Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TLC's Extreme Couponing Returns to the Airways ~ What Are Your Thoughts?

TLC will once again launch a new season of their popular Extreme Couponing.  There has been much controversy over TLC's Extreme Couponing show since it first aired in December of 2010.  We have certainly seen changes in the couponing world:  less coupons available, stricter coupon policies at stores, more restrictions on coupons themselves, etc.  Theft of newspapers or newspaper coupon inserts have been on the rise.  I certainly think there are far fewer great CVS deals and lower limits on the deals they do offer and less sales at the local grocery stores.

I wrote the following in an earlier post, Is Extreme Couponing Possible at CVS?:

Extreme couponing at CVS can be done if your definition is "the purchasing of a small number of different items each week and amassing a stockpile of items to last your family 6 months to a year with little out
of pocket money."  This is what we do here at Simply CVS each week by matching coupons from the Sunday inserts and those available online to print with the current CVS weekly deals and rolling the extra bucks we earn from one deal onto the next.  It is easy to bring home between $50 and $100 of products each week for nearly nothing with a little effort.  There are different levels at which you can do this at CVS to save from a little to a lot each week.

I wrote a series quite a while ago on the five levels of CVS shopping.  You may want to read them over to see which you would like to aim for.  The Crazy CVSer is the closest to TLC's definition of Extreme Couponing that can be reached at CVS (within the boundaries CVS has set).

Here's the link to another post I wrote earlier:  Ethical CVS Couponing in Light of Extreme Couponing Allegations. I think that is one of the saddest things that has come out of the show:  distrust for the average couponer.  Retailers and other shoppers, as well as manufacturers, have become leery of binder toting shoppers.  What used to be a fun hobby (and at times a necessary part-time job) is often looked upon with suspicion.  But perhaps an even sadder aspect is that there are many viewers of the show who think that it is possible to fill your pantry, freezer and spare bedroom with totally free items week after week.  Reality t.v. is not always realistic.

What do you all think?  Do you think the show has affected your couponing?  Have any of you become couponers because of the show?  Will you watch the new series of TLC's Extreme Couponing?


Melissa said...

I think the saddest thing about it is exactly what you said- people believe that it is possible, and it's totally unrealistic!

It also annoys me that some of the couponers featured on the show have continued to be featured in the media trying to say that they coupon like that all the time, which they really don't.

But I enjoy watching the show- it's addictive viewing which I guess is why it's so popular! I just wish more people realized it's unrealistic.

Anonymous said...

I think its very unrealistic. People are trying to duplicate what they see on the show and are
clearing out the shelves-in Miami where there is no such thing as Double Coupons! Also, there aren't as many good deals to be had anymore. Just my opinion!

Anonymous said...

To some couponing is a game to see how much they can possibly buy to clear the shelves. I guess that is their goal. However, for my family and I, couponing is a necessity.
We are living in hard times and we all want to get a good deal. The kind thing to do is to leave some products behind for those of us who really need them. People if you really want to clear out the the store ahead and PRE-ORDER

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

You are right, Anon, for many of us we need couponing, that is why it is so sad this show doesn't show the reality of it--but gives false hope--and also that it has become so much harder to save enough at the store. I am shocked by how much higher our groceries are than a year ago. [Tho I know it is not all because of less deals, but much of it is.]

Karyn said...

I started really getting into couponing after watching the show last year but I did go into it with the understanding that I would not get the same results. My husband, son and I only live off my income, so couponing is really a necessity for us in order to eat every night!

The show is very addictive and draws you in but at the same time really does give a bad image for the rest of us "normal" couponers who are just trying to save a bit of our hard earned money.

Hopefully this season won't bring any more drastic changes to current coupon policies...

Anonymous said...

The show has affected me. I no longer bring my binder; I use the letter size accordion type coupon holder that fits discreetly in my purse. There was an article in our local Sunday paper mentioning all of the newspaper thefts. They taped one woman stealing 70 newspapers! I was so embarrassed for the honest couponers. I hate to see those kinds of articles in the paper. I get 2 subscriptions and during good weeks, I purchase extra papers. I will still continue to coupon because it is the manufacturer’s way of running sales and getting new products promoted but I hope that the media doesn't continue to focus on the few unscrupulous couponers because it does cast a shadow on all of us!

Anonymous said...

I did not know about coupons until the show but even now I know my limits. I do not strive to emulate the show because its not realistic. thats why I LOVE LOVE cvs. It has limits on the items you can buy not only per customer but for my own sanity as well. Putting limits on items is a good thing especially for me. Walgreens does not have limits and I find myself wanting to go back each day. Its pretty annoying. So the show does not depict what really happens in real life. The best part of my coupons is at the end of the week I take a picture of my products I purchased and add it up. When it is less than $5 I am super happy.

Unknown said...

I really enjoy the show but I know it’s not for REAL NORMAL people. I surely don’t need 100 bottles of hot sauce! What I do wish the show would do is focus more on their strategies and how they come up with the lists that they create, I’ve seen different methods, spreadsheets, Ipad, etc. I’d like to see more of the intracicies behind the developing of the list with coupons rather then the filling of the cart. Ooh let’s go get these 300 pkgs of toothbrushes and clear the shelf! NOT.. I think it’s rude when they do that. I like when I see those that order like dog food or cat food ahead of time and it all goes to a local shelter, THAT I do think is nice, pre order and donate. This shelf clearing crap is ridiculous!

I live in Northern IL and we have no stores that double or triple, etc. like some of these people seem to have. I can go to WI and go to 2 stores that double, but they require a $25 purchase & you’re limited to 5 coupons for doubling. It’s really been more trouble then it’s worth. I prefer to shop at target and walmart, to get what i need and stack those coupons. And I knew when I started watching there was no way I'd achieve the same results at all, I'm happy with whatever savings I can get!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Thank you all for your comments, I am enjoying reading everyone's thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I really believe in live and let live. However, when people resort to stealing newspapers and the coupons out of them, that's another story. My Sunday newspaper was missing from my box so I sent my husband to pick one up (bad idea). He came back with a newspaper that was missing all the coupons. Not only was I out the money for the newspaper, but I had no coupons to use for my shopping trip. Coupon fraud and newspaper theft should not be tolerated. If people want to act crazy, that's their own business, but when they start hurting my family because of it, then it becomes my business.