Coupon Industry Fights Illegal Extreme Couponing

couponing

I will not beat the extreme couponing horse to death, since it has been covered by just about every frugal blog on the plant.  But I realized that even my last post on extreme couponing offered just my view about the subject and solicited you for yours. Few blogs have taken the time to see how the coupon industry and manufacturers feel about the extreme couponing strategies that have been employed by some shoppers featured on the show.

I had the opportunity to speak to a PR representative that works with Coupons.com. My purpose was to determine how they felt about extreme couponers and their shopping tactics.  To truly understand what they were facing, I sat and watched four FULL episodes of the show plus a bunch of clips.   I have to say that it’s a lot to digest, and I’m going to work with the assumption that you have not seen the show, Extreme Couponing on TLC.  Below is a clip of one episode so that we are all on the same page.

For the purposes of this article  extreme couponing tactics include the following:

  1. Amassing coupons through various means (discussed more below)
  2. Using coupons combined with store sales and loyalty cards to maximize discounts
  3. Checking internet sites that might track sales for new discounts and sales
  4. Pre-shopping using store circulars and advertised sales

Those are some pretty smart tactics if you have the time to employ them.  By simply using the tactics above everyone should be able to same money every single time grocery shopping is completed.  However, the goal of extreme couponers is to pay as close to nothing as possible.  Hey, I want some free groceries too, and I’m pretty good at racking up on some groceries.

Separating the Regulars and Extremes

What you will notice with some extreme couponers is the way in which they acquire all of the coupons that they have.  This is probably the first area where you differ from the pros.

  • Grabbing coupons out of the driveways of other people’s homes
  • Bypassing online coupon printing limits by printing coupons from multiple computers
  • Dumpster diving for coupons that might have been tossed out by others (illegal in some areas)
  • Purchasing multiple Sunday newspapers for the coupons within the paper
  • Asking printers for left over coupons that might not have been distributed that week
  • Loading online coupons onto store loyalty cards before shopping
  • Purchase coupons online (more about this later)

Just the way in which you obtain coupons won’t necessarily make you an extreme.  How you maximize their value count as well. Extremes typically stack coupons with store sales, use multiple coupons for the same item, and shop at stores that double coupons.  Getting everything to align is hard work.  Many of the clips that I have seen detail the amount of time that extremes devote clipping and matching up coupons with the sales.  I’ve seen individuals devote anywhere from 30 to 60 hours each week towards this effort.  That’s the equivalent of a full-time job.  Many of the shoppers profiled on this show are stay-at-home moms or make their living by teaching extreme couponing methods via blogs or speaking engagements, so they may have the time to devote to this effort.

Houston, We Have A Problem

The problem is that some of the extreme couponers profiled on the show have been known to and are shown committing fraud.  I list some of the fraudulent activities unknowingly shown on some of the aired episodes here:

  • Some couponers have deciphered the bar code and are using coupons meant for one item or line of items for a completely different item (i.e. using Fibre One coupons on Cheerios).  You can read an in depth expose about that process in this amazing article written by Jill Cataldo with input and assistance from from many frugal bloggers.
  • One extreme shopper was shown using coupons on smaller sized, less expensive versions of a product than the coupon was for (i.e. a coupon for a 12 oz product was used to purchase a 2 oz product)
  • Some cashiers are being pushed to override coupons that were not accepted and do so because the sheer volume of coupons being presented at one time makes it almost impossible to verify the validity of each coupon
  • Using photocopied PDF versions of online printed coupons
  • Circumventing online coupon printing limits by printing coupons from multiple computers within a home
  • Using purchased, “gang cut” coupons for which the store will not be reimbursed
  • Knowingly using counterfeit (fake) coupons

All of the activities highlighted above have been noticed on the television show.  Not only are the activities illegal, but it gives the rest of us using coupons a bad reputation.  But it’s a victimless crime so no one suffers, right?

