Stores are fighting back against the recent trend of extreme couponing. That's correct - at some stores, at least, limits are being placed on coupon use. Coming to an end are the days where a person can combine coupons to walk away without paying a penny or even earning a slight profit as a result.
Although a hit, the TLC show on the subject of couponing has heavily contributed to this cut-back by stores. Since the show's debut, there has been an increase of people who abuse coupon policies, and also an increase in coupon fraud - particularly, the photocopying of coupons.
For those who enjoy the practice of extreme couponing, this is not good news. Not to worry - not all stores are cutting back. Wal-Mart seems to be abolishing its limits on coupons per transaction altogether.
The Coupon Information Corporation felt that TLC's 'Extreme Couponing' show created "unrealistic expectations about how coupons work and promotes the misuse of coupons." Indeed, the coupon addicts on the show often spent as many as 60 hours each week searching for and researching coupons. That in itself is a full-time job.
Instead, Phil Lempert, supermarket guru, wishes for a show to educate people on the proper use of coupons, geared to the average person who may already have a full-time job and a family to care for. He said:
"Putting these manic shoppers up as role models for the average person, who has a full-time job, cooks, and takes care of their families, is wrong. If we do want to highlight how to save money on groceries, can we please do it in a way that empowers with realistic tips that won't take 30 to 50 hours a week of one's life?"
Amen to that! Most people would love to use coupons regularly. The 'Extreme Couponing' show, however, is, true to its name, extreme. Most people do not have nearly that amount of free time to dedicate to couponing, yet would like to learn tips on how to incorporate coupons into their shopping habits in order to cut down on those grocery bills. Though the show seemed like a good idea, in reality, it has had a negative effect.
Lempert said of the 'Extreme Couponing' season finale which recently aired, "and may I be the first to say ... Good riddance!"