So I know extreme couponing has absolutely NOTHING to do with a blog about love, happiness, animals, and shelter stuff, but…I stumbled across the tv show last night, and I was enthralled. Perhaps enthralled is not the right word. I was watching it the way one would a bad car accident, or an escalating bar fight. With much curiosity and a lot of disbelief. These women they showed on tv are highly knowledgable about things such as what time of year peanut butter goes on sale, and how many times a year. They literally buy tons and tons of whatever they have coupons for. Then they store it all in organized, pantry-like fashion. Usually it seems they have to store it in their garages. The whole concept kind of blows my mind.
Obviously the idea of getting something for nothing or highly discounted is exciting, but the things they end up buying are mostly junk food. I don’t mean to be negative about this, but, these women spend upwards of 30 hours a week finding and cutting coupons, organizing them in binders, finding them online and downloading them onto their savings cards from various stores, and so on and so forth. It is very time consuming, and they end up with say, ten or twenty boxes of cake mix, or ten boxes of 100 calorie cookie packs. Or a cart full of sports drinks. I noticed that everything they are buying comes from the center aisles of the grocery store. This may sound like a useless observation, but considering that the healthiest things in the supermarket are on the perimeter of a supermarket, stocking up on a bunch of free junk food just doesn’t sound like the best laid plan.
My first thought was, if they are spending this much time cutting coupons for crappy processed food, they could probably spend the same amount of time growing a garden with healthy, home-grown, organic produce. But who am I to judge these people with my lofty organic ideals? Then I thought, perhaps they don’t have the space for a garden or small farm. Not everyone has a yard. Still, I cannot imagine that feeding your children this crap is good for them. I mean no wonder we have an obesity epidemic, the cheapest often times free-with-a-coupon food is the processed food in the middle aisles. Perhaps If these people were feeding the homeless it would be more sensible. Not that homeless people deserve to eat crappy processed food, but, it is better than not eating at all. It just seems that the women that are doing this are usually mothers of several children, and trying to stretch what they have as far as it will go. Perhaps their husbands give them a certain amount each week for food, and thus they want to make it last. I do not obviously know each person’s situation, but the whole thing is definitely “extreme”.