Extreme Couponing Leads Retailers To Rethink Coupon Policies

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Extreme couponers, beware.

Some popular stores are saying enough is enough.

They’re cracking down on the couponing craze and changing their policies.

Everywhere you turn these days you see coupons in newspapers, magazines, your mailbox and now all over the internet.

“I use them every day. Every time I go shopping I use them. I use them for regular department stores, drug stores, grocery stores,” says Diane Gardner of Mt. Oliver, who adds she saves money all the time.

But something called “extreme couponing” may get stores to rethink their coupon policies.

Andria Alexander authors a website called Simply Frugal Living that features dozens of online coupons.

So what’s extreme couponing?

“Combining coupons with sales prices so that you’re using your coupons when they can serve you best, when they can give you the best value, when they can be doubled, when they can be stacked with a store special or a store coupon or an e-coupon,” Alexander told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano.

One simple example today: Neutragena at Target.

“At Target, you can use both a Target coupon and a manufacturer’s coupon, so it’s $1.99, they’re both a dollar off of one, so you get it for free,” says Alexander.

But with a TV show promoting extreme couponing, retailers — says Alexander — are rethinking the 3.3 billion coupons issued each year.

“They’re going, ‘Wait a minute, why are people doing so well with coupons?’ Coupons are meant to save money, not just to allow people to get a ton of things for free.”

Alexander says retail stores like Target, drug stores like CVS, and grocery stores like Giant Eagle are adjusting by limiting quantities, stacking and multiple coupons.

“We are seeing some small changes to policies, but nothing to scare us away from couponing at all,” she adds.

Coupons are obviously a great deal for those who use them, but as more and more people use them to the extreme, don’t be surprised if stores start to change their rules.

Simply Frugal Living
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  • Not so extreme couponer

    I will continue to use coupons combined with sales. If a store allows stacking fine, but I very rarely look at that cause most don’t. It’s nice to get a few things “free” although you still pay tax, but as long as you aren’t buying 100 of them, getting 4 or 5 is not a bad deal.

  • Glenn Ackermann

    it is about time that the retailers are changing the policy. i hate stating in line behind a coupon person, it seems to me they are trying to get everything for free & when questioned about it they get offended. Also they hold up the line.

    • Marsha

      If I take the time to gather up and clip coupons to save ALOT of money for my family, I will do so. If it takes a few extra minutes in line for the cashier to properly deduct my coupons then so be it! IF the stores have a proper number of registers open and IF the cashier is trained properly, then the line should move quickly. HOWEVER, half the time the cashiers DO NOT even know their own store’s coupon policy or there are easy fixable bugs in the store’s computer system that bog down the check out. These issues are not my fault when I am checking out. What gives you the right to “question” people about using coupons? A complete stranger’s opinion standing behind me in line means NOTHING to me. Couponing is a fun game, if I can get get 20 toothpastes for free and share the wealth with my family and friends, I will do so, even if I hold up a line for a few minutes and you can just wait your turn or move to another libe!

      • You Hog

        It’s greedy pigs like you that are ruining it for the rest of us

      • TO "you hog"

        To whoever replied ” you hog ” on Sept. 20th at 10:51am….. Everything I am talented enough to get by extreme couponing I share with with family, friends, neighbors and our local church food pantry. So those 30 boxes of one item I do not keep all for myself, even if I did, it’s none of your damn business. Are you just jealous cause you are not capable enough to do the same? When was the last time you gave any couponing items away or donated to a food pantry? Proboly never have and never will since you felt it necessary to state an ignorant comment about me being a hog!

    • Snottypeople

      Wahhhhaaaa Shop at 2:00am then…..

  • cjjake

    Amen to coupon-user. Maybe some people need to coupon to feed their family and do not have the luxury of just buying what they want or need. With the economy being the way it is… be prepared to wait in line even longer as more and more people coupon to SURVIVE. Mainly because they choose to be honest people and work for a living and make too much to qualify for food stamps. Maybe the stores can have a non-coupon checkout like an express check out so as not to inconvenience non-coupon users. I have saved 6,000 using coupons this year and will continue to do so…. forever!

