January 16, 2011

Extreme couponing

I was watching a show on TLC last night called "Extreme Couponing" about 4 people who, through the use of coupons and store promotions, purchase a lot of groceries for pennies on the dollar. One woman bought $250 worth of groceries (including pasta, pasta sauce and toothpaste) for $6. Pretty impressive!

But the longer I watched the program, the more I noticed the extreme couponers aren't just being thrifty -- they're obsessed. They get such a thrill from beating the system (i.e. getting stuff essentially free) that they end up accumulating huge stockpiles of products. It reminded me more and more of a hoarder. One man on "Extreme Couponing" had turned his 2-car garage into a warehouse, and he had enough deodorant, lotion, and salad dressing to last the rest of his life. Yet he went grocery shopping every week and continued to stockpile more health and beauty items because they were on sale. He actually took an entire display worth of toothbrushes and dumped -- literally, dumped -- them into his cart.

I guess "Extreme Couponing" just shows how fine the line is between practical money management and irrational obsessive frugality. Sheesh!