"Extreme couponing" show is ridiculous - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I caught this show late last night and thought it was ridiculous... sure, this woman got $1900 of groceries for $44, but it was all crap.  She got 400 (!) bottles of Gatorade, 44 cases of juice boxes, 30 bottles of hot sauce, etc.  The other woman profiled had a stack 5 feet high of canned soup and hundreds of boxes of Lucky Charms, etc.   I'm all for saving money, but they are "saving" on junk food that no one really needs and is often actually really bad for you, wasteful, or both.  It was like consumerism run amok: do we actually NEED Gatorade to get through the summer?  How about having a garden and buying staples like flour, vinegar, etc?  I am not a couponer, b/c if we ever buy the paper, the coupons are all for processed crap that we never eat anyway.


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#2 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 07:13 AM
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I have a few friends who LOVE this show and I hate it. I look at the crap they buy and think well thats nice too bad I don't feed my family pretty much any of that junk so I guess I will continue not getting coupons for veggies and fruit..

 

It's all well and good if you could care less what your family eats but give me a show where you save hundreds of bucks on good quality meat/dairy/veggies/fruit and then I will be slightly interested in it...

 

I have lots of FB friends who are always bragging and posting pics about how much they saved at the grocery store...whoopee my kid doesn't eat chef boyardee so excuse me for not being so impressed with you scoring 30 cans for a buckeyesroll.gif

 

ok rant over....

yes I totally and completely agree with you OP.

We don't coupon here either. Once in a while I will get one for something truly useful to us...Like cat litter or diapers (we don't cloth) and I'm happy about saving my 2 dollars at that time.

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#3 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 07:14 AM
 
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I have a hard time with it.  I appreciate frugality and saving money and using coupons for the things I would buy anyway .... but if you are hoarding 879 bottles of ketchup in your basement -- well, frankly, I'd rather pay full price for a bottle as I need it than have to store/rotate/clean around/mind the mini-grocery store in my house.

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#4 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 07:53 AM
 
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There has to be a hoarding element that goes along with some of this extreme couponing stuff.

 

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Originally Posted by hopefulfaith View Post

I have a hard time with it.  I appreciate frugality and saving money and using coupons for the things I would buy anyway .... but if you are hoarding 879 bottles of ketchup in your basement -- well, frankly, I'd rather pay full price for a bottle as I need it than have to store/rotate/clean around/mind the mini-grocery store in my house.


 

This was my house growing up, but it was shampoo, tampons, trash bags and cleaning products......Both my parents would do sort of wacky stuff like buy cases of shampoo for 10 cents a bottle.  Every nook and crany of our rather large house was stuffed with couponed stuff, more than we could ever use.  10 years after I moved out, my mom was still trying to push Sauve shampoo from 1986 on me.    They never ran across a coupon they didn't use.

 

My dad scored cases and cases of Scrubbing Bubbles sometime in the mid 80s and the stuff sat in the garage for at least 10 years.  When someone finally got around to using it in the mid 90s (I was married by this point) the aerosol element was shot and he couldn't get the stuff out of the can.  He returned it to the store and they replaced every single can. 
 

 


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Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

My dad scored cases and cases of Scrubbing Bubbles sometime in the mid 80s and the stuff sat in the garage for at least 10 years.  When someone finally got around to using it in the mid 90s (I was married by this point) the aerosol element was shot and he couldn't get the stuff out of the can.  He returned it to the store and they replaced every single can. 

 

 

 

That seems so unethical to me. So focused on saving a buck at someone else's expense. All the money couponers like that are saving is just passed on to other consumers.
 

 

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#6 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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I've never seen this show, but I do look for coupons in the papers and online. I too have noticed that it is rare to find a coupon for something that is real food that we actually eat. I think coupons are less about savings and more about marketing. The time I spent looking at the ad, cutting out the coupon, putting it in a file, and then realizing it has expired seems just like a way to get the product in my mind. And usually coupons make you think, "Well, I have a coupon, so now I should buy this product!" even though you weren't planning on buying it.

 

I try to cut coupons only for the things I use. I recently cut one out for a tub of plain yogurt that I always buy. I do find coupons from online coupon website for products like Organic Valley milk and eggs. I have found coupons for tangerines, frozen veggies, and tea. These ones are good, and I am happy when I find them.


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#7 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by youngspiritmom View Post

I've never seen this show, but I do look for coupons in the papers and online. I too have noticed that it is rare to find a coupon for something that is real food that we actually eat. I think coupons are less about savings and more about marketing. The time I spent looking at the ad, cutting out the coupon, putting it in a file, and then realizing it has expired seems just like a way to get the product in my mind. And usually coupons make you think, "Well, I have a coupon, so now I should buy this product!" even though you weren't planning on buying it.

