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.
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.
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.
Posted by: storeslimit | Apr 18, 2021 9:28:35 AM
I've seen the show. Stores are different in Canada and have signs that limit quantities that one person can purchase. I've personally gone around these by calling up the stores and talked with the department manager to put in a special order if they have limiting quantites.
Posted by: Steve Zussino - Grocery Coupons Canada | Apr 18, 2021 9:43:08 AM
My wife and I blog about our coupon savings and post grocery deals and coupons for Canadians.
Since tracking how much we have saved with coupons - we have saved over $1,700 since June 2010.
We are excited to save that much - after tax dollars.
Posted by: Karla | Apr 18, 2021 10:08:35 AM
If you can use the product before it expires - no problem but if not then it is a complete waste of food and the person might have an addiction or hoarding issue.
Posted by: Ciupons | Apr 18, 2021 10:29:47 AM
They know sales run in cycles the goal of the extreme couponer as they have mentioned on the show is to get enough food free or at a really low price to get the family through till the next time they can get it on sale again. I watch the show and I wonder the same thing how will you use 200 sticks of deoderant before it expires? Chances are you wont I think some of these people only but the item just because its on sale and its a mentality of if I can get it for free why not have 200 sticks of deoderant they were free!
What I want to know is they limit coupons in Canda to one per person per transaction right? So we cant extreme coupon here because the coupons are limited.
Posted by: Paula | Apr 18, 2021 3:08:49 PM
yeah i like to save money who doesnt, and really lets be honest who would eat all of that mustard not me, paper goods, such as loo roll and kleenex and the like, i suppose, i would like a couple of packets extra, but to have that much no, and you are really putting everyone else out who also would like to buy just one of that particular product. I wonder what would happen if canada did start it, and can someone let me in on the cycles of sales please and thankyou, it would be much appreciated.
Posted by: Lisa | Apr 18, 2021 5:41:10 PM
I wish we had more coupon offers here in Canada as they do in the states. I am glad that a lot of companies are going to the email type of coupons that can be printed, but there are stores here in Canada that will not accept a printed coupon.........and I haven't heard of any stores here in Edmonton offering a doubling amount on a coupon for years. We just don't have the same participation from businesses as they do down in the states.
Posted by: don | Apr 18, 2021 6:34:22 PM
I too have watched this show. The couponer on the one I watched was single and this was his hobby. He kept what he could use and donated the rest to his local food bank. Keep on clipping !
Posted by: Bob | Apr 18, 2021 9:15:54 PM
The point of the extreme couponing show is how American Families have started to do this to get them through a tough time in their life (ie. Spouse loses there job, death to spouse etc.) As far as I'm concerned, why not have as many essentials as possible. I bulk up on Deodarant, shampoo, soap and toilet paper. To me, this makes sense, why not spend the money on items I will always use and will not go bad. Couponing in Canada is different, but if you have the time to look for deals, then all the power to you. For those people who think this is hoarding, maybe you need to watch Hoarding and then Extreme Couponing. Stocking up on products is completely different than having 40 cats and living in filth.
Posted by: memories | Apr 19, 2021 10:29:18 AM
as a child i recall my parents getting around this limitation by handing me money and having me buy the maximum amount as well as each of them
Posted by: Darlene | Apr 19, 2021 10:35:41 AM
I am disgusted by these extreme couponers. I use coupons too, reasonably for items I need in the quantities I need them in. I save money on essentials so I can do extras for my kids. Extreme couponers make the reasonable folks look bad. Since this show has aired I get dirty looks and the clerks examine every coupon to the point where I am embarrassed. No-one needs that much stock pile of anything....its greedy and shows lack of sensibility.
Posted by: Stephen | Apr 19, 2021 7:53:28 PM
Well, ladies think about it this way: Last year in November I bought 12 Kg of peanut butter at Shoppre's Drug Mart for peanuts. I gave away 11 of them before christmas for the needy through my church and the local grocery store's bin. I kept one which i shared with the hungry birds. Did I do something wrong? I don't think so, however sometimes I do see a lots of sale items on flee markets and garage sales.
Posted by: John | Apr 19, 2021 8:18:51 PM
For items we use a fair bit if they go on sale we usually buy what alot of people would call excessive (cheese at $4 a bar, toilet paper at half price ect ect) it makes sense to buy in bulk when you can because the savings are significant.
When cheese hits $4 a bar I will buy 10-20 at once, saves me about $40-50 as opposed to normal prices, freeze them and use them over time and I will buy enough toilet paper when it's on sale to fill the bottom of my sink (max 3 24 packs).
I do not consider that excessive and when it comes to items with an expiry date and cannot be frozen like fruit and vegetables I will buy a normal amount or a bit extra and make a treat like a strawberry pie or salads for my meals through the week.
Now on the other hand if your having to fill storage rooms full of stuff and you have enough to stock 2 grocery stores or half a costco you may want to cut back a bit and take stock of how much you need, seriously.
Just use common sense and on a personal note I believe a 6 month supply of anything is more then sufficient.
Posted by: Jack | Apr 19, 2021 9:45:47 PM
I consider the time involved for clipping coupons. Would I waste 5 min of my time to look for and clip a coupon that would save me $10? No way. That 5 min would cost me more than double that in lost billable time in income. These people that claim to have saved up $1700 over a period of 10 months, how much time do you spend on getting these coupons? I will bet much, much more than you think. How much is your time worth? Focus your energy on a way to make $1700 per day (heck, even half of that), then you will be never look at another coupon again.
Posted by: Mary | Apr 20, 2021 10:28:15 AM
My ex-husband and I lived near the U.S. border, so he took advantage of extreme couponing, and I mean took advantage! We had so much stick deodorant, lotion, etc. etc., that we could never use it. I would donate it when I could, however, in order to do that I had to sneak it out of the house. Most of it did go to waste, what a shame! That type of behaviour is definitely sick and wastefull!
Posted by: Jonny JoeJoe | Apr 21, 2021 12:58:55 AM
Jack - I would not consider a $10 savings in just 5 minutes a waste of time. There are 12 - 5 minutes in an hour - do you make $120 an hour? Maybe a better way to spend your time would be to think of how much you could have saved in the time it took you to read and respond to this article.
Posted by: Jack | Apr 29, 2021 11:58:20 PM
@JonnyJoeJoe, I make $265 per hour, sometimes up to $495.