I've tried to avoid posting about TLC's Extreme Couponing show because I get so aggrivated and worked up when I try to explain to people that it is a REALITY SHOW but it is NOT REALITY - what they are doing cannot be done 95% of the time.

I could write a huge lengthy post on all the reasons that I have come to loathe the Extreme Couponing TV Show, but rather than fill this post with my opinions, I decided to post a few FACTS for you.

This is POST #1 on Why You Can't Do It (Wow-I'm usually such an optimist!)

Forget the fact that the shopping trips viewed on the show are all prearranged, approved by stores in advance, edited, clipped and made to get a reaction from viewers.

Forget that I myself, and thousands of other readers of this blog do shop for Free on a regular basis, Legitimately, by stacking coupons and matching up to store sales.

The number one reason I loathe TLC's Extreme Couponing Show? Because it is deceiving viewers. Misleading the unknowing. People that have never couponed in their life and those that are new to couponing are not made aware of the REALITY that you face when couponing.

The #1 Reality Check - STORE COUPON POLICIES

Those Huge "Hauls" that you see acheived on the show are not the norm. Nor are they allowed in the majority of grocery stores. There are restrictions in most stores as to how many identical coupons are accepted and/or how many coupons or the dollar amount limit for doubling coupons. But don't take my word for it....Here's what the stores have to say. These are exerpts taken directly from each Stores Coupon Acceptance Policy

Food Lion:
  • Customers may not use more than (1) one coupon per item with a maximum of (10) ten coupons for the same item per customer
  • We reserve the right to limit the quantity of coupons that may be
    redeemed in one shopping visit.

    Harris Teeter:
  • Only allows 3 identical coupons doubled per transaction, others at face value
  • Only accepts 2 identical internet printed coupons per day
  • Only one coupon allowed on a BOGO sale
    Only allowed to purchase 1 of a BOGO sale

  • No more than 2 identical items are eligible for double coupon savings
  • will only accept 2 internet coupons per manufacturer product per visit per day
  • Three (3) coupons doubled with each $10 order.
    Six (6) with each $20 order
    Nine (9) with each $30 order
    Twelve (12) with each $40 order
    Fifteen (15) with each $50 order...etc

    Lowes Foods:
  • To ensure product availability for all customers, we limit redemption to 4 coupons for 4 of the same item. For example, if you have five coupons for a specific cereal and have purchased five of the item, we will honor the coupon for up to four of the boxes of cereal
  • With the purchase of two like manufacturer’s products, we accept two internet coupons per day
  • "our prevailing guideline is that Lowes Foods reserves the right to limit quantities in coupon usage and product purchases"

  • will not accept Printable Coupons for more than 75% of a product's value.
  • Coupons for $.50 or less will be doubled. Any coupons between $.50 and $1 will be redeemed at $1. Coupons over $1 are redeemed at face value. Some stores only double coupons $.50 or less. Some regions double $.75 coupons to $1.50-this varies.

    Price Chopper:
  • The total of all double coupons cannot exceed 50% of the order after AdvantEdge discounts. Single value will be deducted there after For instance, $100 order - coupons scanned after total deducted by coupons reaches $50 will only deduct face value (not double)

    Stop & Shop:
  • You may double a maximum of 4 identical manufacturers' coupons. For example: if a customer purchased five boxes of Cheerios and presented 5 manufacturers' coupons for 50¢, the first four coupons would be doubled to $1. The fifth coupon would only be redeemed for 50¢
  • Up to an additional 12 identical manufacturers' coupons/items will be redeemed at face value for a total of 16 identical manufacturers' coupons

  • Only 4 manufacturers' coupons can be doubled on 4 of the Same Brand product per day

    I decided not to continue the list with statements that cover most all other stores like this that haven't specified a limit:

  • "We reserve the right to limit quantities"

    Shop Rite:
  • "To help ensure product availability and an efficient checkout experience for all customers, the use of excessive amounts of coupons or multiple identical coupons may be limited at the store manager’s discretion"

    I tell my kids all the time not to believe everything they see on TV. And now I'm here to tell all of you. TLC's Extreme Couponing show is a production that was created-it is NOT the Reality for couponers.

    New Couponers, Please don't be deceived into thinking you're gonna buy 100 Coupon Inserts (Part 2 of this series is going to tell you another reason that won't work-as told to us by our local store managers!) and go to the store for a huge haul like you see on the show that you only pay sales tax on.

    More to come...

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