Lose, Lose, Lose

If you use the tactics above no one loses.  The manufacturers provided the coupons, you used the coupons to save, and the store gets the money reimbursed from the manufacturers.  Everyone wins!  Not exactly.

The manufacturer loses since coupons are used to basically entice you to try a new product. If someone is clearing out the entire shelf of the product, the chance of a new customer having access to that product has been removed.  Even worse, coupons intended for a target market never reaches them because someone might be busy stealing the coupons out of the homeowner’s driveway or having entire bundles of coupons diverted to an extreme couponer. The manufacturer loses a potential new customer.

gangcutting1

Courtesy of JillCataldo.com

Did you know that selling coupons are illegal?  No?  There are lots of “coupon clipping services” that will send you coupons if you pay for them. Technically they say that you are not paying for the coupons since that would be illegal.  Instead they say that you are paying for their service of clipping the coupons, but from what I have seen, the “fee” is always based on the face value and desirability of the coupon.  And additional “processing fee” is also added at the end.  When multiple coupons have been stacked together and cut the same way (shown right) manufacturers refer to these coupons as being “gang cut”.  Gang cut coupons are usually cut the same way by individuals that sell hundreds of coupons.  The store loses when these coupons are used because they will not be reimbursed for multiple coupons that the manufacturer determines has been illegally redeemed or are gang cut.  This includes coupons that you might find on eBay. The stores also lose.

If your store is not being reimbursed for coupons, they will roll back programs that benefit customers.  My local store will no longer accept more than three $1 coupons that are doubled in any transaction.  Three!  It used to be unlimited.  Some stores like Kroger has discontinued coupon doubling in some stores.  I am sure that the supermarkets and stores will continue to combat fraudulent practices that hurt their bottom line by doing what comes next – raising prices or providing fewer sales.  Finally, you the consumer, loses as well.

Are You There God?

I am a Coupons.com affiliate and avid user of their products.  Sidebar – you should be too.  It’s simple.  Click the link or the sexy button way over there in my sidebar every week since they load new coupons all of the time and print coupons right in your own home.  Okay, back to regular programming.  I was contacted by Michael from Kaplow PR on behalf of Coupons.com to talk about real world shopping without using extreme methods.  While I had Michael’s ear, I couldn’t resist asking him about Coupon.com’s perspective on Extreme Couponing.  According to Michael,

“Extreme couponing isn’t consumer friendly because it creates out-of stock situations, where consumers cannot purchase products on their list. And, manufacturers or retailers don’t like empty shelves because no one makes money in that scenario.

Manufacturers and retailers limit the number of coupons available and do not allow coupons to be reproduced and Coupons.com uses sophisticated technology to limit the number of coupons any users can print and embed important security features.”

When extreme couponers move from computer to computer printing out coupons online, they have reduced the number of coupons that are available to everyone else.  Again, we all lose in this situation.

Industry non-profit giant Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) released a statement saying that they express

“…our great disappointment with TLC’s current series, Extreme Couponing, and…we hope they address potentially illegal acts that appear to have been portrayed on the show. Professionals in the coupon industry believe this show creates unrealistic expectations about how coupons work and promotes the misuse of coupons. For example, the show appears to…[focus] on consumers who have procured large quantities of coupon inserts from unknown sources, which may raise civil and/or criminal issues.”

Some of the show’s participants might not be aware of it, but the CIC has been aggressive along with the help of the FBI, at prosecuting individuals that have created

real world food

Real World Shopping

and distributed counterfeit coupons. They have done so with individuals posting ways to produce counterfeit coupons, and those distributing them on eBay.  If I used some of the tactics above, I would quietly consult with an attorney to see how defensible my actions would be in case I faced prosecution.

Coupon manufacturers recognize that people are abusing the current coupon system through the bar code matching. If you look at new coupons, they have become more sophisticated, using up to three different bars on each coupon. New technology is being rolled out to updated registers that are better able to identify counterfeit coupons and reject attempts at coupon matching or spoofing.

