A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this series, which features people using large quantities of coupons to get free (or almost free) merchandise, offers some mixed messages about shopping and spending money. It offers money-saving tips, but many of the shoppers featured here exhibit compulsive and/or greedy behaviors. K-Mart, Kroger, and other stores are prominently featured; product logos are clearly visible. An occasional salty word is fully bleeped.
What's the story?
EXTREME COUPONING features people who have found a way to save lots of money using coupons to purchase large amounts of merchandise. Each episode features two people who spend endless hours collecting, clipping, and organizing coupons in hopes of using them to acquire products for their homes, schools, and or charities for free or pennies on the dollar. They also strategize carefully to make sure that they are able to maximize on the savings while adhering to their store's coupon policies. Cameras then follow as the couponers go shopping, and watch the total amount they have to pay shrink as their coupons are rung up at the register.
Is it any good?
The series highlights how coupons can help people save money, especially during a difficult economy. It also shows how they can be used to help others. But the series' real draw is the way most of these couponers manage to work the system in order to get thousands of dollars worth of product for free. The sophisticated spaces some of them dedicate to their massive stockpiles of merchandise also adds to the appeal.
It's fun, but many of these folks are using coupons as an extreme way of feeding their compulsive shopping habit. Also worrisome are some of their greedy behaviors, like frantically (and laughingly) clearing shelves of products they don't need before other patrons have a chance to buy them, simply because they have coupons for them. You learn about saving money, but are left wondering if some of these folks will be appearing on a future installment of Hoarders.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the habits and behaviors being featured here. Saving money is always a good thing, but when do you cross the line from being responsible to being too cheap, greedy, or obsessive? Where can you learn about responsible money management?
Kids: Are you interested in saving money? What are some ways you can save money for your family? How can you help others in need?