Extreme Couponing Tip: Don't Be So Extreme - Living Rich With Coupons®Living Rich With Coupons®

Extreme Couponing Tip: Don’t Be So Extreme

Extreme Couponing Tips

If you have been watching the Extreme Couponing Series on TLC, you know that some of these shoppers walk away with a ton of groceries for next to nothing.  Lot’s of questions  pop up like, where do they get all their inserts, can you use that coupon on that product, etc.

This week’s tip is:

::Don’t Be So Extreme

I understand that the name of the show is Extreme Couponing, however, to me, Extreme Couponing has a different meaning then buying 100 Free bottles of soap in 1 shopping trip.  There is no need for that.  Really there isn’t. To me Extreme Couponing is the ability to save 75% or more on your grocery bill.  And, you can do that if you picked up 4 -8 (depending on your family size) of those same Free bottles of soap.  Not 100 bottles.

Stockpiles

I talk a lot about building a stockpile.  Having a nice stockpile is one of the key ways to be able to save at the grocery store. The reason for building a stockpile is simply so that you do not have to go out and buy something at full price.  If you purchase several of the items when they are at their lowest price, you do not have to purchase them until they go on sale again.

Why will 4-8 bottles be enough?  Well, it’s simple.  Sales usually run in cycles of about 3 months.  So, if you see a great deal on bottles of soap this month, most likely you will see a great deal again in about 3 months.  Just in time for the 4-8 bottles in your stockpile to start to be running low.  Honestly, it could take us about 3 weeks to go through 1 bottle of soap.  For me, 100 bottles of soap would be over 5 years worth. Buy what you need for your family and for donations and nothing more.  Please don’t turn your home into one big stockpile.

Don’t overwhelm yourself

Watching some of these couponing shows may have you thinking you are not as good at couponing as you thought.  Or that there must be something wrong because you are not buying $2000 worth of groceries for $50.  Don’t second guess yourself.  If you are saving a good amount by using coupons and working some deals, then you are doing a great job.  And, don’t try to do every single deal.  There are way too many and if you do, you’ll burn yourself out.  Step back, take a deep breath and say, I’m not doing that deal because I just don’t need to right now.  It will make for a much better, long term, couponing experience.

Enjoy Couponing

Couponing should not take over your home or your life.  It  should be a fun activity that brings you great joy and satisfaction that you are saving your family money.  If deals don’t work or you forgot a coupon, brush it off.  There is always the next deal or coupon.

If you are new to couponing, you may want to check out the Couponing for Beginners section where you will find a lot of answers to your questions.


  • Debbie

    I agree. Extreme couponing doesn’t have to buy excessive amounts of product for little or no money. I generally save at least 50% of my order with coupons every week. I buy a few of whats on sale and store it until I need it, then replenish my supply when the next sale rolls around. I shop at Shop Rite so I get double coupons, and for instance last week I spent $120 but my savings was $135. This is not uncommon, and I do it every week.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for writing this ;)

  • Robin

    I could not agree with you more! I live in a very expensive grocery area with very limited doubling and no tripling. However, since I have started couponing I am still saving significant amounts each trip to the store. Many thanks to you and all the other coupon bloggers who make launching into this so much easier!

  • Michelle

    Great post! I was literally JUST talking to a friend about this exact thing. I really don’t like the whole idea of that extreme couponing show at all. It’s one thing to save on your grocery bill and have some left over to donate. It’s a whole other thing to abuse couponing to the point that you’re clearing shelves every week.

  • Ritz

    I only lasted 10 minutes in watching the show and got sick quick. The one episode that I watched on demand dealt with buying an entire self of mustard.
    Really, the entire shelf, gone is let’s leave some for someone else.
    I have been using coupons for over 15 years and totally agree with your concept.

    • http://www.laramedina.blogspot.com Lara

      the funniest was when her husband said “I don’t even like mustard!” LOL!!

      • An

        At that point, (when buying so many things they are not even going to use) I think they have crossed the line into obssesive behavior. Very soon, I am sure the medical field will come up with a specific name for this type of behavior. I am guessing it will be somewhere between hoarding and obsessive gambling.

