TLC’s Extreme Couponing: One Blogger’s Reaction

Lauren of Luxury Living Frugal Style recently posted the following in response to TLC’s most recent Extreme Couponing episodes:

The other night I debated on watching the show or not, and in the end I gave in and watched it. Honestly I feel it was a waste of my time, I see nothing that anyone can learn from it and all I see is it making couponing for the rest of us normal couponers difficult. I do not like the way that couponers are portrayed in this show, it shows more of a hoarding then a couponing type of people.

I have gone back and forth on if I should or should not post this but in the end you can tell what I picked 🙂

There are many things that I see wrong with this series:

  1. They are NOT average coupon users, they are extreme and overboard and over the top.
  2. The show does NOT show the good that using coupons can do for the community, getting free items can greatly help your local community, donating to food pantries and shelters is a great way to help out those that are in need.
  3. Stores will NOT bend the rules for the normal shopper, but they did for TV. For example the $10 off $50 coupon, it was one per person so she called her friends to come use them. I do not know of any store that is going to wait for friends to get there so someone else can hand over a coupon.
  4. The 60 plus bottles of mustard at .39 each, honestly MOST couponers have condiments like mustard on their FREE list, mustard goes on sale for $1 very frequently and there are .50/1 coupons out so often that when used at a store that doubles it is free. So for me to see them show someone who is an “extreme” couponer to actually PAY for mustard boggles my mind.
  5. The use of coupon sites and finding deals, bloggers like me, spend the time each week to go through the ads, match the coupons and then find the deals to share with everyone because we want to promote coupon use, and help you save money. However it bugs me the amount of importance they seem to put on searching for deals online. Couponing is not just about finding the deals other people are posting, it is learning how to match the coupons with the sales to get the most for your money. But somewhere along the line it got lost for TLC as to show HOW to start finding the deals and teaching people. I will say that there was the one family they showed going through the ad to match coupons. I would have really liked them to show the HOW to match ads, especially for those who do not have the internet.
  6. Employees helping put stuff on the belt at check out… REALLY? Yes my Acme I shopped at in NJ was great and they helped me bag my groceries and if something was super heavy one of the guys would lift it out of the cart for me, but in reality no one is going to help you put your groceries on the belt.
  7. The portraying of hoarding, a house is for people to LIVE in, when you are putting groceries and bathroom supplies in you KIDS bedroom and playroom and YOUR bedroom, it maybe time to reevaluate what all you are buying. The house looked big enough to me that slimming down would make their living in the home much better. I would also be concerned about my kids getting into the stockpile items and getting hurt, cause we all know kids are adventurous.


My (Amee’s ) reaction is that couponing is an effective way to buy groceries. You need to make sure you spend the right amount of time working toward saving money. I personally do not buy things I do not need because I do not have the space, time, or desire. I have a small stockpile because I understand store cycles. I think each person needs to decide how to manage their family’s budget. I spend a couple of hours each week couponing.  The rest of the time I spend enjoying my family. I hope our site helps your family find a balance that works for you and yours.

Let us know what you think of this new series!

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  1. says

    While I didn’t watch the episode (no cable), from what I’ve heard from you & other bloggers, I agree with you 100%. Most people would consider me an “extreme couponer” but nothing like what you described of the people in this episode. I do it so I can care for my family in a more frugal manner but it’s not excessive. I have a stockpile, but it’s one reasonable storage area in my house and only things we will use! I also donate a lot of things to friends/people in need/local food banks, etc. I think that is a real shame they didn’t show any of that. A lot of good could come from people couponing and donating just a few items every so often. Thanks for sharing this – it’s good to hear from another ‘reasonable’ couponer!

  2. Sabrina says

    I love couponing and I also debated on if I wanted to watch the show or not. In the end I did. The episode you are referring to really made me mad. Not only for the reasons you listed above but the fact that it is promoting shelf clearing. I do not deny the fact that I have a good size stockpile of things my family uses. My pantry is definately stocked full and we could probably get by for several months without shopping. I also go for all free deals even if I don’t use the product. I have donated over $2,000 (retail value) of products to a local homeless shelter. I am also very disturbed about stores changing their coupon policy just for the show. That does not give others a realistic view on how copuoning works. No store is going to change their policy for you. Glad to know I am not the only one that didn’t like the show. I thought it a complete waste of my time.

  3. Megan says

    I did watch the Extreme Couponing show that aired last week. I completely agree with your opinion. I agree that these people are more like hoarders. As I was watching the show I told me husband, “I hope these people don’t ruin couponing for the rest of us just trying to save a little money.” If manufactures see what these “extreme couponers” (probably not many this extreme) are doing I hope they don’t back off on offering coupons. I am a stay at home mom and every bit of money we can save makes a big difference. I too have a small stock pile of some items that we use frequently but no more than a couple of months worth and not all over my house.

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