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That’s exactly how it was pitched come the participants. However plans readjusted between the initial idea and the execution.

You are watching: Extreme couponers where are they now

Unreality TV

“We had tried to work-related with the production firm to make much more of a ‘how to coupon,’ practically like a ‘What not to Wear,’ where we do over her budget and also show you exactly how to save on groceries,” Demer said, in alignment through the mission that The Krazy Coupon Lady, then and also now. Yet the display as aired “had come to be just the shock, and also it wasn’t showing people how to carry out it.”

“I have had the exact same feelings around the show. I wanted to educate and also they were only interested in entertainment,” home said. “The means you are illustrated on the display was not realistic. True couponers perform not shop the means shown.”

Engels, who offered We usage Coupons numerous years ago, climate started and sold a food blog, and also now explains himself as “a digital strategist, health care marketer and international speak on digital marketing and trends,” did not respond come requests because that comment around his past as severe couponer. And Ostrowski decreased to get involved in a story, saying the she, too, has moved on.

But in previously interviews, the two echoed their counterparts’ comments around the unreality of truth TV. “The purpose of the show was to obtain your attention, and was the most excessive side of shopping that I’ve ever done,” Ostrowski said the website Cincy Chic in 2012. “I am no really an ‘extreme couponer,’ because I don’t yes, really shop choose that.”

“If i was modifying it, i would have actually done it a tiny differently, however it’s TV,” Engels said the website conserving Dollars & feeling in 2011. “The TLC producers asked for an extreme shopping trip and also that’s what they acquired from me. Ns a pretty normal coupon shopper.”

“I bought 4 shopping carts worth of stuff… that shopping pilgrimage was totally insane!” Demer remembered with a laugh around her televised grocery haul. “I take it months to plan for it. I composed to manufacturers and got totally free product coupons that I conserved up.” In the end, “it’s fun to flex your muscles and also get come say, look at what I can do… That’s cool and also it made for great TV,” she said. However “that remained in no means a realistic portrayal the the lot of money that you deserve to save on any given main couponing.”

TV reviewers unfamiliar v couponing didn’t it seems to be ~ to understand what to do of that very first hourlong special. “It’s official: Anything can be made right into a tv show,” the Austin American-Statesman scoffed. The Charlotte Observer stated the show “blurs the line in between saving money and also addiction,” while abc News referred to as the four shoppers obsessive and also wondered even if it is they to be unstable. And the brand-new York Times called the entrants “part that a shockingly huge community of over-the-top cost cutters” that demonstrated “the psychosis the acquisition, under the guise of smart savings.”

But viewers, who weren’t haughtily practicing armchair psychology, love it. Much more than two million tuned in, which made the display a huge hit by simple cable standards. That triggered the network come order the an initial of several seasons’ precious of follow-up illustration that started the following April.

And that’s once an entertainingly-over-the-top show became something more problematic.

Extreme Couponing gets a tiny too extreme

The original special skirted with controversy, through making several favorable referrals to virtual “coupon snipping services,” countless of i m sorry peddle mass quantities of illicitly-obtained coupon inserts from intentionally-unspecified sources. But the collection pushed the limits of agree – and also legal – coupon usage even further.

The 4 original attendees didn’t really recognize what they were acquiring into, believing they would be part of an education show about how to conserve money v coupons. However many entrants in the series, who had seen the initial special, knew complete well what they were obtaining into – and also gave the producers just what they wanted. In the search for ever-more outrageous shopping hauls, numerous who were featured in the series were displayed misusing coupons, knowingly utilizing them top top the dorn products, and using high-value coupons lock bought online, countless of which turned the end to be counterfeit. And also stores the normally implemented purchase borders or double-coupon hat for normal shoppers, waived your rules because that the benefit of TV.

North Carolina-based Lowes foods publicly expressed remorse for allowing an illustration to be taped in among its stores. “Some the what shows up in the clip you experienced was staged by the production company,” the retailer claimed in a 2011 statement.

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“Things aren’t together they constantly appear. We absolutely made a poor decision by participating in the show.”

The Coupon information Corporation, which represents the coupon industry, condemned the “potentially illegal acts that show up to have been illustrated on the show” and also urged producers to “reconsider their path and also seek to rotate this right into a display that correctly reflects suitable coupon strategies and use.” and also blogger and syndicated coupon columnist Jill Cataldo wondered “what kind of scrutiny are civilization like you and me walk to face at the register, when cashiers assume ‘those suturing coupon shoppers’ room trying to put one end on the store?”