      • Marion

        or the one who bought all that cat food or treats……….and they don’t even own a cat, just because it came out free. That’s being obessive

        • Nadine

          The cat treats was what got me too. It wasn’t like they said they were donating the treats to a shelter or anything.

          • Anonymous

            The cat treats siubded crazy until she said that they were a mone maker meaning her store if the coupon exceeded the price the let her have the overage on her bill. Then it made sense . Buy the treats and donate them use the overage for things you cant get coupons for like meat and produce. She was kind if impressive because she had only been doing it for a year. That mustard lady was nuts. It wasnt free! It was like 30cents each! So she pd $30 for mustard she wont use!!!

            • Anonymous

              What about the girl who had hundreds of packs of diapers and no baby? That made me so mad! What about the poor schmuck like me who comes in 5 minutes after her to pick up diapers and now has to deal with rainchecks and possibly expired coupons just so this girl can brag she has shelves of diapers she got for free?

        • Anonymous

          The one that got me was the twin sisters that had all the diapers and they did not even have a baby. I have to agree i love to save money at the store but i only have one cart i think that is crazy when they check out with 5 carts and a flatbed filled. LOL

      • Robin

        And it wasn’t even free!!!!!!!!!

  • Laura

    I agree, too. Your blog and a few others like it have really helped my family to save on our grocery bills and in other ways. I like the idea of spending wisely, but I do not agree with the greed that I see in that tv show. I have actually yet to find anyone who does agree with the way it is being done on television.

  • PK

    Ditto!! People have watched that show and when they find out that I use coupons, they say “are you one of those crazy people like on that show”. It is embarrassing. I’m saving 75% on groceries and drugstore items and I should be able to proud of it. It is strategic shopping not crazy hoarding.

    • Anonymous

      I get the same exact comment and I say “No, I am no where near that level but I am good at what I do and I do save my household money. That level is obsessive.”

      I’m so proud of just the little bit I do….

  • Michelle

    I just want to say thank you for this article. I am a newbie (my friend tried many times to get me started and I always argued it was a waste of time!) and then my husband made me watch the show (now I hate the show and what it has done to certain people.). It caught my attention. Not the fact that those people are going overboard, but the simple fact that maybe I could actually feed my family of 5 cheaply which I have been struggling with for awhile. So I have started and am actually doing quite well for myself by following the policies and gradually building a stockpile of things we use and need. So Thank you so much for what you do on this site…I love it and check for deals often. Keep up the great work!!! =)

  • Kim

    Well said! Great article Cindy!

  • http://www.laramedina.blogspot.com Lara

    These couponers on the show are just that- extreme. I don’t feel this is something that can be done every week. And they probably don’t. I have been saving roughly around $100 per week sometimes more for my family of 6 and am thrilled with it! Thanks for all you do for us!!

  • staceypunk

    Well written! I totally agree with evrything you said.

  • Eva

    Very well said!!!!! Thank you so much for teaching me how to save money and I really learn a lot from you. You show me how to coupon with class and with lrespect. I’ve been following your site for the past few months and it has been so fun and of course, saving me tons of money too.

  • Amy H

    Great post! I watched Extreme Couponing for the first time last night and was struck how these people have an addiction. Just like drinking or anything else. They talk about the”high” it gives them; the planning, the shopping, the excitement at the check out. I think some of the new store policies will hopefully reign in some of the extreme folks. I too get excited but not carried away. Everything in moderation is a good way for me to live.

  • Sandi

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. My friends ask me often about Extreme Couponing because I am an avid couponer, I always tell them how unrealistic the show really is. I am going to write a letter to the producers, and to the stores in which these people shop. I want them to know how hard they have made it on the rest of us. They have villianized us. If you went into my basement, you would find 5 shelves amply stocked, and a freezer full of food. I have never cleared a shelf, I just get my limit of 4 and I have built it up the honest way. That is why I don’t have toilet paper under every bed in the house.

    • Ana

      Good idea!!! I think the community of honest coupon users should all write to the producers, I am going to write to them myself.

  • Jenny

    Thank you Cindy for this awesome article. I have always been a couponer, but with your site I have been able to save even more. I have ONE large pantry and that is enough to keep my family of 5 saving tons of money. I don’t need 70 bags of dogfood.

