Extreme Couponing Crackdown
Posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 at 4:12 pm
Is there a backlash to “Extreme Couponing” and if so, how will it affect the price you pay for groceries?
Extreme Couponing is the practice of using as many coupons as you can to get your groceries for free or nearly free. From dumpster diving for coupons to stockpiling years worth of supplies, the goal of an extreme couponer is to never pay money for groceries ever again.
While getting hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of free food using grocery coupons can be exciting, there are a few people that aren’t so thrilled with the way this practice works, namely the owners and managers of the stores themselves. That is because smart shoppers can take things a little too far by clearing the shelves and making it harder for markets to sell to the people who are willing to pay full price.
If you do use coupons, you may have already seen changes lately that are affecting how much you can save. Some stores are cracking down on extreme couponers by changing their coupon policy. Rite Aid, Target and Publix are three places that have recently limited coupon use or have placed additional restrictions on coupons.
Another change you may have noticed is in your coupons themselves. Many manufacturer coupons specifically say, “Do Not Double,” and there is talk that the cents or dollar off value of coupons will be coming down. So that $0.75 off coupon for toothpaste you usually expect may now be only a $0.50 off coupon for the same product.
This all comes at a time when the “Great Recession” has made it harder for families to afford the new higher cost of feeding everyone. Coupons, if you are willing to do the work, can be a way to offset the rise in food prices.
To cope with all of this backlash, shoppers will have to be prepared by carrying a copy of a store’s coupon policy and including a combination of other grocery saving strategies to bring down the bill. For example, buying in bulk and buying generic products, growing your own food and cooking from scratch are all ways to spend less money.