So, last night I sat down to watch TLC’s Extreme Couponing special.  My feelings about it are decidedly mixed.

The show started with Amanda, who has enough in her stockpile to feed her and her husband for 2 years.  Despite this, and despite her husband’s protests that they already have enough pasta to last a year in the stockpile, Amanda went out on a massive 6 hour shopping trip, which her husband assisted her with even though he felt they had enough, and bought another 200+ boxes of pasta.  Seriously?  This is for a family of 2!  When they left the store, they had to carry home the loot in 2 cars–a minivan stuffed full  of groceries and a sedan.  Over the top!

Joyce is a retired nurse who had a child at 15 and first learned to utilize coupons to help stretch her food stamps.  Now it is a way of life.  Of all of the couponers featured, she seemed the most level-headed.  She only bought what she knew she would use; she didn’t chase the deals just to get free stuff.  I wish they would have profiled her further.

I won’t tell you about the rest of the people in case you have not yet seen the show.  I think a show like this can be detrimental because it makes couponers look like shelf clearers who don’t leave any of the product for anyone else.  In addition, a few of these people seemed to have genuine mental disorders such as hoarding and OCD. 

As I said previously, I think it is wonderful that someone like Amanda can get so many items free.  However, it is clear that many of the items in her stockpile will go to waste because two people simply can’t eat that much food before it expires.  Please, donate it to those less fortunate who would love to reap the benefits of your diligence.

I wish this show would have explained a bit further how people can use coupons to lower their grocery bills.  Maybe Joyce, the retired registered nurse, will get her own show explaining how to use coupons within reason, how to use coupons to benefit family without sacrificing your relationship with them.

Incidentally, my favorite Chicago super couponer, Jill Cataldo, was initially asked to be a part of this show.  You can read her take on that here.

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