  • Arielle

    Thank you! This is something every aspiring Extreme Couponer (or the people who only think of the TLC show when they hear couponing) should read. I’m a single woman in a 1-bedroom apartment, so my stockpiles have to be small both for practical and spatial reasons. I’m never going to use 100 bottles of soap, or 3 gallons of ice cream before it expires, and I can’t keep all of those things in the house or there’d be no room left for me! I love couponing and have been doing it ever since I was a kid, and there’s always a thrill and a joy to see how much you’re saving at the register on items you’ll eventually need or want. I consider it a good day if I saved over 50%, since I can’t feasibly participate in a lot of cash back or catalina deals. But indeed, moderation is the key, or else you end up with couponing taking up all your time and your stockpile taking up your whole house!

  • Leslie

    Great point! Since I’ve been following your site, I’ve been able to increase my family’s average monthly grocery/drugstore savings to 65 to 70% every week! I have a nice little stockpile but nothing extreme. Thanks Cindy!

  • Ewa

    I agree !! I have in my pantry stuff for about 3-4 months and only things that we always need. Because couponing I cut our grocery bill in half ( before 800 now 400) I wish to be able pay every week 50 dollars that would be my goal. I dont need so many pasta sauces or mustard plus they expire one.day and then what? Should I throw them to the garbage? No need to buy that much.

  • emily cummings

    I do agree and that is true of all the over-buying on the show; however, some people do have to stock up while they have the money, especially with self-employed folks who live in times of famine and times of feast. I did notice the one guy on TLC has become more conscious of charity, I suppose due to (well-deserved) criticism.

  • Sharon

    I couldn’t agree more. I do a happy dance every time I save at least $10. There is only two people in my household and we live in a one bedroom condo. I will have to rent space to keep 100 bottles of soap and 200 boxes of pasta and I think that will defeat the purpose of saving money at the grocery store. I am happy to get 2 or 3 items for free or next to nothing and I want everyone to have a chance to do the same thing too. Everything in moderation people!!!!

  • Laura

    Thank you for the tip. It is very true to get frustrated about not being able to save as much as those on TV. Those extreme couponers on TV are buying over a thousand in items at a time, but if you look at what they are buying, its only maybe 3 different items. I am happy when I save 60% on my grocery bill!!

  • Toni

    This show really shows couponing (and couponers) in a VERY NEGATIVE light.

    I just hope that retailers one day don’t wake up and get rid of coupons entirely!!!!!

    This will affect us all who use couponing in the RIGHT manner………

  • K. Zolnowski

    I totally agree…I’ve always used coupons, but have taken in up a notch with the help of websites like this one. (Love it). I try to use this guide. a) am I going to actually use it? b) how much room to I have to store it? c) Just because I can, does it mean I should? The goal here is to take care of my family of 5 for as little as possible, not hoard food, soaps and random products. I also never want to be “that person” in line with 5000 coupons, thus irritating all those waiting behind me. I have found a happy medium between paying full price and resembling someone on that show. My kids’ll make sure…LOL

  • jennifer

    I have to agree, I dont even watch the show since the new series came out. I dont want to give them any ratings. The show just makes it harder for the rest of us to use coupons reasonably.

  • http://my2.tupperware.com/ericapenn Erica

    I totally agree!! These extremes are causing problems in our area, besides changing the coupon policies, people are going to extremes of stealing coupons from newspapers AND stealing stacks of newspapers! The stores have shelves that are wiped clean and it gets frustrating. We have been saving 50-70% on our groceries and household items, which is AWESOME! But I’m with all of you, there is no need for 100 bottles of mustard when you are the only one that eats it just because you can.
    Couponing has helped us to donate monthly as well as paying down debt and allow us to live on one income (so that I can go to school full-time). Hopefully this will calm down soon. Thanks for your words!! Your site has been VERY helpful!

    • jen

      Wow, that’s crazy! Where do you live?

  • Julie

    I totally agree with you! Watching those shows makes me wonder if some of these people are hoarders too!!! Who needs 100 of anything really!?!!

