CLEVELAND - Who needs 600 boxes of candy or 50 toothbrushes? Extreme couponers do. TLC's hit show follows shoppers who are on a mission to save.
In one episode, previewed on TLC's website, the woman showed dozens of razors. She said the value was close to $4,000 and she paid nothing for them.
"I can't help but watch. It's kind of like a car accident. You can't help but look and see what's going on," Michelle Filler said.
Filler is a couponer herself. The mother or two shares her money saving secrets on the blog, Fillers Finds . Her goal is to save 50% or more every time she grocery shops. Filler stocks up when there's a good sale, but describes herself as a savvy shopper and not an extreme couponer.
"It just looks like people are abusing the system for their own benefit and turning their garage into stores," Filler said of the couponers on the show.
Filler said she limits the number of coupons she uses to just a few, and not a few dozen like the stars of the show. Shebuys four additional newspapers on the weekends, in addition to the one she gets at home, so she can have five multiple coupons.
"You don't have to have this massive stockpile. It's wasteful to me. No one is going to use that amount of product in their lifetime so it's being wasted," Filler said.
She's noticed stores are making a switch, too.
" Rite Aid recently put a limit of how many coupons you can use to a limit of four," Filler explained.
According to the updated policy in May, you can use up to four identical coupons for the same number of qualifying items, as long as there is enough stock for other customers.
You also can't use a buy one get one free coupon for a buy one get one free sale offer. That prevents getting two products for free. It's impossible to say if the policy change is because of the show, or just came at the same time.
But, the Coupon Information Corporation (CIC) said in a statement on its website it views the show with "great disappointment."
CIC went on to say, "In real life, individuals attempting to use such large quantities of coupons or attempting to use them in violation of the terms stated on the coupons would most likely have their coupons refused at the register or, depending on the circumstances, be investigated by law enforcement."
CIC said it offered TLC tips to make this an educational show.
TLC told 5 On Your Side the show, Extreme Couponing , focuses on extreme behaviors and the network is happy with the show's performance. It's been renewed for a second season, and TLC said it will likely follow the same direction next season.
While TLC said the show is focused on extreme behavior, viewers are catching on to the tricks of the trade.
"The shelves are clearing and they are clearing fast, especially on the good deals," Filler said.
She shops at the beginning of a sale so she doesn't find herself stocking up on rainchecks instead of product because the shelves are empty.
Whether you like the deal hunters or not, they'll be back for a second season.
Giant Eagle said they've seen an increase in coupon use the last several months, but feels it's impossible to draw any direct or indirect link to the show.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Latest News Headlines
Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Friday to visit seven countries on a trip focusing on global issues such as the Syrian crisis, Middle East peace and the West's standoffs with Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs.
More from Angie's List
How to decide between a deck or a patio in this Angie’s List report.
If you suspect your child may need braces, prepare for spending thousands of dollars. In this Angie’s List report, how to plan for the cost of braces.