Sunday, March 6, 2011

TLC's Extreme Couponing Show

I believe this is The Krazy Coupon Lady's garage pantry (aka stockpile).

There is a lot of talk on coupon blogs about how TLC's show is going to ruin their lives.  How folks who have been couponing for a decade or more are the only ones deserving of good deals.  And how this show is going to make their friends think badly of them.

Holy selfishness. 

First, this show is on TLC.  The same network that brought us Jon and Kate Plus 8 and The Duggars.  They have regular specials about people so overweight that walls need to be cut to get them out of their homes.  The feature children with all sorts of unique and extreme health situations.  And then of course my guilty pleasure, Sister Wives.  See the commonality?  They are all about the extreme.  That's their shtick.  It gets attention and viewers and makes them money. 

No one would watch a show about a woman getting pregnant and raising one kid.  No one would watch a show about a family who sends their kids to public school and goes to church for one hour on Sunday.  No one would watch a show about a kid with the flu.  No one would watch a show about a girl in Albany who saves 40-60% on her average grocery bill.

It would be super boring.  A royal snooze fest. 

You know how Bravo TV's Real Housewife series is making gazillions and popping up in ever city in America?  It's because it's extreme.  Those "housewives" are not like any women I have ever met.  My friends would not make for good TV characters.  And I am pretty sure they are all OK with it. 

I have lots of friends from New Jersey and/or an Italian heritage.  Not one of them acts like the fools from MTV's Jersey Shore show.  None of them scream, punch, or look like an Oompa Loompa.  Thankfully!

I am excited about the show.  I get inspired to see others have success- be it with coupons or jobs or families or anything else in life.  Couponing for savings is not the same as folks like Paris Hilton and Sarah Palin becoming famous for doing nothing.  Couponing, whether done on a small scale with one paper or large scale with 500 papers, is hard work.  I spend a LOT of time on this hobby.  I enjoy the process and the savings so I don't mind working at it.  But it is not something that just "happens" out of the blue for anyone. 

I know hoarding exists.  But buying a lot of a product does not make a person a hoarder.  They might be.  But one does not equal the other.  Many extreme couponers who buy cases of a product, have pre-ordered that product.  It never sees a shelf as it was ordered specifically for that customer.  It takes away nothing from other customers.  Many do this to give food away to needy organizations.  Many do this to fill up their basements.  Who am I to judge why someone buys 100 boxes of cereal?  Just because I don't want it, doesn't mean it is wrong for someone else to take advantage of a sale/coupon deal. 

As for the blame game on shelf clearing, I have a few thoughts there too.  I agree it would be rude for someone to walk into a store and take ALL of the 100 units of product off the shelf with others standing there also wanting it.  But I have personally never seen such a thing happen.  And I firmly believe that it should be up to stores to anticipate what stock will be popular.  Not up to a customer to anticipate other unknown people wanting this product three days later.  If I am aware of sales a week or two before they happen, a store is too.  It is the store's job to properly prepare stock for their customers.  My drugstores never carry more than four of an item, outside of candy.  So if just two customers buy two items, they are out of stock by 9AM the first day of a sale.  That is the store's fault.  As someone who rarely shops the first or second day of a sale, I know I miss out on a lot of deals.  If it was of great importance to me, I am fully capable of getting my booty out of bed and into the stores first thing on a Sunday morning.  But the truth is, I am lazy and love sleeping as late as possible.  So I miss out.  Sometimes I get Rain Checks (my new coupon love!) and sometimes I just let it go.  A lot of the time I view it as God telling me I didn't really need a particular item.  Because really, I can live another week without getting a free toothbrush.  And I can afford to buy one full price if I really need it. 

I love all the crazy TLC shows (outside of any show with that super annoying Buddy the ugly cake baker on it) and I am sure I will watch most of this series too.  It's fun TV done in a non-salacious way.  It's entertainment without anyone being nekkid and a side of a education too.


Sunshine and Summertime said...

I'm interested in seeing the Extreme Couponing show, but I will never go buy like 100 candy bars just because I can. I plan to buy what I would normally buy, just pay way less, and even donate some items. I'm loving reading your blog! I haven't really had any experience and am still learning how everything works. This weekend though, I'm planning on having a coupon-cutting-out party with some friends and take my first trip to the store!

Money Saving Maine-iac said...

Well said.