How ‘Extreme Couponing’ Is Ruining Coupons

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It always seemed mind-bogglingly difficult to achieve the kinds of savings portrayed on the TLC show “Extreme Couponing.” Thanks to tougher supermarket policies and the proliferation of less valuable coupons, extreme savings through coupons seems downright impossible.

The best coupons have two key features: They offer discounts on the products you like and would be buying anyway, and the discounts are substantial enough to justify the time required for clipping them.

Increasingly, however, American consumers are coming across coupons that have neither of these features. A NCH Marketing report released earlier this year indicated that there was a 17% drop in coupon redemption in 2012. Among consumers who used fewer coupons last year, the most popular explanation given for the decreasing in couponing was this: “I can’t find coupons for the products I want to buy.”

(MORE: Former Extreme Couponer Admits: ‘It’s a Waste of Time’)

What’s more, it’s getting more difficult to find coupons that save the shopper a decent chunk of change. In early May, Kroger, one of the world’s largest supermarket companies, lowered prices on thousands of items in its stores in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, and elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region. You’d expect that news like that would be greeted with applause and gratitude from consumers. Instead, many shoppers have been grumbling that recent changes at Kroger will make them more likely to frequent dollar stores and Walmart—because Kroger’s price drops were accompanied by a ban on double couponing.

The company had previously pulled the plug on double coupons in Texas and California, and spokesman Carl York told the Charleston (W.V.) Gazette that shoppers shouldn’t expect any stores to double coupons—turning 30¢ off coupon instantly into 60¢ off at the register—down the line. “I think double coupons is something that’s going to go away at some point,” York said. “The industry is moving away from that.”

Regardless, shoppers have created a Bring Back Doubles Facebook page, and online commenters have been chiming in with observations comparing the move to JC Penney’s much-hated decision to scale back on coupons. Here’s how one commenter responded to a Roanoke Times story about Kroger’s changes:

Doing away with doubling coupons is a deal breaker for me. I’ll do most of my shopping now at Walmart, where volume really does show up in their pricing, and the coupons will now be worth the same. I believe this change will go in the same file as JCP’s attempt to reinvent itself.

(MORE: Stores Confront Extreme Couponers Tactics with Tougher Policies and More Limitations)

This reading of the situation may be a bit, well, extreme. Kroger isn’t banning coupons altogether like JC Penney basically did; the supermarket just stopped the practice of doubling their value for shoppers in certain locations. Supermarket News quoted Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman speaking at a conference recently, explaining that only a “very small number of customers actually engage in” double coupons, and that it would be fairer to spread the savings around via across-the-board price cuts:

“Now, they’re a very vocal part of your customer base, and they don’t like it when you stop giving them that reward,” he said. “But the percentage of customers who actually enjoyed the benefit of that, our view was we were better off taking those dollars and investing them in better prices for all of our customers rather than rewarding just a select segment of our customers.”

Whether or not Kroger has truly been offering “better prices” is up for debate (many shoppers report not being impressed by the supposed price cuts), but what’s undeniably true is that outlawing double coupons makes it more difficult for couponers to snag the extreme kind of savings seen on TV. It’s not just Kroger either. Walmart store managers have been known to make life more annoying for extreme couponers by, for example, mandating that certain cash-back coupon schemes be painstakingly doled out one at a time, rather than in a single transaction.

Coupon enthusiasts such as Jill Cataldo don’t blame Kroger or other supermarkets for the changes they’ve made regarding coupons. Instead, they point to the popular TLC program “Extreme Couponing,” which shows shoppers purchasing hundreds of dollars of merchandise for a few bucks using various extreme (and possibly bogus) coupon strategies. In her syndicated couponing column, Cataldo wrote that there has been an “Extreme Couponing effect.” After the show began airing, coupons became less valuable—”Manufacturers that previously offered $1 coupons now offer coupons good for $1 off on the purchase of two items”—and grocery store chains introduced tougher restrictions on coupon usage.

(MORE: The $40 Million Counterfeit Coupon Caper)

Store clerks likewise say that retailers have little choice but to crack down on extreme couponers, some of whom seem willing to do almost anything to cut down on their grocery bills. “People who do the extreme coupons are generally the most vicious people you will ever meet,” one Kroger clerk explained to Consumerist.com. “They’ll cut off the dates of expired coupons, try to use several coupons per item and will argue when you shut them down.”

Some couponers will attempt to do much worse than any of that. Last summer, a woman from Phoenix named Robin Ramirez was arrested for overseeing a $40 million counterfeit coupon ring, in which fake coupons were created and sold via eBay and other outlets for less than face value. The Arizona Republic reported that Ramirez was just sentenced to two years in state prison and has been ordered to make restitution payments to the tune of $5 million.

