Extreme Couponing?

Extreme Couponing?

I already wrote about my feelings on the extreme couponing episode on TLC last week, but apparently I don’t have it all off my chest yet.

About 8 months ago I started  following frugal living sites that match coupons to store sales.  I get  a kick out of getting free toothpaste and deoderant, pasta and fruit snacks, etc.  It is fun!  I even have people at work bringing me their Sunday coupons so that I can use them to buy (free) hygiene products to donate to a local charity or food bank.  It is selfish because it feels so good to contribute to charities when all I’m donating is my time to shop – which I would be doing anyway.  But it is generating good feelings and helping people, so seems positive.  Plus it’s built a mini sense of community  too.  My office community has gotten on board and enjoys seeing the box fill up each week.

But the TLC show – Extreme Couponing – has shown me a darker side of couponing that just doesn’t seem to fit the positive feelings I’ve been getting from saving my 55 to 60 percent each week.  In a nutshell, Extreme Couponing is EXTREME in every sense of the word.

The extreme couponers featured don’t seem any different to me than drug addicts.  Their drug of choice being the adrenaline rush from a great bargain instead of crack, but it’s still an addiction and something to be wary of rather than revel in.  Because who really needs 35 bottles of Maalox or a 1,000 square foot stockpile room with floor to ceiling stuffed shelves?

Yes, I enjoy a good bargain.  Yes, I like to go to Goodwill and get excited about the “deal” I found.  Yes, I like to stockpile free or nearly free items for donation to people in need.  But hoarding?  Whether it’s trash or food – it’s still hoarding and something to be pitied rather than idolized.

What about you?  Does Extreme Couponing inspire you or worry you?


9 Responses to Extreme Couponing?

  1. I totally agree it’s an addiction when it’s a quantity you don’t need or something you LITERALLY don’t need or wouldn’t even say “yes” to if a friend was getting rid of it. But when the “rush” drives the need, there is a wee problem.

    I like to say that an elephant for 25 cents is a great deal…except you now have an elephant!!!?!!

    • I feel a little hypocritical because I do find myself buying things at Target sometimes that I don’t really NEED, but it was 75% off – how could I pass it up? Although I think I could do better, I think the volume of the addiction is in question with the extreme couponers. A little rush now and again is one thing – hours and hours and tons (literally) of food is something else altogether.

  2. I don’t think you should feel hypocritical. I know you and I know you use the things you get on 75% for birthdays and when people need a little pick me up. You don’t just buy stuff and stock pile it in a warehouse. YOUR bargains are for the benefit of your family which has five members.

    I wish I could understand couponing half as well as you do. Mary & I have both said we wish we could… Crazy TV people like those are just that crazy. Don’t put yourself in with them. You’re to awesome. *wink*

    • Well, come on over and have a coupon class with me! :) Thank you Brent – although our stockpile of toys is a little out of control…will have to start letting the kids go to some bday parties to whittle it down! :)

  3. I read this when u first posted it on my FB group but went back and read it again today. TLC Extreme Q is very extreme and has made couponing look bad when it’s not.

    • I coupon! I definitely support couponing. It’s just when it crosses the line into hoarding (like TLC has chosen to focus on for effect) that I think it’s a bad idea. Couponing in general has saved us a ton and is well worth it. Plus has allowed me to consistently donate to charity.

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