 

I try to cut coupons only for the things I use. I recently cut one out for a tub of plain yogurt that I always buy. I do find coupons from online coupon website for products like Organic Valley milk and eggs. I have found coupons for tangerines, frozen veggies, and tea. These ones are good, and I am happy when I find them.


These are good coupons, and I have no issue with them, but you rarely find them in the Sunday paper.  The one thing I do to get coupons is to call a company and ask them a question about their product and/or praise it - I can often get coupons this way, and it is not a scam.  One time I called Amy's Organic to ask if they had discontinued my favorite pizza, and they had and they apologized and sent me coupons.  Another time I called Vaska to ask a question and they sent me free product and coupons.  Very cool and good customer service!

 


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#8 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 09:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Caneel View Post



There has to be a hoarding element that goes along with some of this extreme couponing stuff.

 


 

This was my house growing up, but it was shampoo, tampons, trash bags and cleaning products......Both my parents would do sort of wacky stuff like buy cases of shampoo for 10 cents a bottle.  Every nook and crany of our rather large house was stuffed with couponed stuff, more than we could ever use.  10 years after I moved out, my mom was still trying to push Sauve shampoo from 1986 on me.    They never ran across a coupon they didn't use.

 

My dad scored cases and cases of Scrubbing Bubbles sometime in the mid 80s and the stuff sat in the garage for at least 10 years.  When someone finally got around to using it in the mid 90s (I was married by this point) the aerosol element was shot and he couldn't get the stuff out of the can.  He returned it to the store and they replaced every single can. 
 

 


I absolutely think there is a hoarding element to this.  The night I watched TLC and saw the couponing show, it came on right before Hoarders.  I was really struck by the similarities between the shows:  both parties seemed to feel safer and happier when they were surrounded by stuff.  I really think it does go over the top when every small space in your house is crammed full of consumer goods.

 

I have a pantry downstairs.  I stock up on things when they're on sale - that isn't the element of this that strikes me as odd - but I think it would cross the line if I told my kids to not touch the toilet paper I had stashed under their beds and stuff.  I was sad when I saw that one lady who had a huge storage shelf full of canned goods in her bedroom.  She had a humungous house (to me), but everyone's bedrooms were full of STUFF.  :(

 

I am anxious about money - a lot - but I think I would be more off the deep end if I were surrounded by 1000 containers of something I bought and knew my family would never use.

 


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#9 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 09:39 AM
 
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Thanks for this thread.

Quote:
I think coupons are less about savings and more about marketing.

 

 

Occasionally I feel kind of bad for not cutting, saving and using coupons more often.  I did once use a bunch of coupons from the paper and came home with a bunch of products I had never bought before, like 2 bags of Tyson frozen chicken stuff.  The thing is I ended up spending more than I would have because even with a coupon this stuff is more expensive than it needs to be. And now I know we really don't like the product, either.

 

I've got a friend on another forum who lives in New Zealand.  She mentioned in passing that they don't use coupons like Americans do.  I don't know if she meant they don't have coupons at all or they aren't as prevalent.  But I completely agree, I think coupons are all about getting consumers to try something they wouldn't have otherwise tried. 

 

I did recently use a coupon for an expensive bottle of mouth wash.  That worked out great as I needed to buy it anyway. 


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#10 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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These are good coupons, and I have no issue with them, but you rarely find them in the Sunday paper. 

 


I very often see coupons for Cuties clementines, organic milk or eggs, butter, yogurt, tea, coffee, frozen vegetables, and Kashi items in the coupon inserts mailed to my house, that come free and are not in the Sunday paper (RedPlum).  I don't often get the paper, but I wouldn't think the coupons within would be very different.  Yes, most of them are for processed foods like hot dogs and lunch meats, and convenience items, but on the whole I wouldn't deem the inserts worthless.

 

That said, I don't extreme coupon or stockpile, though if I can get toothpaste for free at CVS, I will get one every time I go.  I just had to buy toothpaste yesterday for the first time in about a year, LOL.


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#11 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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I love my newspaper subscription, even though it's silly and a little wasteful.  Using a coupons from the Sunday paper helps me justify my subscription.  It's a win/win for me.

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#12 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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I've never seen the show, but couldn't help but comment on the gatorade ;)  With a family of super athletic boys (including a husband who is a triathlete, and 5 baseball teams between my 4 boys) I admit that we go through a LOT of gatorade.  We eat very healthy, whole foods, cooke from scratch, etc...but when DH is on leg two of a three leg training day, or the boys are sweating buckets on a 90 degree field for the second 2-3 hour baseball game of the day, yes - the only thing they want is the electrolytes and sodium in a gatorade! I'd love to find a really good deal on 400 bottles of gatorade, lol - it probably wouldn't last through the summer in my house.

