Why I Am Furious About Extreme Couponing Season 2

Season 2 of Extreme Couponing begins September 28th.  And the trailers have me angry already.  The show hasn’t even started yet and I am angry.

The woman in the first episode prides herself on being a “shelf clearer.”  She walks into a store and clears out the entire stock of the item she wants.  In one of the scenes she takes several dozen energy type bars off a shelf and throws them in her cart.  As she is turning to search for her next item a guy walks up and asks her if she is taking all of them.  She answers “yep, sorry” and walks off.  She probably has 30 of them!  She couldn’t spare one for the guy and maybe even give him a coupon- teach him how to get a discount?

Shelf clearing is incredibly rude- if there is 30 of something in the store there is no need to take all of it. But to be proud of something that makes people people think so poorly of couponers just upsets me (so you know that did not start as the words ‘upsets me’. It was just the nicest thought I could come up with.) 

As a couponer I really don’t like the show.  It’s a poor representation of how an average couponer lives.  I don’t have a spare room in my house filled with laundry detergent, body wash and toothpaste.  If you want to do that it’s completely fine but it is EXTREME.   The way these people are portrayed the show makes them seem normal.  The couponer in me doesn’t want to watch it.

However I have a business to run and bills to pay.  And as much as I hate to admit it, the show is good for business.  Some of you reading this right now may be doing that because last year you watched an episode and wanted to learn more.  And I need to be able to converse intelligently about the show to stay current in my chosen field.

So here is my deal with you- I will watch the show until my head explodes (which may happen this season).  In return you promise to keep reading my site so we can journey together to a better life through couponing instead of letting couponing run our life.   And we can make changes so you can do the things that are important to you- being better with your finances and spending more time doing the things you truly love doing.


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  1. Debra says

    I agree several of the comments. Around here Kroger is the only store that will double coupons up to $.50. These folks should not clear a shelf unless there are only a couple left. I don’t watch the show much because I have other things to do. On one of the few episodes I watched, a woman bought 80 boxes of something her family had never tried. She commented she hoped her family liked it. I hope if they didn’t care for the food, she gave the remaining boxes to a local charity and not just throw it away. I have also noticed, on the few shows I have watched, these folks don’t buy meat. Do they not buy meat at all? Anyway, I save between $25 and $50 a week without stealing newspapers or offending people. I am proud of that. I have gotten my next door neighbor involved in using coupons too.

  2. Cathy says

    I’m almost embarrassed to say that I sometimes buy 20 of something that is a really good deal, but I give them to the homeless shelter. I have only cleared the shelf when there are only one or two to start with.

    I was interested in the show at first, until I realized how far from reality it is. At least around here. No where can you use that many coupons on one item, all the stores here have limits. And only Krogers doubles coupons and only up to .50. So I can’t see how any of those ‘extreme couponers’ would be able to get all that stuff for free here. (And they don’t give you any extra back to spend on other things.)

  3. micki says

    I agree! I have time and time again, had my binder looking for a coupon when someone asks me about it. Then I see something in thier cart and I’m like, Oh wait I have a great coupon for those! So to HOARD ketchup and whatever is just MEAN! Save money, get what ya need, and be nice to others! It’s not that tough! :()

  4. Tracy says

    Hi, I’m new to this site, actually just ran across it today. I’m pretty new to couponing as well, into it for about 5-6 months now..and as probably alot of other people have, I got into it because of watching the
    TLC show. However, I don’t have a stock pile (well except for BBQ sauce, I’ve got 4 bottles lol..and I don’t think a family needs all that they are stockpiling, it’s great when they donate. I do agree with all of you though, it’s really discouraging to go into the store and think I’m going to get a really good deal on an item only to find it’s completely gone from the shelf…and the store only doubles ONE coupon!! What da heck!

  5. Faith says

    I agree with just about everyone, this show has really put a damper on couponing and people who use them. Stores have changed policies because of this and it has effected a lot of people. I’m pretty good at what I do but I have never been able to get away with what they do. There are rules that have to be follow alone with the fact that to buy the thousands of coupons that got them free stuff, they had to pay for those,lol.

