Wednesday, December 29, 2010

TLC's Extreme Couponing - Kinda fun, kinda frustrating

Great Shopper, inadvertent exerciser
I just watched TLC's Extreme Couponing and am on the fence about it.

The first shopper clearly had a shopping/clutter addiction. She was the one with a 35k insurance policy on her stockpile and cried when talking about the tolls it has taken on her life. She can spend up to 70 hours a week shopping and planning!

The second shopper seemed kind of normal. The worst thing she seemed to do was dumpster dive for circulars - until she talked about having to move halfway across the country and moving 1000 pounds of her stockpile with her! Think about how much one bottle of body wash weighs. Now multiply that by the hundreds and imagine shucking that across state lines! Any savings she earned with coupons were lost in moving! Her stockpile was gorgeous though. She must have been a store stock organizer in a past life.

The third shopper (above) was most in line with my attitude towards shopping - buy what you can consume and don't go overboard on thousands on items. As Shopper #2 pointed out, most items cycle on sales so as long as you have enough to tide you over until the next sale you don't need to buy more. I was most impressed by Shopper #3 because she hasn't paid for toothpaste or deoderant in 34 years - longer than I've been alive! She was couponning the old school way on her own! Unlike the other three shoppers who relied heavily on the internet and coupon clipping services, she walks through town picking up other's coupons. That is more work than I'm willing to do but seems like a nice way to socialize and exercise.

Shopper #4 was the one I talked about yesterday. The commercial and youtube made him seem like a weirdo but he came across as very likable on the show. He compared couponning to chess and really enjoyed his purchases. Unlike Shopper #1 and #2 who were stressed about their final totals, he just "hoped" it would be under $50 but didn't have it down to the penny. I liked his laid back attitude, if not his ridiculous shopping ways (he was the one who bought 1000 boxes of Total cereal to donate).

So that was a fun show although as a couponner I wanted to know HOW they got the deals. What store was the cereal purchased from and what coupon did he use? My boyfriend is a much better shopper than I am and while I love hearing the totals on his receipts I love even more when he breaks it down and says "I used this internet printable matched with this sale which ends tomorrow."

The problem with a series like this is the layperson (non-couponner) won't continue being shocked weekly by the crazy deals and couponners won't find enough meat to keep watching. I look forward to being proved wrong when I tune in next week though ;)