One of the police officers involved in the investigation that brought the coupon ring down said that fraud “causes manufacturers to give out fewer coupons and coupons with a lower face value,” according to the Republic.

56 comments
PatriciaThompson
PatriciaThompson

I am a cashier at Wal-Mart and I hate these extreme couponers who use ad matching and the coupons. They buy $0.97 travel conditioner at $0.25 and use a $1.00 or $3.00 coupon with it. Make it illegal to do that. Products should not be less than face value of the coupon. The coupons do have a use by date but not an amount minimum for the purchase.

DominioPúblico
DominioPúblico

There has also been a rise in the number of coupons that are good for another coupon with a purchase. Buy a lifetime supply of TP and you get a coupon good for $5 off your next purchase of TP. Unfortunately, you will never get the $5 off, because you already own a lifetime supply. 

shucke2842
shucke2842

The one thing they do on Extreme Couponing that is absolutely not true is show the taxes go down.  On every coupon, it says bearee must pay the taxes, so regardless of how much they get the grocery tab down to zero, they would still have to pay the sales tax on the entire purchase.  One episode I am currentlly watching sows $73.90 in sales tax before they start deducting the coupons and he ends up paying zero.  That is an absolute fallacy.

ShirleyKidman
ShirleyKidman

Coupon is great idea. There is a lot of poor families, who do not know where there next meal is coming from. The food banks are running out of food all the time. If these people found away too work out the deal then let them. There not stealing or doing break and enters. There just trying too feed there families. My mom had all she could do too feed us as kids. She would have 3 to 7 kids too look after on her own. She always had me and my 2 sisters and a lot of time she would have my Aunt' and Uncle's 4 kids. My dad, Uncle and Aunt would strew off all the time for months on end. If this coupon was in Canada my mom so would of done this. For all the families doing coupons I wish you all the best. :)

SeanCrum
SeanCrum

I read all the comments and i see there are alot of haters, nobody is stopping you from couponing.. IF THERE WAS SUCH A BIG DEAL ABOUT IT, THEN WHY DO MANUFACTURERS KEEP PRINTING THEM AND PUTTING THEM IN EVERY SUNDAY PAPER ACROSS THE COUNTRY.. THEY DONT GIVE A DAME, THEY DONT LOSE MONEY...ITS LIKE THIS. IF ONE PERSON BUYS 100 PACKS OF TOOTH PASTE AND DONATES IT AWAY. THEY ARE HELPING PEOPLE...2ND THE STORE THEY BROUGHT IT FROM, LOSES NO MONEY CAUSE MANUFACTURE SENDS THEM A CHECK, THEN THEY DONT LOSE NO MONEY, BECAUSE THAT CHECK THEY WROTE WAS A TAX RIGHT OFF AS A BUSINESS EXPENSE WITCH SAVES THE MONEY ON TAXES THEY HAVE TO PAY...SO BASICALLY NO ONE LOSES..ITS A BUSINESS PEOPLE..LOOK AT BIGGER PICTURE...

BrittanyDanielleSmith
BrittanyDanielleSmith

I think using coupons is just fine. hell at least with coupons I can afford to go shopping. is 20 tubes of tooth paste or 1000 packs of tic tac a little much yes, but its their choice!

AmberAllen
AmberAllen

I feel like Super Couponers are selfish and greedy.  In the first episode of the show, the woman buys 60+ bottles of mustard, just because its on sale, leaving one bottle on the shelf for other customers.  That's selfish.  It would take, no joke, a hundred years for three people to go through 60+ bottles of mustard.  She could have bought ten, been set on mustard for a decade or more, and left the rest for other shoppers.  


Its like this with many items they buy.  Its sickening and wasteful and selfish.  

natkatsmommy
natkatsmommy

Couponing (extreme or not) is NOT stealing.  The stores actually get more money when you use coupons as opposed to not using them.  Read the fine print on coupons... It plainly says that the stores will receive face value of the coupon plus 8 cents. So even if an item costs $1 and you use a coupon for $1, the store gets back $1.08 from the manufacturer. 

blhjjgggghh
blhjjgggghh

This awful attitude toward extreme couponers is jealousy that you don't know how. I really don't understand how they're stealing if they're using coupons as intended. They're smart and there will always be jealousy.

sylviab
sylviab

I have watched this show several times and the one thing that I see over and over again.. is most of the stuff these people but is complete junk. Processed or frozen food... nothing of nutritional value whatsoever !! No fruit, or vegetables and rarely meat, poultry or fish!! I don't need 100 tubes of toothpaste !! I would love to save money at the grocery store , just as the average person would, but I'm not going to buy complete crap and sacrifice my health so I can to eat for free !!

