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EEK!!! With TLC rolling out yet another season, I felt it was time to revisit my posts series on their Extreme Couponing Scenarios and why you CAN’T Do it – This is Part 1 of 3 for all of you that have joined us since my TLC Extreme Couponing rants during their last season 😀

I’ve tried to avoid posting about the TLC Extreme Couponing show because I get so aggrivated and worked up when I try to explain to people that it is a REALITY SHOW but it is NOT REALITY – what they are doing cannot be done 95% of the time.

I could write a huge lengthy post on all the reasons that I have come to loathe the Extreme Couponing TV Show, but rather than fill this post with my opinions, I decided to post a few FACTS for you.

This is POST #1 on Why You Can’t Do It (Wow-I’m usually such an optimist!)

Forget the fact that the shopping trips viewed on the show are all prearranged, approved by stores in advance, edited, clipped and made to get a reaction from viewers.

Forget that I myself, and thousands of other readers of this blog do shop for Free on a regular basis, Legitimately, by stacking coupons and matching up to store sales.

The number one reason I loathe TLC’s Extreme Couponing Show? Because it is deceiving viewers. Misleading the unknowing. People that have never couponed in their life and those that are new to couponing are not made aware of the REALITY that you face when couponing.

The #1 Reality Check – STORE COUPON POLICIES

Those Huge “Hauls” that you see acheived on the show are not the norm. Nor are they allowed in the majority of grocery stores. There are restrictions in most stores as to how many identical coupons are accepted and/or how many coupons or the dollar amount limit for doubling coupons. But don’t take my word for it….Here’s what the stores have to say. These are exerpts taken directly from each Stores Coupon Acceptance Policy

Food Lion:

  • Customers may not use more than (1) one coupon per item with a maximum of (10) ten coupons for the same item per customer
  • We reserve the right to limit the quantity of coupons that may be

    redeemed in one shopping visit.

    Harris Teeter:

  • Only allows 3 identical coupons doubled per transaction, others at face value
  • Only accepts 2 identical internet printed coupons per day
  • Only one coupon allowed on a BOGO sale

    Only allowed to purchase 1 of a BOGO sale


  • No more than 2 identical items are eligible for double coupon savings
  • will only accept 2 internet coupons per manufacturer product per visit per day
  • Three (3) coupons doubled with each $10 order.

    Six (6) with each $20 order

    Nine (9) with each $30 order

    Twelve (12) with each $40 order

    Fifteen (15) with each $50 order…etc

    Lowes Foods:

  • To ensure product availability for all customers, we limit redemption to 4 coupons for 4 of the same item. For example, if you have five coupons for a specific cereal and have purchased five of the item, we will honor the coupon for up to four of the boxes of cereal
  • With the purchase of two like manufacturer’s products, we accept two internet coupons per day
  • “our prevailing guideline is that Lowes Foods reserves the right to limit quantities in coupon usage and product purchases”


  • will not accept Printable Coupons for more than 75% of a product’s value.
  • Coupons for $.50 or less will be doubled. Any coupons between $.50 and $1 will be redeemed at $1. Coupons over $1 are redeemed at face value. Some stores only double coupons $.50 or less. Some regions double $.75 coupons to $1.50-this varies.

    Price Chopper:

  • The total of all double coupons cannot exceed 50% of the order after AdvantEdge discounts. Single value will be deducted there after For instance, $100 order – coupons scanned after total deducted by coupons reaches $50 will only deduct face value (not double)

    Stop & Shop:

  • You may double a maximum of 4 identical manufacturers’ coupons. For example: if a customer purchased five boxes of Cheerios and presented 5 manufacturers’ coupons for 50¢, the first four coupons would be doubled to $1. The fifth coupon would only be redeemed for 50¢
  • Up to an additional 12 identical manufacturers’ coupons/items will be redeemed at face value for a total of 16 identical manufacturers’ coupons


  • Only 4 manufacturers’ coupons can be doubled on 4 of the Same Brand product per day

    I decided not to continue the list with statements that cover most all other stores like this that haven’t specified a limit:


  • “We reserve the right to limit quantities”

    Shop Rite:

  • “To help ensure product availability and an efficient checkout experience for all customers, the use of excessive amounts of coupons or multiple identical coupons may be limited at the store manager’s discretion”

    I tell my kids all the time not to believe everything they see on TV. And now I’m here to tell all of you. TLC’s Extreme Couponing show is a production that was created-it is NOT the Reality for couponers.

