Is Extreme Couponing bad for couponing?

TLC's Extreme Couponing television show begins its second season on Wednesday. The first season generated a tremendous amount of interest in couponing as it profiled shoppers saving more than 90% on their grocery bills.

Extreme Couponing tips from season one »

Unfortunately, the popularity of the show has also brought negative attention to coupon shoppers. Altercations between shoppers and store employees about coupon policies are on the rise. Stories of people stealing coupon inserts have also appeared. Even the one of the stars of the show was accused of coupon fraud.

Grocery stores are also "cracking down" on extreme couponing. They are changing their coupon policies to nullify the couponing secrets used to get massive savings. Some of the common changes include:

  • Reducing the amount the coupons are doubled up to. Our local store recently dropped from $1.00 to only doubling coupons up to $0.50.
  • Limiting the number of duplicate coupons per order.
  • Disallowing the practice of splitting your purchase into multiple transactions.
  • Banning couponing stacking where manufacturer coupons can be combined with store coupons.

What does the future hold for extreme couponing? Will it's popularity also be it's downfall? It's too soon to say for sure but there is no question the secret is out of the bag. Extreme couponing may be out of reach for most but the truth is it always was.

• Published: September 25, 2011
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