Although Extreme Couponing might be unrealistic for the average person, the coupon industry does want you to save money.  Coupons.com sent their savings expert, Jeanette Pavini on a real world shipping trip consisting of a seven day meal plan for a family of four.  She was allowed to use store circulars, online coupons, and the app Grocery IQ.  She was able to save over 45%  on her shopping trip.  For those of us that noticed the lack of vegetables and nutritional foods on the shopping list of the extreme couponers, Jeanette’s list actually included vegetables.  I’ll include her shopping list here (PDF)  as well as the total cost and savings.  As I previously mentioned I saved over 60% on my shopping trip once and I consistently save at least 15% with almost no effort every single week.  By combining those savings with a cash back credit card, one can easily and consistently save money on every single shopping trip.

One Rotten Egg

Are all extreme couponers bad?  I don’t think so.  In fact, some of the individuals featured on the show are ladies that I had previous recommended.  Way back in March of 2009 I recommended a series of videos by the Double Savings Divas on how to rack up at CVS.  The twins were featured on the show and highlighted perfectly legitimate ways to reduce their spending.  One strategy that they employed as sharing their stockpile.  I also noticed that while they did grab multiples of some items they didn’t go to the extreme of pulling 50 of one item.  I believe that the most they picked up were 20 Healthy Choice soups. When they’re on sale, I usually pick up at least 5 cans.  Some of the other couponers were also quite responsible and great representatives of the frugal community. You can see their entire grocery list and their comments about their shopping experience in the video below.

One final note.  There was an episode where the announcer kept repeating that the extreme couponer had an MBA and used her business skills to help with her shopping.  You do not need an MBA to track your spending on Excel spreadsheets.  Also, this particular couple were in the process of planning a vacation and need an additional $500 to meet their budget for the trip.  What did she do?  She went to the grocery store where the retail price of the items came up to over $500 and through the use of coupons had her balance reduced by more than $500.  Because of this $500 “saving” she reasoned that they could now go on the trip.  My problem with this line of thinking is that if you didn’t have the $500 to begin with, and never budgeted to spend $500, then you didn’t save $500.  Unless they planned on selling the groceries for their retail price, they would still have a $500 shortfall for the cost of the trip.  At least that’s what my MBA says.

As the old adage says, you can’t believe everything that you see on TV.

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55 Responses to Coupon Industry Fights Illegal Extreme Couponing

  1. That’s a pretty detailed report.

    I work full time as a newspaper reporter. It’s true that my frugal blog, which includes coupon topics, is part of my job. But I was couponing about 20 years before I was writing about coupons.

    Recently, I timed out my system and came up with the calculation that a family of four could clip, sort and file a reasonable amount of coupons (one newspaper worth per family member; plus swapping with friends) in about 90 minutes a week.

    As far as the time involved in the store, I can get in and out of Kroger in 30 minutes and Meijer in 45 to 60 minutes (Meijer is a bigger store). I suspect my actual shopping times with a coupon box are not much different than the time involved from those who bypass coupons, but are looking at unit pricing or comparing multiple brands.

    An hour or so of prep work is do-able even when both adults work full time. In fact, I was couponing even when I was a single parent working full time.

    On the bigger picture: the savings resulting from couponing is a constantly moving target. A lot depends on the store policies in your market and the sales of the week.

    But regardless of the tactics you end up using, if you get your monthly food purchases at or below thrifty range on the USDA Cost of Food study, then I think you’re doing well. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodCost-Home.htm

  2. I’d read Jill Cataldo’s breakdown a few weeks ago, and then re-watched an episode or two of Extreme Couponing. I didn’t like what I saw.

    Our local grocery stores won’t double ANY $1 coupons anymore, just up to 99 cents, so I’m slightly jealous that you can at least double three $1 coupons at your stores! That’s 3 bucks saved right there.

  3. I know of several retailers who have really started cracking down on coupon acceptance as well – since they lose out if the company doesn’t reimburse them for the coupon. One major retailer has gone to accepting only 1 manufacturer coupon per item per transaction, and won’t let you divvy it up into multiple transactions.

