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Disillusioned By Extreme Couponing

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Disillusioned By Extreme Couponing

I watched the very first episode of Extreme Couponing months ago and then I watched the Series premier last week.  We chatted it up on Facebook during the shows and enjoyed the “entertainment” of it all.  I have been asked many times by people who don’t coupon, “Hey did you see that show?”  It went from a show that I thought would be exciting and motivate people to start saving money, to a show about “freaks” as the shows featured people have been called in many articles.

It’s also evident by listening to conversations in my coupon classes and online that the show is not helping anyone learn how to use coupons.  I’ve heard people actually frustrated about it.   Wouldn’t it be nice if  (TLC) THE LEARNING CHANNEL actually taught someone how to do it,  gasp!!  Because that would just be crazy right? 🙂

Those of us in the couponing industry, for lack of a better term, just want the show to go away.  It has blown into huge rants online and people are really upset.   It’s shedding a bad light on what is such a positive thing for so many families.   There have been countless articles written about how one of the featured savers, is decoding coupons to save more money and that she has been kicked off of many coupon forums for her unethical use of coupons.  My friend Ann at Coupons Deals and more wrote a great article on coupon bar codes and the changes coming soon.  The sad part is that this woman has since been torn to shreds by comments left around the internet.  There is no reason to bash a woman and her family and it sickens me to hear it’s going on.

Here are a few of my thoughts on the program I wrote months ago:

TLC likes to show the EXTREME side of everything, so this is no different.   If you already coupon, you’re thinking this is so cool and I WISH I had time to do it like they do.  If you are new to couponing, you’re ready to throw in the towel before even starting.  This kind of couponing can be intimidating.  DON’T let it be!  You can save your family money without it taking over your house or your life.  When you breakdown in tears (as the first episode showed) because you missed time with your family, then it’s extreme!

I do not believe in stockpiling more than your family can consume in a reasonable amount of time.  There I said it!  Having enough toilet paper to last you 2 years is great, but who has that kind of space?  Not me!

I also don’t believe in clearing the shelves.  If you really need 20 shampoos at once then call the store ahead of time and have them order the stock.  It’s not fair for the regular person shopping for their family to not be able to get an item because the person before them took the stores entire stock.

If a camera crew was following me into a store (I am available, should any reporters want to do a story! :) ) I would probably buy those money maker items that we would not use, just to make my bottom line look better.  You know they all do it!  How many news segments have you watched where you thought, “are they really going to eat that?”

Couponing to save your family money should NOT be looked down upon.  Remember the woman who said she started using coupons because her husband lost his job. They didn’t know where their next meal was coming from and that can change a person.  Once you start saving, and are able to put that money towards mortgage payments or medical bills, it can be life changing.  You can feed your family while paying off your debts.  I always tell people, I clip coupons so I can spend money where I want to. NOT on groceries.  I love being able to take my family on vacations that we normally could not afford.  Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty because you can now afford to do those things!  You work hard to save that money and you deserve it!  Get them on the savings bandwagon with you.

If you can spend 70 hours a week clipping coupons and looking for the deals, then by all means do it.  But please think of those less fortunate and help your local food bank or shelters.

Are you sick of hearing about the show?  Is what you expected it to be?   I’d love to hear your thoughts, as a new couponer or an experience one.