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Extreme Couponing – a Happier Side to Hoarding??

I may not be the best person to comment on extreme couponers.  I am the polar opposite of an extreme couponer because I do not clip coupons.  Maybe that’s why I don’t get it?

I used to cut coupons – I really tried.  I’d buy the paper each Sunday, and go through the sections, cutting out coupons for new products, products we never tried, products that I try not to buy.  It seemed that none of the stuff I ever actually used had coupons, but I’d happily head into the store with a pocket full of discounts, only to come home with food my kids hated, food I wasn’t proud serving, and toothpaste that tasted like butt and no one would use.  I never saw the value of couponing – at least for my family.

Plus, I’m just not that organized.

But when I’m watching these coupon clippers and their euphoric highs, I half feel like I’m watching an episode of Hoarders.  These happy housewives are proudly showing off their stash of deodorant – all of which they obtained for free using coupons – but half of which will still be in their garages long after the apocalypse.  Who needs that much deodorant?

Or how about candy bars?  I saw an episode where a couple of coupon clippers filled a quarter of their grocery cart with candy bars – but they were free or very nearly free.  I wouldn’t even know where to put that many candy bars once I got them home.  I’d be making candy bouquets, making Snickers soup in the crock pot, and putting them in the collection basket at Church just to get them out of my house.

One episode had a woman who proudly showed off her diaper mountain – enough diapers to keep a baby dry and happy for 18 months of it’s life.  Except, the woman didn’t actually have any children.  But who can pass up a deal, right?  That same couponer packed a shopping cart filled with Maalox – maybe the week before she scored big on cans of spicy bean dip?

There seems to be a thin line between collecting bottles of salad dressing until you could supply every salad bar in the free world with an assortment of dressings for six months and hoarding cats.  Are these people more “okay” because cat pee smells?

While I appreciate immensely the ability to feed a family of five for a month on $6.00, like one woman featured on this show, how much fresh foods are these people feeding their families?  Are there coupons for oranges and bananas?  Fresh salad or vegetables?  And where the hell would these people put 27 crates of bananas?

More power to you if you can use coupons to your advantage.  In this economy, we could all use a bit of a break now and again from the outrageous cost of things.  Heaven knows that at some point, we may get to where it costs more to put fuel in our cars than food in our families’ tummies, so if you can do it more cheaply, go for it.

But really?  It seems like the term “extreme” applies to more than just couponing here.