Extreme Couponing Gets You Extreme Savings

By Wayne Callahan

Extreme Couponing: Not just for bored housewives

Desperate times call for desperate measures; as savings dwindle, more and more Americans are turning to extreme couponing. The term “Extreme Couponers” was coined by the The Wall Street Journal back in 2010 in their article, “Hard Times Turn Coupon Clipping into the Newest Extreme Sport".

The term Extreme Couponing itself refers to when a person clips coupons and selectively buys groceries, often in bulk, based on their clipped coupons. The basic gist is accumulating the most groceries for the lowest possible cost. While this seems like what a normal housewife would do, extreme coupons will often have hundreds of rolls of toilet paper and bottles of laundry detergent in their basement.

Are you or a loved one an extreme couponer? Extreme couponers typically exhibit some of these characteristics:

*Spending at least an hour a day clipping coupons

*Holding weekly (or biweekly) meetings with other couponers to exchange, trade, or sell coupons

*Buying nonperishable items (such as deodorant, toilet paper, laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, or conditioner) in bulk. “Bulk” in this sense means at least a year’s worth supply of a particular nonperishable with a coupon

*Owning a coupon book, such as a binder, note-card holder, or file.

Paying for more than a third of your weekly purchases with coupons Extreme couponing has become famous largely in part because of TLC’s (The Learning Channel) reality TV show “Extreme Couponing,” which premiered in late September, 2011. The show focuses on individuals who have taken clipping coupons to a characteristically unhealthy level. Most of the people on the TLC show are women who exhibit several of the above characteristics.

The subject of extreme couponing is controversial. Some argue that extreme couponers abuse the coupon system, causing permanent damage to the stores they frequent by “coupon misuse.” While most people who clip coupons are not, in fact, extreme couponers, people don’t have as much money as they used to. More and more families are turning to couponing to stretch their paycheck. Extreme couponing seems to be a natural progression.

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