Did you watch TLC’s ‘Extreme Couponing’?

Did you watch TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” last night? Above is a clip, in case you didn’t catch it.

Local extreme couponer Stephanie Barr from Buford was featured on the show teaching her 18-year-old son how to coupon before he goes off to college. When I interviewed Barr last week, she said her son had become interested in couponing very naturally after watching her “do the math” it takes to find savings. In case you missed it, here’s the preview story on Barr.

Did you learn anything from this episode? If you’re already a couponer, what’s the most you’ve ever saved in one shopping trip?

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

DealSwarm: Today’s deal | Email alerts

Follow me on Facebook | Twitter | Email

70 comments Add your comment

Dunwoody Mom

April 28th, 2011
8:23 am

Yes, I have watched this show a couple of times. I believe that the majority of these people have some type of underlying emotional issues. Why would you hoard diapers when you have no children? Why is the whole being of your existence based on the fact that you can store grocery items under your bed, in your closet and are “proud” to show off the fruits of your labor….

Nikki

April 28th, 2011
8:27 am

Did you know not one store in Florida offers double coupons. I think if enough people complain we can change that

Dee

April 28th, 2011
8:31 am

Watched last night but the lady teaching her son looked like she was in kroger not sure but if she was they will not let you use your coupons and the coupons you load on your card. I called roger last week and spoke to them about this and how did she use more than one coupon on one item they never let me do that. They always hand me back all but one so some of this I do not understand how they are doing it.

Kristie

April 28th, 2011
8:42 am

I think Stephanie’s piece was a breath of fresh air after what’s been shown on previous episodes. Yes, her trip was ‘extreme’, but it was reasonable numbers of items, with REAL food and things a family would actually use. I also love the fact that she has a sense of humor and doesn’t take herself or her couponing too seriously!

@Dee-Kroger has never allowed the use of 2 paper coupons on a single item, and Stephanie did not do that. However, they did used to allow the use of 1 e-coupon & 1 paper coupon per item. This has just changed within the past few weeks and they no longer allow you to use both on 1 item. If you watched her check out, you’d see that she comments on the fact that her e-coupons did not, in fact, come off. There’s no way of knowing if this was a glitch or the beginning of the switch (since it was taped a month ago), however we do know that she did not use both e-coupons & paper coupons in her transaction.

Sara

April 28th, 2011
9:11 am

Is it just me or did you guys also see that this woman, who clearly has serious issues and is a mental case, was actually plundering and stealing by trespassing foreclosed homes?! Apart from this being plain distasteful scavenging behavior, it is horrible and also immoral. I also think it is actionable and she can be arrested for that. I think that supersedes the results of her “shopping trip.”

Fowzia

April 28th, 2011
9:20 am

I use coupons only if I buy that item without coupon,you will never see coupons for fruits,vegetables ,milk whole wheat bread ,sometimes I do not use one single coupon,honestly, these people are hoarders why do you need 100 deodrants or 400 bags of diapers when you have no kids!!
The woman in Buford,Ga she did not get one single healthy item,why she needs 40 boxes of cakes just because she has couponsha,I buy most of my grocery at Publix,and they have limit on sale items.

Kurt

April 28th, 2011
9:29 am

@Fowzia

She actually posted her entire shopping trip on her website. You will see there were several healthy items she bought. And she did not buy 40 boxes of cake.

Here is the link to the list:

http://www.ourcouponhome.com/showthread.php?38905-My-TLC-Shopping-Trip-Details

And here is the list itself:
30 Coke
1 Excedrin Extra Strength
1 Excedrin Migraine
1 Edy’s
1 Tropicana Product
1 Voila!
1 Lance Snack Crackers
1 Johnsonville
4 Oxy-Clean
5 Yoplait
1 Lenders Bagels
1 Kellogg’s Cereal
1 Sara Lee Frozen Product
1 Nice’N Easy
2 Freschetta Pizza
5 Food Should Taste Good
2 Pull-Ups
9 Tony’s Pizza
2 SoyMilk
1 Kroger Carrots
10 Butterfingers
8 Yakisoba Noodles
20 Mahatma
8 Watermaid
2 Pizza Rolls
1 Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt
1 Benefiber
2 Dannon 4 pack
1 Fiber One Bars
2 Progresso Soup
1 Duncan Hines
1 Kashi Cereal
1 Strawberries
1 4lb Apples
1 4lb Grapes
12 Mentos
4 Philly Cooking Crème
1 Gillette Body Wash
1 Simply Asia Stir Fry Mix
1 Del Monte Fruit Cups 100 cal
2 Cinnamon Burst Cheerios
4 Raisinettes
1 Fusion Razor
1 Tide Stain Release
1 Sinex Spray
1 5lb Chicken Boneless Skinless

