Paul and I were the very first season of the first episode of the TLC show Extreme Couponing. Many of you might have not known that and so I wanted to share a few insider things with you. In our contract from EC we were required to follow any and all coupon policies from the store. We were also prevented from using the show to get coupons. For example, we could not have contacted companies and asked for free product coupons because we were going to be on the show. Our store actually tightened the coupon policy going from allowing 3 coupons doubled or tripled to only allowing 1. The total we spent was $1100, and we paid $43!!! The total difference in double coupons was $6.50. That’s it. So don’t let the fact that you might not double or triple coupons to keep you from savings money or thinking that you can do it! We also had 3 days to get ready for the show and didn’t know until the day before if we would be shopping at Kroger or HEB for our episode.
People often complain of coupon fraud on the show. There was some, we saw it on a few episodes, that fraud is solely on the individual and their ethics NOT on the SHOW. The show did not encourage it or in any way allow it. The producers and photographers are not couponers, they would have no idea if you were committing fraud or not. They trusted what you were doing was legit. We did hear of one store who allowed a couponer to break the policy but the store came out and apologized.
The show was good for a few reasons: 1. It got people excited about couponing again. 2 It showed people that it could be done. 3. It gave hope to thousands of people who didn’t know how they were going to take care of their family. Just like anything good there are going to be people who ruin it, who abuse the system and who are greedy. For the most part they fade out and can’t keep up their bad habits and go away, or finally get a clue and should be or are embarrassed for their actions. Couponing has even a blessing for our family, we were able to save our home and maintain a lifestyle when Paul was laid off because we couponed. It has let us bless the lives of people around us and give more then we ever thought possible.
I just wanted to take a second to share a few of these thoughts with you, and encourage you to learn to save money for your family!