Has TLC’s Extreme Couponing Show Created a Monster?

An Extreme Couponer shown with folder in store and dumpster diving for coupons with her family in an episode of Extreme Couponing showing on TLC network.

When Extreme Couponing first aired on the TLC cable network, my first thought was that this is going to cause problems, down the road for all couponers.

That has become a reality as some stores take measures to make it tougher to use large amounts of coupons. Smaller grocery stores can’t afford to have their cashiers tied up, with one customer for two hours or more. One episode of Extreme Couponing showed a couponer, who spent eight hours in a store, between shopping and checking out.

Dumpster-Diving For Coupons

One of the major problems for extreme couponers is finding the coupons. They have made dumpster-diving an art form, bringing their kids with them, to dig through garbage, which is not healthy to start off with.

There is little mention made of how much the extreme couponers spend, to find the coupons online and print them out. All we see at the end of the show is the original total and the total after coupons.

Other coupon users have opened newspaper racks, only to pay for one paper and steal many more, so they can have more coupons at less cost.

Shelves Stocked With Food, Supplies

It seems to me that some of the couponers are only using coupons, to stock up on stuff they may never need. One couponer on Extreme Couponer said they had some stuff they didn’t even use.

When a couponer on the show “buys” 300 toothbrushes for free, it makes me wonder if he will ever use 300 toothbrushes in his lifetime.

Veteran Couponers Not Happy Campers

The veteran couponers can’t be too happy, about the increased attention on couponers, since if the TLC show attracts negative attention on them, it could greatly reduce their profits, if coupon use is restricted.

The manufacturers could make it much tougher on coupon users, if they reduce the value of their coupons and try to make it impossible for couponers to find free food and supplies.

Not Always Welcome

Couponers are not always welcome to shop at grocery stores, when they have to use several shopping carts  and tie up the checkout lane, for hours at a time. Cashiers are the ones that have it the worst, first having to total the prices of the products, then add up all the coupons to find the total price.

Grocery stores often have to come up with solutions, when the cash register stops functioning after the register reaches its limit on how many items it can handle.

This article gives even more information on how the  Extreme Couponing has inspired many new couponers to try their hand at saving money.








Extreme Couponer Being Investigated

Jaime Kirlew, who was recently featured on Extreme Couponing is being investigated for fraud while using coupons.

She allegedly used $4 Schick Razor coupons to buy Schick Shaving Gel. You would think the coupons would be rejected.

This is such a complicated matter it may be better to go to this link, which explains in great detail, exactly how she is using the coupons.


Extreme Couponing: Couponer Pays $8.27 on $684.56 Grocery Bill

This grocery bill receipt added up to $676.29 before subtracting coupons. After coupons were subtracted the couponer paid a total of $8.27.


Extreme Couponing debuted on TLC last night and will be seen on Wednesdays, at 9PM EDT and 8PMCDT.

The show follows the couponer being featured in the episode, from clipping out the coupons, then follows them as they shop and then to the checkout register.

Some of the couponers actually pay websites, to send them coupons in bulk. One couponer last night was shown going from door to door of neighbors and businesses, to pick up coupons friends had saved for them.

Another coupon takes her family dumpster diving to find coupons. The couponers featured on the show are also hoarders.

One man had 1,000 bottles of body wash stocked in his garage. The same man bought 300 toothbrushes, while shown shopping in the episode last night. He also almost filled up a shopping cart with deodorant.

When he went to the grocery store, he had $4,000 of cereal he had pre-ordered waiting for him. The cereal only cost him $150. To his credit, he did give some of the cereal to a local food bank.

The clerks at the checkout line have to dread seeing a couponer headed toward their lane. One lady couponer was shown checking out, when a serious problem arose. She had exceeded the 1,000 items allowed on one ticket.

The clerk had her break up her order, which freaked out the couponer. She seemed to lose track of which coupons, went with which product, but it ended well for her.

When shopping, the couponers have notebooks telling them which products, they have coupons for. It tickled me when one kid picked up a box of cereal, with Spiderman on it but the couponing mom told him, that she didn’t have a coupon for that item.

The most exciting part of the shopping trip for couponers, is totaling up the damage, then watch the computer screen, as the coupons are subtracted, from the original price. Even the couponers, start to worry when seeing the total price of the groceries. If they paid attention to details, they still walk away with huge savings.

By then a crowd of people, including store employees and customers, have gathered to see how much money the couponer has saved.

I am not sure this much attention, being paid to the extreme couponers, is good for them and other couponers.

The coupons don’t hurt the grocery stores since they are reimbursed for the coupons, but the manufacturers could cut way back on coupons being offered if too many customers start using coupons.

However, the couponers are a disruption to the routine at a grocery store, with one cashier tied up for an extremely long time, while checking a couponer with between 500 and 1,000 separate items. In one scene from the show several grocery store employees were shown pushing shopping carts toward the checkout lane.

An average shopper, doesn’t have the storage space to be an extreme couponer, but they still could use coupons to save money on a much smaller scale. For instance they could buy $200 for less than $10 if they have enough coupons.

The key is to have enough coupons, go on double or triple coupon days which results in receiving many products free.

To watch some of the extreme couponers in action (video will start automatically):