August 15, 2011
Extreme Couponing on TLC Fallout: Newspaper Thefts on the Rise
If you haven't yet seen the coverage on Yahoo! or on the Huffington Post, you can read the original news story about an extreme couponer charged with stealing newspapers in Arkansas.
I'm sure this case is only one of many out there; I know I've bought many an extra Sunday paper over the years I've been consistently couponing (there's nothing extreme about what I do; I don't have any Armageddon-style stockpiles in my basement, bathroom, or taking up a room of my home) only to get home and find that the coupon inserts that should be tucked safely inside the paper simply aren't.
Coupon inserts - and by extension, Sunday newspapers - have been targeted by thieves looking for coupons to use, sell, or trade for a very long time.
But with the advent of TLC's show, a show which in my opinion does nothing to educate people in the right way to use coupons to lower their budget but instead relies on the shock and awe theory of reality tv, the demand for coupons has increased.
If you need more coupons, please realize there are LOTS of ways to get them, ways that are totally on the up-and-up.
:: Ask everyone you know who gets the Sunday paper if they wouldn't mind saving their coupon inserts for you. My parents live in town and they save theirs for me; thanks Mom & Dad!
:: Start a collection site for extra coupon inserts in your workplace or your church and use those extra coupons to not only help your family budget but to give back. You can donate some of those freebies and cheapies you get with coupons back to your church (to be given to families in need or to the local food pantry) and to your co-workers (think coffee break snacks, personal care items like tissues, and whatever else you have that you don't need - you'll surely bless others with your generosity!)
:: Start a coupon club with like-minded couponing friends and swap coupons among your group. I have a friend who coupons who needs to buy organic/natural products for her food allergy kids; she and I are always trading off coupons that we know the other one will use.
:: Order extra clipped coupons or whole inserts from a clipping service*. This is a great way to get multiple copies of specific coupons without buying multiple newspapers.
:: Pony up the extra $1.75-$2.50 for an extra paper on Sunday morning; if you're saving money with your couponing efforts (which, if you're consistent, you should be saving an average of 50% per week), surely you can build an extra $5 or so into your grocery budget category to cover the cost of a few extra papers.
What do you think about the rise of Extreme Couponing on TLC and the future of couponing for us everyday couponers?
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