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Extreme Couponing…

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Ok, ok, you KNEW I was going to bring up the new TLC show ‘Extreme Couponing’ eventually.

If you’ve seen the show, you know it’s about men and women who spend a good portion of their lives clipping coupons and purchasing crap… *cough*… I mean, purchasing ‘stuff’ and ‘saving huge amounts of money’ while doing it.

I was excited to watch the show somehow thinking it would be informative and help me in my own shopping endeavors.

The only thing the show ‘informed’ me was that these people are nuts and I’ve got a pretty good handle on my sanity comparatively.

This week, I watched the episode with Missy, who spends 35 hours per week couponing. According to her, she saved $60,000 in one year. Um… I DON’T SPEND $60,000 ON GROCERIES IN ONE YEAR!! I spend about 5% of that. Theoretically, I saved $57,000 by not buying junk I didn’t need… and I don’t have to stockpile. Plus, let’s not forget to mention that I spend 40 hours per week working and made real money – not fake ‘saved’ money. The math doesn’t add up for these couponers.

In the episode, she purchased 54 bottles of laundry detergent. She also purchased hundreds of bags of cat treats…and she doesn’t own a cat. Who needs 54 bottles of detergent?!? Or 93 bags of croutons? Or cat treats without a cat? Unless that detergent can double as salad dressing and the cat treats as a weird form of bacon bits, I see a disconnect here.

Admittedly, I keep around 5 containers of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, and hair gel at any given time. I wait for a three or four dollar coupon, combine it with a sale, and buy a couple at a time. I never pay for these items. But do I keep a collection of several thousand bottles in my organized garage that I couldn’t use in 15 lifetimes? Not even close.

Let’s just call ‘Extreme Couponing’ what is really is…

Organized hoarding.


17 Comments

  • Reply Lizzie |

    We don’t have cable…..but I can see I’m not missing much! Sounds quite strange, I’ll stick with my “regular” coupons, thanks.

  • Reply Shannon |

    I think it’s really great when they do this and then they donate 1500 boxes of cereal and 300 toothbrushes to a local shelter and they only spent 4.50. I’m totally fine with that. And I’m fine with having a years worth of stuff THAT YOU USE on hand. That falls under “prepping” for me. But more than that, and ya, it’s hoarding. For a family of 4 for a year, you need 16 toothbrushes…not 300. If you need to buy 300 so that you can then get 30lbs of steak for free, so be it. But give the toothbrushes to a charity. hanging on to them IS hoarding.

  • Reply Summer Bartlett |

    I enjoy the show just because it is entertainment to me. I also like watching to see how they’re using their coupons since Im new to couponing. However, I dont own a stock pile in my garage or under our beds and DONT plan to! haha Im just interested in buying what I need, when I need it.

  • Reply emmi |

    Buying something you don’t need, just because someone sent you a coupon? What are these people, puppets?

    I’m with you. It has to be something actually useful and already on the list.

    I am a sucker for $5 Bed Bath and Beyond coupons. I wait to shop there until one arrives, keep the list on the fridge door of things we need and hold off until it arrives. (well, with that store, probably more accurately: want, not need).

  • Reply FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com |

    I agree with it if they give it away and don’t really hoard it. Some do that, but not all.

    $60k/year in groceries/toiletries/household is bananas. I don’t even spend even close to that with travel/clothing/rent combined!

  • Reply Jen |

    I also started watching the show thinking I could get some good tips and find some under the radar items but it turns out not so much. Most of the coupons are for mainstream, very processed items that I don’t really use. It would be nice to see someone be able to purchase a lot of very healthy foods, some actual produce and organics instead. Finding out how to coupon for that would be very useful.

  • Reply Brandy |

    I stock up when items are on sale but only what i can consume. I might have 12 12pks of mello yellos in my pantry now, but they rarely go on sale (its hard to get mello yellos) and they will be consumed in 2 months time at most. cokes i stockup, can goods maybe a months worth. i try to not have a store at home, just a pantry. also if i had thier stockpile i wouldnt shop for months.

    buuuut… i had a shoppers high when i had a $1 off coupon and got laundrydetergent at target for 8.34 and bigger then my current one. i got 144 oz for $7.34. i could have gone crazzy buying then but made myself realize the 2 i bought should last 2 months.

