Last week I wrote about the extreme couponing backlash that is leading to coupon policy changes at retailers across the country. The topic was a hot one over the 4th of July weekend with dozens of people taking the time to share their opinions.
One reader, Tarrant, is a cart pusher for what she calls a semi-extreme couponer. She pushes the cart for a coupon-using shopper who doesn’t clear the store shelves like many of those on the “Extreme Couponing” show but still takes the time to make sure she gets the most bang for her coupon bucks (while donating some product as well.)
“I have found the renewed interest by stores in their coupon policies to actually HELP people who coupon. The cashiers get classes on how to handle coupons and the manager understands the coupon policy as well. So many people have tried to use a coupon in the past only to leave without it being used because the cashier didn't know how to ring it in if it didn't scan traditionally. Now these policies are clear for both consumer and customer. Instead of shrugging off the 50 cent coupon, because really who wants to quibble? The customer leaves happy as does the store.”
Tarrant’s comment received quite a bit of attention and she patiently returned time and time again to try to explain her coupon use to other readers.
Several of the commenters shared my view that so many of the coupons out there are for processed foods that I wouldn’t normally buy, which makes the extreme couponing trend even harder to understand.
Bill: “most of the coupon I see are for some pretty unhealthy products, lots of frozen junk food, foods that are more like fat pills, and a host of other hydrogenated crap, I never see coupons for fresh veggies or organic meats.”
Maggie: “Most of grocery coupons are for junk food so no use for me.”
Willow: “I don't use most coupons because they're always for processed food. Some coupons are not always a good deal. Keep that in mind. If you have to buy 10 things to get 10 cents off, why bother? Just buy the private label brands for general merchandise. You don't need fancy toilet paper or hand soap, you just need stuff that works. A lot of what jacks up the prices of hand soap are the fancy dyes and perfumes, not to mention the advertising & packaging.”
Cart-pusher Tarrant took the time to share a link to MNN Blogger Robin Shreeve’s article on online grocery coupons for July 2011, which include a variety of organic food products, for the more eco-conscious shoppers out there.
A comment by Travis starts off on-track but quickly turns into a post about the merits of climate science.
“P&G has had no more than 4 coupons per shopping trip for as long as I can remember. Also if you believe in Global warming you are just drinking the coolaid. There are a ton of scientist who do not back up the theory about what they see being man made or even harmful so don't just believe everything you hear without looking into it. Even a stupid article about coupons doesn't get it all right.”
What is your opinion on extreme couponing and coupon use in general? Sound off: Extreme couponing backlash.