Did you shudder when you read that?
Are you curious why?
I mean, the title of this site is “Surviving The Stores”. Why in the world would I not like Extreme Couponing?
I know lots of you guys are wondering what my thoughts are on the show, so I wanted to write a post to share (in my opinion) the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY about the show.
If you’re finding this site because of a search related to Extreme Couponing, be sure to read my series on Surviving The Stores Through Couponing! Tip #1 is that you DON’T have to be an “Extreme Couponer” to save a TON of money at the grocery stores!
Extreme Couponing – The Good
Yes, there are actually a few good things that have come about as a result of Extreme Couponing. It’s a short list, but I felt like these should at least be mentioned.
INTEREST – The interest in couponing in general has gone up! People are realizing that couponing really can save them a ton of money each month on their grocery shopping bill. They are doing searches online and finding blogs that (hopefully) are helping them learn how to save money the RIGHT way!
GIVING – People are using couponing to give more to their local food banks. There were a couple of EC shows last seasons that encouraged couponers across the country to use their stockpiles to donate to food banks and churches to distribute to those in need. If Extreme Couponing must be on for another season (or even more), I’m hoping they really spend more time focusing on those who are using their couponing skills to help others. (PLEASE note that those who do large couponing purchases to donate order a certain amount of product in advance!)
COUPON TERMS – They are a-changin’! I know lots of couponers are upset about this (and I included it in the “Ugly” section below for other reasons), but overall manufacturers are making coupon terms clearer and less confusing. They are also coding the coupons now so that you CANNOT use them past the expiration dates. This helps to prevent fraudulent coupon use and, in my opinion, has been needed for a while.
Extreme Couponing – The Bad
Yes, there’s lots of bad. These are the things that just make me cringe. There are lots, but here are a few of my top ones:
STEREOTYPES – Have you gotten more than the usual dirty looks when carrying your coupon binder through the grocery store? I know lots of us have, and I believe that is due in part to Extreme Couponing. I’d love a shirt to wear to the grocery store that says “Don’t worry, I’m not an “extreme couponer” and I will leave plenty on the shelves for everyone else!” While lots of people have started looking into couponing to save money (a positive), there are others who are so afraid of being labeled “one of those people” that they have given up couponing altogether.
COUPON POLICY CHANGES – From Kroger no longer doubling or tripling coupons in Texas, to revised coupon policies from other grocery stores, I really think we’ve just seen the tip of the iceburg in regards to coupon policy revisions due to Extreme Couponing. 🙁
HOARDING – 40 years worth of toilet paper? 500 bottles of salad dressing? Reasonable stockpiling is a GOOD thing, but there’s definitely a line where it gets into the hoarding category that, in my opinion, is unhealthy. Hopefully no one is encouraged toward hoarding through Extreme Couponing, but I’d be surprised if there weren’t some who were.
UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS – Who has 40 hours a week to devote to couponing? No one? Will anyone’s local stores let you double or triple 100 of the same coupon in one transaction? Nope, didn’t think so. Many of the stores featured on the show DROP their regular coupon policies just for the show to get the publicity. So most of the transactions shown, we can’t even do unless we have a TV Network’s video camera behind us.
Extreme Couponing – The Ugly
Oh yes, it gets worse. “The Bad” were only some of the things that are annoyances due to the show. But here’s the UGLY… those things that make me not want to set eyes upon the show ever again.
THEFT – People are STEALING coupons. I posted a story on the Surviving The Stores Facebook page the other week about the rise in coupon insert theft since Extreme Couponing aired and SO MANY of you guys said that you’ve bought papers at the store only to realize that the inserts had been taken from them. Definitely ugly.
SHELF CLEARING – I would venture to say that most seasoned couponers don’t do this at all. We all hate going to the store and finding a completely cleared shelf, so we don’t do it to others. But from what I’ve seen of Extreme Couponing, they make it out to be a POSITIVE thing (and I just got word that tonight’s episode has an “unapologetic shelf clearer” on it. UGH!) “Who cares if we need 200 boxes of pasta! It’s free so let’s take them all!” Certainly not an attitude that is helpful to anyone (not even the person who is clearing the shelves).
COUPON CHANGES Because Of FRAUD– The outright coupon fraud on the show has been so bad, that companies have had to completely redo the way that they code coupons. Don’t get me wrong, companies NEEDED to make these changes, but the coupon fraud that caused them to do it was yucky. And I’m sure there was a lot of product theft (that’s what it is when you use a coupon for a product that it was not intended for) between the show’s airing and when companies started changing the wording on their coupons.
So what do you think? Anything you would add to these lists?
My goal here at Surviving The Stores is to help you “bring more of your money home” in a way that LEGAL, CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS, and EASY TO DO!
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