    New Couponers, Please don’t be deceived into thinking you’re gonna buy 100 Coupon Inserts (Part 2 of this series is going to tell you another reason that won’t work-as told to us by our local store managers!) and go to the store for a huge haul like you see on the show that you only pay sales tax on.

    Continue to PART 2 of this Series is HERE for even MORE TLC Extreme Couponing Myths – more truths to why you CAN’T do it !

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    1. Yeah the first time I saw the show (I didn’t not have cable until a year ago) I was fascinated, since I have just started the whole “couponing” thing. I figured out pretty quick it was unrealistic. And really, who needs that much of anything at once? don’t sales go in cycle like every couple months? Also I think that show has caused manufacturers to lower coupon values. I can hardly find a decent coupon anymore. And the coupon selection in the papers here is kind of lame.

    2. Melissa, you can stack those Target Coupons with your manufacturers coupons at Target – check our weekly matchups- you can score some super low deals & freebies stacking coupons at target. Also Walmart’s new coupon policy does allow overage – they give you change back if your coupon is more than the item or you can apply it to other items you’re getting. You can save 50% or more every trip to the store by couponing THE RIGHT WAY ….which is what I hope my post reflects-that show is a fantasy creation to get a reaction…which it does …

    3. I hate the extreme coupon show on TLC it has basically ruined couponing for a lot of people. I grew up in Western Pa where one of the episodes was taped and since it was on TLC there has been a rash of coupon thefts from Newspapers from all over the region it got so bad that the Pittsburgh Papers are asking that stores that catch people stealing coupons be charged with retail theft. The woman I talked to said that the way there stealing them is stuffing ( when they take all the coupons from all the newspapers and stuff them into just one paper and buy only that one) It is theft because people who buy the papers are usually buying them for the adds and coupons and when they take the coupons they have devalued the paper so people won’t buy them. At one store it was so bad that they kept the papers behind the counter and you had to ask for them. I talked to a number of managers about the problem and over and over they say the same thing “we want people to use coupons but we don’t want them to abuse them” take in to consideration that other people want to take advantage of a good sale too and do you really need 20 of the same item? Thanks so much for bringing this out in the open !!!

    4. ya that kinda sux to know we have a store here that dbls coupons .50-$1 thats it and i think its always 1 coupon per item i wish i could do the extreme couponing. i don’t have the patience to binder everything and get hundreds of the same item and try n get it for free to bad its not real. we only have a sentry pick n save and walmart n target here ik target has coupons u can print off internet and then use 1 coupon per item to bad so sad

    5. You are absolutely right that we can’t do it. We have no stores (I mean zero) stores here that double coupons at all, unless we travel about 2 hours away to hit the nearest Kroger. Our Wal-mart stores do not double coupons or coupon match their competitors’ coupons, and we live in the great state of Arkansas, where Wal-mart is based. My last visit to a Wal-mart with coupons (I only had 21) was a nightmare. Some, I had printed from coupons.com and some were manufacturer’s coupons. We stood in line for 45 minutes while the cashier informed me the printed coupons would not be usable, and then could not find on the receipt whether the only 75 cent coupon had been rung up or not. They had to call the manager, and my ice cream melted in the process. Ugh.
      Location probably has a lot to do with your couponing options, but don’t be deceived into thinking you can get a semi-truck load of cereal for 15 dollars. 🙂
      Thank you for your posts and all the deals you’ve located. I’m a regular reader!

    6. I posted about that before- she committed major fraud decoding and there’s been HUGE backlash online & offline for her as well as TLC. TLC issued a “statement” saying they were looking into it-which I doubt…that show is only about ratings and they don’t care what laws are broken…they set those trips up in advance and the stores break their rules of limits, etc. for them. Such a joke-NOT Reality at all !

    7. wow…..I wonder if charges will be filed against her?


    8. What you wrote is so true. While I save over 50% at each trip, I have had to spread out my trips to get certain items for free with my multiple coupons.

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