  • Reply Lisa |

    Thank you Becky!!! I totally agree. This show has totally disgusted me. I also find that now I can’t go get simple items that are on sale because some new “couponer” (Hoarder) has come through and emptied out the shelves. Ever since this show hit the air as a regular show, I’m having this problem. People don’t understand. Also, a lot of those people are using coupons for different products than what the coupon is actually for. This doesn’t normally happen. I hope this is a fad and things go back to normal!!!

  • Reply Sass |

    Ugh. That show made me slightly nauseous! I’ll admit I keep my stockpile under my bed (1957 house equals 0 storage), but its in one plastic underbed box. The contents are roughly: 3 boxes of Kleenex, 4 bottles of my daughter’s very pricey face wash, A small bag containing duplicates of the makeup we use, 4 shampoos, 3 conditioners, 4 toothbrushes, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 2 deodorants, 1 bag of cottonballs and 2 boxes of benadryl.

    Of course with the horrible tornados that have hit this state, I really kind of wish I had a huge monstrous stockpile that I could go drop off to one of the donation locations!

  • Reply tiffany |

    Although I’m not THAT extreme I think responsible couponing is very effective, even if its “fake” money.

  • Reply Lisa Clark |

    Tomorrow we get to see ‘Extreme Couponing’ in the UK for the first time and I have been looking forward to watching the show.
    The UK doesn’t really do a lot of couponing – supermarkets do what we call “bogof” offers ie. buy one get one free or 3 for 2 offers.
    Years ago while living in a community in Chicago I remember cutting lots of coupons and shopping with them – we really saved heaps which was fun (and also very needed). When your buying for up to 600 folk coupons are a must do!

  • Reply Jennifer |

    I do not consider myself an extreme couponer, however, I do use a lot of coupons. I have saved a ton of money using coupons. I don’t consider it fake “saved” money though. It is a real savings. I can, with paper and pen or calculator, tell you each week how much money I save by using coupons. I work 40 hours a week as well, in addition to taking care of 2 children, a husband, and a household, but I consider the coupons that I use an addition to my paycheck. It allows me to stretch my paycheck dollars further than I ever could without coupons. I do find that the Extreme Couponing show is making all people that use look like hoarders and crazy people, but I just wanted you to know that not all people that use coupons are crazy hoarders.

  • Reply PT |

    My opinion is that the bottom line of the extreme couponers are going to be LESS coupons printed and severe changes in store policies. As it is, in Maine where I live, there is ONE chain in the whole state that doubles coupons and it is over 100 miles from me… NOT worth the gas!! Gas prices are going to continue to rise which means product prices will rise to compensate. Companies arent going to lose $1200 to mega extreme couponers… even with the publicity

  • Reply Jen |

    Well said!!

    I actually wrote about this and the fact that there was coupon fraud involved on my blog the other day and got a comment from someone who will be on tonight’s show. I wonder how her episode will be different.

    Like you, I was excited to watch last week’s show thinking that I would learn some neat tricks to save money and was disappointed that it was really about hoarding and nothing more. It’s not realistic and not something that most of us can or are interested in doing.

  • Reply Katie |

    I like the show. Yes, some of the people are certainly hoarders, no matter how organized they are.

    I just started couponing and starting my own little stockpile and I love it. I love looking through the sales ads and seeing what coupons I have. And if something is on a really good sale, I will buy it even without a coupon because it is a good sale!

    But we are limited to a 3-6 month “stockpile”. I am no where close to that overall (but I sure am on bodywash, razors and tampons!)

    But the way I see it – I am trying to pay off debt and then save 3-6 months expenses for a EF, right? Think about how much further 3-6 months EF will go if I have a stockpile of things that my family does use that I bought at a low sale price with a coupon paying either ZERO or less than 75% of the retail price?

    And there are coupons for healthy, organic foods. Whole foods even has their own coupons. And even if you just use the HBA coupons combined with sales, that can save you hundreds of dollars a year (depending on the size of your family) which can help either pay down debt, perk up savings, buy healthier food, or do whatever it is you want with it, since it is REAL savings and those REAL savings are REALLY in your bank account/wallet/envelope.

So, what do you think ?