Friday, April 8, 2011

Extreme Couponing FAIL

Did you watch Extreme Couponing on TLC this week? If so you watched four women take couponing to a whole new level - a crazy level in my honest opinion. I stayed up last night and played it on my DVR and could not believe the stockpiles in these families homes. They had groceries in every crevice. Absolutely ridiculous. There is no reason to have hundreds of boxes of cereal, just because it's free. Perhaps I'm alone of this, but clearing a shelf of mustard seems a tad...greedy.

Mr. G began watching the show with me and kept asking, "why?" and "what's the point?" He also asked why stores haven't put a maximum on purchases. In several cases they have, and I'm positive more stores will now due to the show's unrealistic and irresponsible portrayal of couponing. Mr. G retired to our bedroom after about 10 minutes because he "couldn't take the crazies anymore."

And now the blogworld is buzzing about one of the couponers, J'amie, who appears to have fraudulently used coupons on the show. She's the one who kept applying her hideous makeup throughout the show. Allegedly J'amie used UPC decoding to make her outrageous purchase. UPC decoding is basically (very basically) using a coupon for an item that the coupon wasn't intended for, which is illegal.

I first learned about UPC decoding when I used a B1G1 Free coupon for Men's Body Wash and when I looked at the receipt later that day I noticed that the coupon was applied to the toilet paper I purchased instead. It occurred to me that because the body wash and toilet paper was from the same family company that the register must have taken off the toilet paper.

You can read all about the Extreme Couponing drama HERE.

I'll continue to watch Extreme Couponing because, well, it's interesting. But I'm fearful of how the show will affect us normal couponers. It would be a shame if stacking and doubling was no longer allowed because people begin to abuse the system.


  1. I'm all about a great deal. As a SAHW and mom to be I understand the need to be frugal and I love my coupons. But it bothered me so much to see how much food these people have stocked up. I get the three months supply, but years worth of soaps, paper goods, and food.....crazy. All I could think about was why don't they donate items to a church or shelters or women/family centers. Especially the free stuff.

  2. I completely agree. Not one of them mentioned donating. What a shame. But that's the society we live in. Mine, mine, mine. It would be awesome if one of the shoppers on the show donated at least a portion of their purchase, as many of us regular couponers do.

  3. I have to agree with all the comments. That show just showed an unrealistic one sided view of coupon using. However, the one man that special ordered all the cereal (like any of my stores would ever let me special order a sale item, much less one I was going to use a coupon on to get almost free) did say that he would be donating the 1,100 boxes of cereal to his church's food bank. Besides the obvious fraud of the make up lady with the shoes that do not fit, I was just angered at the women that kept telling her husband to put more mustards in the basket, and then he comments that they don't even like mustard. In my opinion what they showed was organized hoarding and compulsive behavior that will in the end ruin a budget saver for the normal customers. All the stores in our area have already stopped double value and I overheard a cashier today tell her customer that their manager posted that are to enforce the one coupon per person per day rule stated on coupons. I also think that this is just another example of TLC airing a show that supports fraudulent or down right illegal practices. Another of their shows "Sister Wives" has had similar fall out. But hey, TLC is getting ratings and lots of advertising off of all of it.

  4. It also reminded me of organized hoarding! If I did extreme legal couponing, I could not see holding on to a tiny percentage of what they kept. If they are not interested in donating it to charity, why not gift to friends or barter for other services?