  4. No Debt MBA says:

    Well if all an MBA is good for is tracking couponing in a spreadsheet I can “save” myself $150,000+ and that’s enough “saved” that I’d never have to watch my grocery bill again. I guess her program didn’t really teach accounting or math.

    I don’t even understand how reality TV shows find these people. It’s a pity that a small portion of people can make everyone’s lives more difficult and expensive.

  5. JT McGee says:

    It’s a shame a small but costly minority is probably going to significantly devalue coupons for the rest of the people who use them.

    And you’re right; they do want you to use them. The average coupon user is higher-income, has more kids, and spends more per year than the average person. But people who use them have an obligation not to try to ruin the deals for everyone.

    Great article!

  6. I’m glad that they are cracking down on these things because a little people are losing a ton of money

  7. Hunter says:

    Very well written argument. On Monday I just happened to arrive at a check-out behind a shopper that was presenting about 50 coupons. I could feel the cashier’s frustration as she was trying to reconcile the coupons with the two grocery carts full of produce, that were already bagged and waiting to go out to the parking lot. An impossible task. I can see how fraud, knowingly or not, can be committed.

    • Sandy says:

      Some shoppers count on that being the case. They present a stack of coupons at the end of a transaction and the cashiers end up overriding coupons that are rejected because they can’t go back and ask the person to show that the purchase was made. When I coupon, I always present the coupons up from and put the items that I have coupons for at the end.

      • Denise says:

        I agree that this is an excellent article. The show has enlightened a lot of people (including me) and watching the show is both informative and so extremely frustrating for those of us who try to comply with the rules of life (whether it is about coupons or not). If people would just understand that coupons are to help us because the industry knows that we are getting cheated somewhat (and a lot somewhat in some areas) by the inflated pricing on products and try to remember to treat each other the way we WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED there wouldn’t be this problem anyway.

        I’m just saying…

  8. I wonder if this misuse of coupons will impede the movement of digital coupons since they will be easier to print, copy, duplicate etc.

    • Sandy says:

      Justin,

      That was something that I wanted to talk about but this article got to be so long that I cut it short. I think more coupon companies are going towards digital and home printed coupons. You can load store loyalty cards with coupons or on your phone would should make things easier for both you and them, but there’s a flip side. Digital and home printed coupons also make it easier for companies to track your particular spending habits. I have my paranoia moments, so I’m still evaluating whether I would be comfy using them.

  9. Suba says:

    I was following the whole uproar about illegal couponing after the TLC extreme couponing episode showed that person using it for the wrong products. It was very entertaining. I could never do extreme couponing (I don’t even do regular coupons, I use them once a year to stock up on toiletries). These small % of couponers are ruining it for other legitimate coupon users.

  10. Ashley says:

    Such a great post! I love the quotes from Coupons.com. I just did a quick little post about this (mostly linking back to you) with my three tips on how to avoid coupon fraud -

    http://thethriftywife.com/?p=910

    Just thought you would like the little shout out.

    • Sandy says:

      Thanks so much! You can use whatever you would like under creative commons. I want to make sure that everyone knows about the crazy fraud that goes on.

  11. I’m upset because these ladies are ruining my chances at becoming a coupon lady lol. It’s almost not worth it because of all the new rules that are in the fine print now.

  12. Sandy, Great coverage of a popular topic. Most systems are open to abuse by the dishonest folks. For me, coupons are way too much work for the potential reward. I’ll stick to investing, real work, and negotiating for savings!

  13. Many folks use coupons and buy what they really don’t need. Just because they have coupons, they keep buying regardless whether they need them or not.

  14. Sandy, this is such a comprehensive article on the popular topic.

    It’s unfortunate that TLC is presenting this as a win-win situation. When it’s mostly a lose-lose situation for everyone except for the person who is getting the deal (often illegally). I definitely don’t want to be paying more for something just so that someone else can take advantage and abuse the system for their own selfish gain.

