"Amanda Ostrowski starts her mission by scrutinizing online coupon forums to find the latest deals. She then marches into her local supermarket to preview sale items. Hours later, she heads home and seeks out coupons that match the sale items.There is absolutely no coupon etiquette displayed on the show. With Amanda especially, there's no etiquette shown towards her husband or anyone else who gets in her way! "Marching" into her local supermarket is an apt description and my perception was that I certainly wouldn't want to get in her way. What has happened to common courtesy and respect? Coupons are misused, store coupon policies are relaxed or lifted for dramatic effect, and large quantities or items are special ordered for the show! This is a 'reality' show with very little 'real world' truth. When teaching those in my classes how to be more effective couponers we discuss how to obtain enough coupons for their family, the proper use of coupons, coupon fraud, and store coupon policies. It seems each of these practices are trodden under foot in the TLC series. Supermarket News continues:
"Armed with about 1,000 coupons she purchased for $70 from an online clipping service, she later returns to the store. She proceeds to fill up nine carts with hundreds of products, most of which she'll get for free.
"Welcome to the life of a super couponer, subject of a new TLC reality show called “Extreme Couponing,” airing each Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT."
". . . the Coupon Information Center, an Alexandria, Va.-based organization that fights coupon fraud, is disappointed in the show, according to Executive Director Bud Miller.My couponing experience is exhilarating. When I'm in the grocery store I often talk with other shoppers and even share coupons I won't be using. I save an average of 55% - 60% on all my purchases and still find time for our eight children and 15 (almost 16) grandchildren. I don't 'dis my husband' or family to coupon. I probably spend more time blogging couponing deals each week to help others save money than I spend planning my own shopping trips.
“We view it as a missed opportunity,” Miller said.
"That's because, rather than explaining how to maximize coupons in an appropriate manner, the show creates unrealistic consumer expectation from coupons. Among the CIC's concerns: The show's producers prearrange all the shopping trips, the show is heavily edited, coupons that are rejected at the checkout are not shown, and certain activities may be in violation with the terms and conditions of coupons, said Miller.
“The show is all about exploitation, and nothing about learning,” he said."
TLC's counter to the Coupon Information Center's comments:
"TLC spokesman Dustin Smith countered that the show was never intended to be a couponing tutorial.The show has definitely created an increased interest in couponing, but please remember that this series focuses on behaviors - some of them boorish. If you're looking for the how-tos you'll need to spend time with someone who lives in the real world. Visit with someone who can help you save money and have a life at the same time. It's possible to work couponing into your life without letting it take over your life. Concentrate on learning what you need to know to help your family save money and time - then share what you've learned to help others in your sphere of influence do the same. It just feels good!
“This is a docu-series of behaviors; it's not a how-to program,” he said."