It's been a few weeks since TLC aired 'Extreme Couponing' and I wrote this post on my initial thoughts and reactions. Because I am a Type A, I actually DVR'd the segment and have watched it several times since it's first airing. Why? Because something felt off to me. And I finally figured out a few things that are bugging me. First - shelf-clearing is not cool and most stores won't let you. Sure - if there is one left, they will sell it to you. But if they only have 100 boxes of pasta merchandised, they won't sell you all 100. Second - these trips were televised so it was in no means a normal shopping trip. So, people who think that all couponers take advantage of great savings and clear out a store and save $1000s of dollars a trip - not true. Most couponers average between 45% ad 70% savings per trip. Sure, we all have trips that save us 80% or higher - but not for staples. Just doesn't happen. Third - there were people in the stores (and I'm talking employees) who aren't normally in the stores. Just like any other company who is having something aired in their office, store, etc., Kroger had corporate personnel on hand easing the process through. You can bet that any normal cashier (not being watched by corporate) would have been a lot less pleasant after a two-hour, mess-up-my-day check-out process.
Okay, my ranting is done. Please though, know that those of us who use coupons properly are upset about this as well. While saving money and future planning is something to be admired, we are not all out to clear shelves (especially with perishable items).
One side note - if you buy a perishable item, don't try and return it. Stores lose money that way.