    • sick of the negativity


  • sick of the negativity

    anyone who abuses the ability to get great deals with coupons need to be smacked. some of us NEED to get these kind of deals because we wouldn’t be able to afford food, etc without them. the coupons are out there to be used-and if something is free once in a while-great! mark-ups are so ridiculous anyway so i feel by using my coupons i get things for the price they should be anyway. and as far as standing in line behind couponers, food stamp users or wic users-if they are polite, they will tell you that it will take longer in case you want to pick a different line. i’m rather offended by all the negative press couponers are getting these days, because for most it is a necessity to save money, but i also don’t appreciate those who abuse the opportunity and may someday ruin it for the rest of us!!! same goes for anyone who abuses the welfare system or the wic program because these programs are meant for those that are struggling and need hekp(and are working and paying taxes), not for those who just work the system.

    • Darrin

      What do you mean by “abuse”? If people are using coupons within the boundaries set by the store/company then it’s not abuse.

  • Casual Couponer

    I think extreme couponing can come to be just like an addiction. There are some people who abuse the system, and then brag about how much they got for free. Well, guess what – it’s not free because stores will raise their prices if they start losing money. And for those of you who think there’s a huge mark-up on food – you’re wrong! I worked in the grocery business, and there’s only about a 3% mark-up on food. Coupons were meant to drive sales and help people – not for people to get $300 of stuff for $10! Don’t ruin it for us casual couponers.

  • pitch_fork_ready

    @ coupon-user…. EXCELLENT rebuttal to Glenn Ackermann and I agree with you 1000%

  • Blossie

    After watching some of the extreme couponers with rooms full of things they will never use, I have decided it can be a form of hoarding.

  • willie

    People use coupons because the Effin prices are to high to begin with. F’kg manufacturers are rip off artist’s.

  • http://frugalburgher.com Frugal 'Burgher

    To all you Frugal ‘Burghers,
    Did you know 85% of loyal couponers make OVER $100K per year? I don’t know about you but my husband and I worked hard to create a stable life for our family. I am certainly am not going to pay full price for something when there is a way to spend less …We respect our money and the work we do/did to earn it, too much….I choose to take the time to organize my coupons and match them up with the best prices in town to get the most out of every penny!! Check out my couponing and savings site TheFrugalBurgher.com ….for up to date sales w/ coupon match ups for our local stores(i.e. Giant Eagle etc.). Learn to shop for pennies…Hey we all work hard for our money, why spend it when you don’t have to.

    • Mike

      Incorrect percentage. Less than 2% of loyal couponers (families that report using coupons 2 or more times per week) make more than $65,000.00 per year. Time to stop exaggerating. Makes you look stupid, not smart. And reference your numbers to the research. Maybe a new category is needed: Extreme BS.

  • What ever works

    Hey, I live in Florida and we have old people, disabled people, wic, food stamp cards, credit cards and travel check’s as well as coupon’s….who care’s who is using what as long as they are getting food etc. At this time people are going without food even children..let alone a home to live in..don’t stereo type..are we going blast the people who buy store brands next?


    I love to use coupons and hold up lines at the grocery store its not my fault i like to get the most out of my dollar in todays econimic conditions I am sorry I am holding up the lazy, rushed people! Slow down a little bit maybe life will be better for you! When your ready to write me a check for my groceries let me know and I will gladly not use coupons!


    Why complain? These greedy retailers are still drawing customers into the stores, and most of those customers will buy something NOT on their list. Quit complaining — you’re STILL MAKING MONEY! Quit being so greedy. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in a RECESSION and we need to do whatever it takes to make ends meet.

  • R Popp

    I think the retailers should think about having an “Extreme Couponing” register such as they have “Express Items” registers. Hire a consultant to examine all pros and cons, requirements to be excluded in regular check-out lines and how to enforce this process. That’s part of the consultant’s job. It would be very fair to people who don’t do extreme couponing and it sounds like the extreme couponers wouldn’t mind a bit standing behind another compadre!

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