“Real” Couponing

Posted on June 4th, 2012 by Coupon Cathy

On Friday we talked about how TLC’s Extreme Couponing show was just unrealistic for the average couponer. Highly entertaining, but highly unrealistic. I wonder how many people have tried to start couponing because of that show and stopped just because it was too overwhelming to try and leave the store with that kind of haul. Well if that’s you, don’t quit yet! We have some great advice for you! Here are some facts about realistic couponing.

1. Couponing doesn’t have to take hours. Seriously I saw one episode where the woman spent over 48 hours preparing for a shopping trip. That goes beyond ridiculous and into the realm of absurd. I want to save money, but I just don’t have to spend a full time job’s worth of time doing it. Is there a magic number? No. It’s whatever works for your family. If you only have 30 minutes to coupon, do your 30 minutes. Regardless you saved more money than if you wouldn’t have clipped coupon at all.

2. Your stock pile won’t take up all your space in your basement. A lot of you started couponing to get a stockpile that looks like a grocery store. Go ahead and admit it. Unfortunately this isn’t going to happen for most of you. However, you can get some extras on your shopping trip to have a little stock on your shelves. I usually get 5 papers which means I can get 5 of whatever item is on sale. That’s a pretty good stockpile in my opinion.

3. Most real couponers don’t buy coupons. To get the kinds of deals you see on the show, most of those people have to buy coupons from Ebay or a coupon service. Honestly, I have never known anyone that has bought coupons, but it may be because I live in the real world of couponing. So don’t think you need to go out and buy coupons to save money because you don’t.

4. Real couponers are in the store for about an hour or two, not all day. I saw one episode where one trip was over 10 hours. Who has that kind of time? Um, I don’t! And I don’t want that kind of time. I can think of a million other places I’d rather be than at the store. But again, don’t worry you don’t have to spend that much time at the store to save money. Do what you can!


  1. Diabe June 4, 2012

    Amen!!! My thoughts exactly.

  2. Diane June 4, 2012

    I think a lot of these shopping trips are scripted.

  3. Barb June 4, 2012

    I don’t want to buy stuff I don’t use. If I wouldn’t feed it to my own family, because it isn’t healthy, why would I give to the food bank to give to people who really need to eat healthy. Also buying stuff you really don’t need (not normal stock piling) also just contributes to the over consumption of our society and to the production of too much junk. I coupon to save money for my family not as a competitive sport.

  4. Jacqueline Diaz June 5, 2012

    I think TLC gives them alot of those coupon how the heck do they get 100’s of the same coupon? Either that or there’s some illegal activity there. I wouldn’t be surprised that TLC pay the store some for allowing them to use all those coupons, I never known a store who allows you to use 100’s of coupons at a time or even using several transactions. Also, have you noticed that they are hardly ever at a big box store? It’s either local or regional stores.

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