Extreme Couponing

I’m a couponer. I visit the Dollar Store almost every Saturday to pick up the weekly paper (sometimes 2-3) and scour for coupons and deals that I can use on products that I know I purchase. This past week, TLC featured their new show Extreme Couponing and I decided to tune in. These people spend upwards of 70 hours a week visiting websites and clipping hundreds and thousands of couponings and stalking their local grocery stores for the week’s best deals. They pre-plan a shopping visit and they know when certain products go on sale. One woman stated that she hasn’t paid for toothpaste, toothbrushes or deodorant in over 30 years!

source: tlc.discovery.com

I was impressed by these people. I really was. One shopping trip of over $236 of groceries and the woman walked away paying only $6 out of pocket (including tax).  But these men and women, because of their shopping addiction, over buy and all of them have “stockpiles” of food in their homes somewhere which can include 1-2 years of health and beauty products or groceries. For families, I get it. The woman in the image below stated that she started couponing when her husband lost his job and they didn’t know where their next meal is. It’s the control over the ability to put food on the table for your family and know that, at least for 1 year, if $hit hits the fan, your family at least has food to eat. But at some point, when does it cross the line of being a hobby to becoming an obesssion?

The first woman featured on the show spent 70 hours a week (in addition to a full time job and being married) on collecting coupons and tracking deals. She has THREE rooms full of stockpiled loot. And there was no mention of children. WHO is eating all of this food? Why not donate it to a local shelter? Why not use your skills for good to feed people that actually need help? It’s all tax deductible… The man featured on the show did donate 1,000 boxes of cereal to his local church for those in need. I thought that was great. But I just wonder how 1-2 people can seriously purchase 60 deodorants for $2 out of pocket and not consider donating half of that purchase to those in need.

Did anyone else catch this show? I will continue to tune in..because I heart couponing too. I just don’t think I have the time nor the drive to spend my entire day/life scanning deals when I can enjoy myself and catch a deal when I can. Thoughts?

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