  6. WENDY says

    Why don’t ALL stores set reasonable limits -For ex. 20-30 coupons?!!! All of the Supermarkets around here that I can think of have a limit of 20 coupons!

  7. Wanika says

    My head exploded after the 3rd show last year. I couldn’t stand to watch it. The coupon policies that some of them used (not like the ones here or anywhere I would imagine) just drove me up the wall. I save a lot of money through coupons, but even I do not go that far. I do not clear shelves, I do not misuse coupons….. yet I am the one that is stared at like a criminal when I use them :( I sooo dislike that show and was sad to hear that it was coming back :(

  8. Lisa Scott says

    Extreme Couponing is what I call “Organized Hoarding” and is just as sick as the Unorganized hoarding that is another show on TLC.
    It is upsetting when you cannot participate in a sale because of these shelf clearers. It is wrong and that is the reason that us normal couponers are being punnished for trying to use coupons to save some money.
    If you can devote a whole part of your house for storage for your “hauls” and you choose not to have a job because it cuts into your “couponing time” then you really do need to get a life!!

  9. says

    I’ve stopped watching the show because of the looks and comments I get when I shop. I don’t like how they make us look crazy when I am a “normal” couponer. I try to save 50% not 100% on a regular basis and I DO buy things without coupons because I have to. I have certain things I hope stocked like toothpaste (as in 20 for everyone in the family) but not to where I could give one to each person in my community. I will continue to do what I do because I must but I believe in educating others that we are all not like that show…probably only 10% is like that. So I wil make the deal with you Laura! :)

  10. Terri says

    At first when I started to watch the show I was amazed. However, now that I have been couponing for three months, I now see that it is sending the wrong message to new couponers.

    Even when I go and buy multiple items, I leave at least one on the shelf (unless of course there is only one).

    There is NO need to have 100 tubes of toothpaste (or anything else for that matter).

    That said, I do have a small stockpile of things. However, the largest quantity that I have is shampoo, and that is 6 bottles.

    To the bloggers out there like Afrugalchick, people like you are doing a great job educating people about polite couponing, and how to do things properly. Thanks!

  11. Nancy Seeloff says

    I am a ‘common’ couponer, NOT extreme. Would I love to go in once and pay nothing, yes, but NOT all the time. I spend at least an hour of my day reading blogs and organizing coupons, and yes, the show did re-ignite my couponing feel and put me in Laura’s space, which is wonderful and I’ve saved a lot, hubby even bought me a new binder LOL!!! Not extreme, staying on the sane side with Laura (or as sane as I can be)

  12. Anita says

    I don’t even coupon it’s something I would love to do but, I will say the show on TLC gives couponing “a bad name”. I remember when coupling helped you save some money at the store, not some money on 100 of the same item. Keep up your website it will help a Newbie like myself to couponing. Hopefully TLC will run episodes like one I watched about a woman who used her couponing talents to give back to others in the community.

  13. sharon says

    I am new and I can’t find a thing!.. Im not an early bird either but can’t i just get one!.. with a coupon.. I was at the local CVS and the cashier were talking about how someone took every darn gatorade and they weren’t too happy about it either.. then i pull out one single coupon and dang shoot me!

  14. Connie says

    I really think everyone should write the network and tell them we are boycotting the show until they put responsible couponers on the show.

  15. Connie says

    I hate the show and I think it is rude and terrible when people clear the shelf. There are so many times I try to buy something and someone has done just that and I do believe this is what has but such a negative taste in most cashiers minds about coupons. I constantly try to teach other people and I share my coupons. I started a coupon basket at work

  16. Lisa Martin says

    I think TLC should rename the show “coupon hoarders” because that is exactly what they are – hoarders of products they used coupons to buy. They need an intervention.

  17. fred says

    Extreme couponing SUCKS!! Your blog was right on. TLC is the learning channel and what I learned is…nothing. Coupon Responsible. If you need 40 mustard’s, get a life.

  18. Nalani L says

    this show gives us couponers who coupon responsibly look bad…it will cause most retailers to stop the offers and same with the companies who offer them. boycott TLC!

