Money Advice

The Myths of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” – How Couponing Really Works

If you’re a actuality TV junkie like me, you’ve in all probability seen the TLC show “Extreme Couponing.” In the present, religious couponers rating main offers, procuring gadgets for as a lot as a full 100% low cost. Some consumers even work the system in order that they’re basically paid to take the gadgets from the shop, receiving credit, factors, and vouchers that exceed the worth of the gadgets they’ve bought.

It appears like these are fairly superb offers, proper?

Unfortunately, what “Extreme Couponing” doesn’t present is strictly how these consumers purchase such offers. It additionally depicts the themes embroiled in some severe moral points, all for the sake of constructing their “stash.” Sure, typically the patrons are buying gadgets for an upcoming church supper, the homeless shelter, and stationed troops – however this isn’t the norm.

After watching a quantity of episodes, I started to wonder if “Extreme Couponing” is even near depicting “reality.”

Hidden Aspects Behind Extreme Couponing

I readily admit that couponing doesn’t enchantment to me. Sure, I’ll redeem a coupon for $10 off a $40 buy at a division retailer every so often, however in any other case I flip to comparability purchasing and gross sales to avoid wasting money. But the couponers depicted on “Extreme Couponing” assault the duty with ferocious depth. Is it even potential to buy like that on a regular basis? Some of their strategies will not be solely unrealistic, they’re downright flawed.

Before you seize your coupon binder and a ton of newspaper inserts, just remember to get all of the information about hardcore couponing and what it may imply on your purchasing habits.

Big Work Load

The TV program at all times exhibits the couponers sitting down and clipping coupons in piles, and even going house-to-house to gather inserts and sheets of coupons. Of course, an episode is barely half-hour in size. But to get the varieties of offers that the couponers snag in a present, you’d should dedicate hours every day to the pursuit of excessive couponing: gathering, clipping, browsing the Web for offers, and purchasing. Is the quantity you’d save whereas couponing similar to how a lot you’d earn at a full-time job, and even at a part-time job?

Couponers are severely devoted to their craft, which implies you possibly can’t anticipate to get the identical offers except you’re keen to place within the time. Some individuals discover that point is healthier spent incomes money versus saving money grocery purchasing.

Smoke and Mirrors – Fake Deals

Extreme couponers at all times appear to know the place to buy to get the most cost effective value, and a few of one of the best offers happen when a retailer doubles coupons. For instance, in a single episode, a lady needed to purchase bagged salad that price $1. She had a $0.50 coupon, and the shop fortunately doubled it, due to this fact permitting her to take the salad free of charge. You may do the identical, proper?

Well, not precisely. Many of the shops featured within the present got here below fireplace when it was found that coupons had been doubled for the present solely. When different couponers headed in to assert the identical deal, retailer homeowners identified that the present was executed for promotional causes solely, and coupon doubling was not allowed.

Store managers are nicely inside their rights to alter retailer insurance policies as they see match, however you may be caught abruptly while you attempt to get a deal that doesn’t pan out. Just do not forget that the shops featured on tv may supply promotions throughout filming solely – you in all probability received’t get the identical deal.

Coupon Fake Deals

Frequent Store Squabbles

In the present “Extreme Couponing,” consumers are at all times proven interacting with cheerful cashiers who’re more than pleased to scan a whole bunch of clipped coupons, even applauding when the ultimate whole is simply pennies on the greenback. It’s necessary to do not forget that these cashiers have been coached for this televised transaction. When there’s an issue, the supervisor known as, who then simply retools the system to simply accept extra coupons and deeper reductions.

The mere mortal who retailers with coupons undoubtedly shouldn’t anticipate the identical therapy. Unless you’re purchasing with a digital camera crew following you round, you might expertise a spread of roadblocks. Each retailer has completely different insurance policies on what number of coupons are allowed for every merchandise or every transaction, and also you may be turned away while you attempt to redeem too many.

Furthermore, you may get an perspective from cashiers or managers who don’t recognize your technique of purchasing. On “Extreme Couponing,” it’s frequent follow to buy complete palettes or circumstances of free or low cost merchandise. However, in the event you’re planning a giant purchasing journey throughout which you anticipate to buy a big amount of the identical merchandise, or in the event you plan to avoid wasting greater than 50% off your whole invoice by utilizing coupons, it’s finest to name forward. Introduce your self, clarify which coupons you’d like to make use of, and the quantity of merchandise you need. That manner, the shop will get a heads up that you simply’re coming in, which they’ll absolutely recognize. Additionally, you will get the within scoop on what’s acceptable for redemption – and the shop may even order extra product so that you’re not clearing out their complete stock.

