The popular reality show on TLC, Extreme Couponing, is fascinating to watch. Those profiled show viewers how they are able to fill shopping carts full of food and groceries and leave – receipt in hand- while paying pennies on the dollar. In this set of couponing tips, we will explore the reasons why what you see in a so-called reality show is not always what you get.
It Costs More Money than They Imply
When you see totals of just a few cents for hundreds of dollars-worth of foods, it easy to forget that the grocery store is not the only place an extreme couponer will spend her money. Here’s some couponing tips: the coupons cost money too! Most coupons you see on the show either come from Sunday papers or from coupon clipping services, which generally charge a convenience fee of 2c to 50c per coupon. Those numbers are never factored into the savings on Extreme Couponing.
Breaking Store Policy
A really important thing to point out about the Extreme Couponing show is that it is purely entertainment. Grocery stores you see profiled in the program actually break their own couponing policies when they allow the TLC cameras to film, simply to gain publicity. Unfortunately, much of that publicity is negative, as regular customers are recognizing inconsistencies.
Do Not Double
For example, many grocery stores profiled on the show allow the couponer to double coupons for the program, but in reality, these stores do not allow double couponing at all. Couponing tips: if you are a customer in the same store you see on the show, there is a good chance you will never be able to get the deals profiled.
And then some grocery stores are bending their policies, allowing the purchase of multiple items. I hate to break it to you, but no, I’ve never heard of a single store allowing someone to go in and purchase hundreds of deodorants in one single purchase, wiping out their stock for other customers. Most stores limit like items to keep it fair. A good couponing tip is to ask your store for their limit in advance.
It Can Be Done
At the end of the day, it is possible to consistently save lots of money using coupons the right way, and it is possible to save your family thousands of dollars a year. It’s even possible to acquire, over time, huge stockpiles like you see in the series. But do realize, what you see is not always what you get. There really isn’t too much “reality” in reality television.