    Its already started..went to target with just 3 coupons and she called over a manager, sized me up a little and scrutinized my purchase..and it was for three separate items…I was not hoarding or stockpiling..just using my Sunday coupons. I hope this show gets complaints and they stop showing it.

  19. says

    OH and Sherri, taking 2 when those are all there are is not what we are talking about…that is reasonable, it is when someone takes all of an item when there are 100 there and leaves none for others! No one NEEDS 100 of any item at one time for their personal use! I agree with those that build their stockpile over time! That is true and honest extreme couponing!

  20. says

    Oh How I agree with you! I was at Target last evening and while doing my shopping was looking for the aisle for the Cascade to get some of the trial size packets with my $1 off coupon when a woman came around the corner with her cart FULL of them! I asked her where she found them and her answer was “There aren’t any more left” as she walked off! WOW! I was only after 3-4 as that is all I feel comfortable taking of any one item at a time and even then if someone else is looking for the same item I will share if there are not enough! I cannot tell you how much I HATE these kind of people! They give us couponers a bad name!

  21. Diana Y says

    I agree!! I have “stock” in my house. But not a stockpile as portrayed on that show. It’s accumulations that I think I’ll need within the next six months. Example: I know that we use about two tubes of toothpaste a month in my house. So the most I’ll buy at once is two tubes, because there’s a sale on them – particularly every week. Shelf-clearers aggravate me because when I go into the store for my two tubes, and they are gone within 2hrs of the sale starting… um hello!! That’s stingy!!! Share!!!! And I have to wonder what are they doing with all of that? Are they donating? Or are they keeping it to look at? Who has time to rotate those massive stockpiles too? I have a hard enough time rotating my deep freezer with meats… which by the way, I did it this past weekend… and we have been eating meat this week that I purchased last year lol. (I think I bypassed them last quarter because they are smaller cuts, but FoodSaver: you’re the best!!) — Back on topic: I stopped washing last season why the lady would go around to the foreclosed houses and steal the Sunday paper out of the driveways. I don’t care what her justification was, it was STEALING! — Ok I’m done now, Deal Frugal Chick!

  22. says

    Deal! I watched the first few episodes last season and that it just ticked me off! I go into stores and the shelves are so bare! Then I get in line and the person looks at me with disgust! I simply have to pray something doesn’t ring up wrong b/c I know that cashier already isn’t happy w/my coupons! I think this wouldn’t be the case if those crazy people weren’t in the stores first thing in the morning! I don’t get there until later in the afternoon and by then my cashiers are sick of all those extremists!

  23. Mary Beth says

    Deal! And let me add that if youare new to couponing, act responsible and be respectful of others. Remember sharing is caring.

  24. Sheri says

    I have to say as a general rule I agree! I hate that they portray us as some sort of freaks! My grandmother grew up in the dustbowl. She lived with another family to work so she could pay for her own books to finish high school. She worked hard all her life. She saved and ate stuff from the dented can isle to save money. She also couponed. She had a spare room that she save extra canned goods, wheat, dry goods and such. After retirement, she lived comfortably, however she still carried on her frugal ways. She eventually had to be put in a home, and later died. For all of her life, she paid for EVERYTHING herself. She even paid for her own funeral in advance! She picked and paid for her own head stone. She paid for a service to provide food and a location and clean up for her funeral. From that moment, I knew I would do everything I could to be just like her. It should also be said that she left a bit of money to her children. When I use coupons I think of my grandmother. She would be so proud of me.

    Now, here is my anti rant…
    I would like to think that I am not a shelf clearer. HOWEVER, I do take the last item off the shelf. I am very conscious of others, but when there are only 2 left, I take the last two! I work full time, and I don’t always have time to come back when they restock. I’m sorry. I have shared with others though, including my coupons for which I always have extra!

    I love it! I love the legacy, and I love the way it gets me out of a rut!

  25. Maretta says

    I am so sick of this show representing couponers. I get so much crap from the cashiers. I NEVER leave a store without paying at least 50% of what I buy.