Shutterbugfan
Shutterbugfan

Terrilee your wrong the kroger stores here in michigsn still double coupons up to a dolloar as long as you scan your card.

mbiehl31
mbiehl31

What right does a person have to go into a store and come out with hundreds of dollars worth of products and only pay a couple of dollars.  It is stealing plain and simple.  Whether you manipulated the store rules or you pulled a gun out of your pocket you stole.  I can't believe others are applauding this behavior.  It is sick.  There is a huge difference between the person who uses a few coupons to save their family a few dollars than expecting to leave with a car full of groceries that you did not pay for.  It is sad to see how far our society has fallen.  

TerriLee
TerriLee

Kroger stopped that policy of double coupons years ago in Michigan...and NO their prices are not cheaper.

AngieNTexas
AngieNTexas

I'd use more coupons if there were any on fresh fruits and vegetables where I shop. When I buy other stuff, it seems that the generic is cheaper than the stuff there are coupons for. I have bought the paper a couple of times to get coupons and tried to save. But I didn't even find enough in coupons of valuable stuff that recovered the cost of the paper.

chillaxfactor55
chillaxfactor55

I find that many of Kroger's strategic decisions are ultimately self defeating.  Growing up, when they were the only game in town, they'd strategically pull items from the shelves during double-coupon events (Which my mother would get incredibly ticked off about).  When new competition arrived with Meijer and Giant Eagle, my parents shifted to those stores and generally shunned Kroger 

Today, they have numerous competitors, and yet they're doing things like dropping double coupons.  Competetors who don't double often have better prices.  A limit of 5-10 like coupons is still a good inducement to bring people into stores if the coupons are doubled.  They allow their cashiers to be rude to customers, which will drive away nearly every customer (plenty of cashiers are nice, but all it takes is that one bad experience).  And then they overprice their non-food items, which is like putting a sign up that reads "GO TO WALMART!"  I need a 3M Filtrete HVAC filter for my central a/c. It's $17 at Kroger; $13 at Target; $10 at Lowes.  It's still better for Kroger if I buy it at Kroger instead of Lowes. I'd rather buy it at Kroger, but it's $17.  So off to Lowes I go.

calmeg29
calmeg29

This is an incredibly uneducated article. If Kroger truly changed their double coupon policy to help ALL consumers save- then it had nothing to do with double coupons, did it? You can't claim both ways- either they did it to stop extreme couponers, or they did it to help save the general consumer from their inflated prices. How about some common sense here? 

Here is the reality: If you watch Extreme COuponing (I have, so I am not talking about something based on an opinion I have made without being informed about the show) - then you will note the extreme couponer is not going in to save $1000 on their bill. They are buying large quantities of a few products.  These wmen and women have figured out how to beat inflated prices at the supermarket at their own game. SUper markets don't like it. WHat is the point of a coupon? It's to get you into the store, save you a few cents on an item, and entice you to buy everything in sight while there. The manufacturers could care less if you save a few pennies- they want your business on everything else in the store. The grocery store doesn't have enough education to understand the coupon redemption process, and doesn't want a consumer to walk out without paying good cold hard cash to the store. 


Stores are businesses. I don't believe the fairy tale that they care to save we consumers a lot of money. They ant us sucked in, to grab what's at an end cap, and be suckered into over paying for something that cost the store pennies. It's like going to the ER and paying $10 for a Tylenol. People accept it as OK. It's unbelievable so many people are so gullible. 

A TRUE coupon user will never stop using coupons to save their family money. If it takes some hard work and digging a little deeper, I have seen the commitment to do so. I live in an area that never offers double coupons, and for the most part- cashiers are ignorant of store policies, rude, and borderline verbally abusive. Since when did that become okay? 

padgettsemi
padgettsemi

Drawing that Kroger - JCP correlation is an interesting one. Personally, I'd sooner shop somewhere with an immediate saving rather than having to sort through a novel of coupons, but it's interesting how others are the exact opposite. What will happen to Kroger? Excited to see.

Chiroderma
Chiroderma

Where do these people get the coupons from? I saw a few clips of the Extreme couponing show and the people there got them from dumpsters, does everybody do that? I guess they don't buy newspapers or magazines  because that would cost more than the value of the coupons...I wonder if they get to consume all those products-food items- before they expire, I hope the couponers donate some things to people in need

pfsnip00
pfsnip00

coupons will never end and people will never stop exploiting them... ebay is the main problem, they should have more regualtions. 

suddendepth
suddendepth

The author refers to perpetrators of two cases of fraud as "extreme couponers". I call them criminals. There's a blatant quote demonizing couponers as (generally) "vicious people". Considering this quote is taken from a single clerk at the same place the article says recently ended double coupon promotions, there's a clear bias there. 