Kurt

April 28th, 2011
9:30 am

@sara

So I’m assuming you think it’s better to just let the papers sit there and rot, making the property and the neighborhood looking like trash?

Pat21

April 28th, 2011
10:05 am

She needs to teach her kids not to STEAL!

Kristie

April 28th, 2011
10:07 am

@Fowzia….wow, I wonder what you consider to be “healthy”. Obvious not yogurt, soy milk, carrots, grapes, chicken, fruit cups, Kashi, and strawberries.

ABC

April 28th, 2011
10:51 am

This woman is a nutcase. Why is she feeding neighborhood kids?

Nicole

April 28th, 2011
10:52 am

I’ve watched this show several times. I only heard one person mention donating the food. What’s the point of hoarding that much food unless you have a family big enough to consume it. A supply of paper products, maybe, but diapers when you don’t even have children????

homemom

April 28th, 2011
10:58 am

What about expiration dates on the food. It seems to me a lot of food would expire or be stale by the time you could even eat it all?

Tuckergirl

April 28th, 2011
10:59 am

Did not watch the show but did watch the clip. I still have mixed feelings about the show overall but Ms. Barr seem a lot more rational that most people I have seen on EC. Although I do wonder where she shops if peanut butter only goes on sale twice a year. Around here, it’s a lot more often. Regardless, I did like her three rules that you posted, esp. not cleaning off a shelf. That is my top beef about ECers. They come in and clean out a stores just for the thrill of it.

I do think some EC viewers honestly believe all they have to do is clip a few coupons and they will end up paying nothing for their groceries. Now that the show is out, you can see these viewers posting to I Heart Publix and Southern Savers, all asking, “How can I get my groceries for free like they do on TV?” THAT is what makes me sick. Not that you shouldn’t be able to save money by using coupons because you certainly can and I do it every week. But getting everything for absolutely nothing is next to impossible unless you want to dumpster dive (go to it if you do) and spend every waking moment clipping and tracking sales.

One tactic the ECers like to talk about is using competitor coupons at stores. And yes, some stores do accept them so it is legal. My stores don’t but I wouldn’t do it if they did. It upsets my idea of fair play when I’m already using a store coupon AND a manufacturer coupon. And it takes a lot more time to figure that part out, time I’d rather spend with my family.

Thanks to EC, I’ve heard that Publix is now considering changing their policy to not accepting competitor coupons at ANY of their stores. This doesn’t bother me but I have a feeling some of the ECers are going to be howling with dismay at this potential development because that’s where a lot of them cut their costs.

On the whole, I don’t do “big shops”. We are a family of 3 so we don’t need a truck full of stuff every week. I stockpile a little at a time (four or five items) and still manage to give much of it away to Clipping for a Cause out of First Methodist of Lawrenceville. In general, when I go to Publix on a Monday, I usually spent around $30 and save around $25 to $30 with coupons and sales. Some weeks I save much more. For me, this is enough. I don’t get depressed if I don’t walk out of the store having paid $1 for $50 worth of food. Just happy I saved as much as I did.

Sorry for rambling but this issue gets me agitated quite easily.

Kristie

April 28th, 2011
11:01 am

@ Sara- Good morning! Glad to see you making the rounds today and spreading the Steph love! :)

@ ABC- I think it’s probably because she cares about them. Totally psycho concept, I know!

Mary

April 28th, 2011
11:14 am

I think that EC gives us couponers a bad name. We don’t all go crazy, clear shelves, and stockpile thousands of items. I have a budget of $100/week to do my shopping. That seems like a lot, but my goal is to only use half of that money and put the rest toward savings. I live in Florida (the land of no doubles) and do most of my shopping at Publix (where they take EITHER a competitor coupon OR a publix store coupon.. and also a manufacturer coupon on each item. Basically one store Q + one manf Q. I shop for what my family needs only. If I have coupons for something that will give me overage, I get it and put it toward the rest of my bill. Those things that I get for absolutely free are in the bottom of a closet and when I have enough to justify the trip, they will go to a homeless shelter or to a food bank that my MIL regulars. I get 2 or 4 of any one thing, and that’s IT. I buy 2 papers a week and use those coupons ONLY.

