For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I advocate ethical couponing. After watching the latest episode of TLC Extreme Couponing, many of you are searching for ways to save huge like the participants on the show. I’ve stressed I get 50% grocery savings at the store and this is what I strive for when I shop.
However, these participants are getting 98% savings or even larger. Many of you want to save like this. However, this is NOT realistic and there are questions as to whether the participants on the show are even couponing ethically.
It is suspected that the participant Jamie was decoding coupons in order to misuse the coupons for items she didn’t purchase. For example, this blog could not find an instance where Jamie purchased Fiber One Cereals. However, she was seen using these coupons at the register. This is just one of the many examples.
Apparently, TLC did not do it’s homework as it didn’t take the couponing community long to figure out that Jamie was not a ethical couponer as some of the message boards went about decoding the receipt from the show and the coupons used and have found they aren’t being used properly. My guess is that they don’t care about couponing ethically as long as they have the ratings. Geesh, the show wouldn’t be nearly as fun with someone who just gets 50% savings doing it the right way, right?
If you haven’t read my 10 Commandments of Couponing, here they are again:
- Thou Shall Not Used Expired Coupons. Unless it is your stores policy to accept them. Sometimes they will not beep even with expired but that doesn’t mean you should use them!
- Thou Shall Use the Coupon for the Item is intended.
- Thous Shall understand the requirements & restrictions on the coupon. Read the coupon language carefully. Sometimes there is a certain number you have to purchase or a specific variety is only included on the coupon.
- Thou Shall Not Decode the Coupon to misuse the coupon. I won’t explain how you can do this as I don’t encourage this practice at all. Briefly, it is a flaw in the system that allows a coupon to be used on a item it is not intended for without causing issues at the register.
- Thou Shall Not Alter Coupons. Self explanatory, right?
- Thous Shall Not Make Copies of Printable Coupons. Making copies of printable coupons is a big “no no”.
- Thou Shall Not Clear the Shelves. Leave some of the rest of the world! :) Plus, it is highly unlikely, you really need 77 bottles of mustard in your house!
- Thou Shall Question Any FREE coupon items for legitimacy. The old adage, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Thou Shall Not Misuse the Self Checkout System. Again, just because the system allows it doesn’t always mean you should do it!
- Thou Shall Use Your Couponing Powers for Good Only!
Obviously, TLC Extreme Couponing is not showing every detail on how these couponers are getting their extreme savings. I think a little more details are needed as their savings do not seem realistic.
What are your thoughts on ethical couponing?