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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

TLC's Extreme Couponers doesn't tell the whole story....

Hello Wednesday - so glad it is hump day!! We are in the midst of a fabulous Spring Break.  The kids and I have been able to use my sister's pool each day, as we are petsitting her adorbs Yorkie & teacup Yorkie while her family is at the beach.  I even got a bit of a tan! : ) 

So much is being said throughout the blogworld about TLC's Extreme Couponing show that comes back on tonight.  I've done a bit of research on the show since it premiered back in December, and I have a big problem with one aspect of the show. 

You'll notice that it's all about ~ I had $760 worth of products but paid only $5!! Woohoo!!  What they DON'T tell us is that these extreme couponers BUY their coupons.  And to buy 200 of this and 500 of that adds up.  So they aren't just spending $5.  And that to me is dishonest, because now there is a huge following of women who want to spend $5 a week on hundreds of dollars worth of groceries - but it is simply not possible!!  Even on a week when I buy 8 Atlanta Sunday papers, the most I spend is $13 for my papers and coupons.  Most weeks I only buy 5 - and that costs me $7.  I can't imagine spending more than that for coupons!! Eight of any item is plenty for our family of four. Most weeks I buy 2 double papers and get one delivered, so I have 5 of each coupon.

Right now I spend on average about $100 a week for our family of four - including groceries, drug store items & paper goods for us, items for our stockpile, as well as a few free or uber-cheap items for family & friends, plus items to donate to a local church's food pantry.  For example, this week I had 3 boxes of pasta for my sister, 3 boxes of pasta for my mom, cereal & fruit snacks for my college-aged niece, plus 3 grocery bags of assorted food and toiletries for the food pantry.  Our freezers are both stocked with meat, veggies, bread and cheese.  The pantry is full, the stockpile shelves are full.  There is something so satisfying about knowing your family is prepared for an emergency, or any disaster, disruption, etc. I like being prepared, but I could never go overboard with hundreds of the same item - that is just so over the top and crazy!! Who has the space for that? Not your average coupon-using-family-next-door types!! I believe if you are getting hundreds of the same items it is hoarding, not stockpiling!  What's even worse, some of these extreme couponers supposedly re-sell the items they get for free - now that is just wrong! I've personally seen ads on craigslist for huge lots of food items and I guess it is extreme couponers selling them.  I think that is awful, what do you think?

So while I will watch the show tonight, I will be aware that the show slanted it's portrayal of these extreme couponers - NONE of them are getting the deals for that cheap! They are simply neglecting to inform viewers of the cost of the coupons to get those items for so little money - and that isn't right.   Why not make a show about REAL couponers who save 70% off their bills with the coupons from their Sunday papers? And maybe a few internet coupons too?  I do this often, and know of many other coupon bloggers who do as well. That would help new couponers to see more realistically how you can save money and maximize your budget - not have them dreaming of getting a cartful of items for free!

Phew, glad I got that off my chest.  Now off my soapbox to make supper for my family! Y'all have a fabulous night, and let me know what you think of the show tonight. 

If you are in the metro Atlanta area, I've paired up with a local health store to offer my Semi-Extreme Couponing class in Dacula this July.  And as always, I offer classes at your home or office - just email me to find out more!


    I was thinking the same thing!
    I haven't watched it but wanted to tonight if at all possible.
    With no double coupons just price match and single coupons I get upwards of 60% for a family of four.
    Also they go to coupon clipping services too from what I have seen on other blogs. Still interesting but one must really look at the whole picture.

  2. Yes, they do buy from clipping services, or they buy their coupons from ebay. And they won't tell how much those coupons cost - but they do add up! I've bought entire inserts before when they were missing from my papers (grr!) and they are 85 cents or so each, individual coupons are less, but if you are buying 200 of one coupon, come on!!

    The premiere show was good until they showed their stockpiles - 200 candy bars, hundreds of boxes of pasta, hundreds of bottles of shampoo and body wash, thousands of rolls of toilet paper - who needs that much!? At least donate most of it! Nathan was one on of the originals from the premiere show - he runs We Use Coupons, and he does donate A LOT of his deals, so I have much respect for him! : )

  3. so true!! I wish they would do a Canadian version of it still though lol, couponing is much harder, no one stacks coupons or matches anything.

  4. That would be hard to save if you can't stack coupons or price match! Do they have buy one get one free sales at any of your stores, Eschelle?

  5. they had that one lady in the earlier episode (not tonight) that went around and collected coupons from friends and walked 7 miles to get them! THAT'S COMMITMENT, she definitely seemed like she wouldn't spend ANYTHING MORE than she had to ...

  6. I watched tonights show. What got me was the mustard! Her husband didn't even like the stuff, and she cleared the shelf. My thought was what happens to the customer who needed it for the hubby or kiddies lunches the next day.

  7. they are hoarders, cannot possible use what they are glutonously amassing.Soup kitchens and shelters could really benefit from some of that stuff.

  8. I think it's quite perplexing that the show that follows is "Hoarders". I knew the first time I saw a couple of my DVR'd recordings that it was going to be bad for the real, honest, couponers. Not these OCD ones who do nothing all day except stay online buying and clipping coupons and mapping out their assualt plan. And I was write. Now many stores are revamping their coupon policies which of course punishes us all.

  9. Thank you! You stated that so well! That is exactly how I feel. Every time I watch it I think about how much they must be spending on coupons for that trip.

  10. Yeah!!
    I think people are looking to save money from shopping, searching free coupons and samples!!


  11. I think all of you are being dishonest. I have a 2 year old and a family of four, I have 200 rolls of toilet paper and 100 bags of diapers in my stockpile. I assure you I am no hoarder. Since I am a doctor I will tell you a hoarder is someone who cannot let go of their finds, they have an emotional attachment and cannot get rid of anything. Extreme couponers may be shopaholics but they are not hoarders. I know I am one.


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