We definitely made a bad decision to participate in the program. An Extreme Couponing participant wrote on her blog about her experience after filming and said, “The whole program is written.” The producer gave us coupons to give them to him and told us what to say. According to the Leaf Chronicle, a former Extreme Couponing participant explained that his entire episode was quite false when he wrote on his blog about his experience on the TLC series. The entire program is written, the Extreme Couponing star alleged.
They continued: “Totally false.” Sorry if I ruin it for someone. We have to admit that's a bit disappointing to hear that. It's possible to use extreme coupons, but it can be a challenge in practice. Although TLC's Extreme Couponing is quite popular and has a fairly wide audience, it hasn't really released any new episodes in years.
Because TLC's Extreme Couponing was filmed in different areas of the United States, it showed a variety of grocery stores where they bought coupons. But, unfortunately, the scenarios presented to us by some of the profiled coupon sellers were based on scripts; the store's coupon policies were adapted exclusively to the program, and unethical coupon practices were used to create the concept of what can be achieved with extreme coupons. Most extreme coupons, and even the most experienced ones, strive to be considered with other shoppers, unlike many of the extreme coupons that appear on Extreme Couponing. According to Christy Rakoczy, a former extreme coupon collector, the decision to stop using coupons came when she realized what she was really doing.
In fact, the nonprofit Coupon Information Center expressed concern about the way things were presented at Extreme Couponing. As is often the case with most reality shows, TLC's Extreme Couponing doesn't seem to be as real as it seems. Obviously, with a title like Extreme Couponing, it is implied that the people on the show are very intense with their coupons, and they definitely are. Even though TLC's Extreme Couponing shows people with their own personal grocery stores in their garages (yes, really), that doesn't mean it's something you'd really want.
While in the real world each store may have different coupon policies, in the world of extreme coupons, it seemed that there were no policies in any store, something that those stores often regret. It's clear that Extreme Couponing sent more coupons to stores to try to take advantage of the savings, but these deals don't really exist outside of reality shows. According to Money Crashers, it's not uncommon for users of extreme coupons to buy several copies of their local newspapers just to get extra coupons. Sometimes, people in the series use fake or counterfeit coupons to get those incredible deals you see.
A lot of people who watch TLC's Extreme Couponing probably thought to themselves at some point that the show seemed too good to be true. Specifically, as Leaf Chronicle noted, people often see a repeat of Extreme Couponing and, having never seen the program before, are surprised by the savings they represent. Couponing users were thrilled (at first) when TLC's Extreme Couponing program aired, which motivated many people to try to get hundreds of dollars worth of food for next to nothing.