  • Maggie

    Totally agree!!! While the cable show did inspire to return to the habit of couponing, there is certainly no need to become a shopaholic and hoarder. In my area, I am lucky to have an ACME, Pathmark, and ShopRite nearby, so I can check out sales and coupons very easily. I just bought $20.00 worth of dog & cat food (and using coupons saved $8.50) and received the register coupons for $20.00 on dog & cat food. That feels good!

  • Giselle

    Totally agree!!! I watched part of it last night but I couldn’t stand watching the irresponsibility. Using coupons has helped me stay home with my children while my husband works, we are also working towards getting out student loan debt. I am honestly concerned that this is going to affect some of the coupon policies in the stores we shop at.

  • Francine

    Great article! I live in a rural area about 45 mins away from major shopping area, and it frustrates me when I go to buy groceries with my coupons of which I don’t have many, only to find that the items are gone. I try to budget and I usually save about 50% on my bill. But this show has some folks going crazy with couponing!! Hopefully it is just a phase and shopping with coupons goes back to some semblance of normalcy!!

  • Tara

    I tell my readers, when they ask if they did good, that if you didn’t pay retail, stayed within your budget and used your coupons the right way then regardless of what you spent vs. saved is a great trip!!

  • http://Facebook Elina

    Thank you for saying so many of the things I was thinking. I’m ecstatic saving 50-60% off my shopping bill!!
    They need to make a show called “Realistic Couponing”.

  • Lyndee

    I was wondering about the 100 bottles of hand soap…That family should have really clean hands at that rate…Maybe they use it as body wash…I didn’t see them pick up and body wash on that trip…Maybe someone should let them know you can get great deals on body wash too. I also have a family of 6 and we would go through 1 bottle in each bathroom every 2 weeks.(we have 2 bathrooms) This is why the shelves are cleared when go to get hand soap. I go by the motto that 5 of everything is enough. There are things like drinks and stuff you use more of that you can do more but leave some for others.

  • http://www.cotagreen-fibrobattle.blogspot.com Donna

    I too live in area where double couponing is rare. Also, my children are all grown so it just my husband and I. He has to follow a very limited diet due to allergies. Much of our daily food never has coupons. I do however use coupons on household and cleaning products as well as personal care products. Last night the one woman was so rude to her husband! I cannot imagine what he actually feels like. I would NEVER talk to my husband like he was my servant. Great post.

    • Ana

      Omg, I agree, I felt so bad for the poor guy!!!

      • http://www.laramedina.blogspot.com Lara

        she was nasty to him!

  • April

    I love PK’s comment, “strategic shopping” is exactly what we’re doing. Good call.

    I saw the episode with the twins and their diapers and it made no sense to me. I have two in diapers and with the way they grow you have no way of knowing how long they will be in any one size. My daughter outgrew a newborn size diaper in utero! To buy diapers just in case you may have kids some day has to be the biggest waste of time and money I’ve ever seen.

    • Grace

      The funny thing is that they don’t even have children!! They should really donate all those diapers or send them my way :)

  • mandymama

    I dont understand how you can get more than. three of anything? all my coupons say limit of three

  • BETTY

    I agree with you, too, the idea that in need 35 bottles of mustard just because they are free makes me uncomfortable. I think any money you can save is a great thing!

  • Jill

    Nice article! I’m very happy saving at least 50% on groceries for my family – and I only buy what we are going to use. When I find a good deal on something that the local shelter can use (shampoo, soap, deodorant etc) I pick up a couple to add to our donation bag. I used to donate money but now that I am not working I can use coupons to continue helping those in need. Thank you so much for all of the work that you do with this website! It’s so helpful!!

  • http://www.laramedina.blogspot.com Lara

    I don’t know about other areas, but here (southern nj) we are limited to 4 per variety, so I couldn’t buy 100 bottles if i wanted to. Also, they never tell how much they are spending a week on newspapers, that needs to be figured in to their budgets as well, imo. :)

    • Arielle

      The amount some of these “extreme couponers” spend in order to save the money is insane. They go through professional coupon clippers, spending so much money on newspapers…and for what? To have 100 bottles of hand soap sitting in your garage? Now that many of the Pathmarks and A&Ps near me have closed, if I see a good deal on an item in their circulars, I also have to factor in the price of gas to actually get to one of those stores.

      • Ana

        That is true, but I think I heard her mention that she dumpster dives –ewww.