Deal seekers are still finding legitimate angles to play. Coupons are still out there in force. There are credit card cash back bonuses to use to stack discounts and shopping rewards. Nothing is being ruined.

TheCouponBoutique
TheCouponBoutique

As a coupon blogger that runs the extreme couponing website The Coupon Boutique (www.thecouponboutique.com) I have to come up with some creative ways along with couponing to help me and my followers save money.  I have been I guess you can call an extreme couponer for over 5 years. I didn't think we had a former name for ourselves but I have to agree that couponing has changed. The purpose of using coupons from a marketer stand point is to get consumers to use the product not get it for free. But because we were able to do that and now that show on TLC has brought us to light now everyone is trying to be an extreme couponer. So with anything supply and demand the demand is up and manufacturers are going to decrease the value of the coupons. Now since I have been doing this for a long time I have a stockpile that can last for at least another 3 year and I am a part of the 17% of the population that didn't really coupon last year. I too live near Kroger too and they closed two stores in our area.

haywood
haywood

@ShirleyKidman WOW.  Please go back and read over English books from grades 3-8.  Grammar Nazis (and the rest of the English speaking population) will take you a lot more seriously if you actually use the language we know.

xChloe
xChloe

@AmberAllen  I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. Yes some might buy them just for themselves, but there were others who donated most of the things to charity, plus they obviously have more to shelf. I know for sure that your just saying it because you haven't been able to save as much as them, If you were in their position you'd do the same! So actually I think that it's great that their saving as much as they are, they are very wise and kind people. They ain't hurting anyone it's not like they're making you go hungry and you have no more food to buy.

csevers
csevers

@natkatsmommy So you're ripping off the manufacturer then? That seems a lot better, laugh.

dickclarkfan1
dickclarkfan1

@blhjjgggghh Um, the manufactures never intended you to use your coupons to quite possibly get your purchases for free.  That is why many stores are now keeping a "blacklist" of extreme couponers and will refuse service to these parties. 

xChloe
xChloe

@sylviab  Well if it's on the grocery then it's not complete "crap" as you say. People obviously buy it and that's why they shelf and put it for sale. I bet you eat the same so stop hating and if you claim you don't then I know you'd like to eat for free if you didn't have the money!

AndreaWellman
AndreaWellman

It is awfully sad, don't you think? Like, why should people who are not well off even get groceries? I don't even like it that people who need to use coupons are allowed groceries from stores They should be eating grass and dirt and twigs from the yard or something... Well, not MY yard. Because I wouldn't want one of THOSE PEOPLE living in my neighborhood. Or... (And I JUST realized this!) Their kids going to school with mine. Holy Moses! I THINK I SAW A COUPON IN MY SON'S TEACHER'S PURSE!

Keep fighting the good fight against these so-called "couponers" guys! I'm off to call the school board.

#sarcasm

xChloe
xChloe

@mbiehl31  Whoa all these hater comments really getting on my nervous, I don't coupon at all, but when I saw the show I honestly thought that these people were very smart. I have to say that it's absolutely not stealing in anyway. In other words they spend many hours trying to get coupons and calculating how much it will be overall, these people spend many hours trying to provide for their family as much as they can. they aren't stealing do you see them as wealthy? I guess not they are just your average person trying to feed themselves, so stop coming out with you absurd conclusions if you want to keep making the grocery's rich by paying for retail price then go ahead, I guarantee you won't get very far.

csevers
csevers

@mbiehl31 I agree, I think extreme "couponing" is abuse. The coupons are not beings used as intended. It's just like a tax loop-hole.

Dissie
Dissie

@AngieNTexas I have the exact same problem! I would love to save some money couponing, but I mainly cook from scatch (and yes, I'm poor as dirt but I choose to spend my money on quality food rather than gadgets like smart phones and tablets) and very rarely do I ever find coupons for flour, cornstarch, apples or ground beef.


