Coupons help you conserve but they have their risks

Coupons help you conserve but they have their risks

Forum topic posted in Forum on 30 December 2014| comments
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Anything that saves us money in this troubled economic climate may be worth pursuing. Coupon clipping is one way to save money on household goods and other products. But not every cent may be worth the cost of earning it. "Extreme Couponing," made popular by a cable Television show, can, for many, become a scary obsession. Resource for this article:

Reality show began it

The phrase “extreme couponing” is well-known by several individuals. It came from a show on the Learning Channel. According to, it is a show about "the world of bargain shoppers who have mastered the art of saving. Get tips to help you save Big." In December 2010, the show first came began previewing on TLC. In April 2011, the show began airing. It is now into a second season. This began this month.

Couponing and hoarding may connect

The show is, according to MNSBC’s Allison Linn, about "bargain-obsessed people coupon-clipping for hours, and in some cases even Dumpster diving for more coupons." This is seen often in grocery stores. An individual will print a ton of coupons, clear the shelves at the store and give the register clerk the coupons. Afterward, they are seen bragging about the pantry stuffed with many years' supply of household goods.

Several talk over it

Since increasingly more people are starting to take advantage of couponing, the show has caused retailers and manufacturers to backlash.

Bud Miller, executive director of Coupon Information Corp., said “a fairly large number of people are going into stores with really unrealistic expectations.”

Last month, retailers spoke with the Food Marketing Institute. It warned that coupon users are becoming more fraudulent as time goes on. Behaviors cited involved intimidating cashiers and attempting to redeem coupons for products other than what they were meant for.

A rise in Sunday newspaper theft reported

Linn explained that newspapers started to be stolen more often on Sunday. This is due to couponers, many believe.

Dan Schaub, a marketing executive for The Sacramento Bee, said many newspapers are taking measures to guard against these thefts. He also attributed an advantage to extreme couponers. The newspapers are quick to sell on both Wednesday and Sunday. This is because there are coupon inserts in them.

Coupon fraud

In April, blogger Jill Cataldo posted an article pointing out many unethical and even illegal coupon practices showcased on-air by J’Aime Kirlew, one of the consumers featured on "Extreme Couponing."

TLC responded to the controversy in a statement, saying the company takes the concerns seriously and will look into the matter. The end of the statement said: "We look forward to sharing the tips and shopping savvy from all the couponers featuring in upcoming episodes."

Articles cited

Tags: extreme couponing, dark side of couponing, tlc, the learning channel, msnbc, allison linn, coupon fraud, newspaper thefts

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