Missing your newspaper? Extreme couponers could be the culprit.

This mom takes her kids and friends to a local dumpster to search for discarded coupon inserts.

So, you step out to grab the Sunday paper from its usual spot on your lawn, but, it’s not there. You figure it’s just some delivery glitch, so later that morning you pick one up at the grocery store, but it’s a little light. Something’s missing. Could be you have a coupon junkie in your neighborhood.

My mom loves coupons. She keeps them in a little box and often brags to me about how she saved $4 on shampoo or some such. Sure she had to buy four 20 oz. bottles of the stuff (mind you, between her and my dad, there is only one full head of hair in the house) but she saved FOUR friggin’ dollars! But my mom’s frugality focused mind would be totally blown by today’s coupon clippers — the practice has become an art, a sport, and, of course, the subject of a reality TV show — TLC just announced a second season, beginning Sept. 28, of Extreme Couponing.

I’ve watched the show, and shopping with a book of painstakingly organized coupons, and executing a plan to get $300 worth of groceries without spending a dollar does seems like a fun game, though I cannot imagine putting a cashier through the rigmarole in which the self -proclaimed coupon queens apparently revel.

These truly extreme couponers are obsessive, addicted and kind of like hoarders, only way more organized. They can get downright rude and annoying — see for yourself: check out this clip from the show — and might even resort to stealing newspapers from yards or sections of newspapers from stores, or digging through trash cans, according to a recent USA Today story. You’ve been warned — get your morning paper first-thing, because these extreme couponers get up early, and as Extreme(ly witchy) Couponer Michelle, in the above-linked preview told some poor guy after she cleared the shelf of Power Bars, “early bird gets the worm.”

(To be fair, there are serious and ambitious coupon clippers, penny pinchers and savers out there who follow a code of ethics and who do not steal and pillage to save a few bucks).


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  • Christina, thanks for clarifying! My coupons usually expire as well! One must be truly organized and that is not me! The TV nutjobs are driving me crazy…maybe that is why they are called nutjobs…and it is just not a fair rap for couponers!

  • Christina Hughes Babb

    Let me tell you: I have a great deal of admiration for smart coupon-ers. It takes a lot of organization and planning, things I wish came more easily to me! I try to use coupons, but usually they expire at the bottom of my purse :(. No, it is the reality TV worthy nutjobs I am talking about!!

  • (To be fair, there are serious and ambitious coupon clippers, penny pinchers and savers out there who follow a code of ethics and who do not steal and pillage to save a few bucks).

    Thanks for throwing this in on the end! For a minute I thought you had it out for all “extreme” couponers. Now I realize you only have it out for most of them. It has nothing to do with “putting a cashier” through rigamarole it has to do with feeding a family on a tight budget. Most couponers are not like the ones shown in Extreme Couponing. Most couponers are women, and men, who are trying to tighten up in todays tough economic times.

    (To be fair, there are crazy and rude coupon clippers who do not follow a code of ethic and will steal rather than purchase a newspaper.)