Have you ever seen the TLC show called “Extreme Couponing?”

Is it just me or anybody else out there wondering how can these people do “extreme couponing.” It seems so easy. In that show sometimes you see they don’t even pay a penny for the things they bought because they are using coupons.

I stumbled upon this show a few months ago and it has shaken my ego. I’m thinking, if they can do it I can do it too. So starting from that day forward, I started buying each Sunday’s paper regularly in order to get coupons.

I got to the point where I wouldn’t go shopping without coupons. Couponing can be addictive. It’s like finding a treasure, the more money you save the more excited you become. And you won’t stop. But I’ll be honest with you, whatever I do or how smart I manage my coupons I will never ever become like one of those people on that show.

First, I don’t want to be a selfish person. That means even though I can get if for free, I don’t want to use the opportunity to enrich myself. I saw one lady got 200 bottles of Excedrin for free because she used coupons. Use logic, how many times do you think you will use Excedrin in 365 days. Unless you have a headache everyday for the next 5 years that wouldn’t be a very good bargain. How about the expiration date? Do you realize that medications usually expire within something like two years? In my calculation, she ends up throwing away a large number of those Excedrins. That means you are throwing away things that stores can benefit from by selling to others who need it.

I admire her ability in using coupons but I don’t admire her decision. Sometimes you need to be a wise buyer.
If you want to give away for charity, that’s totally a different story. I 100% agree with using coupon for a good cause.

Second, some other shoppers bought a hundred cans of tomatoes and other canned goods. Don’t you think you will get tired eating the same food over and over? I bought a few canned goods myself (in the past without coupons), I put it in my pantry, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years went by, I still saw them in my pantry. Guess what? I ended up throwing them away because they expired. Unless you have 12 kids to feed, that would probably a good idea.

I use coupons myself, I buy things that I really need with coupons. I invent a few new dishes so they will last for a few months. The things I would like to buy the most is detergent, hair color, toilet paper, tooth paste, tooth brush, and probably a few canmed goods and etc…
I don’t need to have a room full of stuff for my “stash” because in the end you won’t use it. I realize the Sunday paper’s coupons always have the same coupons for the same products over and over. What I do is, I check the list of coupons available for the following week at couponmom.com. You can see it on Sunday morning. If I find there are good coupons for stuff I need, I will buy the paper. If not I’ll skip it.

Don’t be sad if you can’t save a lot like those “extreme couponers”  in the show. Make you jealous? of course?  Why can they do it but I can’t?

I want to share my own opinion on how difficult doing “extreme couponing” can be.

  1. Some stores (in my state of GA), won’t allow you to buy hundreds of products by using coupons. There’s limitation on everything.
  2.  How do you find tons of coupons? buy them? doesn’t make sense. Remember the longest coupon expiration is about 6 months. (6 x 5 weeks= 30 coupons/ 60 if you buy double coupons) You can’t get 100 coupons within 6 months. Unless you go to store dumpster and get those left over unsale Sunday’s paper. The kind of coupon circulation is also different from week to week. Some coupons expires within 1 months or 2.
  3. In the show, these stores agree to break their rule because they are on the show. If it like regular people like us. Guarantee they won’t allow us to buy hundred of their products using coupons. Because their system is not designed for that.
  4. The purpose of coupon is not for bulk buying.

And finally I don’t want to spend 40 hours a week to gather and manage coupons. I want to save money for something I want, not for something I don’t want. Having coupons doesn’t mean I have to use them all the time.

Hey “extreme coupon-er” out there, prove me wrong. Be honest I want to learn as well. Let me know your opinion.


  1. The point about what they let people get away with on TV versus real life is a good one and deserves just a little deeper exploration. Stop for a moment and consider the implications if you really could do this in real life. Everybody would do it. If everybody did it, the stores would have no income. OK…so let’s not get extreme. Let’s suppose even five percent of people did this. That’s a pretty small number, right? But it would mean that any store allowing 5% of its customers to do extreme couponing would have to raise their prices on everybody else to make up for the lost revenue. They still have to pay their employees, buy the products, pay taxes/rent. If they raise their prices by 5%, they will lose many of their customers to the store across the street whose manager doesn’t have a bullet through the brain. With all the freeloaders and dwindling numbers of paying customers, the store will have two choices – stop the extreme couponing or raise prices even higher and drive even more customers to the competition. That is why extreme couponing cannot work.

    Besides, in the real world, every coupon I have ever seen, every special offer, every discount always says “not to be combined with other offers” – except for certain in-store clearance discounts that specify to “take 15% off the already reduced price”.

  2. steve says:

    it’s just a big lie. these people are actually breaking the law, when they ask, “how do you get all these coupons” they say oh, on the internet or in my paper…” which is BULL, the sunday paper does not have 50 of the same coupoon in it. these people steal the coupon part of the paper out of all the papers in those lock boxes on the street or in a convenience store, or they go dumpster diving in recycling centers for the unused flyers. I know also where I am (east coast) they have thes little po up machines in the aisles where you take a coupon and one morre pops up behind it. well even though it says take one, i have seen the same people over and over open the machines and take all the coupons and pocket them, then they sell them on ebay. there is no way to get 30 or 40 of one coupon from one newspaper, or the internet, do a litel research all these sites ALL have the same coupons on them.

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