In addition, I see a lot of these extreme couponers as little better than hoarders. Stockpiling 1000 cans of chemical filled spaghettios doesn't really help anybody.

csevers
csevers

@calmeg29 Without the double coupons they will lower prices, thereby helping all customers save. This is in comparison with simply discontinuing all double coupons, which only helps non-extreme "couponers". In my experience, at the grocery store, extreme "couponers" are the worst. They take forever to check-out, and always have to argue with the cashier about their discount. I don't know what you mean by "inflated price". The price a store charges is not inflated, it's the amount they have to charge to cover their costs and turn a profit. It's the same as anything else. I bill my client $200 per hour, and I take home $50 an hour, it's called overhead. There are expenses the grocery store has to cover, rent, staff, insurance, etc. That's not inflation, that's just the cost of doing business.

calmeg29
calmeg29

@Chiroderma People do not dumpster dive as a usual. I live in an area and have interviewed several couponers- they do get their coupons from the 10+ newspapers they buy a week. DO you know what newspapers hate? The weeks (Holiday weekends) that there are no coupons in the paper- the newspaper sales plummet! Here is the reality" Less than 3% of coupons made in the United states are redeemed. Of BILLIONS of coupons, the amount redeemed are tiny. So, what is this really about? Probably the coupon fraud that a SMALL portion of the population commits. Walmart reported last year an estimated loss of $4000 per store coupon fraud- from photo copied printables, bar decoding, and illegal coupons that consumers were not even aware of. A few bad apples should not put this kind of stigma on people who use coupons- it's judgmental and ridiculous. 

thearmbarkid
thearmbarkid

@Chiroderma Whenever you watch that show on TLC, they're almost ALWAYS hoarding, and they also seem to have major issues going on in their lives. These people aren't smart, they aren't thrifty, they aren't even cheap...they're mentally ill.

thearmbarkid
thearmbarkid

@suddendepth I've been stuck behind these "extreme couponers" more times than I can count, and that Kroger clerk's description is dead on, in my opinion.  Rude, entitled, inconsiderate...and these are the nicer words that I would use.  It's hard to describe these people, really.  When they hit the point that they have to keep the coupons in a binder, and have no issues ruining the days of everyone they come into contact with.  At that point, these people are no longer "thrifty."  They're not even "cheapskates."  It's a pathology.  These people have issues, if their existence is so bleak that it has to be dedicated to procuring and using coupons.  The natural reaction is to get angry with them, but perhaps some pity is in order.


thearmbarkid
thearmbarkid

@TheCouponBoutique One of these days a fellow consumer is going to snap, or a cashier will be pushed to their breaking point, and all Hell will break loose on an "extreme couponer."  Hopefully that couponer will have saved enough money on their 500 cans of green beans to pay their medical bills.  

I had some couponer make me late for work the other day because she had no problem clogging up the front register for 45 minutes while other people stood there and had to listen to her argue with the cashier, and then the store manager over a 5 cent discrepancy over the price of 43 tubes of toothpaste.  I hope that savings will pay for the 4 new tires she needs (and the new engine after she gets those tires on and actually starts the car.)

trinahenry92
trinahenry92

Not hurting anyone? Interesting concept. What would happen to our economy if the majority of people did this, including people who could afford to pay for their groceries? What would happen to the Mom and Pop stores? Well, they would go out of business. They would not be able to pay their bills, feed their families, keep a roof over their heads. You are stealing from their pockets. This practice forces prices to go up, causing other middle-class, barely making ends meet, Americans to bare the brunt of your selfishness... and you all use the smoke screen: "but SOME of us -who aren't hoarding our loot- would donate to the needy." There are other ways, like Meals on Wheels and specific charities that will accept donations, instead a surplus of paper towels or a bottle of mustard... yummy! It's simple economics.

UB
UB

@xChloe I agree with @AmberAllen.  

I coupon too, but not to the extremes some people in my area do.  They don't need to clear the shelves just to donate.  Regular people would like the savings too, but it's frustrating when you can't find the items because shelve clearers want to "donate".

BrittanyDanielleSmith
BrittanyDanielleSmith

@csevers @natkatsmommy  

Then its the manufacturer fault for putting them out there. The consumers that use the coupons are just using what they have in front of them which is smart since most of us can't afford what we need!

dgildea
dgildea

@calmeg29 I am interested in the people you've interviewed. I'm doing research about what people do to save money. I would like to talk with you about this. Would you be willing to do so? 

calmeg29
calmeg29

@thearmbarkid You are ignorant. How many people do you know who do this personally? I have interviewed two women who were one the show. The show is "creatively edited" - which most of America knows. Of course you probably believe every word of the National Inquirer as the true and actual news...right? Kelly, of Money Saving Mom, is a professional woman who doesn't pay more than pennies to feed her family and provide for them. SHe donated over $200,000 to shelters for domestic violence, and for animal shelters last year alone. They are not doing the show anymroe because the show makes them look bad and is edited so heavily it is falsely projecting them as people they are not. 


