Custom Navbar

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Extreme Couponing: To Be Or Not To Be...

Extreme Couponing
Recently in the wee hours of the morning I saw the TLC show Extreme Couponing. At first I was amazed by what these women, even a 15 year old, were able to do. They would go into a grocery store and buy $600-800 worth of groceries and walk out with often times paying less than $20! The penny pincher inside of me liked the sounds of that.

However, as I was talking about it with a friend, and then doing some research, I found a few problems with this craziness.

1. These women were often buying products in such mass amounts they couldn't possibly use it all before it expires—300 bottles of BBQ sauce anyone?

2. It has become such a quest to these women to bring in a big haul that they will buy products they have no need for just to save a lot. Take the woman who bought 150 dog collars for example—she doesn't even own a dog! She could always donate them to an animal shelter or something, but instead they sit unused in her stock pile.

3. Many stores won't even allow this kind of couponing. In order for these women to get some of the deals featured on the show they have to do upwards of 15 transactions because many stores only let you double so many coupons per transaction.

4. A lot times the products these women are able to buy at super-reduced prices, or even free, aren't the healthiest things in the world—like the 99 Raman Noodles that one woman said would last her family for four months.

For me this whole extreme couponing is impractical, especially due to where I live. We have one grocery store and a Walmart. That's about it. If I lived closer to a city that had three or four grocery stores I would have a much better chance of getting more with my coupons. Another factor I find unpalatable is the time involved. One former extreme couponer admitted that if she worked a part time job she would work the same amount of hours she spends couponing but would make more than she saved.

To be clear I'm not condemning couponing, but I think it's wise to take what's featured on the show with a very large grain of salt. I think coupons are great. I use them often, but I'm not going to use them just for the sake of getting something for free or really cheap. I want to shop smartly, but I also want to make meals that are healthy for my family.

Have you seen he show Extreme Couponing? What did you think? Do you use coupons, and how do you do so effectively? Leave a comment below to let us know!

Keep pinchin' :-)


  1. I agree- most coupons are not for healthy food. When you think about it, the only reason they are able to give coupons for that kind of food is because it is so marked up in the first place. When you buy "real" food there is not need to spend the time on coupons. If something like the butter I normally buy goes on sale, I get extra, and that is how I save. I have found that going to so many stores does not really save you money. You get a big headache after it all too. The biggest way I save is DIY and buying in bulk. If you can find a way to store food it is the cheapest option. That's my two cents worth :-)

    1. I agree, and do some of the same things - buy extra butter when it's on sale and such. I make a lot of mixes from scratch too, like pancake mix, as Jake is more likely to make it if it's easy, but buying pancake mix is a lot more expensive than making it. Thanks for your two cents! Dani

  2. A very timely post for me, thank you! I agree with you!