After a session of A&E’s Horders (why can I not stop watching that show?), my hubby flipped to TLC where the show Extreme Couponing was on. Have you seen this series? If not, here is the quick overview: TLC follows families who uses hundreds of coupons on each grocery trip to get free stuff. Picture 3-4 carts overflowing with boxed food, toiletries and household goods on every visit to the market. Inevitably, you will get to see two things: first, the “magic” at the cash register when the $600 grocery bill turns into a $10 bill after all the coupons and store discounts have been applied. Second, the crazy amount of space required in the basement or garage to store hundreds of tubes of toothpaste, more deodorant than anyone can use in a lifetime, and canned goods with sophisticated methods of can rotation to combat expiration dates.

At first it sounds good. All I have to do is collect coupons and I too can have $1000 worth of groceries for $50? Yes, until you figure out what exactly you are getting for your new part-time job (some spend up to 30 hours a week on coupon collection and management). The short answer: crap. Okay, maybe I’m being a wee bit harsh. A coupon for toilet paper is great. The one for 10 frozen dinners for $10, not so much. When you start to see what these Extreme Couponers are buying, you realize there is no real food to be seen.
Continue reading…