  • Michele

    I just started couponing and I am already seeing the savings. It’s a challenge each week, and I am really enjoying finding bargains. I will never become an Extreme Couponer though. What they do is unfair to others that want to buy products at a cheap price! Emptying shelves and bins is not fair to other shoppers. Does anyone really need 500 rolls of paper towels or 50 bottles of hot sauce ?? What about what they’re buying? I rarely see anyone buy fruit, vegetables or salads – it’s always soda, Gatorade, candy bars, etc. If I wanted to only buy processed foods I could probably be saving a lot more, but when you eat healthy you have to save in other areas like household and cleaning products, makeup, shampoo, etc. Those savings do add up!

    • Arielle

      What I remember hearing from some of those episodes is that shoppers use the catalinas and register rewards they get from purchasing other products to get discounts on their produce and meat products. This is a sensible idea, but only if done in moderation, and if you actually need/use the item you’re buying to get the catalina!

      I’ve been buying a lot of my produce at independent green grocers and farmstands in my area: you’re supporting a local business, the produce is healthier for you and the environment, and in the summer abundant produce (tomatoes, zucchini, corn) can even be cheaper than at supermarkets.

  • Kerry

    Absolutely awesome article!! I have been couponing since I got married 20 years ago, but have taken it up a couple notches with the help of your blog and dare I saw the show “Extreme Couponing”. That said, I REFUSE to ever store anything under our beds or in our shower stall (not to mention we would have nowhere to shower since we only have one bathroom lol). I do have one large and one small set of shelves and my husband is planning on putting up another. I don’t see needing more than that since I cook from scratch so I don’t really buy many pre-packaged foods. I basically use 95% of my coupons for cleaning and health and beauty supplies. I also only get what I know I will be able to use before the expiration date and/or until the next sale. Even though I have been couponing for a while the stockpile is pretty new to me. I used to do it with toothpaste etc., but just used to keep all of it under the bathroom cabinet. I absolutely prefer having the shelves because now I can SEE CLEARLY what I have and are running low on. A lot of things used to get lost in the shuffle being under the cabinet and I would end up thinking I needed more and then buying it at full price. It’s also really nice when we have people over and can tell them to grab whatever they would like to drink off the shelf. :)

  • Cyndi

    What makes me nuts is the “extreme couponers” who say things like (and this was said on the show a few weeks ago) “I won’t give anything away or donate it unless I need more room for something else”. Really? You can’t donate 25 of your 100 bottles of hand soap? I was happy to see the couple last week that donated EVERYTHING they got with their coupons. Every last item went to charity. Good for them for doing something positive in their community!!!

    • http://www.laramedina.blogspot.com Lara

      That episode was good! I love seeing their “stockpile” was pretty much cleared out. It was awesome!

  • lisa

    not for nothing, but what store even allows 100 coupons for the same item? Most stores by my limit it to 4 like coupons and no more than 2 transactions. It would seem that the store is bending the rules for the sake of the show and yet the same stores are limiting/changing their coupon policies for everyone else.

    • Leesa

      Yeah you see how the managers stand just so they can be on camera even when they are not needed, just to be on TV! The show calls ahead so the store knows these people and crew are coming. Not to mention these same people have videos on youtube and a lot of them said the producers asked them do things they normally NEVER do like clear a shelf or physically get into a dumpster or buy 100 of something they normally don’t buy! They are not dumb the producers know the more extreme they get the higher the ratings! It’s obviously scripted!

  • L

    Cindy,

    You have the right idea! There is no need for the extremes or greed.

    And even though the deals are so very tempting….we all should be responsible.

    I’ll admit to getting caught up during pathmark triples, cause I’m new to couponing, but when we got more of the Ronzoni pasta than we needed…we gave some to neighbors on both sides and a few friends…and we still have plenty to make it to the next good sale!

    I needed a balance between no savings at all….and extremes like the show. I just don’t have 30-40 hours to donate to coupons each week.

    I needed this site!
    It has deals on almost everything at some store near us!

    You put up deals all the time that I have coupons for, but pass on, cause we don’t use that item.
    I wish I could find a local coupon club or somewhere to trade the ones we don’t use for stuff we do like.

