Thursday, December 30, 2010

Extreme Couponing

Last night TLC aired a one-hour program on Extreme Couponers in the U.S.  Imagine my surprise when two of the four people profiled turned out to live within 20 miles of me!  I was immediately intrigued because I consider myself a pretty avid couponer.  I am nothing compared to these folks.

$1100 grocery bills turning into $51 OOP expense.  You really just can't beat that.  I was impressed, yet disgusted at the same time - if that makes sense.  I found myself wanting to be able to get deals like that, but I wouldn't want to hoard them in my garage the way these folks do.  A stockpile is one thing, but when you enough toilet paper to last you 40 years, it's time to share the wealth.  There are so many non-profits, shelters and food banks struggling right now.  The least that these people, who have upwards of $30,000 of product just sitting in their house, can do is to donate some of their stuff.  Even a donation of a few boxes can help, and trust me - it won't make a huge dent in a three or four room stockpile. 

Watching it, I realized that saving money can turn into an obsession, an addiction, and can alter your life.  One of the women profiled said she is known to cancel plans with her husband and friends to go to the grocery store.  And it's not out of necessity.  It's because of the rush of adrenaline she receives when shopping.  The haul that was caught on camera took over 6 hours - and shut down several checkout lanes in the store.  At some point there needs to be restrictions.  There needs to be rules.  I mean, her register shut down because she hit the 1,000 scan limit! 

So while I was impressed with the savings, part of me wonders what this type of behavior is doing to these people.  Is it making them anti-social?  Is it impacting their interpersonnal relationships?  Is it driving their very behavior?  Is it something they obsess about?  I'd love to know your thoughts.  Were you impressed?  Were you disgusted?  Were you just plain confused?

For more information on the program, visit

Disclosure:  This post is entirely based on my own personal reaction to watching a program.  TLC did not contact me about this post and all opinions stated in the post are those solely belonging to the author.

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