Extreme couponing may become an obsession
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Extreme couponing may become an obsession

We're all planning to conserve money in these difficult occasions. Coupon cutting may help keep grocery and other expenditures down, and those savings can add up. But not every cent is worth the cost of earning it. "Extreme Couponing," made popular by a cable TV show, can, for some, become a scary obsession. Source of article: Coupon clipping can help but it has a dark side

Reality show began it

The Learning Channel’s reality show started the phrase “extreme couponing” when it came out. The show is explained by TLC. Supposedly, it is about "the world of bargain shoppers who have mastered the art of saving. Get tips to help you save Big." In Dec. 2010, the show first came started previewing on TLC. In April 2011, the show started airing. This month, a second season began.

Couponing and hoarding could connect

The show is, according to MNSBC’s Allison Linn, about "bargain-obsessed people coupon-clipping for hours, and in some cases even Dumpster diving for more coupons." We see these people clearing out shelves in grocery stores and presenting large stacks of coupons to the register clerk, according to Linn. They start to tell everybody that they have a year supply of goods afterwards, when showing off their pantry.

Controversy over TV shows

Since increasingly more individuals are starting to take advantage of couponing, the show has caused retailers and manufacturers to backlash.

Bud Miller, executive director of Coupon Information Corp., said “a fairly large number of people are going into stores with really unrealistic expectations.”

The trade group Food Marketing Institute warned retailers last month of a rise in fraudulent behavior among coupon users. Cashiers are occasionally intimidated while couponers will occasionally try to use coupons on things other than what they are for.

Newspaper thefts

Newspapers across the country, as reported by Linn, are reporting increases in the theft of Sunday newspapers, which she attributes to coupon-clipping extremists.

Dan Schaub works with the Sacramento Bee as a marketing executive. He said that newspapers try to stay away from theft with certain measures. He also attributed an advantage to extreme couponers. Wednesday and Sunday newspapers -- the days that feature coupon inserts -- have been selling easily.

Fraud due to extreme couponing

In April, blogger Jill Cataldo posted an article pointing out many unethical and even illegal coupon practices showcased on-air by J’Aime Kirlew, one of the shoppers showcased on "Extreme Couponing."

TLC made a statement saying they'll look to the matter as it is taken seriously. The end of the statement said: "We look forward to sharing the tips and shopping savvy from all the couponers featuring in upcoming episodes."



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Jill Cataldo

Tags: extreme couponing, dark side of couponing, tlc, the learning channel, msnbc, allison linn, coupon fraud, newspaper thefts