Thursday, December 30, 2010

TLC's Extreme Couponing - A Review

So, did you watch 'Extreme Couponing' on TLC last night?  I did.  And I was not overly impressed with the show.

I was really optimistic about this show.  I thought TLC would be be airing a program that would offer practical tips and tricks for using coupons to save, and even make, money.  They didn't.  There was no practical advice to be had.  Instead, they aired a program that exploited the lives of four people.  And they have portrayed couponing as a hobby for crazy people.

Exploited?  Perhaps you think I am being too harsh?  No, I say those people were exploited.  They were portrayed as people with OCD, serious hoarding tendencies, and a true obsession with couponing at all costs.  With the exception of the lady from Philly (she only buys what she needs and did not appear to have a huge stockpile), the others all have stockpiles that would sustain most families for years.  No way can they use all that food before it goes bad!  

Why would these people not donate their excess to charity?  Jen posted on an earlier blog post that 'The Krazy Coupon Lady' does indeed use her talents to donate to shelters.  Sadly, there was no mention of that on the show.  There was a quick mention that 'Mr. Coupon' donates his excess, but I find that hard to believe after seeing the huge stockpile he bragged about on the show.

Personally, I would have much rather seen someone like Jeffrey from Eating Well on $1 a Day featured.  He does not have a stockpile of food.  And while he'll sometimes buy large quantities of items he doesn't need in order to take advantage of money makers, he also donates those items to the local food pantry - he doesn't hoard thousands of sticks of deodorant, jars of salad dressing, or toothbrushes!

Also, I wish TLC would have used some of the show to educate the public how combining coupons works, how to take advantage of money-makers, and how to get work with non-profits and charities to donate your excess purchases.  

Sadly, TLC is not about education and charity.    They are about exploitation, excess, and extreme drama.  I  should have expected no less from the network that has exploited the Gosselin kids (Jon and Kate Plus 8), not to mention the lady who eats toilet paper!  

Did you watch?  What do you think?  Do you agree with my review?


  1. Yes, I agree 100%. Our views on this were quite similar. Notice how the retired nurse was not shown with a huge stockpile, unlike the rest? I felt bad for Amanda's husband who lost his mancave to more stock that they don't need in the stockpile!

  2. Yes, I did notice that. She even said she only buys what she needs. Good for her!

  3. We don't have cable so I didn't see it, but it's all the buzz online today so I've gotten the drift of what aired.

    I used to be that crazy coupon lady, and I had an entire room devoted to my stockpile. I spent hours scouring online sites, clipping coupons, and dragging my kids from store to store to get those good deals. Finally I realized I was addicted to the 'high' that went along with the hunt for those fifty cent razors and free boxes of cereal, and not only was it wasting time and filling my house with a bunch of stuff we wouldn't use-but it was also costing me a lot of money.

    All those quarters and dollars add up fast, plus gas to drive all over, the papers I was buying (10+ each week), and coupon cutting services I was buying coupons from.

    I purged my stockpile and stopped couponing last year and don't miss it at all! And my grocery budget is actually smaller now than what it was when I couponed/stockpiled, and we eat much healthier now :)

  4. I completely agree. The show gave those of us who coupon responsibly a bad name.

  5. I just don't get why people feel the need to stockpile certain items even if they don't expire. I mean, even in reference to things like deodorant, toothbrushes, mouthwash, handsoap etc...just how many of these items do people actually USE in a year, even if they DIDN'T get them for free? It's a waste of time more than anything. I would rather spend my time MAKING money, versus just trying to break even just to say I got it free.

  6. I think they could of used their show to demostrate the way to use to get the best price when at its lowest. There is nothing wrong with buying several spaghetti sauces at the lowest price. Instead they showed some one who had enough already to last over a year and still bought more.
    and the you have the lady in the dumpster with her child. She is wearing gloves but none on him.
    Gives us couponers a bad name and if some one can use a coupon and does not then they are throwing money out the window.

  7. I'm with you, Life Goes On. It could have been a good educational platform for showing how to save and even get items for free; instead it was "EXTREME" and TLC shows that it isn't interested in being "The LEARNING Channel."