Retailers Afraid of Extreme Couponers? News Flash: Most of Us are Just Average Couponers

Extreme Couponing second season
We loved Erin from the new Extreme Couponing show on Wednesday night. Her heart is absolutely in the right place and we learned a lot from her couponing skills. But if you are like many viewers, you probably don't have a stockpile like Erin's. It's OKAY to be an average couponer and love the show. Photo: Courtesy TLC

Retailers worry that every couponer will turn extreme, but that’s not the case. In fact, released an educational program called Real Life Savings–it’ll puts coupon savings into perspective and shows that most people do not typically save 99 percent at the store. Scroll down for link and details.

Wednesday debuted the second season of TLC’s Extreme Couponing show, and it ushered in a new wave of fears from retailers who say they are afraid couponers will empty their shelves, use fake coupons at self-checkouts, and steal newspaper inserts. Evidently all of this has been done, but I’m sure it’s been done way before Extreme Couponing was even a glimmer in TLC’s eye.

The reality is this: most of us couponers average 40 to 60 percent off of our grocery bills–mostly the lower end of the scale and we are overjoyed if we ever hit 60 percent savings. Most of us get one darn newspaper a week, use and, and hope our friends remember to give us unwanted Catalinas and inserts. Most of us do not, hear me…DO NOT have one or two years of toilet paper stashed in the basement. Nor would we want that much toilet paper, anyhow! (What if the basement flooded? Yuck!)

TFF is happy to show you a fantastic link we stumbled across. The link brings you to Real Life Savings, a series of Facebook videos from that shows and educates others about how real life coupon savings works. This is more like what really happens in the world of couponing. (We especially like Suzy and Sherri’s video.)

And does TFF think the folks on Extreme Couponing are a bit…weird? Heck yes! But we are happy to learn new ideas from the show, too.



Criticizing Couponers: C’mon, Leave Us Alone!


waiting for P&G coupons
Couponers don't care about the dirty looks we get at check out. We still love to get our coupons (especially those P&G newspaper inserts!) To find out when your next P&G newspaper insert is coming your way, click on this photo. Photo: Courtesy of P&G/PRNewswire

Never did I think that couponers would be criticized for their actions. There are certainly more extreme problems in the world than extreme couponers. After reading way too many long and scathing articles about how awful couponers act, you’d think we were a bunch of Bernie Madoffs. C’mon, folks, we’re just trying to cut our grocery bills, not swindle people out of peanut butter.

Now, I’m not an extreme couponer, but I do coupon, and I see the benefits of saving 50 to 60 percent off my groceries at check out, and I will continue to coupon to feed my hungry crew.

I have seen some strange reactions to my coupons, though—from positive to downright rude. I’ve had a handful of people at check out comment that I know how to shop right, to a handful of people at check out give me the once over, tell me they think TLC’s EC show is dumb (I am a fan of the show because I learn a lot from it), then ask me if my family really needs ten boxes of typically expensive cereal and thirteen boxes of juice packs (uh…yes!).

The benefits of couponing became crystal clear the day before school started when I was running ragged through Target, picking up groceries willy-nilly without thinking about cost or coupons. My thought process went something like this: paying this much for single packet Pringles is crazy, but I will get back to couponing once the kids are back in school… I wonder why other people are willing to pay these prices without coupons…how is it that the woman down the aisle can just throw groceries in her cart without coupons or looking at the price?

After the sticker shock of that little shopping spree, I vowed to get back to couponing asap. Happily, I used my Catalina coupons at Stop & Shop yesterday and walked away with my free toothpaste, $1.00 boxes of Keebler fudge granola bars, and paid pennies for Pantene shampoo and conditioner.

Ahhh, it’s good to be back in the couponing business. I can’t wait for the second season of EC to start. And, I couldn’t care less who gives me the evil eye at check out. ~TFF