Extreme Couponers Get Groceries for (Almost) Free

Extreme Couponers Get Groceries for (Almost) Free

Her framing business subsided, so Treasure Philips devotes most of her efforts to strategizing how to get big supermarket discounts. (Time)

In tough economic times, coupons seem to take on more value, and draw more interest. This Time magazine video about the phenomenon of coupon fanatics focuses on Treasure Philips, who “rarely pays full price for anything these days.”

The 44-year-old mom refers to herself as an “extreme couponer” who stocks up on an abundance of heavily discounted groceries and other staples.
It started 14 months ago when her husband lost his job, and her own picture framing business that she ran from the basement saw a drastic drop in orders.

Unwilling to abandon the framing business in which she had already invested so much time and effort, she instead took to using coupons more frequently and effectively… to the point were it became an art form unto itself. Her monthly grocery bill dropped from $1200 to $200, enabling her to salvage her business. The down side is that she now spends more time couponing than framing. Her “non-food stockpile” now occupies shelves that once held her frames.

In this video, the big-picture reporting on the coupon industry is handled by the reporter’s voiceover narrative. But for the closeup view of a master couponer, we get to focus on Philips as we watch and hear her in action — fervently Web-searching, clipping, organizing, shopping, and ultimately stockpiling what seems a supermarket full of goods in her own cupboards.

CHANNEL: Time.com

Length: 4:13

Video Journalist: Jacob Templin
Supervising Producer: Craig Duff

Member Comments (3)

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  Posted by Video journalism: I can do it | The Clue Press on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 17:56 PST
[...] This video from the Times about a 44-year-old mum and “extreme couponer” kept me interested from beginning to end, despite its duration and average visual quality. The reporter’s voiceover draws the big picture of the coupon industry, and the viewer gets to see the extreme couponer frenetically stockpiling coupons and food. The story would have been an interesting read, but seeing the woman’s basement full of accumulated products filling the space that used to be devoted to her failing framing business, and later watching her scavenge groceries with her huge coupon book gave me an understanding of her reality that words alone could not. [...]
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