    (i.e. we don’t dig mayo…prefer mustard and miracle whip on sandwiches….some folks hate MW and mustard, but would use the Hellmann’s coupons we never use…there’s a trade to be made there)

    We have been able to build a little stockpile and with a little luck…a few more items that we use/need will be added soon.

    I hate that the show is causing changes in policies that I just got used to. I’m still learning and things are rapidly changing.

    Plus….the show does make folks think a certain way about coupons now.

    For some folks the thinking makes them turn down coupons when we are just trying to give them away.
    (saw a lady at pathmark looking at raisin bran and offered her a coupon for it since we don’t eat raisin bran….and she said no thanks…she doesn’t use coupons…like I was offering her a cigarette or something. That was odd though…other folks were happy to get them)

    I am still amazed at the deals they are getting on the show, but I guess it has drawbacks and real world consequences too with coupon policy changes and such.

    I’ll stick with LRWC and build slowly in small modest steps.

    -L

    Ya’ll could have left me some Ore Ida sweet potato fries during PM triples by the way…I’ll bet they’re good!….LOL!!!

  • Chris

    You are so right! I started couponing about 1 year ago. I have about 50 free toothbrushes! I don’t have a lot of room, so I have stopped. I have a donation box now, and if I don’t want anymore, but it is free, it goes in the box. I am thankful for my stockpile though. We had an “extreme” crisis about 6 weeks ago. The stockpile is getting us through so that i don’t to spend the time on coupons for awhile. It was taking over my Sunday afternoons (planning) and monday mornings (shopping). “Everything in moderation!”

  • Melissa

    Thank you for saying something. In this day of ‘extreme’ everything, I think all of us needed some reassurance that what we do is OKAY. We don’t need to clear shelves to get what we need. And then there is the buying of large quanities of couopns to even be able to clear shelves, good grief! Thanks for all you do helping us to shop SMART, not extreme.

  • O. Rivera

    Extreme Couponing should not be the title of this show, instead it should be Coupon Hoarders. My husband watched one show with me and he was disgusted by what he saw. He said that it just made these people look greedy.

  • http://www.laramedina.blogspot.com Lara

    640 packages of candy!!!??? I hope they have dental insurance!!

  • Rosanne

    I worked as an interior decorator for years, and still am totally design obsessed, and the shows trouble me on a whole different level as well. I love to walk into a bedroom or family room, and have a feeling of peace and see a reflection of the people who live there. It does not have to be decorated in the latest fashion (although I love that too!), but seeing all those foods and packaging and commercialism always in plain view would drive me crazy!! I have a nice stockpile but I have the luxury of a basement. If I did not, I would be creative in hiding it or cut down on the number of items. Having a relaxing place to come home to is as important to me as the reasons why I coupon-it is to provide a nice life for my family. There is a point where quality of life takes a downward turn. Having cans of soup as stacked three feet high in my living room and piles of toilet paper in my front hallway? It is a constant reminder of money and excess. I like that my two year old has room to play-I even consciously keep the number of toys to a reasonable number so he has “breathing room”. And, excuse me if I get a little “weirdo”, but I believe in the notion that if we hold on to things too much, we are not trusting that the universe will continue to give us good things in the future.

    • Cindy

      Rosanne, bravo. Very well said. I think you might just be the twin sister I didn’t know I had :)

  • Keisha

    This is why I am so in love with your blog. From the very beginning, I find you so truthful and honest. Thanks you so much for this. I needed to hear this as a new Extreme couponer….lol. Thank you:-)

  • ReRe

    What “Extreme Coupon” the tv show display GLUTTONY, which is sin. I think it’s over the top to see these people go to such lengths to get things THEY WILL NEVER USE. Also for the families that have kids, it teaches them NO discipline or self-control b/c of the large quantity of food at their disposal. Our country suffers from obese children and when I see these families buy all the food fill with trans fat I want to cry. I thinking coupon-ing is fun and a money saver and should be practice but with self-control just like anything else in life. Growing up in a single parent household I’ve learned how to stretch a dollar but have never been EXTREME about it. My mom taught us to do with out when it’s not possible and I think that is the lesson these people need to learn on this show. It’s ok to go without sometimes!!!

