Admin note: Today, many websites are blacking out to protest House Bill 3261, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Simply put, I’m not because I’m technologically inept and I fear that if I blacked out, I’d never recover my site. Instead, I’m encouraging you to contact your Federal legislators (here’s a list of how to contact them) and ask them not to support this bill. It won’t just affect those the bill claims to target; it impacts all of us. Think it doesn’t? If you use Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google or hundreds of other sites, it will. So, do what you think is the right thing to help stop SOPA.
Now, back to business as usual. Since I’m on vacation this week, I thought I’d share an oldie but a goodie from my inactive blog, The Empty Kitchen. Enjoy!
Like so many others, I have been watching the TLC series “Extreme Couponing” with both fascination and disgust. I was originally inspired by the one hour special to try a now failed coupon experiment but now I’m just…well, I don’t know what I am. I think I’m just confused.
I get the allure of coupons, I really do. If you use them properly you really can save a ton of money. But the amount of time, energy and space that these women
waste spend on their coupons is insane! Yet for some reason, I keep watching.
When I’m done with each episode, I dissect it in my head (and sometimes out loud, with my husband), going over the merits and downfalls of each couponer (and, for the record, the word is pronounced “coo-pon”. This “cue-pon” nonsense drives me batty) and her strategy. There are some who I’ve decided are coupon crazy for a valid reason, like the woman who has a husband that only works seasonally and then there are some–most, really–who I’ve decided are just straight-up batshit crazy. I’m also failing to realize the difference between some of these couponers and some of the featured guests on another favorite show of mine, “Hoarders”. So, I’ve invented a little list to help me differentiate:
- If you buy 62 bottles of mustard even though no one in your house eats mustard but you have a coupon, you’re probably a hoarder
- If an entire shower stall is filled to the ceiling with toilet paper and now your family of 7 only has 1 functional shower, you’re probably a hoarder
- If you’ve had to build an entire room for toothpaste, you’re probably a hoarder
- If you’ve spent money installing a specialized storage shelf in your garage to house all of your canned goods, you’re probably a hoarder
- If you rummage through garbage or steal from other people’s driveways just to get more coupons, you’re probably a hoarder
- If your coupon binder weighs more than you do, not only are you probably a hoarder but you also need to eat a sandwich
- If your husband breaks into a sweat hauling your purchases into the house because you went into coupon overdrive, you’re probably a hoarder
- If you buy 3 years worth of diapers for a child you have not even conceived, you’re probably a hoarder
- If your stockpile can take you through the year 2485, you’re probably a hoarder.
- Finally, a stockpile that is organized, meticulous and “beautiful” does not mean that it is not akin to hoarding.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am all for having a stockpile and using coupons. It does help save money and get you through when times are tough. I also understand that many of these couponers donate their items, and that’s a great thing. But what this show is doing is detrimental to people who use coupons like normal, sane people. It’s putting out there a misconception of those who are frugal and are careful to plan their shopping trips around sale prices and match coupons to those prices and purchase a reasonable quantity of food/hygiene items (I don’t care what anyone says, 800 packages of hot dogs is not a reasonable quantity. Unless you are feeding every player in Major League Baseball at once).
I realize that TLC is purposefully sensationalizing the people on this show. I realize that TLC is trying to make a point about using coupons and how, if you’re meticulous enough, you can save mad money with coupons. I also realize that the featured couponers on the show are edited to look crazier than they are. But the stockpiles speak for themselves. And what they say to me is “I’m one shopping trip away from Hoarders”.
That is not healthy.