By Albert Rodriguez
If you are annoyed by standing in line at a grocery store behind
a person who takes forever to pay for their groceries, you might
find yourself hating an “extreme couponing” shopper.
The ability to purchase all the items needed to keep a household
running for 95 percent off of the retail price. Sounds too good to
Flash forward to the present, and coupon use has taken on a
completely different meaning. The Learning Channel’s television
show “Extreme Couponing” gives an eye opening view into what
extreme coupon collecting is all about.
Keep in mind the show is called “extreme couponing,” and the
reasons behind these households taking up such drastic shopping
habits are generally due to financial hardships the households are
The show follows people who make a career out of getting the
best deal possible every time they go shopping. One episode had a
shopper purchase $1,500 worth of groceries for under $50.
All of the savings were possible through the use of coupons
combined with added incentives offered by the grocery store.
The show gives viewers a chance to see how much work goes into
gathering all those coupons. They show the stock piling of all the
excess items they have purchased. Some of the people had rooms upon
rooms dedicated to collecting items and rooms for the coupons
For many of the people involved in extreme couponing, it becomes
an addiction and a way of life for the entire family.
The concern I have with any extreme action like this one is the
rate of return on the investment made by the individual. Yes,
investment and return rate come from the financial world, but the
terms can easily be applied to everyday actions.
In the case of extreme couponing how much return are these
people getting from investing so much time and energy into
collecting and using coupons?
According to an article from the American Psychological
Association, physical housing quality can be a predictor of mental
So it will be very hard for these people to even measure what
the cost of certain actions will be. For example, having a child
literally sleeping on the tops of boxes filled with toilet paper
might end up costing them.
The feeling of having an abundance of stored items making each
room smaller might impact their lives.
The amount of stress accumulated over time by converting a home
into a storage warehouse might in time feel like a burden instead
of a blessing.
The actual cost of being able to get so many items for free may
ultimately end up being a far greater price than any of the
families could imagine. When something sounds too good to be true,
it usually is, and in the case of “extreme couponing,” it looks
like this might be the case.
Saving money on the next shopping trip will always be a welcomed
breath of fresh air to anyone’s wallet, but at what cost? That is
what should always be examined before making any drastic changes to
any shopping habits.
Would it be wise to trade open floor space in a home to save on
groceries? Or to invest more time to collecting coupons than to an
eight hour job or to our families? It seems like a very harsh trade
off, but entertaining to watch someone try, I guess.
The fact that a person can focus so much energy and time into
achieving such astronomical savings on his or her grocery list is
If any of you are thinking of taking on coupon usage, just
remember to try and have a balance. Going to the extreme can have
Considering the economic state of our country, it would be wise
for some of us to look toward these extreme coupon collectors and
pick up some small tips on how to save. Let’s just try to keep it
far from the extreme.
Photo illustration by Trevor Wills / The Poly Post
Super Couponing is the way to savings
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