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Extreme Couponing

I have no awesome before and after project to show you today and I didn't take any new pictures of Avery last night, so I wondered what I was going to write about. I thought for a second about not writing anything at all, but I saw this article on Yahoo and I had some opinions....

Apparently, some stores are reeling in some coupon rules and options in order to prevent people from receiving so many things for free, in response to TLC's show "Extreme Couponing."

In this article, it talks about how people are trying their best to get savings similiar to the people on this show and are trying to beat the store's policies to make it happen. Therefore, stores like Target and Rite Aid have changed these policies in order to prevent themselves from losing money.

When I first saw this show, I am not going to lie. I thought it was ridiculous. This woman spent hours a day researching, catalogging, and cutting just to save money. She had an enormous stockpile of items she would never even use, ever, and yet continued to cut and hoard supplies. I just didn't understand why anyone needed that much stuff. I am all for getting discounted items, but it just doesn't make sense to me why anyone would need 400 bottles of hand soap or 300 bottles of mustard. Extra bottles, sure. Hundreds of extras? Completely wasteful and ridiculous. To me, they do it for the sport of doing it. Just to see how much they can get for the littlest price.

I think there is a very thin line between getting your money's worth and taking advantage of coupons and the right thing to do. Companies use coupons as an effort to get people to use their products, thinking that if you get a discount on the first item purchased, you will fall in love with it and buy it again and again. Grocery stores use discounts and coupon programs to create buyer loyalty to their stores. I will shop at certain grocery stores because of their discounts and the amount of groceries I can get for the best price. However, I still expect to pay something for the items I purchase. I do not expect to take advantage of their policies, especially just to fill by cabinets with things I will never use. I am all for discounts. NOT all for wasteful shopping trips.

I do see a value in this, especially if you intend on using the couponing for charitable donations. But very few people actually do this. Most of these "extreme couponers" are addicted to bargains and will buy things for no other reason that just to do it. This is yet another thing that become addictive, an outlet for their behavior. And it is going to ruin it for the rest of us, because they are on TV, showing the world on this show just how wasteful they are.

Couponing only works and will continue to be used if companies receive business as a result, not to be fleeced. And while most will not take the time to coupon because it is not worth it to some to spend all afternoon to save $10, the people who are doing it as a career are showing these companies all of the holes in their policies and because of this, coupon policies will be changed to prevent this obvious and complete advantage being taken by people who are simply addicted to the sport. I do not know about you, but to me, you can get great deals in grocery stores without having to coupon. I will look for good deals, but not to the point of being obnoxious.

What are your thoughts?


*Ross and Katy* said…
I LOVE using coupons-but it's because I'm cheap :) I absolutely HATE the show because the first time I watched it a woman bought 60some boxes of candy. Now, I'm pregnant-but even I think that's ridiculous! The reason we use coupons is so we can buy the better (and fresher) dairy products and fruits/veggies. When you watch the show you very rarely see them with dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc) and you almost NEVER see fresh produce! We usually save about $50 a week and spend around $125 to feed a family of 5. It's not the best, but it sure beats saving nothing and spending $175 :)

(It also bothers me that these people don't donate! We had a deal here for a couple of weeks where we could get a 1lb box of cat food for free with a coupon. While it wasn't much cat food, I totally took advantage of the deal because we have four cats. After I scraped together all of the coupons I could, I went and cleaned the store out. We ended up keeping 15 boxes for ourselves and donating the other 10 to our local no-kill animal shelter. Why can't more people on the show do that?)

And sorry...that was WAY longer than I meant it to be :)

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