Extreme Couponing Integrity

Saving Dollarsand Sense

I’ll admit that after watching the very first episode of Extreme Couponing I couldn’t bring myself to watch another.

I shared my thoughts the difference between couponing and hoarding that very next day.  I was appalled at the behavior I saw being displayed all for the sake of ratings.  Noone took into consideration the way that this display of greed and possible fraud would change the way that many of us have learned to saved.

I’ve been hearing the stories of rude customers and cashiers.  Shelf clearing is becoming a perfectly normal behavior. Illegal coupon usage is picked apart and justified as acceptable by some?

I want to suggest that those of us who coupon to save our families money and not for the thrill of the hunt will stand strong for couponing Integrity!

Yes it is totally possible to coupon AND follow all the rules too!

Here are some of the ways you can have Extreme Couponing Integrity:

Show courtesy to others.  While it is the cashiers job to deal with your coupons, you’ll get much better service if you acknowledge the fact from the beginning that this is extra work for them.  Especially if you have a huge amount of coupons or a lot of free product coupons.  I have found that being humble sets the tome of the transaction.

Be willing to miss a deal.  There are times when a deal just doesn’t go according to your plan.  It is my feeling that if I have saved thousands over the years it is okay once in a while if the deal doesn’t work.  Getting the deal should not make you feel good or bad about yourself.

Only buy what you will use!  I  know it can be so tempting to continue to buy when you aren’t paying for the item.  But it is wasteful to buy what you can or will not use in a reasonable amount of time.  If you just must get another tube of free toothpaste, why not consider donating some of what you have to shelters, churches, or abused women’s centers?

Remember where your provision comes from. You are not the master of your couponing domain!  As christians it is our responsibility to represent Christ to the world wherever we are and in everything we do.  This includes our shopping trips.  Keep in mind that there are others around watching to see how you handle yourself.  They are waiting for you to show the greed and emptiness that they have come to expect from watching the TLC Show.

Don’t steal!  Seems simple enough, but trying to use coupons that are intended for one item to buy another is theft.  Your store is not going to be reimbursed for that item.  This cause them to raise prices and set strict couponing rules.  In fact this is the trend that is already taking place at many stores across the county.  Using coupons inproperly to save a buck can and will in fact cost you even more down the road.

More and more I am beginning to see that good old fashioned integrity is being set aside for the chance to feel the rush that comes from walking away from a store experience having spent very little money.

Let’s remember that it isn’t about building up storehouses here where things are temporary and perish.

It is important to learn the proper ways to save without sacrificing your integrity for a free deodorant.

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About Kristie Sawicki

Kristie Sawicki is the author of Saving Dollars and Sense, where she blogs about Money Saving Ideas and Frugal Living Tips, as well the Best Coupons, Deals and Freebies around. You can connect with Kristie Sawicki on Google+ and on the Saving Dollars and Sense Facebook page.


  1. I loved this article. I have to admit that I have seen Extreme Couponing a few times and I watched it in awe/horror. Like you said it’s like watching a spin on a hoarders show. Thank you for speaking for the majority of we moms that do it right and don’t get caught up in the adrenalin rush. It is fun. Maybe even a hobby. But we should be grounded in Christ, not our savings. We have the excitement and blessing of saving our families money. That is a gift from the Lord and we should act within the parameters given by the stores and manufacturers to show thanks and honor to him. Thanks for this blog. Loved it. :O)

  2. Good article! I occasionally have tendancies to want to hoard a little (what couponer doesn’t get excited about an awesome deal, even if they don’t need another free tube of toothpaste?!), but I am very thankful for my narrow pantry (actually supposed to be a linen closet) that doesn’t allow me to do so! I have 1 shelf for personal health items, 3 shelves for food, and the tp and paper towels go on the floor. If it won’t fit into my pantry, I don’t buy it!

    Ok, I admit, I bought a bunch of sugar last month so I could make jam for my family for the next year. The sugar didn’t fit in the pantry and ended up in the spare bedroom for a week. Hey, every rule needs an exception! =)

    But seriously, my best advice to avoid hoarding is to set yourself a limit, whether it’s a “space” limit like mine, or a “number” limit, or some other kind. It’s easier to avoid hoarding if you’ve already defined the line that you shouldn’t cross.

  3. What a wonderful post! I was sickened by the first episode of Extreme couponing I saw too. Deceitful, prideful, just plain crazy behavior all in the name of “serving my family”. Thanks for stating truth.