By the way... I have a bridge in London I would like to s ell you...

chillaxfactor55
chillaxfactor55

@thearmbarkid @suddendepth 

I have noticed that many of "the binder people" are morbidly obese, with carts full of junk food.   I say "morbidly obese" in the medical sense.  Not to be mocking.  just concerned for their health more than anything.  Like they're "saving money" on junk food, but then killing themselves in the process.  And obesity costs a fortune on 50 different levels / in the long run.   

I've also noticed the "pushy couponers" as in people tearing coupons off products they're not even buying.  Sometimes standing there and tearing coupons off an entire shelf of products. Next time I see this, I'm calling the police to report them for shoplifting. 

I stood in line once, next to a woman who was clearly extreme couponing (binder, cart full of the same items).  I chatted with her briefly.. She said she walked through her apartment complex and took the coupon packs off the doors of all the apartments.  I gave her "that look" but then she changed her story to say she only took the coupons off doors for empty / vacant apartments. (to which I thought YEAH RIGHT).   

I also approached a self-check out one day, and as i started scanning my own items.  My self-checkout kiosk's auto-print coupon printer had some coupons hanging off from the prior customer..  A woman at the next kiosk just reached over and tore off the coupons on MY kiosk.  I didn't realize what had happened until she was gone, I was halfway through scanning my items, and then suddenly thinking "Wait.. that woman just ..."



calmeg29
calmeg29

@thearmbarkidThat's just an incredibly ignorant statement. I was in line this weekend, and witnessed the TRUTH of what happens. A woman had an $80 purchase, and had $75 worth of coupons. The cashier was clearly hostile, told her how much she hates couponers, and was just plain RUDE. The manager was called, and was nearly as bad. The woman in line, to her credit, pulled out the store coupon policy, and proved her point. It appears more and more that the fantasy of harassing coupon users is becoming acceptable. To this woman's credit- she stayed calm and made both look like idiots. The manager apologized, and the cashier stayed pissed off and rude. As for criminally vandalizing a car because you had to wait in line, I would point out that if you are stupid enough to stand there, perhaps the idiot is not the coupon user. Additionally, if it bothered you that much- go up and pay for her 5 cents. Now wouldn't that be a nice and kind thing to do? Because someone is arguing does not mean they are wrong- did it occur to you that perhaps the management- who is grossly under trained in most every store- was wrong? If you did vandalize her car- you have no business commenting on this post. I hope you are not a parent who raises the next generation. How scary that would be.  

DaniLyman
DaniLyman

@chillaxfactor55 @thearmbarkid @suddendepth  

What I hate is when people see me with coupons and automatically treat me like trash. I am not obese, thanks, and I am not mean or rude. I am a college student who looks 15years old, but acts more mature than most "adults" commenting. I also weigh less than I should because things are expensive. Would you rather me use coupons or take out loans  I cannot afford and go on food stamps? I bet you get pissed at that too, but in this case at least I'm holding my own so don't stereotype. I few bad people have to ruin it for everyone.

EdwardAdamFonseca
EdwardAdamFonseca

@chillaxfactor55 @thearmbarkid @suddendepth As a coupon binder toting couponer, I just want to dispute a lot of what was stereotyped about us.  I use a lot of the stuff I coupon to add to my "homeless bags."  I do not take what is not mine.  I have, however, dumpster dived for coupons and have even asked my neighbors if I can have their free papers that contain coupons.  I always ask before I take.  I spend a lot of time clipping, organizing, and researching.  I should also add that I am not obese, I am a US Navy vet, and a nursing student.  Admittedly, there is a small high when you save >90% after coupons.  If it inconveniences you by making you spend more time in line, then that is your problem! There are other checkout lines you can go to.  I always tell the people behind me that I will be using coupons, and I even apologize to them.  I've handed people in line behind me razors, shampoo, and I share my coupons too.