Hidden Costs

Extreme couponers show their retailer receipts like a badge of honor on the present, on-line, and of their houses. Almost any hardcore cut price shopper can simply inform you about his or her finest rating; particularly, how a lot was purchased and the way a lot was saved. While it’s undoubtedly thrilling, the couponers don’t at all times inform you the hidden prices of saving all that money.

Plenty of hardcore cut price consumers buy additional copies of the newspaper to make sure that they’ve multiples of every coupon, and the associated fee of newspapers can add up over time. If your Sunday paper prices $2.50 per copy and you buy 4 for couponing functions, it provides up $40 a month for the paper alone. That undoubtedly cuts into your financial savings, doesn’t it?

Next, it is advisable to think about your gasoline prices. Most couponers fortunately cut price store by driving round to a number of shops in someday, however in the event you drive a gasoline guzzler, that may eat up your gasoline price range – maybe by as a lot as $50 per 30 days.

Lastly, in the event you print your coupons at residence, you’ll in all probability undergo a minimum of one ink cartridge per 30 days, which prices round $30. Add all of it up, and saving money may really price you $120 per 30 days – or $1,440 per year!

It pays to do the maths. Make certain that you simply’re saving on stuff you’ll really use and that your financial savings add as much as greater than the associated fee of couponing – in any other case, you can find yourself doing so much of work for nothing.

Unused and Unhealthy Products

Seasoned couponers can inform you that it’s potential to attain nice offers on wholesome meals like produce, baking staples, and dairy, but it surely’s undoubtedly not the norm. Much of the time, one of the best offers are for processed meals, condiments, and toiletries. That’s nice in the event you’re within the market for a bunch of new toothbrushes for your loved ones, however you can find yourself spending money on unhealthy meals and stuff you don’t want and received’t use. Think about it – getting a bottle of ketchup for $0.50 is a superb deal, but when that nice deal entices you to buy 30 bottles, you’ve simply spend $15 on extra ketchup that you could be not use earlier than the expiration date. That’s not sensible.

The individuals on “Extreme Couponing” may buy a whole bunch of the identical product for his or her “stash” or to divvy up for varied causes. But except you need to use the product earlier than the expiration date and it’s one thing wholesome for your loved ones, go away it on the shelf.

Unused Unhealthy Products

Ethical Issues

There’s actually no drawback with utilizing producer’s coupons on the retailer. Most supply the shop a full rebate, in addition to extra funds for dealing with, transport, and processing. But when “Extreme Couponers” depicts a consumer clearing out a whole retailer’s provide of yogurt, ache relievers, or bathroom paper, it begs the question: It may be authorized, however is it proper? When the producers create coupons or shops supply promotions, they’re hoping to draw extra clients, not supply a single individual free product. Coupons are made for the casual shopper, not the acute sort.

I’ll admit that I’ve blamed overzealous and thoughtless couponers for inflicting me inconveniences. When a whole shelf of a product I would like is gone, or if I’m caught in line for an hour whereas a couponer value checks and advert matches, my blood begins to boil.

There’s an moral distinction between grateful couponers and excessive couponers. Grateful and thoughtful couponers use their coupons to get one of the best reductions with out affecting different consumers, whereas excessive couponers do what they will to stretch their money, regardless of the way it impacts others. This may be a controversial opinion, however I recognize it when couponers present slightly restraint within the grocery retailer by purchasing throughout slower hours, or by leaving product on the cabinets regardless of the power to purchase all of it attributable to a deep low cost.

Final Word

You can’t imagine all the things you see on TV. The present “Extreme Couponing” opens up a world of financial savings for budget-conscious consumers, but it surely doesn’t essentially paint the entire image. To be an actual excessive couponer, it is advisable to have a ton of time, a big funding, and really thick pores and skin. For some, it’s a manner of life, however excessive couponing is unquestionably not for everybody. Tread fastidiously so that you don’t utterly lose your head, time, or money.

What do you assume of “Extreme Couponing”?

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