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Tonight is the start of another season of Extreme Couponing on TLC, and they are already starting off by showing everyone a non-realistic form of couponing. In case you didn’t learn this from last season, not everything you see on TV is true, doable or even right.
After allowing an Extreme Couponing episode to be filmed in their stores Lowes Foods (one of the grocery stores covered here on Southern Savers) says they regret participating. We all know that stores bend their rules and that the show is embellished, but this is the first time one of the grocery stores has been this upfront about it. The following is an excerpt from a recent article in the Charlotte Observer (emphasis added):
“If we had it to do over again, we would not have done it,” said Lisa Selip, a corporate spokeswoman for Lowes Foods who said the show was full of misrepresentations and sensationalism. “Hindsight is 20/20.”
A case in point, she said, is contained in a promotional clip recently released online. It shows a man arriving in the grocery aisle seconds too late to purchase an energy bar after an extreme coupon shopper put every last bar into her cart.
“The guy who walked up to the shelf was one of the crew members,” Selip said. “It was all staged.” She said Lowes, which considers itself a coupon-friendly retailer, initially thought the show would be a great way to showcase its stores nationally. “Call it maybe being slightly naïve,” she said.
Selip says the chain deeply regrets its decision to participate in the show. “My hope is our customers know we’re a company of integrity and they’ll understand we made a mistake.” That anger could come from coupon clippers who’ll see people on the show using more than 20 coupons a day. Selip acknowledged that the company waived part of its policy for the benefit of TV cameras.
One of my biggest goals as a couponer and blogger is to follow the rules. In reality (the actual one, not the TLC one) you can still save a lot of money using coupons the right way. There is no reason to fill your garage with products you won’t use, wipe out a store’s entire stock of something, or break coupon & store policies to save a few extra bucks.
Just last week, I saved 50-70% on things my family will actually use & enjoy. I applaud Lowes for issuing an apology before the show even airs, but as more insight is revealed about the show, the more frustrating it is.
If you want to learn the right way start with the Learn to Coupon section of Southern Savers. There are great videos and articles that should help give you a better understanding on how to save a ton of money (and actually purchase what you need not 100 bottles of juice or floss…).