Did you shudder when you read that?
Are you curious why?
I mean, the title of this site is “Surviving The Stores”. Why in the world would I not like Extreme Couponing?
I know lots of you guys are wondering what my thoughts are on the show, so I wanted to write a post to share (in my opinion) the GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY about the show.
If you’re finding this site because of a search related to Extreme Couponing, be sure to read my series on Surviving The Stores Through Couponing! Tip #1 is that you DON’T have to be an “Extreme Couponer” to save a TON of money at the grocery stores!
Yes, there are actually a few good things that have come about as a result of Extreme Couponing. It’s a short list, but I felt like these should at least be mentioned.
INTEREST – The interest in couponing in general has gone up! People are realizing that couponing really can save them a ton of money each month on their grocery shopping bill. They are doing searches online and finding blogs that (hopefully) are helping them learn how to save money the RIGHT way!
GIVING – People are using couponing to give more to their local food banks. There were a couple of EC shows last seasons that encouraged couponers across the country to use their stockpiles to donate to food banks and churches to distribute to those in need. If Extreme Couponing must be on for another season (or even more), I’m hoping they really spend more time focusing on those who are using their couponing skills to help others.
COUPON TERMS – They are a-changin’! I know lots of couponers are upset about this (and I included it in the “Ugly” section below for other reasons), but overall manufacturers are making coupon terms clearer and less confusing. They are also coding the coupons now so that you CANNOT use them past the expiration dates. This helps to prevent fraudulent coupon use and, in my opinion, has been needed for a while.
Yes, there’s lots of bad. These are the things that just make me cringe. There are lots, but here are a few of my top ones:
STEREOTYPES – Have you gotten more than the usual dirty looks when carrying your coupon binder through the grocery store? I know lots of us have, and I believe that is due in part to Extreme Couponing. I’d love a shirt to wear to the grocery store that says “Don’t worry, I’m not an “extreme couponer” and I will leave plenty on the shelves for everyone else!” While lots of people have started looking into couponing to save money (a positive), there are others who are so afraid of being labeled “one of those people” that they have given up couponing altogether.
COUPON POLICY CHANGES – From Kroger no longer doubling or tripling coupons in Texas, to revised coupon policies from other grocery stores, I really think we’ve just seen the tip of the iceburg in regards to coupon policy revisions due to Extreme Couponing.
HOARDING – 40 years worth of toilet paper? 500 bottles of salad dressing? Reasonable stockpiling is a GOOD thing, but there’s definitely a line where it gets into the hoarding category that, in my opinion, is unhealthy. Hopefully no one is encouraged toward hoarding through Extreme Couponing, but I’d be surprised if there weren’t some who were.
UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS – Who has 40 hours a week to devote to couponing? No one? Will anyone’s local stores let you double or triple 100 of the same coupon in one transaction? Nope, didn’t think so. Many of the stores featured on the show DROP their regular coupon policies just for the show to get the publicity. So most of the transactions shown, we can’t even do unless we have a TV Network’s video camera behind us.
Oh yes, it gets worse. “The Bad” were only some of the things that are annoyances due to the show. But here’s the UGLY… those things that make me not want to set eyes upon the show ever again.
THEFT – People are STEALING coupons. I posted a story on the Surviving The Stores Facebook page the other week about the rise in coupon insert theft since Extreme Couponing aired and SO MANY of you guys said that you’ve bought papers at the store only to realize that the inserts had been taken from them. Definitely ugly.
SHELF CLEARING – I would venture to say that most seasoned couponers don’t do this at all. We all hate going to the store and finding a completely cleared shelf, so we don’t do it to others. But from what I’ve seen of Extreme Couponing, they make it out to be a POSITIVE thing (and I just got word that tonight’s episode has an “unapologetic shelf clearer” on it. UGH!) “Who cares if we need 200 boxes of pasta! It’s free so let’s take them all!” Certainly not an attitude that is helpful to anyone (not even the person who is clearing the shelves).
COUPON CHANGES Because Of FRAUD- The outright coupon fraud on the show has been so bad, that companies have had to completely redo the way that they code coupons. Don’t get me wrong, companies NEEDED to make these changes, but the coupon fraud that caused them to do it was yucky. And I’m sure there was a lot of product theft (that’s what it is when you use a coupon for a product that it was not intended for) between the show’s airing and when companies started changing the wording on their coupons.
So what do you think? Anything you would add to these lists?
My goal here at Surviving The Stores is to help you “bring more of your money home” in a way that LEGAL, CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS, and EASY TO DO!