Most of the couponers that I know of are like this. We’re not all extreme, we just do what we need to do to get by and save money. Check out WeUseCoupons.com . Nathan (the guy on EC that donates to a food bank & to the military) co-runs the site and it’s great. They frown on coupon fraud and shelf clearing, obviously. But the forum can give you an insight on how we normal couponers do things.

myra

April 28th, 2011
11:23 am

Couponing is fun. Its my new hobby. I dont score massive amounts cause I dont have massive coupons. But overall, I enjoy getting a good deal. Sometimes I get a little iritated with some of the people on the show. The Jaime girl was a big uuuuggh! Nathan is a little annoying too. I was a little irked that Missy gets thousands of inserts. THOUSANDS every week!!! But she seems to be doing good in her community and I commend her for that. I’d luv more inserts,but too old to dumpster dive. lol
Again, couponing is fun and its good for the budget.

JoeV

April 28th, 2011
11:31 am

The thing that really drives me nuts about this show…

NOT ONE of these extreme couponers knows how to pronounce the word coupon!!!! Jeebus.

Angie

April 28th, 2011
11:39 am

Fowzia- you really aren’t looking b/c there are coupons for natures own bread, even the 100% whole wheat, shocking I know! Certain stores also do deals on fresh fruit and veggies and if you look hard enough you will find milk coupons out there.
Sara- you know what’s immoral…judging people.

Noahsmomma

April 28th, 2011
11:46 am

@ Sara~Aww I guess you don’t own a home? You would rather see a foreclosed house gather unused papers and trash? Don’t you realize most criminals look for houses where the mail or papers pile up. When they realize that the house is vacant them break in and destroy the home. Usually stealing the copper plumping~Anything worth value. Stephanie is protecting the neighborhood and cleaning up the litter.
@ABC~maybe because they are her sons friends? I guess you don’t have teenagers? I do and they eat a lot!
@Mary make sure you include the fact that WUC openly encourages CLEARING the Shelfs~MUSTARD LADY/J’aime with Hooker heels on another episode.

And Missy Eby who claims God gives her the coupons. Give me a Break! Good Christians don’t Lie. And the fact she said that on national television bothers me. Come on Missy why you so afraid to tell where you get 5,000 coupon sections a week?

Or the fact that Nathan SELLS his STOCKPILE in Garage Sales. Yes he donates some~But the FACT of it is he SELLS most of it 2 Times a year. Paying Taxes on that $$$$ from his Garage Sale? You know any amount over $1500.00 has to be claimed to Uncle Sam. What about that Mary?

At OurCouponHome we don’t do those things.

And we coupon the right way. We also don’t allow hateful post there either.

And for anyone else~this episode was filmed several months ago.

Kroger use to allow e-coupons and a manufacture coupon at the same time to be taken off.

Stephanie lives in GA not FL. In GA at Kroger they allow coupons .50 coupons to doulbe to a $1.00

Xynox

April 28th, 2011
11:51 am

I’ve noticed most extreme couponers are overwight. Maybe they should focus on buying healthy foods instead of money saving foods.

WP

April 28th, 2011
12:02 pm

A friend of mine teaches classes on how to coupon. I don’t do as well as she does but I have saved some money. She donates alot of stuff to a needy shelter. That is what some of these people need to do. The lady in Lawrenceville needs to donate the diapers. I am sure there are alot of babies that could use the diapers.

Tina

April 28th, 2011
12:10 pm

Did anyone notice during at the end of Stephanies segment, while her and her son were unloading groceries in the kitchen, that there were locks on her cabinets? Weird.

Kurt

April 28th, 2011
12:11 pm

@WP

Actually our 2 year old is still using those. So I think we’ll hang on to them for the moment.

April

April 28th, 2011
12:14 pm

I cannot believe these ladies would agree to go on this show and let TLC make them look like crazy ladies. I hear they didn’t even get paid. Is that true?

