However I find it hard to believe that anyone eating a whole food diet will likely save 90% on their weekly food bill which is what many extreme couponers claim.
What I am saying is that it IS possible to save that much on a shopping trip and still be eating healthy. AND that most couponers will tell you that they don't save that much every single trip. What I am saying is that on average, couponers usually save about 50% overall, and yes, many do still eat healthy doing so.
It is possible to get fresh produce for free. How and how much is just going to depend on your particular stores. A few months ago, Meijer had a sale going on for cheese (real cheese, not the individually wrapped slices of processed cheese food). In addition to being priced at $1.67 for an 8oz package, there were coupons out for $1 off two. Yes, it was Kraft, which I know isn't the organic, family farm, grass fed stuff, but it's still real cheese. Anyway, Meijer also offered a catalina, which is a store coupon. You buy X number of packages, you get a coupon for $Y off your next order. I purchased enough cheese to earn $7 in coupons. I turned around and used that to buy fresh produce. You could argue that it's not "free" because you have to buy the cheese, but I would have been buying the cheese anyway. It's a good deal, it's healthy (which is a subjective term and since it's not organic etc, maybe some here wouldn't touch that particular cheese with a ten foot pole, but I don't think you could classify it as junk food either.) And, there's no reason not to buy lots, since it was a good deal and it freezes. But really, the point isn't the cheese, there are LOTS of things that these types of catalinas are offered for, at many stores. Meijer, and Kroger are the only two here that I have personal experience with, but I have heard that Publix does, and Safeway. It could be buy 2 laundry detergents, get $1 off. It could be buy 20 yogurts get $2 off. It could be buy 2 boxes of diapers, get a $10 gift card. I currently have waiting in my coupon binder a $5 gift card, and a $3.50 off your next order, both of which can be applied towards produce. They will go towards my whole order today...which yes, will include some junk cause I have a cherry coke addiction that is just out of control. But since I am also getting fresh peppers for a great deal, and bags of frozen veggies for a great deal, well that will have to balance out my vice. And I have already explained how to get frozen veggies/fruit for free and cheap with coupons, and IMO, that's probably better, nutritionally speaking, anyway.
And, I will reiterate again. This show is called EXTREME couponing. These shopping trips showed are EXTREME. That means even for the people on the show who made the trips. These specific trips are NOT typical, for anyone. In the original special, one guy special ordered over 1000 boxes of cereal. That type of thing is NOT typical for him or anyone else who coupons, they don't do that every week. It's not possible for anyone to get $1900 worth of groceries, of ANY kind, junk or not, for just $100 each and every week.
If it doesn't work for you then it doesn't work for you. But that doesn't mean someone who has saved 90% on an order of groceries is has a cart full of junk in that particular order.