April 10, 2011

Coffee & Clicks | April 9, 2011 {Edition #13: Fellow Bloggers Reactions to Extreme Couponing on TLC}

Welcome to Coffee & Clicks, my weekly roundup of posts from my Google Reader that caught my eye, that made me think, and that just made me laugh. 

Using Google Reader saves me oodles of time; with a few clicks, I can hop through all my fave blogs to get the critical coupon & deal info I use to save big $$.  But whenever I find myself with a few minutes to spare in the kitchen (which is where my laptop sits on the counter), I also like to scroll through and read for pleasure.

Coffee & Clicks is my way of sharing those interesting posts with you.  If you find yourself with a few minutes of leisure to surf on the weekends while you sip your coffee (or whatever fills your mug), feel free to wander through this list of posts and spend some time reading, reflecting, and relaxing.

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Extreme Couponing on TLC aired on Wednesday, April 6; I had some reservations about this show and the type of "couponing" (and resulting hoarding) that it portrays that I shared with you in this post.

I finally sat down and watched the clips found online at TLC today (we don't have a DVR and I missed the premiere) and my concerns were only validated.  Extreme couponing as portrayed by TLC isn't what I do or what just about everyone I know (and I've been writing this site in some shape or form for 3 years) in the frugal/deals/couponing blogger community does.

Can you save an *average* of 50% a week, week in and week out, by using coupons, strategically shopping, and building a simple stockpile (note I said "simple", not "Armageddon-worthy")?

Yes, you can.  You can truly slash your grocery bill while building a small stockpile of your most commonly needed and high use items for your family.  You can also find ways to donate and give back to your friends, family, and community a little more all through the power of using coupons on sale items.

(FYI: If you're looking for help in becoming an everyday couponer, you can read my four part how-to series, Back to Basics: Couponing, as well as learn Coupon Terminology, some simple ways to Organize Your Coupons, and how to Save Big at CVS and Save Big at Walgreens.)

I don't know if TLC will air all 12 episodes of the show as planned given the reaction (and potential for legal issues arising from questions of alleged coupon fraud) from the blogosphere and from the mainstream media.  It will certainly be interesting to watch everything unfold.

In the meantime, I've collected several posts from other bloggers with their reactions to the episode:

::Was Coupon Fraud Shown on TLCs Extreme Couponing?  asks Jill Cataldo.  If you read only ONE reaction about the show, make sure it's this one.  Jill presents a straightforward look at how coupon fraud may have been committed by one of the show's participants.  My thoughts: coupon fraud is illegal and in the end, honest and ethical couponers suffer the consequences of the actions taken by stores and manufacturers. 

:: Extreme Couponing TLC Review: Not a Reality at Southern Savers.  Jenny makes some valid points and if you read through the comments, you'll see even more good info.  My thoughts: I can't help but agree with one commenter's note that this was geared toward sensationalism for the purpose of getting TV ratings.  Also, the stores made special exceptions in terms of time spent checking out at the register (hours in some cases) for these shoppers which is not reality for the rest of us busy folk.

:: TLC Extreme Couponing - It's FAR From a Reality Show! at Moms Need to Know. Mindi really captures how I look at couponing in her last line:  "Couponing should be a way of life.  It should never take over your life."  My thoughts: EXACTLY!  There's so so SO much more to do in this world than chase deals and build stockpiles that have a retail value that's more than some people's annual salary.

:: TLC's Extreme Couponing: A Lesson in Unhealthy Living at The Thrifty Mama.  Crystal's list is spot on and it condenses what this show is - unfortunately - teaching average folks who are brand new to couponing.  My thoughts: Using coupons strategically to save on items you need such as drugstore items, paper goods, cereals, and cleaning products will free up cash in your grocery budget to buy more produce, whole grains, meats, and dairy items, all items that are more expensive and for which coupons are rare or harder to find. 

:: Are TLC Extreme Couponing Participants Couponing Ethically? at Bargain Briana.  Briana notes the potential coupon fraud that may have been perpetrated on prime time TV but what I *love* about this post is her 10 Commandments of Couponing.  Good stuff!  My thoughts:  Like my hubs and I stress to our kiddos, in life, do the right thing --- ESPECIALLY when NO one is looking; if you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a deal or coupon, just DON'T do it.   

So -- what did you think of the show?

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