Kurt

April 28th, 2011
12:15 pm

@Tina

That’s to keep the baby out from under the cabinets and out of stuff she shouldn’t be into. Like the cleaners and garbage bags.

Cobb Mom

April 28th, 2011
12:19 pm

I give diaper coupons to new moms that I work with since I don’t have small children. I shop only what’s on sale, I don’t buy processed foods (such as Hamburger helper, fruit roll ups, etc), but I do use coupons for milk, wheat bread, organic cereals, dairy products, health/beauty, and Kroger sends me coupons for fruits, veggies, and meats in the mail. I save at least 30% and I’m thrilled when I save more than I spend.

I don’t hoard, I don’t clear off the shelves, if I have extra coupons I give them to other shoppers at the store, or if it’s an item needed at my local food bank I stock up and donate.

I have seen a few minutes of a couple of shows. Most of these people do appear to have a mental health issue that they are hoarding. I often wonder if their family is actually allowed to eat the food they have stockpiled. For most of them I don’t see fresh fruits or vegetables in their carts, I hope they do extra trips for healthier foods.

craig

April 28th, 2011
12:26 pm

I do not understand why you want 43 boxes of cereal, half of the things this woman has in this video is unnecessary, you have all that toilet paper, do you use the bathroom that much? Some of you coupon hoarders are crazy.

MJ

April 28th, 2011
12:35 pm

Can anybody explain to me how these people are getting by without paying sales tax? I use alot of coupons but where i come from i still have to pay sales tax on the amount before coupons. How can you buy a 1000$ worth of stuff and only end up paying less than10$. Even on free items there should be more of a tax amount than what they end up paying.

Canton Mom

April 28th, 2011
12:41 pm

If you watch for sales and cut coupons you can usually get toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant for free. Rather than hoard then, donate them to local charities than need them. You could also donate diapers and anything else including food.

William

April 28th, 2011
12:44 pm

I love a bargain just as much as anyone, however I see this show putting pressure on stores, manufacturers, etc to give out more. Possibly this is going to change the rules of couponing for the worse.

ATLien

April 28th, 2011
12:56 pm

This show is just a gateway for people to wind up on “Hoarders” or “Intervention.”

jarvis

April 28th, 2011
1:04 pm

The one thing I know for sure is that if I ever shop in Buford, I undoubtedly will be in line behind this woman and an old lady trying to write a check with no identification.

Kim O

April 28th, 2011
1:43 pm

I enjoy the show and hope to learn a few new things. But these ladies (and Nathan) seem totally overbaord and should make their way to “Hoarders” next. I liked the lady from MO (I think) that can make the grape Jelly out of frozen concentrate. I loved how her family grew their own veggies and hunted to make ends meet. I can’t stand it when they clear a shelf. Even if they are donating becasue there are other people that are in “need” of the good deal to make ends meet. Most of these people are spending 35 – 60 hours per week doing this. How can you have a full-time job and care for a family?

Teacher Reader

April 28th, 2011
1:56 pm

I watched one episode and was left wondering, what the heck does one do with 36 bottles of mustard? The husband said he didn’t even like it but it only cost her $.35 so she bought it.

Kar

April 28th, 2011
1:57 pm

I could get the diaper thing if people donate them. There are several charities that specifically collect diapers as financially pushed people tend to well, use them longer than reccomend them or lor help us, re-use them due to the high cost. Those poor children.

ladybuginc

April 28th, 2011
3:30 pm

I think the guy that donates is doing a great job ! keep it up. why is it a problem clearing the shelf because coupons were used? would there be frowning if no coupon was used and the shopper paid cash, in this economy .50,.75 cents, or even free items makes a difference in a family’s life, besides what’s it costing YOU

Sue

April 28th, 2011
3:34 pm

I am watching the show now (recorded), but so far, it is sad to spend 60 hours per week stockpiling. Where’s the middle road here? For me, retired former working mom, I would say you are paying a huge price to not spend most or all of that 60 hours with your son and hubby. 60 hours!!?? Sheesh, we all want a good bargain, but that’s going to cost you in the long run. Sad……

Fowzia

April 28th, 2011
3:40 pm

@kristy,those are healthy I did not see them,these people spend several hours shopping because of the short time I guess TLC only shows small footage.Anyway Stephanie buys 30 Sunday Papers plus she uses five computers to print coupons but I saw her son hauling cart full of sodas.
@Kurt,I thought Stephanie bought 40 boxes of the cakes,maybe the woman from North Carolina,the one who was dumpster diving the coupons bougth but one of them did.This is organized hoarders using garage for storing food items is just not normal behavior.

