Extreme Couponing back for new season~now with more fraud!

Sigh, I really hate that show. I cannot think of one positive that has come out of that show, can you? It has completely ruined couponing for the rest of us. A new season started again this week, I was flipping through and found it, was looking for Storage Wars (which I have also read is staged and makes me sad, I’m still in denial over that one though). But anyway, back to “that show.”

A few weeks ago I filmed a tv segment for PHL 17 at the Acme in Bala Cynwyd. Since there was a bit of downtime, I was talking with the store manager and of course we talked coupons. He said that store managers were told that as many as 75% of all coupons for FREE items are counterfeit. Is the percentage actually that high? Who knows? But does it matter–because that’s what Acme managers think it is, so I have to pay the price. I recently did a sponsored post for Clorox Green Works and got some coupons from them, for FREE items. Big whoop–can’t even use them, because even though they are 100% legit, no stores will take them. I’m doing an Udi’s giveaway soon for some free item coupons….hopefully the winners can actually use the coupons.

Last night’s show portrayed more “couponers” with fists full of coupons for FREEs. No one, I mean no one, can get their hand on that many FREEs legitimately. They’re counterfeit or stolen from a company. They are even listed on some counterfeit coupon websites as an alert. Yet TLC chose to portray them. Are they even paying their researchers or fact-finding department? Because they totally stink. Please tell me what the difference is–if I film myself with a bunch of counterfeit money, and show you all the stuff I “buy” with it, and redeeming a stack of counterfeit coupons. How is this ok? How is TLC ok with this? Are they that desperate for ratings and shows?

I miss the old couponing. I miss the deals, I miss the freebies. I miss the excitement of getting a good ole’ fashioned deal that you found on your own, with deal stacking. I miss the thrill of finding a cool scenario on a blog you loved, and trying it yourself and having it work. I miss rolling catalinas. I miss getting stuff for free and then coming home and sending in a rebate form for it. I miss the good old days and I’m only 41.

Instead, some lazy tv production people, combined with some lazy couponers too lazy to even find a real deal, have ruined it for the rest of us. Who remembers when CVS had monthly ECB items and NO limits? Then it was limit 5, then 3, then 1. Now the ECB freebies are not only limit 1, but you have to get in there on Sunday or Monday or you don’t get it–their freebies are 2 day deals. Same goes for the grocers–their best deals are only for 3 days, not 1 or 2 weeks like it used to be.

Please boycott the show with me. Even better, let’s all write to them and tell them how much they stink and how they should be ashamed of themselves. Tell them how they have ruined it for us moms who are really having trouble stretching a buck and trying to feed our families. Yes, the economy is slowly getting better, but there are still millions of Americans that are unemployed and the prices of everything are rising. Coupons help with that. And now, thanks to EC, instead of a $1 off one item, we’re lucky to get $0.20 or $0.35 (are you listening Tide?). 

I don’t 100% blame them. Sure, companies are trying to save money and work with less, that’s led to decreased coupon values. Unemployment was high which meant more people had more time to clip coupons and do deals. But Extreme Couponing on TV made it sooooo easy. You didn’t have to do a google search and browse dozens of blogs to find one that fit you. It was right there. All people had to do was lay on the couch like Homer Simpson in their underwear, and it was just all right there….right in front of you. And if you wanted to see it again, you knew exactly where to go to see it again. It made it just a little too easy–not like the kitchen table conversations I’ve had with friends, or evening tutoring trips I’ve done to CVS, to really show someone the ropes.

And now, this is their solution to show–just show up with a pile of counterfeit coupons, and voila! Free stuff! The stores should be ashamed of themselves too, really.  Meh, maybe it’s the record heat we’re having here, but this is really getting to me today. I guess it’s because I was pretty excited about my Suave deal at Acme, and was trying to get back into couponing. Now this just sours me all over again.

Who wants the free Green Works coupons? Lol.

Other posts I’ve done on this:

 

 

 

 

On my soapbox: Anyone else sick of Extreme Couponing?

I can’t believe people are still watching this show. No, it’s not sour grapes because I wasn’t invited to be on it. I genuinely find it disinteresting.

Here’s the plot: They show someone spending hours upon hours clipping coupons. Highlights of their massive stockpiles that rival some community food pantries. Couponer plans out a trip then goes to store and fills up multiple shopping carts with CRAP. It’s always ramen noodles, fruit rollups and soda. Or some other items that are of the same nutritional quality. Stuff that I would never feed my kids in million years. Throw in a couple hundred items from HBA for added effect (either toothbrushes or deodorant) and head to registers.

Oooohhhhh, and then the suspense begins! Will all the coupons scan correctly? Will the register lock up? Will they have to split up their orders? What will the final total be? (insert your own level of sarcasm here)

I bet that is exactly what happened on last night’s episode, right? And I didn’t even watch it. It’s the same reason I’ve only ever watched a couple of episodes of Deadliest Catch. It’s the same show, over and over. Guys head out fishing, encounter bad weather, couple of guys in the crew don’t get along, they head home. Lather rinse repeat.

I hate what the show is doing to couponing. I hate that people ask me about it all the time. “Have you seen it?” “Is that what you do?” “Do you have that much stuff in your house?” For the record, my answers are yes, sort of-but not to that extent, and of course not.

It paints an unrealistic picture of what supercouponing is all about. It encourages fraud. It makes us all look like hoarders, when *most* of us are just trying to save money for our families and not be greedy. It causes us sane and normal couponers to have to explain ourselves, over and over, so that we don’t look crazy. It has only served to give TLC decent ratings and a few extreme couponers extra publicity for their websites. The only people who seem to enjoy the show are the people that are on it & some of their blog followers. The rest of the coupon world, by and large, dislikes the show. You want to get free stuff like that? Great. Then stop watching the show. Because the more publicity it gets, the more the big stores are going to clamp down on their generous coupon policies. Several big chains in the south and the midwest have recently changed their policies, and not in the couponer’s favor. I think it’s more than coincidence that it happened right as the show became popular. How many shows are left in the season? Is it almost over?

Related: CIC statement on the show. Opinion from Coupons, Deals & More. Hotcouponworld forums/blogs discussion.