  15. Great article!

    You are completely right about the $500–it’s not “savings” if the money does not tangibly go into your saving account because you had earmarked it to spend and were able to get everything for free.

    I coupon, but definitely not the extreme. I probably save $20 per grocery trip. I also play the drugstore game. Again, I only get a few of one item at a time.

  16. Don says:

    And the cost of these customers ripping off the grocery stores falls back on who? You and I. Bunch of low life hoarders.

  17. Don says:

    And the cost of these customers ripping off the grocery stores falls back on who? You and I. Bunch of low life hoarders.

  18. Moore71203 says:

    Thanks for this great expose on Extreme Couponing. Having worked in the grocery industry numerous years ago, it’s hard for me to believe that there are stores that will allow this type of ctivity to occur. As I watched this show, I got confused. I thought that I was watching Hoarders. I can’t understand what is accomplished by stockpiling several years worth of inventory of a product that will probably go out of date.

  19. Moore71203 says:

    Thanks for this great expose on Extreme Couponing. Having worked in the grocery industry numerous years ago, it’s hard for me to believe that there are stores that will allow this type of ctivity to occur. As I watched this show, I got confused. I thought that I was watching Hoarders. I can’t understand what is accomplished by stockpiling several years worth of inventory of a product that will probably go out of date.

  20. Amy says:

    That was a fantastic break down and very well written. This can definitely be used as a guide for those that were inspired by extreme couponing but need to know what realty happens behind the smoke and mirrors.

    One friendly critique though: please PLEASE go through the article again and fix your typos. Lots of posts get bypassed because of typos and you have 2 within the first two paragraphs. This information is so important that you don’t want anyone to get annoyed with the typos abs stop reading :).

  21. Amy says:

    P.S.- I left two typos in my comment. Did you catch them? Did they make you laugh? :)

  22. Amy says:

    P.S.- I left two typos in my comment. Did you catch them? Did they make you laugh? :)

  23. Chris says:

    Im jealous of anyone who can still use coupons. Think not taking $1 is extreme? Think again. My neighborhood grocery store does not accept coupons at all anymore. No exceptions. Rumor is going out that they are about to discontinue the rain check policy. These extreme couponers affect everyone.

  24. Chris says:

    Im jealous of anyone who can still use coupons. Think not taking $1 is extreme? Think again. My neighborhood grocery store does not accept coupons at all anymore. No exceptions. Rumor is going out that they are about to discontinue the rain check policy. These extreme couponers affect everyone.

  25. me says:

    Gang-cut? A manufacturer’s coupon is redeemable no matter who cuts it or who spends it. It is up to the store to create their limits, but as long as the spender stays within those limits, the “gang-cut” manufacturer’s coupons will be redeemed. Bunch of BS. Don’t steal your coupons or copy them illegally. Use your (real) MANUFACTURER’S coupons, as many as the store will allow, and you will be OK!

    • Sandy says:

      People can redeem coupons at the store even if they are illegal! It’s the store that loses out when they go to be reimbursed and yes, “gang cut” coupons are ones that do not get reimbursed. You can verify that with companies like coupons.com. And yes, we all do pay for it in the end. Have you noticed price increases in your local store or smaller products for the same price or changes in your store’s coupon policies? This is how we all end up paying.

    • Cynt says:

      Thank you for that comment. I am sure that the redeemers have no way of distinguish “gang-cut” coupons. The grocery stores process a great deal of coupons daily. I appreciate those who save up to 60% on a grocery bill, but saving 80-97% is not impossible. I have done this several times, using the proper coupons. I do this by separating my grocery shopping from my coupon shopping. I only grocery shop for main items needed( milk, meats, veggies, bread)once a month. But with the coupon shopping, I shop every week for whatever is on sale and is possible free with coupons, and other offers such as stacking, rewards, or other combinations that are perfectly legal.

      • Sandy Smith says:

        Hi Cynt,

        Gang cut coupons are easy to distinguish when they are being redeemed in bulk especially when extreme couponing.