Be sure to sign up for the Surviving The Stores Newsletter to stay updated on the latest & best coupons, deals, freebies, store coupon match-ups & more!
|New Restaurant Coupons:|
|Chilis Coupons – Free Appetizer or Dessert WYB 1 Entree 9/28 Only (exp: 9/28/2011)|
|Longhorn Steakhouse Coupons – $4 Off 2 Adult Dinner Entrees (exp: 10/16/2011)|
|Waffle House Coupons – FREE Cup of Coffee (exp: 10/15/2011)|
|New Retail Store Coupons:|
|A.C. Moore Coupons – $20 Off $50 Purchase Starting 9/29 + More Coupons (exp: 10/1/2011)|
|Babies R Us Coupons – 20% Off Bright Starts InGenuity Signature Collection Shiloh (exp: 9/29/2011)|
|Bealls Coupons – 20% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 10/3/2011)|
|Earth Fare Coupons – Free Polar Seltzer 12 pk. with $5 Purchase (login required) (exp: 10/2/2011)|
|Last Call Coupons – 41% Off 1 Regularly Priced Item (exp: 9/29/2011)|
|Mens Wearhouse Coupons – Buy 1 Tie Get 2 Free (exp: 10/2/2011)|
|NTB Coupons – 50% Off Select Oil Change (exp: 10/5/2011)|
|Old Navy Coupons – $5 Off $25 Purchase (exp: 10/6/2011)|
|Petsmart Coupons – $20 Off Pet Training + More (exp: 10/31/2011)|
|Stein Mart Coupons – 20% Off Regular or Sale Price Item (exp: 10/2/2011)|
|Toys R Us Coupons – $10 Off Little Tikes Get Out ‘n Grill Backyard Barbeque or 2-in-1 Garden Cart & Wheelbarrow + More Coupons (exp: 9/29/2011)|
|You can view all of the Restaurant and Retail Store Coupons Round-ups HERE.|
|Click to go directly to the Restaurant Coupons Database or the Retail Store Coupons Database.|
Here is a round-up Del Monte Coupon – 50¢/1 Del Monte Fresh Fruit or Vegetable purchase
of some of the best printable coupons that I’ve seen so far today:
*HOT* Del Monte Coupon – 50¢/1 Del Monte Fresh Fruit or Vegetable purchase (register, then click confirmation email link, vote for you favorite teacher, Bricks coupon emailed immediately)
Ile De France Coupon – $2/1 Ile De France Brie WYB 2 Ile de France Cheeses
Filippo Berio Coupon – $1.50/1 Filippo Berio Olive Oil (under Dash for Deals)
GoodBelly Coupon – $2/2 GoodBelly Quarts
Kikkoman Coupon – $1/1 Kikkoman Ponzu Sauce
Old Orchard Coupon – $1/1 Old Orchard Cranberry Naturals Reduced Calorie Juice Drink (when you “Like” them on Facebook)
Johnson’s Coupon – $1.50/1 Johnson’s Natural product
Colgate Coupon (IE) (FF) – $1/1 Colgate Optic White Toothpaste
Rayovac Coupons – $1/1 Rayovac Rechargeable Batteries + More
Purex Coupon – $1/1 Purex Complete Crystals Softener (when you “Like” them on Facebook)
Reynolds Coupon – 75¢/1 Reynolds Heavy Duty 18″ Wide Foil
Dove Coupon (IE) (FF) – 75¢/1 Dove Hair Care product
Be sure to check out all of the printable coupons that have been available recently.
The Saveology AMC Theatres deal is back! For $5 get an AMC Theatres Silver Experience Ticket, up to $12 value!
You may buy up to 2 per household and must use within 60 days of purchase.
You can order your tickets here: Saveology AMC Theatres $5 Tickets.
The fine print:
Limit 2 per household. Offer must be redeemed within 60 days of purchase. Subject to surcharge for 3D, IMAX®, ETX, alternative content, dine-in theatres, and premium services and locations. Good at any AMC®, AMC Showplace, Loews®, Cineplex Odeon, Magic Johnson, and Star theatres, excluding Canadian theatres. Valid seven days a week. Not valid for Special Engagements — showings of a film during the first two weeks after it’s released.
There’s another great deal on Plum District today for those looking for food storage ideas! You can get a $50 voucher to Lock & Lock Food Storage for only $23! Plus, get additional 30% off with the coupon code plumlove bringing the price down to $16.10!
Shipping is $5.99 for totals between $40 – $59.99. It looks like they have a lot of really neat food storage products and several cooking products as well. I found this BPA free 13-container set (pictured above) for $35.99, so you would be able to grab this and still have $14 left to spend!
To view the deal head over to Plum District here: Plum District Lock & Lock Food Storage Deal.
They also have tons of other items including cookware, tableware, kitchen supplies, cleaning items and a lot more! The deal ends Friday around midnight.
The fine print:
More Great Deals & Savings!
