I’ve spent some time last week catching up on episodes of TLC’s “Extreme Couponing.” I took some notes, and here’s my opinion on how the people on the show shop.
Time Spent “Couponing”
On one episode a woman said she spent 30 hours each week on her coupon shopping. Another show has person spending close to 60 hours each week. Who has that kind of time?? Certainly not this mom of two young boys! I devote a few hours a week during naptime to organizing my coupons and getting my grocery lists ready.
One episode showed a customer spending around 10 hours grocery shopping. This is certainly not my idea of how I’d like to spend the day! I wonder what my husband would say if I said “I’m going to go grocery shopping,” and then I returned 10 hours later? I’m lucky to spend an hour in the store shopping. I usually have my kids with me, and that is about their limit even when I bribe them with treats or lunch.
Another individual on the show would stay up until all hours of the night researching deals and clipping coupons. A different extreme couponer would shop at all hours of the night to find the best deals. I don’t’ know about you, but this mom likes her sleep!
One episode showed a woman break her items into 32 transactions to get the coupons to work out how she wanted them. I wonder how long it took her to get that figured out, and how long did she spend waiting for the cashier to ring up her items?
I think the most I’ve done while shopping is 3 transactions, but none of them were very large. I may do multiple transactions at Walgreens to get Register Rewards to print out, but never have I had 32! If I know I’m going to have more than one transaction, I will try to shop when the store is not that busy. I don’t want to be “that person” taking forever in the checkout lane.
Buying unnecessary items
There was a pair of sisters on awhile ago who bragged about all the diapers they had in their stockpile, and they didn’t even have kids! A recent episode showed a teenage boy who had women’s razors, feminine products, and baby formula in his stockpile. Why?? In my opinion, just because an item is free or really cheap, if you won’t use it, you don’t need it. Leave it for a customer who will or better yet, donate it to your local food pantry or shelter. I love the episodes of Extreme Couponing that show people donating to charity.
When I started coupon shopping about a year ago now, I was told that a good stockpile of items was enough to last about 3 months because that is how long it takes for stores to cycle their prices. The episode showing the lady buying 93 bags of croutons would mean her family needed to eat about 1 bag of croutons per day to have it gone in 3 months! Another recent show had a woman bragging about how she had enough razors for her husband to shave twice a day for 3 years. Another had enough tooth brushes for her family of 4 to use for 6 years. Razors and toothbrushes are examples of items you can get cheap or free a lot, but that doesn’t mean you need to go that overboard with them!
Extreme Couponing also shows all the space people have devoted to their homes for their stockpiles. I have a decent sized home, but I’m pretty sure that if I told my husband I was going to convert our spare bedrooms into my stockpile areas he would say NO. I have two shelves in my basement storage areas where I keep my extra supplies.
I did enjoy watching people on this show try to find the best deals, but it is definitely way to extreme for me! I would rather coupons not take over my life!
Here are a few bargain buys for this week. At Walgreens, you may find free trial sized Carmex lotion (10-30-RP) and $1.99 Schick razors (10-30SS). At Target, certain items are offering free$5 gift cards when you buy 2. CVS stores have free $10 gift cards available when you spend $30 on select items. They also have moneymaker Aveeno (10-30 SS), 49 cent Dawn dish soap ( 10-30 P & G), and B1G1 Nature Bounty vitamins (10-16RP).
FatWallet tip: This post is part of an ongoing series of posts for the couponers and those who wanna be couponers! You may access all the posts on Shannen’s author page. Please be sure to check out the grocery coupons and deals forum here on FatWallet to get great deals and connect with other couponers!