DMRJ

April 28th, 2011
4:13 pm

Some people said they bought their papers for the inserts, and they bought up 15 or 20. Where i’m from the Sunday papers are $1.50 depending on how many you buy they should calculate that too and the money (probably thousands) spent for storage racks/areas.

Patricia Tyler

April 28th, 2011
4:48 pm

I don’t believe they have issues , unless you call being frugel an issue. If you think there is some kind of problem with saving money, and helping others out, and issue, Maybe you need to step back and look in the mirror. You may see a few issues there.

Amy

April 28th, 2011
5:56 pm

I do to enjoy cutting the coupons out, but I have never left the store only paying a few dollars either, I went to Albertsons and after I was done I saved about half I spent $80.00 and left paying $39.00 for quite a bit of stuff, and no most of the time you can’t use two coupons per item, the computer won’t let it scan though so one coupon per item. I was happy and the two men behind me were quite surprised at how much I payed. I only buy what we will eat and today, I gave a lady ahead of me in the store a $10.00 coupon if you spent $50.00 and I knew she was going to, and I don’t spend that much at one time so it made me feel good at letting someone have my money saving coupon instead of letting it expire.

Teacher Reader

April 28th, 2011
6:02 pm

This isn’t being frugal. One has a huge stash of diapers and doesn’t have any children and isn’t trying to get pregnant. Another bought 36 bottles of mustard. Who the heck can use 36 bottles of mustard? Many of them have more food than their family could ever possibly use before it went bad. Or even the hundred plus bags of chips that another had in storage.

kim

April 28th, 2011
8:57 pm

I can’t believe all the negative comments about this show!…Who cares if they are hoarders and they have a ton of food!. They have the same means to acquire them as anyone else does, they just do it. And so what if she picks up news papers on empty homes driveways and feeds her sons friends! What has America come to but a bunch of sour crab-asses that complain about anything and everything! As I said she has the same means as anyone else does to get what she needs. And she was Not shopping in a Kroeger, she was in a Dominick’s for the woman who was so appalled she felt it necessary to call the store manager and complain…sheesh!

Tuckergirl

April 28th, 2011
10:04 pm

Why is cleaning off a shelf wrong? Because it’s selfish, that’s why. It’s one person getting a personal “high” because they can buy up everything for themselves (and let’s face it, most of these people are showing off their hoard, not donating it) and leave nothing for anyone else.

These things go on sale in a six to eight week cycle so it’s not like it will never go on sale again. The fair thing is to buy some (not ALL) so that others gets a chance to take advantage of the savings. That’s what about 99 percent of couponers are about, not these crazies.

Dee

April 28th, 2011
10:25 pm

How did she use her coupons toward the tide she bought? Did she use more than one coupon for one item..

Dee

April 28th, 2011
10:37 pm

Kim – I did not mean for it to sound like I called kroger and complained to manager… That is not what I did at all. I called kroger before I even seen this episode to get a better understanding of how the coupons work that is when they told me you can not use manufactor coupon and the coupons loaded on your card.I also said it looked like she was at kroger even my husband said that is what the name tags had on them…I was just asking…..

Carmelita

April 28th, 2011
11:25 pm

Liz

April 29th, 2011
1:03 am

I admit I love shopping with my coupons and it was getting to the point it was causing a rift in my house. It is not worth it. It is a rush getting something for free, but I agree that something is not right when you buy a thousand dollars of stuff and not have to pay taxes. I have to pay taxes no matter if it is free and you also have to pay taxes on coupons. I think that what some of these people portray is unreasonable and it is not worth loosing precious time with your family. I have lessened my shopping trips and time i spend on coupons. I can see some of these people ending up having to get professional help for the obsessive behavior. Believe me it all boils down to obsessive behavior.

monica

April 29th, 2011
2:10 am

I’m sorry there is such thing as coupons for meat and vegies.I don’t shop to extreme.I love those $3.00 of coupons though. There also are alot of coupons for organic food.