Scotch Brite Copper or Stainless Steel Scrubbing pads 3-packs – $1.93 each (buy TWO)
Use $1/2 Scotch Brite Printable Coupon (no zip needed)
48¢ each after coupon ($1.43 per pack)
Be sure to check out all of the rest of this week’s Walmart Coupon Match-ups too (and click the checkboxes to print your list to take to the store!)
(Thanks, The Thrifty Couple!)
You can get a great deal at Walgreens this week on a a 12-pack of Cottonelle toilet paper for only $3.25 after a manufacturer and Walgreens coupon!
Cottonelle Toilet Paper 12 pk – $5
Use 75¢/1 coupon from the 9/11 SS
AND use $1/1 coupon from the Walgreens October coupon booklet
$3.25 each after coupons
Be sure to bring along this week’s Walgreens Coupon Match-ups before heading out to get this deal!
(Thanks, Couponing for 4!)
This week’s Sunflower Farmers Market coupon match-ups are up!
Sunflower Farmers Market has locations in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California.
Click here for this week’s Sunflower deals:
You can also see BOTH ads on Wednesdays on the same page & make your printable list from one page too!
UPDATE: This offer has sold out.
This deal is good through tomorrow, 9/29/11, and you can purchase it here: Disney Family Fun Magazine Tanga Deal.
It looks like this deal is also good for new and existing subscribers.
Description from the Tanga site: Disney’s Family Fun’s goal is for parents to enhance the time spent with their children. A typical issue explores learning activities, vacation planning, travel tips, and reviews of children’s books, videos, and music.
More Great Deals & Savings!
Here’s a new product to try absolutely FREE (and possibly even make $1 off of it too!)
The Bissell Stomp n Go cleaner is priced around $5.99 at most stores.
Use the $1/1 Bissell Stomp n’ Go Printable Coupon (I found it under the “Household” with the zip 90210).
Pay around $4.99 out of pocket, then send in for the $5.99 try it free mail-in-rebate!
There are several great Snapfish Photo Coupon Codes available right now, including a coupon code to try FIVE cards free! You can also get 100 prints for $1, 200 prints for $2, and 300 prints for $3!
Shipping varies depending on the deal. I have listed out each deal along with the shipping charges below:
5 Free Cards + $2.49 Shipping: Coupon Code – TRY5CARDS (50¢/each shipped)
100 cards for $1+ $5.89 Shipping: Coupon Code – ALLPRINTS100 (6.9¢/each shipped)
200 cards for $2 + $10.69 shipping: Coupon Code – ALLPRINTS200 (6.3¢/each shipped)
300 cards for $3 + $14.59 shipping: Coupon Code – ALLPRINTS300 (5.8¢/each shipped)
You can view these and all Snapfish deals on the Snapfish Special offers page!
More great Photo Deals!
Amazon MP3 is offering a FREE $2 credit when you enter the code FALLMP3S here: Amazon MP3 FREE $2 Credit.
The $2 credit will be automatically added to your account and you can then search Amazon to purchase any MP3s or MP3 albums that you’d like!
Amazon MP3s transfer to any device, including Apple. I’m not sure when the code expires, so redeem it now if you’d like it.
Today only (9/28) Tanga has Garden & Gun Magazine for only $3.50/year (80% off) when you use the coupon code GARDEN at checkout! This is normally $17.99 on Tanga and has a list price of $49.50, so this is a great deal at this price.
Head over to Tanga here to view the deal: Garden & Gun Magazine Tanga Deal.
You can get up to 2 years at that price and looks like it is for new and existing subscribers.
More Great Deals & Savings!
Chili’s has extended their free appetizer or dessert wyb 1 entree coupon through today (9/28). You can access this coupon and all available coupons from the database here: Chili’s Coupons.
Be sure to visit and bookmark the Restaurant Coupons Database for all of the latest and best restaurant printable coupons and deals! Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and sign up for our email newsletter to get all of the latest coupons and offers as well!
Plus, use the promo code plumlove to get an additional $12 off, bringing the price down to $28!
NOTE: According to the fine print, this deal cannot be used if you are an existing One Kings Lane customer. You will need to buy the voucher FIRST and then create a new One Kings Lane account after you receive the voucher.
To view the deal head over to Plum District here: One Kings Lane Plum District Deal.
The promo code is valid through 9/30/11.
More Great Deals & Savings!
Vocalpoint is offering a free sample of Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Toothpaste. You will need to login or create an account with Vocalpoint to acess the freebie.
More great Freebies & Samples!
The following is a guest post from Sarah at Renaissance Mama!
Be sure to check all of the Getting Rid Of Chemical Intruders posts!!
Powerful enough to melt plastic, your mosquito repellent is a neurotoxin! Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia says that exposure to DEET causes neurons to die in several parts of your brain, including areas that control muscle movement, memory, concentration, and learning. Rats exposed to DEET in the lab had trouble walking!
