In the past I have been one of these people. In fact, I became so good at it that I started a business. (Hence the name of my blog.) Here are my feelings about my experience with Extreme Couponing.
1. It takes about 12 weeks of start up time to get a well rounded coupon inventory. And it takes about that long to start seeing significant savings.
2. It does take time. I would spend anywhere between 2-10 hours per weeks clipping, sorting, matching, and shopping.
3. It has the potential to save a lot of money, but you need to be careful about what you buy. Especially at the beginning you are tempted to get stuff you don't need, just because it is cheap.
4. You need a place to store stuff.
5. You will be shopping and cooking in a different way. You will be buying mostly what is on sale matched with what you have coupons for. So you end up cooking with what you have in your storage, not from a menu. (That was hard for me.)
6. You have to visit different stores to save the most money. That takes time, and gas.
7. Some weeks you totally score, others it's not even worth going out.
8. This is a big one. If you are going to get serious about coupon shopping, get a coupon binder. Period. (Too bad I shut my business down. This would be a perfect plug. :)
9. The more copies of one coupon you have the bigger the savings. I used to get six papers. I isn't that much more work to clip, sort, etc. six papers than it is one.
I feel that this show can be misleading in that they make it look so easy and the savings so big. The women that they show spend hours and hours before hand preparing what they show you. The kind of shopping trips they have only come around every-so-often or with tons of work every week. Plus they know the ins and outs of the coupon world and that takes time to learn.
There is a lot of potential to save money with coupons. And if you need to save money, it is a great thing. However, I have seen that budgeting is actually a more powerful way to make a significant difference with your money.