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#13 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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Funny, we were just watching the show last night. DH is fascinated by how much money they save, but realizes that we don't have any hope for doing what these people do with their coupons b/c 1) we don't use much in the way of processed foods, etc. and 2) DH would never be able to handle that amount of stuff in the house. But it's interesting. Although I also commented to him last night that there is no way we could ever go through that much hot sauce and soy sauce in a lifetime, nevermind before it goes bad. And it does go bad, eventually.

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I've never seen the show, but couldn't help but comment on the gatorade ;)  With a family of super athletic boys (including a husband who is a triathlete, and 5 baseball teams between my 4 boys) I admit that we go through a LOT of gatorade.  We eat very healthy, whole foods, cooke from scratch, etc...but when DH is on leg two of a three leg training day, or the boys are sweating buckets on a 90 degree field for the second 2-3 hour baseball game of the day, yes - the only thing they want is the electrolytes and sodium in a gatorade! I'd love to find a really good deal on 400 bottles of gatorade, lol - it probably wouldn't last through the summer in my house.


DH loves his gatorade so maybe I should be figuring out how to get 400 bottles for a buck!

 

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#15 of 168 Old 05-16-2011, 09:49 PM
 
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I think this show is stupid too, but only because I would like the chance to use coupons that way! No extreme couponing in Canada :(

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well I watched a full episode last night with this thread in mind. I have to admit I was not impressed except with their hoarding ability.

The only difference between those people I see and the actual hoarders from the show is that the couponing women have what appears to be a little of OCD about organizing their "hoards"...I did feel bad for one woman, her husband was out of work and they were running out of money for food so she started couponing like crazy...In my head I was like "why can't you get a job then lady??" Ah well it's not for me.

The coupons for things like croutons or "noodles" just aren't things I would buy...Also I prefer to visit farmer's markets...where are the coupons for those!

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I have been watching the show, more for the OMG factor then the coupon learning.  It does seem strange that the show is all about the shopping, stock piling and saving and very little about actually using all 100 bottles of ketchup.

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I have been watching the show, more for the OMG factor then the coupon learning.  It does seem strange that the show is all about the shopping, stock piling and saving and very little about actually using all 100 bottles of ketchup.



I think that's kind of the point.  It's extreme, just like hoarding, addictions, families with 20 children, etc.  That's the draw.  No one would watch a show about regular couponers.


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Haven't been on MDC in awhile, but watched a few episodes of this show yesterday and was curious about the reaction on here.  I was also struck by the hoarding element as well as the large quantities of food collected that is really bad for you (the room full of Mountain Dew made me sick and the couple buying a hundred hot dogs freaked me out!!!) Several people bought stuff they couldn't use at all (cat food with no cat???) or couldn't use before it expired (cough syrup, lunch meat, etc.)

 

That being said - I used to coupon more and have sort of let it go - the show has left me inspired to up my couponing a bit.  I am thinking of setting a goal of $25 a week. There are things that we buy that I do see coupons for - yeast, clementines, hot sauce, toothpaste, decent quality cereals, shampoo, tp, etc.  If I devote a little bit of time to it (I don't have 6 hours a day to coupon) I could save $1200 this year... 

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I have been watching the show, more for the OMG factor then the coupon learning.  It does seem strange that the show is all about the shopping, stock piling and saving and very little about actually using all 100 bottles of ketchup.


Dh saw an episode where the wife was buying tons of mustard, and the husband was pleading, "But honey, neither of us likes mustard!" and she was looking at him like he was crazy for not wanting to buy it.

 

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#21 of 168 Old 05-17-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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I think this show is stupid too, but only because I would like the chance to use coupons that way! No extreme couponing in Canada :(


Its not really a "chance", those people put a stupid amount of time into couponing! One lady said she works 35 hours a week towards it! Another lady had TEN computers so she could have 10 different IP addresses to print out online coupons. Another lady spent $2k a year on newspapers, while another lady went dumpster diving for coupons. No thank you!
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#22 of 168 Old 05-17-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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Dh saw an episode where the wife was buying tons of mustard, and the husband was pleading, "But honey, neither of us likes mustard!" and she was looking at him like he was crazy for not wanting to buy it.

 


 

Maybe they will donate it?

In one episode, the man purchased tons of cereal for next to nothing and donated it to a food pantry.

 

I am not a grocery coupon user for the same reasons many pp's mentioned.  I will look for coupons for other things, like oil changes restaurants, etc.