We all hate mosquito bites, and a bite, in some areas of the world, can lead to serious disease and even death. Thankfully, we have natural alternatives to DEET that are proven to be even more effective!
Mosquito repellent isn’t the only product we use that exposes us to nasty chemicals. Your toothpaste, lotions, shampoos, sunscreen, and baby care products also harbor chemicals you don’t want on your skin!
Did you know that, according to naturopath and skin specialist Ananda Mahony, our skin absorbs up to 60% of whatever is placed on it and that our underarms and other sensitive places, absorb 100%? Artificial fragrances have a 100% absorption rate.
With those sorts of absorbance rates, it’s REALLY important to be careful about what we put on our skin.
What sort of toxic chemicals are found in products we might use every day?
Oxybenzone, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are common ingredients in sunscreen that could be more dangerous than we think. While they may block the sun’s rays, Oxybenzone is a known endocrine disruptor that builds up in the body over time. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are nano-particles that concern scientists because of their acute ability to penetrate the skin and possibly cause internal damage.
To Avoid: Take Vitamin D! Studies have shown that people who are deficient in Vitamin D burn easier. You can also find natural sunscreens without those ingredients – we really like Badger Products.
Aluminum is a common ingredient in deodorant and antiperspirant (So common it can be difficult to find one without it!) The World Health Organization says that there is a suspected link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been linked to brain disorders and is a possible risk factor in breast cancer. Dr. Mercola explains that aluminum works in deodorants by clogging our pores, thus trapping toxins and sweat inside our bodies! These toxins then build up and are trapped in our lymph nodes. This buildup can lead to cell mutations and cancer.
To Avoid: Read ingredient labels closely and avoid any with aluminum as an ingredient. You may try a liquid roll-on like Naturally Fresh. You might also try making your own Cocount Oil Deodorant!
We’ve already talked about the dangers of DEET in mosquito repellent (see above).
Parabens can be found in shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, cleansing gels, personal lubricants, topical pharmaceuticals and toothpaste. They also mess with our hormones (it mimics estrogen) and could be linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer. In addition, Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health reported that exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.”
To Avoid: Read labels carefully and only choose paraben-free products.
Sulfates – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is found in shampoos. During its production, petrochemicals are added and it may retain potentially carcinogenic contaminants. While the amount absorbed each time is small, repeated exposure (every time you take a shower!), creates problems over time. I noticed that my husband’s once-severe dandruff has disappeared since we eliminated SLS from our shampoos. Yay! I was tired of buying expensive dandruff shampoos that didn’t really work!
To Avoid: Choose shampoos that don’t have sulfates in their ingredients! You can even make your own! I like the Whole Foods brand shampoo and conditioner but there are lots of others to choose from. You may also try “No Poo”!
Phthalates – According to Ananda Mahony, phthalates are found in artificial fragrances, deodorant, perfume, nail polish and certain plastic food packaging including articles such as baby bottles. These could be linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer, likely because of the disruption they have on our hormones.
• The Daily Green tells us to look for the names DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate),
DMP (dimethyl phthalate).
• Stay away from products that contain “fragrance“, which is used to denote a combination of
compounds, possibly including phthatates.
• Choose plastics with the recycling code 1, 2 or 5. Recycling codes 3 and 7 are more likely to
contain bisphenol A (BPA) or phthalates.
Propylene Glycol is used to keep products from melting or freezing. Its Material Data Sheet (for cleaning up chemical spills) says that it can cause eczema, dermatitis, and allergic reactions as well as kidney and liver problems. It also causes problems with healthy cell growth. Propylene Glycol is found in ALL KINDS of products including hand soap, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash (and also as an additive in some pharmaceuticals.)
To Avoid: Choose a natural product that doesn’t use propylene glycol. I’ve found replacements for my toothpaste, deodorant, and hand soap that are all propylene glycol –free.
As manufacturers catch on to the fact that we as consumers want more natural ingredients, they begin to advertise their products as “All Natural”. It is SO important to note that a natural starting material does not necessarily equal a natural ingredient at the end of the manufacturing process. I know of one large-scale corporation that has begun marketing “plant-based” products. Their materials began as a plant, but once the processing was finished, they had turned it into a toxic chemical! I was so mad to discover that the ”all-natural” products I thought I was buying weren’t that at all! Please read the ingredient labels carefully and research products online to be sure of what you’re using.
To read more, check out The Cosmetic Chemicals Guide: What you ought to Know Before You Buy, by Tamara Laschinsky
Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.
There is also a Natures Own Bread deal that is a part of this week’s Walmart Coupon Match-ups so be sure to check that out as well if you shop at Walmart!
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