Shelf Clearing Controversy Kicks off Season Two of TLC's Extreme Couponing
I think I'm the only couponer in the entire world who isn't annoyed by season 2 of TLC's Extreme Couponing, which starts September 28 at 10pm (9pm CT). Not only am I not annoyed by it, I'm actually looking forward to it and I'm hoping that I can live Chatter/Tweet the shows again this year. (I know y'all loved that last season, didn't you? Didn't you?)
It's not that I don't agree with some of the concerns around Extreme Couponing -- I'm no fan of shelf clearing. The first episode features Michelle, who is a proud shelf clearer and that does bother me. But then again, it will give me something to Chatter/Tweet about when the episode airs, won't it?
And that's what it's all about -- entertainment. TLC isn't an educational network, it's an entertainment network, and watching Michelle clear shelves will bring in the viewers, if last season's numbers are any indication.
I do agree with all of the couponers in my feedreader that it's important for people who are new to couponing to know that what they are seeing on TV is not typical of what a regular couponer's shopping trips look like. Do we get stuff for free? We definitely do. Do we buy 800 bottles of water or 500 candy bars? No we don't. (If you're new to couponing, scroll through the Coupon Lovers Group to see examples of my shopping trips and check out the posts in the Extreme Couponing Series to learn more about how to get started.)
Where I tend to differ from my fellow couponers is that I haven't found store employees or managers to be more difficult because of Extreme Couponing. I don't think the shelves are any more cleared than they were before the show -- but then again, I didn't start couponing until after the first show aired. I also come from a military life where commissary shelves were (and still are) often bare for no discernible reason. I shrug and move along rather than assuming that an evil shelf-clearing couponer has come along ahead of my and cleared the shelf.
I have also never couponed in a double coupon area or in a store that would take expired coupons or give any other coupon incentives that may have disappeared because of the increase in couponers. So maybe these coupon bloggers have a point and I just don't have the long-term experience to know what it was like before the TLC Extreme Couponing craze began.
What I do know is that because of TLC Extreme Couponing, I started couponing and I'm saving between 30-70% on my purchases every week. Because I started couponing and writing about it, Texasebeth is couponing and stockpiling, too.
I have nothing to complain about and would be happy to answer any questions you have about the TV show or the real life versions of Extreme Couponing. Leave your questions in the comments -- and if you have advice about couponing, I'd love to see those comments, too.~Denise
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