I've been sick today. I'm upright now, so that's progress!
I spend my "extra" time on the computer and rarely watch TV, but my daughters have been great nurses, even finding me a show on Netflix. We don't have cable, so I've never seen Extreme Couponing, until now. I just watched two episodes. Yes, you CAN do this in Arizona, but do you WANT to?
I have to say that I don't get the same rush of excitement like they claim to, at the register. Maybe I'm too busy making sure everything gets on the conveyor belt while worrying about the person ahead or behind me who doesn't have a coupon, trying to scramble to find them one. Or, maybe I'm just too old or have been doing it for too long. Or, maybe it's the non-thrill of only doing one transaction instead of 18. Basically, I'm kind of a boring couponer.
I feel like I had a pretty good grip about what the content would be, but I was surprised at the drama they tried to build in. I found the drama part humorous. "Will she be able to come in under $100 like she thought?" Cue the suspenseful music. If I have a plan to come in under $100 and am following all the store policies, I will come in under $100 — end of story, suspense over. And, I come in waaaay under $100 on every shopping trip. I just don't need as much as they "need."
I've been asked about the show many times, but found it hard to evaluate without seeing it. Well, now I've seen it. :) I had a lot of "What!?!?" thoughts going through my mind. My biggest "Whats!?!?!" were:
*** How can you possibly use all that stuff before it expires?
I guess we all have different levels of "stocked," so I don't want to be too quick to judge. Most people would think I'm more than stocked on just about everything. However, I feel like I have a good grip on what we'll use and and try not to waste very much. But, wow . . . I think it's hard to argue that these people aren't overstocked! Things really do expire!!
*** Why would you buy 60 bottles of mustard for 39¢ each when your boyfriend doesn't even use it?
They said it doesn't expire, but I beg to differ. I'll be dead before I will use 60 bottles of mustard . . literally. My husband is the only one who uses it in my family. That's $15.60 sitting on a shelf, rotting . . . at least most of it would be at my house.
*** How much time and money is invested in this?
They mentioned one lady got leftover papers dropped off at her house. But, I wonder how the others rationalize the expense to get that many coupons. It adds up. And, don't even get me started on the time it would take to get ready for trips like this!
*** Is this just an outlet for getting the "shopping bug" out of these women?
If it is, I guess it's better than going into debt on other expensive purchases. I just hope they donate more than the show leads us to believe. I hate wasting things, and extra clutter in my house isn't overly appealing to me either.
My advice to you is to consider the time and money you are putting into getting things you don't need . . . or even need, in some circumstances. Is it worth it? You are all busy people, I'm sure. Some of you do this out of necessity, others don't. Honestly, it's not a complete necessity for me. It just makes sense, in moderation, for my family. I know how much can be saved and it's difficult to pay full price for something and give up the savings I can use for something else. If you can rationalize the time, consider donating more than you do before the items are wasted or it consumes your home. If you can use everything you get, develop a good system for storing it so you don't waste anything. Basically, don't go crazy! :)
I love doing this website, but it makes me a little sad to know that the same information I provide can allow a family to stretch their budget and "make it" (Thanks for the emails with stories. I love them!) or it can bring out the hoarder in some people. So, my public service announcement this New Year's Eve is . . . Please use responsibly! :) Really, it's not worth wasting your life away, if it's not working for you. Maybe you need to cut back. Enjoy your family, friends, and the life that is in front of you!
Some of you have found this site after watching the show. I'm very glad you're here! Don't beat yourself up if you aren't reaching "Extreme Couponing" standards. You can save a bunch and be successful without having that many coupons!!
Thanks for being here. Those are just my two cents. If you have two more, please leave a comment. I only saw two episodes and I'm only one person with one perspective.
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