy is I find key items on sale at my store which is usually only like 6 items in the whole ad that a coupon is made for it. I go on Ebay and order the coupons I need or use the 6 paper inserts from the Dollar tree. (I have a family of 5) . Like say 10 or 20 of them for that product. Waffles were on sale B1G1..I had 10 coupons for .75 off 2. It doubled and I paid 1.23 for both. If you buy 4 you get a instant 4.00 off your bill. So it was all freeish give or take a few cents. My store gets a truck every night. So I did a few transactions. I have 20 boxes of Eggo waffles. I bought them today and my teenagers have already gone through 2 boxes. So I don’t feel guilty getting 20 boxes. That was the only item on sale this week that there was a coupon for that I needed. I bought meats, fruit, milk, eggs, butter, bread and some snacks. so I still spent money in the store. That is the bulk of my couponing at my grocery store.
I’ve seen them buy 20 gallons of milk then go through checkout for 6 hours…what a waste.
Also with the frozen foods. In California no store will let you shop like they do, they actually give attitude and break out the reading glasses when more than 1 coupon is involved. I’ve had them deny me deals even when the policy says otherwise so that trick doesn’t work either.
I do have a lot of body wash and toothpaste, that said, I need those things. :)
Also every store charges different prices, out here the CVS price in store is about $1 over the online price or what is shown on this site. So that factors into it all as well.
I think the objective is to get more value for your $, that is the goal. Whether it’s peanut butter or toothpaste.
P.S. I dont like the stigma either. Although I have no shame in buying my significant other makeup for cheap, sometimes I get “wows” or “thats amazing” when I get tax only deals with ECB back. So that feels good.
I need to learn couponing. Where in Columbus can I take a class as soon as possible? Help!
You’re totally right – what a bad pracitce the are doing over there!
Okay i well say this i do have a stock pile. For many reasons, I’m a stay at home mom my hubby works our choice, second is to help our families as my dad had a major heart surgery and couldn’t work, and military as well as local food banks and helpingg family and friends out. Yes the show inspired me to use more coupons and also helped me to think of new ways to look for those great deals out there, but the show had changed the way Coupons can be used and how stores look at sometime who uses coupons.
I as a rule don’t clear shelves because it drives me nuts when someone does it. I do price match allot at my local walmarts. If i know a sale is going to be happening before hand i call my local Walmart manager and they will order how ever much i need! All you have to know is the bar code number. I also try to plan my trips late at night so I’m not standing in line forever and i always let a csm know i have a large order or if I’m using a large amount if Coupons that way they can open another register so there isn’t a line behind me. If i do go during the day i always let those behind me know i have a ton of Coupons our price matching that way they don’t have to stand in that line and Get mad.
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I think your time may be better spent trying to make more money than save a few dollars. Instead of thinking how can I save $10 you should be thinking how can I make $100
I love the show… I think it brings attention to couponing.. I look at it this way. If they can do THAT, I can go to the store and buy 3 of those. I dont need 100 of anything.. Besides, I dont have a place to put all that stuff. Its a made for tv show.. Every week trying to out due the week before.. People who dont understand that, probably watch cartoons… I am thrilled if I can save money… But I do get a kick out of that show…. Never saw it happen for real….
considerably aforementioned buddy, really easily.
It’s award to learn your argument
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I love use coupons services like Groupon. I can buy everything: from jewelry to shoes. This works online and you can use it very fast and simple.