A new season of Extreme Couponing on TLC started last night. Did anyone watch? From the e-mails I received today, I know a bunch of you did. I don’t watch the show, but came online to see what was going on this time.
I “extreme coupon” when I go to the store. Maybe not on a scale you see on tv, but on a scale that’s right for my family. There is no need for me to purchase 70 bottles of ketchup. Ever. Most of the time, my limit is 5.
I always know what I am purchasing, and I know where the coupons I will be using came from. I don’t order or “pay” for coupons.
I read there is tremendous pressure to have a very very low total at the end of your shopping trip on the show. After all, it is a show. “Extreme Couponers” may purchase multiple coupons from Ebay or Coupon Clipper sites, in order to stock up on the free or money making items. They have no idea where these coupons really come from. They can be real, photocopies or just fakes. (It happens.)
In my experiences, I have never received 50 coupons for FREE toilet paper. Two maybe. 50 is pushing it. Those “high value” coupons cost money for the clipper’s “services”. This cost is not added into the final total on the show. What else is not added in? Catalina’s from previous trips or prescription transfer rewards. And the $25 gift card your Grandmother bought you for Christmas….that cost was deducted from the final total, but you didn’t save that legitimately. Someone had that expense.
In my opinion, the show is ruining the face of coupons for everyone who realistically coupons. When someone first watches the show, they run out and try to do the same. They may clear a shelf, they may steal coupons, they may spend $10 in gas running all over town to get every single deal. And they ask, “Why did I only save 50%?” While 50% is great, couponing ethically is a process you learn. Transactions won’t happen like you see on tv. (sorry) (*The store managers override a lot!)
Once you get the hang of it, expect to save between 50 and 75% on groceries. That’s realistic. 99% is not. It can happen, though.
Don’t run out to get every single deal, and don’t clear the shelves. Deals will come back around. I promise.
If you have questions about couponing the right way, feel free to e-mail me. I am happy to help. ….And yes, there are some good things mentioned in the show. 😉