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Cuckoo for Coupons: A Closer Look at TLC’s ‘Extreme Couponing’

The brilliant minds of TLC have created another disturbing show cataloging addiction…but this time, it’s to coupons.

It’s called “Extreme Couponing” and there are more things that bother me about this show than the fact that the “Extreme Couponers” pronounce their savings cut-outs as, “Q-pons.”

The show profiles women, mostly housewives in suburbia, trying to save money at the grocery store like a bunch of lunatics.

They have a system. They monitor the online coupon database, compare that information with the inserts in newspapers, have the “in” with the store managers to check on coupon policies, own alphabetical lists of which aisle each item is located in, and carry binders full of 2500-3000 coupons per visit to the grocery store. SAVINGS=LYFE.

At first, you think, ok this one woman is trying to feed a family of six on a meager income only coming from her hubby, or there’s one guy who donates groceries to troops, so coupons are logical. Some come out of the grocery store only having paid $6 for $600 worth of groceries, so you think, wow, coupons are magical.

Then, you realize, wait a tic, that chick just came out of the grocery store with 3 carts full of non-perishable items including: 39 cans of stewed tomatoes, 50 tubes of toothpaste, 25 hand soap dispensers, 30 boxes of cereal, 10 containers of Planter’s Party Peanuts, and 40 bags of Tostitos.

What in holy F is she going to do with all of these random items? Is she stocking up a bomb shelter?

The answer is:  she stores them, like collectibles in her basement, her kids’ closets, anywhere that there is room in her house. And it’s the same with all the couponers. They all call their stacked up groceries their “stockpiles.” Everything is neat and all of the products face the same way at the same angle…I wonder if they should be on A&E’s “Obsessed,” about those with OCD.

Though one woman said she had been called a hoarder and she’s absolutely right, the only difference is that her “collection” is more organized. She is one step away from having cats roam free among the piles of food, eat on the countertops, and shit in the sink as she gets BURIED  ALIVE (TLC’s other psychotic amazing show: “Hoarding: Buried Alive”) amongst her garden gnomes and garbage.

Our own “Jamie” of Bethesda, MD loaded up over 60 French’s mustards into her cart.

Jamie, not only you, but not one person in the world needs that much mustard.

One regular sized container of yellow mustard lasts an entire summer for a family of 5. So you need 180 months of yellow mustard? That’s 15 YEARS’ WORTH OF MUSTARD.

At least “Rebecca” of St. Louis threw some meat and eggs in there, and had a party to host, so she just wanted to take advantage of some savings.

 

But the show just makes me think that these women sitting around, clipping, comparing, calling, couponing….need medication.

They don’t work, their full time job is figuring out how to get things for free, and if not free, almost for free.

If that is your full time job, you better hope you’re getting things for free.

Just the fact that some spend 5 HOURS in the grocery store, call grocery shopping a dedicated “process,” and take so long checking out in so many different transactions, that the cashier and the saver feel like they are working for the same cause. They are working together for so long that they feel compelled to high five when the last item is scanned and the receipt marked with total savings is printed out.

It’s possible that I’m jealous because I am looking for a high five when I purchase my pre-roasted chicken and Diet Cokes, but it is also possible that these ladies are spending way too much time in the grocery store. Maybe they’re just bored and this gives them a really complicated project to complete during the day. Maybe they just need to get down with their husbands so they’ll relax. This show leaves me with so many burning questions that I will absolutely tune in again next Wednesday, and so should you. Do the right thing.