 

As pp's mentioned, there is definitely a hoarding element to the show.  I am a bit of a hoarder with OCD redface.gif.  My house looks organized, clean and decluttered but my closets and storage areas are overfilled - but neat and organized.  My pantry is embarrassingly stocked.  I buy in bulk through UNFI and also purchase sale items.  It used to give me comfort to walk into the pantry and know we will have enough food even if we lost our income, but now it sort of stresses me out and I see how much money I have invested in the pantry and freezers.  The same with laundry detergent and personal care products…I think I have enough to last two years.   I watch hoarders and this show as a sort of therapy!  I have put myself on a purchasing freeze until we’ve used up or donated the stockpiles.  With the types of products I purchase, I am not even getting great deals like the people on the coupon show.

 

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#23 of 168 Old 05-17-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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Working 35 hours per week, for, say 50 weeks per year? = saving several thousand per year on groceries.  I think it might pay better to have even a part-part-time job...

 

Ten computers for different IP addresses?  That math might be a little crazy-making, too.  Even if you got ten computers for FREE, wouldn't the cost of electricity for ten computers eat away at one's couponing savings?

 

 


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Working 35 hours per week, for, say 50 weeks per year? = saving several thousand per year on groceries.  I think it might pay better to have even a part-part-time job...

 

Ten computers for different IP addresses?  That math might be a little crazy-making, too.  Even if you got ten computers for FREE, wouldn't the cost of electricity for ten computers eat away at one's couponing savings?

 

 


Not to mention the cost of printer ink and paper.  That's the thing - I know that people can save a decent amount of money using coupons.  I think these extreme couponers are truly extreme though because they are more concerned with having a huge out of pocket savings at the grocery store, but spend a ton of money, time, and effort to get to that point.  

 

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#25 of 168 Old 05-17-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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I have to say, it appears that many of the couponers are doing it because they like the challenge of getting as much as they can for free. A few of them mentioned their "beautiful stockpile", the love the constant reminder of how great they have done. The majority of the food they bought was junk and I wouldn't eat it even if it was free. However, I did admire the pastor who does extreme couponing just so that he can donate the excess to charity.

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Originally Posted by Jazzmin View PostHowever, I did admire the pastor who does extreme couponing just so that he can donate the excess to charity.


I've read that many people who stockpile like this donate what they can't use rather than letting it go to waste. I can't speak on the reality of that happening but the idea is great!

 


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#27 of 168 Old 05-17-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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I've read that many people who stockpile like this donate what they can't use rather than letting it go to waste. I can't speak on the reality of that happening but the idea is great!

 



I have a good friend who does this, but she doesn't buy in quite the quantity these extreme couponers do.  But she has donated dozens of boxes of cereal and the like to her local food pantry.  She doesn't clear shelves to ruin it for the next shopper though.  :)


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#28 of 168 Old 05-17-2011, 12:32 PM
 
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I have friends who do this......

However I don't think I want to eat nor feed my family food that can sit on the shelf for months/years.    I have no need to buy 50 deodorants.   

In my area no one that I know of double coupons.    I can't ever find coupons for 5 lbs of potatoes, milk, eggs, onions.  You know staples.   I do like the pasta coupons...but I could never do it based on what we eat.  


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#29 of 168 Old 05-17-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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I used to have a friend that was an extreme couponer. It was actually a problem, she filled a garage up and them moved to her husbands shed. She spend a ton of money on her deals. (things were bought for next to nothing but she would buy hundreds of them) Most of the food items would end up going in the garbage, or she would take the expired stuff to the food bank, and keep the fresh stuff in her stockpile. 

It was a real addiction for her, sadly. She could not go one day without setting foot in a store. I believe that couponing became more important than her two young children. Very sad. 

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#30 of 168 Old 05-18-2011, 12:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dandelionkid View Post

I think this show is stupid too, but only because I would like the chance to use coupons that way! No extreme couponing in Canada :(



Dandelionkid, you CAN be an extreme couponer in Canada! There are more and more stores coming on board with stacking coupons (for example, most Loblaws chain of stores allow you to use one manufacturer coupon with one in store coupon), and more and more Canadians are learning how to save with coupons just like our U.S. friends!

I have been able to save a ton on groceries since I started about a year ago, and I do not go super extreme like on the TLC show (I watch, but mostly for entertainment...you have to remember it's reality tv! and it's meant for entertainment so everything is a little over the top) but I don't stock pile my garage full, but I have learned how to reduce my family's expense by a fair amount. Also, now I am able to donate to the food bank regularly, and also donate other things to charities in my area that I could never have done before coupons.

I just wanted to put this little plug in for Canada--we stack too!

 

{link removed, sorry!}

 

happy savings!

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