Welcome to an irreverent, not-at-all comprehensive blog about my couponing exploits in Montgomery County, Maryland, with some annoying cats sprinkled about. Try not to step on them; they get ever so cross. Also there may be some law stuff here and there, but not too much, because most law stuff is boring.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why I hate TLC's "Extreme Couponing"

Well, hate is a strong word. After all, I have seen every episode! But one of my major pet peeves about the show is that the couponers do not discuss the costs associated with obtaining the coupons they use on the show. Sure, they saved 100% off the shelf price after coupons, but how much did they pay to get those coupons? Whether it's paper/ink costs associated with printing coupons, purchasing coupons from clipping sites or eBay, or obtaining additional circulars through multiple newspaper subscriptions or purchases, most coupons are going to cost something to get. Most couponers are not getting the majority of their coupons through friends, donations or dumpster diving!

On this week's season finale of TLC's Extreme Couponing, we saw the finalists forced to shop at a grocery store in Las Vegas (AHHHHHHH high COL!) that *GASP* doesn't double coupons! That's like literally my worst nightmare. Therefore, to achieve their 100% savings goal, these couponers used primarily free item coupons.

Jessica from Living on a Coupon explained today on her blog where these coupons come from. As she illustrates in the above link, while there are ways to get these coupons for free, you're only going to get a few of them that way. If you want to obtain many copies of the same free item coupon like the couponers on the show, the rest of them have to be bought, and at rather insane prices, if you ask me.

That's why I focus most of my couponing efforts on drug store couponing, where I can take advantage of the stores' rewards program to get items for free while using coupons I can obtain more cheeply through my newspaper subscriptions/purchases, my favorite coupon clipping site, or through eBay if I'm looking for a larger purchase (think 20 of the same coupon). By getting all of my personal hygiene, cleaning, and medical stuff for free or almost free, I don't worry as much when I only save 60% on food at the grocery store.

The moral of this rant is: Always factor in the costs of obtaining coupons when you're calculating what you're actually paying for an item.

Extreme coupon responsibly, people!

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