  4. Amen! Well said :)

  5. I like your integrity. You are so right on.

  6. I couldn’t agree MORE! I must admit that it’s so easy to get caught up in the game sometimes that we forget what’s important! That is the one take-away lesson that I learned by watching this show and I need the reminder as I continue to coupon for the good of my family budget. Thanks for all that you do!


  7. Living So Abundantly says:

    Yes, yes, yes! You said what I think. Couponing is not wrong, if it’s done with integrity. Just because others give it a bad name, doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing. I saved over a thousand dollars last year because of couponing. It didn’t give me a thousand extra dollars, but I got a thousand dollars worth of things that I wouldn’t have gotten. It was using sales/coupons and doing it the right way! What a great post!

  8. Great post! I can’t bring myself to watch the show either! One thing that I also like to do in addition to your list above, is bring my extra coupons that match the weeks’ sale with me in hopes of finding someone shopping without coupons for the same products that I am planning to purchase! It totally makes their day!

  9. Kristie,
    Thanks so much for writing this great article on Extreme Couponing. It made me ill to see people reaching up to the shelves and raking off every last item into their basket. I am new to couponing, but would never do that. If I get several of an item, it is to last me until the next sale cycle or to share with a friend or relative that needs it. But I have never cleared a shelf. That was appalling and I am glad you called them out on it. Kudos!

  10. Well said….

  11. I couldn’t agree with you more on this article. As Christians we have to remember to show God’s love in everything we do. It’s better to think before we speak and be slow to anger instead of looking like a fool. I have watched several of the couponing episodes and most of the people say they donate a lot of their stock pile. There was a pastor and his wife that donated everything in their basement that they had bought or got free with coupons. I think it’s bad when you go buy diapers when you don’t need them just because they are free. I don’t think the woman had any intention in donating them. If a person deals honestly with others God will bless him/her.

  12. This is sooo true! Couponers have definitely seen a change since the show. I know at the end of the day I am honest when I use coupons and try to treat others with respect, as many other couponers do. We need to continue to educate people that hoarding/shelf clearing and using coupons illegally is not acceptable and that with the money we save we help others in need. Great Article!

  13. Thank you so much for pointing this out. It needs to be said over and over. I am always so worried that a cashier is going to see me coming with my big stack of coupons and assume that i’ m like those people on TV. I always go overboard to be polite and gracious and never argue if something doesn’t work out. I figure it wasn’t meant to be. I find that most are very polite and seem to appreciate my attitude. Also, there is very sweet elderly gentleman at my local coffehouse that always saves his coupons for me. I overheard him say one time how much he loves candy bars, so I always pick up two each week for him as a thank you. This little act (which costs maybe 80 cents) seems to bring him a ton of joy.

  14. Thank you for sharing your insight into this show and the issues in general. I’ve never seen that show, nor do I coupon. I’m always amazed and impressed by couponers and I wish I could do it, but I don’t have the patience. I didn’t even realize there was a negative side to it.

  15. great tips. Especially for those who extreme coupon.

    I so wish I knew how to use coupons a bit better I think I have the concept but can’t match very well. i need to visit ur site more I just wish I had time to put the effort into saving. Sad isn’t it

  16. Michelle Liz says:

    Great article. I saw 2 typos. Noone should be no one. Inproperly should be improperly. I did not watch the show for the same reasons you suggested.

  17. Reina Feezell says:

    Thank you for posting this article! You put into words so beautifully something that has been on my heart. Tomorrow morning I have been asked to share with a group of young mothers about couponing. As I was praying and contemplating some things to jot down on the subject of integrity I came across your post. Your blog site will definitely be included in my list of referenced websites which I will place in the hands of these young mothers. The Lord bless you!

  18. I am just getting into couponing and was concerned about being that crazy coupon lady. It’s refreshing to hear about someone that wants to be sweet and save money. I hope that when I start bringing in a handful of coupons, the cashiers where I shop will not cringe. I don’t want to make their life miserable just so I can get the BEST deals. Thanks for the article!

  19. Carol M says:

    Your post said it all. The show Extreme Couponing seems to encourage bad behavior. There are times I do not use a coupon because the item is too expensive (even with the coupon) or I do not need it at the time. That’s when I will either give the coupon to someone buying the product or leave it by the product where someone buying the product will see it. It does seem to make that person’s day. In addition, courtesy and honesty towards other customers and the store staff is just common decency.

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