Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Extreme Couponing on TLC - April 6th

Tomorrow night the second episode of Extreme Couponing on TLC is going to be on.  I've had a few people ask me if I know of the show and a few other people joke that I should be on the show. 

Here are my thoughts on the show:
1) Yes, I'll probably watch, but I anticipate getting irritated.
2) I think it really skews the view of what "normal" people do when they use coupons.  Saving 40-60% on your weekly grocery and drugstore bills is a GREAT savings.  This show focuses on people saving 90% or more and that is just unrealistic.
3) What the show doesn't show you is that these people order massive amounts of coupons online, use multiple transactions to roll over the same catalinas and spend HOURS planning one shopping trip.  So when they say they get coupons and get all these items for free, that's usually not the case.  They have to PRE BUY the coupons before their shopping trip.
4) People showcased on the show usually call the store in advance to get prior approval of the manager/store chain to be buying that many products and using that many coupons.  When was the last time you called corporate before buying milk, eggs and bread?  Seriously...
5) When I say stockpile, I think of the next 3-6 months of non-perishable things.  Take Bentley's dog food and biscuits for example.  It's good for the next 2 years and we have at least a 6 month supply.  What I consider ridiculous is buying 150 jars of pasta sauce for a family of 4.  I mean seriously, what is the point of that?  In my mind, that crosses over the line into hoarding.

I'm a FIRM believer in couponing.  It has helped us considerably cut our budget.  What I'm not a fan of is sensationalizing something that real people turn to when they need to cut corners.  I look at my coupon hobby like a part time job.  I would estimate that we save close to $600 a month at the drug store and grocery store.  I probably spend about 10-15 hours a week planning, cutting and shopping.  To me, that's like a part time job (I just get to wear my comfy pants when I do it).  That would break down to about $10-$15 per hour for my work and I think that's worth it.  The last 6-8 weeks that I've been teaching, my couponing time has easily been cut in half.  I'm sure you can see that by how little I've been blogging.  It's not something I get upset about because we have plenty to get us through.  Now that my class is over, I'll get back in the swing of things and do my best to not go overboard like the people that are highlighted on this TLC show.  As Ms. Dixon, Ryan and I often say... "we are not these people!"  

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