How Coupons Should Not be Used on Extreme Couponing (Guest Post)

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My blogging buddy Lauren over at Luxury Living Frugal Style has written a series of posts regarding the latest episode of Extreme Couponing on TLC.  While I think the show makes for good TV, I do wish they would add a disclaimer that results are not typical & stores have coupon policies and limits that were waived for the show (if applicable). 

I’m not trying to start a heated debate, but I do feel that I should post one of her articles to make sure couponers (especially those who are new to the game) know that is important to use the coupons as intended and specified by the manufacture.  We all make mistakes but national television is not the place to use coupons incorrectly.  It is the stores prerogative to allow coupon limits to be exceeded, but I doubt the manufacturers agreed to have there coupons used outside of the written manner. 

I work hard to share with you matchups within manufacture guidelines.  I have written an article on ethical couponing.  I feel strongly about this subject, so here is an unfortunate example of how coupons should not be used:

You can see more of my posts on this issue, at Luxury Living Frugal Style at here, here and here

I am sure all of you feel the same way I do about shopping, planning it important! We write lists and put what coupons we have to use next to the NAME of what we are buying…..well J’Aime doesn’t….look at this list!

Who the heck makes a list that looks like this??? NO PRODUCT NAMES just manufacturer names and codes, well there is only one conclusion to come from this….SHE IS USING COUPONS ON THE WRONG PRODUCTS! I am not going to get into coupon decoding, it is illegal and wrong and NOT the way couponers should use coupons. This is NOT the way REAL couponers USE coupons!

On her shopping trip, there were multiple times that she used coupons for items that SHE DID NOT EVEN BUY!

One example is Buddig lunch meat—I buy this lunch meat, I have NEVER seen a $1 off coupon that can be used on the SMALL packages! I have seen both insert ones ($1/4 2oz and $1 off 12-16oz) and the one that is $1 off a 16oz package that comes on the label of the package.

Here is what she bought

Here is the coupon used

This coupon is for $1 off of 1 12-16 ounce package! The ones she bought are 2 oz packages (the size difference in the packaging alone should be obvious)

I am not going to go in to all the fraud she committed while on the show, there is no reason to, FRAUD is FRAUD! And STEALING is STEALING, no matter how much or how little!

I know I personally have had issues when using the RIGHT coupons on the RIGHT products!

Feel free to share your thoughts. Please remember to use your “big girl” words.  Unnecessarily mean/rude comments will be deleted.

Thank you to for the images.

This post is a reprint with permission


  1. melissa says

    This is very concerning, as manufacturer’s may stop issuing coupons altogether after learning about their misuse on the show. So what do we do? Start a letter-writing campaign to TLC? Start a petition? I imagine the first step is to stop watching the show.

  2. susan caraballo says

    I enjoy couponing and as a family of six it has become economoically necessay to do. My husband and have watched this show and he is new to the couponing ways and was mindboggled over the savings. So i spent the whole show explaing there has to be fraud going on as most stores have a max num of coupons you can you, and a max num of the same kind of coupons. So while the show may be a bit entertaing it is sending the wrong message to people. The show should find people that don’t just hoard but some that donate free products once they have their own limits reach.

  3. says

    That’s embarrassing. It’s people like that that make the stores become unfriendly to couponers, and I don’t blame them. You can save so much money by couponing honestly. You don’t need to commit fraud and ruin coupon use for everybody else! It’s awful that this is the part of couponing that is being shown on national television!

  4. Cat says

    THANK YOU for pointing this out! I couldnt even stomach watching an entire episode of this show because of the untruths and HOARDING. These people have issues that go beyond wanting to save money on groceries. Clearing shelves and stockpiling 40 years worth of TP is NOT normal. I really hope this doesn’t ruin coupons and store policies for the rest of us who “coupon” properly. It’s hard enough saving an average of 50% on my food bill as it is (especially since the prices in NJ are insanely high). I’m going to repost this article as many people I know jokingly tell me I should be on the show – I consider that an insult!

  5. Vanessa says

    What a terrible disappointment last Wednesday night. I was hoping to pick up some new tips and tricks, but instead, learned what NOT to do. Manufacturers and grocery chains would be crazy not to use the show as an opportunity to lock down coupon policies. This will ultimately impact those of us who coupon ethically. Furthermore, these people have clearly developed obsessions with couponing and border on (or dive headlong into) hoarding. Does anyone else find it ironic that the hoarding show is on immediately after this one?

    As a community, it is important for us to continue to support these ladies and gentlemen who are kind enough to share their knowledge while stressing the importance of ethical behavior. Kudos for figuring out how to save a bundle while doing the right thing!

  6. says

    Thank you for this. I watched the first show (the pre-series show) and being the strong personality I am I immediately took it as a great challenge. My family is dealing with shortage of grocery funds due to new diagnosed special diets so I knew I’d never get to the point they were because of all the special foods I need to get, but it inspired me to really look into extreme couponing. The past month I’ve only gotten 33%, 15% and the latest, my greatest win, 62% savings. I kept looking at how I was doing it wrong. I want the free stuff and 98% savings as you see each person in the show get. My husband was completely skeptical… thanks a lot, I have to tell him he was right. lol. Now that you pointed this out, I realize that is totally unrealistic and I’m rocking it already!! Not to mention, yes, I was disturbed by the hording aspect, but then again I did play with the idea of getting stock pile of cereal if possible because of our gluten-free needs. Cereal is so expensive and it doesn’t really go bad so you could stockpile if needed… oh lord, I’m at risk of becoming one of *them*.

    • Dana says

      Hi Stephanie,

      I don’t want you to be deterred from using coupons. I typically save 65-75% a month. And I do have shopping trips that are a savings or 98-100%. I have a nice stockpile that will get me through a few months. I can stop shopping except for fresh products if I wanted to.

      My lower savings rate is due to a number of factors such as less time to spend shopping ( I’m either blogging or shopping), I add organics/ natural products when available (kids only drink organic milk), & I’m rather happy with my grocery budget right now, so I don’t mind splurging.

      I now budget $280 a month for my family of 4. I typically spend around $250. That’s a huge savings in itself when I spent over $500 per month for a family of 3.

      As you build your stockpile, you’ll notice your spending becoming less and less each month.

  7. vivian says

    I just went to TLP’s relation website and told them I will not be watching the series. I can’t even stand the thought of going to Target or Kroger, and have some cashier looking at my coupons and thinking if I’m like the fraud Jaime was.

  8. Dana says

    I will continue to watch because I’m curious to see what couponers they have on the show who are using coupons legitimately even though the stores are not following their policies for the episodes. That should be a disclaimer.

    I know MrCoupon was working with Operation Troop Aid, so I’m hoping that turned into a good segment.

    I’m just fearful about people know knowing what the legal way to use coupons is and that stores don’t think we’re all trying to use coupons in a fraudulent manner.

  9. says

    I commend you for pointing this out. I wasn’t aware until this evening. It’s sad and it really makes it that much harder for those of us that need the savings!

    • Dana says

      Hopefully enough traffic will generate that most of us are using coupons legally and are looking to save money honestly.


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