  • Lyndee

    I’ve already commented once but My question is this…Why does everyone feel the need to go over board in the name of donating? Why not leave the product on the shelf and empower these people who need the hand out to go and do the couponing for them selfs…They can use that quest card just like cash….It makes me kind of bitter when I know I am struggling to support my family and when I get to the store the shelf is cleared by someone who is going to donate the item to someone sitting on their a** at home…Just saying…

  • Denise

    I’ve found that being in NJ, the economic region here is much different than many on the show. First and foremost, it is impossible to buy the quantities that are purchased on the show because many, if not all stores here limit everything that is generally a sale item specifically when it’s a “great deal”. Most sales are due to the store’s rewards cards so you can only get so many per household-period. So while “stockpiling” in moderation is a great idea–a few extras are nice…thousands of dollars worth of extras is overkill. And in NJ–it is definitely a smaller/slower process. However, saving money –any money, is a great thing–especially in today’s economy! Realistically, all that “saving” clearly takes ALOT of time & effort.

  • Patti M

    Standing and applauding! BRAVO, Cindy. A little common sense goes a long way. (and it leaves something for the next person)

    :)

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, this is not really important but one thing I noticed from the show “Extreme Couponing” is that everyone on the show pronounces the word “coupon” like “cue”-pon, (except the narrarator who says “coo”-pon). Pronounced “Cue”-pon–the sound really annoys me for some weird reason really annoys me. But I just looked it up on merriam webster online and that’s how they pronounce it. Any thoughts on my random and trivial observation?? All my 33 years I’ve been pronouncing it “COO”pon. Who knew?
    Oh, and if I get ONE FREE pack of gum I do a happy dance–it was something I was going to buy anyway….I don’t need 50 billion sticks of deodorant–that would be a waste.

    • Rosanne

      Too funny! My husband and I have had this same conversation many times. And yes, I did google the pronunciation of the word to find that both ways are acceptable. Which I happily reported to him. So, although it may be regional, I do not sound like a “joisey goirl” when I say cue-pon instead of coo-pon. Sometimes, when I use the word, I see the faintest, almost imperceptible expression that tells me he is slightly irked. I won’t change over to coo-pon. I have to get my kicks somehow.

  • David

    EXTREME COUPONING_TLC: Well the “silly putty” has hit the fan. Today I went to one SR and used the Santa Cruz .75 coupon to pick up some free juice, and also used Cindy’s deal on the Nature’s Bounty deal to get 2 vitamins for free + .42 cent MM. No problem with the first store.

    Went to a second SR to repeat the same exact deals. This time no go on both. They wouldn’t multiply the Santa Cruz from .75 to .99, stating that the coupon specifies ‘Do not double’. They then would not except the Nature’s Bounty coupon for ‘Vitamins or Supplements’ on the Vitamin E-cream for $3.29. This time was becauese the two pictures on the coupon did not match the ones I had. In the almost six months doing this I have never had an experience like today. The cashier was actually somewhat rude to me when she asked if I had the Fish oil pictured on the coupon, as to say I was ripping the store off for getting another product, even though the coupon stated ‘any vitamin or supplement”.

    The floor manager told me “we are now cracking down on coupons and they can only except whats on the coupon”…picture and description. I tried to argue but being lunch time and two kids in tow, I didn’t bother.

    Can anyone guess who’s to blame for all this?………………………you got it! EXTREME COUPONING,TLC. The show has given a false idea on how this whole process actually works and everyone watching it thinks they can get $1000 worth of groceries for .99 cents and probably doing all type of scams, fraud and illegal transactions on the coupons they’re using.

    Good like guys we are all now fighting two fronts: One trying to save a few bucks the honest way and the other fighting all those tv watchers who are ruining for the rest of us.

    Ahhhh, I love the smell of fresh coupons in the morning :)

  • DianeG

    Common Sense –
    Moderation (a stockpile we USE within a reasonable period of time)
    Discipline (‘don’t need it – walk away – deals come and go.)
    Boundaries (No drug store runs at 8am on a Sunday and miss family time.)
    Goals (Begin with the end in mind {{yeah-I know it’s trite – but I go back to it all the time. }} You may use coupons to make ends meet during a rough time, you may do it to be able to buy other perks or necessities, go on a vacation, dig out of debt, be able to buy organic produce, etc….
    Know what your goal is and measure your progress against it. Looking at the percentage you save on a shopping trip just one part of the picture.

