Tonight it happens. Another season of TLC’s Extreme Couponing kicks off. I know many of you are fans of the show and many are not. I am actually not a fan.
What you see depicted on television is just that — television. The deals are put together to increase ratings. The shoppers are using coupons on the wrong products (called bar code decoding), the stores are bending rules and in extreme cases, the coupons they are redeeming are fraudulent.
It saddens me because there are people who are just working hard to save money by using coupons. They work hard to put together their money saving deals. They coupon ethically and honestly. Then, these extreme types of couponers come in and are doing things which question store policies and that results in changes. Changes that hurt people when it comes to saving money. Many have had to limit coupon redemption, eliminate acceptance of Internet printable coupons and even changed their entire policies just to avoid shelf clearers.
I have people ask me if it is possible to get deals like you see on television. I say that it depends upon where you live and where you shop. It also depends upon the products you purchase. When I shop at CVS, it is nothing for me to save 85 – 95% off of my purchase by using Extra Care Bucks, CVS coupons, regular coupons and the deals (learn more at CVS 101). However, when I shop at my local grocery store, if I can save 35 – 45% off of my grocery bill, that is great savings (no double coupons here).
We all can save money when we shop. We just have to do so honestly and ethically and not end up so extreme. If you are looking for help with learning how to coupon, I’m here to help. Here are some articles to help you get started:
Getting Started on Penny Pinchin’ Mom. This helps you learn about some of the feature on this site and how to help you find them.
Coupon Ethics. When coupons beep (or do not), there can be reasons. Sometimes, it may work for you, but that doesn’t mean it is the right way to use coupons.
Fake Coupons: How to Know If Yours is Real. Sometimes the fake coupons look as good as the real ones. Learn how to tell the difference and learn why it hurts us all when fake coupons are used.
Finding Coupons. This can help you learn about all of the resources available to help you get multiple copies of the coupons you will need to help you save.
How to Use Coupons. Of course, this is the most important! It isn’t just clipping some coupons that saves money, it is using them wisely – and to your advantage!
If you really are struggling financially, you can follow our Debt Free Challenge — where I share how my husband and I paid down more than $37,000 in debt in 27 months!