I know many of us had some questions after we watched Extreme Couponing on TLC a little while back.
You can read my response When Extreme Couponing Becomes Hoarding.
I was able to interview Nathan Engels the founder of We Use Coupons, and one of the extreme couponers from that show and I hope that this interview clears up some of your questions.
Do you apply the price-matching option when you shop?
I rarely do price matching because I don’t shop often at Walmart!
Did you shop alone? Or did you have helpers?
I generally shop with my one year old! I try to give mommy a little bit of mommy alone time! My little one loves to go to the store and my cashiers love to see her!
How many hours do you invest in perparing for a shopping trip?
Generally not more than 5 or 6 each week.
Do you ever need to purchase an item that is not on sale or does not have a coupon?
Yes! Just like everyone else. But I try hard to find deals!
How do you get so many of the same coupon?
I dumpster dive, I buy multiple papers and in rare cases I buy extra coupons from clipping services!
To see a video of me dumpster diving click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CI5qLtZY8H0
Do you buy coupon inserts, and if so where do you buy them?
Every so often I do, a great place to get whole inserts is from WholeCouponInserts.com
I want to know WHY he stocks up on so many things…does he have kids…does he feel like he is hoarding?
We believe in giving! Last year we donated tens of thousands of dollars to local charities. TLC cameras captured a moment in time! To read more about the TLC donation click here: http://www.weusecoupons.com/upload/wuc-news/103326-tlc-donation-behind-scenes-what-didnt-make-cut.html
Your stockpile had multiple bottles of Kraft dressing, which have short expiration dates. Did you plan to use that much for your family within the next few months? Or do you use items past the expiration? How do you keep track of expiration dates with such an excessive stockpile?
Well people think I’m weird but I check almost everything in the store when I buy it for expiration. I can also remember almost everything. But we routinely donate anything that is close to expiring! Check the link above.
Why does someone need 1500 sticks of deodorant…and everything has expiration dates so why so much for so little people.
No one needs that much obviously! But what TLC didn’t mention was we donated around half of our supply of deodorant when their cameras were filming! See the above link, you can see many of the deodorant sticks in bins.
Do you feel that your segment of the show was a true representation of how you coupon? Was there any part that you were disappointed in?
I always say that if I was editing it, I would have done it a little differently, but it’s TV. The TLC producers asked for an extreme shoping trip and that’s what they got from me. I’m a pretty normal coupon shopper. I stockpile strategically and understand the simple principle that if something is free today, I’ll get as much as I can use, because why would I want to pay for it tomorrow!
Did the store let you exceed the normal coupon limits since you were going to be on the show? Stores in MI would NEVER let me use that many coupons???
Every store is different, my store has no coupon limits and will special order items for me, especially if they know we are donating to a good cause!
Are the people in the store really always that nice? I seem to get the eye rolls and attitude when ever I pull out a stack of 20 coupons. Never tried a thousand.
I love my store!!! They are even nicer when the cameras are off.
Also, who do you work with at the store to do the preordering? How often do you preorder? Did the manager give you any hassle when you pre-ordered over 1,000 boxes of cereal?
I generally work with the service desk. The cereal was and is still being donated. Pre-ordering is a store by store thing. I have shopped for nearly 4 years at the same store with the same people. They know what we do, how we do it and we have a great relationship with them! Pre-ordering is risky for the store because if they order 40 of something and you don’t pick it up, what happens? I strongly recommend that if you want to preorder, start small, and build a great working relationship! To answer your second question, the manager not only didn’t give me any hassle, he asked if I need more! I love my store.
I want to thank Nathan for taking the time to share the side of his story that the show left out. I also want to thank all of you who sent in your questions, I hope you are satisfied with his answers.