Cagueva
Cagueva

@calmeg29 @thearmbarkid I am well aware of this truth also.  I started extreme couponing in March because I was forced to close my company and now work in the retail industry at barely over minimum wage.  I am happy to have a job, but at the same time I have bills to pay.  I was a cashier @ Wal-mart until i transferred to another area a couple of weeks ago.  I have been wanting to extreme coupon for a long time, but with what happened with my company I NEEDED to start doing.  I always said I didn't have time, but I made time.  A month or so before I started I had an extreme couponer come through my line.  He purchased $141 in products and paid around $70.  After that I said to myself I can do this and I did.  I have personally shopped at Safeway and Frys, which is a Kroger company, and have had cashiers be extremely rude to me just for having coupons!  I am a nice person and if the cashier tells me I can't use a coupon for whatever reason i am OK with it.  I just tell the cashier to void whatever item(s) the coupon(s) were for and to hand me back the coupons.  I will let the cashier know when they are wrong though without being hostile or rude.  The biggest problem i have encountered with using coupons is the amount of cashiers that have little to no knowledge of coupons.  Cashiers, in my personal experience, act as though you are trying to rip the store off and generally act annoyed that they have to scan them.  I have the policies for the stores I frequent in my binder, but have never actually taken them out to prove a point.  I did have on one day 2 bad experiences, 1 at Fry's and the other at Safeway.  At Fry's I had 3 transactions and used different coupons for each transaction.  They were having a special where if you bought 4 items then you received a $5 coupon to be used later.  I bought probably 13-15 cereals,  of which I had no more than 3 per kind and a lot of green giant veggie chips, etc...   Any ways, the cashier told me I could have no more than 3 like coupons to double to $1 and I said no problem because I did not have more than 3 for anything.  She looked at my cereal coupons and said I could only use 3.  to give you an idea I had like 3 Reese's Puffs, 3 Multi-Grain Cheerio's, etc.. My coupons were all specific like the Reese's Puff's I used coupons that were $0.60 off a box, the multi-grain cheerios coupons were $0.50 off a box of multi-grain or peanut butter cheerios, etc..  She said I use no more than 3 cereal  coupons per transaction.  The policy at the time for Fry's was they would only double the 1st 3 coupons of like nature to $1 and any others at face value.  I pointed this out to her to which she said with a nasty tone "well if you consider these different".  She scanned those and then came to some other coupon which I had 4 for...I believe was for green giant veggie chips like $0.50 off each.  You had to buy the items in 4's so I purchased 4 of those and had 4 coupons so the 1st 3 would be $1 off and the last would be at face value of $0.50.  She told me I could only use 3.  I told her the policy states only the 1st 3 would double and the 4th would be at face value.  She asked another cashier who agreed with her.  She ended up giving it to me, but then I tried to utilize a few of my $5 off store coupons from previous transactions.  They were Fry's store coupons but she told me I could only use 1!  I had at this point close to $100 worth of those coupons and they had a 2 week expiration date.  I was upset because I had legitimately  purchased the items for those coupons and their policy says nothing about not being able to redeem them all at once or multiples in a transaction.  I kept my cool, but then she was like "oh just give them to me" and grabbed them out of my hands.  I never complain when I have problems at a store or any where, but she really upset me because of her attitude towards couponing.  I left her register and went to the customer service desk to ask about the policy regarding the store coupons for $5.  The clerk there said he thought I could only use one at a time.  I then saw a front end manager and mentioned it to her about the $5 coupons and the policy regarding only 3 like coupons per transaction.  She started to tell me the policy of only 3 like coupons was correct, but when I mentioned I had the policy printed in my binder and could show her she said she knows what the policy is and that I was correct.  She also found out for me there was no limit to $5 coupons I could redeem in 1 transaction.  The sad reality is cashiers don't like coupons because they don't have adequate training to deal properly with them for the most part.  At Wal-Mart where I work I am known as the coupon lady.  Cashiers with coupon questions ask me mostly instead of asking our front end managers because they know I understand them.  I have taught several of them how to check computer printed coupons for fraud. I haven't really had any other major problems shopping at other stores, but I limit what I buy at Fry's and Safeway to free and practically free items only.  The cashiers in those stores are extremely rude to couponers.

Cagueva
Cagueva

@thearmbarkid @calmeg29 Your statements about couponers are incredibly ignorant and biased.  So you don't coupon well good for you.  Most people who are couponing are actually only trying to save money where they can.  I do not feel the slightest bit sorry you had to stand in line for a long period of time because of your attitude about coupons and those who use them.  It is not the couponers' fault that the store only had 2 lines open.  If the store was truely wrong over the pricing issue then the person arguing had a right to do so.  No one should have to apologize for trying to save money.  I, until recently was a cashier, and I also coupon.  I coupon to save money and I always told anyone using coupons in my lane not to apologize for ad matching or using coupons.  A store should place every customer as priority.  She was in line first so while she is being rung up that person should have been treated with respect and appreciated for her business and instead they were rude to the couponer and trespassed her.  The person that commented the store will loose money is absolutely correct.  Retailers are reimbursed for the value of coupons plus $0.08 handling and from the sounds of her coupon usage that correlates to a lot of loss in revenue for the small town store.  

Cagueva
Cagueva

@DaniLyman @thearmbarkid @calmeg29  Wow I applaud you for mentioning this!!! I have read every comment and you are the only one to actually point out the store is getting paid the value of every coupon...plus $0.08 handling.  The doubling of coupons is the part the store looses, but they gain it back in added sales because as was pointed out earlier the concept of coupons is to get consumers into stores and spending money.  With prices like Kroger stores have the doubling of coupons doesn't even bring after coupon prices, in most cases, as the prices of stores like Wal-Mart.  Just as an example milk-bone dog bisquits the smallest box sells for $2.88 @ my local Wal-mart and is $6.79 @ Safeway and close to that @ Fry's.

