Review: Extreme Couponing {S1E9}

TLC Extreme Couponing Review

Review: Season 1, Episode 9

Here’s my review of Extreme Couponing – Season 1, Episode #9, which aired May 25, 2011:

First up was coupon shopper Amber, a 30 year-old mother of 4 from Sahuarita, Arizona, boasting about her ability to feed her family of 6 for $50/week. Her 600 lbs. of frozen food stockpile is displayed in 6 various freezers, and says she “needs to restock” hand soap because currently she only has 20. Really, 20 hand soap isn’t enough? Maybe because she’s a nurse she believes in excessive hand washing, I’m not sure. Amber blatantly asks “why get 1 when you can get 100?”, which makes me wonder if she’s a better candidate for the show Hoarders.

Amber is a “rookie couponer”, and admits that starting couponing was intimidating at first, but adds that she makes her family collect and clip coupons while she’s away at work in the day. Her family is shown clipping together at the dining room table, as well as going along on the shopping trip.

On her “biggest haul ever”, one of the items Amber buys is Motrin for $2.49. She has a coupon that gives her $6 off the purchase of 2, so that is why she fills her cart with pain medication – she gets the overage (or credit) of $1 applied to the other items she is buying, not because she suffers from frequent headaches.

Lessons from Amber: I like the fact that Amber involves her whole family in the coupon process, and her story is a great example of how family support can make coupon shopping easier. In addition, Amber’s smart use of the $6 coupon for the $5 item shows that buying the Motrin with a coupon resulted in a profit, not just free product. However, not all stores give the full price of the coupon on the purchase of an item that costs less, but currently in Canada you can get the overage applied to your basket at Walmart – so make sure you know the store policy and don’t assume you will get the overage amount.

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The second part of tonight TLC’s Extreme Couponing episode featured Amanda, age 24, a return couponer from a previous show. Amanda shops in Cincinnati, Ohio, and on this episode she goes shopping for herself, her husband Billy, and her 85-year old grandmother, in which she achieves a 99% savings on her grocery shopping! However, to accomplish these tremendous savings, she has to check out with 8 different transactions, with 3 simultaneous registers, and keep her 500 coupons organized for each of the 8 individual transactions.

Amanda on Extreme Couponing

Amanda from Ohio

It was interesting that Amanda compared the high of coupon shopping to “being on crack” and says she feels like she’s “just done a bunch of crystal meth”. I think TLC could have deleted that part of the interview, since this is a couponing show, and not A&E’s Intervention.

Anyways, Amanada’s husband Billy accompanies her to do her shopping, but she emasculates him often, first by telling him to “keep walking, keep walking”, and although she admits he is helpful, she says “he must follow her direct orders”. She barks “out of my way” and then yells at him for misplacing the last envelope of coupons at the till. I think Billy should make her do her shopping by herself, and refuse to carry all that stuff upstairs when she gets home. If you missed Amanda’s initial appearance on the show, in which Billy dutifully carried all her purchases into his man cave, you can watch it here.

Anyways, on today’s show, Amanda has ordered some of her items ahead, and for the first time I was encouraged to hear someone on the show say that “wiping the shelves is BAD”! Almost every week I watch Extreme Couponing only to be left frustrated at the shoppers who clear off the shelf and have no consideration of other people who might want to buy that item. It was refreshing to hear someone had planned ahead and say that shelf clearing is not an accepted couponing practice!

Lessons from Amanda: Well, one lesson we don’t want to learn is that couponing is similar to drugs! However, we can learn from Amanda’s organization – her coupons divided into envelopes for each transaction is a good tip for staying organized at the checkout. And as already mentioned, we can learn that shelf clearing is not acceptable, and if you plan on buying a large amount you should call the store and pre-order the quantity you need.

Book Review: Frugillionaire by Francine Jay

Frugillionaire: 500 Fabulous Ways to Live Richly and Save a Fortune
by Francine Jay

What if being frugal made you feel like a million bucks? You’d live a rich and happy life–while saving more money than you ever imagined!
If you’re frustrated with your finances, drowning in debt, or just wondering where your money goes each month, don’t despair. For in these pages lies the secret to financial peace and harmony: how to become a ‘frugillionaire’.


Frugillionaire by Francine Jay

Unlike millionaires and billionaires, frugillionaires aren’t defined by the number of zeroes in their net worth, or the haute couture in their closets. Quite the contrary: frugillionaires master the art of frugality–living richly while saving a fortune. They make the most of the money they have, and treasure those things that money can’t buy.
Best of all, becoming a frugillionaire is easy! Just open this book, and you’ll find 500 fabulous savings techniques at your fingertips. Mix and match them into your personal formula for financial success!


I’m amazed after reading this book that the smallest expenses can turn into lots of “found dollars” over time without feeling deprived. Why spend on items that will inevitably become “stuff” that’s really not needed? It not only saves you money, but will reduce the stress factor because you don’t have to find “time” to use those impulsive buys. This book contains fantastic ideas for ways to save on beauty, household, travel, entertainment and more. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to relearn a simple lifestyle, save money, reduce the stress in your life and become a healthier individual! It certainly shows you the way to become a “frugillionaire!”

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This book is terrific for anyone trying to stick to a budget (and even those who aren’t). Well-written with wonderful advice. Highly recommend.

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Excellent tips that you can use every day! This book identifies easy steps to save money every day doing simple things that in the long run make a big difference in your wallet! Even if you incorporate only a fraction of the tips into your daily life – just thinking along the lines of these common sense tips will save you money! Definitely buy the book – it is an investment that will bring a big return!

BUY NOW: Frugillionaire: 500 Fabulous Ways to Live Richly and Save a Fortune

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