I set my DVR to record the new Extreme Couponing show on TLC and I watched it at 3:30 a.m. this morning. (I couldn’t sleep thinking about all the things I need to do today.)
I have to admit that I was both fascinated and disturbed with the show…let me explain.
As a former “couponer” I am in awe of how the people featured on the show can get over $1000 worth of groceries for about $100. When I was a college student, I would go through the Walgreens insert in the Sunday paper and cut out all the coupons of the things I needed for my weekly shopping trip. If there were “extra” coupons in the paper for the same items I was going to buy, it was a bonus day for me. I used to love getting all my hair spray, mousse, makeup and snacks at a great price. As a working college student, I had to stretch my paycheck to the max.
Unfortunately over time, I’ve gotten away from that. I still look at the coupons and cut a few of them out on occasion, but I don’t always remember I have them and I am certainly not organized about it. Truth be told I need to get back on the coupon wagon. So to see these people organize their coupons and strategize their shopping trip truly fascinates and inspires me.
But here’s where I got a concerned and frankly disturbed:
As part of the show, TLC highlighted two families and both that were featured on the episode I watched had stock piles of inventory. Their houses looked like a grocery store! They had shelving to hold all their merchandise like:
- 130 rolls of paper towels
- 100 boxes of cereal
- 120 bottles of hand soap
And the list goes on. At one point, the commentator said that one family had enough inventory to last 3 years! One of the ladies bought something like 72 bottles of mustard just because she had coupons. What is anyone going to do with 72 bottles of mustard????
While I must say that both families were extremely well organized and their inventory looked neater than the grocery shelves at some of the stores I shop at, I have to ask “why“.
In reality, both families had so much at home, they really didn’t need to shop for staples anymore. Maybe just fresh fruits, produce, meats, dairy and bread since those items can spoil. But I just don’t understand why they have all that stuff.
Is it a visual sign of their accomplishment?
Do they sell it?
Are they greedy?
Or, are they a new “breed” of hoarders?
I definitely enjoyed the Extreme Couponing show on TLC and I’ll keep watching to learn. I’m sure I could save our family a few hundred bucks a month on groceries if I really pay attention and make it a priority. But I’m still concerned with all that inventory. It’s not a good deal if they aren’t going to use it. But I can tell you now, I won’t be stock piling inventory. A shopping trip to Sam’s for one industrial package of toilet paper is enough for me. We don’t have room in my house to keep a mini grocery store.
What do you think? Did you watch the show? Am I being over critical or has extreme couponing gone too far with the stock piles of inventory?
One last thought: I have to wonder if the major companies like Proctor & Gamble and the grocery store chains are going to see this and pull the plug on their rewards cards, doubling the face value of the coupon and imposing limits on how much you can buy. Can this type of behavior ruin the extreme couponing experience for the rest of us?