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?