Has anyone else watched the show extreme couponing on TLC? I'm not sure if the season is still running in the States or not. I know it was on, at least in rerun, before we left. Reason I ask is that they have started running the show here in SA on TLC. I've seen most of the episodes from before, and while I love me some coupons, this show is ridiculous. I've done some great deals at the grocery store. But what I notice about the majority of what these folks are buying "for free" are things that aren't really food. Not to say that I don't appreciate a cheap protein bar or even 500 tubes of toothpaste, but I'm not seeing anything to EAT in those carts. I have seen carts full of frozen pizzas, and hot sauce, but I never see these people buy produce. Maybe I'm a food snob, but cases of powerade, and tic tacs do not make anything resembling a meal.
The other thing I have issue with is that at least at home, there are very few grocery stores who double coupons which is one of the important tools to getting some of these awesome hauls on the show. And surprisingly there are no hateful looks coming at these shoppers when they roll up with 8 carts and monopolize one aisle for 4 hours. Or that the store smiles approvingly on one customer making 10 transactions just to buck the system and get all their coupons in.
The trick to getting such great deals is that most of these featured couponers have to match a sale item with a coupon that doubles. Most stores will not double over a certain amount or quantity. And most manufacturers will not value a coupon for more than a portion of the retail value of the item featured. So all the "free" items these people pick up are first of all on sale and their store doubles.
There is also the problem of what is known as overage. This is when the item is less than the value of the coupon. Stores seldom allow overage. They will give the value of the coupon but no more. So in most cases you cannot make money. The show shows many of the couponers using this tactic to pay for tax to bring their total down, and pay for items not on sale. I've not found a store yet who allows this.
So is this show real? Or are they fudging the rules a little to make some of this "reality" a better score? I'm guessing it's staged. Like most reality shows.
I was watching an episode today and there was a lady who thought she was doing everyone such an awesome favor by being the "coupon fairy" and leaving coupons next to the products for other customers to take advantage of. Well that was all well and good until you notice that she completely cleaned out the shelves of the item, and left the coupons where the product was suppose to be. So yes, thanks for the coupon, but you didn't leave any for anyone else to buy. Most rainchecks are a pain in the butt to get, so if this gal is using that as an excuse for clearing the shelves, I don't subscribe.
Like I said, I love a good deal just as much as the next guy, but I don't need to empty the shelves so I can hoard everything myself. Someone else might like to take advantage of the good deal too.
Funny they would show a program in a country that doesn't even know what a "coupon" is. They just don't have them here.