        • FYFYKNWYD says:

          LOL. I don’t know what “sources” you have at coupons.com or whatever, but I am definitely positive you are completely misinformed on this matter and many others in your article.

          Yes, copying coupons and using them on products/sizes not described on the coupon is illegal. Beyond that your article is pretty debunkable.

  26. BigDaddy757 says:

    I wonder if the grocery industry reps would like some cheese with that wine. These people take every opportunity to block every little people find to save a little money. We’re asked to take more personal responsibility and learn to do more with less; save more money. And when a few smart people start to do that, and it catched on-WHOOPS! Time to tighten up that coupon policy? Oh no! We can’t be letting folks get that for free-raise those prices! If these stores are losing revenue because of poorly throught our policies or cashiers that aren’t suffieiently vigilant on the front-end, then how can they blame the couponer????. Now don’t get me wrong-out and out fraud is wrong no matter what industry we’re talking about. But if I wanna buy 10 sunday papers or share/trade my coupons with others, how is that suddenly a problem that requries a price increase or a coupon crackdown?? Beleive me, I live in Hampton Roads, VA. If you live and shop here then you know that the grocery chains here have their policies all set up AGAINST extreme couponing. Trust that if you live in this area-you WILL NOT be getting the kinds of discounts that you see on “that show”, I don’t care HOW extreme you are at couponing (we’ve tried). Oh yes, the grocery industry is quite safe from the extreme couponer.

  27. BigDaddy757 says:

    I wonder if the grocery industry reps would like some cheese with that wine. These people take every opportunity to block every little people find to save a little money. We’re asked to take more personal responsibility and learn to do more with less; save more money. And when a few smart people start to do that, and it catched on-WHOOPS! Time to tighten up that coupon policy? Oh no! We can’t be letting folks get that for free-raise those prices! If these stores are losing revenue because of poorly throught our policies or cashiers that aren’t suffieiently vigilant on the front-end, then how can they blame the couponer????. Now don’t get me wrong-out and out fraud is wrong no matter what industry we’re talking about. But if I wanna buy 10 sunday papers or share/trade my coupons with others, how is that suddenly a problem that requries a price increase or a coupon crackdown?? Beleive me, I live in Hampton Roads, VA. If you live and shop here then you know that the grocery chains here have their policies all set up AGAINST extreme couponing. Trust that if you live in this area-you WILL NOT be getting the kinds of discounts that you see on “that show”, I don’t care HOW extreme you are at couponing (we’ve tried). Oh yes, the grocery industry is quite safe from the extreme couponer.

  28. BigDaddy757 says:

    :) I meant “whine.” lol

  29. BigDaddy757 says:

    :) I meant “whine.” lol

  30. Dixie says:

    I use coupons every time I go to the store and every week I also check the sales paper as well as every Sunday I pick up 4-6 newspapers. And yes, i have a binder full of coupons. However, with every thing I purchase I do not clear the shelves (it aggravates me when others do) and I always purchase things we can use or things that I can donate to local food banks. In conjunction with my donations I feed 8-10 elderly people once a month. As far as the newspapers go I try and be as earth friendly as possible, I give those to the local animal shelter for their cages. All the extra coupons I give to friends or family members who use the products.
    Quite frankly, yes it is nice to get free stuff but be a realist about it as well as honest. I don’t have a very high paying job as a matter a fact i’m a property manager with two children of my own, one dog who also takes care of an x-husbands nephew and has a foster dog on top of it all. Some of us are trying to save money and help others. The economy is bad enough. I hope they crack down on those who are committing fraud so that the rest of us can live.

  31. Dawn says:

    It’s just BIG BUSINESS AGAIN! not wanting to share with consumers who have been un-employed for years! STOP IT! we could all go on food stamps and no one would like that either.

    This AMERICAN DREAM ATTITUDE of ARROGANCE is how we got DUPED to begin with! We Listen to this Crapola and get Biased against people who are frugal, and suddenly everyone is a Fraud? NO!