DaniLyman
DaniLyman

Too bad the owner isn't smarter because he would get paid by the manufacturer for all those coupons, he just lost good money because when couponers save $100s, he would have made all that revenue anyways. 

DaniLyman
DaniLyman

@thearmbarkid@calmeg29 

Too bad the owner isn't smarter because he would get paid by the manufacturer for all those coupons, he just lost good money because when couponers save $100s, he would have made all that revenue anyways.

thearmbarkid
thearmbarkid

@calmeg29"I was in line this weekend, and witnessed the TRUTH of what happens. A woman had an $80 purchase, and had $75 worth of coupons. The cashier was clearly hostile, told her how much she hates couponers, and was just plain RUDE. The manager was called, and was nearly as bad. The woman in line, to her credit, pulled out the store coupon policy, and proved her point. It appears more and more that the fantasy of harassing coupon users is becoming acceptable. To this woman's credit- she stayed calm and made both look like idiots. The manager apologized, and the cashier stayed pissed off and rude."

#fairytale #lyingcouponloser

chillaxfactor55
chillaxfactor55

@calmeg29 @thearmbarkid 

I used to coupon while in college. I had a few "mega success stories."  But I found myself spending too much time obsessing about couponing and at some point I just let myself lose track.  If you're super organized, and have ways to get your hands on good coupons for things you actually buy?  It can be worthwhile.  But it becomes like a sport and it can be all consuming.  I also noticed that in lower class areas of town, I'd see people with the giant binders couponing, with carts full of the most unhealthy food imaginable.  You can use coupons on some healthy foods, but most coupons will be good for processed junk food.   

I have noticedd that Kroger is hit-or-miss when it came to rude cashiers.  Some cashier's are rogue "make up their own rules" types ... rules which change from store to store.  One store would be "3 of the same coupons max" while another would be 5.  One would allow coupons on "Manager Special" items and another would not.  When I had an unbelievably good deal, the cashier would very likely attempt to challenge the deal OR just make snappish comments as if I was some kind of criminal.  I later learned that Kroger employees are barred from using coupons at Kroger, and I'm pretty sure they don't even get store discounts on food. Add the reality that many kroger employees are working poor; they may very well dislike the PhD-Preppy guy getting $40 worth of products for $3.36. (and I'm sure they hate the prissy Ms. Martha-Stewart-Perfect soccer mom's even more)

But Kroger's goal is to clear product and of course make $$$.  When I coupooned heavily at Kroger, I was still buying more products than normal, many products of which were not purchased with coupons.  I'd get $20 off one one product category using coupons, but then spend $20 on something else in the same checkout line.  The unbelievable deals I landed were often sale items that the store was eager to clear anyway (like $100 worth of Alba Botanical's sunscreen for $0 in the middle of winter; nobody was going to buy it, hidden in a back corner). 

As for adults vandalizing cars... SERIOUSLY ???  If you're vandalizing a car for any reason, YOU NEED PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP.  There's a major problem not being addressed.  Jamming your keys into the side of a car or slashing tires is nothing short of insanity.  



SwiftrightRight
SwiftrightRight

@calmeg29 I have seen similar happenings. Last spring I was shopping during off hours at a market with 3 lanes. One had an "extreme coupon er" arguing endlessly over coupons with cashier who called a supervisor (who was running 3rd lane) which cut the store to 1 lane all because some brat was fighting over expiration dates. The store policy was clear, if the date or bar code is missing or unreadable they dont take them and this women's position was that she was going to make a public scene until they gave in. 

Folks almost applauded when the supervisor told her he was going to call the cops and that she was no longer welcome at the store.

calmeg29
calmeg29

Yeah... that's real believable. #fairytale. 

thearmbarkid
thearmbarkid

@calmeg29 @thearmbarkid I never said I did a thing to her car.

 There WEREN'T any other lines to use because this small town grocery store had TWO check out lanes, and one was closed.  But she didn't care about any of that...all she cared about was her crappy little coupons.  We won't have to deal with her here again...she was told not to return to the store by the manager, and the employees have instructions to call the police and have her arrested for trespassing if she tries to come back.  The store owner and I had a good laugh about it at our kids' Little League games the following Saturday, and I got a 10% discount on my next purchase.  If her kid wants formula, she's going to have to drive 20 miles to the next town to get it.