    • Mandi

      That’s one of the things I love about this website. It’s not just couponing. I’ve been doing that for 12 years. I would just buy whatever I needed with my coupons and be done. I did stack with sales but I am a firm believer that every one needs a BUDGET! Cindy has some great articles on budgets on here. They helped kick my butt into doing a budget and I have finally seen how couponing can help me get out of debt and not just help me get by. I had a friend who started couponing awhile ago tell me that he spends more now than he did before using coupons. I told him to budget! He has and now he is more relaxed with his couponing. I know they say the people on the show have a budget of x amount to spend on that transaction but what about the amount they spend getting all of those coupons? I include my newspaper subscription and paper and ink in my budget. I sometimes wonder if “normal” folks who go to the store and buy large quantities of items are spending way more than if they weren’t couponing at all….

  • Emily

    The show should be called Grocery hoarders. Hoarding seems to be TLC’s niche. Dumpster diving for coupons? really?

  • Jenn

    I am now starting to meet couponers left and right everywhere I go. I think the Extreme Couponing show has gotten people on the move for couponing. I was at Target buying a binder to organize my coupons and another lady was there doing the same exact thing lol. Anyways, I agree that people should have CONSIDERATION for other shoppers by LEAVING some products on the shelves for other people! This really ticks me off, and lately, it’s been happening ALOT! I’m always trying to get good deals on diapers because I have a baby, and I do find it hard to get diapers for really cheap.

    By the way, I really LOVE this website, and it is an excellent resource. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it!

  • All4Savings

    I am really concerned as the show portrayes couponers. I do have to say that I am grateful to the show, because it made me go into couponing. But now that I am into it, I see there is no need for hoarding, clearing shelves or buying stuff that we are never going to use just because it’s free or cheap.
    I think some of the people on the show do have a bigger stockpile than neded, but imagine the producers also ask them to kick it up a few notches. They all say it has been their biggest haul ever.
    I also feel that people that think that all of us who use coupons are the same are also to blame (as is the show). Extreme is an illness… I really see them as the alcoholic, the gambler, the overeater, etc. Not everyone that has a cocktail is an alcoholic and would wind up drunk and asleep in the middle of the street. Not everyone that uses coupons is a hoarder or selfish by clearing shelves.
    Love your article and thanks for your great website. It really helps me save. I wouldn’t have time to do the match-ups by myself since I have a 4month old that consumes my whole day.

    • Karen

      You can tell that for some of them that it’s the first time that they’ve done such an extreme shopping trip because they don’t know that the register will lock after 1000 transactions or that you need as many people present as the number of transactions, and stuff like that.

  • Tina

    Strategic shopping…EXACTlY !!!!!! I don’t get into major hoarding either.. Thanks for the article…

  • Adria

    Hi…I want to get started..and not sure what to do. Any pointers for a newbee?

  • Adreanna

    I have to say Extreme Couponing has changed my life. But I agree some people take it to the extreme. I have actually been able to take couponing to a comfortable level in my life. I appreciate your website and all of the tips. Your ideas and deals are able to be achieved. I now feel I can coupon and get the things my family needs. Clearing shelves is unnecessary even if you are doing it to be on a show. I too have felt the shunning when I am using coupons. But I will still hold my head up high and keep using my coupons reasonably.But thank you everyone for your comments and help.

  • Steph

    Thank you! In some ways I am grateful to the show because they do show valuable tips (like stacking coupons) and those tips are so useful to a newbie. BUT food hoarding? An entire room full of soup? A wall of toothpaste? Clearing out shelves with a giant “Eff You” to anyone else who might be in the same financial situation? Nuh uh, not for me!

    I stick to the 4 deals/4 coupon policy my store implements and if I get more it’s because we use A LOT of the item and it has to be worth a second trip the next day. 10 bottles of ketchup, 25 Mentos, 30 bottles of mustard, free puppy chow for non-existant dog…not worth the gas!

    Those people make me blush every time I pull out my small stack of coupons when I shop for my family. Even with that stack I never do better than 65%, and that’s ok by me!














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