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April 18, 2021

Does ‘extreme couponing’ give savvy shoppers a bad name?

If you’ve ever seen TLC’s Extreme Couponing show, then you know that some people take coupon clipping very, very seriously. So much so, that’s it’s a bit hard to believe just how they spend their time. 

Coup Hard-core couponers are in it for the long haul. They load up three or four shopping carts at a time, all the while testing the patience of overwhelmed cashiers and fellow shoppers. 

Unfortunately, watching someone snag a hundred boxes of pasta and a truckload of soup leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths – you know, those only buying the things they need and leaving products on the shelf for other consumers.

“Nutjob hoarders!” they shout.

This extreme portrayal of high-level couponers as hoarders makes Collin Morgan more than a little uneasy. The founder of the coupon site Hip2Save.com feels the vast majority of coupon users are simply trying to save money in smart ways and buy only what they need.

But Deanna Marcy, who blogs about couponing at Money Saving Canadian Mom, isn’t so sure and thinks there’s a reason why this show is on after TLC's Hoarders.

“I would really like to know if the woman who has 75 boxes of cereal gets the entire product eaten before it expires. You can bet even though she has 75 boxes of cereal stored conveniently on the very top shelf of her master closet she would get more if she get's it free or almost free. She also has over 1,000 rolls of toilet paper under her son's bed.  No thanks.”

People on the show purchase items as if it’s the last time they will ever, ever go on sale but that's not the case, Marcy says. Sales run in cycles, some by the season and some by the months and, unless you’re stocking up for the Apocalypse, it is possible to have too much mustard, she adds, noting that Canadian stores don’t work like those in the U.S. in the first place.

What are your thoughts about extreme couponing? Do you put in the hours these folks do? Don't think it's worth the time and effort? Ever been stuck behind someone who does?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money

* Follow Gordon on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...