    I am a couponer. My husband is retired and we are on a very fixed income.
    I Use coupons to the MAX! What noone ever Tells you is that the food banks are low on donations because BIG BUSINESS BROKE THE ECONOMY and couponers are the ones filling the need at the moment, WE ARE NOT HOARDERS, WE ARE BENEVOLENT GIVERS! STOP IT! REALLY? REALLY? If you only knew how hard we work to get the savings that these big companies try to HIDE while they Bias you to hate us. There are a few bad apples, they are not just couponers, they are in everything! Lay Off people who are trying to survive. If you wanna pay full price, BE MY GUEST, but when the next wave of recession hits,
    watch my family eat and feed people who were too “GOOD” to coupon, or have to go get food from the foodbanks that wouldn’t be there were it not for couponers. Your Selfishly beleiving the LIE that things are gonna go back to how they were, so you HOARD your money and wont give to the food banks, but you Hate Couponers because we do and we Shine a light on your own Greed. Shut up aboout it already, coupon or dont. Frauders will Get theirs, and they should. Your Not my Judge and you dont judge something by the actions of a few, we are not all alike, most of us are Good People.

  32. Dawn says:

    It’s just BIG BUSINESS AGAIN! not wanting to share with consumers who have been un-employed for years! STOP IT! we could all go on food stamps and no one would like that either.

    This AMERICAN DREAM ATTITUDE of ARROGANCE is how we got DUPED to begin with! We Listen to this Crapola and get Biased against people who are frugal, and suddenly everyone is a Fraud? NO!

    I am a couponer. My husband is retired and we are on a very fixed income.
    I Use coupons to the MAX! What noone ever Tells you is that the food banks are low on donations because BIG BUSINESS BROKE THE ECONOMY and couponers are the ones filling the need at the moment, WE ARE NOT HOARDERS, WE ARE BENEVOLENT GIVERS! STOP IT! REALLY? REALLY? If you only knew how hard we work to get the savings that these big companies try to HIDE while they Bias you to hate us. There are a few bad apples, they are not just couponers, they are in everything! Lay Off people who are trying to survive. If you wanna pay full price, BE MY GUEST, but when the next wave of recession hits,
    watch my family eat and feed people who were too “GOOD” to coupon, or have to go get food from the foodbanks that wouldn’t be there were it not for couponers. Your Selfishly beleiving the LIE that things are gonna go back to how they were, so you HOARD your money and wont give to the food banks, but you Hate Couponers because we do and we Shine a light on your own Greed. Shut up aboout it already, coupon or dont. Frauders will Get theirs, and they should. Your Not my Judge and you dont judge something by the actions of a few, we are not all alike, most of us are Good People.

  33. Christa says:

    I tried couponing, and I’m still not a convert. Of course, none of the stores in my area double coupons, so I can’t get the extreme-couponing benefits. That being said, though, if I see a coupon for an item that I regularly use, I will clip it and use it. Why not save a little bit here and there?

    I never thought of the illegal activities used in the TLC extreme couponers’ households. I knew some things seemed a little crazy, but now I can see how they’re also illegal.

  34. I only coupon here and there, I find it’s often out of laziness. But I know the extreme coupon people you’re talking about!

  35. I only coupon here and there, I find it’s often out of laziness. But I know the extreme coupon people you’re talking about!

  36. Brad Chaffee says:

    Sandy I watched a show the other day because I was bored and couldn’t take it. The couponers were literally calling friends in to be extra bodies so the store could ring up more than one coupon to separate the order. I think if you have to do all that then you are committing fraud. I used to defend these folks until I saw just how bad the act of extreme couponing actually is.

  37. Sandy says:

    I bet it’s a tough job to deal with all of the coupons on top of all the standing.

  38. Sandy Smith says:

    I saw that episode! They help up the lines and WAITED for 2 friends to show up to help. That isn’t the worst that I’ve seen but that was pretty bad.

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